LEGISLATIVE AND TECHNICAL AFFAIRS
By Stuart Gosswein
Michigan—Military Vehicles: The Michigan House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to allow for the titling and registration of historic military-surplus vehicles. Such vehicles are not currently able to be titled or registered for use on highways in the state. The bill awaits consideration by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
New Law to Reduce Maintenance Backlog on Federal Lands: Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). This SEMA-supported law will dedicate $9.5 billion over the next five years to address the maintenance backlog on federal lands by creating a national parks and public land legacy restoration fund, enabling the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and several other federal agencies to rebuild and improve trails, roads, docks, campgrounds and more. The bill will also appropriate $900 million annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for projects that help to protect natural areas, water resources, cultural heritage sites, and to provide recreation opportunities. The GAOA will benefit many SEMA members in the off-road market, in addition to companies selling wheels/tires, suspension, power and other equipment to help tow RVs and boats to the nation’s parks and recreation areas.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act: SEMA filed a petition with the Copyright Office to renew an existing exemption allowing vehicle owners and service and repair shops to diagnose, repair or modify a vehicle without violating copyright protections. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998 to ensure that copyright law extended to digital products and services. Congress also included a process for securing three-year exemptions that can be renewed indefinitely when a need to access copyrighted material can be demonstrated, such as accessing vehicle software to repair a vehicle or install aftermarket products.
Regulatory Reform Bills: The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee passed two SEMA-supported bills to make it easier for Congress to prevent the creation of overly burdensome regulations. The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act would require Congress to approve economically significant regulations before they can take effect, including those that have a $100 million impact or greater on the economy. The committee also passed the Unfunded Mandates Accountability and Transparency Act to provide businesses with a stronger voice in shaping the regulatory process and to require agencies to pursue less burdensome regulatory alternatives. Both bills may now be considered by the full Senate.
Made in USA Regulation: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is proposing to issue a regulation to consolidate its longstanding policy to enforce unqualified “Made in USA” claims. For decades, the agency has used its general legal authority to enforce against unfair or deceptive trade practices regarding unqualified “Made in USA” claims. The FTC has issued broad guidance on the topic (most recently in 1997) but not issued a formal regulation until now. The FTC is not pursuing any changes of substance to its policy, which requires a seller making an unqualified “Made in USA” claim to have a reasonable basis for asserting that “all or virtually all” of the product is made in the United States.
Companies may still make qualified “Made in USA” claims for products that include U.S. content or processing but do not meet the criteria for making an unqualified claim. Qualified claim examples include “Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts,” “75% U.S. content” and “Assembled in U.S.A.”
The FTC rule would not supersede any other federal or state rule that is consistent or would provide greater protection. For example, California allows a “Made in USA” label for products sold in California if the product is made in the United States and all its subcomponents that are sourced from outside the U.S. constitute no more than 5% of the final value of the manufactured product.
Ohio—License Plates: SEMA-supported legislation from 2019 allowing the display of only a single, rear-mounted license plate went into effect on July 1, 2020. The state previously required both a front and a rear plate. The new law is expected to save the state between $1.2 and $1.4 million per year.
California Consumer Privacy Act Takes Effect: The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—a law that changed the rules governing California’s customer data collection policy—took effect on July 1, 2020. The law enhances online privacy protections for consumers.
Initially passed in 2018, the CCPA is intended to restrict how companies disclose personal information collected for commercial purposes. Under the law, impacted businesses must provide consumers with the right to know what personal data is being collected and provide the right to opt out of such collection. The law also provides California’s attorney general with right of action to enforce it. Companies have 30 days to comply if notified of a violation of the law.
The CCPA applies to any for-profit company doing business in California that meets one of the following criteria:
- Gross revenue more than $25 million.
- Annually purchases, receives, sells or shares personal information of more than 50,000 customers, households or devices for commercial purposes.
- Derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling customers’ personal information.
Examples of personal information include the resident’s name, social security number, email address, records of products purchased, internet browsing history, geolocation data, and inferences from other information that identify personal preferences and characteristics.
For more information or questions regarding the CCPA, visit www.oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa.