US Imposes New Sanctions on Cuba – Affect on Aircraft Parts Exports is Unclear

The President announced today that the United States would impose new sanctions on Cuba.  Rough details are available through the White House Fact Sheet, but we are still awaiting complete details.  It is unclear what effect this might have on current licenses to sell aircraft parts to entities in Cuba, which are permitted under BIS policy.  ASA will continue to monitor this situation to ascertain whether the new sanctions adversely affect aircraft parts export licenses.

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U.S. Considering Tariffs on European Aircraft and Aircraft Parts

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced a preliminary proposal to implement new tariffs on a range of European products with a significant focus on the civil aviation sector, including both parts and completed aircraft.  The proposed tariffs arise as a result of a long-running WTO case brought by the U.S. against the EU and France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.  The WTO found that the EU provided substantial “launch aid” to Airbus and that those subsidies both helped Airbus launch its commercial aircraft and cost Boeing market share.

The purpose of the tariffs (or countermeasures) is to offset the estimated $11 billion per year in trade harm the USTR estimates result from EU subsidies.

It is unclear at this point at what rate tariffs would be imposed on the particular goods identified.  The proposed HTS numbers affected include numbers that are very familiar to the distribution community, including 8803.20.0030, 8803.30.0030, and 8803.90.9030, however, the scope appears to be limited to parts imported “for use in new civil aircraft, not for use by the Department of Defense or the U.S. Coast Guard, of an unladen weight exceeding 15,000 kg provided for in statistical reporting numbers 8802.40.0040, 8802.40.0060 and 8802.40.0070.” Thus from the language it appears the countermeasures target the importation of parts used in the manufacture of new aircraft, but not for the maintenance of the existing fleet.  Anyone supporting the production of new civil aircraft would be well advised to review the HTS numbers proposed for countermeasures.  They can be found here.

The USTR has requested public comments on the proposed action.  Comments can be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov under docket number USTR-2019-0003.  Any comments must be submitted by May 28, 2019.

Guidance Concerning Batch and Lot Splitting (US, EU, and Canada)

I was recently asked about guidance for batch and lot splitting.  I thought it might be useful to have an online resource for that sort of guidance.

Batch and lot splitting is typically necessary when you receive a large batch of articles, but you want to sell or transfer only a smaller subset of that batch.  For example, you might receive a lot of 10,000 fasteners; but your customers typically purchase them in lots of 100.  That means you expect to sell them in 100 lots of 100 units each.  You have one document that confirms their compliance to a standard, but says it applies to a shipment of 10,000 units.

The normal way to handle this is by making copies of the original document, keeping records and controlling the lot to ensure that (A) you only issue copies of the document for parts you sell from that lot, and (B) your count verifies that only the parts received (by number as well as identity) are associated with that document.

Generally, the questions I get about batch and lot splitting center on the legality of making copies of the authorized release certificate or other documents associated with the entire shipment.  Distributors often want to know whether they can make copies of the document to provide with the smaller (split) shipments.  Here is some guidance from three aviation authorities.

United States

First of all, remember that the FAA does not directly regulate distributors.  Thus, the FAA is not in a position to directly regulate batch or lot splitting by distributors.

The FAA has no regulations that would directly prohibit the copying of documents like 8130-3 tags.  Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, the FAA is not permitted to bring an enforcement action for “failing to comply with a collection of information” unless there is an OMB control number associated with the collection – and this limits the FAA”s enforcement options related to 8130-3 tags (especially since export airworthiness of parts was removed from the OMB control documents).  The FAA has no regulations directly limiting one’s ability to copy and circulate an 8130-3 tag once it is created.

This doesn’t mean that you can do anything you want with no consequences!  Fraud concerning aircraft parts is a federal crime.  Misleading statements about aircraft parts can get you into trouble with the FAA.  So it is always best practice to ensure that anything you pass along is neither fraudulent nor misleading.

The FAA does have recommendations for distributors with respect to splitting of bulk shipments, and the associated copying of 8130-3 tags.  Under FAA Order 8130.21H, the FAA has published guidance on issuing new 8130-3 tags for split lots, as well as how to control copies of the old 8130-3 when it is copied (so no new 8130-3 tag is issued).  The guidance explicitly says that distributors are authorized to split bulk shipments, and provides a three-step process for controlling the copies of the 8130-3 tag:

“(1) Make a copy of the FAA Form 8130-3 received with the original shipment of products or articles that identifies the bulk shipment.

