Waivers for Defense Base Act (DBA) Insurance

DBA insurance, is a form of workers compensation insurance, and is generally required for all public works contracts performed overseas (see FAR 52.228-4 for more information), unless a waiver is granted by the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL). DOL policy and practice does not apply waivers to citizens or legal residents of the U.S. or to employees hired in the U.S.

DBA waivers, for the contracts with performance in the countries identified, release the contracting agencies and contractors from the requirement to purchase DBA insurance for foreign workers, as stated in FAR 52.228-3 - Workers Compensation Insurance (Defense Base Act) and 52.228-4 -- Workers Compensation and War-Hazard Insurance Overseas.

For waived employees, the contractor must provide workers’ compensation coverage against the risk of work injury or death or ensure that adequate coverage is provided by the host or home country of the employee. The insurance coverage must also include liability for war-hazard injuries, death, capture, or detention of the employee and compensate their beneficiaries in the event of death.

More information on DBA is available at the DOL Longshore DBA page

Types of DBA Waivers

There are two basic types of waivers – contract specific and geographic:

  • Contract Specific Waivers - a waiver may be granted for a contract due to the contractor being adequately “self-insured” or having purchased workers’ compensation insurance with coverage equivalent to that provided by DBA and War Hazards Act.
  • Geographic Waivers – a waiver may be granted based on the host country having an adequate workers’ compensation system which provides coverage for the local national employees or foreign workers performing work on an applicable contract in that country.

Obtaining Current Geographic Waivers

DoD acquisition offices can obtain copies of geographic waivers previously issued from the DOL DBA waiver page (https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbawaivers/dbawaivers.htm).

Waiver Request Process for DOD Contracts

DoD acquisition offices may request waivers if sufficient justification and proof of coverage is available. The request for new waivers must be made in writing on Form BEC 565, Request for Waiver - Defense Base Act, and signed by the head of a department or agency of the United States government. The Form BEC 565 and supporting information should be submitted to the Contract Policy and International Contracting office at (703) 695-8569 or email osd.pentagon.ousd-atl.mbx.cpic@mail.mil. Copies of the Form BEC 565 may also be obtained by:

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