FAA Delays MAG rev. 5 Provisions to Permit 8130-3 Revisions

As many of you know, the FAA issued a revision (rev # 5) to the US-EU Maintenance Annex Guidance (“MAG”) last September.  This revision was met with much resistance in the aviation community because it seemed to impose new documentation requirement that did not exist in either FAA or EASA regulations.  This could have become a problem for the ASA community because it would have imposed new documentation requirements that could have severely affected the value of existing inventories.

ASA has been working with FAA and EASA (as well as other trade association) to revise some of the language of the MAG.  Late in 2015, we reported some success when the FAA and EASA issued a letter to ARSA verifying that parts released by the production approval holder before April 1, 2016 would be ‘grandfathered,’ and would not be subject to the new documentation requirements.  In response to this decision, ASA has been advising members to record all parts in their inventories as of midnight on March 31, 2016.  A simple flag in the parts inventory should be enough to meet this requirement, and should serve as evidence that the part was produced and released by the PAH before that point.

Working Toward MAG rev. 6.

But the core problem remained – the ‘sample supplement’ in the MAG still had language about acceptance of components that was inconsistent with both regulatory requirements and normal industry practice.

We have been working with FAA and EASA personnel to develop new language for the component acceptance section of the ‘sample supplement’ in the MAG.  The authorities have been both responsive and receptive to our proposals to revise the MAG language.

The revision five language included requirements not found in either set of regulations, so we worked with both authorities to develop replacement language that would be published in a MAG rev. 6.  This language is more consistent with regulatory requirements, and it also supports the changes that permit Production Approval Holders to issue their own 8130-3 tags under 14 CFR 21.137(o) [this change was one of the drivers for some of the new requirements].

The draft language would still accept PAH 8130-3 tags that are issued under the new authority, but it would also reopen the standards to permit acceptance of DAR 8130-3 tag, and other forms of FAA-issues 8130-3 tags.  It would also remove unnecessary provisions, like linkage to the OEM IPC, which would only inhibit transactions (reliance on the IPCs would inhibit transactions in third-party approved parts like those produced under TSOA or PMA, and it would also inhibit transaction in replacement OEM parts where the IPC has not yet been updated to reflect the new part number).

Postponement

But getting such a change approved through both authorities takes time.  In order to buy some more time, the FAA plans to postpone by six months the parts receiving inspection provisions of the MAG.  This was announced earlier today in an internal FAA email (as reported by ARSA).  The text of the email reads like this:

From: Logan, Cindy (FAA)
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2016 7:23 AM
To: 9-AWA-AFS-300-Maintenance (FAA)
Subject: FYI from the AFS-300 Management Team — April 1, 2016 >> FAA Notice 8900.336 FAA Form 8130-3 requirements <<

Good Morning Everyone…

This email is provided as interim notification.

Since the release of the Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG) Change 5,  between the United States and the European Union (EU), many concerns were raised by U.S. repair stations regarding changes contained in Section B, Appendix 1, paragraph 10: “Release and Acceptance of  Components,” and the timelines established.  Industry stakeholders recommended that the MAG be aligned with the changes in part 21 set forth in Amendment 21-98, which became effective on March 29, 2016.  The alignment would allow PAHs in the U.S. to establish a process in their quality systems to issue an authorized release using FAA Form 8130-3 for new parts.  Other concerns include what provisions could be made regarding components received prior to that date.

On November 17, 2015, the FAA issued FAA Notice 8900.336, aligning the requirements of MAG CHG 5, Section B, Appendix 1, paragraph 10, with the effective date of the part 21 Amendment 21-98.  Unfortunately, implementing the changes to part 21 set forth in Amendment 21-98, i.e. 21.137(o) is taking longer than stakeholders expected. Both FAA and EASA were asked by several industry stakeholders to extend the implementation date of MAG CHG 5 requirements specified above (specifically Section B Appendix I, Paragraph 10).

To allow implementation of the privileges under 21.137(o) to the greatest extent possible, FAA and EASA agreed to extend the implementation deadline specified in FAA Notice 8900.336 from April 1, 2016 to October 1, 2016.  All other provisions of MAG CHG 5 remain in effect.

FAA Notice 8900.336 is undergoing revision and will address this change and will be issued as soon as coordination procedures are complete.

This message was sent to Principal Maintenance and Avionics inspectors and Office managers. While our list is extensive it may not touch everyone, please distribute as necessary.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Cindy Logan,
Management and Program Analyst, AFS-310

Stakeholder FeedbackOR AFS300 Group Mailbox >>9-AWA-AFS-300-MAINTENANCE@FAA.GOV

The provision referenced in the email – “Section B Appendix I, Paragraph 10” – is the section of the sample supplement that addresses acceptance of components.  The extra six months of delay will allow the FAA and EASA to publish rev. 6.  It will also allow more production approval holders to start issuing their own 8130-3 tags (a process that is delayed for some production approval holders due to the fact that other trading partners have not yet agreed to accept PAH 8130-3 tags for parts from the United States).

Conclusion

If a repair station tells you that they cannot accept your parts due to new (and unusual-seeming) documentation requirements, then ask them for the source of these requirements.  If the new requirements come from the MAG rev. 5, then it is possible that the new provisions may not be appropriate, and your repair station customer may need to change its receiving inspection criteria back to the pre-MAG requirements due to the facts that (1) MAG rev. 5 acceptance criteria have been tolled until October 1, 2016 and (2) we expect the FAA and EASA to publish MAG rev. 6 that realigns the MAG language with the regulatory requirements of both authorities, and therefore removes some of the unaligned criteria currently found in the sample supplement.  The result should be a sample supplement that achieves the goals of the authorities without imposing undue burden on the industry.

Got more questions?  ASA will have a booth at MRO Americas next week – come and join us for a chat on the trade floor.  We will be in booth 3445.

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About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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