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VA Federal Supply Schedule Service

General - Trade Agreements Act

  1. What is the Trade Agreements Act?

  2. Am I allowed to sell foreign made products to the Government?

  3. Am I allowed to offer products that are manufactured in multiple countries?

  4. If we are a reseller and we purchase from a company that falls within a designated country but they manufacturer the products I sell in a non-designated country, what rule applies?

  5. Does the country of manufacturing determine the designated country?

  6. If the product is ordered on the open market, do we need to notify the customer that the product bought is not TAA compliant?

  7. What if the product is not manufactured from a designated country, but I import it from a designated country? Is it considered TAA compliant?

  8. Under what circumstances, if any, would the VA make an exception to the TAA clause?

  9. Is there an exception to TAA if the product is offered from a sole source?

  10. How do you suggest we handle a situation where the country of origin for a product changes after the initial award and certification?

  11. For medical "kits", if one of the items of the kit is not manufactured in a designated country, is the kit still considered compliant?


1.  What is the Trade Agreements Act?

The Trade Agreements Act is applicable to all Schedules.  Under the terms of this act only US-made or designated country end products shall be awarded to responsible VA FSS contractors.

It is your firm's responsibility to verify that all of your offered products are from the US or a designated country.  When an item consists of components from various countries and the components are assembled in an additional country, the test to determine country of origin is substantial transformation (see FAR 25.001(c)(2)).  Offerors requiring a determination on substantial transformation can go to the U.S. Customers and Border Protection Office of Regulations and Rulings.

2.  Am I allowed to sell foreign made products to the Government?

Yes, however, all products offered under the VA FSS Program must be compliant with the Trade Agreements Act.  Under the terms of this act only U.S.-made or other designated country end products may be offered via the VA FSS Program.

3.  Am I allowed to offer products that are manufactured in multiple countries?

Yes, however, the final end product must be U.S.-made or a designated country end product.

4.  If we are a reseller and we purchase from a company that falls within a designated country but they manufacturer the products I sell in a non-designated country, what rule applies?

The Trade Agreements Act rule still applies.  You need to review the country of origin of where the product was substantially transformed.

5.  Does the country of manufacturing determine the designated country?

Not necessarily, you need to review the country in which the product was substantially transformed.

Substantial transformationoccurs when an imported item emerges from processing as a new and different item, with a new name, defining character, and use.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Regulations & Rulings is the Government agency responsible for identifying origin of products in order to inform the ultimate purchaser of TAA compliance.

6.  If the product is ordered on the open market, do we need to notify the customer that the product bought is not TAA compliant?

This is dependent on the requirements of the procurement.  Work with the ordering activity’s contracting officer to determine if TAA applies to the specific acquisition.

7.  What if the product is not manufactured from a designated country, but I import it from a designated country? Is it considered TAA compliant?

Not necessarily, you need to review the country in which the product was substantially transformed, and it is recommended that you get a ruling from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Regulations & Rulings.

8.  Under what circumstances, if any, would the VA make an exception to the TAA clause?

No, under the VA Schedules program there are no exceptions to the Trade Agreements Act.

9.  Is there an exception to TAA if the product is offered from a sole source?

No, under the VA Schedules program there are no exceptions to the Trade Agreements Act.

10.  How do you suggest we handle a situation where the country of origin for a product changes after the initial award and certification?

It is your firm’s responsibility to ensure that the country of origin for all products is within a designated country.  If you determine that the country of origin has changed to a non-designated country then you must submit a product deletion modification to remove non-TAA compliant products from your contract.

11.  For medical "kits", if one of the items of the kit is not manufactured in a designated country, is the kit still considered compliant?

No, all items of the kit must be manufactured in the U.S. or other designated country to be allowed on your Schedule contract.  (Reminder:&nbsp The test for determining the country of origin is substantial transformation).

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