Important Update - Manufacturing and Standards Specification for Textbooks (MSST)

Posted By: Matt Baehr BMI News , Industry ,

Over the years, the MSST has been the guide for how to produce durable textbooks for our K-12 schools.  Many years of work has been done by SIMRA, the publishing, and print community to create the standards we have today.  So the materials recommendations in them have been time tested.

Our book supply chain, as well as all other global supply chains, is facing unprecedented disruptions.  This has led to a shortage in some key materials outlined in the MSST for the manufacturing of our textbooks.   There have been discussions and requests to “relax” the MSST standards or create a temporary waiver so that alternate materials can be used in the manufacturing of textbooks.   The position of SIMRA, the publishing, and print community is that the standards should not be changed without thorough testing of alternate materials which would include testing of product in the field.  At this point we don’t have time to confidently change the standards.

It is our understanding, based on talking to suppliers, that the disruption of materials specified in the MSST will be temporary but we have no defined timeline.  There is an alternative to help get physical textbooks into the classrooms this year – leverage the process the MSST has for substitute materials.  If the material doesn’t meet the testing requirements outlined in the MSST, submission of a new form B to notify the buyer is allowed.  If this process is selected, we would recommend working with printers and suppliers to understand alternate options and making those substitutions.

If you have any questions, please contact BMI Executive Director Matt Baehr at