CBP delays effective date for TSCA Import Certification Process Revisions

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a final rule (81 FR 8590), on January 27, 2017, delaying the effective date of the final rule published on December 27, 2016 (81 FR 94980-94986) which finalized revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) certification process when importing bulk chemicals or when importing as part of mixtures and articles containing a chemical or mixture.

This final rule is effective January 25, 2017 and the effective date of the December final rule is now March 21, 2017.  The delay is in response to the January 20, 2017 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies from Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff.  Click here to see the memorandum. 

For more information on the specific changes finalized in the December rule, click here to read an earlier post by GCSG related to the August 29, 2016 proposed rule (81 FR 59157-59162).     

EPA Amends Export-Import regulations for Hazardous Wastes

On Monday, November 28, 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule (81 FR 85696) amending their Hazardous Waste Export-Import regulations.

The changes were made to make "existing export and import related requirements more consistent with the current import-export requirements for shipments between members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); enable electronic submittal to EPA of all export and import-related documents"; and "enable electronic validation of consent in the Automated Export System (AES) for export shipments subject to RCRA export consent requirements prior to exit."

The revisions will generally affect the following:

  • Groups who export or import (or who arrange for the export or import) hazardous waste for recycling or disposal, including those subject to alternate management standards for:
    • Universal waste for recycling or disposal
    • Spent lead-acid batteries shipped for reclamation
    • Industrial ethyl alcohol shipped for reclamation 
    • Hazardous waste samples of more than 25 Kg shipped for waste characterization or treatability studies
    • Hazardous recyclable materials being shipped for precious metal recovery
  • All recycling and disposal facilities who receive imports of hazardous wastes for recycling or disposal
  • All persons who export (or arrange for the export) of conditionally excluded cathode ray tubes being shipped for recycling
  • All persons who transport any export and import shipments described in the three bullets above

Some of the major regulatory provisions in the final rule include (list below is not exhaustive):

  • Recognized traders must obtain an EPA ID number prior to arranging for export (40 CFR 262.12(d))
  • Exporters must establish/amend contracts or equivalent arrangements to include the items listed in 40 CFR 262.83(f)
  • Exporters must submit export notice or renotification with all required OECD items electronically into EPA's WIETS (40 CFR 262.83(b))
  • Exporters must either file in AES for every shipment to validate consent and provide a manifest tracking number, or must ensure paper proof of consent accompanies the shipment and a paper manifest is given by the transporter to US CBP at the point of departure; after AES compliance date exporters must file in AES for every shipment (40 CFR 262.83(a)(6))
  • Exporters must prepare and provide RCRA manifest for every shipment (40 CFR 262.83(c))
  • Exporters must prepare and provide international movement document for every shipment (40 CFR 262.83(d))
  • The last U.S. transporter must sign and date the manifest at the port for every shipment, keep a copy for their records and send back a copy to the generator (40 CFR 262.83 (a)(6)(i)(B)(2) and 263.20 (g)(4)(ii)
  • Exporters must submit export annual report with all OECD items to EPA by March 1 detailing actual shipments made the previous calendar year (40 CFR 262.83(g))

Some of the electronic submittal requirements will not go into effect until a future electronic import-export reporting compliance date that will be announced in a separate Federal Register notice.

The rule becomes effective on December 31, 2016. 

Key Definitions:

  • Exporter, also known as primary exporter on the RCRA hazardous waste manifest, means the person domiciled in the United States who is required to originate the movement document in accordance with Sec. 262.83(d) or the manifest for a shipment of hazardous waste in accordance with subpart B of this part, or equivalent State provision, which specifies a foreign receiving facility to which the hazardous wastes will be sent, or any recognized trader who proposes export of the hazardous wastes for recovery or disposal operations in the country of import.  
  • Importer means the person to whom possession or other form of legal control of the hazardous waste is assigned at the time the imported hazardous waste is received in the United States.  
  • Recognized trader means a person domiciled in the United States, by site of business, who acts to arrange and facilitate transboundary movements of wastes destined for recovery or disposal operations, either by purchasing from and subsequently selling to United States and foreign facilities, or by acting under arrangements with a United States waste facility to arrange for the export or import of the wastes.  

U.S. CBP Increases De Minimis Value to $800

On March 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it has raised the value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day that can generally be allowed to be imported free of duties and taxes from $200 to $800. 

CBP will publish an Interim Final Rule that amends the appropriate regulations. Please note that CBP reserves the right to require a formal entry on any shipment where they believe it is required.  In addition, the duty and tax free treatment can be denied if it is used for the purpose of avoiding compliance with any law or regulation.