Operating to Ireland (EIDW): Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ)

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Operating to Ireland (EIDW): Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ)

This is a post by author Mark Shiels. Mark is the general manager for Universal Aviation Ireland – Dublin. Mark is an expert on business aircraft operations in Dublin and can be contacted at markshiels@universalaviation.aero.

This aviation blog post is part of a series on operating to Dublin, Ireland and continues from our last article entitled "Operating to Ireland (EIDW): Ground Handling 101."

For business aircraft operators traveling to Dublin (EIDW), CIQ clearance is straightforward and quick. In most cases, crew will not be subject to customs/immigration screening on international arrivals. Similarly, no outbound customs/immigration clearance is necessary for either passengers or crew. Traveling with pets will require special consideration.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. What are customs clearance procedures for crew?

Crew members do not normally need to clear customs or immigration at EIDW, unless officers on duty deem it necessary. As passengers clear CIQ, customs/immigration will decide if they need to see the crew or not. If crew members do need to clear CIQ, be aware that there are dedicated crew lines available for customs or immigration. When CIQ clearance is not necessary, ground handlers transport crew directly to the handling office and pre-arranged local ground transport.

2. How are passenger CIQ procedures conducted?

After an international arrival, passengers and luggage are escorted to the main terminal by the ground handler for customs and immigration clearance. Passengers have access to a separate GA line for immigration clearance but wait in the same line as commercial passengers for customs clearance. This process usually takes about 10 minutes and up to 15 minutes during busier periods. Your ground handling agent will be present during the whole process. From time to time, customs will decide to screen or open luggage. Onboard CIQ clearance is usually limited to head of state and emergency medical flights. If you’re carrying a public figure, and feel there may be a security risk in using the general CIQ clearing process, a request may be submitted for onboard clearance. Approval, however, may not be confirmed until the day before arrival and will depend on workload and duty officer schedules.

3. What are requirements for international departures?

Crew/passengers should meet with the ground handler, who will walk them through a communal screening area. This process usually takes between 5 and 15 minutes. There’s no requirement at EIDW for departing crew/passengers to clear customs/immigration. Passengers/crew who wish to reclaim Value Added Tax (VAT) may make a claim at the airport on departure if the VAT claim is for no more than 600 Euros. The airport agent will sign the VAT recovery receipt but will not provide a cash or credit card rebate. For VAT claims in excess of 600 Euros, passengers/crew must file rebate requests after returning to their home country.

4. What documentation is required for CIQ arrival process?

Passengers must present passports with validity extending for the full length of their stay in Ireland. Crew IDs will suffice in place of passports. Some non-EU nationals require Schengen visas for Ireland, and these visas cannot be obtained on arrival. Arrival and departure cards are no longer necessary, but you’ll need to provide a General Aviation Report – preferably in advance – containing crew/passenger details in order to set up ground handling and CIQ. This report follows a specific format and can be filled out by your ground handler. Departure tax is payable for any passengers who’ve stayed in Ireland 24 hours or more.

5. Are there special procedures for onboard pets?

In order to bring a pet into Ireland, you must be an "approved carrier" by the Irish government. The animal must have a microchip and have been vaccinated for rabies after micro-chipping and not more than six months prior to entry into Ireland. It must also have been correctly treated for tick and tapeworm 24-48 hours prior to scheduled departure time. The pet must also have been issued an official passport under Regulation (EC) No. 998/2003. On arrival, the pet must be examined by a vet, and charges apply for this service. In some cases, the vet will come to the airport, and in other cases you must courier the pet to the vet’s location. For more information on pet importation to Ireland see: pets@agriculture.gov.ie or call +353-1-607-2827.

6. Are there agricultural requirements to be aware of?

Dairy and meat products may not, in most cases, be brought into Ireland. It’s not possible to leave onboard in-flight catering with your ground handler after an international arrival, as ground handlers are located on the land side of the airport. It’s best to work with your ground handler, in advance, regarding any special requests concerning importation of food items into Ireland.


The CIQ process is generally very quick and seamless at EIDW. If you’re traveling with an onboard pet, however, it’s important to coordinate all procedural and documentation requirements in advance with your ground handler.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Dublin, contact me at markshiels@universalaviation.aero.

Later we will discuss landing permits and PPRs for your trip to Dublin, Ireland.

Got a question for Mark about this article?