Ever wondered about the importation of an aircraft by Air Canada? The following story is from the "Parts & Pieces" magazine issue March 1990.
Anything to Declare?
Most of us have left Canada for a holiday in another country. We enter most foreign countries as a citizen of Canada without difficulty. But, when the trip is over, some of us sweat, smile or otherwise radiate sincerity when the "Welcome to Canada" greeting comes into view at airports, harbors and border crossings.
"Do you have anything to declare?"
Lillian McLean had an interesting answer to that question when asked recently by Canada Customs. She said, "Yes, I have our first Airbus A320 at Gate 5". "What is the value of an A320?", asked Canada Customs. Lillian replied, "$37,492,329.00."
At that point, serious business began to occur. The paperwork was organized while answering the other Canada Customs question, "How long have you been out of the country?" While she replied "This is a direct import from France."
The flow of documents started with a Canada Customs Invoice declaring the import of a "jet aircraft passenger transport new - non-military".
As the A320 crew were being cleared in the normal manner by regular Customs officers, LiIlian began submitting other originals of forms such as the Cargo Manifest which specifies the nature of goods accompanying the aircraft, "including the galley modification units and technical documentation.
Finally, the Customs Cargo Control Document is handed over. The six-part form is distributed to several Federal Government agencies: Revenue Canada, Canada Customs Long Room and Statistics Canada. Most of us fill in our Canada Customs Declaration form on board our flight home.
Perhaps the next time you declare the sum of your purchases for duty exemption purposes you will think of Lillian who declares a new aircraft and contents without having left the country. A closing note must recognize the contribution made by many of Lillian's fellow employees, including the Maintenance people at the Terminal who verify ETA and assigned gate position for the incoming aircraft. Canada Customs people also appreciate her accuracy and attention to important details.
Thanks to all the members of the team, the task of importing a new, foreign-made Airbus A320 into Canada with a sincere smile is made to look easy.
Story by David Wood.
(Source: Parts & Pieces March 1990)