Airworthiness Chapter 563 - Distribution of Aeronautical Products - Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)

Note: This is a reproduction of the current Chapter 563 of the Airworthiness Manual dated January 1, 1986. Conversion to CARs/standards format is currently underway.

Table of contents

  • Subchapter A Approval Requirements And Responsibilities
  • Subchapter B  Approval Procedures
  • Subchapter C Certification

Content last revised: 2001/09/01

January 1986


This Chapter is issued on the authority of the Minister of Transport as an interim procedure for persons applying to the Minister for a distributor approval, pending the issue of a regulation, based on this Chapter, to be published under Series V of the Canadian Aeronautics Code.

Coincident with the issue of this Chapter of the Airworthiness Manual, the procedures for manufacturing company approvals and inspection organization approvals contained in Part I, Chapter III of the Engineering and Inspection Manual will be revoked. 

Any company holding an approval under the existing procedures should apply for and obtain a Certificate of Approval as provided for under this Chapter. New applicants for approval will, of course, follow the procedures specified herein.

Distributors are an important source of supply to commercial and private aircraft owners and aircraft maintenance engineers for materials and spare parts not immediately and readily obtainable from manufacturers economically and in small quantities. An approved distributor is committed, under the approval procedure, to stock and supply only those materials and spare parts for which certificates of conformity were received and for only those products traceable to sources of supply acceptable to the Minister.

The conditions and requirements set forth for the approval of persons engaged in the distribution of aeronautical products were developed with the cooperation and assistance of the Canadian Aviation Distributors Association (CADA) and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC). The distributor approval procedure is based on similar requirements for approving manufacturers and maintenance organizations with respect to the purchase of materials and related storage, handling, packaging, packing and shipping activities.

Approved manufacturers and approved maintenance organizations need not apply for a distributor approval if such activities are included in their quality program manual.

Included with this Chapter are the applicable Airworthiness Manual Advisories (AMA) which provide advice and guidance for complying with the requirements for approval. It should be noted that the AMAs are for guidance purposes only and, as such, should not be construed as being the only approved methods of demonstrating compliance with the procedures.

Any questions related to this Chapter may be directed to the nearest DOT regional office for the attention of the Regional Manager for Airworthiness.

Subchapter A approval Requirements And Responsibilities

563.101 General

  • (a) This subchapter prescribes the conditions under which a person will be eligible for a Department of Transport (DOT) approval to distribute aeronautical products; establishes a person's entitlement to approval; and states the responsibilities of a holder of a distributor approval.
  • (b) For the purpose of this chapter only, an "aeronautical product" means an aircraft engine, aircraft propeller or aircraft appliance or the component parts thereof.

563.103 Eligibility

  • (a) To be eligible for DOT approval to distribute aeronautical products an applicant must:
    • (1) Obtain his products from;
      • (i) A manufacturer of aeronautical products, who is approved either by DOT or by a foreign civil aviation authority, with whom DOT has either a bilateral airworthiness agreement or its equivalent,
      • (ii) A manufacturer who is approved to produce, identify and certify an appliance conforming to a specific appliance type approval or FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO),
      • (iii) A manufacturer who produces, identifies and certifies standard parts and materials which conform to established industrial, national or international standards, and which are referenced in approved design data,
      • (iv) An organization approved either by DOT, or a foreign civil aviation authority under a bilateral airworthiness agreement, to perform maintenance on aeronautical products and who is authorized to certify such products as serviceable and in a condition for safe operation,
      • (v) An organization which is approved by DOT for the distribution of aeronautical products pursuant to this Chapter, or
      • (vi) A supplier who provides original certification of product conformity to approved design data for supplies acquired from authorized sources as spec- ified in this Section
    • (2) Show that he has the organization, facilities, equipment and the personnel necessary to comply with the policies, responsibilities, methods and procedures established in his product control system manual as set out in section 563.105(a); and
    • (3) Show that he has established and can maintain a product control system pursuant to section 563.105.
  • (b) This Chapter is not applicable to:
    • (1) Persons engaged in the distribution of new or used aircraft; or
    • (2) An approved manufacturer authorized pursuant to Chapter 561 to certify aeronautical products of his own manufacture.