***

(2) Include the following written statement (an example) or similar statement: “(Company name) certifies this/the attached document is a copy of FAA Form 8130-3. The prior FAA Form 8130-3 received by our facility is maintained on file pursuant to our document retention standards. That prior FAA form tracking number is [ ACE-549]. The new tracking number for this portion of the split bulk shipment is [S1-054321]. The number of products or articles being shipped under this approval is [500]. Signed [quality control/assurance manager or authorized representative] Dated [ month day year]” (Refer to appendix A, figure A-7b, to this order for an example.) A quality control/assurance manager or authorized representative from that facility must sign and date the written statement. You can include this statement by attaching a separate sheet of paper to the copy of the FAA Form 8130-3.

(3) Maintain the prior FAA Form 8130-3 and a copy of the written statement on file”

I helped write the original form of that guidance, so I am pretty happy to endorse this approach.

For those distributors that are accredited to FAA AC 00-56B, that guidance requires accredited distributors to have a the following element in its quality system:

“When documentation is required to be duplicated to meet commercial requirements, a process for controlling the copies so as to prevent the misuse, or unintended use, of a copy. Examples of appropriate documentation include lot control, batch control, and remaining inventory control and verification.”

 

European Union

There is not currently guidance in EASA materials concerning the splitting of bulk shipment.  This was intended to be addressed in the supplier evaluation and control GM (with a recommendation that suppliers have “Procedures for batch splitting or redistribution of lots and handling of the related documents”).  That GM was originally drafted to support the supplier control regulations proposed in EASA Opinion 12/2013.

The supplier control language was finally implemented last summer in Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1142 (section 145.A.42(b)(i)).  The AMCs and GMs have not yet been updated to reflect the 2018 regulation, so there is, as yet, nothing in the EASA guidance about batch splitting or redistribution of lots and handling of the related documents.

We should expect further guidance to be forthcoming.

 

Canada

Canada just issued new guidance for 2019 that discusses splitting of bulk shipments.  It is found in CAN AC 571-024.  In section 4.2, which applies to “Parts sourced from a Canadian Approved Manufacturer or Distributor,” the advisory circular includes a note that explains a person can reproduce the authorized release certificate in the form of a certified true copy when splitting a bulk shipment:

“Note: Splitting of bulk shipments for new parts (excluding standard and commercial parts) which are certified by an approved manufacturer with an ARC is acceptable under the CARs. A single ARC may be reproduced in the form of certified true copies and utilized for the shipment of multiple items.”

Section 4.3 of that same guidance applies to “Parts sourced from a FAA Approved Manufacturer or United States (US) Distributor,” and it clarifies that it is acceptable to get a certified true copy of an FAA Form 8130-3 or a Statement of Conformity from the distributor.

Brexit Update: EASA Makes Things a Little Easier

The European Commission published a Notice to Stakeholders detailing the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union’s aviation safety rules.  That Notice to Stakeholders had painted a bleak picture of the near future between the UK CAA and EASA, cancelling all UK approval and refusing to recognize any UK-sourced EASA Form One after March 29.  Recent updates to Brexit policy, though, have set much more reasonable short-term policies for the EU.

We’ve discussed the fact that one of the biggest problems facing aircraft parts professionals in the wake of Brexit will be getting parts from the UK (parts made in the UK or overhauled in the UK) onto aircraft registered in EU nations.  Europe has recognized that this is an issue whose effect is worse for the EU than it is for the UK.  This recognition has resulted in authority for EASA to do something about it.  EASA executives has been sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for an opportunity to do the right thing, and they have published new guidance that countermands the earlier Notice to Stakeholders.  The official European Commission position suggests that EASA will recognize continued validity for some approval documents.  The caveats are that (1) this is a limited time offer, and (2) EASA insists on UK CAA reciprocity for recognition of EU approvals [which the UK CAA has already stated it intends to offer].

The Commission will propose measures ensuring continued validity of such certificates for a limited period of time. These measures will be subject to the condition that the United Kingdom applies similar measures. Likewise, the Commission will propose measures ensuring that parts and appliances placed on the Union market before the withdrawal date based on a certificate issued by a legal and natural person certified by the UK Civil Aviation Authority may still be used under certain circumstances.

European Commission Communication – Contingency Plan

How limited is the offer to accept approvals after March 29? It appears likely that the EU will continue to recognize certain EASA-issued approvals in the UK for nine months.  This includes type certificates (TCs), supplemental type certificates (STCs), repair design approvals (RDAs), European Technical Standard Order Authorizations (ETSOAs), and design organization approvals (DOAs).  In addition, they will recognize certain approvals issued by UK approval-holders – this mostly means that EASA Form One issued by a UK-based approved maintenance organization (AMO, a.k.a. MRO).  This last provision needs to have some details filled-in by EASA, like when the EASA Form One can have been issued and still remain acceptable in the EU (is there a sunset?).

