Article

TSCA: Nuances of TSCA Inventory Status – Myth or Fact Part 2

Posted on: September 6, 2019

By Stacie Abraham, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, UL William Henry Merrill Society

The U.S. Congress originally enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976 and significantly amended it in 2016. However, many misunderstandings or myths persist regarding several critical provisions; including TSCA jurisdictional coverage, TSCA Inventory status, and notification obligations.

This article – the second in a three-part series – answers several TSCA Inventory status questions to clarify some common misconceptions.

Q: If a chemical has a CAS Registry Number (CASRN), does this mean that it is listed on the U.S. TSCA Inventory?

No. the fact that a chemical substance has a CASRN does not guarantee that it is listed on the TSCA Inventory. To illustrate, CASRNs have been assigned to millions of chemical substances. But, only approximately 86,000 chemicals are listed on the TSCA Inventory. Therefore, the TSCA Inventory must be checked in order to definitively confirm a chemical’s listing status.

Q: If a substance is listed on another National Chemical Inventory, then it’s also listed on the U.S. TSCA Inventory. True or False?

False. Every country/region maintains its own chemical inventory list. These lists are separate and distinct from one another. Thus, if a chemical is listed on another National Chemical Inventory, it may or may not also be listed on the TSCA Inventory. Furthermore, each country/region has its own regulations governing which chemicals must be listed and the manner in which they are listed. In other words, the fact that a chemical is in commerce in one or more other countries doesn’t guarantee that it’s on the U.S. TSCA Inventory.

Q: A Positive TSCA Import Certification for a product means that all chemical substances in that product are listed on the TSCA Inventory. True or False?

False. TSCA Section 13 requires that any chemical substance, mixture, or article containing a chemical substance or mixture be refused entry into the customs territory of the United States if it fails to comply with any rule in effect under TSCA or is offered for entry in violation of Section 5, 6, or 7 of TSCA.

Under the TSCA import requirements, an importer provides the certification by signing one of the following statements:

  • Positive Certification Statement: “I certify that all chemical substances in this shipment comply with all applicable rules or orders under TSCA and that I am not offering a chemical substance for entry in violation of TSCA or any applicable rule or order under TSCA.”
  • Negative Certification Statement: “I certify that all chemicals in this shipment are not subject to TSCA.”

The Positive Certification Statement indicates that the chemical substances in the shipment are subject to the jurisdiction of TSCA and that they are being imported in compliance with TSCA. For example, a substance that is not listed on the TSCA Inventory that is being imported for a TSCA-regulated purpose but solely for research and development is being imported in compliance with TSCA, and therefore receives a Positive Certification Statement.

On the contrary, a Negative Certification Statement indicates that the chemical substances in the shipment are not subject to TSCA. Generally speaking, this applies when the substances are under the jurisdiction of another regulation, e.g., solely used as a pesticide and therefore subject to the U.S. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Stay tuned for our last article in this series: TSCA: Myth or Fact Part 3: What you need to know about new chemical notification obligations.

Other articles in this series:

NOTE: This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to convey legal or other professional advice.

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