Re: Import taxes when buying an airliner?

Date:         01 Dec 96 04:08:55 
From:         graemec@ibm.net
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In <airliners.1996.2549@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "Hans Jakobsson" <hansj@algonet.se> writes:
>... When you buy, say a new 767, from Boeing you
>technically import it into your country. Aren't there customs and import
>taxes to be paid for such a procurement...

Yes, if it is imported into a country that charges tariffs on aircraft ... and
maybe sales tax or VAT also.

Boeings are also subject to Washington State sales tax but I believe that is
avoided by most transactions taking place while the aircraft is in flight in
international airspace.  In fact, the financing of large aircraft is so complex
that it may change hands three or four times during that one flight and land
with a different country of registration from the one it took off with.  There
are usually a significant number of lawyers on board and a crash halfway through
the flight ...

I once crossed the Tasman Sea and back in a 747 with only some lawyers for
passengers so that its ownership (and registration) could change during the
transit.

> - and if so, does anyone know how
>much it is on  737-747-767 types of aircraft?

Well, again it depends on the country of import and the cleverness of the
legal advice.  Since many aeroplanes are leased from banks and other
finance houses and are not registered in the country of the airline which
operates them (e.g., SIA's 747-300s were mostly registered in the USA)
they may not be legally imported but may only 'visit' the country they work
for.

This area in fact, is the most secretive and arcane part of the whole airliner
business - as all the speculation about the financing of USAir's Airbus order
shows.

Does anyone know all the technicalities of Boeing's 'handover' flight - and
what is the Airbus equivalent?

Graeme Cant