January 9, 2020 View Web Version | Text Only Version
In This Issue
AHRI/Industry News
Rees Scholarship Foundation Awards $85,500 to Aid Aspiring HVACR Technicians
Legislative and Regulatory
AHRI Applauds Introduction of HVACR Jobs Bill
Standards and Certification
Guideline N Updates Now in Effect
AHRI Welcomes New Certification Participants
ASHRAE Issues Call for Membership
Global
China Announces Tariff Cuts for 2020
USTR Requests Comments on Exclusion Extension for Round 1 Section 301
USTR Grants China Tariff Exclusions
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AHRI/Industry News
Rees Scholarship Foundation Awards $85,500 to Aid Aspiring HVACR Technicians

The Clifford H. "Ted" Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of AHRI and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), announced scholarship awards totaling $85,500 to 49 students, including seven military veterans studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry. Since the Rees Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2003, it has awarded more than $930,000 in scholarships to more than 500 deserving students and instructors. For a list of past scholarship recipients, click here. Contact: Sue Perez.

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Legislative and Regulatory
AHRI Applauds Introduction of HVACR Jobs Bill

 

AHRI expressed strong support this week for legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) that would boost American manufacturing of next-generation refrigerant technologies, promote American technology, and create tens of thousands of new jobs. The American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership Act, HR 5544, would bring about a phasedown of a class of refrigerants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and allow for a market- and consumer-friendly transition to new and better performing refrigerants and related products and equipment.  

The bill is similar to the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (S.2457), introduced in the Senate on October 30 by Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), which now has 32 bipartisan co-sponsors. Although the bills differ slightly in structure and organization, both would produce the same Federal regulatory framework to phase down HFCs. AHRI supports this legislation as it will help to implement an HFC phasedown and allow the industry to reap the substantial economic benefits associated with this transition in refrigerant technologies. It will also protect consumers and provide significant economic and environmental benefits. According to a 2018 study by the Interindustry Forecasting at the University of Maryland (INFORUM), an HFC phasedown will create 33,000 new manufacturing jobs, increase direct manufacturing output by $12.5 billion, and increase the U.S. share of the global HVACR export market by 25 percent. Contact: Samantha Slater.

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Standards and Certification
Guideline N Updates Now in Effect

Significant changes to refrigerant container color protocol took effect January 1, as outlined in AHRI Guideline N, Assignment of Refrigerant Container Colors. Guideline revisions, first published in 2015, specify that all refrigerant containers should have the same paint color, RAL 7044, to reduce confusion among similarly colored refrigerant containers. The change was implemented to ensure refrigerants will continue to be used correctly and safely. AHRI Guideline N previously stipulated that specific colors be used for refrigerant containers as an additional means of refrigerant identification. However, with the increased number of refrigerants approved for use and the respective increase in the number of colors assigned to these refrigerants, there was concern over the potential misidentification of similarly colored containers. More than half of respondents to an AHRI survey of refrigerant users found that container colors had caused confusion. This confusion was likely to increase as new refrigerants are added to the market.

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 for hazmat transportation regulations and CFR Title 29 for occupational safety and health regulations require that all hazardous material containers, including refrigerant cylinders and drums, be labeled to clearly identify the contents. These container labels and markings should always be used as the primary means of identification for hazardous materials, including refrigerants. AHRI will continue to assign PMS colors for printed materials only, including the label on containers and the outer packaging of DOT39 cylinders, the guideline still requires that all flammable refrigerants include a red band on the shoulder or top of the container. The changes do not apply to products already packaged. As with all AHRI standards and guidelines, Guideline N is free to download from AHRI’s website. Contact: Ned Bent.

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AHRI Welcomes New Certification Participants

AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program:

  • Haier US Appliance Solutions, Inc., dba GE Appliances, a Haier Company – Residential Water Heaters (RWH)
  • LG Electronics, Inc. – Unitary Large Equipment (ULE) 

Contact: Rupal Choksi.

