What Does it Mean to be Berry Compliant?
The Berry Amendment stipulates that any Department of Defense textile product must be created in the United States, by American-owned manufacturers. A Berry Amendment compliant product is one that meets those criteria.
It’s a common misconception that a company or organization can be Berry Compliant. It’s not the company but the products that the company makes that are Berry Amendment compliant.
A company that can create Berry compliant products may also produce products that wouldn’t necessarily meet the strictures and requirements outlined in the Berry Amendment. What matters to a manufacturer like Vinyl Technology is that it is capable of creating products that comply with the Amendment.
What is the History of the Berry Amendment?
The Berry Amendment was named for Ellis Yarnal Berry, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. During his tenure in Congress, Berry introduced an amendment to the Buy American Act to expand the law to cover all clothing, cotton, and wool. Ever since 1952 any restrictions in the annual Defense Appropriation Acts became known as Berry Amendments.
Although it was originally passed in the 1950s, The Berry Amendment continues the requirement that restricts the Department of Defense (DoD) from using funds for buying food, clothing, fabrics, fibers, yarns, other textiles, and hand or measuring tools that are not grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the United States. The Berry Amendment has been critical to maintaining the safety and security of our armed forces, by requiring covered items to be produced in the United States. With respect to textiles and clothing, the Berry Amendment has been critical to the viability of the production base in the United States.
Is the Berry Amendment Also the Kissel Amendment?
In 2009, Congressman Larry Kissell proposed legislation added to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act mandating that any textile products contracted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security be manufactured in the United States with 100 percent U.S. inputs. This so-called Kissell Amendment was modeled on and restates many of the specific provisions of the Berry Amendment.
Are There Exceptions to the Berry Amendment?
The official website of the International Trade Administration lists some noteworthy exemptions to the Berry Amendment but also notes that these are rare. Major exceptions to the Berry Amendment are typically restricted to items that cannot be obtained by domestic manufacturers. In a country as diverse and entrepreneurial as the US, this is a rare exemption indeed.
What Products Made by Vinyl Technology are Berry Compliant?
One of the many standards that products made by Vinyl Technology can meet is the Berry Amendment. Vinyl Technology, Inc. complies with standards required by the US government and Department of Defense that include the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), STANAG 4671 and MIL-STD-6396. The Demilitarization Protection Ensemble (DPE) is one such product.
In the 1980s, the United States enacted a chemical demilitarization plan to eliminate its chemical weapons inventories. The contractor chosen for the cleanup effort needed to be a company with a proven track record for high quality and reliability that could supply a custom made chemical resistant air tight suit in high volume. Over the years, volume has fluctuated but today production is still going strong and VTI is the sole supplier of the DPE hazmat suit.
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