Fees for the Administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act
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The 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provided EPA with expanded authority to collect fees from chemical manufacturers and importers to help defray up to 25% of the costs associated with overall TSCA implementation efforts. TSCA further required EPA to establish a fee structure by rule. On September 27, 2018, EPA finalized the Fees for the Administration of TSCA rule. The final rule became effective on October 18, 2018.
The rule requires payment of fees for eight different categories of activities or fee-triggering events under TSCA sections 4, 5 and 6:
- Test Rules under TSCA section 4
- Enforceable Consent Agreements under TSCA section 4
- Test Orders under TSCA section 4
- New Chemical Notices (Pre-manufacture Notices, Significant New Use Notices, and Microbial Commercial Activity Notices) under TSCA section 5
- New Chemical Exemption Applications (Low Volume Exemption, Test Marketing Exemption Application, TSCA Environmental Release Application, etc.) TSCA section 5
- EPA-Initiated Risk Evaluations under TSCA section 6
- Manufacturer-Requested Risk Evaluations for Chemicals on the TSCA Work Plan
- Manufacturer-Requested Risk Evaluations for Chemicals NOT on the TSCA Work Plan
The fee amount for each of these categories was developed by estimating the total annual costs of administering TSCA sections 4, 5, and 6 (excluding the costs of manufacturer-requested risk evaluations) and of collecting, processing, reviewing, providing access to and protecting from disclosure as appropriate confidential business information. The Agency then allocated 25% of those costs (the full amount recoverable under TSCA section 26) across six fee triggering events in sections 4, 5, and 6. Fees for manufacturer-requested risk evaluations are not subject to the 25% limitation in TSCA; the final fee amount is a percentage of the actual cost of conducting the evaluation.
As a general matter, most fee responsibilities under the final rule are assigned to chemical manufacturers (including importers). In certain circumstances, fees may also apply to chemical processors (e.g., when a processor submits a SNUN under TSCA section 5).
Entities that meet the definition of a “small business concern” as defined in the final rule can receive a substantial discount of approximately 80%.
Where multiple entities are subject to a fee, the final rule allows those entities to pay individually or through a consortium of payers. EPA will divide the total fee amongst responsible individual and joint payers in accordance with a formula and process described in the final rule.
During fiscal years 2019-2021 the Agency will work to track TSCA implementation costs and use that information to adjust future fees, if appropriate. As required by law, EPA will evaluate and readjust, if necessary, the fees every three years.
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