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NIST Publishes Final Rule For Fastener Quality Act, Extends Implementation Date

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology will publish in tomorrow’s Federal Register the amended final rule for the Fastener Quality Act of 1990 and announce that the act’s implementation date is being extended 60 days until July 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. Along with the extension of the act’s implementation date, tomorrow’s Federal Register notice:

  • defines the procedures by which fastener manufacturers can use Quality Assurance Systems/Statistical Process Control—an in-process quality inspection of fasteners—after May 14, 1998, as evaluation by an accredited testing facility;
  • allows manufacturers to test fastener lots for FQA compliance starting May 14, 1998, in order for them to replace their non-FQA-compliant inventory with compliant stock;
  • continues the policy of allowing manufacturers to sell as non-FQA-compliant any remaining fasteners in inventory (all fasteners produced after July 26, 1998, must be tested by an accredited laboratory or produced by an approved QAS/SPC manufacturing facility); and
  • permits manufacturers who operate QAS/SPC fastener production lines that have not been completely certified by July 26, 1998, to list their operation as provisionally certified, as long as specific conditions are met; the official certification must be completed by May 25, 1999.

NIST has determined that more time will be needed to complete the accreditation process for the number of testing laboratories needed to carry out the act. More than 150 laboratories already have been accredited, and another 300 are progressing toward accreditation by July 26, 1998. In addition, some 50 fastener manufacturers are expected to be QAS/SPC-qualified by the implementation date.

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 (301-975-5120, malghan [at] (malghan[at]nist[dot]gov)), fax: (301) 975-2183. Additional information is available on the FQA page of NIST’s World Wide Web site at

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

Released April 13, 1998, Updated January 8, 2018