Published on November 30th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer0
Changes to Reporting Requirements for General Aviation flying to/from Northern Ireland
HM Revenue and Customs have announced new changes to customs reporting requirements for General Aviation (GA) aircraft travelling to and from Northern Ireland from 1st January 2022. General Aviation covers owners and commanders of private or commercial aircraft making civil flights over the Common Travel Area and internationally.
What is changing?
GA aircraft are currently required to submit General Aviation Reports (GARs) for certain journeys in and out of NI. This is known as ‘outward clearance’ and ‘inward reporting’ and it allows the UK government to risk assess journeys and identify potential customs and immigration violations. From 1st January, there will be a removal of the requirement to provide passenger information on journeys from Ireland to NI. There will also be a reduction to the current time limits for reporting of aircraft to Border Force for customs purposes. This will change to at least two hours before departure from NI or at least two hours before departure from the last destination before the aircraft arrives in NI. Reporting timeframes and requirements under the Terrorism Act 2000 remain unchanged.
The tables below show which journeys are changing.
|NI to Ireland||No Customs Clearance Required, however notification to the relevant police force is still required if departing from or arriving at a port that is not police designated (Unchanged)|
|NI to GB||No Customs Clearance Required, however notification to the relevant police force is still required if departing from or arriving at a port that is not police designated (Unchanged)|
|NI to EU Member Countries||No Clearance Required (Unchanged)|
|NI to rest of the world||Clearance Still Required (Unchanged)|
|NI to Channel Islands||Clearance Still Required (Unchanged)|
|Ireland to NI||Reporting still required ‘inward’ but passenger reports will no longer be required (Changed)|
|GB to NI||No Customs Clearance Required, however notification to the relevant police force is still required if departing from or arriving at a port that is not police designated (Unchanged)|
|EU Member Countries to NI||Reporting Still Required (Unchanged)|
|Rest of the world to NI||Reporting Still Required (Unchanged)|
|Channel Islands to NI||Reporting Still Required (Unchanged)|
When will these changes come into effect?
These changes will take effect from 00:00 GMT on 1st January 2022. The reduction in time limits will also apply from 1st January 2022.
How do I submit reports?
General Aviation Reports (GARs) can be submitted by the owner or commander of the aircraft.
Reporting for customs purposes is required at least two hours before departure (a reduction from the current time limits). The new time limits will be the same irrespective of where your flight is departing to or arriving into NI. These will be:
- in the case of arrivals: no later than two hours before departure from the last destination before arriving into NI.
- in the case of departures: no later than two hours before departure of the aircraft from NI.
If you are travelling between NI and another country within the Common Travel Area (GB, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) and are using a port that is not police designated, you must still notify police at least 12 hours in advance of your journey. Failure to seek approval is a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act 2000.
The easiest way to submit a GAR is through the Border Force “Submit a GAR portal”. This is a digital free to use service and is already used for reporting journeys. You can register for the service by visiting www.GOV.UK/submit-gar. You may also use third party applications which have secure links to Home Office systems for the transmission of this information. Please note that third party applications may incur a service/membership charge.
You may also submit a GAR by completing and emailing the GAR electronically in an excel format to the National Co-ordination Unit (NCU): firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest GAR form is available on GOV.UK.
Non-customs and excise designated aerodromes
Non-customs and excise designated aerodromes handling GA permitted flights between NI and GB are covered by a blanket interim Certificate of Agreement (CoA) from January 2021 until further notice. This blanket is automatic. We will provide a written notification six months prior to any changes to this arrangement.
Reporting requirements will apply to GA international flights arriving at these aerodromes.