CBP Proposes TSCA Import Certification Requirement Changes

On August 29, 2016 the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a proposed rulemaking (81 FR 59157-59162) that would amend the regulations regarding the requirement to file a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) certification when importing into the United States.

Under the current requirements, found in 19 CFR 12.121(a), when a TSCA regulated chemical is imported in bulk form or as part of a mixture or a non-TSCA chemical is imported, the importer (or their licensed customs broker) must submit a signed certification stating either:

  1. All chemical substances in the shipment comply with all applicable rules or orders under TSCA and that the importer is not offering a chemical substance for entry in violation of TSCA or any rule or order thereunder, or
  2. All chemicals in the shipment are not subject to TSCA. 

The TSCA certification is required to be filed with the director of the port of entry before release of the shipment. 19 CFR 121(a)(2) identifies how/where the certification may appear.

Under this rulemaking, CBP is proposing changes to 19 CFR 12.118 - 12.121.  These changes are intended to "clarify the description, scope, and definitions of the requirements for the importation of chemical substances, mixtures and articles containing a chemical substance or mixture, as well as the requirements associated with non-TSCA chemicals."  CBPs specific proposals include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Clarification of the definition of "chemical substances" to make it more clear the regulation applies to the importation of chemicals whether or not they are subject to TSCA.  
  • Replacement of the existing definition of "chemical substance in bulk form" with a definition of "TSCA chemical substance in bulk form" and a new definition for the terms "TSCA chemical substance as part of a mixture" and "non-TSCA chemical". 
  • Revision of references to "chemical substances, mixtures, or articles" to clarify that these regulations apply to TSCA chemical substances, mixtures, or articles as well as non-TSCA chemicals. 
  • Revision of the scope in Sec. 119 to ensure it accurately reflects the requirements with regard to certain TSCA chemical substances and non-TSCA chemicals.   

Because the definition of "chemical substances" in section 3(2) of TSCA excludes certain substances, CBP believes referring to chemicals that are not subject to TSCA as a "chemical substance" may be confusing.  Therefore CBP has issued this rulemaking to clarify that the regulation applies to all chemicals regardless of whether they are "chemical substances" subject to TSCA.