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Notice of Buy America Waiver

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Notice of Buy America Waiver

O. Kevin Vincent
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 5, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 172 (Thursday, September 5, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54726-54727]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21518]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0098]


Notice of Buy America Waiver

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Buy America waiver.

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SUMMARY: This Notice provides NHTSA's finding that a waiver of the Buy 
America requirements is appropriate for the purchase of Combi Navette 
infant car seats by the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO), using 
Federal grant funds. NHTSA has determined that a waiver is appropriate 
because there are no comparable car seats produced in the United States 
that are designed to seat infants under four pounds.

DATES: The effective date of this waiver is October 7, 2013. Written 
comments regarding this notice may be submitted to NHTSA and must be 
received on or before: September 16, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted using any one of the 
following methods:
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Fax: Written comments may be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
     Internet: To submit comments electronically, go to the 
Federal regulations Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All comments submitted in relation to this waiver 
must include the agency name and docket number. Please note that all 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You 
may also call the Docket at 202-366-9324.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program issues, contact Barbara 
Sauers, Office of Regional Operations and Program Delivery, NHTSA 
(phone: 202-366-0144). For legal issues, contact Andrew DiMarsico, 
Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (phone: 202-366-5263). You may send mail 
to these officials at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Notice provides NHTSA's finding that a 
waiver of the Buy America requirements, 23 U.S.C. 313, is appropriate 
for the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) to purchase Combi Navette 
infant car seats, Model No.836584, using grant funds authorized under 
23 U.S.C. 402 (section 402). Section 402 funds are available for use by 
State Highway Safety Programs that, among other things, encourage the 
proper use of occupant protection devices, including child restraint

[[Page 54727]]

systems. 23 U.S.C. 402(a). The Buy America Act provides that NHTSA 
``shall not obligate any funds authorized to be appropriated to carry 
out the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (96 Stat. 2097) 
or Title 23 and administered by the Department of Transportation, 
unless steel, iron, and manufactured products used in such project are 
produced in the United States.'' 23 U.S.C. 313. However, NHTSA may 
waive those requirements if (1) Their application would be inconsistent 
with the public interest; (2) such materials and products are not 
produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available 
quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or (3) the inclusion of 
domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project 
contract by more than 25 percent. 23 U.S.C. 313(b). In this instance, 
NHTSA has determined that a waiver is appropriate for the purchase of 
Combi Navette child seats because there is no comparable product 
produced domestically that meets the need identified by MHSO--
specifically, the transport of low birth weight infants under four 
pounds.
    MHSO seeks a waiver to purchase Combi Navette car seats for use by 
the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) 
and by Maryland's Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) Car Seat Loaner Program. 
Both KISS and MIEMSS operate programs that provide resources to 
hospitals that discharge healthy, under-four-pound infants. MHSO states 
that it is a best practice to send healthy, low birth weight infants 
home in car seats instead of car beds. This is because car seats are 
easier to use and install in vehicles, require only one seating 
position in a vehicle (as opposed to two, depending on the vehicle), 
and the harness dimensions of car seats are not as limiting as car 
beds.
    The Combi Navette model is preferred by these programs because it 
has a birth-to-22-pound weight allowance, which allows for the 
transport of under-four-pound infants. The model is also equipped with 
low harness slots, a 5-point front harness adjuster with a splitter 
plate that allows an easy and accurate harness fit for babies under 
four pounds, and an anti-rebound bar which allows for easy angle 
positioning without the need for noodles or rolled towels to support 
the infant. The institutional model, sold through Child Source, retails 
for approximately $60.00 per seat and is sold in packs of three units. 
It is considered a manufactured product under the Buy America Act and 
is produced by the Combi Corporation, a Japan-based company which 
operates manufacturing subsidiaries in China.
    NHTSA is not aware of a comparable child seat produced in the 
United States. The Combi Navette is unique in the child seat market 
because it does not specify a minimum child weight. Rather, it is 
designed to safely seat children from birth-weight to 22 pounds. In 
contrast, all domestically-produced car seats on the market specify a 
minimum infant weight of at least four pounds. NHTSA is aware of only 
one other car seat, the Nania Baby Ride, which is designed to seat 
infants under four pounds; however, to the best of NHTSA's knowledge, 
the Baby Ride is currently manufactured by France-based Team-Tex and, 
therefore, for purposes of the Buy America Act, is not produced in the 
United States. NHTSA invites public comment on this conclusion.
    Therefore, in light of the above discussion, and pursuant to 23 
U.S.C. 313(b)(2), NHTSA finds that it is appropriate to grant a waiver 
from the Buy America requirements to MHSO in order to purchase Combi 
Navette infant car seats. In accordance with the provisions of Section 
117 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity 
Act: A Legacy of Users Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-
244, 122 Stat. 1572), NHTSA is providing this notice as its finding 
that a waiver of the Buy America requirements is appropriate. Written 
comments on this finding may be submitted through any of the methods 
discussed above.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 313; Pub. L. 110-161.

    Issued on: September 5, 2013.
O. Kevin Vincent,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2013-21518 Filed 9-4-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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