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Short & Sweet no. 14
Part 3: Arriving in the EU using the TA procedure (does an operator need help?)

Added August 2022
  • Temporary Admission is easy and flexible if you know how to use it
  • Do you need a helping hand?
  • Good reasons to ask for a helping hand
  • Be ready for customs ramp checks
This is the third part in a series on what to do when arriving within the EU using the TA procedure and should be considered in relation to the Short & Sweet mail no. 9 and Short & Sweet mail no. 11.

Many operators can use Temporary Admission without any help from customs experts such as OPMAS, but in some cases there are good reasons to ask for a helping hand to secure the overall TA compliance and be ready for customs ramp checks around the EU. Allow us to dig deeper into the topic.

The customs aspect of flying within the EU
Any aircraft flying into the EU will operate under customs control using either the Temporary Admission procedure (TA) or full importation (FI). There are no other options. If the aircraft is not already fully imported, the aircraft will automatically be considered as flying under the TA procedure even though the owner or operator has not themselves taken any action to activate the TA procedure or realized that their aircraft is flying under TA. The TA procedure can only be used by EU outsiders where the aircraft is owned (including any UBOs), operated, registered, and based outside the EU, leaving EU insiders with only one option: full importation. EU outsiders can, of course, choose to use full importation instead of TA if they find it beneficial. However, both options can be used commercially or privately if applied correctly.

Do you need a helping hand?
Help with documenting or clarifying TA compliance is probably not needed if the aircraft only has flights that start or end outside the EU (no internal trips), does not carry any EU residents as crew or passengers, and the crew and operator understand the practical usage of the TA procedure in the different EU member states that the aircraft plan to visit. However, we will always recommend an operator to check the full TA compliance before flying to the EU as other factors than those mentioned might also influence compliance.

Good reasons to ask for a helping hand
However, if the aircraft has a more complex flight pattern with internal EU trips, carries EU-resident persons onboard – both crew and passengers – and any delays, uncertainties, and TA-compliance risks want to be avoided, we recommend that the operator contact OPMAS to examine their specific case. The below-mentioned points are the typical situations where operators need help or guidance to use TA in a safe way. Yet, none of the situations cause problems for using TA if handled and documented correctly.

Have you seen the other parts of this topic? Part 1 Part 2

The typical situations where operators need help or guidance to use TA

  • You have a case with an owner (including the UBO) with EU citizenship but residing outside the EU
  • You have a complicated aircraft structure and wonder if it will work with TA
  • You need help to secure the use of TA and prepare a ready-to-use portfolio to prove the TA compliance for customs
  • You need a tool to quickly handle a customs ramp check
  • You have pilots who do not fully understand the use of TA and feel unsecure explaining customs why their aircraft is eligible to use TA
  • You plan to fly commercial group charters (such as Part 135)
  • You plan to fly with passengers where the purpose of the flight is business (such as Part 91)
  • You plan to fly point to point within the EU
  • You plan to ask the passengers to reimburse flight costs
  • You plan to use the aircraft for purposes such as, e.g., demonstration flights
  • You plan to use a yacht-based helicopter
  • You wonder whether the crew or the passengers are considered the real users of the aircraft (decisive for rights)
  • You plan to appoint the owner entity (use the FAA operator definition) as the operator/declarant in customs (TA) context, instead for the management company
  • You have heard that the owner must be present somewhere within the EU (not correct in most cases)
  • You have heard that an authorization letter is needed and mandatory when carrying EU-resident passengers (never been correct)
  • You plan to employ EU-resident pilots
  • You plan to carry EU-resident passengers
  • You plan to carry pets
  • You are confused about the use of the Supporting Document
  • You are confused about the demand for entry/exit documentation
  • You wonder how the 6-months stay period is defined

Be ready for customs ramp checks

We acknowledge that it might be difficult for operators to prepare a convincing portfolio of documentation proving TA compliance, ready for customs ramp checks so that operators avoid the large financial risks as well as hours or days of delay at the ramp while their case is perused. We have helped hundreds of clients prepare for ramp checks. A ready-to-use portfolio is simply an extra layer of security, easing customs ramp checks and giving all involved entities peace of mind.

The TA procedure has become a very well-defined customs procedure
Please note that TA can be used to fly privately, corporately, and commercially within the EU without any problems and with EU-resident persons onboard, if applied correctly. Moreover, since 2014 the TA procedure has become a very well-defined customs procedure, especially for corporate and commercial aviation. This is thanks to the huge effort from, e.g., the EU Commission and NBAA.

Legal background for Temporary Admission
The Istanbul convention from 1990, regulating the worldwide usage of TA, is not very precise, and the EU Commission have been and are therefore continuously publishing various working papers and guidelines, etc., to clarify the correct understanding of TA and its usage within the EU. Especially the 2014 working paper from the EU Customs Code Committee (available in English, French and German) is important. Operators should anyway be aware off that these documents are not binding for the EU member states, which is why different interpretations exist between member states, thus also why it is important to have a competent customs agency to outline the correct use and understanding based on the specific setup. The problem with local interpretations is often related to flights within France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, and less often other places.

How can we help?
If you have questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Have you seen the other parts of this topic? Part 1 Part 2

List of all OPMAS
Short & Sweet mails:

No. 19 – The real differences between full importation and Temporary Admission
Sep 2023 TA FI

No. 18 – Exporting an aircraft from the EU
Jun 2023 FI

No. 17 – What is the correct use of a corporate aircraft?
Mar 2023 FI

No. 16 – Which customs procedures can be used for parking an aircraft within the EU?
Jan 2023 TA FI

No. 15 – Liability and risk elements associated with EU importation and admission
Oct 2022 TA FI

No. 14 – Part 3: Arriving in the EU using the TA procedure (does an operator need help?)
Aug 2022 TA

No. 13 – Importation impacts when traveling the world in corporate aircraft
Jun 2022 FI

No. 12 – How to get the 0% airline VAT exemption meant for commercial operators
May 2022 FI

No. 11 – Part 2: Arriving in the EU using the TA procedure (be ready for customs’ ramp checks)
Mar 2022 TA

No. 10 – How to handle aircraft maintenance correct in a customs context​
Feb 2022 TA FI

No. 9 – Part 1: Arriving in the EU using the TA procedure (about the Supporting Document)
Dec 2021 TA

No. 8 – Do not fall into the operator trap when flying within the EU and UK
Oct 2021 TA FI

No. 7 – Which offshore aircraft registrations can be used with Temporary Admissions when flying within the EU and UK?
Sep 2021 TA

No. 6 – Flying with EU-resident persons onboard when using Temporary Admission
Aug 2021 TA

No. 5 – What about private use
of corporate aircraft?

May 2021 TA FI

No. 4 – What does ‘VAT paid’ mean?
Mar 2021 FI

No. 3 – Is a full importation needed
in both the UK and the EU27?

Mar 2021 FI

No. 2 – Flying commercially
within the EU

Feb 2021 TA FI

No. 1 – Flying with the

Nov 2020 TA FI

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