Exporting New Aircraft

Exporting and shipping a new aircraft will normally be organized by your local Cirrus Sales Center. They will also arrange for all required inspections and other paperwork.

New aircraft for Europe and Latin America are normally flown. Extra fuel tanks are not needed.

For Australasian and China ferry remains an option but shipment in a standard shipping container is preferred. The aircraft is imported, flown and inspected at a Cirrus Re-Assembly Center. The aircraft is still "new" when you get it - without 50-75 hours of use and the inevitable wear and tear with extra fuel tank installation, etc.

Elsewhere, ferry (with extra fuel tanks) is an option. Shipping and shorter flight is also done.

Exporting Pre-Owned Aircraft:

Generally importing a new aircraft into a country is straightforward. Almost all "horror stories" Cirrus hears about involve pre-owned aircraft.

Cirrus recommends working with the Cirrus Sales Center in your country (even if you have identified an aircraft yourself). The Cirrus Sales Center know Cirrus aircraft; the TC Validation details; the import and tax processes; and can ensure no expensive, time consuming repairs on arrival.

Perhaps most of all, they can protect you from unscrupulous sellers in other countries. An unfortunate practice is: an aircraft dealer with a "problem" aircraft will advertise it overseas (to them!); and it can look like a "great deal". Once the aircraft is thousands of miles away it is unlikely that the sale will be challenged.

The sidebar to the right describes the legal process and the terminology you might encounter. This, while bureaucratic, should be straightforward.

But if you read it carefully the aircraft is fully inspected ONLY on arrival in your country.

You are now thousands of miles and many time zones from the seller. Any discrepancies found will be corrected (and paid for!) by you. Cirrus has seen unfortunate situations when a pre-owned buyer has very high expenses after arrival in his own country - and a couple of cases where the aircraft had to be scrapped.

  • An aircraft had a propeller that had not been approved in the country ($$$$).
  • Illegal repairs were made after an accident. Nothing in the logbooks. The repairs were re-engineered and re-done ($$$$$).
  • Avionics options were not approved in the importing country and were removed. The owner lost utility and value ($$$$).
  • An aircraft had been destroyed but "rebuilt". The aircraft was not airworthy and was scrapped ($$$$$$).

Cirrus hopes that this will encourage you to use Cirrus' network of Sales Centers in any pre-owned aircraft transaction. At least, we hope we have alerted you to the potential pitfalls in the process.

Rules & Terminology.

Type Certificates and "TC Validation":

Cirrus owns the aircraft design approval (TC or Type Certificate), from the US FAA, for the SR20/SR22. Many countries, but not all, have granted a "TC Validation".

TC Validations can require modifications for local norms. These may be minor (placards, etc.) but may be equipment changes. Translations of Pilot Operating Handbooks (POH) can be required. Some Cirrus models and/or options may not be approved at all in your country. Modified aircraft may not be acceptable.

This applies to all types of aircraft. The Cirrus Sales Center in your area will know the details for Cirrus'.

Export Documents:

You need an FAA Export Certificate of Airworthiness (Export C of A). They are issued by DARs (Designated Airworthiness Representatives) and are normally valid for 60 days.

The aircraft must have a current annual inspection, be airworthy, and is checked against the "TC Validation".

Importing into your country:

Details vary (you should check) but there are two parts: import for registration; and import for tax purposes.

Taxes (Sales Tax, VAT or Duties) are normally due on arrival in the country. Your Cirrus Sales Center may be able to defer this until the aircraft is registered.

Import for local registration typically needs a detailed inspection: for condition; and for compliance with the TC Validation. An application for a local registration (and US de-registration) can then proceed.

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