Changes after EU and EASA exit
Updated 29th September 2021
The UK is no longer a part of the EU. It is a ‘third country’ that has retained EU regulations including aviation regulations which continue to apply under UK law from 1 Jan 21.
This webpage highlights changes relevant to gliding and will be updated as the facts become available.
Part-21 and non-Part 21 aircraft
Part-21 aircraft (formerly known as EASA aircraft) are required to be certificated and operated in accordance with the UK (formerly EASA) Basic Regulation and retained former EASA regulations made under it. Most modern certificated factory-built aircraft (other than microlights and gyroplanes) are considered Part-21.
Non-Part-21 aircraft (formerly known as non-EASA aircraft ) are outside the scope of the UK (formerly EASA) Basic Regulation. Non-Part-21 aircraft were never subject to EASA regulation and are covered by the UK Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016. Vintage or Permit to Fly aircraft are normally non-Part-21. Such aircraft will have a certificate of airworthiness or permit to fly issued under the Air Navigation Order 2016, unless exempt from airworthiness certification. Non-Part 21 gliders hold a BGA C of A.
Use of EASA or EU approved maintenance facilities
The owner or operator of a UK registered aircraft can continue to use an organisation that holds a Part CAO or Part M Subpart F approval issued by EASA or an EU member state where that approval was issued prior to 1 January 2021 and has not been amended since. When the approved Part CAO or Part M subpart F organisation amends their approval certificate, the continued recognition as provided in the savings and transition arrangements of Schedule 3 to the Aviation Safety (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 is no longer available. The organisation must now hold an appropriate UK issued approval for a UK owner or operator to continue to use the organisation.
The CAA has issued a temporary exemption so that the owner or operator of a UK registered aircraft can continue to use an organisation that holds a Part CAO or Part M Subpart F approval issued by EASA or an EU member state where its approval has been amended since 1 January 2021, provided that the organisation has applied for UK CAA approval.
Moving aircraft into and out of the UK
Temporarily moving a glider across the UK border
BGA has been working with Government to reach a proportionate approach to border crossing with gliders. The situation briefed to the BGA by Government in a meeting on the 6th May 2021 is that where a privately owned glider is moved across the UK border in a trailer towed by a private vehicle and the intent is to return the glider across the UK border (for example visiting the EU for a holiday, competition, etc), the export and subsequent import should be declared orally on disembarkation as a ‘declaration by conduct’. ‘Declaration by conduct’ is a term recognised by UK border staff. Safety and security requirements do not apply unless the glider is being moved under contract. In due course, the guidance will be published on the .Gov website. The UK government cannot comment on behalf of EU borders. However, it is understood that a similar approach should be taken at the EU border.
The UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) allows goods to temporarily move between GB and the EU for repair without incurring customs duty on import, regardless of their origin.
Another option is to claim relief through the Outward Processing procedure if the gliders are being sent directly to an EU country (for example, Germany) for repairs. Outward Processing is a procedure that allows goods to be temporarily exported from the UK for repair or processing, and then reimported to the UK without payment of UK customs duty or import VAT.
Further info on Outward Processing and the conditions that need to be met for the relief can be found at:
VAT on used aircraft imported into the UK by a private owner
When purchasing goods in EU (for later import to GB) from a private user of the same goods, the EU seller is likely to have incurred irrecoverable VAT. For the later sale, no VAT would be due on a private sale in the EU, but (now we have left the single market) import VAT will be due on arrival to GB, subject to any import reliefs that may apply.
In a similar scenario but where the goods were bought from a VAT registered business in the EU, a purchaser intending to import those goods to GB would be advised to check if the seller is zero-rating the supply to them, as an export from the EU. Import VAT would be due in GB, on the same basis as described above.
Goods in free circulation in NI (at 31/12/20) are classified as being in free circulation in EU and not in GB. Goods being moved from Ireland to GB are imports.
