This article attempts to provide an overview of two of the most common certificates (the US FAA 8130-3 and the European EASA Form 1) issued for aviation products and parts and respond to frequently asked questions from their prospective buyers regarding their installation on aircraft.
It is important to clarify from the begining that both FAA 8130-3 Form and EASA Form 1 are airworthiness approval forms for products and parts and their issue does not automatically imply the approval of respective products/parts for their installation on a particular aircraft. Furthermore, in most cases, their issue bears an additional cost and customers should understand whether they need these forms or not.
In addition, NOT ALL OF OUR OFFERED PRODUCTS or PARTS are eligible for the issue of such a certificate. Typical examples of eligible items include OEM products/parts, those with a FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval or the approval of the European equivalent (EASA European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) or a FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA). For these products/parts, a FAA 8130-3 or EASA Form 1 is issued NOT ONLY in the case of their initial procurement but also whenever an export, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) process is involved.
Furthermore, even in the case of an eligible product/part for which a certificate can be issued, this is NOT REQUIRED FOR ALL APPLICATIONS/USES. Indicatively, aircraft such as ultra lights, experimentals or others in which such products/parts can be installed without a FAA/EASA certificate. Our free of charge Certificate of Conformance (issued at the time of shipping/delivery of ordered items) is sufficient. In other cases, when intended installations relate to light piston engine aircraft, business jets, airliners, or other certified aircraft, the issue of a certificate is mandatory.
When a FAA 8130-3 Form or an EASA Form 1 is required, this must be requested at the time of the order placement. It CANNOT BE ISSUED during our order processing or AFTER the delivery of ordered items. These forms must be requested to the respective manufacturer/service facility before a product/part leaves their quality control system. They cannot be issued afterwards.The END USER and INTENDED APPLICATION details MUST be available at the time of request for the issue of the cerificate.
Upon receipt of such a request from a customer, we inform the customer of any additional cost (as required) and pass such information to our co-operating suppliers for required actions. After the issue of the certificate we check the correctness of the contained information. In ceratin cases a certificate can be re-issued for the following reasons:
Loss: If the end-user loses the certificate, a request for a new copy can be placed.
Correction: If the end-user receives a form with an error, a request for a corrected copy can be placed. The request must be in writing and must identify the errors on the original form.
In both cases, the form originators honor such requests but a handling fee may be applied.
In our brief presentation below we try to provide an overview of FAA 8130-3 Form and EASA Form 1 for a better understanding of their purpose or use.
FAA 8130 Form / EASA Form 1 Certification
As stated above, both are airworthiness approval forms. For a smooth operation of global aviation system and maintainance of essential standards, the EU and U.S. have reached a bilateral agreement. Under this agreement, products/parts that are exported or imported to either country must have a dual release form for domestic and international use provided that the product/part in question is assessed and approved under both regulations. This applies to both FAA Form 8130-3 and the EU equivalent, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Form 1.
The EASA Form 1 serves the same functions as the 8130 form, acting as the EU’s airworthiness approval form. EASA Form 1 is often considered as the analog of FAA 8130-3 Form in an attempt for harmonization/homogenization of regulations at both sides of the Atlantic.To use the FAA 8130-3 Form for dual release, the form must be marked appropriately and contain a statement regarding its utility as a dual release. This is required in the following circumstances:
Exporting aircraft products/parts for use in the EU
Sending a product/part to an EASA repair station within the U.S.
Returning a product/part to service for use in an EU-registered aircraft
To receive a dual release form, it must be specifically requested from an approved issuer. For the past few decades, the standard has been to complete all 8130 forms as dual releases. However, all FAA Part 145 Repair Stations are now required to default to single release forms unless the end user provides written request for a dual release.
Under the FAA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the 8130-3 form is required as an airworthiness certificate, certifying that an aircraft product/part is in good enough condition to operate safely within the U.S. and its global partners. Within this scope, this form serves two primary purposes:
- to approve or certify that new and used products/parts meet conformity requirements for airworthiness.
- to approve or certify that products/parts may return to service following maintenance.
The form itself is utilized differently for these two purposes, so it is essential to understand these uses.
The FAA 8130 Form refers to the following product classes:
Class I product: A Class I product is defined as a complete aircraft, aircraft engine or propeller. To meet Class I requirements, the product type must be certified under applicable FAA or international civil aviation authority regulations.
Class II product: A Class II product is defined as a major component of a Class I product that, if it were to fail, would jeopardize the safety of the Class I product. This includes wings, landing gears, power transmissions, controls and other critical systems.
Class III product: A Class III product is any part that is not a Class I or Class II product. This includes all standard parts for aircraft and safety and survival equipment like fire safety and oxygen systems.
Newly overhauled: “Newly overhauled” is a term used to describe a product that has not been operated since it was overhauled and approved for return to service, with the exception of applicable functional testing during the inspection process.
Originally, the FAA 8130 form was only used for exporting Class II and III new and newly overhauled products. However, the form properly modified in the 1990s can also accommodate return to service purposes.
FAA 8130 Certificate Intended & Non Intended Uses
An FAA 8130-3 Form is used for the following purposes:
New products: The form may be used as a statement from the FAA that a new Class I or Class II product conforms to its design and is safe for operation.
Newly overhauled parts: The form may be used as a certification that a newly overhauled product is approved for return to service.
International use: The form may be used when exporting a new or newly overhauled product or shipping a prototype to another country that has a bilateral agreement with the United States.
Across these purposes, the form is used to improve the identification and traceability of aviation products across the global system.
An FAA 8130-3 Form CANNOT BE USED for certain functions like the following:
Administrative purposes: The FAA Form 8130-3 should not be used for administrative purposes between two parties, including as a delivery or shipping document.
Aircraft release: The FAA Form 8130-3 is only applicable to aircraft parts and should not be used as an aircraft release form.
Installation approval: The 8130 form only serves as a confirmation of a part’s airworthiness — it does not function as an approval to install a product or part on a particular aircraft.
In addtion, proper filling of the form is essential. For example, while the form can be used for multiple products, it cannot be used to approve a mixture of production- and maintenance-released products.
Issue of FAA 8130 Form
The form cannot be issued by organizations other than those authorized by the FAA to do so. The following entities may issue an 8130 form:
ASI: An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) can sign an 8130 form as a Certificate of Airworthiness or Conformity Certification.
DMIR: A DMIR is a Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representative and is allowed to issue FAA 8130 forms for domestic or export parts.
DAR-F: Designated Airworthiness Representatives for Manufacturing (DAR-Fs) may issue the form for domestic shipments.
ODA: Some organizations may have an Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) unit, which can issue the form for products the organization produces. The ODA unit must inspect the product after the it has gone through the producer’s quality assurance program, at which point the ODA unit determines the product’s compliance with CFR requirements.
Air carrier: Appropriately certified air agencies and air carriers with approved airworthiness maintenance programs can issue the 8130 certificates for approval to return to service.
PAH: A Production Approval Holder (PAH) can issue the form for approval to return to service for domestic products, though this purpose is optional.