Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1631117
We were planning on flying my C182T to Cherbourg this morning, from Sandown where we're based, this would be my first foray out of this country, so I feel I like a fish out of water!

I seem to have got stuck where it comes to customs; the French AIP for Cherbourg says : "0700-1800 and O/R until 2200 with PN before 1700 to SECMA and bse-cherbourg@douane.finances.gouv.fr"

Given most of the text it looks like the English part may have been translated from French using a computer. What does O/R mean? PN I assume, given the context, means 'Prior Notice'?

To that end, yesterday afternoon I sent an email to that email address giving details of our planned arrival and departure time. But I've received no reply, which makes me assume that it's likely ended up in a bin someplace labelled "Random emails from British loonies"

---

Can anyone that has done this before help me please?

What sort of notice does immigration require? I've seen some say 24hrs; others say if it's just a pleasure flight then none; the AIP to me suggests before 17:00 the day before?

Would you expect a confirmation reply from an email sent to the Douanes?

Should my request be more along the lines of a GAR form, ie containing our passport numbers etc? Having gone on Calais's website this morning, that certainly seems to be the procedure with them

Thank you in advance for any advice!

Col :)
#1631119
O/R = On Request, so normally customs are available with PN (Prior Notice) until 1800, but you can request them up to 2200. You are correct that they are asking for notice by 1700 on the day before. If you emailed I wouldn't count on a reply, but I would have given names/passport details for everyone on board.

You could always call the airport and ask to speak to customs if they are there.

HTH

Ian
#1631123
French AIP wrote:0700-1800 et O/R jusqu'à 2200 avec PN avant 1700 à SECMA et bse-cherbourg@douane.finances.gouv.fr.


The French AIP says that customs are available from 0700-1800 (Zulu) and that this period may be extended up to 2200Z on request before 1700 same day. That request goes to SECMA (the airport operator) and bse-cherbourg@douane.finances.gouv.fr

Others say that Cherbourg requires 24 hours prior notice, but currently that isn't in the AIP.
Flyin'Dutch' liked this
#1631129
Cherbourg are normally pretty helpful if you sent an email yesterday that's a minor issue as it was weekend, but they should be expecting you. If in doubt phone the airport they'll be helpful if they're there, but note that I think Luc and Edith are on holiday and the caff closed until tomorrow, if that's the case Cherbourg will be deserted I should think.
#1631135
zhastaph wrote:Should my request be more along the lines of a GAR form, ie containing our passport numbers etc? Having gone on Calais's website this morning, that certainly seems to be the procedure with them

For Le Touquet I sent an email based on this template

viewtopic.php?p=1628865#p1628865
Last edited by flyingyod on Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
#1631145
Thank you all !

In the interests of not trying to rush something like this and risking ending up being upside in The Channel or being chased down by a pair of Dassault Rafales :D we've decided to postpone this until later in the week.. However, I'm now happy with what I'm doing :)

For anyone else that finds themselves in a similar position :

We've basically taken the .pdf form 'SCHENGEN-FLIGHT-FORECAST-ARRIVEE' from Calais' website, edited it so that it is 'generic'. I'll then fill that in with my flight details for Cherbourg and email it to: bse-cherbourg@douane.finances.gouv.fr;contact@cherbourg.aeroport.fr. Or as Flyingyod has suggested a text email containing similar information would be sufficient. I'll do this the day before so as to be sure that I fall in with whatever their notice is and then not be too worried if I get a reply or not. I'll ask them when I get there what the situation is normally with notice.

Calais' information {which is very clear and straightforward} : http://www.aeroport.capcalaisis.fr/pilot/

Lastly, can anyone tell me do I need to fill in something similar for my return flight? Or is the Flightplan and GAR to UK customs sufficient. ie do French customs need prior notice for me to leave France?

Thank you, one very excited and slightly nervous Mr Col :D
Flyin'Dutch', GeorgeJLA liked this
#1631149
Although you must depart France from a customs airfield I've never needed to give them any notice, just file the flight plan and the UK GAR. Your postponed flight should ensure that Luc and Edith are back in harness at the caff, both speak fluent English and are unfailingly helpful.
#1631151
Have you seen my stuff?

Either in my signature (click on "3 dots" under this post, if they are visible on your device) or look here: http://www.tinyurl.com/goingforeign
RisePilot, Waveflyer liked this
#1631172
I've never needed to give them any notice,


Maybe you were lucky but I'm guessing they have the right to hold you if you didn't pre-notify, until someone is available to process your entering or leaving of the Schengen area. :wink:
#1631233
zhastaph wrote:
Dave W wrote:Have you seen my stuff?

Either in my signature (click on "3 dots" under this post, if they are visible on your device) or look here: http://www.tinyurl.com/goingforeign


Ooooh, nice ! :D

I totally wished that I'd asked on here a few days ago instead of trying to work it out for myself :p :)



My final tip for what it's worth is to print a copy of everything you send by email to Douanes and GAR etc and take it with you. (that's in addition to the official 'receipt' you get for GAR).

Peter
#1631247
The customs situation in France is fluid at the moment it is worth noting that often the airport website is in conflict with the AIP. Unfortunately the website can often more accurately reflect the current customs requirements because it can be updated more regularly. Two weeks ago at Cherbourg I confirmed with the officers that notice of 24 hours is current. This only appears in the French version of the website and is not in the AIP. You could stand your ground and argue that the AIP is supreme but good luck with that in front of the armed men on the border. This is required both in and out for a non schengen flight.
Sure, you can turn up and see what happens.
Last edited by TLRippon on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.