Offshore Aircraft Sale Closing & Delivery in Guernsey – A Guide


Introduction

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 how the geographical location, fiscal status and facilities provided by the Channel Island of Guernsey have created a world renowned centre of excellence for the closing of international aircraft transactions.

Oceanskies is a Guernsey based marine and aviation consultancy which provides a fixed fee offshore closing service to assist with all aspects of the aircraft’s visit to Guernsey by arranging local customs formalities, handling, hangarage, ground support, fuel at preferential rates, transport and accommodation.

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 – 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 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.

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

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:

I.C.A.O. Code  EGJB
I.A.T.A. Code  GCI
Location 49° 26′ 10N 02° 36′ 02W (Click for Map)
Elevation 336 feet
Runway 09/27, 1463m x 45m
Fuel Avgas and Jet A1

Our Closing Services

Oceanskies is able to provide a comprehensive fixed fee aircraft closing service at Guernsey.

We arrange local customs formalities, handling, hangarage, ground support, fuel at preferential rates, transport and accommodation.

We can also arrange temporary and permanent aircraft decals where a new registration is to be applied, new interior identity plates and re-strapping transponders.

We are located close to Guernsey airport and able to provide out of standard hours service and weekend cover

We also work closely with customs agents within Europe in order to arrange inbound to Guernsey export formalities from the departure country and/or outbound from Guernsey importation formalities in the destination country.

We specialise in the registration and documentation of private and corporate aircraft and helicopters in all of the main aircraft registry jurisdictions including the USA (N), the British registries, principally in the UK (G-), Cayman Islands (VP-C), Bermuda (VP-B & VQ-B), Isle of Man (M-) and Guernsey (2-), as well as Malta (9H-) and San Marino (T7-).

We are experienced in acting also as Seller or Buyer representatives on the ground at Guernsey acting under Power of Attorney to sign delivery documentation.

Further Information

For further information please do not hesitate to contact James Hughes or complete our enquiry form:

Caveat

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.

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Guernsey Office

Oceanskies Limited

Castle Emplacement

St. Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1AU

Channel Islands, Great Britain

Malta Office

Oceanskies (Malta) Limited

56, Ground Floor, Europa Centre

Saint Anne Street,

Floriana FRN 9011, Malta

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