NEMA Urges DOE to Improve Border Enforcement

In written comments filed with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) emphasized its support for federal energy conservation standards and efforts by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to prevent noncompliant products from entering the country. However, NEMA expressed concern about the DOE’s strategy regarding noncompliant products and recommends that government agencies better utilize available data to protect consumers from illegal imports.

“NEMA welcomes the DOE’s attention to the issue, but the proposal falls well short of accomplishing the goal because the agency is not addressing noncompliant products that have never been declared,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff. “Moreover, why should the DOE impose duplicative paperwork burdens on compliant manufacturers when the agency already has the information on file?”  

This is the second set of comments that NEMA has submitted on this rulemaking, as the DOE reopened the comment period on May 16 for its December 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. NEMA’s initial set of detailed comments on the proposal were filed in March.  

“The DOE appears to be ignoring the issue of interdicting imports of products for which documentation does not yet exist,” explained Cosgriff. “In addition, the DOE has not responded in writing with its views on the viability of a trusted trader approach that NEMA recommends, especially for high-volume importers. Such a program would address regulatory burden concerns for law-abiding manufacturers and importers.”  

In its comments, NEMA reiterated its recommendations that the DOE conduct additional meetings with stakeholders and work with industry to set up pilot programs for covered product categories of the highest priority.

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