The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) is a Fourier transform spectrometer measuring the radiance emitted from the atmosphere in limb geometry in the thermal infrared spectral region. It was operated onboard the ENVISAT satellite from 2002 to 2012. Calibrated and geolocated spectra, the so-called level 1b data, are the basis for the retrieval of atmospheric parameters. In this paper we present the error budget for the level 1b data of the most recent data version 8 in terms of radiometric, spectral, and line of sight accuracy. The major changes of version 8 compared to older versions are also described. The impact of the different error sources on the spectra is characterized in terms of spectral, vertical, and temporal correlation because these correlations have an impact on the quality of the retrieved quantities. The radiometric error is in the order of 1% to 2.4%, the spectral accuracy is better than 0.3ppm, and the line of sight accuracy at the tangent point is around 400m. All errors are well within the requirements, and the achieved accuracy allows atmospheric parameters to be retrieved from the ... mehr measurements with high quality.