Here is the text that EASA has published on the subject:

On 19/12/2018 the Commission has adopted two measures that will avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK in the event of no deal. These measures will only ensure basic connectivity and in no means replicate the significant advantages of membership of the Single Aviation Market. This is subject to the UK conferring equivalent rights to EU air carriers, as well as the UK ensuring conditions of fair competition.

  • A proposal for a Regulation to ensure temporarily (for 12 months) the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU.
  • A proposal for a Regulation to extend temporarily (for 9 months) the validity of certain aviation safety licences.

This second proposal provides the validity extension of the following safety certificates and approvals:

The following certificates issued by EASA to natural or legal persons having their principal place of business in the UK shall remain valid for 9 months from the date of application of the Regulation:

  • Type certificates and restricted type certificates,
  • Approval of changes to type certificates and restricted type certificates,
  • Supplemental type certificates,
  • Approval in respect of repairs,
  • European Technical Standard Order authorisations,
  • Design organisation approvals.

The following certificates issued by any natural or legal persons certified by the competent authorities of the UK concerning the use of products, parts and appliances shall remain valid:

  • Authorised Release Certificates for products, parts and appliances,
  • Certificates of release to service in respect of completion of maintenance,
  • Airworthiness review certificates for ELA 1 aircraft,
  • Certificates of release to service on completion of maintenance,
  • Airworthiness review certificates for ELA 1 aircraft,
  • Airworthiness review certificates and extensions thereof.

 

In addition to the plan to contnue to recognize certain UK approvals after March 29, EASA has also reiterated that it will be willing to issue third-county approvals to UK-based approval holders (like holders of POA and MOA).  Third-county EASA approvals would permit UK-based approval holders to continue to operate under EASA jursidiction, and to enjoy the benefits of EASA’s regulations and  agreements.  This could help to ensure that the goods and services of such UK approval holders continued to be acceptable in the EU.

 

When Will EASA Issue Third Country Approvals?

EASA cannot issue third country approval for UK-based businesses until the UK is actually a third country; but our sources have said that for UK-based businesses whose applications have been processed by or before March 29, EASA intends to email the approval to the applicant on March 30 and mail a hard-copy approval to follow shortly afterward.

The European Commission Communication – Contingency Plan Annexes states the need to wait until the UK is a third-country:

Regarding aviation safety, for certain aeronautical products (ʻtype certificatesʼ) and companies (ʻorganisation approvalsʼ), the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) will only be able to issue certificates once the United Kingdom has become a third country. The Commission will propose measures ensuring continued validity of such certificates for a limited period of time. These measures will be subject to the condition that the United Kingdom applies similar measures. Likewise, the Commission will propose measures ensuring that parts and appliances placed on the Union market before the withdrawal date based on a certificate issued by a legal and natural person certified by the UK Civil Aviation Authority may still be used under certain circumstances. The Commission has invited EASA to start processing certain applications from UK entities in preparation of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

How Much Will Third Country Approvals Cost?

Cost represents some of the best news from EASA.  Normally, third country approvals are prohibitively expensive, but EASA has capped the initial cost for UK approval holders who wish to obtain EU third country approvals.  The fee will be capped at eight hours, times the authorized rate.  The base authorized rate appears to be € 221 per hour, but it is modified by inflation adjustments so the final figure appears to be € 230.18 Euro per hour for calendar year 2019.  This appears to allow a qualified UK applicant to obtain an EASA third country approval for about € 1841.44.  Be sure to check with EASA, as these figure are subject to change at the EU’s discretion.

EASA stresses that the fee is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of the application, and regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.  If you need to send in a revised application, after initial payment of the fee, then the revised application will be considered as a new application, and you will have to pay a second fee for the ‘new’ application.

Because the UK applicants will be entities that were previously fully recognized by EASA, EASA intends to apply a “desk review procedure.”  Because it is an abbreviated review, EASA expects to process these applications in a matter of weeks (EASA sources have suggested two weeks as a target).

Subsequent recurrent charges will follow the fee schedule found in Commission Regulation (EU) No 319/2014, Annex Part I (Table 8 for POAs, and Table 9 for MOAs).

 

What Do I Get, if I Apply for a Third Country Approval as a UK Approval Holder?

EASA is permitting a wide variety of certificates to fall within this program.  The two most important to our readers are Production Organisation Approvals (POA) and Maintenance Organisation Approvals (MOA).

As a successful applicant, you would get an MOA or POA (depending on what you sought) with identical scope and privileges as your base UK approval.  If your application includes a variance from your UK approval , then you still can only obtain an EASA approval that correlates to your UK privileges.

As long as the application processing is complete by March 29, EASA expects to send a copy of the approval by email on March 30th.  The certificate will be valid as of March 30th .

