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Short & Sweet no. 5
What about private use of corporate aircraft?

Added May 2021
  • Can a corporate aircraft be used for private purposes without VAT consequences?

  • What does the term predominately used for business mean?

  • What are the definitions of private use and business use?

The case below describes a scenario where the aircraft is imported and admitted by a non-EU corporation that operates and uses the aircraft for its own business. We have often, in a VAT context, seen the use of the term predominately used for businesswhich should somehow indicate that a certain amount of private use of a corporate aircraft is acceptable without any VAT consequences but is this correct? Please, remember that many other scenarios are in play that also influences the situation.

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. 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.

It is often tricky for non-experts to see the differences between the two entry options, but the flexibility and long-term consequences are very different, and there are certain conditions that must be taken into consideration when opting for either the TA or FI procedure. Non-compliance with the TA or FI procedure will most likely activate a direct payment of the VAT (ranging 17-27%) and customs duty (2.7-7.7%).

Can a corporate aircraft be predominately used for business without VAT consequences?

FI: No, not unless proper VAT corrections are made.
TA: Yes, this is not a problem. Here, 100% private use is also acceptable.

What is the general definition of business use?
This is typically activities such as:
– Any business travel in furtherance of the corporation’s affairs
– Flying with the management and staff to support the economic activities of the corporation

What is the general definition of private use?
This is typically activities such as:
– Entertainment of clients
– Staff commuting
– Hobby activities of shareholders, principal, management, etc.
– Any personal, recreational, or amusement travel
– Any travel in furtherance of another business than the importing entity’s affairs

List of all OPMAS
Short & Sweet mails:

No. 20 – Buying or selling aircraft within, to, or from the EU
Nov 2023 TA FI

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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