Frequent Questions

A U.S. laboratory imports a sample of a hazardous waste from a foreign country in order to determine the optimal methods of treatment. Is the laboratory subject to the import requirements in Part 262, Subpart F?

If the laboratory complies with the applicable treatability study requirements in §261.4(e), and the laboratory requirements in §261.4(f), it is not subject to the importing requirements in Part 262, Subpart F. Under the import regulations in §262.60, a facility in the U.S. that imports hazardous waste must comply with the manifest requirements for generators listed in §262.20. But persons who generate or collect samples for the purpose of conducting treatability studies, as defined in §260.10, are not subject to any requirement of Parts 261 through 263 or to the notification requirements in RCRA §3010. Nor are such samples included in the quantity determinations for generators. This exlusion generally extends to waste samples that originate outside of the United States. Before importing any such treatibility sample, however, the importer should first contact the State agency, since State regulations can be more stringent than federal regulations. In addition, the importer should contact the country of origin to determine whether it considers the export of such a treatability sample for testing to be allowable since there are several international waste agreements that could apply.

Additional guidance on the treatability studies sample exclusion is available in the following documents:

Memo, Bussard to Paulick; September 9, 1992 (RCRA Online #11695
Memo, Lowrance to Seeger; May 4, 1992 (RCRA Online #11667
Monthly Call Center Report Question; November 1989 ( RCRA Online #13334

These documents are available at the following URL:

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