According to EU Directive 2003/96/EC only aviation fuel used for private pleasure-flying
should be taxed. For all other purposes the tax should either not be charged or must be refunded. This includes includes for instance business flying, flight training, aerial work etc.
Directive 2003/96/EC defines Private Pleasure Flying as follows:
For the purposes of this Directive `private pleasure-flying¿ shall mean the use of an aircraft by its owner or the natural or legal person who enjoys its use either through hire or through any other means, for other than commercial purposes and in particular other than for the carriage of passengers or goods or for the supply of services for consideration or for the purposes of public authorities.
How to get your refund differs from country to country and unfortunately some countries illegally refuse to provide the refund. If your EU country is charging a fuel tax for flights that are not for private pleasure you should challenge them with the EU Directive above and this ruling from the EU Court of Justice stating:
The obligation imposed by Article 8(1)(b) of Directive 92/81 [the Directive preceeding 2003/96/EC] to exempt from the harmonised excise duty mineral oils supplied for use as fuel for the purpose of air navigation other than private pleasure flying may be relied on by individuals in proceedings before national courts in order to contest national rules that are incompatible with that obligation.
Please also refer to the section for Germany below to see the German courtruling that the fuel tax should be refunded.
The list below contains the information currently available to IAOPA. If you know about tax-free aviation fuel in countries not listed
below then please
inform IAOPA to have the information included on this page.