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Importing a/c into Australia


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Hi,

 

Noob here. Is it feasible to import aircraft into Australia to avoid the complete madness prices some people are asking for desirable models? There is a huge discrepancy in prices from the US to AU and the exchange rate and ferrying don't make a dent. I can understand importing if there isn't a plane in the model you are seeking, but is there an economic reasoning?

 

 

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Yes, its feasible, and quite commonly done.

 

Don't forget that you will pay GST on the plane, the transport, the insurance etc, etc.

 

It cannot be stressed enough that before you hand over a brass razoo, you have the plane thoroughly inspected by a qualified Australian aircraft engineer who has a lot of experience with either the exact model of plane you are buying, or with the construction type - all metal; rag and bone, composite. It will cost you around $5000 to send an Aussie engineer to the States to do the inspection, but if you do that , you won't be buying a pig in a poke. There's many a person who has not had that inspection done by an Aussie and now has a very expensive piece of aviation artwork.

 

OME

 

 

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I'm not 100% sure but possibly some instruments may need to be changed to "southern hemisphere" spec?

 

Could be expensive in a certified aircraft....

 

If it is a less common aircraft and there is an Australian dealer, you could be blacklisted by them for parts and sevice.

 

If you do need any maintenance or service, it may be cheaper to get it done before it arrives also....

 

If it is an LSA or going to be RAA registered, check that it will meet Aus standards.

 

A few RAA aircraft imported have a lower mtow than Aust sold aircraft.

 

And as OME said, your gst will be on everything......all the small things add up. Customs inspections, various BS warf fees, etc.

 

I think there were 17 different charges last time I brought something in, in a container.

 

 

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Downunder, this a/c will come with a glass cockpit. and yes there is an Australian distributor and dealer. Blacklisting customers generally speaking is a breech of consumer law. If the importation was legal and the a/c for business they would want to play a tight game.

 

 

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Downunder, this a/c will come with a glass cockpit. and yes there is an Australian distributor and dealer. Blacklisting customers generally speaking is a breech of consumer law. If the importation was legal and the a/c for business they would want to play a tight game.

I agree with you totally, but how it IS and how it SHOULD BE, don't always meet in the middle.....

 

It basically comes down to "We don't support aircraft we don't sell".

 

Not saying all are like that but just do your homework.....that's all.

 

 

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The only instruments that need to be altered are:

 

1: Change from inches Hg to millibars on the sub-scale

 

2: Readjust the magnetic compass for Southern Hemishpere declension.

 

Neither are big jobs, if you can find a CASA approved instrument maker.

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

I’ve purchased a quicksilver 2 seater in USA. Has a 90hp rotax and optional floats. Looks straight forward to bring to Australia. My seller is going to strap into the 20’ container. Any traps?

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I very nearly did this - and still intend to.... from my reckoning you will likely spend $30,000 on the import and attendant fees. For that you get to cherry pick from the US Aviation market. I reckon you could get a younger and better condition model than one you would find in Aussie ( e.g a C172), and of course you have access to all the models not widely available here.

 

I reckon you still come out ahead.

 

Alan

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Professionals do this all the time about 3 to a container. (when there's a market). Some times there's damage due to not so good packing. You might get some one whose got room for one more. Nev

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This is all just general advice, based on my importation experiences with machinery and engines.

Make sure you employ a good Customs Broking or Freight Forwarding agent here, who is familiar with all the importation processes related to aircraft.

 

Ensure that the packers in America are qualified and skilled at packing aircraft into sea containers, so they can't move. Ensure you get photos of the packing process.

Ships encounter some pretty rough seas and containers get thrown about. Other containers hit them. Forklift drivers bash them around.

 

I guess you also know you need to apply for permission to import, for such an item. It is far better to apply for permission first, then purchase after you have permission.

I have seen people purchase items without import permission and then had them rejected when they arrived, for various reasons - quarantine being only one of the reasons.

 

There must be NO asbestos of any kind in the item - and they will pull it apart looking for it, if they suspect there is asbestos in the item - and then hand you the bill for removing it - and you then take delivery of the item in a dis-assembled state.

Asbsestos is found in gaskets, in exhaust systems, in brakes, and in many types of insulation, mostly produced before about 2004. But Asbestos still appears in some products produced after 2004.

 

Be aware you will be up for a lot of "miscellaneous charges and fees". Port security fees, Customs recording fees, container opening fees, container hire fees, bond store storage costs, transport costs from port to bond store, transport costs to your location if you can't pick it up from the bond store, cleaning fees if the item is deemed to need cleaning, demurrage if there's delays (can be very expensive). Then you will have Broker or FF agent fees on top of it all. Plus GST.

 

This is why an experienced Customs Broker or FF agent is worth their weight in gold, they walk you through the minefield that is the importation process.

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I'm not 100% sure but possibly some instruments may need to be changed to "southern hemisphere" spec?

 

Could be expensive in a certified aircraft....

 

If it is a less common aircraft and there is an Australian dealer, you could be blacklisted by them for parts and sevice.

 

If you do need any maintenance or service, it may be cheaper to get it done before it arrives also....

