Selling an American registered airplane to a Canadian buyer

Apologies if this is not an appropriate forum or if this questions delves too far in legal advise.

The situation is: My father is in the process of putting his private airplane up for sale (a 4 seater Piper). He has a buyer that is interested in it, but is unsure of what tariffs or taxes he would have to pay on top of my Dad’s asking fee. So there’s a little bit of a stalemate there. Anyone know what the process would be and how would I find out what the potential buyer would have to pay as far as the tax/tariff rate? Its an Ontario based buyer if that matters.


I would think the buyer needs to contact the CAA for the rules on importing a US airplane, and possible his province for tax matters.

That seems to be the process. From what I’ve gleaned, there’s a couple of way to go about, but it all starts with his the provincial rules and regs. Though there does appear to be a registration fee involved and a few million hoops to jump through. But I haven’t seen anything that might be considered a tariff.

The buyer was more concerned that he was gonna be paying an extra arm and a leg just by bringing it across the border. Other than normal regs and some taxes, and a lengthy paperchase, I don’t see anything that would cause an influence on value of the plane itself.

There seems to be a comprehensive, step-by-step “how to” guide at this link. I have no idea how correct it is, but it does contain a good list of links that lead to various Transport Canada pages on what is involved in importing aircraft. Worth looking into, anyway.

Aviation and aircraft are federal responsibilities, so I don’t imagine you’d need to deal with a province–start with Transport Canada. Still, I would imagine that if any taxes are owed to a province, the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency, which collects customs duties) can collect federal and provincial taxes at one time, then kick the province’s share over to it. If taxes of any kind are owed for importing an aircraft, Transport Canada can probably put you in touch with the CBSA.

Aside to Broomstick: It’s “Transport Canada.” The “CAA” is the “Canadian Automobile Association.”

It’s also short for “Civil Aviation Authority”, meaning the FAA-equivalent in any particular nation. Or, if you’re Canadian, the Transport Canada equivalent.

Your buyer is probably a COPA member, and should be able to access the information on their website.