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UPDATE: Exemption List for the Steel Products Procurement Act Issued, Comment Period Open

3/7/2013 | Construction Blog

We recently reported that the Pennsylvania legislature passed amendments to the Pennsylvania Steel Products Procurement Act that Governor Corbett signed into law. The change, which created automatic exemptions for certain products under the Act, is designed to make compliance with the law more manageable and decrease costs on state contracts.

steel-materials-thumb-338x342-17475The statute now charges the Department of General Services with preparing and posting a list of exempt products. That list has been published by DGS and the public comment period for the items included in it is open. The list is far reaching and includes a number of products that are directly related to the construction industry. A copy of the list can be found here.

In its Statement of Policy, DGS outlines how it views the law’s new element. After explaining that a state agency head could waive the requirements of the Act previously, the policy statement points out that the amendments do not even require that step if an item appears on the exemption list:

However, this section does not apply when the head of the public agency, in writing, determines that steel products are not produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements of the contract. Act 159 expands upon this exception by eliminating the need for the written determination if a steel product that is not produced domestically in sufficient quantities to meet contract requirements is identified on a preapproved list created by the Department. The contractor is not required to complete a waiver form if the steel product to be utilized on the project is on the list of exempt machinery and equipment steel products. Act 159 charges the Department with creating a list of exempt machinery and equipment steel products that have been identified by the Department as not domestically produced in sufficient quantities to meet contract requirements. If the product is identified on the list, it is exempt from the act.

Public comment on the exemption list closes on March 10, 2013. After that date, DGS will consider the comments submitted, change the list if required at all, and make the list permanent until next year when it must be updated.

It is likely safe to assume that the exemption list will not change substantially after public comment, but you should check the list again in late April to confirm the status of the products relevant to your company if you use steel or the products you work with include steel components.