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Dutch Aviation Tax

The Dutch government is looking to introduce a tax on air travel and freight (Vliegbelasting). Its introduction is planned for January 2021 although this project may come to a halt even before if the European Union makes sufficient progress towards a Europe-wide aviation tax.

As a first step, State Secretary Snel van Financiën submitted a proposal for the Aviation Tax Act (Wet vliegbelasting) on 14 May 2019 amending the Environmental Taxes Act. The proposal will soon be debated in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.


What is Dutch Aviation Tax?

According to the proposal, Dutch Aviation Tax is levied on passengers departing from a Dutch airport on-board aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of more than 8.616 tonnes (18,995 lbs). The proposed tax rate is 7 € per chargeable passenger regardless of the passenger’s final destination.

Cargo planes departing from a Dutch airport are also subject to tax. The tax amount will depend on the aircraft’s certified noise performance and MTOW. If nothing changes, cargo operators pay 1.93 € per ton MTOW where the aircraft’s cumulative margin (EPNdB) is lower than 20. Otherwise, they pay 3.85 € per ton MTOW.


Who is liable for Dutch Aviation Tax?

Dutch Aviation Tax applies to aircraft operators performing commercial or non-commercial flights from a Dutch airport. Exempt are aircraft with a MTOW of less than 8.616 tonnes (18,995 lbs).

Several passenger exemptions apply. Amongst them the exemption of children under the age of two, flight crew on active duty, inactive flight crew being positioned to another airport, as well as transit and connecting passengers.


Obligations under the Dutch Aviation Tax scheme

The specifics of the tax scheme are still unknown because the proposal fails to address several important questions.

For instance, we don’t know if foreign aircraft operators will be required to register for tax or appoint a representative. The requirements for reporting, payment and record keeping are also unclear at this stage.

However, we already know that aviation tax will be levied on the airport operator who in turn collects the tax from the aircraft operator. The idea is that aircraft operators shall report aircraft and flight information through communication channels that are already used for the calculation of traditional airport fees and charges.