Mr. Sim Bielek
Vice President Sales & Marketing
CashCode Company, Inc.
553 Basaltic Road
Dear Mr. Bielek:
This letter responds to your correspondence of July 8, 2005, in which you request an extension of a Buy America non-availability component waiver for the CashCode Company, Inc. (CashCode) model BB-0010/11/15/16/17/18/19 bill handling unit which is manufactured in Japan for use in ticket vending machines. CashCode’s bill acceptor unit is able to identify, validate, and place in mechanical escrow up to twenty banknotes of various denominations. The unit also transfers these banknotes from the escrow to three recycling canisters, to be dispensed and/or to be rerouted to a lockable/removable cassette within a ticket vending machine. On June 11, 2003, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) granted CashCode a waiver for this equipment. For the reasons below, I have determined that an extension of this waiver is appropriate here.
FTA's requirements concerning domestic preference for federally funded transit projects are set forth in 49 U.S.C. §5323(j). However, Section 5323(j)(2)(B) states that those requirements may be waived if the goods being procured are not produced in the United States (U.S.) in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or 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 C.F.R. 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 C.F.R. 661.7(g) and 49 C.F.R. 661.9(d).
You state that based on your review of the market for bill handling equipment, there are still no U.S. manufacturers of a functionally equivalent product. This assertion is supported by GFI Genfare, a ticket vending machine manufacturer and potential end user of this component. GFI Genfare conducted a market survey, the results of which affirmed that there is no U.S. manufacturer of an equivalent bill handling unit. Moreover, FTA recently granted non-availability component waivers to MEI and Toyocom, Inc. for similar bill handling products, based on non-availability of a U.S. alternative. In addition, FTA posted a request for comments on this matter on our website and received no response from any domestic manufacturer of this type of product. FTA did receive several comments in favor of granting the waiver request.
Based on the above-referenced information, I have determined that the grounds for a "non-availability" waiver exist. Therefore, pursuant to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. §5323(j)(2)(B), a waiver is hereby granted for manufacture of the (CashCode) model BB-0010/11/15/16/17/18/19 bill handling unit for a period of two years, or until such time as a domestic source for this type of unit becomes available, whichever occurs first. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Pixley at (202) 366-1936.
David B. Horner