New US rules for exporting aircraft parts

A problem that has been facing the aviation industry for some time is the ambiguity about the regulatory treatment of certain aircraft parts exported from the US.

The United States has two parallel regulatory systems for export:

  1. The State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARs) which generally apply to defence related parts.
  2. The Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EARs) which generally apply to everything else.

Currently many aircraft parts fit into one regime or the other, but some aircraft parts fall into a grey area where it is difficult (or even impossible) for an exporter to identify the correct regulatory regime.

Two examples of typical grey areas are:

  • That the ITARs apply to parts that are designed, manufactured or modified for use on defence related aircraft.
  • If a part was designed for use on defence related aircraft, but then was subsequently used on a civilian aircraft, then it may be subject to the ITARs.

In some cases this applies to parts that may have been originally designed for use on defence related aircraft, but the manufacturer was unsuccessful in the bid for the contract, so the part may never have been manufactured for a defence purpose.

Parts that are dual-use (ie parts fit both civilian and defence aircraft).  If the part was produced for a military aircraft or engine and then removed from it, it would clearly be a part that was produced for defence purposes.

If the part was produced for the civilian version of the aircraft or engine and then removed from it, it would clearly be a part that was NOT produced for defence purposes.

Compliance with the ITARs is often much more onerous than compliance with the EARs, so correctly identifying a part as being subject to the EARs can mean the difference between being able to service an aircraft in an AOG situation in a timely manner, or leaving an operator grounded.

Now new US export regulations will identify aircraft parts that only have a defence purpose and fall under the ITARs regulations and aircraft parts that only have a civilian purpose, or dual purpose, will fall under the EARs regulations.

Find out more in Aviation Maintenance Magazine.


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