Changes Proposed for TSCA Import Certifications

September 7, 2016

On August 29, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) import certifications, which are required for imports of chemical substances, mixtures, and certain articles that contain a chemical substance.  81 Fed. Reg. 59,157 (2016).  CBP developed the proposal in consultation with the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).  The notice proposes changes to the procedures for submitting the required TSCA certifications, elimination of the existing blanket certification process, and changes to certain regulatory definitions.  Comments are due September 28, 2016. 

The proposed rule raises the possibility of electronic submission of TSCA certifications.  Earlier this year CBP announced a test of electronic transmission of TSCA certifications.  If CBP determines that the test is successful, the final rule will authorize electronic certification.  The notice also proposes to allow electronic submission of exportation and abandonment notices in those cases where the shipment is denied entry.

CBP is also proposing to eliminate the existing blanket certification, which currently can be used on a port-specific basis in lieu of separate certifications for each shipment, based on the expected availability of the new electronic certification process.  

Finally, CBP seeks comment on potential future changes to the negative certification requirement.  Under current rules, a TSCA certification is required for the importation of chemicals substances - whether or not they are subject to TSCA.  In instances where the chemical is not subject to TSCA, such as a pesticide product regulated under FIFRA, a negative certification is required.  The CBP notice solicits comments on potentially exempting certain non-TSCA substances from the negative certification requirement when an import is clearly identified as a pesticide or other chemical not subject to TSCA.

If you have any questions or for further information, please feel free to contact Seth Goldberg at +1 202 429 6213, Gregory McCue at +1 202 429-6421, Cynthia Taub at +1 202 429 8133, or Sara Beth Watson at +1 202 429 6460.