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Old 19th May 2017, 08:08   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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French Customs Airfields

This comes up all the time, because the French like to make it difficult for us. I've had numerous reports of the AIP being inaccurate.

As such, i've decided to compile a list - and we can contribute toward it to make it accurate.

It's here:
https://www.onlinegar.com/frenchcustoms.olg

I should point out that this isn't "from scratch" - this list already existed on OnlineGAR because we use it to automatically notify customs when you file a GAR form. So adding some extra notes from the AIP, and from other sources if necessary, is a logical step.

Any feedback and contributions welcome, i will update it with whatever the community knows.
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Old 19th May 2017, 10:39   #2 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Carl, good initiative. Can I suggest adding Belgian and Dutch airfields as well - for the aircraft with slightly better range?
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Old 19th May 2017, 10:47   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Carl,

I've book-marked your link.
I did look for Abbeville out of interest as until recently was my favourite but I didn't see it on either sheet ?

mike hallam (W,Sx)
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Old 19th May 2017, 11:07   #4 (permalink)
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Sam, do these two countries have similarly confusing situations? If so - and it's of value - i'm happy to do so.

Mike - Abbeville is listed under "Airfields of note that do not provide facilities, listed here because they may have in the past."
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Old 19th May 2017, 11:21   #5 (permalink)
 
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Carl,

This is a very welcome piece of work. My concern is that keeping it up to date may prove to be a constant battle as the authorities restrict availability of customs more and more. I think you have covered yourself well by reminding people of the need to consult the AIP, NOTAMs and the airport website to ensure they have the latest information but even so there are traps for the unwary.

What appeared to happen last year is that a whole raft of changes came in but the AIP was not updated to reflect them - it was many months out of date - the NOTAMs became the source. But now finally there seems to be a batch of AIP amendments dated Feb/March/April 2017 which regularise the situation - one hopes.

Some additions: ,LFKF Figari LFQT Merville and LFLS Grenoble, all available according to the new AIP pages.
And Cherbourg LFRC, the PN 24hrs requirement seems to have disappeared from the airport website, unless I am missing something.
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Old 19th May 2017, 11:27   #6 (permalink)
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You're right - it will be tricky to keep up to date, but i think we have got a good chance of doing it as long as people contribute. Because of the high immigration traffic we get through OnlineGAR i'd say i've got a better chance than anyone else!

The situation is ridiculous - I just went through the official list of all ports, and added these (that covers Le Havre, Grenoble) but Merville was not on the list. I've now added it according to the AIP entry.

Cherbourg does still have it on the website, but it's hard to spot!

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Old 19th May 2017, 12:39   #7 (permalink)
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So - here's the status after a lot of comments being sent to me!

We have 79 airfields on the list. This is compared to the official 74 on the "EU Points of Entry" legal document. The other 5 are noted with "Caution this is not an official point of entry". However, those have apparently made local arrangements to accept Traffic.

Prior Notice periods have been taken from the AIP and from the odd website, but i have not studied the NOTAMS.

If anyone spots anything additional, or knows of any extra sites, please let me know and I will update.
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:47   #8 (permalink)
 
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Cherbourg - that is very interesting because I try to follow the same path to "Services" and I do not get the same result. Nothing about customs. Is your screenshot an old one by any chance?
Merville - I have seen this issue before - not on the official list - but apparently OK according to the AIP. I don't know why this is.

Figari LFKF is another candidate (I edited my previous post to include it )
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:54   #9 (permalink)
 
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@Tagron: there seems to be a difference between the FR and EN versions of that web site - I reckon that was done "to confuse the enemy"
Mind you though that they mention "douanes" which is about import/export of commercial goods, and settling of VAT and duties and all that. What you want is "immigration", AFAIU this often corresponds to "Police" in France.
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:58   #10 (permalink)
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Figari already on the list, and it's also an official port of entry.

Funny, i can't see the Cherbourg link either, but another poster of the Flyer forum found it only today! Ah yes - it's only on the French site.
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Old 19th May 2017, 13:57   #11 (permalink)
 
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Ha ha!. So I type " Cherbourg airport" in the search box and it gives me the English version..
Then I try "Aeroport de Cherbourg" and it gives me the French version.
And they are different.

Jan, I am sure you are technically correct. The implication is that while I must have border control for my extra-Schengen flight at Cherbourg, I do not need customs if I have no dutiable goods. In that case I am entitled to use the shorter notice period as in the AIP ? Has anyone tried this ? The other issue is that in common aviation parlance "Customs" can be taken to mean "Customs and Immigration".
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Old 19th May 2017, 15:01   #12 (permalink)
 
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Tagron & Jan,

I am pretty sure that this is joined in France. "Le service des douanes" in France, is both import / export, customs and immigration - I have never seen any separation between the two services. Nor do I believe there is another word to describe these individually. When you request customs at an airports that may not always have customs based there, you will be sending a request in writing to an address @douanes.gouv.fr (or douanes.finances.gouv.fr) - not any other service. When you are at an airport in France, it is the "douaniers" that check your passport. Some may be wearing a police like uniform, but they should also be wearing the insignia (badge).

Some police forces have been helping the douaniers, depending on the local circumstances which may be why there is some confusion.

