Importing a Homebuilt from the U.S. into Canada

From Matronics

< RV Construction FAQ

The answer is pretty straightforward. The current complete regulations for amateur-builts are currently contained in an exemption to the CAR's.

In summary, to import a homebuilt from the U.S. (or anywhere else in the world) into Canada you have two ways of doing it:

  • If the aircraft is partially completed then it can be imported as a partially-built kit and finished in Canada, provided that it is not complete past the "pre-cover stage." For example, for an RV that would mean any cavity that can be closed from view must be left open, or it will need to be opened for inspection. MD-RA (Minister's Delegates - Recreational Aviation) performs inspections on partially-completed aircraft in Canada, and can only do this if they can see inside all cavities.

There is nothing special you need to do to bring it into Canada at this stage. Just import it, pay your PST/GST at the border (assuming an import from the US), register it as a project with MD-RA, finish it to the pre-cover stage (or open it until it's at the pre-cover stage), and have MD-RA do the pre-cover inspection when you are ready.

  • If the aircraft is finished and flying and has 100 hours total time on the airframe then it can be imported, with only an inspection of the finished aircraft when it comes into the country. Transport Canada performs the inspections on flying aircraft in Canada, so you will need to contact them for an inspection.

Along with buying a new kit or plans, these are the only two ways to get a homebuilt into Canada. If the kit is complete beyond the pre-cover stage, it cannot be completed in Canada without opening all of the closed cavities. Note that Canada Customs will happily allow you to import the parts, and will not warn you about needing to open them. Buyer beware!