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The customs collection at Martyn Fiddler Aviation: Onward Supply

In this series of articles we will explain everything you need to know about customs duties, controls and reliefs. In particular we will explain who needs to know, how they apply to aircraft and what solutions are available.

This is a complex area and often aircraft owners are unaware of the network of customs rules and reliefs applying to their aircraft as they cross borders.

What is Onward Supply?

  • A relief for VAT (value added tax) on the onward supplies of goods.
  • Where onward supply relief is claimed, VAT is accounted for in the final EU destination country to which goods (including aircraft) are forwarded.

At Martyn Fiddler Aviation we want to de-mystify this complex web of rules and provide you with the advice and solutions to ensure hassle free travel, whatever your purpose. In this article we will explain the benefits of the solution known as Onward Supply for business operators in the EU (European Union), and how aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers and their agents in the EU can use it to benefit their aircraft transactions.

EU Onward Supply

Onward Supply is a recognised mechanism within the EU, regularly used to import and transfer goods from one member state to another without complex VAT payments and reclaims between those member states.

The process is designed to ease VAT cashflow for EU businesses. It becomes an administrative matter to record the import VAT in one state and then record the VAT in the home state with the relative accounting in each being an input and an output, making the capital outlay nil.

VAT is a consumption tax that is applied to nearly all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption in the EU. The EU has standard rules on VAT, but these rules and the rate of VAT may be applied differently in each EU member state. Similarly, the rules for VAT relief, reclaim and mitigation may be applied differently in each EU member state; for example the rules relating to reclaim of VAT where a business purchases goods to be used within or as part of its trade.


Onward Supply (similar to Intra-Community supply) allows EU businesses’ a cash flow effective method of importing their aircraft into the EU. In particular, the relief allows aircraft owners to declare the import of their aircraft in one member state (as the first point of arrival) and then ‘supply’ the aircraft to the EU home member state of the business.

In the Netherlands, for example, import agents holding the appropriate licences and customs deferment accounts may act on behalf of an EU business to declare the import of their aircraft in the Netherlands (as the first point of arrival) and then ‘supply’ the aircraft to the EU home member state of the business. This allows for the import VAT to be accounted for in the businesses’ VAT returns without the capital outlay of the VAT, simply making the import VAT a paper transaction.

If a business is entitled to reclaim VAT, using Onward Supply relief allows the VAT to be processed in an administrative manner removing the need to pay the VAT to the customs authority only to reclaim several months later. This brings obvious cash flow savings and capital management benefits.

Martyn Fiddler Netherlands

In 2014 Martyn Fiddler Aviation launched its specialist aviation import and customs business in the Netherlands. Acting as a fiscal representative, Martyn Fiddler Netherlands assists EU businesses meeting the relevant commercial criteria to import their aircraft into the EU.

For clients wishing to use Onward Supply with Martyn Fiddler, aircraft must arrive in the Netherlands from outside the EU, where the customs import is processed. Once the importation is complete, the aircraft must be onward supplied to the home member state of the business. Once the aircraft has arrived in the home state, the business then records the movement as an input and output on their VAT return.

This VAT recording effectively equals out the import VAT whilst accounting for it in the trader records, making it a very efficient mechanism.

Part of an end to end service

Martyn Fiddler Aviation provides Onward Supply access as part of its end to end services. We work closely with all parties to ensure a seamless transaction in a compliant and risk mitigated way. We handle all the customs paperwork and administration on behalf of clients ensuring the entire process is conducted correctly and in full compliance of the applicable regulations.


Contact Phill Rawlins at to learn more about onward supply and all services available in our customs collection at Martyn Fiddler Aviation.


The information included in this article is considered true and correct at the date of publication; changes to rules and regulation made after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information referenced or inferred to in this article. The information in the article may change without notice and Martyn Fiddler Aviation is in no way liable for the accuracy of any information printed or stored or in any way interpreted and used by the user. This article or the information contained in it is not provided or intended to be used as advice of any form.
If you have any doubts or would like to discuss any aspect of this article, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts who will be happy to discuss your individual circumstance.