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Aviation associations appeal to Dutch Government to not proceed with taxation policy

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and other leading industry organizations have appealed to the Dutch government to not move forward with its planned taxation policy.

In a joint letter sent to the Minister of Finance, the group highlighted several crucial issues in relation to this proposal including the negative effect it would have on the Dutch economy, the inefficiency of such forms of taxation and contradictions with accepted international law, standards and principles.

At the very least, the association requested that the Dutch Government conduct an independent evaluation of the economic and environmental impact of the policy and then hold an open and constructive public consultation process before deciding on the matter with finality.

The ERA, IATA, AIRE, AFRAA, A4A, AACO, AAPA, ALTA and NACC understand that the Dutch Government has pronounced its intention to tackle aviation’s environmental impact through taxation, imagining a Europe-wide tax on aviation in the context of planned negotiations in 2019 on the ‘Paris climate objectives.’

A tax on supposed “noisy and polluting” aircraft is also under examination and, if both measures are deemed insufficient, an aviation passenger tax may be initiated in the Netherlands from 2021.

In addition to the incongruity with international law and principles, the associations pinpointed the negative impact of the previous air passenger taxes in the Netherlands and other European countries.

The proposed taxation policy is also in opposition with the principles that lie in all of ICAO’s requirements regarding environmental levies. ICAO adopted a Global Market-Based Measure in October 2016 to tackle emissions from international aviation, with great support from ICAO’s member states.

The ICAO Assembly Resolution specifies that CORSIA is to be the sole market-based measure applying to CO2 emissions from international aviation. The Preamble of ICAO Resolution A39-3 emphasizes that market-based measures should not be repetitive and international aviation CO2 emissions should be accounted for only once.

Moreover, intra-EU flights are governed by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, in which airlines already pay their contribution towards lessening the environmental impact.

The aviation, travel and tourism sector plays a crucial role in and contributes significantly to, the Dutch economy and this should be supported and cultivated, not impeded by ineffective government taxation.

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