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NIST Extends Implementation Date For Fastener Quality Act Until May 1998

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced through a notice in today's Federal Register that the implementation date of the Fastener Quality Act of 1990 is being extended one year until May 26, 1998.

The FQA establishes a national program to protect public health and safety by ensuring that certain nuts, bolts and other fasteners used in critical situations (such as attaching aircraft engines to fuselages) conform to specifications. Its original implementation date of May 27, 1997, was contingent on having an adequate number of accredited laboratories to carry out fastener testing. To date, four organizations have applied to NIST's Accreditation Body Evaluation Program for approval to accredit laboratories that perform testing of fastener products and materials, and 42 laboratories have applied individually to NIST's National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program for approval as fastener testers.

Since approximately 425 accredited laboratories are needed to carry out the FQA, NIST has determined that more time is needed to complete the accreditation process. Therefore, the date of implementation has been extended. NIST officials are confident that the extra year will make the difference because:

  • The ABEP expects to complete approval of the four laboratory accreditation bodies by September 1997. These bodies, in conjunction with NVLAP, are expected to then accredit 350 laboratories to handle fastener testing before the May 26, 1998, implementation date.
  • Three additional organizations plan to apply shortly for ABEP approval, bringing with them another 75 laboratories that will be FQA accredited in time.

The Fastener Quality Act of 1990 protects public safety by (1) requiring that fasteners identified by the act conform to the exact specifications represented by the manufacturer; (2) providing for accreditation of laboratories engaged in fastener testing; and (3) requiring inspections, testing and certification, in accordance with standardized methods for fasteners covered by the act.

For more information on the FQA, contact Subhas G. Malghan, Rm. 311, Bldg. 820, NIST, Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-0001, (301) 975-4500, fax: (301) 975-2183, <malghan [at] (malghan[at]nist[dot]gov)>. Additional information is available on the FQA page of NIST's World Wide Web site at .

Released April 18, 1997, Updated January 8, 2018