In the Friday, May 10, 2019, edition of the Federal Register, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a proposed rule revising the definition of “Commercial Item.”
Section 847 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 (Public Law 115-91, enacted December 12, 2017), made statutory changes to the definition of Commercial Item. The proposed rule ensures the regulatory definition shown in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) conforms to the statutory changes.
The proposed rule would broaden the definition to allow certain additional items developed exclusively at private expense to qualify for the benefits associated with being treated as a commercial item. The statutory change amends the definition of commercial item to include substantial quantities on a competitive basis to multiple foreign governments.
FAR Case 2018-008 covers this proposed change. Public comments are solicited and must be submitted on or before July 9, 2019, and may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking portal. The proposed rule may be viewed in its entirety, including instructions for submitting comments, at 84 FR 20607.
Note: There is an additional FAR Case, No. 2018-018, working its way through the system which will make further FAR changes to the definition of Commercial Item. Specifically, Section 836 of the John S. McCain NDAA for Fiscal Year 2019 requires the separation of “Commercial Item” into two separate definitions– “Commercial Service” and “Commercial Product.” The law sets the effective date of these new definitions to January 1, 2020. This rule will be published in the coming months.
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