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Crossing borders within Schengen zone

Is it necessary for me to arrange customs or immigration clearance when I fly from one Schengen country to another? Where is the authoritative answer. Between Norway and Germany today, I asked [ATC] and was told that a check in was not required. Then two Zoll asked to check our passports. No problem, no fuss, but I got the impression that this check was not optional to us. I’ll be moving across more borders in the days to come, any advice?

Home runway, in central Ontario, Canada

No, but the police have every right to check your papers. I guess you just got into one of those random checks. Don’t forget, with all the shit that’s going on in Europe at the moment, they are probably a bit more active than usual. What you have to do is file a flight plan.

You don’t even have to file a flight plan between many countries, for example between Germany and Austria or the Czech Republic.

EDLE

@Pilot_DAR You stayed within the Schengen area (immigration zone), but crossed the EU border (customs zone), so you should have cleared customs somehow. In case of some countries, like Norway, it is possible to do that without a mandatory check by an official, in other cases, like Hungary, it is not.
If you stay within the Schengen area and also within the EU, then there would not be customs or immigration check due at either end of the flight.

Last Edited by JnsV at 15 Jul 21:08
Hajdúszoboszló LHHO

JnsV wrote:

If you stay within the Schengen area and also within the EU, then there would not be customs or immigration check due at either end of the flight.

That’s the general rule. Make sure to obey by AIP and NOTAMs. In France in particular, there are a few airports that do require customs/immigration even for EU/Schengen flights as published by NOTAM. The state of emergency was just renewed for another 3-month period following the Nice incident.

LFPT, LFPN

You don’t even have to file a flight plan between many countries, for example between Germany and Austria or the Czech Republic

Are there no conditions attached e.g. VFR only, specific crossing points / airspace classes?

Is it necessary for me to arrange customs or immigration clearance when I fly from one Schengen country to another?

In theory no, in reality things are different now.

Norway to Germany you do need Customs (because Norway is not EU) but you do not need Immigration. In reality most airports which have Customs also have Immigration but there are some exceptions (not in Germany, however, AFAIK).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Norway to Germany you do need Customs (because Norway is not EU)

Are you sure? Norway is part of the EEA and thus shouldn’t require customs. One of our Scandinavian friends here will certainly come to explain.

172driver wrote:

Are you sure? Norway is part of the EEA and thus shouldn’t require customs. One of our Scandinavian friends here will certainly come to explain.

You certainly need customs. EEA is free trade, not free customs I think all registered airfield have customs, even the most unlikely ones.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

I somehow doubt that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Area#Rights_and_obligations

But confess I’m not sure.

Last Edited by 172driver at 16 Jul 06:05

Definitely, flying to/from Norway or Switzerland requires the other airport to have Customs.

Most “port of entry” airports in the world have both Customs and Immigration.

It is only some European ones where the two functions are separated. Many threads on this previously, but basically IIRC Germany and Italy have a load which have Immigration and not Customs, France has at least some (Toussus LFPN) which have Customs and no Immigration.

Some threads here and here

One has to look in the AIP for the relevant airport and it will say if it has Customs and/or Immigration. In France (and possibly other places), Immigration is called “Police” in the AIP. E.g.

In the UK, every airport or farm strip has Customs and Immigration – implemented via the GAR form notification. A great system!

With today’s security issues, Schengen is just about finished except for the allowed matrix of airports which has not (yet) changed. Passport checks etc are coming back in aviation, for sure. Police at Le Touquet almost all the time now (1 working, and from 2 to 14 others chatting and watching the one who is working…).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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