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ASHRAE Issues Call for Membership

ASHRAE issued a call for members to BSR/ASHRAE Standard 164.3-2015R, Method of Test for Commercial and Industrial Isothermal Humidifiers. To view details, refer to the recent issue of ASHRAE’s Standards Action. Access the Public Review Drafts by visiting ASHRAE’s Standards, Research, & Technology/Public Review Drafts web page, and following the instructions to access the online comment database. To obtain a paper copy, contact ASHRAE. All necessary membership forms are available here. Contact: Ladan Bulookbashi

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Global
China Announces Tariff Cuts for 2020

On December 23, the Office of the Tariff Commission of the State Council of the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China announced reduced import tariffs on commodities beginning on January 1, 2020. The notice of the tariff rate change contains a list (Chinese) of 859 products and tentative tariff rates for 2020. Many of the provisional tariff rates are less than the most-favored nation (MFN) tax rate for 2020 and vary by product. AHRI staff reviewed the list and identified member products among those granted a tariff decrease here and have included the provisional and MFN tax rates for 2020. Members are encouraged to review the original tariff list to ensure a complete analysis of how member products are affected. For a full list of AHRI products and components affected by Section 301 tariffs, as well as exclusions, consult AHRI's Tariff Tracker. Contact: Michael LaGiglia

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USTR Requests Comments on Exclusion Extension for Round 1 Section 301

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a Federal Register notice December 30 announcing the opportunity to be given a one-year extension on current exclusions granted in this Federal Register notice, dated March 25, 2019. This batch of exclusions was the second of those announced by the USTR and part of the first round of Section 301 tariffs on $34 billion worth of products imported from China; they are set to expire on March 25, 2020. AHRI staff previously identified the following products that may affect AHRI members and were granted a tariff exclusion:

  • Submersible centrifugal pumps, each powered by 36 V motor (described in statistical reporting number 8413.70.2004); and
  • DC motors rated at 739.6 W, each with a housing with external diameter of 85 mm or more but not exceeding 90 mm and weight of 257 g or less (described in statistical reporting number 8501.31.5000).

USTR is accepting public comments to inform possible exclusion extensions from January 15-February 15, as described in the December 30 notice. Instructions on how to submit comments can be found in Section B. Approved extensions will be valid for up to 12 months. For a full list of AHRI products and components affected by Section 301 tariffs, as well as exclusions, consult AHRI's Tariff Tracker. Contact: Michael LaGiglia

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USTR Grants China Tariff Exclusions

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a Federal Register notice January 6 announcing additional Section 301 tariff exclusion approvals for products imported from China. The 68 approved product exclusions came from products on List 3, which were subject to tariffs effective September 24, 2018, and cover approximately $200 billion worth of goods from China. The approved exclusions are retroactive to September 24, 2018 and apply to all importers of the approved products (not only to the entity that made the exclusion request). Tariff exclusions will be valid until August 7, 2020. AHRI staff identified the following member products among those granted a tariff exclusion:

  • 8414.59.6540 - Ventilation fans for motor vehicles, consisting of a 12 V DC reversible multispeed electric motor drawing 5 A, with axial fan blade, electrically operating baffle, electric keypad and circuit board and wire mesh screen, measuring no more than 36 cm by 36 cm;
  • 8414.59.6540 - Ventilation fans for motor vehicles, consisting of a 12 V DC single speed electric motor drawing 5 A, with axial fan blade, manual baffle, rotary switch and wire mesh screen, measuring no more than 36 cm by 36 cm; and
  • 8414.80.1685 - Portable air compressors, each delivering under 0.57 cubic meters per minute.

AHRI staff recommends that members review the notice for a comprehensive assessment specific to individual member companies. For a full list of AHRI products and components affected by Section 301 tariffs, as well as exclusions, consult AHRI's Tariff Tracker. Contact: Michael LaGiglia

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