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Old 6th Aug 2009, 01:20   #1 (permalink)
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oz
Posts: 24
Cost of importing aircraft?

With the exchange rate once again heading north and what appears to be an abundance of aircraft of the market in the US it would appear from the outside looking in that now could be an opportune time to be a buyer. What are the costs assciated with importing say a C182? And what are the porcesses that one should go through?
alphawhiskeytango is online now  
Old 6th Aug 2009, 06:14   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NZ
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Go to the CAA website it will tell you everything you need to know about importing/certifying.
The biggest cost I'd say is freight, you could spend as much as US$5K on freight or more, which pretty much neutralises the advantage of the good US dollar.
We looked at several options in the US but ended up getting a fantastic deal for what we wanted within NZ. I'd check out Southern Aircraft or DTI Sales they will put you onto something from within the country, much cheaper.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 09:16   #3 (permalink)
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And don't forget 10% GST on the aircraft purchase price. If you are a business you can claim the GST back in your BAS. If a private buyer, the GST is your loss.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 10:12   #4 (permalink)
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Do not forget to add in the ferry/freight costs to the purchase price...GST is added on that as well.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 11:15   #5 (permalink)
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Don't forget the export Certificate of Airworthiness (otherwise the import C of A could be quite a shock!).
Make sure your new buy is struck off the FAA register and FAA knows to inform CASA. CASA will not look at it otherwise.
Disassembly - US$3,000
Freight - 40' container these days is about US$8000
Assembly and Aust. C of A checks. A$10,000

Even with the above costs, there are quite a few bargains in the USA right now with the A$ north of US$0.80

Not many good, low time aircraft left in Aust. or NZ.....(assuming that's what you are after).

Stick to the reputable dealers in the USA. Many an Aussie buyer has been fleeced in the buy or got quite a shock during the import certification process (outstanding maintenance or out of date components).

Good Luck and enjoy.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 12:47   #6 (permalink)
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There is ofcourse, the option of importing an RV as a kit, MUCH cheaper!
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 23:18   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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When I imported mine I didn't get an Export CofA - it is not required for private aircraft especially (but check with the person who will do your CofA). The Export CofA must be done with so many days (90 from memory) from a 100 hrly so consider whether you want that extra work done. It was very convenient that the maintenance organisation was approved by AQIS so the container went directly there.
If I had my time over again I would've paid for my LAME to go to the USA and do the pre-purchase inspection.
djpil is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2009, 12:56   #8 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Another bit of advice - get one of these reports before you buy.
Aircraft Damage History and Ownership Reports - Plane Fax - Home
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Old 8th Aug 2009, 13:44   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2005
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The GST is based on the exchange rate the bird leaves the mainland or in the case of the US, Hawaii. All the fuel AND accommodation you purchase on your merry way (Christmas Is, W/Samoa/Fiji etc will also incur the wrath of the GST. it would be strongly advisable to register as a business with GST reporting B4 you buy. You could always cancel at a later date.

Yes, i would definitely take my engineer next time as the Yanks are extremely slack with aircraft maintenance, especially AD compliance. The "mechanics' over there always seem to be sitting on their acres while the meter ticks over at $US 70/80 per hour. What is written in the logs is fairytale stuff ie AD's signed off but not done. and unreported damage, often major.

There are a few traps for the uninitiated but its all possible.
PA39 is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2009, 03:19   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Oz
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US aircraft do not comply with Australian standards because the FAA allow a sensible maintenance system and we dont. Your LAME might quote you for reassembly and recertification but will find numerous reasons why he could not keep to that quote, mostly of course because our US friends did something wrong... Numerous components wil require replacement because your LAME and his CASA delegate interpret CASA regulation to say they are 'overdue' althougth they were of course perfectly serviceable in the US (they even got through an US export CoA)

Yes, i would definitely take my engineer next time as the Yanks are extremely slack with aircraft maintenance, especially AD compliance. The "mechanics' over there always seem to be sitting on their acres while the meter ticks over at $US 70/80 per hour. What is written in the logs is fairytale stuff ie AD's signed off but not done. and unreported damage, often major
I'm confused!!
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 03:41   #11 (permalink)
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Is it possible to side-step certain of the bureaucracy by having the aircraft foreign registered
Provided you have the required licence and an approved maintenance organization to comply with that governing bodies regs and issue the applicable MR then you should be fine.

Vincent operate their fleet of 1900's on the Kiwi register while operating in Australia.
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 03:55   #12 (permalink)
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Vincent Rego

All of Vincent's aircraft based in Oz, have been placed on the Oz register for at least the last four years.

ResBunny is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2009, 04:41   #13 (permalink)
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Slight Drift......

Many moons ago I remember a fellow who owned a v e r y n i c e M.20, kept it registered 'N Numbers' for cost and 'operational' reasons of the time, and every 3 months he had to fly 'out of AUS', so he used to fly it to Noumea for a weekend, every three months....
The man was a Hydro engineer specialising in irrigation appliances.

It must have suited his situation at the time.
Ex FSO GRIFFO is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2009, 04:20   #14 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 369
I know its the wrong country, but l brought in an rv6 from florida to england last year
before the became equivalent to the zim$. It was an anxious time but having seen and flown the plane in florida , it was flown to lakeland and a reputable guy, for Us$ 2200 pulled the wings and back end off and loaded it in a container which l had arranged,then off it went to miami and left on a ship a week later.after ending up in belgium,it was finally delivered to my home airfield in the container on a truck with its own cranes at either end,which lowered the container and it only took 30 mins to unload. Not a thing had moved..but it took 7 months to put together again! but that is an experimental plane and l wouldnt like the hassle of a certified machine! V happy with the rv as well.
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Old 11th Aug 2009, 06:12   #15 (permalink)
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Alphawhiskeytango, my LAME has brought a dozen or so aircraft in from the US in the last couple of years and put them on the Australian register - C170, C172, C182, C182RG, C206, C210, Mooney, A36. Most came in containers - some were flown out.

I have test flown most of them for him.

Like most things, it seems reasonably straight forward and painless if you know what you are doing. PM me if you would like more details.

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Old 25th Oct 2011, 02:12   #16 (permalink)

Probationary PPRuNer
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
discuss importing a 182q from USA to Aus

is it possible to discuss this further...I am looking to import a Cessna 182Q or 182R from USA to Sydney...considering that this thread is form 2007

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Old 29th Apr 2016, 01:48   #17 (permalink)

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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Gold Coast Australia
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Hi Dr,
I am thinking of importing an aircraft. Other than approaching a professional firm, can you please give me some more insight as to the requirements. I am a new member, and am unable to PM.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 10:27   #18 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,490
There are some horror stories about guys being stitched up badly by Australian LAME's over the CofA issue. Might be wise to choose who you will use first and work with him.

Any avioincs work you want to do will probably be cheaper in the US before you ship it here.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 11:54   #19 (permalink)
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When I was looking the total cost was around $30,000 to CoA. The dollar then was around 110c to US$.
I would not think it worthwhile at current Forex.
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Old 30th Apr 2016, 13:19   #20 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Sydney NSW Australia
Posts: 3,023
might be cheaper to buy a place in the USA, some well under $1000 in the right places even as low as $100
, keep the N rego, and fly over here under N rego, and when a check is due, fly a US LAME out here to do it for you.
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