Road User Charges in Namibia

Road Charges For Using Namibian Roads, Also Known as MDC and CBC

Introduction of The Road Fund Administration

The Road Fund Administration Act 18 of 1999, brought into effect on 25 October 1999, paved the way for the formation of the Road Fund Administration, which was established on the 1 April 2000 by the Act of Parliament listed above.

The aim and primary goal of the Road Fund Administration (RFA) is to manage road user charges in order to secure necessary funds for safer roads and developing road infrastructure.

The RFA and its road user charges are yet another aspect that needs to be carefully complied with when operating on Namibia’s roads.

Namibia has the following road user charges:

  • Annual Motor Vehicle License Fees
  • Abnormal Load Fees
  • Fuel Levies
  • Mass Distance Charges (MDC)
  • Cross Border Charges (CBC)

Not all of these fees are applicable to all motorists in Namibia. Those that are relevant to everyday vehicle users and owners, like the fuel levies, are hardly noticeable and require no effort to be compliant.

However, it is important to know which of these charges apply to what type of road user, how they affect them and what they actually entail.

Annual Motor Vehicle License Fees

All vehicles in Namibia are liable to pay vehicle license fees annually. These are determined by the weight of the vehicle and apply regardless of whether the vehicle is used on a public road or not. The size of the vehicle also does not matter – only the weight.

All license fees are due 21 days after the date of expiry of the previous license. All licenses expire on the last day of the month, a year after they were issued.

License renewals are handled by NaTIS on behalf of the Road Fund Administration.

Abnormal Load Fees

The Road Traffic and Transport Act 1999 (Act. No 22 of 1999) sets out dimensions and weights that can legally be conveyed on a public road.

An abnormal load, therefore, is anything that is larger or heavier than determined by this law and will draw appropriate fees.

Examples of Abnormal Load Vehicles

A vehicle that, by virtue of its design – either by dimension or weight – doesn’t comply with the Road Traffic and Transport Act of 1999 is considered “abnormal”.

A typical example of a common abnormal load is a car carrier, used to transport multiple new or used vehicles across the country. Car carriers often exceed the height or weight limit permitted by the transport act.

Large freights, such as mine vehicles or their parts, and the trucks that transport them are also considered an abnormal load.

The application for Abnormal Load Vehicle Permits are processed through NaTIS House in Windhoek.

After submitting the appropriate form and required documentation, an engineer of the Roads Authority will use a specialised computer program to calculate the accountable damage to the road by the abnormal vehicle. Then, a value is determined on the fees to be paid for the abnormal load permit.

The money from these abnormal load permits – collected by Roads Authority on behalf of the Road Fund Administration – are used to maintain road networks in the country.

Fuel Levies

A fuel levy is a fee charged on every litre of fuel sold at the pump. This fee is calculated and paid over to the RFA by the fuel distributors. The fuel levy currently stands at N$1.14 per litre and is done in terms of the Road Fund Administration Act (Act 18 of 1999).

Fuel levies are the greatest financial contributor to Namibia’s Road Fund.

Mass Distance Charges

Mass Distance Charges (MDC) were introduced by the Road Fund Administration in 2007 through Government Notice Nr. 70 (30 March).

They are somewhat controversial because they apply to all heavy vehicles, but have to be paid on top of the already existing, already very high annual license fees for heavy vehicles.

According to the RFA, however, the increased damage to roads, done by heavy vehicles driving long distances, justifies the extra levy to “redress the inequity”.

What is a Heavy Vehicle?

A heavy vehicle is classified as a vehicle with a weight in excess of 3,500kg.

Who pays Mass Distance Charges?

All owners / operators of heavy vehicles as defined above, traveling on Namibian roads will need to pay Mass Distance Charges. This is applicable to Namibian as well as foreign register vehicles.

Cross Border Charges

All foreign registered vehicles entering Namibia will have to pay Cross Border Charges (CBC), collected by the Road Fund Administration.

The fees are payable to the RFA at all points of entry into Namibia. You will be issued with a permit, which is valid for three months and has to be renewed thereafter.

A CBC permit should be kept in the vehicle at all times when traveling Namibia, as it will have to be presented at police checkpoints, so always have it in an accessible location.

It is also required that you carry your drivers license with you while driving.