FAA Transitioning Limited DARs to Full-Function DARs

Today, the FAA issued a memo that permits the limited designated airworthiness representatives (DARs) [commonly known as DAR-56s] to transition to normal DARs with function code 19 privileges.  This is a major achievement for ASA’s members!

The Guidance

The new FAA guidance is known as Memo Number AIR-600-17-6F0-DM08.  This memo permits current DAR-56 privilege holders to apply for function code 19 privileges.

The reason for this change is to resolve certain limitation that the FAA now believes are unnecessary.  The first unnecessary limitation involves the date of  receipt of the parts.  DAR-56 privilege holders can only issue 8130-3 where the parts were received by November 1, 2016.  This date was arbitrary, and did not to address the fact that production approval parts are still entering the system from manufactures who do not issue 8130-3 tags.  Transitioning to function code 19 will eliminate this date restriction.

The second issue this resolves is that the DAR-56 program only permits tagging of a very limited slice of parts.  A much broader swath of parts are eligible for 8130-3 tags under current FAA policy.  Function code 19 permits tagging of parts with adequate evidence that they were created by a production approval holder, and have suffered neither damage nor degradation since release from the production approval holder’s quality system.  While this category is subject to FAA guidance, it is still broader than the very narrow limits associated with DAR-56.

The deadline to apply for a smooth transition is 90 days from the date of the memo (Tuesday, 2 January, 2018).

The Process (for DAR 56 holders)

If you currently hold DAR 56 privileges, then you should apply to your local (“geographic”) Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) for appointment as a DAR-F with function code 19.  You can find your geographic MIDO on the FAA’s website.  Using the “select the state” function at the bottom of the page (but above the blue footer), enter your state where you operate and find which MIDO is your geographic MIDO.

Then, apply to your geographic MIDO using the on-line Designee Management System tool.

In order to be appointed as a DAR-F under this program an applicant must meet the minimum qualifications provided in FAA Order 8000.95. Look within 8000.95 for the criteria – specifically in Volume 1, Chapter 2 and in Volume 8, Chapter 2.

There is one significant difference from the standards found in FAA Order 8000.95 and the transitioning DAR 56s.  That is the experience provision.  Under the FAA memo, the applicant who has applied for a timely transition from DAR 56 privileges does not need to meet the normal 36 month experience  requirement.  Instead, the applicant must

“[h]ave a minimum of 12-months actual working experience for the accredited distributor under the quality system at the accredited distributor location(s), specifically:

a. Experience in either receiving inspection and/or quality assurance processes; and,

b. Experience reviewing documentation and/or part markings which can be used to verify that parts and articles are traceable to the PAH.”

Application checklist:

  • Identify your geographic MIDO;
  • Complete the required FAA training (you will need to submit the training certificate as part of your application package);
  • Obtain a letter of reference from the accredited distributor (signed by someone who can represent the business); a sample can be found in attachment 1 to the memo;
  • Ensure that your application details match those already filed for you under the DAR-56 program;
  • Apply through the DMS system, and include:
    1. Evidence of completion of the required FAA training;
    2. The letter of reference from the accredited distributor;
  • Notify FAA Headquarters that you currently hold function code 56 privileges and that you have filed an online application seeking function code 19 privileges.  Perform this notification by ending an email to the AIR-6F0 mailbox at AIR160-limiteddarf@faa.gov.  AIR-6F0 will notify the appropriate MIDO of the application, and let them know that it is subject to the provisions of the policy memo.

Once this process is complete, if the FAA reviews your package and finds that you can be transitioned to function code 19, then they will cancel your DAR 56 privileges and assign function code 19 privileges for issuing 8130-3 tags.  Don’t just rely on this checklist – be sure to study the policy memo!

Once you get the new function code privileges, you should expect that you will be limited to only exercising the privilege at the accredited facilities of the AC 00-56 accredited distributor.  This is not a “portable” credential, because it relies on the distributor’s AC 00-56B system as part of the basis for knowing that the part is in an appropriate condition to receive an 8130-3 tag.

The Process (for others)

We advised all of our members to obtain DAR-56 privileges.  But we recognize that some members did not follow this advice.  We also recognize that some function code 56 holders may allow the 90 day period to come and go without filing their application to transition.

If you do not hold DAR-56 privileges, or if you waited too long, then there is still a path!

The new guidance permits other persons to apply for function code 19 privileges under the terms of the memo; however such applicants are not entitled to the same presumptions enjoyed by transitioning DAR-56 holders.  If you fall into this category, then you will only be considered if the MIDO can independently establish that the FAA has a need and ability to manage the delegation; this means that you are going to need to convince the MIDO!  You also need to meet conditions that are comparable to those imposed on DAR 56 applicants.  You will still benefit from the alternative experience requirement (12 months experience with the quality system of the accredited distributor).

