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Advance Notice Required for Imports of Two Chemical Substances

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule that, effective Nov. 23, will impose import restrictions on two chemical substances collectively referred to as HBCD. This rule requires persons who intend to manufacture (including import) or process hexabromocyclododecane or 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane for use in consumer textiles (other than for use in motor vehicles) to notify the EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The definition of “consumer textile” in this rule can include bolts of cloth and draperies as well as textiles that are part of household furniture and mattresses.

The EPA notes that the general provisions for SNURs include an exemption for persons who import or process chemical substances as part of an article. However, this exemption does not apply to importers and processors of HBCD as part of a textile article (e.g., as part of a bolt of cloth or part of an upholstered chair).

Importers must certify that shipments of HBCD comply with all applicable rules and orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act, including any SNUR requirements. However, at this time the EPA is not requiring import certification for HBCD as part of articles. In addition, any persons who export or intend to export HBCD are subject to the export notification provisions of 15 USC 2611(b) and must comply with the export notification requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D.

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