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The Customs Warehouse

At Martyn Fiddler Aviation we want to de-mystify the complex web of customs rules and provide you with the advice and solutions to ensure hassle free travel, whatever your purpose.

Let’s start by explaining the benefits of a solution known as a Customs Warehouse and how aircraft owners, brokers, manufacturers and lawyers can use it to benefit their aircraft transactions.

The Customs Warehouse

What is it and how does it work?

Customs Warehouse’s are currently available at large number of UK airports covering most of the major OEM suppliers and MRO providers; this offers a wide range of choice regardless of the aircraft type or aircraft registry involved. Martyn Fiddler Aviation is certified as an Authorised Economic Operator and we have negotiated a significantly large customs guarantee. This guarantee covers multiple high value aircraft across many locations.

Entering an aircraft into a Customs Warehouse allows for PPI’s and re-registration works to be carried out without undue time pressures and allowing for any potential delays without having to reposition aircraft. Further it provides VAT and duty mitigation, brings security to all parties by de-risking a transaction and allows for registry and inspection works to be carried out seamlessly benefiting all involved. This offers logistical advantages and cost savings by removing unnecessary flight sectors.

There is no registration or tax reporting required, transactional values and parties involved are confidential. Once an aircraft is placed into a customs warehouse it is considered to be under customs control. This is a recognised manner that can be evidenced should a seller or buyer need to demonstrate a transaction for tax relief or write down purposes.

The benefits

A Customs Warehouse is a location in which both tax and duty are considered to be suspended for the period a specific item is placed in it.

For aviation this means if an aircraft is placed in a Customs Warehouse as part of a sale, there is no tax or duty payable on the aircraft until it leaves the warehouse and arrives at its intended destination.  

Using a Customs Warehouse in this way benefits all parties to a transaction by de-risking the sale and purchase, allowing for greater flexibility with any registration requirements, and providing the choice of MRO and facility the aircraft can utilise. Additionally, there are no time limitations for the aircraft remaining within the warehouse which reduces pressure on PPI reports, time zone scheduling and the inevitable unforeseen matters which delay transactions.

Once a transaction has closed and any registration matters have been concluded, the aircraft can be flown away by the new owner. It is at this point all the suspended potential taxes are formally discharged in line with regulatory and contractual requirements.

Customs Warehousing is becoming increasingly attractive to aircraft brokers as it acts as an aircraft showroom, offering a tax exempt location for presenting the aircraft to potential buyers with risk mitigation for both parties. Many aviation lawyers also recognise and understand the benefits and value a customs warehouse brings to a transaction and often make it a contractual obligation within the purchase agreement.

Following the departure of the UK from the EU in 2021, the ability to have a Customs Warehouse at a UK airport alleviates many of the logistical and administrative problems of the past. No longer are aircraft having to fly engineers to tax neutral territories with limited aviation resources and support.

Part of our end to end service

Martyn Fiddler Aviation provides customs warehouse 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 custom 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 our Customs Warehouse 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.
About the author

Phill Rawlins is the Customs and Tech Director at Martyn Fiddler Aviation and joined the team in 2014. He is an experienced customs practitioner who started ...

Contact Phill Rawlins
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