CHEMICALS & CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES IMPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Various legal requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and associated implementing regulations apply to a wide range of chemical substances and can impact importers and exporters.

For example, no chemical substance, mixture or article containing a chemical substance or mixture may be imported into the customs territory of the United States if it fails to comply with any TSCA rule or otherwise violates TSCA.

TSCA Section 3(7) defines the term “manufacture” to include import. This means that the Section 5(a)(1)(A) requirement to submit a pre-manufacture notice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at least 90-days before commencing non-exempt commercial manufacture of a new chemical substance in the United States applies to import of new chemicals, as does the Section 5(a)(1)(B) significant new use notice requirement.

TSCA Section 5(e) Orders may include use prohibitions, labeling and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) requirements, restrictions on the amount of the chemical allowed to be manufactured or imported, as well as other restrictions such as for toxicity or related testing requirements. The EPA requires notification at least 90 days before manufacture, import, or processing for uses/activities designated by EPA as a significant new use.

To comply with TSCA, chemical substances must:

  • Not be imported for any prohibited use
  • Satisfy all applicable labeling and MSDS requirements
  • Not exceed any specified restrictions on permissible import volume
  • Not be imported for any designated significant new use
  • Comply with any other applicable requirements

Information on TSCA importing, exporting and reporting requirements is available at: 
www.epa.gov/oppt/import-export/pubs/basic.htm

Information on this and other recent developments can be obtained from our technical consulting group.