NBAA launches exclusive US jet export guide
An exclusive ‘Guide on Exporting Aircraft from the United States’ has been launched by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) for its members, to clarify the responsibilities of all parties, including the role of trusts.
The document was drafted up by the NBAA Tax Committee and Regulatory Issues Advisory Group following discussions with US government officials including the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Industry and Security and the US Census Bureau. It contains updated US Census Bureau guidance on business aircraft exports, advice on common export scenarios and making Electronic Export Information (EEI) filings. EEI filings include details on the parties involved in the transaction, the aircraft’s export classification and its value.
Scott O’Brien, senior director of public policy and advocacy, NBAA told CJI that guidance was “100% tied” to the Wright Brothers Aircraft Title case, which unfolded in March last year. Debbie Mercer-Erwin, the owner of Wright Brothers Aircraft Title (WBAT) and Aircraft Guaranty Corporation (AGC), and several other individuals were accused of helping to falsely register aircraft in the US and failing to register aircraft exports. So far, no one has been convicted of any offence.
O’Brien said: “They are alleged to not have made these filings in a lot of transactions and that created a situation where other trustees for business aircraft became concerned about [whether they] have this responsibility.” As a result, the document focuses on how trusts fit into the transaction, and for the most part, O’Brien says they are “not generally responsible” for making the EEI filing, as long as they ensure it’s being done.
When asked why the NBAA have made this an exclusive document, O’Brien said: “I think we felt like since our committee spent a lot of time on it, it made sense for it to be members-only.” He added that the organisation had previously held a free webinar on the subject that anyone could join.
NBAA’s O’Brien said the guidance was not in anticipation of new legislation, although he believes it is important to help the government understand how the rules apply. He said: “I don’t think this requires any sort of regulatory change or legislative change. It’s more a matter for us as an industry communicating that this is something that needs to be done and making sure that we keep an open line of communication with these regulators.”