Government Adds Australia as a World Trade Organization Country

09/27/2019 by Michael L. Sterling, Esq.

If your contract includes Buy American Act (BAA) or Trade Agreement Act (TAA) requirements you need to know the approved list of source countries. On September 10, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published in the Federal Register a final rule, FAC 2019-06; FAR Case 2019-011; Item IV; Docket No. FAR2019-0011; Sequence No. 1, amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add Australia as a World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) country. It applies to acquisitions over the WTO GPA threshold, as well as to acquisitions for commercial items and commercial off the shelf (COTS) items. Australia is a designated country because it is a Free Trade Agreement country. You should always review the procurement to determine which BAA and TAA clauses are included, and check the current thresholds and lists of allowable source countries. You may then also need to learn various details about the manufacturing process to determine country of origin. Always assure you have properly completed your certifications in ORCA regarding the BAA and TAA. Further restrictions apply on Department of Transportation (DOT) funded contracts which often mandate only American made items. You should also consider applicable tariffs. Bottom line is that you want to make sure that you comply with the law and that your quoted prices account for all of these considerations.


About the Author:

australia tradeMike serves as the Managing Partner of the law firm and is located in the Firm’s Norfolk office. He has also served on the Executive Board and Chaired the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group, Practice Management Committee, and Dispute Resolution Services.

Mike’s practice is concentrated on complex projects and disputes for international, national and local clients with particular focus on compliance and other regulatory issues. He also manages the law firm’s Dispute Resolution Services. He serves as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), various courts and by private appointment. For more information, please contact Mike at msterling@vanblacklaw.com.

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