FAA Extends Designees Deadlines to April 30 – Offers Plan for Next Shutdown

During the last government shutdown, ASA asked the FAA to issue guidance extending the termination dates of all designees who expired during the shutdown, in order to allow them to continue providing critical safety-related services to the aviation industry.  This was due to the fact that as they were expiring, there was no FAA staffing to renew their designations during the shutdown.

The FAA was unable to do this (it was outside the scope of the Antideficiency Act and the DOT guidance).  But they did the next best thing. When FAA safety personnel returned to work before the end of the shutdown, they made designee oversight a priority. And then as soon as they could issue useful guidance, they did so.

On the first work day that the government was opened after the shutdown, the FAA published guidance explaining that designees in good standing may continue to perform authorized functions in an active status without regard to the status shown on the various designee databases (DIN, DMS or VIS). It also specifically allows designees to extend certain due dates for (1) designee recurrent training, (2) oversight, and (3) renewal. Those training, oversight and renewal dates are extended to April 30, 2019.

 

Which Designees are Affected by the Memo?

The memo applies to both Flight Standards Service designees (like DAR-T) and Aircraft Certification Service designees (like DAR-F, DMIR, and DER).  It does not apply to Air Carrier Check Pilot observations.

 

Which Due Dates are Affected by the Memo?

The memo applies to deadlines for required designee recurrent training, for required designee oversight, and/or for required designee renewal, when those deadlines arise during the period from December 22, 2018 through April 29, 2019.  The deadlines that fall during this period are extended to April 30, 2019.

 

What about ODA Unit Members?

The memo also applies to ODA unit members.  The may continue to perform authorized functions during this period.

 

How Does This Affect A Future Shutdown?

In the event the FAA experiences another lapse in funding, the memo wil continue to apply to that shutdown.  Such a subsequent shutdown has already been threatened and could arise after February 15, 2019.  If a subsequent shutdown lasts beyond April 30, 2019 then the FAA would have to find another solution (but no government shutdown has ever lasted than long).

Government to Reopen Temporarily; Get Your FAA Services in Order NOW!

The President announced this afternoon that he had struck a deal to reopen the government.  The deal will reopen the government for three weeks.

During his announcement, the President made it clear that “we really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier.”  He made it clear that the government will shut down on February 15 if he does not get the funding that he desires for this project.

The President suggested, optionally, that he may declare state of emergency; but we still have to see any legal scholar suggest a way that either Title 6 (Domestic Security, including FEMA’s laws) or Title 50 (National Emergencies and International Emergency Economic Powers) permits the President to order unappropriated spending on capital projects.  If the President can’t find a legal way to circumvent the Constitutional requirement for appropriations, then the emergency declaration gambit may ring hollow – which means that we should anticipate the possibility of another government shutdown on February 15.

Because this agreement is only for three weeks, the industry should focus its attention on the US government and on services that are necessary.  For example, designees should ensure that their privileges are renewed during this window. Designees are an important part of the safety assurance process in our industry, so we should prioritize efforts to ensure that they can provide safety-related approval andcertification services in the event of a subsequent government funding lapse.

Designees may want to work with their FAA-Advisors to seek ’emergency clause’ authority, in which any extended government shutdown would enable emergency procedures.  Such emergency procedures could include:

  • where project-level permissions are typically required, the designee would have temporary permission to provide approvals or other support within certain pre-described parameters
  • permission for the designee to engage in normal (pre-defined) activities during the shutdown;
  • tolling of any expiration of authority that occurs during the shutdown period until a reasonable time after the lapse in funding is remedied (privileges should continue at the level immediately before the shutdown);
  • an obligation for the designee to make a full accounting to the FAA Advisor of any emergency authorities used, so the FAA Advisor can engage in appropriate post-shutdown oversight; and,
  • any other provisions that the designee and FAA-Advisor agree are reasonably necessary to protect safety in the event of a lapse in government funding.

Export Compliance Just Got More Complicated (Here are Links to Make it Easier)

Normally, the consolidated screening list is found on export.gov; but now that entire website simply returns the message “Due to the lapse in government funding Trade.gov and Export.gov and all associated online activities will be unavailable until further notice.”  For exporters who rely on the consolidated screening list as a compliance tool, this is a significant problem.

Interestingly enough, export enforcement – the ongoing conduct of criminal investigations, and prosecutions, and coordination with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies – has been deemed to be an essential service for the Commerce Department so even though compliance resources are missing, export enforcement will still be available to punish anyone who makes a mistake because of the missing resources.

Due to the lapse in government funding
Trade.gov and Export.gov
and all associated online activities
will be unavailable until further notice

So how do we ensure continued compliance for our exports?  If you’ve been to one of ASA’s export workshops, then you know that the consolidated list is supported by separate iterations of the lists that are consolidated. Some of these lists are still available for review.  Here are some that are particularly useful for civil aircraft parts transactions:

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