Export Certification

General Information

Aircraft export certifications will result in the issuance of an export certificate of airworthiness FAA Form 8130-4 . When issued, it shows that an aircraft meets a specific airworthiness standard before being exported to a foreign country.

Engine, propellers, and other aviation article export certifications will result in the issuance of an FAA Form 8130-3 . When issued, it shows that an engine, propeller, or other aviation article meets the airworthiness standards for export to a foreign country.

The regulation that outlines the export certification requirements is FAR Part 21, Subpart L. It was recently revised with an effective date of April 14, 2010. The revisions were as follows:

1. The export classifications (Class I, II, and III) were replaced with the term “products and articles.”

2. The requirement for 100 hour/annual type inspections has been removed for exporting products.

3. Everywhere the word “Shall” was used, now reads, “Must.”

4. The word “newly” was removed from “newly overhauled”.

Advisory Circular AC 21-2 also contains information related to export airworthiness approvals.

In addition to the FAA requirements, a number of countries have identified special import requirements and conditions that the FAA must comply with. Compliance by the exporter is required before the importing country will validate the FAA export approval.

The special import requirements of various countries can be found at the FAA's website by clicking on this link Special Import Requirements

If a product does not meet the special requirements of an importing country, the exporter must obtain a written statement from the civil aviation authority (CAA) of that country accepting the deviation. This statement must accompany each application for an Export Certificate of Airworthiness.

In addition to a letter of acceptance from the importing CAA, the items not complied with must be identified in the Exceptions block of the Export Certificate of Airworthiness.

Specific requirements are also identified in Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements (BASA). These are agreements made between the United States and other governments for the acceptance of certain airworthiness approvals. Procedures used to implement these BASA’s are called Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA).

AC 21-23 lists the countries that the United States has concluded formal bilateral agreements for reciprocal acceptance of Export Certificates of Airworthiness. Updated information on each agreement can be found at the FAA's website by clicking this link Current BASA's

The special requirements listed in AC 21-2 include those submitted by some of the bilateral agreement countries, as well as special requirements submitted by countries with whom no formal agreement exists.

Note: Any application forms or other documents required by a foreign authority must be obtained directly from them, not the FAA.

An export approval may be issued upon request for a product to be exported to a country not covered in AC 21-2 or AC 21-18. Such an approval would certify compliance with U.S. airworthiness standards only.

The FAA will not issue an export certificate of airworthiness for a U.S. manufactured aircraft located in another country unless it possesses a valid U.S. airworthiness certificate. The aircraft would then meet the requirements of FAR 21.329.

The date of issuance of an export airworthiness approval is the date the product was inspected by the FAA, found to comply with the applicable requirements, and determined to be airworthy.


Basically anyone is eligible to apply for and receive an export certification approval provided that they meet the applicable requirements. An Export C of A (FAA Form 8130-4) can be issued for an aircraft if the requirements of FAR 21.329 have been met. An Export Airworthiness Approval (FAA Form 8130-3) can be issued for an engine, propeller, or other article if the requirements of FAR 21.331 have been met.

Certification Procedures

Click on each link below to view the certification procedures:

Aircraft Export Certification

Export Airworthiness Approvals for Engines, Propellers, and Other Aviation Articles

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