Do You Have to Issue a New 8130-3 When You Split a Bulk Shipment?

When you split a bulk shipment, do you need a new 8130-3 or can you simply rely on a copy of the 8130-3 tag associated with the bulk shipment?

WHAT IS SPLITTING A BULK SHIPMENT ALL ABOUT?

It frequently happens in the industry that a shipment of multiple units is shipped against a single 8130-3 tag.  For example, a lot of 1000 fasteners might have a single 8130-3 tag.  It would not make commercial sense for each fastener in the lot to have its own 8130-3 tag.

When a lot of parts is received by a distributor, though, distributors frequently sell the parts from such a lot in much smaller quantities.

For example, the manufacturer might sell the fasteners in lots of 1000 (and in fact might generally refuse to sell them in smaller lots).  An air carrier may only wish to purchase 10 units.  The air carrier cannot purchase them from the manufacturer (because the manufacturer sells the fasteners in lots of 1000, and expects distributors to sell the parts in smaller lots).  But a distributor might buy 1000 of the units and then sell them to air carriers in the lot size desired by the air carrier.

SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

FAA Order 8130.21H suggests in paragraph 2-7(a)(1) that a “new 8130-3” is issued during lot splitting, when in fact typical lot splitting performed by post-production distribution would use a copy of the original form (rather than a newly issued form).

WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?

This is a carry-over issue from the fact that earlier revision levels had taken two different concepts related to lot splitting:

  • lot splitting by using a designee to issue a new 8130-3, which was re-characterized as a supplemental 8130-3 in the 2004 “D” revision; and,
  • lot splitting by providing a quality-assurance-controlled duplicate of the original 8130-3 tag according to FAA instructions (which replaced the designee-issuance in 2004);

Recent revision levels had merged these two into a single set of instructions.  As a consequence, section 2-7 did not read correctly, because it merged instructions for both forms of “lot-splitting” activities.

DISCUSSION OF THE ISSUE

Section 2-7 described a mechanism for splitting such bulk (or lot) shipments.  It required the party to follow procedures designed to protect the integrity of the lot and to permit auditors to be able to verify that the integrity of the lot remains intact (e.g., only the parts from the original lot are associated with the 8130-3 tag, and no other parts are sold in association with that 8130-3 tag).  It is based upon a protocol in which a distributor would make a true copy of the original 8130-3 tag, and issue a written certifying statement concerning the copy and the number of parts associated with the copy (retaining file copies for auditor review).

This mechanism represents a norm within the industry (and the FAA has successfully increased the industry’s standards by promoting certifying statements and lot-traceability paperwork).

This mechanism for splitting bulk shipments is distinguished from the situation where a FAA designee splits a lot by issuing one or more new 8130-3 tags.  This sort of procedure was described under section 10 of the “C” revision of 8130.21.  Part of the confusion might be caused by the fact that this process (issuing new 8130-3 tags) was described as “splitting bulk shipments” in that revision level.

Beginning with the “D” revision, Order 8130.21 used the term “splitting of bulk shipments” to mean the splitting by a non-designee, and used the term “supplemental Form 8130-3” to describe new 8130-3 tags issued for any purpose (including designee-splitting of bulk shipments, replacement of lost forms, etc.).

The root problem is that starting in the “G” revision level, subparagraph 2-7(a)(1) suggests that splitting of bulk shipments happens when a new FAA Form 8130-3 is issued to split the shipment.  The new tag would be a supplemental tag.  This is one way to split bulk shipments, but it is not the way that distributors split bulk shipments (due to the fact that they are unable to issue supplemental 8130-3 tags).  Instead, they follow the protocol found in 2-7(c), which was originally written for distributors.

CONCLUSION

The current language of subparagraph 2-7(a)(1) suggests that a new 8130-3 tag is issued when a distributor splits a lot.  This is not the case.  Instead, the distributor makes a copy of the original under controlled circumstances and affixes a statement about the limits of the copy.  The process is clearly described in subparagraph 2-7(c).

In order to continue to provide good guidance, we have requested that the FAA correct the language to remove any implication that a distributor must issue a new 8130-3 tag when splitting a bulk shipment.  The easiest way to do this may be to simply change 2-7(a)(1) to read as follows:

After an FAA Form 8130-3 is issued for a bulk shipment, a new FAA Form 8130-3 may be used to split bulk shipments of previously shipped new products or articles under the same procedures as found in 1-11 or a the shipment may be split under the provisions of this paragraph without issuing a new FAA Form 8130-3.

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About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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