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EU Vat ramp check on N reg

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EU Vat ramp check on N reg

Old 8th May 2014, 20:53
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EU Vat ramp check on N reg

I understand that EU countries may ramp check N Reg aircraft while touring to make sure VAT has been paid on the aircraft at the time of import. Also GAR forms have a checkbox where you state either yes or no as to whether VAT has been paid, I am planning on doing some flying in France this summer on an N reg which was imported into the UK but was exempt from VAT under the rule that I was a UK citizen returning from living abroad and bringing with me my personal vehicle/vessel that I had owned and used overseas for a period of time prior to import. The only paperwork I have is a Notice of Arrival and a copy of the form I gave the shipper saying the import was exempt. The problem I have is twofold, 1. When filling out the GAR if I check the vat paid box, I am lying, if I check the NO box I,d imagine French customs would be on my back like a cheap suit. 2. If I get ramp checked and inform them no VAT was paid as under the UK scheme none was owed they could respond with "your not in the UK now so park it up till the Vat is paid"

Anyone else had this issue and if so how did you resolve it?
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Old 8th May 2014, 21:04
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if you don't have a vat receipt your stuffed if you ever take it out of the uk ever again. You can't even return with it without running a risk of getting done.
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Old 8th May 2014, 21:17
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if you don't have a vat receipt your stuffed if you ever take it out of the uk ever again. You can't even return with it without running a risk of getting done.
I,m not really worried about entering the Uk, as I would probably just fly back from France to my home field non stop, so no problem with customs etc, and even if the Uk authorities did question the issue I think I could argue my point with the plane safe and sound in the hangar, what would concern me is getting it impounded in a foreign country as they would have me over a barrel for any fees they felt they wanted to charge.
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Old 8th May 2014, 23:06
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It is deemed to be vat paid. You are not lying when you check the box to state vat paid.
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Old 9th May 2014, 05:59
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Unless you have a cert of free circulation you can't tick the VAT paid box.


And if you do just head home without clearing immigration and customs at a nominated airport you will be in a whole heap of poo.

If you don't already have the free circulation cert its nearly impossible to get one. There are hundreds if not thousands of boats in the UK with the same issue.
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Old 9th May 2014, 06:42
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MJ, you are incorrect. When an item is imported as piper boy boy did as a personal effect it is VAT exempt as its good and chatels. It is then deemed to be VAT paid.

I did this when I moved back to the UK with all of my personal possessions many ears ago.

The certificate of free circulation is nothing to do with it.

I would carry the notice of arrival as proof and ticking the VAT paid box on the GAR is perfectly acceptable.

The real issue is if flying in France how you convince the French Customs guys as they are quite blinkered at times. Notwithstanding this I have flown an N egg aircraft that does not have a certificate of free circulation and been ramp checked in France on a number of occasions without issue. Which does leave me wondering at times exactly how true the scar stories are about N reg and VAT.
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Old 9th May 2014, 06:51
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Unless you have a cert of free circulation you can't tick the VAT paid box.
There is no 'VAT Paid' box on the GAR - The question on the form is 'Is the aircraft in free Circulation in the EU?' to which you can answer 'Yes'
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Old 9th May 2014, 06:54
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This was an issue some years ago and a friend of mine got as far as challenging them to arrest him or let him go having spent an unplanned overnight in France (they let him go).

I'm neither accountant nor lawyer, but if you have the arrival certificate from the UK I think the French will accept that any VAT issue is for the UK authorities not them.

As others have said, VAT exempt is VAT paid for GAR purposes and the Aircraft being on C of A is thus in free circulation within the EU
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Old 9th May 2014, 07:01
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Good luck then cause it's going to be an expensive holiday if they start arguing the toss about it. They will hold the plane until you pay the VAT or you argue it out in court. Both will be expensive and paying the VAT will be cheaper.


And if its in free circulation you need the cert otherwise it's a flip of the coin if a whole heap of poo is going to appear.

All it takes is that bitch inspector from lille to get her talons in you and your stuffed. She just makes stuff up when you prove her wrong on any point.
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Old 9th May 2014, 07:46
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Ifonly is correct....the question is 'free circulation' not 'VAT paid'. This meets the criteria for free circulation.
There is no such thing as a 'certificate' of free circulation....the HMRC specialists used to examine the docs and write a letter. That no longer happens.
A C88 is the best proof of import.....it is a common format to all EU countries and recognised by all inspectors. I don't understand why you couldn't have got one of those on import; it is not dependant on actual cash being paid. Have you contacted your shipper and asked if the C88 was issued for this aircraft? Shippers are simple souls and probably don't realise the significance of such a document to an aviator.
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Old 9th May 2014, 08:09
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I will bow to your knowledge of which bit of paper you need, but you definately nee that bit of paper otherwise luck is playing a part in your plans
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Old 9th May 2014, 09:09
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MJ is right, you can be assessed on the VAT value anywhere in the EU and be forced to pay if you have no proof of VAT paid on import to the UK. My personal chariot dates from before the days of VAT, but every aircraft I fly for work carries the VAT invoice for purchase in the ship's papers.


I dread to think how many times I've been asked for that document in France and Belgium. They seem keener on VAT than whether my flight is legal public transport with AOC certificates and everything else in order, including a valid licence.


I'm not sure if it can still happen, but a few years ago the French would cheerfully assess your aircraft for VAT and demand payment, and hold the aircraft until the mess was sorted out, and my company credit card won't cover the VAT on a £20 000 000 aircraft!


