Government Contracts Rule Prohibits Acquisition of Tantalum from Covered Countries
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Rule Prohibits Acquisition of Tantalum from Covered Countries

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

An interim rule amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to prohibit the acquisition of tantalum metal and alloys from North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran. The rule implements section 849 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (PL 116-92), which added tantalum to the definition of “covered materials” in 10 USC 2533c. With some exceptions, 10 USC 2533c prohibits the acquisition of any covered material melted or produced in any covered country—North Korea, China, Russia, or Iran—or any end item, manufactured in any covered country, that contains a covered material. This rule adds tantalum to the restriction at DFARS 225.7018 by amending the title of the section, adding “tantalum metal and alloys” to the definition of “covered material” at DFARS 225.7018-1, and including tantalum in the explanation of exceptions at DFARS 225.7018-3(c)(1)(ii) (exception for commercially available off-the-shelf items inapplicable to a mill product that has not been incorporated into an end item, subsystem, assembly, or component) and (d)(1) (meaning of nonavailabilty of a covered material in the required form).

Restriction Explained. In addition, the rule adds a new paragraph (c) at DFARS 225.7018-2, Restriction, to explain the restriction on production of tantalum metal and alloys, including the reduction of tantalum chemicals such as oxides, chlorides, or potassium salts, to metal powder and all subsequent phases of production of tantalum metal and alloys, such as consolidation of metal powders. The rule makes the same changes to the clause at DFARS 252.225-7052, now titled “Restriction on the Acquisition of Certain Magnets, Tantalum, and Tungsten.” DFARS 252.225-7052 does not apply to acquisitions below the simplified acquisition threshold, in accordance with 41 USC 1905, but applies to contracts for the acquisition of commercial items, except as provided in 10 USC 2533c(c)(3). There are no changes to the procedures for nonavailability determinations (DFARS 225.7018-4). Finally, the rule makes conforming changes at DFARS 212.301(f)(ix)(FF), DFARS 225.7002-2, DFARS 225.7003-3, and DFARS 225.7018-5. The rule has an October 1, 2020, effective date. Comments on this interim rule, identified by DFARS Case 2020-D007, are due by November 30, 2020. For the text of the rule, see ¶70,017.49.

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