Aircraft Import Process – Part 1
by Glenn Graham
A great deal on an aircraft has come along but it is not in Canada; you still want to purchase it, but are unsure on the Import Process. Aircraft are not like vehicles where you show up to the border with a Bill of Sale, pay the applicable taxes and fees and you are on your way. Even though the process is more involved, it is not the daunting task you may think. Let’s explore the process; and before I do, may I preface this by saying; this will be a general overview and you should consult a Minister’s Delegate – Maintenance (MD-M) as they are qualified individuals who perform imports regularly on behalf of the Minister.
Prior to starting the purchase process I would recommend reaching out to a MD-M to discuss the particulars of the import and to ensure the aircraft is eligible. You do not want to close the deal and find out it is not! There needs to be a Canadian Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) or a foreign TCDS for the aircraft and it must be accepted by the Minister. You could determine the eligibility yourself by going to the Transport Canada “NICO” website at https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/nico-celn/ ; but you will need an MD-M anyway to complete the import so utilize the MD-M’s services and confirm eligibility.
If you have not already contracted an MD-M, the Aircraft Maintenance Organization (AMO) you hired to complete a pre-purchase inspection may have an MD-M they already work with but if not, you can use Google to search for an MD-M in your area or contact us and we will recommend one to you.
The MD-M is at liberty to charge a fee for his services and no money is paid to Transport Canada. Fees range depending on the type of aircraft imported and the amount of time or number of days required to complete the process. The MD-M’s I have worked with charge an application fee of $2000.00 and a $600.00 daily fee plus expenses (Hotel/Meals/Travel). Confirm the charges before you start!
The responsibility for the entire import lays with you the applicant and the role of the MD-M is not to conduct the work. The MD-M’s responsibility is to verify that the documentation completed supports the aircraft type design and the requirements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations for import have been met. However my experience with MD-M’s has been very positive and most will help fill out the required applications. Let’s face it; most applicants and even AMO’s may have not imported aircraft before so there should be is less back and forth if the MD-M helps out.
Since you, the applicant, is responsible for the import, there will be a couple of application forms that you will be responsible for obtaining and completing. The first form is the Certificate of Registration Application (Form #26-0522); second; the Certificate of Airworthiness Application (Form # 24-0043). These forms can be obtained by going on-line to Transport Canada’s Form Search at https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Corp-Serv-Gen/5/Forms-Formulaires/search or I would ask you’re MD-M for them. Most MD-M’s will email you these two applications when they send you the MSI 26 form; “Issuance of a Certificate of Airworthiness on the Import of Type Certified Aircraft” and on that mouthful, let’s leave it here for now.
Remember it is your responsibility as the applicant to complete all the application forms for the import of the aircraft and the MD-M will verify and issue the Canadian C of A. In Part II of the “Aircraft Import Process” I will continue to look at the role of the MD-M, completion of the various application forms including the MSI 26 and a few pointers and tips to get the paperwork required for import completed.
Don’t forget, if you are in the market to Sell or Buy an aircraft, contact us through our website or telephone me directly at