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Exceptions and waivers for the Buy American Act and Buy America requirements

Other Key Information

1. Buy America(n) Essentials

1.1 Sector Specific Information

1.2 Exceptions and Waivers

What are waivers?

If a U.S. procurement is covered by the obligations of the U.S. vis-à-vis Canada as part of the revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), Canadian suppliers may bid on the procurement despite applicable Buy American and Buy America requirements, without the need to seek a waiver.Footnote 1

When procurements are not covered by trade agreements, the applicable Buy American or Buy America requirements may be waived to allow the use of non-U.S. goods. Generally, waivers may be granted when:

Waiver requests and reviews are posted on the U.S. Federal Register.

Each U.S. federal department and agency has its own specific rules for the issuance of waivers; Canadian suppliers should always refer to these specific rules. See below for an example from the Federal Transit Authority (FTA).

Example of a waiver process: Federal Transit Administration

Following is one example of how a U.S. agency, the FTA, administers Buy America waivers. The process differs from one agency to another. Therefore, please refer to the relevant agency’s website for more information. 

To request a waiver, the grant recipient (e.g. a U.S. state government agency), contractor and subcontractor involved must:

The Administrator of the FTA may waive Buy America provisions at the request of the grant recipient based on:

For more information, please contact your nearest Canadian Trade Commissioner – In Canada or Abroad.

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