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Volume 12  INTERNATIONAL AVIATION

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CHAPTER 10  International field office PROCEDURES FOR CONDUCTING SAMPLING INSPECTIONS, FAA INDEPENDENT INSPECTIONS, AND PARTICIPATING IN An EU AVIATION AUTHORITYíS INTERNAL QUALITY AUDIT UNDER the U.S./EU aviation Safety agreement

Section 1  Background

12-571    PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

A.    Maintenance: 3272, 3655.

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B.    Avionics: 5272, 5655.

12-572    OBJECTIVE. Chapter 10 describes the requirements and procedures for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to participate as an observer in aviation authority (AA) internal quality audits, which are conducted by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Sampling Inspection System (SIS) teams. This chapter also describes the procedures to conduct sampling inspections to verify that the AA is following the Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG), Sections A and C. The U.S./European Union (EU) aviation safety agreement (the Agreement) and its maintenance annex (Annex 2) contain the requirement to follow the MAG. The FAA conducts a sampling inspection (with emphasis on the MAG special conditions) through a targeted review of AA files required by Annex 2 and the Approved Maintenance Organizationís (AMO) systems. The combination of participation in AA internal audits (via EASA SIS team visits) and conducting FAA sampling inspections is part of the checks and balances built into Annex 2.

12-573    BACKGROUND.

A.    U.S./EU Aviation Safety Agreement.

1)    The Agreement, signed on June 30, 2008, is between the United States and the EU to cooperate in the regulation of civil aviation safety. The Agreementís official title is ďAgreement Between the United States of America and the European Community on Cooperation in the Regulation of Civil Aviation Safety.Ē The Agreement contains two annexes. Annex 1 pertains to airworthiness and environmental certification while Annex 2 pertains to maintenance. This section focuses on Annex 2.
2)    The Agreement allows the FAA and EASA to rely on each otherís surveillance systems, minimize the duplication of efforts, increase efficiency, and conserve resources to the greatest extent possible. The Agreement calls for successful completion of regularly scheduled FAA inspections. The FAA and EASA must be satisfied that repair stations located in the United States and EU-based AMOs meet the conditions of Annex 2.
3)    Annex 2 of the Agreement allows the FAA and EASA to accept each otherís standards, systems, and approvals relating to repair stations located in the United States and EU-based AMOs that maintain civil aviation products. Annex 2 also explains how to establish points of communication and cooperation when urgent or unusual situations develop.

B.    MAG. The MAG is the general term for the documentís official title, which is ďMaintenance Annex Guidance Between the Federal Aviation Administration for the United States of America and the European Aviation Safety Agency for the European Union.Ē The MAG, which is a separate document than the Agreement, explains how to implement the Agreement and Annex 2.

NOTE:  Both the MAG and the Agreement are located at the following Web site: http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/repair.

12-574    GENERAL. As part of the Agreement, the FAA and EASA have established the following quality control (QC) system to verify compliance with Annex 2. To promote cooperation and gain confidence in each otherís systems, the FAA and EASA have the right to participate as an observer in each otherís QC systems.

A.    Sampling Inspections. The FAA may perform sample inspections to verify that the AA is following the guidance in the MAG, Sections A and C. See Volume 12, Chapter 10, Section 2 for details. Inspections will include a representative number of AMOs located within the country of the AA being inspected. See Annex 2, Appendix 2, for a list of applicable EU Member States.

NOTE:  To be included in the Agreement, an EU Member State must have been assessed and have been rated at International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1. If, following inclusion in the Agreement, an EU Member State moves to a lower category, see the MAG, Section A, part II, paragraph 4.4.5. Be aware that the above policy does not include IASA findings that are associated with IASA aircraft operational oversight standards.

B.    FAA Independent Inspections. The FAA conducts independent inspections when there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to, accident/incident investigations, compliance and enforcement investigations, or other observations identified during sample inspections. As a courtesy, the FAA should notify EASA and the AA of a planned independent inspection and offer them the opportunity to participate as observers. See Volume 12, Chapter 10, Section 3 for details.

C.    FAA Participation in EASA SIS Inspections. The FAA will also participate in EASA SIS inspections per the MAG, Section A. See Volume 12, Chapter 10, Section 4 for details.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-575 through 12-589.