Many of our customers require their material to be DFARS or Domestic. And many of our other customers have seen these references to these terms but don’t know exactly what that means. There is a lot of technical language and details about exactly what qualifies for DFARS or domestic. But it will likely put you to sleep trying to read it all. Instead, here’s a simplified explanation of what these mean.
Domestic Metal is manufactured in the United States. However, it might actually have been mined and initially melted in a foreign country. To quote this official document, (Q10/A10) “The foundry location where final smelting is accomplished establishes domesticity.” Check the Mill Test Report/MTR to see the origin of where the ore was melted and where the piece was manufactured.
DFARS is short for “Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement.” Technically it is a list of regulations that the Department of Defense finds acceptable to use in DoD projects. If a nation complies to these rules, it is called DFARS Compliant. But many people just refer to them as DFARS countries.
Now, there are actually a lot of exceptions to the rules, and what specialty metals the DoD will accept. But that’s a baffling and complex set of rules, so we’re just going to gloss over them.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Tech, and Logistics publishes the list of DFARS compliant countries on their website that was very clearly designed in the 1990s. This page is the master list, and any disputes should be directed here.
DFARS and Domestic FAQs
Who needs to know the difference?
Typically, anybody who is producing parts or materials for federal or government jobs. Also, many private companies prefer materials from compliant countries.
Why does it matter?
Because it’s the law in the US that if the DoD requires DFARS, you have to comply. And the DoD insists upon these requirements for a lot of projects.
Any private companies or customers that also require Domestic/DFARS are doing so out of personal preference.
How do I know if my material is DFARS or Domestic?
Your Mill Test Reports (MTRs) will tell you where your material is from. Also, we provide free MTRs for most of our metals. You can request DFARS or Domestic materials in the order notes. Lastly, we have certain products specifically available in DFARS or Domestic.