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Temporary Admission: clear instructions from various customs authorities

– Is a Supporting Document valid for one EU-trip or multiple EU-trips within 6 months?

Added January 2019 

We often hear from aircraft operators initiating a Temporary Admission (TA) procedure, especially at the British Isles, that (1) the validity of a Supporting Document signed/stamped by an EU customs agency is always 6 months even if the aircraft leaves the EU before the end of the 6 months which is the maximum period of stay AND that (2) the same executed Supporting Document is valid documentation for the aircraft to continuously be accepted as under the TA when arriving multiple times inside the EU within the same 6 months. In sum, the above opinion is that the Supporting Document should work as a kind of ‘6 months pass’ to fly within the EU while this is not our view.

We have never seen the above two statements as correct use of the Supporting Document. The general guidelines have always been that an aircraft is always discharged when leaving the EU again and any new EU entry must eventually be documented using a new Supporting Document, meaning that an already executed Supporting Document cannot be reused to document future EU entries. The mentioned 6 months is only meant to describe the maximum period of one stay within the EU and have never been meant to state the validity of an executed Supporting Document.

These conflicting approaches have often led to many confused aircraft operators. We have therefore contacted various authorities including the EU Commission, Isle of Man Customs and HMRC (UK Customs) and asked them the below questions in order to get their views of above statements.

It is our impression that the use of the Supporting Document is often marketed as a kind of ‘6 months pass’, but this is definitely not supported by the customs authorities according to the replies received. In conclusion, the Supporting Document is only valid for the duration of the first entry and not always for the whole 6 months when the Supporting Document is used with the sole purpose of documenting the start of an EU entry/activation of an entry regulated by the TA procedure. This means that the so-called ‘6 months pass’ does not exist in practice.

The Supporting Document can be used to document an EU-entry and EU-exit, but the use is not mandatory. The use of the Supporting Document can often be helpful during a customs ramp check but does not give the operator a carte blanche to fly freely within the EU without meeting any preconditions on a continuously basis. The latter is often a common misunderstanding.

 The Danish survey result is as expected and in accordance with the guidelines used by OPMAS for the last many years.

How to be ready to use Temporary Admission?
1. Check that the basic preconditions are fulfilled
2. Understand the limitations and subjects that must be handled correctly
3. Have the relevant paperwork ready on board the aircraft in order to document the correct use of TA
4. Instruct the pilots so that they are ready to handle a customs ramp check

How can an operator secure all positions?
OPMAS can help non-EU operators to check whether or not an aircraft operation is complying to the TA regulation. The important matters are simply to secure compliance and thereafter set-up a system to document that the preconditions for the TA regulation are fulfilled continuously and that the pilots have the correct paperwork ready for a customs ramp check.

Selected links covering this issue
 KNOW MORE: The short story about Temporary Admission
 KNOW MORE: Short story: Demand for documentation?
 KNOW MORE: Short story: How to document a flight?
 KNOW MORE: Short story: What is the function of the Supporting Document?
 KNOW MORE: Short story: What is the validity of the Supporting Document?
 KNOW MORE: The 10 typical TA errors: what are the 10 typical errors and misunderstandings?
 KNOW MORE: SURVEY 7: Temporary Admission – how is the 6 months period of stay practically interpreted?

Check our online resources if you want to dig deeper into the above points!
OPMAS Short articles: gives a short insight in various topics
OPMAS Short stories: get the essence of the two importation alternatives in a short and quick way
OPMAS Reviews: present an overview and a deeper insight in various subjects
OPMAS Quick Guides: compare the different importation alternatives
OPMAS Surveys: in-depth analysis of specific topics

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