 

If it is an LSA or going to be RAA registered, check that it will meet Aus standards. - As long as there are other aircraft, of the imported type/model, in Au all will be okay, subject to the private import meeting the same standards as the factory/dealer imports.

 

A few RAA aircraft imported have a lower mtow than Aust sold aircraft - As long as there are other aircraft, of the imported type/model, in Au that have been upgraded to 600 kg, the private import will also be at this TO weight.

 

And as OME said, your gst will be on everything......all the small things add up. Customs inspections, various BS warf fees, etc. - Yeah! licensed robbery

 

I think there were 17 different charges last time I brought something in, in a container.

 

Inspection/Fumigation of the container may be required at certain times of the year. If you want to avoid this cost - schedule departure for winter time, in the norther hemisphere (check details with Boarder Force)

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One track covered it very completely. I did mine without broker or ff but I have some experience and love dealing with process and procedures.

The only thing I’ll add is that as a second hand wheeled aircraft it WILL be unpacked inspected by AQIS and the wheels / undercarriages disinfected then repacked. All at your cost and time. My container load or airframes was done as one so I got all 15 wheels and undercarriage legs disinfected as a job lot. My airframes were all able to be declared asbestos free because I could state that the only places they could be were identified and I took the parts out and did not ship them. I then bought replacement gaskets and brake pads here. A listing of all parts likely to have asbestos provided to the inspector and statement of removal with photos of the locations and parts removed was sufficient for them to get through the inspections in under a day after unpacked.

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I have imported about 4 aircraft over the years for my own use and have never been disappointed other than by the Australian side of the transaction ie. Assembly, CofA, instrument changes etc.

If possible get the instrument changes done in USA, much cheaper.

You will need an Export CofA which is basically an annual inspection with extra paperwork.

If possible do the container packing yourself because other people don't care about your stuff.

Go to the US and inspect yourself it will be well worth it.

Don't ever import from any other country than USA, UK or NZ unless you really know what you are doing.

BETTER STILL DON'T DO IT ....IT IS ONLY MARGINAL FINANCIAL GAIN....YOU DO IT TO GET THE MACHINE YOU WANT NOT THE PRICE YOU WANT

If you do do it make sure you insure the container for its true Australian value.

Make best use of Escrow.

Get the seller to ferry it to the point of disassembly.

Do not let the heart get in the way it is a business transaction, do not part with any money until proof of completion of each part of the deal can be confirmed.

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I have imported about 4 aircraft over the years for my own use and have never been disappointed other than by the Australian side of the transaction ie. Assembly, CofA, instrument changes etc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do not let the heart get in the way it is a business transaction, do not part with any money until proof of completion of each part of the deal can be confirmed.

 

Great advice - with the exception of country of origin - I am guessing but you seem to be focused on GA level aircraft (apologies if wrong) Quite possibly the best performing LSA/RAA aircraft & gliders come from Europe - so if you want one, you must deal with Europe. We have half the experience you have but so far importing from Czech Republic has been without incident EXCEPT for the absolutist horse s--t that happens on arrival in Au

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Is the whole operation of importing made easier from a Quarantine/Customs point IF the aircraft can be ferried in? e.g. Ex NZ Island hopping? Larger GA types are often ferried across the Pacific.

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Most costs have been covered well by Skippy and Smakko. I purchased the Bulldog from UK. flew there inspected, packed it myself with the help of experienced pilots, an engineer and the ex owner. Not knocking a couple of the guys but they were very Blazae in their packing expertise. Fortunately I was there to oversee. Being green the next problem I encountered was not getting an export C of A.. the Aussie C of A cost me aprox 4 times than it would have if it was done in the UK, being the only one of type here in OZ could have impacted this. Next problem: AQIS tried to charge me luxury tax because it was for private use, we argued for days on this but eventually our local engineer ( Gawler airfield ) got me out of it, all this while my 2 days free unloading time slot slipped away ( another added charge ) they also insisted pressure washing $2400 once out the container. We argued this too due to later possible internal corrosion and requested all authorisation personnel to supply me all their full lifelong contact details should the Bulldog suffer a inflight breakup, they declined authorising me to pick it up. AQIS were there while unloading and run an unpressurised water hose over the wheels $2400 thank you very much. BTW I did use an experienced F/ F, that aircraft near cost me double the purchase price by the time I got it flying. Will I do it again? Not if I can purchase in Oz the savings may not be savings at the end of the day, unless it’s something different/ special or not available here. I can’t speak of an RA-Aus.

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AV8 I guess you wouldn’t have the assembly cost especially the wings, the Bulldogs wings needed new special aluminium washers and locknuts and there’s heaps of them, certified from LAS AERO in the uk cost £1600......... strange how the bolts could be reused tho . . . . NOT THAT I WANTED TO BUY THEM TOO !

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I’ve paid for the QS. Missed one for 12.5k that sold in 2 hours. This is much newer. Engine has 60 hours. Floats and parachute. 20k. USD

 

There’s also an airbike for 10k available.

 

See here. If anyone wants an airbike we could split container. It’s coming from Seattle.

 

 

 

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