8900.1 CHG 497



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Section 16  FAA TSO/ETSO and TSO/CAN-TSO Reciprocal Acceptance Guidance

4-14-16-1    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance to aviation safety inspectors (ASI) regarding the acceptance of new articles approved by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada (TCCA).

NOTE:  For the purposes of this guidance, the definition of “article” will follow Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 21, 21.1, where article is defined as “a material, part, component, process, or appliance.”

4-14-16-3    GENERAL. The primary audience for this guidance is Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), certificate management office (CMO), International Field Office (IFO), headquarters (HQ), and regional personnel who are responsible for certificate management, oversight, and policy. Inspector responsibility is limited to normal surveillance activity to ensure compliance with regulatory policy.

4-14-16-5    BACKGROUND.

A.    Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) Bilateral Agreements. The purpose of this guidance is to highlight changes in AIR’s processes found within two recently signed international agreements.

1)    The first is the criteria and guidance found in Revision 5 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and EASA’s Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) for the reciprocal acceptance of FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) articles and EASA European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) articles.
2)    The second is the criteria and guidance found in Amendment 1 of the FAA and TCCA’s BASA Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) for the reciprocal acceptance of FAA TSO and TCCA Canadian Technical Standard Order (CAN-TSO) articles.

B.    Global Partnership. The globalization of aviation is creating complex business arrangements and challenging the traditional regulatory model of the FAA. Utilizing AIR: 2018 principles, the FAA is leveraging its global partners to promote efficiency and facilitate the seamless transfer of products and approvals beyond traditionally recognized borders. In response, the FAA must evolve its thinking to embrace both the tenets of its past regulatory direction and forward-thinking ideals to meet the challenges of the future. Strong partnerships are key to establishing consistent standards of safety around the world. Based on more than a decade of cooperation, the FAA, EASA, and TCCA have established the confidence in each other’s regulatory systems necessary to ensure safety through the reciprocal acceptance of TSO articles. The FAA, EASA, and TCCA have worked closely to establish the technical framework for a method of TSO/ETSO and TSO/CAN-TSO reciprocal acceptance.

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C.    Explanation. Procedural information regarding either of the reciprocal acceptance processes can be found in their respective signed documents, the FAA/EASA TIP or the FAA/TCCA IPA, found on the AIR International Division (AIR-400) Bilateral Agreements website at http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/international/bilateral_agreements/baa_basa_listing/.

1)    In simple terms, reciprocal acceptance will allow the importing authority to accept the exporting authority’s approval of a TSO article with no further evaluation or validation. This means the FAA will accept an EASA European Technical Standard Order Authorization (ETSOA) or a TCCA Canadian Technical Standard Order Authorization (CAN-TSOA) for an article from the European Union (EU) or Canada respectively without issuing an FAA TSO letter of design approval (LODA) as required by the previous validation procedures. Note that the article will no longer need to be marked FAA TSO, either.
2)    Reciprocal acceptance will therefore eliminate duplicative processes, reduce costs, and save time for both the industry and the authorities involved. It is important to note that reciprocal acceptance does not remove the regulatory requirements to obtain product-level installation approvals nor to maintain Continued Operational Safety (COS).

4-14-16-7    PART 21 AUTHORITY. Part 21 subpart A prescribes the general certification procedures for products and parts. Section 21.8(d) provides for the approval of articles in any other manner approved by the FAA. The approval of articles in accordance with these two Bilateral Agreements is hereby approved.


A.    Field Inspector Actions. Be aware that new articles imported from Europe or Canada under the corresponding Bilateral Agreement will no longer be marked FAA TSO. These new articles will be marked ETSO or CAN-TSO and will be accompanied by an EASA Form 1, Authorised Release Certificate, or TCCA Authorized Release Certificate FORM ONE, instead of a typical FAA Form 8130-3, Authorized Release Certificate, Airworthiness Approval Tag. Additional guidance on these documents can be found within the corresponding TIP and IPA language linked in subparagraph 4-14-16-5C.

B.    Industry Actions. Repair stations (foreign and domestic), air carriers, mechanics, and holders of an Inspection Authorization (IA) will treat ETSO and CAN-TSO-approved articles as if they were FAA approved. These articles were designed and produced under an acceptable compliance system. If the type design or installation approval identifies the ETSO-approved article, it is acceptable. This is key; the installation approval must be established for the specific ETSO article. It is not permissible to substitute a TSO-approved article with an ETSO-approved article unless the installation approval establishes that it meets the certification basis of the installation product. There may be minor differences between the ETSO and the corresponding TSO standards, but the installation approval must always comply with the FAA product’s certification basis regardless. Consult an FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) as needed for clarification or further details on specific articles in the field.

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C.    Exceptions. Presently, there are exceptions. Note that these exceptions are intended to be reduced, so check the specific Bilateral Agreement on the AIR-400 website along with the corresponding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) detailed in the previously released memo AIR100-15-110-GM41 and available on the AIR-400 website at http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/international/media/TSOA-ETSOA-Reciprocal-Acceptance-FAQs.pdf if there are any open questions.

D.    Additional Information. If you require any additional information or clarification on the reciprocal acceptance process or the impact on COS oversight, please refer to the FAQ in subparagraph C.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-14-16-11 through 4-14-16-25.