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“Dutch government intends to introduce an air tax”

Anton Louwinger

Tax Partner

Dutch government intends to introduce an air tax (for passenger and cargo flights)

Earlier today the Dutch government sent a bill of law on the introduction of a national air passenger tax and a national air cargo traffic tax to Dutch parliament.

The Dutch government wants to introduce such air passenger tax with effect from 1 January 2021. Such tax is to be introduced if the EU member states fail to reach consensus on the (timely) introduction of a European air tax. If introduced, the Dutch air passenger tax will amount to 7 euros per departing passenger. Transit passengers are to be excluded, which should protect Schiphol's position as one of the leading European transit hubs.

At the time of its introduction, the exact amount of the tax will likely be slightly higher due to adjustment for inflation. However, given the current rate of inflation, the rate is expected to remain below 7.5 euros.

In addition to the air passenger tax, the government also proposes to introduce an air tax for cargo traffic. The rate of such tax will depend on the level of noise production. The lower the noise production, the lower the tax. At present, the rate is set at EUR 3.85 per tons of freight for the noisiest aircraft and EUR 1.925 per tons of freight for the lower noise classes. This rate is levied on the basis of the weight of the aircraft.

As laid down in the coalition agreement between the parties forming the Dutch government, the government wants to make taxes greener and the aviation sector more sustainable. At present, international air traffic is not subject to excise duty or VAT. The proposal should put an end to this tax-free status and should contribute to a level playing field as far as the various means of transportion are concerned.

The State Secretary for Finance emphasized that The Netherlands will continue its aim to reach agreement on an EU-wide tax and that the proposed national taxes may never be introduced if such agreement is timely reached between EU member states.

For more information, please contact  Anton Louwinger.