Under the Toxic Substance Control Act importers are considered manufacturers and are regulated under TSCA § 5 and 8 just as domestic manufacturers. TSCA §13 requires that importers certify that chemical substances being imported either comply with TSCA or are not subject to TSCA. During shipment through customs importers are obligated to certify the status of all imported chemicals under TSCA. This is done by providing a certification with the shipment along with all material safety data sheets.
Who is considered an Importer under TSCA?
- The consignee
- The importer of record
- Owner of merchandise
- Transferee of merchandise
- Positive “I certify that all chemical substances in this shipment comply with all applicable rules or orders under TSCA and that I am not offering a chemical substance for entry in violation of TSCA or any applicable rule or order under TSCA” must consider:
o Is the material being imported for export only?
o Is the material a new chemical substance according to TSCA?
o Does this chemical have an exemption (R&D, LVE, Polymer, LoREX) and does the EPA need to be notified? R&D and Polymer exemptions are the only ones that don’t require notification, but has other requirements which should be looked at.
o Is the material an Intergenic Microorganism?
o Is the material subject to a SNUR?
o Does the material contain any PCBs?
o Is the material regulated as a metalworking fluid?
o Is the material Hexavalent Chromium?
- Negative “I certify that all chemicals in this shipment are not subject to TSCA” applies when:
o Material is a pesticide
o Material is source material, special nuclear material or byproduct material.
o Material will be used as munitions
o Material will be used as a food, food additive, drug, cosmetic, or device.
- No Certification
o Chemical is being imported as an article according to 19 CFR 12.120(a)
o Material is imported as tobacco or tobacco product.
Importer responsibilities are to determine whether imported chemicals are regulated under TSCA and to determine whether intended commercial uses are “exempt” or “nonexempt”
o Chemicals determined to be nonexempt must be included in the TSCA inventory
o Chemicals imported for exempt purposes need not be included in the TSCA Inventory
- Importer to determine if imported chemicals are subject to § 4, 5, 6, or 7
The EPA has assembled a checklist that can assist chemical importers in determining if they are in compliance. It is found at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/