SND
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Old 9th May 2014, 09:24
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The problem I have is twofold, 1. When filling out the GAR if I check the vat paid box, I am lying, if I check the NO box I,d imagine French customs would be on my back like a cheap suit. 2. If I get ramp checked and inform them no VAT was paid as under the UK scheme none was owed they could respond with "your not in the UK now so park it up till the Vat is paid"
Well the French wouldn't see the GAR form unless it was shared with them since there is no requirement to submit such a form when arriving into France or indeed any other EU country.

If you genuinely have no VAT liability for the aircraft then just tick yes to both VAT paid and free circulation on the GAR form.

Five years of flying various N-reg aircraft around Europe I have never actually been asked for proof of VAT payment/free circulation, perhaps I have just been lucky.
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Old 9th May 2014, 10:06
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Here is the paragraph from the HMRC advice note that I am relying upon:

Form C104A - if you are importing your private motor vehicle and
setting up your normal home in the EC (in the unusual event of
importing a private aircraft, you can also use this form, suitably
modified)
And the form
As I said, I don't consider it an issue with the UK HMRC, the problem is not having any paperwork other than the C104 form that I filled out, nothing official originating from HMRC acknowledging the exemption.

I guess I will just have to give it a bash and see how i get on
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Old 9th May 2014, 13:31
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Originally Posted by piperboy84 View Post
As I said, I don't consider it an issue with the UK HMRC, the problem is not having any paperwork other than the C104 form that I filled out, nothing official originating from HMRC acknowledging the exemption.
Page 2 of the form has the HMRC acknowledgement. They tick boxes and stamp the official use only section.

If you have that, then you are in free circulation, have proof and are golden. If you don't have it stamped then I think you have a problem.

Even at your home base, it can be an immense problem to resolve a VAT issue and HMRC can detain the aircraft at your cost 'forever'. Moreover, there is no real legal basis to get detained goods released (other than HMRC deciding to release them, political leverage or a judicial review)
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Old 9th May 2014, 13:46
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political leverage
If by "political leverage" you mean "getting your MP to lean on a government department for not doing its job properly" then that's not patronage or corruption, it's the job, it's what they (or, rather, their staff, whose salaries appear on the Wail as "MPs' expenses") do all day every day.
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Old 9th May 2014, 13:55
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That form has space for the import agent's details and stamps etc.........what you need is their completed copy of that form, not your orginal, half filled out one. I can't believe that it wasn't given to you at the time.

When an item is imported from outside the EU, unless it is an aircraft flown in under its own power, the import process is very formal. You won't get your stuff off the docks unless, and until, the process has been completed and an "import" has been accomplished. The resulting documents from that process are what you need........I suggest you contact the shipping agent to see what they can dig up for you.

The 'certificate of free circulation' was dreamt up by some more than usually helpful public servants to save their taxpayers time and effort 'proving' status every time some foreign uniform junkie kicked off. The dogs breakfast that is EU VAT law means that there are many situations where free circulation is difficult to prove (or disprove) and the law now provides no help for the law abiding to 'prove' their position.

Most aircraft owners do not help their position by establishing a paper trail that justifies their free circulation status and plenty of useful paperwork has been binned or lost because nobody thought it was worth keeping.........
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Old 9th May 2014, 14:12
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
If by "political leverage" you mean "getting your MP to lean on a government department for not doing its job properly" then that's not patronage or corruption, it's the job, it's what they (or, rather, their staff, whose salaries appear on the Wail as "MPs' expenses") do all day every day.
That's exactly what I meant, and did not intend to imply anything improper.
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Old 9th May 2014, 14:30
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N Registered aircraft make sure if you ever travel or transit through Italy to have proof of VAT paid.

Last year there was a frenzy going on which resulted on " Guardia di Finanza" impounding all N registered aircraft they could get their hands on.

Any aircraft was and will be grounded without mercy if they catch you, you'll have to prove payment of VAT by producing custom clearance formular from the EEC country in which formalities were done.

There has been an issue apparently solved now with imports through Denmark as well as T7 ( San Marino) Registrations -a small independent state like Andorra- that offered an escape to italian owners not so much for tax related issues but to circumvent the insane inextricable ENAC (Italian CAA) practices a nightmare for any owner to deal with.

In addition, a decree was also issued last year by which any aircraft entering Italy regardless of registrations and vat issues should pay a Tax based on weight typically for a small single around 1'500 euros. Said tax was due after 48H on territory, now extended to 6 months.
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Old 9th May 2014, 15:03
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Just for your info, Regarding N reg aeroplanes....

Ours was G reg prior to becoming N reg and E.E.C. Council Directive 92/111, part of the Sixth Directive, Article 28N- Transitional measures applies which meant that aeroplane qualifies as being VAT paid.

Now to expect someone ramp checking you to understand this is another matter, so I made my own "certificate" stating that "this aircraft qualifies as VAT paid due to E.E.C. Council Directive 92/111, part of the Sixth Directive, Article 28N- Transitional measures" and keep this with a copy of my HMRC correspondence as well as a print out of GINFO showing that the aeroplane wsa G registered before coming N registered and has been in continual EU ownership.

And I quote from HMRC:

In my experience a copy of the CAA register print out, together with the new US registration document (which should tie in with the de-registration date) is enough evidence to prove the aircraft’s status in this situation.
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