How the TSCA “Inventory Reset” Affects Chemical Processors

Background on the Inventory Reset: What’s Already Happened, and What’s Happening in 2018

TSCA was amended in 2016 to require EPA to separate the TSCA Inventory into “active” and “inactive” designations.  This is called the “TSCA Reset,” and it’s underway right now.   As you know, currently in the U.S., chemicals must be on the TSCA Inventory to be used in commerce – meaning that chemicals must be on the Inventory to be manufactured or processed. Please note that the following Q&A is meant for general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for consulting with your own legal advisor.

Q: Who is subject to mandatory or voluntary reporting under the new TSCA?

A: Only Manufacturers and Importers of chemicals that were active in commerce between June 2006 and June 2016 are subject to mandatory reporting requirements. Processors may voluntarily report those chemicals that were active in commerceduring the same time period until Oct. 5th, 2018.

Q: I use these TSCA chemicals in my business. How do I know if I’m a processor?

A: The definition of a processor has not changed under the new TSCA. If you were or were not a processor under TSCA before it was amended in 2016, your “status” is the same. If you have questions about your status, please consult your company counsel.

Q: Does this rule create any new or different requirements for processors?

A: As noted above, the TSCA Inventory Active/Inactive rule does not impose any requirements for processors to report active chemicals via Form A notifications. However, 90 days after EPA publishes an initial inventory of chemicals in commerce, manufacturers, importers, and processors will be required to submit Form B notifications if they intend to manufacture, import, or process chemicals listed as “inactive.” These stakeholders now have a first look at this inventory in draft form. Processors should first consult this draft inventory to see whether any chemicals you process are inactive in commerce. If your chemical is “inactive” you may wish to consider submitting a Form A active chemical notification prior to the Oct. 5th deadline.

Q: Do I need a CDX receipt to participate in the inventory reset?

A:No, processors are not required to obtainin an inventory reset Form A CDX receipt to confirm that substances on the draft inventory have been notified as active. Processors first step should be to review EPA’s draft inventory to see if a chemical substances is marked as active. No further notification action under the inventory reset rule is required if a chemical is marked as active on the inventory.

Q: Do I need to be registered in CDX to make a notification?

A: Yes. Each company will need to identify individuals to submit active chemical notifications on behalf of the relevant entity by creating a CDX account. More information is available in EPA’s user guides for the CDX system generally and the submission of active chemical notifications for purposes of the inventory reset.

Q: When will the draft inventory be published?

A: EPA plans to publish a draft inventory of active chemicals in commerce between the end of the mandatory manufacturer reporting period and the end of the voluntary processor reporting period. This is expected during the first half of 2018, and you will find the draft available on EPA’s website. This draft inventory will identify only chemicals which EPA has determined are “active” in commerce.

Q: If my company wants to submit a Form A notification, how do I do this?

A: Form A notifications can be submitted through EPA’s CDX reporting database. EPA has published user guides for the CDX system and the submission of active chemical notifications, and published slides and transcripts of its webinars held during the manufacturer reporting period that should help with understanding the general submission process. These notifications can include multiple substances, or just one substance. EPA also has a help line, and email help can be requested at: (202) 554-1404; tsca-hotline@epa.gov.

Once you submit a Form A active chemical notification, you will receive an email receipt with a Transaction ID number pertaining to that submission. If you wish to share that receipt with other members of the regulated community, you may do so using ACC’s website.

Q: What if I don't know the identity of a chemical (in a proprietary mixture, e.g.) and therefore do not know whether the chemical is on the active draft inventory?

A: Contact your suppliers to ask if they have made all of their active chemical notifications. If your suppliers indicate they have made all the active chemical notifications required of them under the retrospective reporting requirement, you need not submit any active chemical notifications.

Q: What if I need to amend or delete my joint submission?

A: Contact your suppliers to ask if they have made all of their active chemical notifications. If your suppliers indicate they have made all the active chemical notifications required of them under the retrospective reporting requirement, you need not submit any active chemical notifications.

Q: What happens if I am not able to submit a Form A notification before the Oct. 5th deadline?

A: Participation in the reset is voluntary for processors, and there is no enforcement liability or consequence for a processor who chooses not to participate prior to the October 5th, 2018 deadline for Form A submissions. However, if a processor decides not to submit an active chemical notification via Form A during the voluntary reporting period, and if a chemical that company processes remains on the “inactive” inventory after the initial inventory is released, the processor cannot use the chemical until it has been notified as active. After the initial inventory is published, this notification is done using EPA’s Form B.

Q: When will the initial inventory be published?

A: The initial inventory could be published as soon as November or December of 2018. However, there is no statutory deadline for EPA to publish the inventory. The initial inventory will include a list of both “active” and “inactive” chemicals.

Q: When will I need to begin submitting Form B notifications, and how do I do that?

A: Companies will only have 90 days after the initial inventory is published (in late 2018) before the inventory become effective. This means that by spring of 2019, any chemicals marked as “inactive” will be barred from manufacture, import, or processing in the U.S., and companies doing so may be subject to penalties. To convert an inactive substance to active designation, companies must file a Form B in the CDX system before manufacture, import, or processing, but no more than 90 days before. EPA has clarified in Q&A that Form B submissions may be made before the effective date of inactive designation, so once the draft inventory is published, you may file either a Form A or B notification.

Q: Will I be required to stop manufacturing, importing, or processing at any point?

A: You may keep processing any chemical on the TSCA inventory as you normally do while the reset process continues, up to and until 90 days after EPA publishes the initial inventory. This will be the effective date of “active” or “inactive” chemicals. Processors will ultimately need to assure that chemicals they would like to continue to process on and after the effective date of the initial inventory have “active” status.

Anyone manufacturing, importing, or processing a chemical listed as “inactive” on the chemical inventory past the effective date of the initial inventory are subject to fines and penalties for each day they do so. The current maximum daily penalty is $37,500 per violation.

Q: How long do I have to wait after filing a Form B to begin manufacturing, importing, or processing a chemical?

A: There is no wait at all. Once the Form B is submitted, the manufacturer, processor, or importer may begin manufacturing, importing, or processing immediately. EPA will provide receipt of Form B through CDX.

Q: Will EPA be holding any webinars or information sessions?

A: Yes. EPA has yet to set a date for processor-oriented webinars, but has committed to providing these sessions.

Q: Does ACC have any resources to help me?

A: ACC is happy to work with processors, as we have with manufacturers and importers, to develop a complete and accurate chemical inventory. Please visit our CDX receipt database, or contact Richard Starr and Karyn Schmidt for more information.


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