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Alex Litchfield

Sales Director, Transit & Parking


1301 Wilson Drive

West Chester, PA 19390


February 23, 2009

Re: Buy America Waiver

Dear Mr. Litchfield:

This letter responds to MEIís request for a Buy America waiver for the Sodeco BNA57/542 Bill Handling Units, which are manufactured in Switzerland for use in ticket vending machines.  For the reasons below, I have determined that a non-availability waiver is appropriate here.

With limited exceptions, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) may not obligate funds for a project unless all iron, steel, and manufactured products used in the project are produced in the United States.[1]  Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B), FTA may waive its Buy America requirements if the goods for which a waiver is requested are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality.[2]

On September 18, 2006, after calling for notice and comment, FTA granted a non-availability waiver to MEI for the BNA57/542 Bill Handling Units.  Consistent with FTA practice, the waiver was valid for a period of two years, or until such time as a domestic source for this type of manufactured product became available.  In two years time, no such domestic supplier has surfaced.  FTA takes this as evidence that the BNA57/452 is not available from a domestic source.  Therefore, FTA hereby renews MEIís waiver for an additional two years or until such time as a domestic supplier becomes available, whichever occurs first.

If you have any questions, please contact Jayme L. Blakesley at (202) 366-0304 or


Scott A. Biehl

Acting Chief Counsel

[1] 49 CFR 661.5(a).

[2] 49 CFR 661.7(c).