(a) General. In order to qualify as a small business concern for a small business set-aside, service-disabled veteran-owned small business set-aside or sole source contract, HUBZone set-aside or sole source contract, WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside or sole source contract, 8(a) set-aside or sole source contract, partial set-aside, or set aside of an order against a multiple award contract to provide manufactured products or other supply items, an offeror must either:
(1) Be the manufacturer or producer of the end item being procured (and the end item must be manufactured or produced in the United States); or
(1) A firm may qualify as a small business concern for a requirement to provide manufactured products or other supply items as a nonmanufacturer if it:
(i) Does not exceed 500 employees (or 150 employees for the Information Technology Value Added Reseller exception to NAICS Code 541519, which is found at § 121.201, footnote 18);
(ii) Is primarily engaged in the retail or wholesale trade and normally sells the type of item being supplied;
(iii) Takes ownership or possession of the item(s) with its personnel, equipment or facilities in a manner consistent with industry practice; and
(iv) Will supply the end item of a small business manufacturer, processor or producer made in the United States, or obtains a waiver of such requirement pursuant to paragraph (b)(5) of this section.
(2) For size purposes, there can be only one manufacturer of the end item being acquired. The manufacturer is the concern which, with its own facilities, performs the primary activities in transforming inorganic or organic substances, including the assembly of parts and components, into the end item being acquired. The end item must possess characteristics which, as a result of mechanical, chemical or human action, it did not possess before the original substances, parts or components were assembled or transformed. The end item may be finished and ready for utilization or consumption, or it may be semifinished as a raw material to be used in further manufacturing. Firms which perform only minimal operations upon the item being procured do not qualify as manufacturers of the end item. Firms that add substances, parts, or components to an existing end item to modify its performance will not be considered the end item manufacturer where those identical modifications can be performed by and are available from the manufacturer of the existing end item:
(i) SBA will evaluate the following factors in determining whether a concern is the manufacturer of the end item:
(A) The proportion of total value in the end item added by the efforts of the concern, excluding costs of overhead, testing, quality control, and profit;
(B) The importance of the elements added by the concern to the function of the end item, regardless of their relative value; and
(C) The concern's technical capabilities; plant, facilities and equipment; production or assembly line processes; packaging and boxing operations; labeling of products; and product warranties.
(ii) Firms that provide computer and other information technology equipment primarily consisting of component parts (such as motherboards, video cards, network cards, memory, power supplies, storage devices, and similar items) who install components totaling less than 50% of the value of the end item are generally not considered the manufacturer of the end item.
(3) The nonmanufacturer rule applies only to procurements that have been assigned a manufacturing or supply NAICS code, or the Information Technology Value Added Resellers (ITVAR) exception to NAICS code 541519. The nonmanufacturer rule does not apply to contracts that have been assigned a service (except for the ITVAR exception to NAICS code 541519), construction, or specialty trade construction NAICS code.
(4) The nonmanufacturer rule applies only to the supply component of a requirement classified as a manufacturing, supply, or ITVAR contract. If a requirement is classified as a service contract, but also has a supply component, the nonmanufacturer rule does not apply to the supply component of the requirement. The rental of an item(s) is a service and should be treated as such in the application of the nonmanufacturer rule and the limitation on subcontracting.
A procuring agency seeks to acquire computer integration and maintenance services. Included within that requirement, the agency also seeks to acquire some computer hardware. If the procuring agency determines that the principal nature of the procurement is services and classifies the procurement as a services procurement, the nonmanufacturer rule does not apply to the computer hardware portion of the requirement. This means that while a contractor must meet the applicable performance of work requirement set forth in § 125.6 for the services portion of the contract, the contractor does not have to supply the computer hardware of a small business manufacturer.
A procuring agency seeks to acquire computer hardware, as well as computer integration and maintenance services. If the procuring agency determines that the principal nature of the procurement is for supplies and classifies the procurement as a supply procurement, the nonmanufacturer rule applies to the computer hardware portion of the requirement. A firm seeking to qualify as a small business nonmanufacturer must supply the computer hardware manufactured by a small business. Because the requirement is classified as a supply contract, the contractor does not have to meet the performance of work requirement set forth in § 125.6 for the services portion of the contract.
(5) The Administrator or designee may waive the requirement set forth in paragraph (b)(1)(iv) of this section under the following two circumstances:
(i) The contracting officer has determined that no small business manufacturer or processor reasonably can be expected to offer a product meeting the specifications (including period for performance) required by a particular solicitation and SBA reviews and accepts that determination; or
(ii) SBA determines that no small business manufacturer or processor of the product or class of products is available to participate in the Federal procurement market.
(6) The two waiver possibilities identified in paragraph (b)(5) of this section are called “individual” and “class” waivers respectively, and the procedures for requesting and granting them are contained in § 121.1204.
(7) SBA's waiver of the nonmanufacturer rule means that the firm can supply the product of any size business without regard to the place of manufacture. However, SBA's waiver of the nonmanufacturer rule has no effect on requirements external to the Small Business Act which involve domestic sources of supply, such as the Buy American Act or the Trade Agreements Act.
(c) The performance requirements (limitations on subcontracting) and the nonmanufacturer rule do not apply to small business set-aside acquisitions with an estimated value between the micro-purchase threshold and the simplified acquisition threshold (as both terms are defined in the FAR at 48 CFR 2.101).
(d) Multiple item acquisitions.
(1) If at least 50% of the estimated contract value is composed of items that are manufactured by small business concerns, then a waiver of the nonmanufacturer rule is not required. There is no requirement that each and every item acquired in a multiple-item procurement be manufactured by a small business.
(2) If more than 50% of the estimated contract value is composed of items manufactured by other than small concerns, then a waiver is required. SBA may grant a contract specific waiver for one or more items in order to ensure that at least 50% of the value of the products to be supplied by the nonmanufacturer comes from domestic small business manufacturers or are subject to a waiver.
(3) If a small business is both a manufacturer of item(s) and a nonmanufacturer of other item(s), the manufacturer size standard should be applied.
(e) These requirements do not apply to small business concern subcontractors.
[61 FR 3286, Jan. 31, 1996; 61 FR 7986, Mar. 1, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 30863, May 15, 2000; 69 FR 29205, May 21, 2004; 76 FR 8252, Feb. 11, 2011; 78 FR 61132, Oct. 2, 2013; 81 FR 4469, Jan. 26, 2016; 81 FR 34259, May 31, 2016; 81 FR 48579, July 25, 2016; 83 FR 12851, Mar. 26, 2018; 84 FR 65661, Nov. 29, 2019; 85 FR 66182, Oct. 16, 2020]