Germany, France and Sweden already tax air transport as Spain suggests

Germany, France, Sweden or the United Kingdom are some of the countries that already have taxes on the use of air transport similar to that raised by the Government for Spain, a tribute that aims to discourage the use of the aircraft due to its high level of emissions from greenhouse effect gases.

The Ministry of Finance opened on 28 February two prior public consultation processes to raise possible taxes on the use of air transport and single-use plastics in the food sector.

The proposals of the Treasury do not incorporate a lien design, but are limited to raising the environmental problem that derives from these behaviors and the convenience of taxing them.

In the case of the tax on air transport or air ticket, several European countries have incorporated it into their system for years and, even, there is a proposal - signed by France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria and Luxembourg - to be regulated at European level.

In France, the rate on air tickets has existed since 2006 and currently ranges from 1.5 euros per passenger for internal flights or to the European Union in economy class and 18 euros for long-haul in business, after that the Government would raise them to finance more sustainable means of transport.

Also in Germany, the airfare to make the train cheaper has become more expensive, which now stands at 13.03 euros for short flights, 33 euros for those up to 600 kilometers and 59 euros for long-distance ones.

In the United Kingdom, flights taking off from its airports pay a tax per person of 26 pounds (29 euros) if it is short-haul and 150 pounds (172 euros) if it is long-distance.

In Sweden, the tax - for which children under two years of age, aviation personnel and travelers in transit are exempt - ranges from 62 to 416 Swedish kronor (5.9 to 39.3 euros) depending on distance.

In Austria, the use of air transport has been subject to a tax for years, ranging from 3.5 euros for European flights to 17.5 euros for long flights, and that the new government wants to unify into a single type of 12 Euros per passenger.

The Netherlands is currently processing the commissioning of a levy of 7 euros per passenger, with additional charges for cargo, which will apply from 2021.

As regards the single-use food plastic packaging tax, at the moment there are no similar taxes in Europe, among other reasons because the European Union has not yet clearly defined what is considered a single use, explains Efe Belén Palao, from the group of experts of indirect taxes of Aedaf.

Despite this, the European Union has approved the ban from 2021 on single-use plastics for which there is an alternative, such as plates or cutlery.

Some countries have taxes that are part of the environmental defense, such as Denmark, which has established a rate of a minimum of 4 Danish crowns (0.53 euros) on the plastic bags supplied by the stores.

Finland taxes plastic bottles at a rate of 0.51 euros per liter, although it can be avoided if the manufacturer uses the national recycling system, which charges a deposit that is recovered upon delivery of the container.

In Belgium, each kilo of disposable cutlery pays a tax of 3.6 euros and each kilo of single-use plastic bags of 3 euros, to which is added the federal rate on packaging containing drinks.

The Portuguese Government included in the 2020 Budget a rate for single-use plastic containers that has not yet been launched, while the United Kingdom plans to establish in April 2022 a tax on the production and import of plastics intended for Packaging that has less than 30% recyclable content.

Italy has approved a tax on plastic of 45 cents per kilo produced, including tetrapak, and France has decided to progressively ban only food-grade plastics, as it has done with ear sticks or plastic plates and as Will next year with straws or cutlery.


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