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VOLUME 12  International Aviation

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

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Section 1  U.S./EU Safety Agreement Background

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12-571    OBJECTIVE. This section 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) standardization inspection teams. This section also describes the procedures for the FAA to conduct sampling inspections and independent inspections to verify that the AA is following the Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG), Sections A and C, and the United States/European Union (EU) Aviation Safety Agreement (the Agreement) and its maintenance annex (Annex 2). 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 Organization’s (AMO) systems. The combination of participation in AA internal audits (via EASA standardization inspection team visits) and conducting FAA sampling inspections is part of the checks and balances built into Annex 2.

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12-572    AGREEMENT.

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 Agreement’s official title is “Agreement Between the United States of America and the European Community on Cooperation in the Regulation of Civil Aviation Safety.” 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 other’s 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 other’s 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 document’s official title, which is “Maintenance Annex Guidance Between the Federal Aviation Administration for the United States of America and the European Aviation Safety Agency for the European Union.” 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 https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/repair.

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12-573    TYPES OF INSPECTIONS. 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 other’s systems, the FAA and EASA have the right to participate as an observer in each other’s QC systems, conduct Sampling Inspection System (SIS) inspections, or independent inspections.

A.    FAA SIS. The FAA SIS team 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 may include a representative number of AMOs located within the country of the AA being inspected. Refer to Annex 2, Appendix 2 for a list of applicable EU Member States.

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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, refer to the MAG, Section A, Part II. Be aware that the above policy does not include IASA findings that are associated with IASA aircraft operational oversight standards.

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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 must 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.

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

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RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-574 through 12-589.