Congress passed a reform legislation to update chemical regulations for the first time in 40 years, modernizing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed and enacted into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016.
The purpose of this reform was to create more effective federal oversight of chemicals with the hope of giving Americans greater confidence in commercial chemical use.
That being said, Chemical corporations must be aware of how the regulations affect their supply chain.
Any person who exports or intends to export a chemical substance or mixture is subject to certain Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations and they are required to notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each notice must include the following details: (1) Name of the chemical substance or mixture (2) Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Number ;(3) Name and address of the exporter; (4) Country or countries of import, which is defined as the “country where the goods are to be consumed, further processed, or manufactured, as known to the exporter at the time or exportation.” If the exporter does not know the country of ultimate destination, the shipment is credited to the last country to which the exporter knows that the merchandise will be shipped”; (5) date(s) of export or intended export; and (6) TSCA section under which EPA has taken action. EPA, in turn will provide information about the exported chemical in question.
Import requirements for TSCA related products are either to certify that the goods are in compliance with TSCA regulations (positive certification) or not subject to TSCA (negative certification). There are also cases where certain chemical substances may not need any certification.
One of the biggest challenges chemical companies face is adhering to Import/Export controls on TSCA rules. If the goods are classified as a tobacco product then an Import Certification is not required whereas if the merchandise is a pesticide/nuclear material/firearm, it would need Negative Certification. In some cases the shipment should be accompanied with FDA Form FD701 (Importer’s Entry Notice) or EPA Form 3540-1 (Notice of arrival of pesticides and devices). It shall be noted that the TSCA import certification statement is not required for companies who are based outside of the United States. However, exporters will need to provide product composition information so that their importers can determine product’s regulatory compliance status under TSCA. Overall, with businesses operating in several countries and with multiple leg shipments, it becomes very challenging to manage the ever changing rules and regulations from trade arena.
The TSCA certificate must be filed by the importers with the director of port of entry of the shipment. Import shipments that do not enter through the port and rather are imported via mail certification statements, must be submitted to the EPA agency. Import Certificates must be preprinted, typed, or stamped on the invoice for each shipment or attached to such invoice. Import Certificates may be signed by means of an authorized facsimile signature. Also TSCA certificates which are more than one year old normally may not be used.
In order to comply with regulations and ensure an effective and efficient supply chain, a sophisticated system like SAP Global Trade Services (GTS) can be a highly valuable asset. With SAP GTS one can:
- classify the product appropriately
- hold multiple tariff number based on end use
- bring in export/import controls automatically into the order to cash and procure to pay cycles, thus standardizing and automating the entire cycle
- electronically file declaration by proactively keeping all the required EPA form(s) ready to submit to customs authorities thereby ensuring international just-in-time supply chains which requires fast and cost-effective customs handling