Own Use Import (OUI) Program
- Guidance for Prospective Importers Using the Own Use Import Program
- Completion of the Notice of Arrival (NOA) Form for Use in the OUI Program
- Implementing NAFTA Labels
- NAFTA TWG on Pesticides
- Background/Relationship of the U.S. OUI Program and the NAFTA Label
- How the U.S. OUI Program Works
- Ensuring Own Use
- Products in the U.S. OUI Program and Where They Are Available for Sale in Canada
- Information for Registrants Interested in Participating in the U.S. OUI Program
Background/Relationship of the U.S. OUI Program and the NAFTA Label
"Own Use Imports" refers to the practice by growers who use pesticides, to bring pesticides into the United States for their own purposes but not to sell or resell the pesticides. The OUI program was created as a short-term process to allow for such imports, until a better and long-term process could be started.
The NAFTA Label Work Group developed both a short-term and a long-term strategy for addressing the issue of cross-border movement of pesticides. The NAFTA label is the long-term strategy. But until NAFTA labels are fully implemented, the work group developed the OUI program for U.S. growers who need to use the pesticides in the meantime. The expectation is that, as NAFTA labels are developed, the need for the OUI program will diminish.
Pesticide products with NAFTA labels will be able to move freely across the border, subject to U.S. and Canadian customs requirements. The U.S. OUI Program, on the other hand, involves extra steps such as re-labeling certain Canadian pesticide products with U.S. labels. This can only be done at EPA-registered establishments, that is, Canadian retailers/distributors that either:
- Have an arrangement, such as a contract, with the U.S. registrant to conduct re-labeling, and
- Have registered the site with EPA and obtained an EPA Establishment Number
In December 2006 a trial import of one bag of triallate was conducted under this program to identify any remaining issues. Several issues, mainly surrounding U.S. Customs regulations, were identified and are being addressed. A pilot program began in the spring of 2007.
The U.S. OUI program is intended to be an interim program. It allows the import into the United States of selected Canadian pesticide products that have been re-labeled with the U.S. labels of a substantially similar U.S. product (modified with OUI language). It is a complicated program due to certain requirements of U.S. law and regulation. Principal among these is that EPA considers labeling and re-labeling of pesticide products to be "production" that must occur at an EPA-registered establishment.
Thus, in the proposed U.S. OUI Program:
- Products in the program are at the discretion of the U.S. registrant.
- The Canadian product being imported must be under control of the U.S. registrant.
- The U.S. and Canadian products must be determined by the EPA to be substantially similar through provision of product specifications by the registrant.
- U.S. OUI labeling, approved by EPA, is required on the imported product. The label must be aligned with U.S. labeling requirements in the following manner:
- The existing Canadian label should be covered in such a way as to leave the Canadian registration number visible (to ensure that a quick and correct identification of the Canadian product is always possible).
- The U.S. OUI label should be the current U.S. label of the substantially similar U.S. product with the following additions:
- If the volume of the Canadian product is different than the U.S. product, then the U.S. OUI label must include the correct volume of the Canadian product in U.S. units of measure, or provide a space where this can be written in by the retailer who is re-labeling the product, using a permanent marker. If incorrect, the volume on the current U.S. label must either be removed, covered with a sticker, or blacked out with a permanent marker.
- The U.S. OUI label should include the EPA Establishment Number of the Canadian establishment where the selling and re-labeling occurs, or provide a space where this can be written in by the retailer who is re-labeling the product, using a permanent marker. The Establishment Number on the current U.S. label must be removed, covered with a sticker, or blacked out with a permanent marker.
- The U.S. OUI label should include the required language on ensuring own use: “This product is being purchased for application by the purchaser in the United States. Retain your Notice of Arrival Form in your records until the product has been used. Evidence of resale, barter, or trade in the United States may result in removal of this product from the import program or suspension of the program.”
- The U.S. registrant will work with selected Canadian distributors and retailers who will register as EPA establishments.
