European Commission releases communication towards a phased and coordinated approach for restoring freedom of movement and lifting internal border controls in light of COVID-19

After months of isolation of several countries within the European Union and the Schengen Area in context of COVID-19, on May 13th, the European Commission presented guidelines and recommendations on gradually lifting travel restrictions and necessary safety and precautionary means. The proposed rules should ensure a safe, timely and workable return to normal operations for all airspace users in Europe and a flexible phased approach, requiring close coordination between Member States and Commission with the objective to gradually lift border controls to ensure unrestricted freedom of movement across the EU and restore the integrity of the Schengen area.

As Member States manage to reduce the circulation of the virus, the Commission proposes the replacement of blanket restrictions to free movement to and from other areas or regions in Member States with a similar overall risk profile by more targeted measures, as a complement to physical distancing measures and effective tracing and testing of any suspected cases.

With an amendment to Regulation (EU) 965/2012, owners can (temporarily) operate their aircraft, which have been enrolled in an AOC for commercial operation, privately.

With the introduction of ORO.GEN.310, AOC-holders will be able to temporarily transfer their commercial aircraft to another non-commercial operator. This will give, inter alia, owners the opportunity for their private flights to operate their aircraft, which has been leased to an AOC-holder for commercial use, temporarily under non-commercial operating conditions (NCC / NCO) by themselves.

HSP Schaefer assists you in the implementation of the required framework conditions as well as in the establishment of suitable business structures, considering the operational, legal and tax requirements.

By way of an amendment to the Datalink Regulation the European Commission exempted certain aircraft from the datalink requirements.

The exemption includes aircraft which have a certified maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers or less and a MTOM of 45359 Kg (100000 lbs) or less, with a first individual certificate of airworthiness issued before February 5, 2020.

HSP Schaefer advocates for further exemptions in close cooperation with the European Business Aviation Association (Bruxelles).

HSP Schaefer wins a high profile energy tax case against the federal customs administration of Germany.

HSP Schaefer under the lead of partner and attorney at law Till Hering LL.M. successfully asserted a tax relief claim for a corporate flight operation department. The client will be reimbursed by the competent customs authority for energy tax paid for the use of jet fuel.

In a highly complex tax procedure with duration of over three years, the reimbursement claim was successfully litigated on the basis of German and European energy tax law.

HSP Schaefer advises a client with respect to the acquisition and technical acceptance of a Bombardier global 6000.

The HSP team under the lead of senior partner Dr. Heinz Schaefer advises a client with respect to the acquisition and technical acceptance of an aircraft Bombardier Global 6000.

In addition to the structuring of the transaction process, the focus is set on the contract negotiations with the seller as well as the assessment of the technical condition. HSP Schaefer also develops a tax-optimized structure for the operation of the aircraft.