EC official says environmental charges imposed by EU States should be repealed once ETS kicks in
Olivier Onidi, the EC’s Head of Unit, Internal Market, Air Transport Agreements and Multilateral Relations
Fri 11 Apr 2008 – Speaking at a European Regions Airline Association (ERA) conference in Malta on Wednesday, the EC’s Head of Unit, Internal Market, Air Transport Agreements and Multilateral Relations, Olivier Onidi, said any passenger or aircraft environmental tax imposed by EU States should be repealed once aviation is included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
“One of the main reasons behind the ETS proposal is that it is viewed as the most suitable and efficient market-based measure,” said Onidi. “Once such a system is in place, one would therefore expect that countries which have levied aviation or passenger taxes based on environmental grounds should repeal them or refrain from introducing other measures.”
His comments were welcomed by ERA Director General, Mike Ambrose, who said: “We are delighted to hear this commonsense point of view from a senior EC figure. ETS must be a final solution, not a partial measure. Emissions trading should be designed as the sole economic tool to deal with the environmental challenges facing our industry. Airlines should not have to pay the same costs again under a different name.”
Two EU countries are in the process of imposing aviation taxes based on environmental grounds. The UK government is phasing out air passenger duty (APD) by November 2009 and replacing it with a levy that charges individual aircraft by weight and distance travelled. A controversial Dutch passenger ‘eco-tax’ based on distance travelled is due to come into force this July. Its introduction was challenged unsuccessfully in the Dutch courts last month by airline and airport representatives.
According to reports earlier this week, a second reading of the legislation to include aviation within the EU ETS is due to come before the European Parliament in July.