COMMERCIAL AND CORPORATE FLYING WITHIN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Short & Sweet no. 16
Which customs procedures can be used for parking an aircraft within the EU?
Added January 2023
Temporary Admission can normally be used for parking when visiting the EU
But can the Customs Warehouse Procedure also be used for parking or longtime storage?
Where are the grey zone areas and pitfalls?
We are often asked how to choose the correct customs procedure when an aircraft is going to be parked for a longer period within the EU. In this article, we dive a bit deeper into the topic and look at how the different customs procedures can be used in this respect.
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.
The aircraft is allowed to stay or park for up to six months at a time when operated by EU outsiders visiting the EU. A new six-months-period can be initiated upon a new entry into the EU. EU outsiders should never fear parking their aircraft during their visit to the EU, but continuously flying in and out of the EU with longer periods of stay at the same destination could eventually get the operator or aircraft considered as having established a local or fixed EU base – changing the status of the visiting EU outsider to become an EU insider. Please have a look at these fixed base indicators if relevant.
TA can, in general, only be used when the purpose of flights is transportation of persons. This is the reason why TA cannot be used where the purpose of a flight is parking, storage, maintenance (MRO), etc. We have seen cases where normally Swiss-based aircraft for a longer period were flown empty to a rented (cheaper and available) hangar in France for parking between flights to and from Switzerland. These cases ended badly when French customs realized that the real purpose of the stay was parking or hangarage and not transportation of persons. These scenarios clearly required a full importation even though the same operator and aircraft were able to use TA correctly if they had flown to France with passengers onboard.
The aircraft will be in free circulation within the EU and can be parked without any customs restrictions. EU outsiders should, however, always be aware of the other consequences of using full importation before choosing this option over TA.
The Customs Warehouse Procedure can only be used when the goods involved (the aircraft) are going to be used as a part of a refinement process. The procedure does not support any scenarios where the purpose is parking or longtime storage. Therefore, an aircraft should never be able to qualify for the use of this procedure if the purpose is parking or longtime storage, as the state of the aircraft has not changed when discharged from the procedure. A refinement process has simply not happened while parked. The Customs Warehouse Procedure can also not be used to facilitate any kind of maintenance (MRO) activities as this kind of activity is not considered a refinement process.
The risk of the Customs Warehouse Procedure is that any wrong use of the procedure can easily be seen as a circumvention of the regulation where a full importation should have been used instead. If you feel tempted to use the Customs Warehouse Procedure for parking or longtime storage and think that your local customs have a different practical interpretation of the procedure than described above, please secure the case by asking the local customs for a binding assessment ruling approving the correct purpose before asking your local customs agent to imitate the procedure.
The Inward Processing Procedure can only be used to facilitate aircraft maintenance (MRO) and does not support any scenarios where the purpose is parking or longtime storage. This procedure can only be used by EU outsiders.
How can we help?
If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact us. We offer a cost-free introduction and analysis of the owner, user, and operator scenario to find the best option for you when flying within the EU. Please, feel free to contact us at any time.
List of all OPMAS
Short & Sweet mails:
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 – Temporary Admission is easy and flexible if you know how to use it
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: what to do when arriving in the EU using the Temporary Admission procedure?
Mar 2022 TA
No. 10 – How to handle aircraft maintenance correct in a customs context
Feb 2022 TA FI
No. 9 – Part 1: what to do when arriving in the EU using the Temporary Admission procedure?
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
CEO within the EU
Nov 2020 TA FI