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January 31, 2022

Are you TAA compliant?

For most of the data storage industry TAA compliance is a hot topic. If you’re involved with US Federal contracts – or contracts for any number of related agencies – the chances are you’ve heard of TAA compliance.

TAA refers to the Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. § 2501–2581). It’s intended to provide fair and open international trade for the USA. Within the TAA is a stipulation that products must be produced or undergo “substantial transformation” within the United States or a designated country. However, one of the largest technology manufacturing locations in the world (The People’s Republic of China) isn’t on that list. And neither are some other major players in electronics manufacturing. This makes sourcing certain TAA-compliant products more difficult.

In the case of LTO this is especially tricky since only two countries manufacture LTO mechanisms (China and Japan).

And to add to the confusion, there’s no official TAA certification. The responsibility of verifying compliance rests solely on the contractor or supplier who is required to comply with the request for a TAA product.

So how do you ensure a product you buy is TAA compliant? It might not be enough to ask the vendor. A good rule to follow is the definition of “substantial transformation.” This means at least 50% of product production must take place in a TAA designated country.

In the case of LTO mechanisms the only country that’s currently TAA compliant is Japan. LTO products that incorporate mechanisms from anywhere other than Japan are not TAA compliant as the LTO mechanism itself accounts for more than 50% of the product.

At Symply, we’re TAA compliant through our use of LTO mechanisms with a certified Japanese country of origin. If you’re shopping with other brands make sure you check their manufacturing and sourcing locations. Often, a business will advertise that their products are made in the USA but their production locations indicate otherwise. These products may require additional inquiries to verify TAA compliance.

Furthermore, sourcing LTO mechanisms via a TAA compliant country does not make the product TAA compliant. The only way to be sure is to check the label on the mechanism itself. If it says China, it’s not TAA compliant and not a legal product to be sold for Federal contracts.

Here at Symply we guarantee that if you order TAA part numbers, the device you’re buying is 100% TAA compliant. We stand behind what we sell and are always available to answer any questions you have. If you need assistance or additional information on TAA compliance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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