Many in the aircraft parts industry (and MRO more specifically) are familiar with form 8130-3, but even some industry veterans view the 8130-3 as merely a box to be checked in their transactional processes.
In this article, we take a deeper look into what comprises the 8130, how it compares to the certificate of conformity, and an instructional guide to complete the form.
From a high level, the 8130-3 is a way to verify every part and component used within our global aviation system is identified, traceable, and airworthy.
What Is an 8130-3 form?
An 8130-3 form is a document required by the FAA under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to certify an aircraft part or product is in acceptable condition for safe operation within the United States or one of its global partners in aircraft accountability.
The 8130-3 can be used to certify that new and used parts conform to safety standards and can also be used to approve return to service (RTS) following maintenance and repairs.
The purpose of the 8130-3 is to maintain a consistent medium of identification, accountability, and traceability within the global aviation network.
According to the FAA, the 8130-3 form serves to provide information in a few distinct scenarios:
- Export airworthiness approvals of Class II and III products
- Conformity determinations
- Airworthiness approval of domestic products (aircraft engines and propellers - domestic shipments)
- Airworthiness approval of parts and appliances under section 21305
- Splitting bulk shipments of previously shipped parts
- RTS after maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alterations
FAA Form 8130-3 vs Certificate of Conformity
Form 8130-3, or the airworthiness approval tag, is used to certify if a new part, engine, or entire plane is airworthy but can also be used to return a part, engine, or plane back to service after repairs.
A Certificate of Conformity, also known as a Certificate of Conformance or simply CoC, serves as proof a part or plane was manufactured by an FAA-approved company and production process.
The CoC must be completed by the FAA or a designee while the form 8130-3 can be completed by one of many FAA authorized Certified Repair Station (CRS) or air carriers. But don’t let this requirement confuse you, the 8130-3 is a more established standard compared to the CoC. The 8130-3, for example, can be used for export approval but the CoC cannot.
8130-3 Dual Release Certificate
When used to approve a return to service the FAA form 8130-3 must meet the terms of a bilateral agreements maintenance implementation procedures (MIP), the air agency or air carrier must check the two boxes in Block 19 stating “14 CFR 43.9 Return to Service” and “Other regulations specified in Block 13.”
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EASA Form 1 vs 8130-3
In order for the global aviation system to function smoothly, countries have had to make certain regulatory concessions and agreements. Under the EU/US bilateral agreement, for example, when a used product or article is being exported or imported, it must have a dual release on FAA Form 8130-3 and EASA form 1.
The EASA form 1 is the European Union’s authorized release certificate of airworthiness, basically the European version of the 8130-3. This document confirms a part, component, or product has been manufactured or repaired according to approved design specifications.
Despite these measures taken to create a unified and trustworthy system for aircraft part buyers and sellers, there have been scenarios where companies have forfeited these documents and successfully moved parts that do not meet international quality standards.
You can download our guide to filling out the FAA form 8130-3 here or continue reading below for more detailed instructions.
Box 1: Approving Civil Aviation Authority/Country
Although this field will differ on counterpart documents from Europe (EASA form 1), Canada (TCCA form one), and other countries, on the FAA form 8130-3 this field is preprinted “FAA/United States.”
Box 2: Form Name
Similar to above, this field will be preprinted with the name of the document, in this case, “Authorized Release Certificate FAA form 8130-3, Airworthiness Approval Tag.”
In previous versions of the 8130-3, dating back to 1997, this field would have read: “Federal Aviation Administration Form 8130-3, Airworthiness Approval Tag, U.S.
Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration.”
Box 3: Form Tracking Number
A unique alphanumeric sequence for tracking reference.
If a company splits up bulk shipments from a previous order from the Production Approval Holder (PAH), they must create a new tracking number and append a certifying statement:
Box 4: Organization Name and Address:
Enter the legal business entity name and a physical address (no PO box addresses allowed). After the name and address in parenthesis you can also enter the PAH certificate or project number.
If the shipment is routed through a satellite facility from the PAH where a new project number is generated, use that new number. Company logos are acceptable if they can fit in the form field.
Box 5: Work Order/Contract/Invoice Number:
To help simplify the product, component, or article’s traceability by customers, input the unique order number associated. If there are addendums to the 8130-3, such as the copy statement outlined in Box 3 above, add the number of pages.
