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Air Astana against EU carbon charges

11 january 2012, 15:25
The European Union imposed a charge on carbon emissions from January 1. As per this law, air companies owning the planes that fly to and out of the EU have to pay a carbon tax, Tengrinews.kz reports.

According to the new carbon tax rules, the air companies will have to receive emission quotas on aviation emissions based on the number of flights they make. The plan is that the carriers will receive free quotas covering 85 percent of their flights and will have to pay the tax for the remaining 15 percent of their traffic. Besides, the companies will have to monitor, control and provide reports on emissions.

According to Air Astana press-service, the company is reviewing the quota system as well as the actions of other carriers. “Should the EU's decision remain the unchanged, Air Astana along with other carriers will have to pay carbon charges. Emission quotas are taxes and all taxes always go to the end user,” manager of managerial accounting Aizhan Omar said.

The decision of the European Union caused many objections from among the carriers around the world. Representatives of China Air Transport Association said that they were planning to sue the EU and prove illegality of incomes from such payments. China was supported by India, Canada, Russia and the U.S.

Air Astana also deems such tax illegal. The company explains its position by the fact that calculation of the volume of the company’s traffic is based on the distances between departure and arrival point and not based on distance of the flight made over the EU territory.

“Making flights to Europe Air Astana mainly flies over Kazakhstan, Russia and other countries that are not part of the EU. However, calculation of emissions will use the length of the whole flight. Moreover, there is currently no information on how the EU will use the collected taxes,” the company’s representative said.

Air Astana is a Kazakhstan air carries that is 49% owned by BAE Systems and 51% by Samruk-Kazyna national fund.

By Vladimir Prokopenko

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