Austria is ready to mount a legal challenge to German plans to charge tolls for motorists to use its autobahns claiming the move discriminates against foreign drivers.
The scheme would see all drivers charged to use the country's motorway system. German drivers will have the cost of the €130 (£110) reimbursed by a corresponding reduction in their road tax.
However this will not apply to foreign drivers, the Local reported.
Visitors are expected to use short-term passes, with 10 days access the network costing €2.50 (£2.12).
Berlin's blueprint was an election campaign pledge of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.
The short-term passes were part of what the European Commission hoped would be an acceptable compromise after an outcry from Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.
It had been willing to mount its own legal challenge to a project which arguably infringes the principle of both free movement of goods and that countries should operate on a level playing field.
But the compromise has failed to satisfy the Austrians, who said the toll scheme will be challenged at the European Court of Justice.
Jörg Leichtfried, Austria's transport minister, rounded on the Commission's approach to the toll plans, describing its behaviour as "scandalous".
But Alexander Dobrindt, the German transport minister, defended the scheme, saying that most cross-border traffic loses local roads and therefore would not be affected by the plans.