EU/UK Fuel VAT Exemption & Zero Rating
Even though the EU is essentially “one market” for trade purposes, individual countries can still assess their own taxes, including value added tax (VAT). VAT rules and rates related to aircraft fuel and exemptions vary from country to country. As VAT varies from 5% to 25%* of the total fuel purchase, knowing when to pay and when you are exempt can add up to big savings.
Who Qualifies for Fuel VAT Exemptions?
Article 148 of the EU VAT Directive provides an exemption for fueling and provisioning of aircraft “used by airlines operating for reward chiefly on international routes.” There are no provisions for business aircraft fuel exemptions from the EU itself (there is in UK), but there is some leeway as to “airline” definition. In most cases an AOC holder could fall under the definition of an airline.
Most EU member countries allow “operating for reward” to mean that one corporate division can charge another division for the flight. “Chiefly on international routes” can mean anything from 51% (in most countries) to 80% (in France and Belgium) of flights must be international routes. Since the rules for VAT and MOT exemptions vary widely from country to country.
Obtaining VAT Exemptions During Refueling
Jetex customers fueling at a location belonging to the Jetex fuel network stand to receive eligible VAT exemptions or zero rating when they pre-arrange fuel with their Jetex representative, providing they meet the criteria above.
At non-Jetex locations, or if you have not arranged with a Jetex representative in advance, speak to the fuel provider before they begin fueling your aircraft. You may need to present an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) if you have one, and be sure that your flight is indicated as “commercial” or “non-leisure” on the fuel ticket.
If no exemption applies and VAT is paid on aviation fuel purchased for business use, the business may apply for a refund. Jetex provides VAT-compliant invoices to streamline this process, and can assist you in applying for your refund.
Jetex VAT Registrations
The best way to ensure that you do not pay excess fuel VAT is to book your flight through Jetex, which is currently registered in the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
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* As of December 2022