Part-FCL vs ANO licences
Part-FCL licences are issued under the UK (formerly EASA) Aircrew Regulation and are required to fly Part-21 aeroplanes and helicopters. Licences required for flying Part-21 Sailplanes are contained in Part-SFCL.
A UK issued SPL that was issued while the UK was still a member of EASA continues to be valid on UK registered Part-21 sailplanes. An SPL may also be used to fly a non-Part-21 sailplane.
UK Air Navigation Order licences (often known as ‘national licences’ while the UK was still an EASA member) are issued under the ANO and can only be used to fly non-Part-21 aircraft, except in some limited circumstances. This area of policy continues to be reviewed in 2021 and will likely change in the future.
Flying in the UK on a Foreign Licence
The UK will continue to accept EASA licences issued before 1st January 2021 by EASA member states for use in UK registered aircraft until 31st December 2022. This is via general validation – see caa.co.uk/cap2017 for details. There is no requirement to apply to the CAA for an individual licence validation if holding an EASA licence issued before 1st January 2021. EASA licenses issued after that will require an individual licence validation or conversion to fly a UK registered Part-21 aircraft.
Licence holders from other ICAO states (regardless of residency) will need to follow the CAA’s licence validation and/or conversion procedures before flying a UK registered Part-21 aircraft. For non-Part-21 aircraft the ANO contains a general validation that allows the non-commercial use of foreign ICAO licences on UK-registered aircraft.
UK residents flying Part-21 aircraft on ICAO licences not issued by the UK or EASA should also note that the requirement to obtain a validation or make the appropriate declaration to the CAA continues after leaving the EU, regardless of the state of registration of the aircraft being flown.
Flying in EU countries using a UK SPL – 17th Mar 21
Third country operators are usually required to operate under ICAO requirements when in another ICAO signatory country.
The UK SPL + Class 2 medical certificate is ICAO compliant. In France, that means pilots holding a UK SPL + Class 2 medical certificate may fly UK registered gliders.
Pilots who hold a foreign, eg UK SPL + Class 2 medical certificate who want to fly EU registered gliders in EU nations must comply with the host country national rules. For example, in France, the validation of a foreign (UK) licence is mandatory as was the case in the past. The validation form is available here. The fee is 80 Euros. It is prohibited to perform flight instruction with a validated foreign licence.
Flying non-UK registered sailplanes in the UK
ICAO Annex 1 states it is one of the obligations of the State of Registration to determine who can fly an aircraft registered in that State.
The CAA has advised that a non-UK registered sailplane may be flown in the UK using an SPL with a valid Class 2 medical certificate, or alternatively, an SPL and valid Class 2 medical certificate issued by an EASA Member State. The State of Registration (eg Germany in the case of a D registered glider) may via its national aviation authority determine a different licensing and medical requirement.
Use of non-Part 21 aircraft during training to add a privilege
SPL holders can use UK (G) registered non-Part 21 sailplanes, powered sailplane and TMG to add privileges to an existing SPL.
Non-UK ie EASA state issued SPL holders will have to ask their issuing competent authority if they can conduct training to add privileges on a UK registered non-Part 21 sailplane, powered sailplane and TMG.
Continued acceptance of EASA references on aircraft documents
The CAA will continue to accept references, including EASA form numbers, to any EU regulation which are cited on documents carried by UK-registered aircraft. This includes Certificates of Airworthiness (CofA), Airworthiness Review Certificates (ARC) and Noise Certificates. These will remain valid until they are renewed, whereby they will be replaced with CAA references and form numbers.
Acceptance of the EASA Form 1 by the CAA
To minimise disruption to the UK Industry, the UK CAA has agreed to allow new or used aircraft components, released to service using an EASA Form 1, to be installed on UK aircraft. This therefore satisfies the requirements of Regulation (EU) 1321/2014, Annex I (Part M), Annex II (Part 145) and Annex Vb (PART ML) . The related ORS4 General Exemptions can be viewed here ORS4 No.1451 and 1452.
EASA Permit to Fly