New €7.45 tax per passenger departing from a Dutch airport in 2021
From 1st January 2021, every passenger departing from an airport in the Netherlands will pay an additional tax of €7.45. It was first proposed in May 2019. The Dutch government decided to introduce this tax on commercial aviation in line with global climate goals given that international flights contribute to carbon emissions but, unlike cars, buses or trains, are currently not taxed (it pays no fuel duty and no VAT). The Dutch government expects to collect an estimated €200 million from this tax, in a normal flying year. In May of 2019, former Finance Minister Menno Snel said that the revenues would “help close the price gap between plane tickets and, for example, train tickets.” A previously proposed taxation bill for air freight was cancelled as a study revealed that freighters would divert to surrounding countries, which would have major consequences for both Schiphol and Maastricht Airport. Eight other European countries want the European Commission to come up with a proposal for a European taxation on commercial aviation, and it needs cooperation. A report in 2019 showed that a tax on jet fuel in the EU would cut carbon emissions while having limited impact on employment.
Curbing emissions: New €7.45 tax per passenger departing from a Dutch airport in 2021
By Ramon Kagie on Unsplash
17 November 2020
As of the 1st of January 2021, every passenger departing from an airport in the Netherlands will pay an additional tax of €7.45. The Dutch government decided to introduce this tax on commercial aviation in line with global climate goals given that international flights contribute to carbon emissions but, unlike cars, buses or trains, are currently not taxed.
The regulation is meant to include measures to prevent a potential negative impact on Amsterdam Schiphol Airport’s role as a hub and on its international network of connections. The previously proposed taxation bill for freight traffic has been cancelled as a study revealed that freighters would divert to surrounding countries, which would have major consequences for both Amsterdam Schiphol and Maastricht Aachen Airport.
“Many countries around The Netherlands already levy an extra taxation. In recent years, The Netherlands has focused strongly on European cooperation. Eight other European countries called on the new European Commission to come up with a proposal for a European taxation on commercial aviation,” the Dutch government stated.
With this new taxation, the Dutch government expects to collect an estimate of €200 million. In May of 2019, former Finance Minister Menno Snel said that the revenues would “help close the price gap between plane tickets and, for example, train tickets.”
In 2019, a leaked EU report revealed that the European Commission had concluded that a tax on jet fuel, exempted from levies by an international agreement, would cut carbon emissions while having limited impact on employment.
Passengers transferring through a Dutch airport are exempt from the tax.
Netherlands planning to start taxing air travel by around €7 per passenger, from 2021
The Netherlands plans to impose a €7 tax per passenger in 2021 if the EU fails to come up with an aviation fuel tax. Momentum is building for a crack-down on aviation’s environmental impact. The Netherlands’ finance state secretary said its draft flight tax bill could yield €200 million and “help close the price gap between plane tickets and, for example, train tickets”. The proposals – still a draft, to be debated by politicians – are that any air passenger departing from a Dutch airport will be charged a maximum of €7.50. Cargo planes will also be charged, at a rate of €1.92 for less noisy planes and €3.85 for more noisy aircraft. There was a tax until scrapped in 2009. At present, unlike travel by car, bus or train, international flights from the Netherlands are not in any way taxed by the Dutch government. There has also been a proposal that the Netherlands and Belgium made earlier this year on imposing aviation taxes via bilateral deals – and the Netherlands may look at implementing others. If there is EU agreement on another aviation tax, before 2021, then the current Dutch tax proposal will be dropped. On 13th May a report emerged that showed taxing jet fuel would cut EU CO2 emissions and have a limited impact on employment.
T&E found the EU sat on data showing benefits of ending airlines’ tax break on jet fuel
A leaked report for the European Commission shows that taxing aviation kerosene sold in Europe, by duty on all departing flights to all destinations of €0.33/litre, would cut aviation emissions by 11% (16.4 MtCO2). It would have no net impact on jobs or the economy as a whole while raising almost €27 billion in revenues every year. Unlike road transport, airlines in Europe have never paid any excise duty on the fuel they take on at EU airports. Airlines are not even taxed on domestic flights where taxation barriers were lifted in 2003. In contrast, jet fuel taken on for domestic aviation has been taxed for many years in countries such as the US, Australia, Japan, Canada and even Saudi Arabia. European member states have, since 2003, had the power to start taxing kerosene uplifted for flights within Europe by using bilateral agreements, but have failed to do so. Over 20 EU states don’t tax international aviation at all (at least the UK has APD). Aviation CO2 emissions grew 4.9% within Europe last year – while emissions from all other industries in the ETS fell 3.9%. CO2 from flying in Europe has soared 26.3% in the last five years – far outstripping any other EU emissions source. With realisation about the reality of climate breakdown, this increase cannot be allowed to continue. Fuel tax would mean more expensive flights, which would reduce demand.
European elections: Top candidates for EU President demand tax on (aviation) kerosene, to help deal with CO2 emissions
Both the conservative Manfred Weber [German politician] and the social democrat Frans Timmermans [Dutch politician and diplomat] want to tax aircraft fuel. They are the main candidates to be the next EU Commission President, after Jean-Claude Junker steps down later in May. But they are divided on the CO2 tax. Both want to abolish the tax benefits for aviation fuel. Airlines currently do not pay fuel tax on their fuel, due to historic international agreements. The injustice leads to lying being significantly cheaper than other means of transport. “The preference of the airline business must be ended.” Then the train would also have better chances in the competition. Frans Timmermans wants to tax kerosene “unconditionally and quickly”… “If it fails at the international level, we have to introduce the tax EU-wide.” They disagree on whether carbon should be taxed, due to difficulties in protecting the poor. The German Union parties have so far no uniform position on the CO2 tax. But Timmermans wants a European tax on CO2, and said the next President must make climate protection a top priority and push the transformation of the economy in the next 5 years.