Picking Best Method for Purchasing Jet Fuel – Part 2
This business aviation blog article continues Part 1 in this series.
In last week’s article, we discussed the different options available to an operator for payment of jet fuel, along with the pros and cons of each method. In this week’s article, we will cover documentation that needs to be furnished when obtaining jet fuel. It’s important to be aware of the paperwork requirements and supporting documents that need to be furnished prior to any fuel uplift.
Continuing from last week’s article, here are some additional tips regarding jet fuel payment options.
1. Pre-trip research always pays off
Best practice is to carry several cards, including aviation fuel cards, oil company cards and consumer credit cards, in case there are issues on the airfield. Maximizing your range of aviation fuel payment options is always a benefit. Be aware of the fuel uplift location at the particular airport. Does the aircraft need to taxi to the fueling point, or will the fuel truck come out to the aircraft? Ensure that the correct fueler is fueling your aircraft. It’s best to carry a copy of the fuel release or have other written confirmation with you. Be mindful of taxes associated with the fuel price, and know your options for either exempting tax at the pump or having the ability to reclaim taxes later. Value added tax (VAT) is usually the most exemptible tax at the pump, and easiest tax to reclaim later, depending on status and nature of your flight.
2. Be aware of documentation issues and requirements
When using aviation fuel cards, the fuel provider will need to see your crew ID to confirm the correct aircraft is being fueled and that pilots are authorized to fuel the aircraft. You may also need to provide aircraft registration, although this is not a common requirement. With contract fuel, your fuel release will be tied to your tail number. So, if there is a mechanical issue and a different aircraft is substituted for the trip, you’ll need to modify and retransmit the fuel release. Detailed fuel invoices usually include all applicable charges and taxes. Some aviation fuel card providers may provide VAT-compliant invoices, and this will ease the process of reclaiming VAT later.
3. Charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators have additional documentation requirements
Charter operators should always show the fueler their air operator certificate (AOC) in order to take advantage of any fuel tax exemptions at the pump. Best practice is to ensure that “AOC shown” is written on your fuel ticket to protect your applicable fuel tax exemptions. Some fuelers may need to see your customs clearance paperwork to make notations on the fuel receipt. Charter operators exempting fuel taxes at the pump should ensure that the flight plan is filed as charter (IN) as opposed to private (IG). In some countries, particularly Switzerland, if your flight plan is filed as private, you will not receive fuel tax exemptions even though you’ve presented an AOC.
Always pre-plan international jet fuel uplifts, be aware of paperwork requirements, and provide 24 to 48 hours’ advance notification. Confirm fuel arrangements the day of operation and be prepared for occasional fuel uplift or credit challenges. Always confirm that you’re being fueled by the correct supplier and double check that both the fuel company and the into-plane agent match your fuel release records before allowing the fuel provider to hook up. Once a fuel ticket is signed, it will be difficult disputing incorrect charges later. Choose your preferred means of fuel payment, but always have back-up plans in case there are issues. If you land at a busy international destination during peak airline operations and are faced with a two-hour wait on your confirmed fuel delivery, you’ll want to have an alternate method of fueling and payment available.
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