Legislative & Regulatory Issues

Toxic Substances Control Act Reform

Both the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576) and the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697) enjoyed broad support since they were first introduced and passed their respective chambers. The bills then went through an informal conference process where their differences were ironed out, and a compromise was made. 

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on final text of this House/Senate compromise on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, passing it with a whopping 403-12 vote. The Senate then approved the compromise bill by unanimous consent. Following passage in the House and Senate, President Obama signed the bill into law on June 22, 2016.

The final text and more information on the enacted TSCA reform bill, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, can be found here. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now working on major implementation rules, including procedural rules on prioritization and risk-evaluation, as well as rules on a new fee structure and an inventory reset. There were some mandates, including the new provisions on new chemicals, that became effective as of the date of enactment. Proposals for the rulemaking are expected to emerge in January 2017.

For more information, please contact Dan Newton at (571) 348-5122.

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill

After four long years, President Obama signed the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 into law, renewing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) process. The International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent, non-partisan agency, is now in charge of reviewing petitions and submitting recommendations to Congress.

The new law requires the ITC to review domestic availability, as well as publish petitions for public comments. After its analysis, the ITC will then issue a public report to Congress recommending certain products that meet the MTB tests (raw materials not domestically produced that are being taxed).

The ITC accepted petitions from October 14, 2016, until December 14, 2016. It is likely the duty suspensions will not take effect before September 2017, and there are no provisions in the law for retroactivity.

SOCMA remains engaged in the MTB process and will continue to provide updates to members on how to submit petitions to the ITC in 2016.

Please email Brittany Mountjoy at (571) 348-5121 for any additional information.

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