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EU Temporary Admission And Importation

Heading to Europe in a non-EU registered private jet? Your aircraft could be subject to duties and taxes, and customs officials may try to levy charges you’re not required to pay. It’s important to understand the EU Community Customs Code rules governing the temporary admission and importation of private aircraft.

Temporary Admission

Temporary admission (TA) – sometimes called temporary importation – exempts some items from customs duties if the items will be in the country temporarily and will leave in the condition in which they arrived. Otherwise, a value added tax (VAT) must be paid on the imported item. VAT varies among EU member states but can be more than 20 percent of the goods’ value. If you have a $25 million business jet, that’s a VAT of more than $5 million!

Private vs. Commercial Operations

Under the EU Customs Code, aircraft operated privately to and within the EU are eligible for TA, and thus are exempted from paying VAT. But prior to 2015, many EU states defined private and commercial flights by their own standards, often treating aircraft operated by businesses as commercial operations. EU officials have since defined private and commercial business aircraft operations more clearly for the purpose of determining TA eligibility.

An aircraft is eligible for temporary admission and exempt from VAT if it is:

  • Flown for private use only.
  • Owned outside the EU by a non-EU resident.
  • Imported and used by people residing in its country of registration, or by third parties authorized by owner or lessee.
  • Not in the EU for more than six months in a 12-month period.
  • Not available to EU residents within its boundaries unless employed or authorized by the owner or lessee.

Additionally, charter operators arriving in the EU on international flights typically qualify as an airline (since they operate for financial reward), removing any import tax obligation.

Carriage of EU Residents

If you intend to carry EU residents not in the owner’s employment while in the region, you must carry a letter of authorization from the owner or lessee permitting their presence.


Operators that don’t meet VAT exemption requirements, or who exercise an abundance of caution, may choose full importation and pay the VAT. This minimizes restrictions on use of the aircraft within the EU, such as who can fly aboard the aircraft and the amount of time the aircraft can be in the EU. These operators can use the country with the lowest VAT (currently Luxembourg at 17 percent) for their point of importation.

Contact your Jetex representative if you have additional questions about TA, importation, or flying into the EU.

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