ROUND 8 – APRIL 2012
On April 4, 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule (referred to as “Round 8”) adding 13 designated biobased product categories (previously referred to by USDA as designated “items”) to the existing list of designated biobased items. The product categories are: air fresheners and deodorizers; asphalt and tar removers; asphalt restorers; blast media; candles and wax melts; electronic components cleaners; floor coverings (non-carpet); foot care products; furniture cleaners and protectors; inks; packing and insulating materials; pneumatic equipment lubricants; and wood and concrete stains. The final rule, as it appeared in the Federal Register notice (77 FR 20281), is viewable here.
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Designated product categories are afforded a Federal purchasing preference under Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.
USDA has designated the following 13 product categories along with a minimum biobased content for each.
|Product Category||Minimum Biobased Content|
|Air fresheners and Deodorizers||97%|
|Asphalt and Tar Removers||80%|
|Candles and Wax Melts||88%|
|Electronic Components Cleaners||91%|
|Floor Coverings (non-carpet)||91%|
|Foot Care Products||83%|
|Furniture Cleaners and Protectors||71%|
Sheetfed – Color
Sheetfed – Black
Printer Toner – < 25 ppm
Printer Toner – ≥ 25 ppm
|Packing and Insulating Materials||74%|
|Pneumatic Equipment Lubricants||67%|
|Wood and Concrete Stains||39%|
USDA includes exemptions from the preferred procurement requirement for (1) products or systems designed or procured for combat or combat-related missions, and (2) spacecraft systems and launch support equipment. However, USDA states that this exemption does not extend to contractors performing work other than direct maintenance and support of the spacecraft or launch support equipment or combat or combat-related missions. In addition, USDA notes that agencies may purchase biobased products wherever performance, availability and reasonable price indicates that such purchases are justified.
Air Fresheners and Deodorizers – Products used to alleviate the experience of unpleasant odors by chemical neutralization, absorption, anesthetization, or masking.
Asphalt and Tar Removers – Cleaning agents designed to remove asphalt or tar from equipment, roads, or other surfaces.
Asphalt Restorers – Products designed to seal, protect, or restore poured asphalt and concrete surfaces.
Blast Media – Abrasive particles sprayed forcefully to clean, remove contaminants, or condition surfaces, often preceding coating.
Candles and Wax Melts – Products composed of a solid mass and either an embedded wick that is burned to provide light or aroma, or that are wickless and melt when heated to produce an aroma.
Electronic Components Cleaners – Products that are designed to wash or remove dirt or extraneous matter from electronic parts, devices, circuits, or systems.
Floor Coverings (non-carpet) – Products, other than carpet products, that are designed for use as the top layer on a floor. Examples are bamboo, hardwood, and cork tiles.
Foot Care Products – Products formulated to be used in the soothing or cleaning of feet.
Furniture Cleaners and Protectors – Products designed to clean and provide protection to the surfaces of household furniture other than the upholstery.
Inks – Inks are liquid or powdered materials that are available in several colors and that are used to create the visual image on a substrate when writing, printing, and copying.
(i) Specialty inks. Inks used by printers to add extra characteristics to their prints for special effects or functions. Specialty inks include, but are not limited to: CD printing, erasable, FDA compliant, invisible, magnetic, scratch and sniff, thermochromic, and tree marking inks.
(ii) Inks (sheetfed – color). Pigmented inks (other than black inks) used on coated and uncoated paper, paperboard, some plastic, and foil to print in color on annual reports, brochures, labels, and similar materials.
(iii) Inks (sheetfed – black). Black inks used on coated and uncoated paper, paperboard, some plastic, and foil to print in black on annual reports, brochures, labels, and similar materials.
(iv) Inks (printer toner – < 25 pages per minute (ppm)). Inks that are a powdered chemical, used in photocopying machines and laser printers, which is transferred onto paper to form the printed image. These inks are formulated to be used in printers with standard fusing mechanisms and print speeds of less than 25 ppm.
(v) Inks (printer toner – ≥ 25 ppm). Inks that are a powdered chemical, used in photocopying machines and laser printers, which is transferred onto paper to form the printed image. These inks are formulated to be used in printers with advanced fusing mechanisms and print speeds of 25 ppm or greater.
(vi) Inks (news). Inks used primarily to print newspapers.
Packaging and Insulating Materials – Pre-formed and molded materials that are used to hold package contents in place during shipping or for insulating and sound proofing applications.
Pneumatic Equipment Lubricants – Lubricants designed specifically for pneumatic equipment, including air compressors, vacuum pumps, in-line lubricators, rock drills, jackhammers, etc.
Wood and Concrete Stains – Products that are designed to be applied as a finish for concrete and wood surfaces and that contain dyes or pigments to change the color without concealing the grain pattern or surface texture.