563.105 Product Control System

Each applicant must have in place a product control system, planned and developed in conjunction with his other management functions. The product control system shall include, but need not be limited to:

  • (a) A product control system manual which includes as applicable;
    • (1) A statement of commitment by senior management to define the policies and objectives of the product control system;
    • (2) The assignment of responsibilities and delegation of authority granted to the product control department,
    • (3) A list and a brief description of written product control system procedures pursuant to Section 563.105 (b), and
    • (4) The method of updating the product control system including the submission of changes to DOT.
  • (b) Written product control system procedures which provide instructions and data necessary to retain established integrity of aeronautical products while in the care of the distributor. Product control system procedures shall include, as applicable, but need not be limited to;
    • (1) Purchasing procedures for ensuring that all aeronautical products obtained for distribution are in conformance with approved design data,
    • (2) Receiving inspection procedures to ensure that all incoming aeronautical products are properly identified, documented and visually inspected to detect any apparent damage that may have occurred during shipment,
    • (3) Procedures for the handling, segregation and storage of aeronautical products,
    • (4) Preservation and packaging procedures to protect aeronautical products against deterioration and damage during storage,
    • (5) Certification and release procedures for aeronautical products pursuant to Subchapter C of this Chapter,
    • (6) Procedures for establishing and maintaining records as objective evidence that aeronautical products have been purchased, identified, inspected and certified in conformity with the requirements of this Subchapter.

563.107 Entitlement

  • (a) An applicant is entitled to a distributor approval if the DOT finds, after evaluation of his organization, facilities and supporting data, that all appli- cable conditions for eligibility have been met.
  • (b) A distributor approval is available only to organizations with facilities located in Canada.

563.109 Privileges

The holder of a distributor approval may:

  • (a) Authorize personnel who have been registered with DOT to certify, on behalf of the distributor, airworthiness documentation for aeronautical products destined for embodiment in Canadian registered aircraft; and
  • (b) Authorize personnel who have been approved as Airworthiness Inspection Representatives by DOT, pursuant to Chapter 505, to certify airworthiness documentation on behalf of DOT for aeronautical products, other than aircraft, destined for export.

563.111 Responsibilities of an Approved Distributor

The holder of a distributor approval shall:

  • (a) Maintain his organization, facilities and product control system as approved by the DOT;
  • (b) Ensure that each aeronautical product which he distributes can be shown, through documented evidence, to conform to approved design data;
  • (c) Notify the DOT within a reasonable time of any significant change to his organization, facilities or product control system which could affect his distributor approval, or the conditions under which his approval was granted;
  • (d) Allow, and assist as necessary, DOT personnel to perform, in his own plant or in any of his supplier's plants, inspections to determine continuing compliance with the requirements of this Chapter with reasonable notice; and
  • (e) Retain his product control system records for a minimum of two years after delivery of the aeronautical products.

Subchapter B Approval Procedures

563.201 General

This subchapter prescribes procedures for requesting and granting distributor approvals and establishes the limitations of such approvals.

563.203 Application for Approval

  • (a) To apply for a distributor approval the applicant must submit to the appropriate DOT regional office:
    • (1) A general description of the aeronautical products which he distributes, or proposes to distribute;
    • (2) The location and description of the facilities at which the products are to be distributed. If the distribution procedures of a facility are carried out at more than one location under the same management, all locations shall be shown in the application for approval. If, however, the distributor's product control system varies with each location, separate applications for approval must be submitted;
    • (3) A copy of his product control system manual showing the functional responsibilities of management personnel; and
    • (4) The name and position of the person authorized to liaise with DOT airworthiness inspection personnel.
  • (b) The applicant must make available, on request and with reasonable notice by DOT, all data referred to in his application and in his product control system manual.

563.205 Granting Approval

  • (a) To enable DOT to evaluate the applicant's facilities and capabilities, the applicant must allow DOT personnel reasonable access to his facilities and data, and provide assistance when requested.
  • (b) An applicant shall be issued a Distributor Approval Certificate when, after examination of the supporting data and after inspection of the organization and distribution facilities, DOT has determined that the applicant has met the requirements of Subchapter A. The certificate shall set forth the:
    • (1) DOT approval number;
    • (2) Name and address of the approved distributor; and
    • (3) Date, signature and title of the approving authority.

563.207 Approval Display

  • (a) No person may claim, either orally or in writing, to have any form of DOT approval unless in possession of a valid Certificate of Approval issued on behalf of the Minister.
  • (b) An approved distributor shall display his certificate of approval in a prominent place in his facility that can be readily seen by the public.

563.209 Approval Limitations

  • (a) A distributor approval shall be surrendered to the DOT if the business is terminated.
  • (b) If a distributor plans to relocate he shall notify DOT of his intention and provide details of the new location and a description of the facilities at which the products are to be distributed.
  • (c) A distributor approval is effective until surrendered, suspended or cancelled.
  • (d) If DOT finds that a holder of a distributor approval is not fulfilling his responsibilities pursuant to Subchapter A, Section 563.111, the holder, upon written notification by DOT shall investigate the matter and report to DOT the results of the investigation and of any action taken or proposed. An unsatisfactory response from the distributor may result in his approval being suspended or cancelled.

