In a joint letter to the Dutch Minister of Finance, the European Regions Airline Association* (ERA) and other leading industry associations urge the Dutch Government not to proceed with its planned taxation policy, highlighting several important issues in relation to this proposed taxation policy, including the negative impact on the Dutch economy, the inefficiency of such forms of taxation and contradictions with accepted international law, standards and principles.
As absolute minimum, the associations request that the Dutch Government undertakes an independent evaluation of the economic and environmental impact of the policy and holds an open and constructive public consultation process before making any final decisions.
ERA, IATA, AIRE, AFRAA, A4A, AACO, AAPA, ALTA and NACC understand that the Dutch Government has announced its intention to address aviation’s environmental impact through taxation, envisaging a Europe-wide tax on aviation in the context of planned negotiations in 2019 on the ‘Paris climate objectives’. A tax on purported “noisy and polluting” aircraft is also under consideration and, if both measures are determined to be insufficient, an aviation passenger tax may be introduced in the Netherlands from 2021.
In addition to the contradiction with international law and principles, the associations highlight the negative impact of the previous air passenger taxes in the Netherlands and other European countries. The proposed taxation policy is also at odds with the principles that underlie all of ICAO’s requirements regarding environmental levies. ICAO adopted a Global Market-Based Measure in October 2016 to address emissions from international aviation, with overwhelming support from ICAO’s member states. The ICAO Assembly Resolution stipulates that CORSIA is to be the sole market-based measure applying to CO2 emissions from international aviation. The Preamble of ICAO Resolution A39-3 reiterates that market-based measures should not be duplicative and international aviation CO2 emissions should be accounted for only once. Moreover, intra-EU flights are subject to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, in which airlines already pay their contribution towards reducing the environmental impact.
The aviation, travel and tourism sector plays a critical role in, and contributes significantly to, the Dutch economy and this should be supported and nurtured, not hindered by ineffective government taxation.