EU law provides VAT exemption for supplies of fuel and most operating expenses to holders of air operator certificates (AOC) or air carrier certificates (ACC) when the certificate holders qualify as “airlines operating for reward chiefly on international routes”
Most professional VAT advisors consider this exemption applicable to companies deriving more than 50% of their gross revenue from ticket sales or charter revenues. Many European vendors, however, will apply the exemption either for all traffic conducted by an AOC or ACC holder, or perhaps for any charter flight, regardless of the “airline” status of the operator.
CB VATAmerica recommends that AOC and ACC holders consult your flight services company or your fuel vendor in advance to determine whether this “commercial” exemption applies to your specific flight as construed by that particular vendor.
Many fuel services providers have created their own packages of forms to document their customers’ VAT exemption status – we will assist in completing these forms if you wish.
2010 “Place of Supply” Rules
Effective in 2010, EU law now provides for VAT exemptions for most services supplied to business aviation operators based in another country. Technically, these services are considered to take place where the operator maintains its base, not where the services might be physically carried out, and are thus not VAT-able where supplied.
Two exceptions to these rules include: services relating to real estate, such as aircraft parking and storage, and services considered to be “used and enjoyed” where supplied. These services are still VAT-able in the country where supplied, and this VAT is refundable under the usual VAT refund rules.
CB VATAmerica has a program to document our clients’ exemption under these new rules; the program now includes about 40 different vendors, such as EuroControl. Clients seeing VAT charges coming in from other vendors are encouraged to contact us.
To learn more about our EU Business-to-Business VAT exemption program, and to enroll, click here.