What is the SAFETY Act?
The Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act, also known as the SAFETY Act, was passed by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law No. 107-296. The purpose of the law is to ensure that the threat of liability does not deter potential manufacturers and sellers of anti-terrorism technology from developing and commercializing technologies to reduce the risks or mitigate the effects of a large-scale terrorist event. One of these incentives is to codify the availability of the government contractor defense against lawsuits arising out of, or related to, Acts of Terrorism when Certified Anti-Terrorism Technologies (QATT) have been deployed.
A QATT can be any technology designed, developed, modified, procured, or sold for the purposes of preventing, detecting, identifying, or deterring acts of terrorism or limiting the harms such acts might otherwise cause, which has received a formal designation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). QATT designations are granted by the government after successful completion of a formal application process.
To be eligible for the government contractor defense, the QATT must also be certified as an Approved Product for Homeland Security. This entails undergoing an additional application and approval process. In addition to meeting the criteria to be designated a QATT, a QATT must also be shown to:
- Perform as intended
- Conform to the seller’s specifications
- Be safe for use as intended
The certification is valid for as long as the related designation is in effect and will terminate automatically when the designation ends. The certification may be renewed or transferred, along with the designation.
The regulations defining the criteria for becoming designated or certified are set out in Title 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 25 (6 CFR Part 25). Application information is available at a special DHS website, www.safetyact.gov.
DHS publishes SAFETY Act for Liability Protection Fact Sheet at https://www.dhs.gov/publication/safety-act-liability-protection.
Additional information about government contractor defense liability is available in Government Contractor Defense.
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LC APR 2019 11-124