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OPMAS – Supporting corporate and commercial operators in Asia on how to fly within the European Union (EU)

Bridging Asia and the EU; we secure compliance with EU directives and regulations for non-EU aircraft owners and operators

Any aircraft flying into the EU will fly under customs control using either the Temporary Admission (TA) procedure or full importation. 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 taken any action or realized that their aircraft is actually flying under the TA procedure.

The aircraft must be 100% compliant with the TA procedure as non-compliance will most likely activate a direct payment of the VAT (ranging 15-27%) and customs duty (2.7%). It is possible for aircraft operators and owners to document and clarify compliance with the TA procedure without any help from experts; however, the EU has traditionally been more complicated than other jurisdictions due to the size of the area and the different opinions of the various member states, so documenting compliance with the TA procedure can be tricky.

Full importation is an option for non-EU companies with an aircraft with a fixed EU base, direct or indirect EU ownership, that lives the majority of the year within the EU, or who wants a free circulation status. Please, be aware that full importation includes a potential VAT and tax liability and requires an onwards continuously correct handling of any worldwide use and typically requires five years of correct economic activity; requirements that the TA procedure does not have. Here, a more detailed conversation is needed to fully clarify all case details, and everyone must know the exact preconditions for a full importation and the consequences before choosing this option.

Our solutions are much more than barely handling necessary customs paperwork. It works as a turnkey solution for non-EU owners and operators who want to fly within the EU. We take care of everything to secure that our clients are compliant, whatever importation or admission option is chosen. Initially, we analyze the owner and operator scenario to secure compliance with the relevant and preferred procedure and provide guidance for the correct use of that procedure. Secondly, we secure the specific setup with help from the Danish customs and take care of all supporting customs paperwork. Finally, we give specific instructions to crew and ops on how to fly within the EU, including free support as long the aircraft is operated in the recommended way.

Our work methods have always been that all case details must be approved in advance by a competent customs authority. We have never accepted to process an importation case unless we have been able to get a binding assessment ruling from the Danish Customs and Tax Administration, approving the specific aircraft case and the related importation and VAT handling. This approval process takes extra time but is meant to protect our clients from any unpleasant surprises and economic liabilities.

Denmark has the very best reputation both within the EU and worldwide and is number one on the Transparency List over the least corrupt nations in the world. We are known to always implement all EU directives promptly and 100% by the book without bending any rules in favor of local companies. Denmark is the only EU member state known to facilitate aircraft importation and admission for non-EU operators, where the member state is not considered a tax haven or known for a lax tax policy.

At OPMAS, we have dealt with aircraft customs handling for more than two decades. Since the beginning of the EU Single Market in 1992, we have imported more than 3,000 aircraft, which is the only service we provide; we are not involved in offshore tax structures, tax planning, or yachting. We are highly specialized and have a deep understanding and knowledge of aviation importation and admission issues, and we offer a unique turnkey solution for maximum flexibility.

We have never experienced any difficulties with aircraft we have processed when inspected by customs authorities in any EU member state, including difficult places such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany, etc. We pride ourselves on being 100% thorough and aim to deliver a service without comparison, including 24/7 assistance and a smooth service when the aircraft is in Denmark for the duration of the procedure.

Please, visit for more guidance on how to fly within the EU.



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