What About Export Tags?

The FAA has been transitioning away from a distinction between “domestic tags” and “export tags.” They took a major step toward that goal when they issued the memo guidance that explained that 8130-3 tags were no longer allowed to say the word “export.”  For a full discussion of this change, please see our blog post on the subject.

This transition is consistent with international practice, which typically does not distinguish between an “export tag” and a “domestic tag.”

So the future of the 8130-3 tag is that all tags will look the same – whether they are intended for domestic use or non-US use – and there will be no visible difference in the tag for exports.  The exporter is expected to address the special import conditions of the importing nation.  This has been FAA policy for some time, with export compliance obligations falling on the exporter and not on the DAR.

For newly transitioned DARs who are permitted to issue domestic tags under function code 19, this means that the tags will be useful for exports as well as for domestic transactions.

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DAR 56? Apply to Extend Your Credentials by September 30!

Do you have function code 56 privileges?  If you do, then you need to renew your credentials ASAP – the deadline for renewal is September 30.  Instructions and other guidance for renewal can be found in our earlier post about submitting your request for renewal.

Background on FC 56

FAA created a program (AIR-100-16-160-PM13) that allowed qualified distributor employees to issue 8130-3 tags as DARs exercising function code (FC) 56.

Many of the eligible new parts had been accepted under their previously acceptable documentation schemes, which were both known and recognized within the industry. ASA argued that under FAA policies (like FAA AC 20-62E), these documents were sufficient to identify a new part and to permit installation, so issuing an 8130-3 tag based on that evidence should be a mere ministerial task. The FAA agreed and created a Limited DAR program (“DAR 56”) in which individuals could obtain the DAR privilege of issuing 8130-3 for parts when the following conditions were met (this is only a partial list):

  1. Individual must work for an accredited distributor, and can only tag parts that were received by the distributor’s accredited system before a certain date (currently November 1, 2016)
  2. Individual must complete FAA training
  3. Part must either bear (1) part markings regulated under 14 C.F.R. § 45.14 [PMA, TSOA and critical parts], (2) a certificate from the manufacturer, confirming that the part was produced under a FAA production approval, or (3) a certificate from the manufacturer’s direct-ship authorized supplier, confirming that the part was produced under a FAA production approval.

The program was scheduled to end on September 30, 2017 but was extended by an additional policy memo (AIR-600-17-6F0-PM01) until 2018.

Discussion with the FAA About the Future of DAR 56

The FAA is considering converting all FC 56 DARs into FC 19 DARs (they will need to apply through normal channels, but the FAA would treat their distribution experience as relevant experience for obtaining Function Code 19 privileges).

If this program goes through, then many of the FC 56 limitations would ‘go away’ and the DARs would be able to use function code 19 to tags other sorts of new parts that have clear indicia of having been produced by US Production Approval Holders.  This could make it easier to handle expendables that have been difficult to get tagged because of their volume and low-cost (relative to the normal cost of obtaining an 8130-3).  It is likely that the converted DARs woud lneed to rely on their AC 00-56 systems as a condition of the exercise of their functions.

This is not yet subject to final approval by FAA management, so it could change!

Advice

If you currently hold Limited DAR credentials under the “DAR 56” program, then

  1. You need to apply to extend your credentials by September 30 – that deadline is coming up fast!! You can find more details here;
  2. Be sure to use your credentials to issue 8130-3 – activity is an important metric when seeking to renew or upgrade your credentials;
  3. We are working with the FAA to permit transfer of your credentials to a permanent DAR with function code 19 (able to issue 8130-3 tags for a wider class of demonstrably airworthy, new parts). We hope to have more news on this, soon!

Obtain 8130-3 Tags For Your Inventory – Limited Time Only!

Have you ever wished that there was an easy way to obtain 8130-3 tags for the obviously airworthy articles in your inventory?  Now, you can become a DAR and issue your own 8130-3 tags!  ASA has worked with the FAA to develop a limited program that will allow employees of accredited distributors to obtain DAR privileges to tag certain items in existing inventory.
The program creates a new function code 56 (because of the association with AC 00-56).  This is a limited function code for employees of accredited distributors that permits issue of 8130-3 tags for parts with certain types of clear evidence of production under FAA production approval.  The program can be found in this attached file.
This program is necessary because of the new emphasis on 8130-3 tags created by the FAA-EASA Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG).  Many FAA inspectors have required repair stations in the US to adopt receiving requirements that only permit receipt of aircraft parts with 8130-3, EASA Form One or TCCA Form One.  Parts with traditional manufacturer’s certificates of conformity (for example) are excluded from the MAG guidance!  This temporary ability to obtain 8130-3 tags permits some existing inventories of good parts to be tagged in order to meet the new standards created by the Maintenance Annex Guidance

What Can be Tagged?

