The fear is that Limburg gas station owners will miss out on a lot of income from 1 June due to sharply falling petrol prices in Germany. The Tank Stations Association (Beta) is therefore once again calling on the Dutch government to align the excise duty on petrol with neighboring countries.
From 1 June, Germany will lower the excise tax on petrol, making a liter of Euro 95 about fifty cents cheaper than in the Netherlands.
Beyond the power of entrepreneurs
Beta calls this difference in price “huge.” The fear is therefore that even more Limburgers will travel to Germany for refueling. “This is very annoying for the gas station owners in the border region,” says Tim Schoenmakers of the interest group with a sense of irony. Many dozens of Limburg gas stations are associated with the association. “You can be such a good entrepreneur, you can’t do anything about this.”
Not for the first time, the difference in liter price between the Netherlands and Germany is growing to great heights. Annoying for the motorist, perhaps catastrophic for the Limburg gas station owners. “Hopefully we will not see companies collapse as a result. We recently also had an excise duty reduction in the Netherlands. It is temporary, just like the German reduction now. It would be unwise for the Dutch government to abolish the current scheme now, because then the huge gap would become even bigger. We want the excise duty to be determined at European level. But the Dutch government keeps saying that it is a national matter.”
Petrol sales alone are not profitable
The Janssen-Kerres gas station has been housed on the Domaniale Mijnstraat in Kerkrade since the 1970s. A few hundred meters from the border, the company has to compete with its German colleagues. “There has always been a difference between the Dutch and the German recommended prices, but this is extreme, yes,” says Raymond Scholten, responsible for the gas station. “We don’t have to rely on petrol sales, we run the turnover through the shop. But if the run-up to the pump decreases, we no longer sell the can of cola.”
Gas stations close to the border usually sell their petrol below the recommended retail price. Scholten also has to give a discount to attract customers. That is ten cents on a liter of Euro 95. “Then you are left with a few cents per liter. Then the VAT is deducted and you ultimately have nothing left.”
Beta is currently investigating the relationship between Dutch petrol prices and those in Belgium and Germany. Schoenmakers expects that the greater the price difference with neighboring countries, the fewer liters of petrol will be sold. “And so there is less income for the treasury”, with which he wants to indicate that a lower petrol price does not necessarily have to be disadvantageous for the government.