21 March, 2022

Article 83bis Agreement Bermuda-Russian Federation - Update

On 18th March, 2022, the Russian Federation advised Bermuda that they were suspending the Article 83bis Agreement effective immediately. With the suspension of the Agreement any regulatory oversight responsibilities formerly transferred to the Russian Federation under the Article 83bis Agreement, now revert to Bermuda as the State of Registry. 

On 12th March, 2022, BCAA provisionally suspended all Certificates of Airworthiness of those aircraft operating under the Article 83bis Agreement, legally grounding them, so there is no significant impact from suspending the Article 83bis Agreement.

Bermuda entered into an ICAO Article 83bis Agreement with the Russian Federation, through an entrustment from the United Kingdom, which permits the transfer of certain Regulatory Oversight Functions and Duties to the Russian Federation.  There were over 700+ Bermuda registered aircraft operated by 30 Russian air operators on the Article 83bis Agreement.

In the Article 83bis Agreement, Bermuda transferred the functions and duties, including oversight and control, of relevant items contained in the ICAO Convention on Civil Aviation (the Convention) Annex 1 - Personnel Licensing and Annex 2 - Rules of the Air.  Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) retained the responsibilities under the Convention for the regulatory oversight and control of Annex 8 - Airworthiness of Aircraft. 

The most significant impact from the suspension of the Article 83bis Agreement is that a Russian pilot license is no longer valid to fly a Bermuda registered aircraft.  Applicable Rules of the Air would now be in accordance with the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order, but as Rules of the Air are generally aligned between States the impact is not significant.

Bermuda has never transferred airworthiness responsibilities to the Russian Federation.  As airworthiness regulations and requirements are the responsibility of the State of Registry (Bermuda), these remain with BCAA.

Concerning aircraft registration, there are no impacts as Bermuda is the State of Registry for all aircraft on the Registry, regardless of whether they are operated as commercial, private and/or on an Article 83bis Agreement.  When it comes to removing an aircraft from the Registry, BCAA will only deregister aircraft on request from the owner and in accordance with relevant BCAA legislation and procedures.