Re: Cherbourg - contact them and ask them how much notice they require, in some places in France, occasionally they require no notice at all because they already have the "douaniers" there the whole day for other reasons, and sometimes they require it at least 24 hours in advance (or longer if weekend).

carlmeek - this is excellent work! I really appreciate it!
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:55   #13 (permalink)
 
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alex 90

Yes I agree with what you say about how the system works in practice. I was trying to suggest a reason for the anomaly over Cherbourgs seemingly differing requirements as shown in the AIP and the website so as to assist carlmeek with his listing.

The AIP lists full time customs availability at LFRC in daytime working hours, with PN only required for the evening. This is a new AIP page dated 2Mar17. There are no NOTAMS modifying it. I find it hard to believe the new page could be wrong. The website is clearly not accurate - hopefully the two language versions will be synchronised soon. Agreed that meanwhile anyone contemplating going through there should contact the airport for clarification.
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Old 19th May 2017, 19:19   #14 (permalink)
 
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You certainly need to give 24 hours notice to customs at Cherbourg if coming from U.K. or Channel Islands. Due to not being a part of the Schengen Agreement.
Customs will meet you on arrival and want to see passports and if the aircraft isn't on their data base, the aircraft documents as well
Customs receive all Flight plans and will visit the airfield to meet unannounced arrivals....
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Old 19th May 2017, 20:41   #15 (permalink)
 
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Couldn't be clearer:
Quote:
From: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
To: Donald Walker <[email protected] ... >
Sent: Friday, 27 January 2017, 9:51
Subject: Re: Douanes - Aéroport de Cherbourg Maupertus

Bonjour,



Le service intervient sur l'aéroport de Cherbourg-Maupertus sur préavis 24 heures avant l'arrivée ou le départ des vols extra-Schengen ou pour toute demande particulière nécessitant la présence de la Douane.

Les préavis de vols extra-Schengen sont à communiquer à l'adresse suivante : [email protected]



Cordialement



David HARFAUX

DOUANE - BSE CHERBOURG



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Old 19th May 2017, 21:41   #16 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, @Patowalker, that confirms what @Alex90 stated. If only it hasn't changed since January - France has not excelled in stability of its rules, recently.
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Old 20th May 2017, 10:12   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patowalker View Post
Couldn't be clearer:
Well it could.

For example, it could be promulgated clearly to every pilot in permanent official flight planning documents rather than being included in an email to a single individual, and then only after being asked an explicit question.
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Old 20th May 2017, 11:02   #18 (permalink)
 
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I did try.

Quote:
From: "Marcoux, Pascal" <[email protected]>
To: Donald Walker
Sent: Monday, 13 February 2017, 7:15
Subject: RE: LFRC - Douanes


Bonjour Monsieur

Une solution est envisagée par les douanes pour diffuser l’information
En attendant le correctif de la carte VAC.

Cordialement




Pascal MARCOUX
Responsable Exploitation/Operations Manager
Aéroport de Cherbourg Maupertus
Tél : +33 2 33 88 57 60
Port. : +33 6 42 77 29 28

7 rue Mermoz
50330 Gonneville France
Aéroport de Cherbourg-Maupertus
www.edeis.com


Depuis le 30 décembre 2016,
SNC Lavalin SAS est devenu Edeis
Pour plus d'informations :
www.edeis.com



De : Donald Walker
Envoyé : lundi 13 février 2017 00:17
À : Marcoux, Pascal
Objet : Re: LFRC - Douanes



Bonjour M. Marcoux,




Merci pour votre réponse, qui clarifie la situation. Pour informer les autres pilotes britanniques qui envisagent de visiter votre aéroport, je pense qu'un NOTAM sur le préavis requis serait souhaitable.



Cordialement


Donald Walker

From: "Marcoux, Pascal" <Pascal.Marcoux@edeis.com>
To: "[email protected] ...>
Cc: "Marcoux, Pascal" <Pascal.Marcoux@edeis.com>
Sent: Sunday, 12 February 2017, 20:22
Subject: RE:LFRC - Douanes


Bonjour Monsieur

En effet comme indiqué par le service des douanes de Cherbourg, depuis le 01 février un préavis de 24 heures est demandé pour les vols extra schengen.

L'information est faite sur le site internet en attendant le changement de la carte VAC par les services compétents de l'état.

En espérant avoir clarifié ces informations

Cordialement

Les opérations

De : Donald Walker
Envoyé : mercredi 8 février 2017 10:44
À : Contact SECMA
Objet : LFRC - Douanes

Bonjour,

Sur votre site web, j'ai lu "DOUANES Préavis de 24 heures" Espace Pilote - Aéroport de Cherbourg-Maupertus

Toutefois, la carte VAC indique que les services douaniers sont disponibles sans préavis pendant les heures d'ouverture de l'aéroport.

J'ai demandé à la BSE Cherbourg de confirmer qu'aucun avis préalable n'était nécessaire et ils ont répondu comme suit:

"Bonjour,

Le service intervient sur l'aéroport de Cherbourg-Maupertus sur préavis 24 heures avant l'arrivée ou le départ des vols extra-Schengen ou pour toute demande particulière nécessitant la présence de la Douane.
Les préavis de vols extra-Schengen sont à communiquer à l'adresse suivante : bse-cherbourg@douane.finances.gouv.fr <mailto:bse-cherbourg@douane.finances.gouv.fr>

Cordialement

David HARFAUX
DOUANE - BSE CHERBOURG"

J'aimerais que vous clarifiez ces informations contradictoires.

Merci d'avance.

Salutations.

Donald WALKER





















Last edited by patowalker; 20th May 2017 at 17:01.
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