Europe Suspends Customs Duties for Jet Fuel Imports
As of 1st January 2014, customs duties for jet fuel imports will be suspended in the EU, a measure for which the airlines are very grateful to the European Commission (EC).
This measure was recently proposed by the EC and adopted by the EU Member States after a new scheme of general tariff preferences (GSP) modified the status of some fuel exporting countries on the basis that they are now considered by the World Bank as high or upper-middle income countries; as of 1st January 2014, these countries (mainly Gulf countries) cease to benefit from preferential access to the Union market.
However, since air transport agreements between the EU and/or Member States on one hand, and third countries on the other, include binding provisions exempting jet fuels from duties and taxes, the modification of the GSP would have meant heavy administrative or logistic problems for the airlines to continue to benefit from the exemption.
For airlines, the best solution was therefore to zero rate jet fuel imports, and this is what was adopted, as a result of a fruitful collaboration between the airlines, their associations and the European Commission, in particular the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport.