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EU to exempt private jets and ‘pleasure flights’ from climate tax on jet fuel

Argus Media

The European Commission has proposed exempting private jets and cargo flights from the planned EU jet fuel tax. A draft indicates that the tax would be phased-in for passenger flights, including ones that carry cargo.

The draft, which the commission will on 14 July present with its proposed revisions to the bloc’s 2003 energy-taxation directive, indicates there could be an exemption from taxation for energy products and electricity used for intra-EU air navigation of cargo-only flights. It proposes allowing EU states to only tax such flights either domestically or by virtue of bilateral or multilateral agreements with other member states.

The commission is worried that taxing fuel for cargo-only flights would adversely affect EU carriers. Third-country carriers, also with a significant share of the intra-EU cargo market, have to be exempted from taxation due to aviation services agreements, the commission argues.

Private jets will enjoy an exemption through classification of “business aviation” as the use of aircraft by firms for carriage of passengers or goods as an “aid to the conduct of their business”, if generally considered not for public hire. A further exemption is given for “pleasure” flights whereby an aircraft is used for “personal or recreational” purposes not associated with a business or professional use….

The commission wants to align energy taxation with EU climate goals, meaning that taxes should be based on the net calorific value of the energy products and electricity and that minimum levels of taxation across the EU would be set out according to environmental performance and expressed in €/GJ. 

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