MEBAA Convention News

Universal Weather eases refueling tax headaches

 - December 5, 2010, 11:00 PM

Universal Weather & Aviation (Stand C235) has doubled the number of countries covered by its UVAir service to provide fuel invoicing that is compliant with requirements for value added tax (VAT) due on aircraft fuel in Europe. The service, which was introduced back in May, is supposed to overcome the headaches commonly associated with calculating which VAT rate should apply based on an aircraft operator's status in terms of whether it is a commercial operation and/or flies aircraft registered outside Europe.

The nine new countries now covered by the complimentary service are: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. It already applies for nine other European states: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Universal provides the VAT service through its new UVAir European Fuelling Services subsidiary, based in Shannon, Ireland. Several other flight planning and fuel groups already provide a similar service.

VAT is applied at different rates throughout Europe and it has often proved to be extremely complicated to work out which rate should apply, based on where an operator is registered, where it operates from and where it is flying. "This system ensures that we can exempt clients from VAT, if they are entitled to this, and charge other clients at the correct rate, providing an accurate VAT invoice," explained Steve Woods, UVAir fuel manager for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia.

"In recent years, we have found that fuel suppliers, such as FBOs and oil companies were making decisions on whether VAT should be charged on an uplift before billing the fuel to UVAir and did not distinguish tax-exempt operators so it fell to UVair to check this," Woods explained. "The VAT situation on fuel is very much open to interpretation in Europe."