Buy America Guidance Letters
The guidance letters below were published prior to enactment of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) (2021, Pub. L. 117-58 §§ 70901-70927), and therefore are not representative with respect to items that may be considered construction materials under BABA.
The letters remain representative of the application of FTA’s Buy America requirements for steel, iron, and manufactured products.
|Miles & Stockbridge
FTA provided clarification on the treatment of car body shells under its Buy America regulations. FTA confirmed that its December 7, 2007 letter advising recipients and manufacturers that the inclusion of car body shells in its 2007 Buy America Final Rule did not change the status quo for transit vehicle manufacturers who account for tubular steel and other items listed in Appendix B of the Final Rule as "components" in their Buy America calculations, remains in effect and has not been rescinded.
|FTA provided clarification of 49 U.S.C. § 5323 (j)(5), which allows manufacturers of rolling stock to include in their calculation of domestic content the cost of steel or iron produced in the United States that is used in the rolling stock frames or car shells. The intent of 49 U.S.C. § 5323(j)(5) is to permit rolling stock manufacturers to receive credit for U.S. steel or iron used in car body shells without having to go through the requirements contained in Sections 661.11(i) and (j) regarding tariff exemptions. Therefore, the rolling stock manufacturer must provide sufficient documentation to establish that steel or iron used in its car body or shell is produced in the United States and the total cost of the steel or iron.
|Security Industry Association
|FTA determines that internet protocol (IP) cameras are covered under the microcomputer/microprocessor waiver in FTA’s Buy America regulation (Appendix A of 49 CFR section 661.7, App. A, para. (b)). However, a security/surveillance system is still considered a “manufactured end product,” and as such, any components not covered under a waiver must be manufactured in the United States.
|Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
|FTA determined that the concrete tie is a component of a concrete tie-based fastening system in which the tie-mounted shoulder works in conjunction with the loose clips, mounts, and insulating pads to secure the rails to the tie. Because the shoulders have been permanently incorporated into the ties during the manufacturing process, they are not separate components; rather, they are subcomponents of the concrete ties and are not required to be sourced domestically.
|Metropolitan Transportation Authority
|FTA determined that Securiplex's water mist fire suppression system is a "manufactured end product" for the purposes of Buy America, consistent with its January 6, 2015 decision. Because each of the components is being manufactured in the United States, FTA finds that Securiplex's water mist fire suppression system complies with FTA's Buy America requirements.
|FTA provided clarification regarding the applicability of the microprocessor waiver to communication equipment.
|Santa Cruz Metro
|FTA determined that polycarbonate panels underwent sufficient domestic manufacturing activities to render them Buy America-compliant components of a facility.
|Delta Composites LLC
|FTA determined that a fiberglass structural platform system consisting of walkways, handrails, and stairs is a manufactured end product and not a component of a transit station.
|FTA provides guidance to KONE regarding non-structural elevator components made of steel or iron.
|Bob Hope Airport – Regional Intermodal Transportation Center
|FTA determined that the junction boxes and electrical conduit used in fire alarm, lighting, and power systems for the Bob Hope Airport – Regional Intermodal Transportation Center are components for purposes of Buy America and must be manufactured in the United States.
|Sacramento Regional Transit District
|FTA provides guidance regarding utility work performed by PG&E, holding that a gas transmission system and a valve lot are separate manufactured end products and identifying components and subcomponents of each.
|Southern California Edison
|FTA letter to SCE on the application of FTA's Buy America rules to SCE for the electric utility relocation work it performs as part of an FTA-funded project.
|FTA determined that Otis Elevator Company’s escalator manufacturing processes are sufficient to meet FTA’s Buy America requirements.
|Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
|FTA letter to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the application of FTA's Buy America rules to the utility relocation performed by AT&T.
|Charlotte Area Transit System
|FTA guidance to Charlotte Area Transit System on the application of FTA's Buy America rules to the utility relocation performed by AT&T.
|New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority
|FTA determined that the concrete block of NY MTA’s Low Vibration Track (LVT) system is an end product and the individual concrete block, rubber boot, pad, and plastic insert that make up the concrete block end product are components for purposes of Buy America.
|New Starts Working Group
|FTA responds to inquiry about the application of Buy America rules to uility relocation contracts.
Letter of Interpretation-KONE Inc.'s Escalator Manufacturing Process
|Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District
|Applicability of Buy America provisions to planned ferry boat rebuild.
|Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
|FTA determination that Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority may apply the rolling stock waiver to its procurement, but that FTA intends to publish guidance proposing to apply the manufactured product standard to all subsequent rolling stock overhauls.
|San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
|FTA letter to San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District on whether it could implement a bidding preference to bidders that exceed Federal Buy America requirements.
|Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
|Application of FTA's Buy America to traffic signal improvements within the City's Green Impact Zone.
|Detroit Diesel Corporation
|FTA determination that the BlueTEC aftertreatment system is a subcomponent of an engine and the integrated elements should be treated as a single component for purposes of compliance with FTA's Buy America regulations.
|Alta Bicycle Share - Public Bike System Company
|FTA guidance to Alta Bicycle Share on the application of FTA's Buy America rules to bicycle sharing systems.
|San Francisco Municipal Railway
|FTA determined that an escalator and a permanently affixed elevator are components and KONE’s manufacturing processes of the escalators to be installed in S.F. Muni’s stations were sufficient to meet Buy America.
|Yonkers Contracting; ThyssenKrupp Elevator
|FTA determined that an escalator is a component and ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s manufacturing processes for the escalators to be installed in the 245 Park Avenue Entrance to New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Grand Central Station were sufficient to meet the Buy America requirements.