Flights between the European territory of the French Republic and other States that have signed the convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 are not subject to any special police formalities. Such flights may travel to or from all aerodromes in France, helipads and fields approved for the landing and take‑off of ultralight motorised aircraft provided that said areas are used as intended.
However, they remain international flights and therefore remain subject to the requirement of filing a flight plan.
List of States that have signed the convention implementing the Schengen Agreement:
Updated on 5 July 2013
Flights to or from non-EU Member States that have signed the convention implementing the Schengen Agreement remain subject to customs formalities regarding the movement of goods.
Case of flights to and from Switzerland
Air-border controls between France and Switzerland have been lifted since 29 March 2009 and in accordance with the implementation of the agreement on the Swiss Confederation’s association with the Schengen acquis.
However, Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, has not signed a customs union agreement with either the EU or France. As a result, movements of goods and capital in both directions between France and Switzerland remain subject to the respective customs regulations of both States regardless of the nature of the flight (public, private or aerial work) and are therefore subject to inspection by the competent authorities. This customs inspection may extend in particular to aircraft and baggage.
The last point of departure before crossing the border and the first point of landing after crossing the border must therefore be chosen accordingly:
- In Switzerland, this is a customs aerodrome if goods to be declared are being carried, and a ‘tolerated traffic aerodrome’ in other cases;
- In France, this is an aerodrome open to international air traffic pursuant to the provisions of the amended French Decree of 20 April 1998 on the opening of aerodromes to international air traffic.
For more information, consult the AIC: AIC A 27/09 France
Implementation of police and customs checks:
At the COLMAR-HOUSSEN aerodrome, the internal customs brigade (Brigade de Surveillance Intérieure; BSI) of Colmar performs customs and immigration control duties. These duties are delegated to Customs by the border police (Police aux Frontières; PAF).
Responsibility of the pilot in command:
In the case of flights to or from a third-party country, an EU Member State that is not part of the Schengen Area, or a country that is outside the EU, the pilot in command must provide Customs with a document listing the flight plan and information on the identity of all the passengers and crew members (full name, date of birth and nationality) 24 hours before the scheduled time of arrival at or departure from Colmar Airport.
We propose using a customs information form:
Information des douanes - télécharger le document
This document must be sent to the Metz Centre de Liaison Interrégional (CLI) 24 hours before the arrival or departure of each flight.
To contact the Metz CLI:
Fax: +03 (0)87 36 00 84
Contact airport services if you encounter difficulties in sending the completed filing.
Other customs information:
French Customs website (in French only): www.douane.gouv.fr
For information on travellers’ allowances, proceed as follows:
On the official French Customs website, click ‘Particulier’ then ‘Voyageurs: la douane vous informe’ and select the applicable case, such as ‘Les franchises douanières en valeur et en quantités (achats dans un pays non membre de l’union Européenne)’.