- The U.S. registrants may enter into contract relationships with these Canadian retailers to re-label their products with the OUI labels approved by EPA and provided by the U.S. registrant.
- These and only these retailers will be able to sell and re-label the product for import into the United States.
- Registrants may require growers purchasing product using the OUI program to sign liability waivers at the time of purchase.
- Growers must complete a NOA form, including signature by the relevant EPA regional office, prior to import of the product. See “Completion of the NOA Form for the U.S. OUI Program.”
- Growers must ensure that the product they are seeking to use under the OUI is registered by the state regulatory agency in the state where the product will be used.
Ensuring Own Use
The most contentious issue surrounding the development of this interim program was how to ensure that purchases would, in fact, be for the purchaser’s own use. All stakeholder groups wanted to avoid the creation of a large program that lacked elements of the usual product stewardship and that might result in the creation of an alternate distribution system. Thus, registrants, growers, and distributors and retailers all agreed that the program would only be viable if there was a way to ensure that product purchased by a grower through the program was strictly for the grower’s own use.
There is also the understanding that if, despite the safeguards that were agreed to, there is evidence of resale, barter, or trade of these products in the United States, this would likely result in the end of the program because key stakeholders, e.g., the registrants and distributors and retailers, would no longer provide labels or product for import in the program.
Thus, it is critically important for all prospective users of the program to understand the provision that purchase of these products is intended strictly for the purchaser’s own use. The OUI labels state that anyone who has these re-labeled Canadian products in his possession should also have in his possession the Notice of Arrival (NOA) form used to bring them into the United States that shows his name as the purchaser and his farm as the location of the product's use.
If product is found in the possession of a grower or being used by a grower who does not have a corresponding NOA with his name as the importer and his farm as the location of the product, this will be taken as evidence of resale, barter, or trade, which may result in products being pulled from the program and/or the end of the program.
Products in the U.S. OUI Program and Where They Are Available for Sale in Canada
Syngenta volunteered three products for the pilot import program for Spring 2007. All of these products are from the U.S. growers' priority list. One product, Discover in the United States and Horizon in Canada (clodinafop-propargyl), was determined by the EPA to be not substantially similar in the United States and Canada and, therefore, could not be included in the program.
Products in the pilot import program for spring 2007 are:
- EPA Registration #100-946
Brand Name: Apron Maxx RTA
Major Active ingredients: Mefenoxam 1.1% and Fludioxonil 0.73%
Unit Size 2.64 gallons (there are two units per case)
- EPA Registration #100-1098
Brand Name: Quadris Flowable
Major Active Ingredients: Azoxystrobin 22.9%
Unit Size 1 gallon (there are four units per case)
These products are available only at the following location:
- EPA Producer Establishment # 083989-CAN-001
- Name and Street Address of Canadian Retailer:
Southern Agri Services
Junction Highway #504 - #36
Postal Code – TOK2LO
Attention: Lane Conway/Brent Gatzke
Information for Registrants Interested in Participating in the U.S. OUI Program
Only those chemicals on the U.S. growers’ priority list (PDF) (3 p, 161K, About PDF) are eligible for consideration for inclusion in the U.S. OUI program. Registrants with products on this list who are interested in participating in the U.S. OUI program should review the information on this Web site, and in particular the section, "How the U.S. OUI Program Works." Contact Diane Isbell (Isbell.email@example.com) for more information at 703-308-8154.
Relatively few Canadian retailers are currently participating in the program. Therefore, it might be wise to begin this exercise early in the process. Canadian retailers who agree to participate in this program must register as EPA establishments and obtain an EPA Establishment Number. In addition, the retailer must file an annual production report with EPA (showing the amount of product that has been re-labeled) to stay in compliance and included in the U.S. OUI process. Registrants are familiar with the process of obtaining an EPA Establishment Number and may assist the Canadian retailers. In addition, information on this process may be found at: www.epa.gov/compliance/monitoring/programs/fifra/establishments.html#registering.