Official says hundreds of bilateral agreements in place to prevent duty being applied
Jet fuel imports from Gulf countries are exempt from paying a new 4.7 percent duty, an EU official said on Wednesday, overriding a previous statement they would have faced the charge.
Last month, officials had said the European Union would impose the duty, which could have significantly increased costs for airlines.
The new duty was proposed after the European Union removed the Gulf states from its generalised scheme of preferences (GSP), which offers preferential trade status to developing economies, because they are now classified as upper-middle income economies by the World Bank.
On Wednesday, a spokesman told Reuters hundreds of bilateral agreements were in place that prevented the duty being applied.
"Some 1,500 binding air transport agreements exist between EU Member States and third countries, as well as between the European Union as a whole and the U.S., Canada, Georgia, Moldova, Jordan, Israel and Brazil," Commission spokesman for trade policy John Clancy said by email.
"These agreements include provisions exempting jet fuel from duties and taxes, disregarding its origin. Hence, jet fuel imports from the Gulf countries are exempt from paying duties."