Frequent Questions about TSCA Administration Fees
The following frequent questions address concerns stakeholders may raise regarding the Fees for the Administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act final rule.
- What does EPA charge TSCA fees for?
- Who must pay TSCA fees?
- What are the fee categories?
- How are fees paid?
- When are fees paid?
- When will EPA start collecting fees?
- Under what circumstances do processors have to submit fees?
- How will EPA identify manufacturers subject to fees for section 4 test rules and section 6 EPA-initiated risk evaluations?
- If a manufacturer is no longer manufacturing a chemical, do they still have to pay fees?
- Can businesses join together to pay fees?
- Does EPA issue fee refunds?
- Is there a discount for small businesses?
- How can a company determine if it qualifies for a "small business concern" discount?
- What has changed between the proposed and the final rules?
1. What does EPA charge TSCA administration fees for?
The rule requires payment from manufacturers who submit information to the EPA under TSCA section 4; submit a notice, exemption application, or other information under TSCA section 5; and who manufacture a chemical substance that is the subject of a risk evaluation under TSCA section 6(b). Fees would apply to processors that submit a Significant New Use Notice (SNUN) or Test Marketing Exemption (TME) under section 5 or that are required to submit data under section 4 that is related to a SNUN they submitted.
2. Who must pay TSCA administration fees?
These fees will be collected from certain chemical manufacturers (including importers) and processors (under certain circumstances).
3. What are the fee categories?
There are eight fee categories. Three categories are for section 4 activities: test orders, test rules and enforceable consent agreements. Two categories are for section 5 activities: notices and exemptions. And three categories are for section 6 activities: EPA-initiated risk evaluations, manufacturer-requested risk evaluations for chemicals on the TSCA Work Plan, and manufacturer-requested risk evaluations for chemicals not on the TSCA Work Plan. More details on the different fee types.
4. How are fees paid?
Each fee category is paid through a similar payment process, but the path to access that process is different depending on the section of TSCA you are reporting under.
Section 5 fees are paid during the submission process using screens embedded within the Central Data Exchange (CDX) application.
Fees for section 4 and section 6 activities will be invoiced electronically by EPA. Invoice notices will be populated into the specific submission's Copy of Record screen in CDX and will contain a button that will initiate the payment process. When an invoice is generated for a submission, notification e-mails will be sent to the submitter's CDX inbox and the e-mail address associated with the relevant CDX account.
Payment information will be collected in CDX and then submitted to Pay.gov for processing. Please create an account with Pay.gov before attempting to enter payment information in CDX.
5. When are fees paid?
Fees are paid either:
- upfront prior to the Agency reviewing a section 5 notice;
- within 120 days of issuance of a test order;
- within 120 days of a test rule becoming effective;
- within 120 days of signing an enforceable consent agreement;
- within 30 days of granting a manufacturer-requested risk evaluation; or
- within 120 days of publishing the final scope of an EPA-initiated risk evaluation.
6. When will EPA start collecting fees?
EPA will begin requiring payment of fees for fee-triggering events that occur on or after October 1, 2018, and will send invoices within 30 days of the effective date of the final rule. EPA is not collecting fees for fee-triggering events that started prior to October 1, 2018 such as the first ten risk evaluations, or any section 5 activities initiated before that date.
7. Under what circumstances do processors have to submit fees?
There are only three instances in which a processor must submit a fee to EPA. These are:
- where a processor submits a SNUN under section 5;
- where a processor submits a TME under section 5; or
- when there is a section 4 activity tied to a SNUN submission by a processor.
8. How will EPA identify manufacturers subject to fees for section 4 test rules and section 6 EPA-initiated risk evaluations?
For each section 4 test rule and each section 6 EPA-initiated risk evaluation, EPA will identify manufacturers subject to fees by the following process:
- publication of a preliminary list that identifies manufacturers based on information available to EPA;
- a public comment period (to allow for self-identification as required by the final rule, correction of errors, and certification of market exit for at least five years); and
- publication of a final list.
To develop each preliminary list of manufacturers for a section 4 test rule or section 6 EPA-initiated risk evaluation, EPA will use the most up-to-date information available including but not limited to:
- the latest submissions under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule;
- information collected under the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active/Inactive) rule;
- data collected by the Toxics Release Inventory Program;
- other TSCA reporting notices; and
- publicly-available information or information submitted to other agencies to which EPA has access.
For risk evaluations initiated by EPA under section 6, each preliminary list will be published no later than the time of final designation of the chemical substance as a High-Priority Substance. For more information on the prioritization process, see Procedures for Prioritization of Chemicals for Risk Evaluation Under the Toxic Substances Control Act Final Rule. For test rules under section 4, each preliminary list will be published with the proposed test rule.
9. If a manufacturer is no longer manufacturing a chemical, do they still have to pay fees?
It depends. Manufacturers who certify to EPA that they have already exited the market prior to the cutoff dates specified in the final rule and will not re-initiate manufacture for a period of five years will not be subject to fee obligations. Manufacturers who were still manufacturing a chemical beyond the cutoff dates, and/or who will re-initiate manufacturing within the next five years are still subject to fee obligations. To learn more about the process for manufacturers to certify that they have ceased manufacturer and will not re-initiate manufacture in the next five years, consult 40 CFR 100.45(b).
10. Can businesses join together to pay fees?
Yes. There are several ways for businesses to join together to pay fees, depending on the fee type. More information on sharing fees among businesses.
11. Does EPA issue fee refunds?
Yes, under certain circumstances. Learn more about fee refunds.
12. Is there a discount for small businesses?
Yes, small businesses receive an approximately 80% discount on their fees. Learn more about the definition of a small business under the final rule.
A company may qualify for a "small business concern" discount if their total number of employees is at or below the maximum allowed in the final rule for that company's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. When calculating the number of employees, the company must include the employees of all parent and subsidiary companies within the corporate chain. For example, a U.S. subsidiary subject to a TSCA fee must count the employees of its parent companies and other subsidiaries of that parent company in determining whether they fall below the threshold. The number of employees is calculated as the average number of people employed for each pay period of the business' latest 12 calendar months, regardless of hours worked or temporary status.
14. What has changed between the proposed and the final rules?
A detailed discussion of what has changed between the proposed and final rule is provided in the preamble to the final rule. There are three major areas of change in the final rule. First, the process for identifying manufacturers subject to fees has been updated to include the publication of a preliminary and final list, opportunity for public comment, the requirement for manufacturers to self-identify, and the opportunity for manufacturers to certify that they are no longer manufacturing the chemical in question. Secondly, the fee amounts for manufacturer-requested risk evaluations have changed. The final fee amount is now based on EPA’s actual costs as opposed to estimated costs. Additionally, manufacturers who request risk evaluations will now be required to provide an initial, upfront payment, to be followed by an invoice for actual outstanding costs or a refund as necessary. Finally, the timeline for consortia to form and pay fees has been extended from 60 days to 120 days.