Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver -- Mars Electronics International


Printer Friendly Number 65 FR 63673
10-24-00

[Federal Register:  October 24, 2000  (Volume 65, Number 206)]
[Notices]               
[Page 63673]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24oc00-117]                         
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Transit Administration
 
Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.
ACTION:  Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver.
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SUMMARY: This waiver allows ticket vending machine manufacturers to 
install the banknote handling unit (BHU) manufactured by Mars 
Electronics International and count it as domestic for purposes of Buy 
America compliance. It is predicated on the non-availability of the 
item domestically and was granted on July 21, 2000, for the period of 
two years, or until such time as a domestic source for this BHU becomes 
available, whichever occurs first. This notice shall insure that the 
public, particularly potential manufacturers, is aware of this waiver. 
FTA requests that the public notify it of any relevant changes in the 
domestic market. FTA also granted an identical waiver to Giesecke & 
Devrient, a competitor of mars and manufacturer of a similar device. 
That waiver is published elsewhere in today's Federal Register.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Meghan G. Ludtke, FTA Office of Chief 
Counsel, Room 9316, (202) 366-4011 (telephone) or (202) 366-3809 (fax).
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The above-referenced waiver follows:
July 21, 2000.
Mr. Cassius L. Jones, Industry Manager, Mars Electronics 
International, 1301 Wilson Drive, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380-
5953.
Re: Application for Waiver of Buy America for Automated Fare 
Collection System Component
    Dear Mr. Jones: This letter responds to your correspondence of 
March 16, 2000, in which you request a Buy America component waiver 
based upon nonavailability for certain bank note handling units 
(BHU) manufactured for use in ticket vending machines. The unique 
nature of the BHU's at issue is the ability to return inserted bills 
when a transaction is not completed.
    On May 13, 1992, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 
granted Mars a waiver for the BSN385/39 BHU for the period of two 
years, this waiver was extended for another two years on January 11, 
1994. On February 21, 1996, FTA extended the waiver for the BNA52/
54, the successor to the BSN385/39 for two more years. On May 13, 
1998, you requested another extension and on August 4, 1998, FTA 
responded, asking for information supporting your assertion that 
there was still no equivalent product currently manufactured in the 
U.S.
    On March 26, 2000, you amended your request by adding supporting 
information and requesting that the waiver be extended to include 
the improved version of the BHU, the BNA57. In an effort to obtain 
current market data, you stated that you employed the services of a 
Mr. Howard Waxman, Project Manager, Strategic Consulting & Research 
Group of Find/SVP to conduct a search for a U.S. manufacturer of the 
BHU which features multiple bill escrow functionality. You submit 
that no U.S. manufacturers were found, and that Ardac Inc., Coinco, 
Global Payment Technologies, Rowe International, and Singer Data 
Products, were all contacted. This letter incorporates, by 
reference, the information contained in the above-referenced 
correspondence.
    Further, at FTA's request, Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., a 
manufacturer of ticket vending machines and purchaser of BHU's for 
use in said machines, submitted information on the state of the 
market. Cubic contends by letter dated April 19, 2000, that based 
upon an extensive survey of the market, which is continuously 
updated by technical staff, there is no known U.S. manufacturer of 
BHU's that performs the functions listed herein.
    FTA's requirements concerning domestic preference for federally 
funded transit projects are set forth in 49 U.S.C. Sec. 5323(j). 
However, Section 5323(j)(2)(B) states that those requirements shall 
not apply if the item or items being procured are not produced in 
the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a 
satisfactory quality. The implementing regulation also provides that 
a waiver may be requested ``for a specific item or material that is 
used in the production of a manufactured product.'' 49 CFR 
Sec. 661.7(g). The regulations allow a bidder or supplier to request 
a waiver only if it is being sought under this section. See 49 CFR 
661.7(g) and 49 CFR 661.9(d). This waiver would allow Mars to treat 
the BHU as domestic.
    Based on the above-referenced information, I have determined 
that the grounds for a ``nonavailability'' waiver do exist. 
Therefore, pursuant to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 
Sec. 5323(j)(2)(B), the waiver is hereby granted for manufacture of 
the BNA57, BNA52/54 and the BSN383/39 BHU's for the period of two 
years, or until such time as a domestic source for this type of BHU 
becomes available, whichever occurs first. In order to insure that 
the public is aware of this waiver, particularly potential 
manufacturers, this waiver will be published in the Federal 
Register.
    If you have any questions, please contact Meghan G. Ludtke at 
(202) 366-4011.
    Very truly yours,
Gregory B. McBride,
Deputy Chief Counsel.
    Issued on: October 19, 2000.
Nuria I. Fernandez,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 00-27298 Filed 10-23-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-M