The purpose of this guide is to highlight some of the key considerations influencing the choice of delivery location for an aircraft at the time of its transfer or sale between parties and to introduce the unique fiscal characteristics of the Channel Island of Guernsey, where Oceanskies is based, as a potentially useful location to carry out such activities.
Factors Influencing Choice of Closing Location
The positioning of an aircraft for the closing of its transfer from one owner to another requires careful consideration.
The transfer may be as a result of a transfer between related parties, i.e. where an aircraft is transferred within a group of companies as part of a corporate restructuring or where there is an open market sale between unrelated parties.
In particular the parties to the transfer need to consider whether the location of the aircraft at the time that legal title and ownership risk is passed between them will trigger sale or purchase taxes.
The parties also need to consider whether the location of an aircraft at the time of closing requires any type of local fiscal registration even if there is no tax to be physically charged on the sale or paid on the purchase.
In certain cases the parties should consider how the impact of a sale in particular location might impact on how it has been exported from its previous location or how it will subsequently imported into a jurisdiction by the new owner.
A further consideration is the impact of any third party financing on the transaction. Banks lending finance on the acquisition of an aircraft will be interested in knowing the legal enforceability of any mortgage or lien that they might take on the aircraft as a result of being situated in a particular location at the time of its attachment to the aircraft.
If an aircraft is to be moved to a specific location for the closing of a sale to take place then a further consideration will be the economic costs of relocating the aircraft. Clearly if an aircraft does have to be moved then flying time and available facilities at the intended location are important both in terms of economics and inconvenience.
Additionally the facilities that are available at the closing location need to be considered. For example, does the closing location have good travel links to international centres in the event that personnel connected to the transaction have to make their own way to the aircraft, i.e. engineers, airworthiness surveyors etc? Is there ground support at the location in terms of hangarage and basic maintenance facilities should an aircraft need to be re-marked and/or transponders changed?
The time zone of the completion location is important. The location needs to be working when Seller and Buyer’s banks are working to synchronise the facilitation of money transfers relating to the transaction. The time zone is also an important consideration when synchronising aircraft de-registration and re-registration formalities for both the Seller and Buyer respectively.
Guernsey as a Delivery Location
The second part of this guide provides information concerning Guernsey and some of the key features of the island that make it potentially interesting for consideration as a choice of delivery location.
We would stress that this guide should not be construed as legal or fiscal advice and we would recommend that the parties to any aircraft transfer or sale transaction always take their own legal and fiscal advice on whether or not Guernsey should be used as the delivery location.
Guernsey – Geographical Position
Oceanskies is based on Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands are situated in the Bay of St. Malo off the Northwest coast of France less than one hours flying time from London and Paris and within two hours flying time from Geneva and Nice.
Guernsey – Constitutional Position
Guernsey is a self-governing Crown dependency with its own legislative assembly, system of local administration, laws and their own courts based on English law. Matters concerning defence and international relations, including relations with the European Union are the responsibility of the British Government.
Guernsey – Fiscal Position
There are no sales taxes or capital gains taxes in Guernsey, (unlike Jersey which has a local sales tax known as a Goods & Services Tax or GST).
For customs purposes Guernsey is within the customs territory of the EC.
For VAT (sales tax) Guernsey is outside the VAT territory of the EU.
Guernsey is not an EU-ETS participating jurisdiction. Flights from points outside the EU-ETS zone to Guernsey and flights from Guernsey to destinations outside the EU-ETS zone will not be subject to EU emissions tax and will not require operators to register.
Guernsey is outside the scope of UK Air Passenger Duty (APD).
Guernsey airport is able to handle the majority of corporate aircraft types up to and including ACJ and BBJ equipment.
Key airport information is as follows:
|Location||49° 26′ 10N 02° 36′ 02W (Click for Map)|
|Runway||09/27, 1463m x 45m|
|Fuel||Avgas and Jet A1|
The airport is well served by two fixed base operators and two maintenance organisations.
Recent extension work to the airport’s concreted parking areas has provided increased space for the parking of corporate aircraft.
The island is well served by commercial airline flights to London and the rest of the United Kingdom and key continental jurisdictions including Geneva and Zurich.
Guernsey lies within the same time zone as the United Kingdom allowing the physical location of aircraft in Guernsey to be well placed in respect of banking and registry hours for both sides of the Atlantic.
Oceanskies Closing & Delivery Services
Oceanskies is able to assist aircraft closings at Guernsey by arranging handling, customs formalities and local technical support either as a stand-alone service or as part of its aircraft ownership and registration package.
We are located close to Guernsey airport and able to provide out of standard hours service and weekend cover.
We work closely with local legal and accounting firms in order to arrange legal or fiscal opinions on the consequences of particular transactions taking place in Guernsey.
We also work closely with customs agents within Europe in order to arrange, when necessary, for the facilitation of any onward importation of the aircraft concerned into the EU.
Both Duncan Swanson and Tom Becker of Oceanskies are experienced in acting also as Seller or Buyer representatives on the ground at Guernsey acting under Power of Attorney to sign delivery documentation.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.