(a) Acquisitions in the following categories are not subject to the restrictions in 225.7003-2 :
(1) Acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.
(2) Acquisitions outside the United States in support of combat operations.
(3) Acquisitions in support of contingency operations.
(4) Acquisitions for which the use of other than competitive procedures has been approved on the basis of unusual and compelling urgency in accordance with FAR 6.302-2.
(5) Acquisitions of items specifically for commissary resale.
(6) Acquisitions of items for test and evaluation under the foreign comparative testing program (10 U.S.C. 2350a(g)). However, this exception does not apply to any acquisitions under follow-on production contracts.
(b) One or more of the following exceptions may apply to an end item or component that includes any of the following, under a prime contract or subcontract at any tier. The restrictions in 225.7003-2 do not apply to the following:
(1) Electronic components, unless the Secretary of Defense, upon the recommendation of the Strategic Materials Protection Board pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 187, determines that the domestic availability of a particular electronic component is critical to national security.
(2)(i) Commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) items containing specialty metals, except the restrictions do apply to contracts or subcontracts for the acquisition of—
(A) Specialty metal mill products, such as bar, billet, slab, wire, plate, and sheet, that have not been incorporated into end items, subsystems, assemblies, or components. Specialty metal supply contracts issued by COTS producers are not subcontracts for the purposes of this exception;
(B) Forgings or castings of specialty metals, unless the forgings or castings are incorporated into COTS end items, subsystems, or assemblies;
(C) Commercially available high performance magnets that contain specialty metal, unless such high performance magnets are incorporated into COTS end items or subsystems (see PGI 225.7003-3 (b)(6) for a table of applicability of specialty metals restrictions to magnets); and
(D) COTS fasteners, unless—
(1) The fasteners are incorporated into COTS end items, subsystems, or assemblies; or
(2) The fasteners qualify for the commercial item exception in paragraph (b)(3) of this subsection.
(ii) If this exception is used for an acquisition of COTS end items valued at $5 million or more per item, the acquiring department or agency shall submit an annual report to the Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, in accordance with the procedures at PGI 225.7003-3 (b)(2).
(3) Fasteners that are commercial items and are acquired under a contract or subcontract with a manufacturer of such fasteners, if the manufacturer has certified that it will purchase, during the relevant calendar year, an amount of domestically melted or produced specialty metal, in the required form, for use in the production of fasteners for sale to DoD and other customers, that is not less than 50 percent of the total amount of the specialty metal that the manufacturer will purchase to carry out the production of such fasteners for all customers.
(4) Items listed in 225.7003-2 (a), manufactured in a qualifying country or containing specialty metals melted or produced in a qualifying country.
(5) Specialty metal in any of the items listed in 225.7003-2 if the USD(A&S), or an official authorized in accordance with paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this subsection, determines that specialty metal melted or produced in the United States cannot be acquired as and when needed at a fair and reasonable price in a satisfactory quality, a sufficient quantity, and the required form (i.e., a domestic nonavailability determination). In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2533b(m)(4), the term “required form” in this section refers to the form of the mill product, such as bar, billet, wire, slab, plate, or sheet, in the grade appropriate for the production of a finished end item to be delivered to the Government under this contract; or a finished component assembled into an end item to be delivered to the Government under the contract. See guidance in PGI 225.7003-3 (b)(5).
(i) The Secretary of the military department concerned is authorized, without power of redelegation, to make a domestic nonavailability determination that applies to only one contract. The supporting documentation for the determination shall include—
(A) An analysis of alternatives that would not require a domestic nonavailability determination; and
(B) Written documentation by the requiring activity, with specificity, why such alternatives are unacceptable.
(ii) A domestic nonavailability determination that applies to more than one contract (i.e., a class domestic nonavailability determination), requires the approval of the USD(A&S).
(A) At least 30 days before making a domestic nonavailability determination that would apply to more than one contract, the USD(A&S) will, to the maximum extent practicable, and in a manner consistent with the protection of national security and confidential business information—
(1) Publish a notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.FedBizOpps.gov or any successor site) of the intent to make the domestic nonavailability determination; and
(2) Solicit information relevant to such notice from interested parties, including producers of specialty metal mill products.
(B) The USD(A&S)—
(1) Will take into consideration all information submitted in response to the notice in making a class domestic nonavailability determination;
(2) May consider other relevant information that cannot be made part of the public record consistent with the protection of national security information and confidential business information; and
(3) Will ensure that any such domestic nonavailability determination and the rationale for the determination are made publicly available to the maximum extent consistent with the protection of national security and confidential business information.
(6) End items containing a minimal amount of otherwise noncompliant specialty metals (i.e., specialty metals not melted or produced in the United States that are not covered by another exception listed in this paragraph (b)), if the total weight of noncompliant specialty metal does not exceed 2 percent of the total weight of all specialty metal in the end item. This exception does not apply to high performance magnets containing specialty metals. See PGI 225.7003-3 (b)(6) for a table of applicability of specialty metals restrictions to magnets.
(c) Compliance for commercial derivative military articles. The restrictions at 225.7003-2 (a) do not apply to an item acquired under a prime contract if—
(1) The offeror has certified, and subsequently demonstrates, that the offeror and its subcontractor(s) will individually or collectively enter into a contractual agreement or agreements to purchase a sufficient quantity of domestically melted or produced specialty metal in accordance with the provision at 252.225-7010 ; and
(2) The USD(A&S), or the Secretary of the military department concerned, determines that the item is a commercial derivative military article (defense agencies see procedures at PGI 225.7003-3 (c)). The contracting officer shall submit the offeror’s certification and a request for a determination to the appropriate official, through agency channels, and shall notify the offeror when a decision has been made.
(d) National security waiver. The USD(A&S) may waive the restrictions at 225.7003-2 if the USD(A&S) determines in writing that acceptance of the item is necessary to the national security interests of the United States (see procedures at PGI 225.7003-3 (d)). This authority may not be delegated.
(1) The written determination of the USD(A&S)—
(i) Shall specify the quantity of end items to which the national security waiver applies;
(ii) Shall specify the time period over which the national security waiver applies; and
(iii) Shall be provided to the congressional defense committees before the determination is executed, except that in the case of an urgent national security requirement, the determination may be provided to the congressional defense committees up to 7 days after it is executed.
(2) After making such a determination, the USD(A&S) will—
(i) Ensure that the contractor or subcontractor responsible for the noncompliant specialty metal develops and implements an effective plan to ensure future compliance; and
(ii) Determine whether or not the noncompliance was knowing and willful. If the USD(A&S) determines that the noncompliance was knowing and willful, the appropriate debarring and suspending official shall consider suspending or debarring the contractor or subcontractor until such time as the contractor or subcontractor has effectively addressed the issues that led to the noncompliance.
(3) Because national security waivers will only be granted when the acquisition in question is necessary to the national security interests of the United States, the requirement for a plan will be applied as a condition subsequent, and not a condition precedent, to the granting of a waiver.