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European Commission Clarifies Customs Terms for Temporary Admission of Aircraft

The European Commission published a working paper which clarifies terms related to the temporary importation of aircraft into the European Union (EU). The working paper addresses the concern of many aircraft operators regarding eligibility for temporary importation into the EU. Prior to the issuance of the working paper, there was a degree of uncertainty by operators regarding eligibility for temporary importation as an exclusion to the imposition of Value Added Taxes (VAT) and Custom duties.

The guidance issued by the European Commission clarifies that as long as an operator meets the conditions for temporary admissions, they can utilize the process to receive conditional relief from VAT and Custom duties obligations, and operate to, from and within the EU.

The guidance helps clarify that corporate operations (for purposes of VAT) should be considered “private use” and not “commercial use.”

Additional information is available on the National Business Aviation Association website.

The European Commission working paper may be found here.



About this Author

Clifford G. Maine, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Corporate Law Attorney

Clifford G. Maine is chairman of the firm’s Aviation Law Group. Mr. Maine's practice encompasses a wide variety of aviation law practice areas. He serves as general counsel to numerous aviation organizations, including the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport Authority.

Mr. Maine’s aviation clients include some of the largest corporate flight departments in the world. He has structured numerous aviation transactions, including domestic and foreign-based aircraft purchase and sale transactions, like-kind exchanges, timeshare agreements,...