Box 6: Item
This can contain a single batch number or multiple item numbers for serialized products. If multiple numbers are used, they should be in numerical order.
If the number of item numbers exceeds the space in the field, a separate listing can be appended to the 8130-3 document and this field can contain “List attached.” If the attached list fulfills the information requirements in boxes 7–11, they can be left blank and add a supplemental statement in box 12:
“This is the certification statement for the products and articles listed on the attached document dated [DATE], containing pages [FIRST PAGE] through [LAST PAGE].”
The supplemental statement must also cross-reference the form tracking number from box 3.
Box 7: Description
This field is actually not a description of the product but more of a descriptive product name. This identifier can be pulled from any instructions for continued airworthiness or maintenance. Examples include, “actuator,” “coffee maker,” and “landing gear.”
Box 8: Part Number
Input each part number used to identify the part, component, or article. If the 8130-3 is being used to certify the airworthiness of an entire engine, for example, the model designation may be used.
Box 9: Quantity
The quantity of each part being shipped.
Box 10: Serial Number
If a serialized number is required by the Code of Federal Regulations, enter it here. If not required by regulation you may also enter any other serial number or if no serial number exists, enter “N/A.”
Box 11: Status/Work
There are a few terms used to describe the status of an aircraft part, component, or article, including “new,” “prototype,” “repaired,” and “overhauled.”
If the production of said aircraft part is in compliance with approved design data, you will enter “NEW.”
If production is not in conformity with approved standard design data, or a non-approved design, you will enter “PROTOTYPE” in the 8130-3 box 11.
In other MRO-related scenarios, “REPAIRED” and “OVERHAULED” may be present.
Box 12: Remarks
Include all information needed to certify airworthiness and cross-reference to each item listed in block 6. If necessary, the information can be attached separately.
There are various conditions necessitating unique statements and disclosures. For example, if your product, component, or article is a prototype or if the current 8130-3 is to correct errors from a previous form. For more information pertaining to disclosures that may impact your 8130-3 refer to pages 21-22 of the FAA’s supplemental document.
This field is case-insensitive. Feel free to use upper or lower case.
Blocks 13 and 14: A-E
How sections 13 and 14 of the 8130-3 are completed will depend on whether the form is being fulfilled for the following airworthiness approvals:
- New Product or Article
- When Issued at a Distributor Facility
- Prepositioned Product or Article
Depending on whether the product is new or returning to service (RTS), either columns 13 or 14 will be filled out, but not both. The one left blank should be darkened or shaded gray.
Box 13a: Certifies the items identified were manufactured in conformity
Place a check or “x” in the one box that best corresponds to your response in box 11. Checking the first box means that the product was manufactured according to FAA approved design data.
A checkmark in the second box means the product is in conformity with a prototype and non-FAA-approved design data or prepositioned while awaiting issuance of a type certificate or supplemental type certificate (TC/STC).
Box 13b and 13d: Authorized Signature
The handwritten signature (or a computer-generated signature specifically approved by the FAA) of the authorized signatory. An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) or authorized designee must sign.
A clearly printed and legible version of the signer’s name must be present in block 13d.
Box 13c: Approval Number
Every signatory must have a corresponding authorization or approval number. For FAA inspectors, for example, the number will correspond to their office identifier.
Box 13e: Date
Many people are uncertain about when the date should be recognized in fields 13e and 14e. Enter the date when the authorized inspection was made or conformity was determined.
Today the proper date format for the 8130-3 block 13e and 14e is “two-digit day/the first three letters of the month/4-digit year,” for example, “08/Oct/2020.”
In 2009, the date format was slightly different with “the first three letters of the month, two-digit day, and 4-digit year,” for example, “Oct 08 2020.”
If the part, component, or article is being returned to service after repairs or alterations, you must certify whether the maintenance was performed according to the CFR specifications and acknowledged standard MIP as outlined in the bilateral agreement.
Otherwise, the regulations of specific CAA’s must be recognized and described in box 12.
Same instructions as 13b-13e above.
It’s important to understand what this form means for your business and the importance of airworthiness certification of the parts you buy and sell within the global aviation system.
Selling quality aircraft parts is a lot of responsibility, and we understand how difficult it can be, which is why we are building tools at Rotabull to help you become more efficient, including analyzing paperwork like the 8130-3.
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