EU To Accept UK Production Releases Under EU-UK Trade Agreement

We’ve examined the Trade Agreement between the UK and EU and it provides some useful guidance on aviation safety matters. The Agreement includes an Annex that details the scope of cooperation between the UK and EU in this subject area.

UK CAA Form 1 authorized release certificates signed on the left side by the approved production organization will be accepted in the EU

Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK, Annex AvSaf-1 Art. 21 (31 Dec 2020).

Under the Trade Agreement, the UK and EU each agree:

  • To accept certain approvals without validation (AvSaf 3-4; Annex AvSaf-1 Art. 13):
    • Non-significant supplemental type certificates, non-significant major changes and technical standard order authorizations issued by the EU
    • Minor change / minor repair approvals issued by the UK or EU;
  • To accept through a validation process (AvSaf 3-4; Annex AvSaf-1 Art. 10):
    • EU and UK type certificates;
    • EU significant supplemental type certificates and approvals for significant major changes;
    • UK supplemental type certificates, approvals for major changes, major repairs and technical standard order authorizations
  • To accept the production approval systems of the other (AvSaf 3-4; Annex AvSaf-1 Arts. 21-23);
    • This is limited to the categories of civil aeronautical products that were already subject to that system on 31 December 2020 – later-approved categories must be subject to negotiation;
    • Within these limits, UK CAA Form 1 authorized release certificates signed on the left side by the approved production organization will be accepted in the EU;
  • To limit fees and charges to those “commensurate with the services provided” (AvSaf 13);
  • To exchange accident/incident information (AvSaf 9);
  • When one of them takes immediate measure in response to a safety threat (such as through issue of an airworthiness directive) it will inform the other within 15 days (Article AvSaf 6).

One type of approval that is noticeably absent from this list is maintenance approvals. To address this, EASA issued third-country maintenance approvals to repair stations located in the UK that had previously applied. So maintenance releases from UK-based repair stations will need to be signed under EASA authority to be acceptable in the EU.

We should expect an EU-UK implementation agreement that further explains the mechanisms for acceptance and validation between the two jurisdictions.

There are some remaining issues, especially with respect to multi-country transactions. For example, nations outside of the EU, Canada, Japan and the US will need to decide whether to accept UK approvals. This could make things tricky when dealing with other jurisdictions: China comes to mind as a significant market for which a decision about acceptance of UK releases will need to be made.

About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. Since 1992, he has represented aviation trade associations and businesses that include aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturers, distributors, and repair stations, as well as both commercial and private operators. Blog content published by Mr. Dickstein is not legal advice; and may not reflect all possible fact patterns. Readers should exercise care when applying information from blog articles to their own fact patterns.

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