563.211 Authorized Signatories

  • (a) To exercise the privileges pursuant to Subchapter A, Section 563.109, the holder of a distributor approval shall:
    • (1) Submit to the DOT regional office the names of the personnel whom the distributor proposes to nominate as having signing authority to sign release certifications, on behalf of the approved organization, as specified in Section 563.303. The distributor shall obtain DOT written confirmation of receipt of the names of the proposed signatories before authorizing signing approval; and
    • (2) If required for exporting products, apply to the DOT regional office for approval to authorize designated personnel to certify, as DOT Airworthiness Inspection Representatives, that specific aeronautical products destined for export are airworthy. The application shall be made pursuant to Chapter 505. A record of Airworthiness Inspection Representatives shall be maintained, identifying each representative by name, DOT delegation of authority and stamp number, and showing the specific aeronautical products, or range of products for which each inspector is approved.
  • (b) Changes to authorized personnel, or to the scope of their approval, shall be submitted to the DOT regional office.

Subchapter C Certification

563.301 General

This subchapter prescribes the requirements and procedures for the certification of aeronautical products by an approved distributor.

563.303 Certification - Aeronautical Products

  • (a) Each holder of a distributor approval shall, on releasing an aeronautical product to a customer, provide that customer with a completed release certificate properly describing the product by the manufacturers name, part or model number, serial number (if applicable), and its nomenclature. The release certificate, shall also include the following certification statement to be signed by an authorized signatory: "I hereby certify that the aircraft parts described hereon were acquired from a source of supply that is consistent with the conditions under which DOT distributor approval No. has been granted".
  • (b) An authorized signatory may only sign the certification statement for a product which has been received, stored and released in accordance with the procedures set out in the distributor's product control system manual and where documented evidence of product conformity to the manufacturer's design specifications has been received and is retained by the distributor.
  • (c) Except as prescribed in Subsection (d), for imported products, the documented evidence specified in Subsection (b) shall comply with the following requirements.
    • (1) Airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances and any parts and assemblies thereof shall have been received, by the distributor, with inspection release documents or tags that were originated and signed on the authority of a DOT approved organization.
    • (2) Proprietary parts and accessories that are listed in approved product parts catalogues, but excluding those requiring approval to DOT appliance standards or FAA Technical Standard Orders shall have been received, by the distributor, with inspection release documents or tags traceable to the manufacturer or a DOT approved organization.
    • (3) Materials intended for aircraft construction or maintenance shall have been received, by the distributor, with release documentation from a DOT approved organization or from a supplier who can provide proof of conformity to the material specifications in certificates supplied by the manufacturers or in test and analysis reports prepared by qualified persons in a materials test laboratory.
    • (4) Standard aircraft hardware manufactured to government or industry association standards shall have been received by the distributor with packing notes, invoices or equivalent documents that identify the product and the supplier.
  • (d) For imported products the documented evidence specified in Subsection (b) shall, as appropriate, comply with the following requirements or as prescribed in Subsection (c) paragraphs (2), (3), or (4).
    • (1) Except for engines and propellers being returned to Canada with FAA repair station maintenance release tags, each foreign manufactured aircraft engine or propeller shall have been received with an export airworthiness certification signed by a representative of the civil aviation authority of the country of export certifying that such engine or propeller conforms to the type approval stated on the document.
    • (2) Aircraft parts, appliances and assemblies from FAA approved organizations shall have been received with release notes or tags. Imports from other sources shall have been received with airworthiness tags or release notes signed by a representative of the civil aviation authority of the country of export.
  • (e) Any number of items may be included on a distributor's release note provided there is only one customer involved and that each item is clearly described and identified.

563.305 Certification For Export

  • (a) An approved distributor may obtain an export airworthiness certificate from DOT for any aeronautical product, except for materials, standard aircraft hardware, and proprietary parts and accessories, where:
    • (1) The distributor can demonstrate conformity to approved design data through documented evidence traceable to an approved manufacturer, and
    • (2) It can be determined that the product is in a condition for safe operation.
  • (b) To obtain an export airworthiness certificate for an aircraft engine or propeller, the distributor shall prepare a DOT form 24-0025 in accordance with the instructions printed on the reverse side of the form. Following an inspection of the product and completion of the form either by a DOT Airworth- iness Inspector, or an Airworthiness Inspection representative, the distri- butor shall separate the detachable copies, attach the tag portion of the form to the engine or propeller, and distribute the copies as follows:
    Original - to be sent to the civil aviation authority of the importing country, except when that country is the United States then the original shall be sent directly to the importer.
    Copy 2 - to be retained by the DOT Airworthiness Inspector or AIR responsible for issuing the Certificate of Airworthiness for Export.
    Copy 3 - to be retained by the distributors records.
  • (c) To obtain an export airworthiness certificate for a product other than that described in subsections (a) and (b) the distributor shall complete a release certificate, certified by an authorized signatory, for the signature and inspection stamp of the DOT Airworthiness Inspector or AIR responsible for issuing the certificate.