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Garmin GNS530 to Avidyne IFD540 trade in

I am trying to upgrade my old, non WAAS, Garmin GNS530 to the newer, touch enabled IFD540 from Avidyne. It is supposed to be a slide in replacement, and people on this forum generally agree it’s at least as good as a GTN750.

If I search online, I can find lots of trade in deals in US, at around $8,600. However, in Europe the price for the upgrade is sensible higher, at around $11,000.

Do you know any provider in EU that will upgrade my unit at a ‘normal’ price, so I don’t have to deal with customs, where most likely anything coming from US will have to pass with long delays?

LRIA, Romania

There is no import duty on aircraft parts. There is import VAT. In the modern world, customs clearances are usually immaterial; most shipments are cleared before or during the flight (or sea journey), and are based on documentation alone.

The main issue with getting stuff from the US is the shipping cost. For a GNS, shipped UPS Express, DHL Express, etc, 2 days to/from the US, it is likely to be 200 quid, although a little known option is UPS Standard at maybe 30 quid; this takes ~ 5 days (beware: they charge insurance at 4% of declared value, if you need that).

Maybe @steveavidyne will know of a way…

I have sold loads of my old stuff on US Ebay. How much one would get for a non-W 530 I don’t know. If you do Advanced Search / Completed Listings you get an idea.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@AlexTB20: did you compare prices including VAT? Announced prices in the US are ‘naked’, consumer start net prices with nothing on it, while EU prices are consumer end including consumers liability uplift. There is no toll collected on fixed mounted aircraft parts. If you import you pay VAT on material plus shipping costs. Example, take the mentioned $8,600, add $200 for shipping, add 20% on $8,800, add $250 for EU consumers protection liability, leaves $190 for the import dealer to pay for staff and handling depending profit on rebate granted – not really a viable business model. If you found different price models, please share the links.

add $250 for EU consumers protection liability

What is that?

If I could get 8.6k USD for a non W 530 I would take that offer and run fast

OTOH it is a good upgrade for Europe where (mostly) there is little need for WAAS. OTOH nobody can install it (on EASA reg) without an EASA-1 form, “officially”

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The IFD540 is a good unit. You won’t regret it.

@dejwu, the US prices have no VAT, of course. The plane is N registered, so I don’t have to worry about the EASA Form 1.

I wonder if I cannot simply board a commercial plane with my GNS530 in a carry on bag, fly to US, and come back with the IFD540, for about $500. I shouldn’t pay any VAT, as it’s for personal use, isn’t it?

It’s still $2,000 cheaper and I can check the weather in Miami :)

Regarding installation, I can do it myself, as it’s pin compatible with the GNS530. The only modification would be an audio in (1 wire) to the audio panel for aural warnings and make sure the cable is RG400 for the WAAS antena. My FAA inspector can surely sign it off.

Now, how do I explain to the guy at the security check it’s not a bomb in my carry on? Did any of you manage to pass the metal detectors in an international airport with a big piece of avionics in your bag?

LRIA, Romania

I’ve flown loads with bits of AV equipment (video scalers / power supplies / bare PCBs etc) in hand baggage – no-one has ever batted an eyelid.

There is VAT on import, personal or any other. From the US there is an allowance but it is miniscule. There is a VAT credit on the export; this is tricky but is possible if you do it in a business context and use the same shipper for both export and import; then it can be arranged so you pay just the VAT on the difference. As a person, I would not even know where to start.

You make use of the AML STC. On an N-reg, avionics work is classified as “airframe” and, like anything else on an N-reg (that goes beyond pilot maintenance privileges) is done by or under the supervision of an A&P. You then need an A&P/IA to sign off the 337 which gets sent to Oklahoma. So you cannot exactly totally “self install”.

Whether you could walk through the Nothing To Declare door, after landing from the US, and get away with it, depends on how lucky you feel

If you carry stuff which is obviously secondhand, that is fine, but that’s a different scenario.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I have yet to see any good deals offered as official trade-ins. You can usually recover more money by paying full price for the new unit and selling the old one. The only exception is when the old unit is virtually worthless (something along the lines of King KX170) but you can still trade it in.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

Currently we offer the dealer network $2500 if they take a trade in of a GNS 530 (non WAAS) and purchase the IFD540. Often they give more if they have an oppotunity to move the units on.

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