Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and Priority Assessed Substances

Question: A supplier notified our company that they have obligations under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), and will be responsible for fees associated with importing goods containing a “priority assessed substance” (phosphoric acid, triphenyl ester [TPP]) into the U.S.. What are these fees, and what does it mean for our company?

Answer: Import fees associated with certain high-priority assessed substances are part of the U.S. TSCA. Phosphoric acid, triphenyl ester, or TPP, is one of these high-priority substances. The goal of this requirement is for manufacturers to either cease importing/using these substances or help defray some of the costs of administering certain provisions of the TSCA.

The fees are a sustainable source of funds for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), helping it fulfill its legal obligations, such as conducting risk evaluations to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.

Fee obligations include a total fee (currently set at $1.35 million USD) for EPA-initiated risk evaluations, with a reduced fee amount for small business concerns. The total fee is shared among all identified manufacturers (including importers). This includes:

  • Manufacturers and importers that import the chemical as part of an article.
  • Manufacturers or importers that manufacture/import chemical substances that are considered an impurity or byproduct.
  • Manufacturers or importers that manufacture/import small amounts of chemical substances.
  • All other manufacturers or importers of these chemical substances.

All of these entities are subject to the TSCA Fees Rule requirements.

Since your supplier has self-identified as an importer of a high-priority substance, they will need to help with the fees defined under the TSCA. If your company manufactures goods containing TPP in the U.S. or imports goods containing TPP into the U.S., you may also have to self-identify to help share the fee costs.

Article is current as of 2020-04-03.

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