Be very careful flying into Germany from outside the EU

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by peter-h, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. peter-h

    peter-h Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    UK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    peter-h
    There is a really atrocious legal case running against a Swiss pilot who landed at a German airport, where the AIP said it has Customs but the primary legislation didn't say that.

    The AIP is the primary pilot briefing source in Europe, and is government published (a bit like the US AFD) but they still busted him.

    In short you have to consult an official list of Customs airports when flying into Germany from outside the EU. As everybody knew :) that list is here
    https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Z....html?faqCalledDoc=297082&faqCalledDoc=297080

    More details here
    https://www.euroga.org/forums/hanga...rom-bankruptcy-due-to-german-customs-decision

    It is really quite unbelievable. They assessed VAT and import duty on the aircraft and are going after him for 25,000 euros.

    There is another case mentioned in the above thread (20,000 euros) showing a video from an American pilots who got the rules wrong. His aircraft has been impounded.
     
  2. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,232
    Location:
    A Rubber Room
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    Germany notwithstanding, flying internationally quit being fun 20 years ago.
     
    birdus and Tantalum like this.
  3. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,850
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    This page intentionally left blank
    We have enough government agencies trying to rob us blind here, no need to tempt others.
     
    birdus and EdFred like this.
  4. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,227
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    A reasonable sanction for failure to follow well-advertised rules is expected.
    This, however, is not reasonable.
     
  5. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    10,554
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    Don’t worry, this is Pilots of America... Most of us are on this side of the pond.

    :)
     
  6. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,290
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mryan75
    This caught my eye:

    It specifically says "Customs non-Schengen". The flip side is, he filled the flight plan, made a phone call to Würzburg to confirm, and even had Würzburg tower call the police at the time of landing to confirm he was in the green. (hough who knows how the police were supposed to know about customs).

    I would venture to guess there is more to this story.
     
  7. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    Novi, MI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Oliver
    Reading through the linked thread, I am under the impression that this was a combination of unfortunate timing (the status of the airport changed but the AIP wasn't updated yet and that he failed to comply with the the requirements in the AIP (call customs or police 24 h in advance). If he would have done the latter, he would have learned that the airport's status has changed.
    The ruling still seems to be very harsh, considering that this apparently was a honest mistake. I am therefore wondering if there is more to the story!?

    Bringing the discussion back to this side of the pond, I am wondering what would happen if somebody enters the US via a port of entry that is PPR but fails to call ahead? Particularly if somebody crosses the border coming from Mexico?
    When we returned from the Bahamas, I complied with everything, called customs, but was pretty nervous that I did not get any confirmation for my call. All I had was the name of the officer.
     
    mryan75 likes this.
  8. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    26,255
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    Add another to the numerous reasons not to fly in Germany.
     
  9. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,290
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mryan75
    On the contrary, having recently done so, it's an amazing place to fly GA.
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  10. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    Novi, MI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Oliver
    You (and the guy who deleted his anti-German comment) might want to elaborate on what would happen to a foreign pilot, who enters the US and who lands at a US airport that is not a port of entry? :rolleyes:

    Hint: Prison(!!!) of up to 1 year might be the result of one of the several violations he would commit with doing so... :eek:;)

    Also, while it is not rocket science, have you ever departed the US and returned in a private plane and dealt will all the stuff you have to think of (customs sticker, ICAO flight plan, eAPIS, call customs prior to your arrival, get dedicated transponder code before entering ADIZ, etc.)?

    As you know, I love the US and I love flying here, I'd however be careful with pointing fingers at other countries, particularly when it appears that there is more to the story.

    Oliver
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,291
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    772E5D89-462B-41D0-A32A-E081B303F883.jpeg Loved flying in Germany. Didn’t have to worry about fees or Customs either. ;)
     
    hoyasaxa likes this.
  12. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,288
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    No. Just declare that you're seeking asylum. The laws are well laid out, if you ask for asylum, they have to go through the motions of getting you a hearing. Meanwhile, you haven't violated the law and can walk the streets a free man after your initial hearing.
     
  13. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,366
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    CBP is no friend of mine. That is all.
     
  14. peter-h

    peter-h Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    UK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    peter-h
    The difference is this: how hard is it to find out which US airports have Customs?

    In Europe, the AIP is the primary source for pilots. The actual primary source is variously buried in national laws and is often out of date. In this case

    - the AIP was out of date, and
    - the airport manager told the pilot he can land there (from Switzerland)

    If that is not sufficient due diligence... reminds me of a scene from Al Pacino where some woman says to him "if you are a printer then I have a dick".

    In Europe, historically, the AIPs have been

    - some not available online (they are now)
    - some were full of trash (% of trash proportional to distance from the N Pole, so e.g. Greece was a joke)
    - some you have to buy (German AIP for VFR-only airports, like this one, has to be bought, best part of $100/year)

    The situation is a lot better now and pilots (well, those few % who actually go places) consult the AIP and maybe phone the airport. Indeed, phoning Customs would have been a damn good idea here, but they

    - often never pick the phone up
    - the fax machine was unplugged a few years ago so email2fax doesn't help
    - often cannot speak English (mostly true for Spain, France, Italy)

    so contacting them can be a challenge. So you can see it is very tempting for the pilot to look at the AIP and take the airport's word that it's fine to fly there.

    I actually don't know what the proper solution is IF the Customs are not contactable. You cannot safely fly to that airport.

    This will become a challenge for UK pilots too, if/when the UK leaves the EU. They will have to be extra careful.
     
    hoyasaxa likes this.