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Dutch government's U-turn on freight tax applauded by stakeholders

THE Dutch government has withdrawn proposals for a tax on freighter aircraft following a study into the effect it would have on the market

24 November 2020 - 19:00
THE Dutch government has withdrawn proposals for a tax on freighter aircraft following a study into the effect it would have on the market.

The bill containing the tax has now been amended and will now go before the Council of State for review before going before the upper and lower houses of parliament.



The Dutch government will now work for a freighter tax to be introduced at a European level. The amended bill also includes an increase in a proposed tax on passengers making international flights due to come into force next year.



The U-turn comes follows a Dutch government study into the impact of the proposed tax. 'The additional study states that airlines with a cargo tax will relocate to surrounding countries, which will have major consequences for Schiphol and Maastricht Aachen airports,' the government said.



Following the news, Logistics Alliance chairman Steven Lak said: 'The State Secretary has shown that he shares our concerns about a national tax with this amendment of the bill.



'Our business climate and employment would really suffer too much. His decision that it would be better to take this part out of the bill and apply it to a European tax on air cargo flights is therefore much more sensible.



'A European tax will lead to further sustainability of the air cargo sector and thus safeguard the international level playing field. We will certainly support the State Secretary in this.'



The proposed tax aimed to reduce the environmental impact of supply chains by introducing a tax based on the maximum takeoff weight of aircraft.



However, groups including Air Cargo Netherlands, Fenex, TLN, evofenedex and the Logistic Alliance, argued that this would punish modern cargo aircraft with a higher takeoff weight that are actually more efficient than older aircraft that can carry less cargo.



Also, air cargo handlers are constantly looking to optimise loads, meaning heavy take-off weights are the goal. The more efficiently that handlers work, therefore, the higher the tax bill, London's Air Cargo News reported.


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