DATE: May 24, 2004

SUBJECT: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); Policy on Nonavailable Articles Under the Buy American Act

SOURCE: Federal Register, May 24, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 100, page 29631

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: It is proposed that FAR 25.103, Exceptions, be amended to clarify the intent of the list of items determined to be nonavailable for purposes of the Buy American Act (BAA), and emphasize the need to conduct market research for potential domestic sources.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Buy American Act is implemented in FAR Subpart 25.1, Buy American Act -- Supplies, and FAR Subpart 25.2, Buy American Act -- Construction Materials.

For more on a request for comments on which articles to include on the list of nonavailable articles, see the May 18, 2004, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); List of Nonavailable Articles Under the Buy American Act."

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule are due on or before July 23, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVP), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405; through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or by e-mail to farcase.2003-021@gsa.gov. Cite "FAR Case 2003-021" in all correspondence related to this proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cecelia Davis, 202-219-0202.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The BAA requires that only domestically mined, produced, or manufactured articles may be procured for public use in the United States. The BAA provides several exceptions to this requirement, one of them being for articles not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities and of a satisfactory quality (paragraph (b)(1) of FAR 25.103, Exceptions). Paragraph (a) of FAR 25.104, Nonavailable Articles, lists the articles that meet the conditions of this exception.

The FAR 25.104(a) list is a comprehensive and wide-ranging mix of natural resources, compounds, materials, and other items of supply. Although some articles on the list have no known domestic production sources (for example, quartz crystals and vanilla beans), many are known to have some domestic sources, but those sources have been determined in the past to be inadequate to meet U.S. demand (for example, goat and kidskins (negligible domestic production); crude iodine (5% of U.S. government and nongovernment demand); and bismuth (not in excess of 50% of U.S. government and nongovernment demand). On May 18, 2004, a request for comments was published asking for information on which of the articles listed in FAR 25.104(a) are now mined, produced, or manufactured in the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably-available commercial quantities and are of a satisfactory quality. Also, comments are sought on the appropriateness of including items on the list for which there are domestic sources that can meet 50% of total U.S. demand.

This proposed rule is intended to clarify the purpose and procedures of the nonavailability list. The following are the changes that would be made to FAR 25.103(b) and FAR 25.104(b):

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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