Importing an aircraft from the United States or any other part of the world is an often an intimidating prospect. The importation process isn't as scary as it appears. There is a batch of paperwork to process with Transport Canada to be sure, but we have a Minister's Delegate on-site ready to look after all these details.
The step by step process of Importation begins by bringing the aircraft into the country, and immediately dealing with Customs at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Arrangements with Customs should be made, and payment prepared prior to arrival, as import taxes are due on arrival.
The next step is de-registering and re-registering the aircraft with the new Canadian registration. Transport Canada asks for 90 days to process the paperwork even if you have paid for a registration. ie: choosing your own special registration letters or taking the next registration that pops up takes the same amount of time. However, in our experience it can happen a little quicker than 90 days.
Importation with an Export Certificate of Airworthiness from the Country of Origin is recommended. Please call us to discuss this to ensure the Export C of A data being collected is correct. If you are importing from the USA, you will use the services of a DAR, an FAA approved "Designated Airworthiness Representative" who sometimes will not be up on the latest Transport Canada regulations. Know before you go!
The big questions are always the time it takes and the cost. How long and how much? Of course that varies for many reasons. Factors influencing time and cost are aircraft age, type and complexity, mods, proper documents and their accuracy, log book condition and completeness just to name a few. Don't forget the POH and W&B documents. POH's are very expensive and the W&B Amendments need to be complete. If you are on the 6th amendment and are missing #4, count on re-weighing your aircraft.
Communication with your Minister's Delegate is key. Of course, a US Registered aircraft requires a US Pilot's license. Call to discuss the necessary ferry services and licenses available to bring home your US registered aircraft. That will apply of course, to most conventional aircraft. But, if you are importing that special turbine powered war bird you've had your eye on, we will meet you on our ramp!
One of the most exciting parts of purchasing an aircraft from a far-away location is getting it home! If possible, make the trip yourself. That’s the fun part!
Mitch Callaghan, our Minister's Delegate now offers services in the Restricted Category, including crop dusters and banner towing aircraft.