Importing first of type gliders into Australia can be  fraught with hidden expenses and problems for the unwary. With the rapid increase in the number of imported motor gliders it is becoming clear that many engine installations are far from ideal and safety concerns are rife. Besides the usual import traps which apply to any glider and which are detailed below, careful and detailed inspection and attention to fuel systems, component quality and materials used as well (in some cases) the free play, tolerances and other ordinary control surface operations should be scrutinised before taking to the air. Design standards and quality of finish in many regards on new types, is not what we have come to expect in modern gliders and new prospective owners should be vigilant and cautious on receipt.

Guidelines for importation of Gliders

There is quite a bit to this so here is a cryptic summary.

Make your purchase and agree all details of the change of responsibility including insurance cover. There are standard intl. terms of trade in respect of this see details for more. Your freight forwarder can assist with insurance

De-register the glider, get it cleaned and delivered to the load point

Arrange entry permit for any trailer and plan to have this before the glider arrives. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Note also special parameters for glider trailers specifically.

Arrange for the loading and shipping which may need fumigation

Arrange customs clearance and Quarantine inspection. There will also be GST payable and possibly duty on the trailer if any.

Once cleared pay all charges and collect the glider

Get it registered, modified and checked for Australian compliance


If a temporary import, other factors come to play such as Carnets or temporary import bonds for tax and duty


If you are permanently relocating and the glider is more than 12 months old other factors come into play such as possible personal effects. Again your customs broker needs to manage this process.