By Yusra Sarkar

ZEDRA (IOM) is now accredited as a customs operator – a move that will have immediate benefit for clients wanting to import aircraft and yachts into the EU.

The Authorised Economic Operator for Customs Simplifications (AEO) status means that ZEDRA is approved and recognised at the highest level. The AEO status is promoted by the World Customs Organisation and means ZEDRA can import aircraft and yachts for clients into the EU through the Isle of Man quickly and efficiently by working in partnership with Isle of Man customs. 

The benefit for clients is that the AEO status means that no VAT (which would usually be charged at 20%) is charged immediately on import of yachts or aircraft, and for aircraft it allows immediate relief of duty. This allows immediate turnaround on importing aircraft into the EU: clients’ aircraft can touch down in the Isle of Man and be on their way within an hour with no VAT or duty physically payable.  In addition, the accreditation means ZEDRA can offer a virtual warehouse facility for aircraft which are being bought or sold or if their owners want to ‘park’ them temporarily without attracting duty or VAT.

ZEDRA or their clients do not have to provide bank guarantees when importing; AEO accreditation provides a guarantee waiver. As such guarantees can be for up to 100% of the VAT due, this can potentially save ZEDRA clients many millions of pounds in cash flow.

To get this valuable accreditation, ZEDRA had to show Isle of Man customs it complied with its rules and procedures. It also had to demonstrate that ZEDRA (IOM) is in good financial standing and that it employs suitably qualified and experienced staff. The final approval of ZEDRA’s status was granted by HMRC in the UK. ZEDRA will soon be listed on the EC website alongside 200 other AEO operators in the UK.

Andrew Wilson, Head of Marine & Aviation for ZEDRA (IOM) said: “It took nine months of hard work by my team to be granted this valuable status. For our clients, it means we can enhance our service even further, streamlining the service we offer and offering greater efficiencies. Clients will feel the benefits of using a service provider that is AEO acredited.