A DAR with Function Code 56 privileges will be able to issue an 8130-3 tags for parts manufactured by an FAA production approval holder (PAH) if the part and its documentation meets one of the criteria below:
1. Certificate of Conformity/Statement of Conformity from the PAH.  The part number and serial number, if applicable, must match any marking on the part.
2. Certificate of Conformity/Statement of Conformity or shipping document from a PAH supplier and verification of that supplier’s direct ship authorization.
3. Part markings made under 14 C.F.R. § 45.15 that include the PAH’s name or identifier (including PMA markings, TSOA markings and critical part markings).  If the PAH name or other identification is not included in the part marking, then you will need a Certificate of Conformity/Statement of Conformity as described in paragraphs (1) or (2) above.

Qualifications

An applicant for the DAR-56 program must meet all five of the minimum qualifications:
1. AGE: Be at least 23 years of age.
2. EMPLOYMENT: Be employed by an accredited distributor at the location(s) from which the 8130-3 will be issued.  The FAA has not clarified whether this needs to be full-time or part-time nor have they excluded contract employment.  In the absence of clarification, applicants should assume that all categories of employment are acceptable.
3. INDEPENDENCE: Be assigned to a position in the business with sufficient authority to allow the DAR to administer the delegated function effectively without undue pressure or influence from others.
4. EXPERIENCE: Have a minimum of 12 months actual working experience for the accredited distributor under the distributor’s quality system, specifically:
a. Experience in either receiving inspection and/or quality assurance processes; and,
b. Experience reviewing documentation which can be used to verify that the article is traceable to the PAH, such as a FAA Form 8130-3 and Certificate of
Conformity/Statement of Conformity from a PAH.
5. TRAINING: Must have successfully completed FAA course: Issuance of 8130-3 for Domestic and Export Approvals of Engines, Propellers, & Articles Only.

Application Process

Scan and submit the following three documents by email to 9-AIRI60-LimitedDARF@faa.gov:
1. FAA training certificate of completion from the required class [FAA course: Issuance of 8130-3 for Domestic and Export Approvals of Engines, Propellers, & Articles Only]
2. FAA Form 8110-14, Statement of Qualifications (should be signed by the individual employee).
3. A letter of endorsement signed by a management representative from the accredited distributor location where that individual employee is requesting to exercise the authorization.
  • Where the accredited distributor has more than one accredited location, the applicant may apply to exercise privileges at each accreditation location
    under a single management endorsement letter.  The Memo includes a sample letter and explains what must be in the letter.

The applicant is expected to retain the original application materials in his/her records.  FAA Headquarters will review the application.  When an applicant is selected, the FAA will email the applicant a Certificate of Authority.

Limits

There are many categories of airworthy parts without 8130-3 tags that will not be covered by this DAR-56 program.  This is not a solution to all of the problems caused by the implementation of the Maintenance Annex Guidance.  many ASA members will still need to rely on traditional DARs.
The DAR-56 program is limited in time.  All Limited DAR-56 appointments under this program will be terminated on September 30, 2017.  We have discussed with the FAA that there will be a continuing need for the program, because some FAA-PAH manufacturers continue to produce parts without 8130-3 tags.  ASA intends to petition for an extension of the program if it appears that the program remains necessary, but ASA members should not plan on the FAA granting that petition (they have already told us that they will reject such a petition).

Advice

The FAA intends that this DAR-56 program be used to tag existing inventory in order to make it saleable under the new documentation standards of the MAG.  The FAA has stated that they intend to issue privileges to all eligible applicants, in order to facilitate this process (note that this does not give you a legal right to the privileges – the FAA retains the discretion to limit or terminate the program at its discretion).
Many of our members have a substantial existing inventory that is eligible to be tagged under this program.  We have spoken with members who have said that some inventories could take YEARS in order to tag the entire inventory.  We advise accredited members to seek DAR-56 privileges for EACH eligible employee, in order to maximize your potential for issuing 8130-3 tags.  Accredited members should also apply as early as possible.
Once employees have received their certificate of authority, they should start to review existing inventory and issue tags for eligible parts immediately, in order to maximize the documentation of the inventory.
We also advise unaccredited ASA members to seek AC 00-56 accreditation in order to be eligible for the DAR-56 program.  ASA can discuss the process with you and can accommodate members who need AC 00-56 audits in order to participate in the program.
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