Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, 43985-43990 [E6-12497]

Download as PDF 43985 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 149 / Thursday, August 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations publishing this Technical Correction today to change the word ‘‘revising’’ in the June 23, 2006 Direct final notice of deletion to the word ‘‘adding’’ and to amend 40 CFR part 300, Appendix B by adding the Motor Wheel, Lansing, Michigan, and inserting a ‘‘P’’ in the Notes(a) column for the Motor Wheel Site, Lansing, Michigan. EPA will place a copy of the final partial deletion package in the site repositories. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply. Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601–9657; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923; 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193. Dated: July 24, 2006. Norman Neidergang, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region V. For the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR part 300 is amended as follows: I 2. Table 1 of Appendix B to part 300 is amended under Michigan ‘‘MI’’ by adding the entry for ‘‘Motor Wheel’’ to read as follows: I Appendix B to Part 300—National Priorities List TABLE 1.—GENERAL SUPERFUND SECTION State Site name * * MI ................................................................. * * Motor Wheel ............................................... * * * City/ County * Notes a * * * Lansing ....................................................... P * * * a * * * P = Sites with partial deletions. * * * * * [FR Doc. E6–12446 Filed 8–2–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 594 [Docket No. NHTSA 2006–24128; Notice 3] RIN 2127–AJ87 Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document adopts fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 and until further notice, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, relating to the registration of importers and the importation of motor vehicles not certified as conforming to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These fees are needed to maintain the registered importer (RI) program. We are decreasing the fees for the registration of a new RI from $830 to $677 and the annual fee for renewing an existing registration from $745 to $570. These fees include the costs of maintaining the RI program. The fee required to reimburse the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Customs) for conformance bond processing costs will increase from VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Aug 02, 2006 Jkt 208001 $9.30 to $9.77 per bond. We are also increasing the fees assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision to grant import eligibility. For vehicles determined eligible based on their substantial similarity to a U.S. certified vehicle, the fee is increased from $150 to $208. For vehicles determined eligible based on their capability of being modified to comply with all applicable FMVSS, the fee is increased from $150 to $208. In the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the fee for such an inspection will remain $827 for vehicles that are the subject of either type of petition. The fee that an RI must pay as a processing cost for review of each conformity package that it submits to NHTSA will decrease to $13 from $18 per certificate. If the vehicle has been entered electronically with Customs through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and the registered importer has an e-mail address, the fee for processing the conformity package will continue to be $6, provided the fee is paid by credit card. However, if NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the conformity package is incorrect, the processing fee will be $48, representing no change from the fee that is currently charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or omissions in the statement of conformity. The amendments established by this final rule will become effective on October 1, 2006, the beginning of FY 2007. Petitions for reconsideration must be received by NHTSA not later than September 18, 2006. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule should refer to the docket and notice numbers identified above and be submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. It is requested, but not required, that 10 copies of the petition be submitted. The petition must be received not later than 45 days after publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. Petitions filed after that time will be considered petitions filed by interested persons to initiate rulemaking pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301. The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and an explanation as to why compliance with the final rule is not practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest. Unless otherwise specified in the final rule, the statement and explanation together may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15page limit. If it is requested that additional facts be considered, the petitioner must state the reason why they were not presented to the Administrator within the prescribed time. The Administrator does not consider repetitious petitions and unless the Administrator otherwise provides, the filing of a petition does not stay the effectiveness of the final rule. ADDRESSES: For legal issues: Michael Goode, Office of FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\03AUR1.SGM 03AUR1 43986 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 149 / Thursday, August 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (202–366–5263). For all other issues: Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (202–366–5291). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Introduction This rule was preceded by a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that NHTSA published on April 19, 2006 (71 FR 20061). On May 9, 2006, the agency published another notice correcting the docket number (71 FR 26919). The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended by the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, and recodified as 49 U.S.C. 30141–30147 (‘‘the Act’’), provides for fees to cover the costs of the importer registration program, the cost of making import eligibility decisions, and the cost of processing the bonds furnished to Customs. Certain fees became effective on January 31, 1990, and have been in effect, with modifications, since then. On June 24, 1996, we published a notice in the Federal Register at 61 FR 32411 that discussed the rulemaking history of 49 CFR part 594 and the fees authorized by the Act. The reader is referred to that notice for background information relating to this rulemaking action. We last amended the fee schedule in 2004. See final rule published on September 28, 2004 at 69 FR 57869. Those fees applied to Fiscal Years 2005 and 2006. The fees adopted by this final rule are based on time and costs associated with the tasks for which the fees are assessed and reflect the slight increase in hourly costs in the past two fiscal years attributable to the approximately 3.71 and 3.44 percent raises (including the locality adjustment for Washington, DC) in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2005, and on January 1, 2006, respectively. B. Comments There were no comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. C. Requirements of the Fee Regulation rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES Section 594.6—Annual Fee for Administration of the Importer Registration Program Section 30141(a)(3) of Title 49, U.S. Code provides that RIs must pay the annual fee the Secretary of Transportation establishes ‘‘* * * to pay for the costs of carrying out the VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Aug 02, 2006 Jkt 208001 registration program for importers * * *.’’ This fee is payable both by new applicants and by existing RIs. To maintain its registration, each RI, at the time it submits its annual fee, must also file a statement affirming that the information it furnished in its registration application (or in later submissions amending that information) remains correct (49 CFR 592.5(f)). In compliance with the statutory directive, we reviewed the existing fees and their bases in an attempt to establish fees that would be sufficient to recover the costs of carrying out the registration program for importers for at least the next two fiscal years. The initial component of the Registration Program Fee is the fee attributable to processing and acting upon registration applications. We will decrease this fee from $293 to $266 for new applications. We have also determined that the fee for the review of the annual statement will be decreased from $208 to $159. These fee adjustments reflect reduced ‘‘per hour’’ computer costs, which are attributed to the implementation of client-server Information Technology (IT) systems based on user-friendly personal computers. The proposed adjustments also reflect our time expenditures in reviewing both new applications and annual statements with accompanying documentation, as well as the inflation factor attributable to Federal salary increases and locality adjustments in the two years since the regulation was last amended. We must also recover costs attributable to maintenance of the registration program that arise from the need for us to review a registrant’s annual statement and to verify the continuing validity of information already submitted. These costs also include anticipated costs attributable to the possible revocation or suspension of registrations and reflect the amount of time that we have devoted to those matters in the past two years. Based upon our review of these costs, the portion of the fee attributable to the maintenance of the registration program is approximately $411 for each RI, a decrease of $126. When this $411 is added to the $266 representing the registration application component, the cost to an applicant comes to $677, which is the fee we are adopting. This represents a decrease of $260 over the existing fee. When the $411 is added to the $159 representing the annual statement component, the total cost to the RI comes to $570, which represents a decrease of $175. Section 594.6(h) enumerates indirect costs associated with processing the annual renewal of RI registrations. The PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 provision states that these costs represent a pro rata allocation of the average salary and benefits of employees who process the annual statements and perform related functions, and ‘‘a pro rata allocation of the costs attributable to maintaining the office space, and the computer or word processor.’’ The indirect costs that were previously calculated at $20.07 per man-hour are being decreased by $3.00, to $17.07. This decrease is based on the difference between enacted budgetary costs within the Department of Transportation for the last two fiscal years, which were lower than the estimates used when the fee schedule was last amended, and takes account of further projected decreases over the next two fiscal years. Sections 594.7 and 594.8—Fees To Cover Agency Costs in Making Importation Eligibility Determinations Section 30141(a)(3) also requires RIs to pay other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes to cover the costs of ‘‘* * * (B) making the decisions under this subchapter.’’ This includes decisions on whether the vehicle sought to be imported is substantially similar to a motor vehicle that was originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States and certified by its original manufacturer as complying with all applicable FMVSS, and whether the vehicle is capable of being readily altered to meet those standards. Alternatively, where there is no substantially similar U.S.—certified motor vehicle, the decision is whether the safety features of the vehicle comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or such other evidence that NHTSA deems to be adequate. These decisions are made in response to petitions submitted by RIs or manufacturers, or on the Administrator’s own initiative. The fee for a vehicle imported under an eligibility decision made in response to a petition is payable in part by the petitioner and in part by other importers. The fee to be charged for each vehicle is the estimated pro rata share of the costs in making all the eligibility determinations in a fiscal year. The fee adopted by this final rule reflects the slight increase in hourly costs in the past two fiscal years attributable to the approximately 3.71 and 3.44 percent raises (including the locality adjustment for Washington, DC) in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2005, and on January 1, 2006, respectively. We have also reduced costs by issuing a single Federal E:\FR\FM\03AUR1.SGM 03AUR1 rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 149 / Thursday, August 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Register notice to announce import eligibility decisions made on multiple vehicles and realized reduced ‘‘per hour’’ computer costs, which are attributed to the implementation of client-server IT systems based on userfriendly personal computers. Despite the cost savings that have accrued from these developments, RIs have imported fewer vehicles each year since we last amended the fee schedule. This has increased the pro rata share of petition costs that are to be assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision to grant import eligibility. The agency has also devoted an increasing share of staff time in the past two years to the review and processing of import eligibility petitions owing to a proportionately greater number of comments being submitted in response to these petitions, as well as complications that result when the petitioner or one or more commenters request confidentiality for information they submit to the agency. Additional staff time is also needed to analyze the petitions and any comments received owing to new requirements being adopted in the FMVSS. Despite these factors, we are not increasing the current fee of $175 that covers the initial processing of a ‘‘substantially similar’’ petition. Instead, as discussed below, we will address these additional costs by increasing the pro rata share of petition costs that are assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision to grant import eligibility. Likewise, we are also maintaining the existing fee of $800 to cover the initial costs for processing petitions for vehicles that have no substantially similar U.S.-certified counterpart. In the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the fee for such an inspection will remain $827 for vehicles that are the subject of either type of petition. Importers of vehicles determined to be eligible for importation pay, upon the importation of those vehicles, a pro rata share of the total cost for making the eligibility decision. The importation fee varies depending upon the basis on which the vehicle is determined to be eligible. For vehicles covered by an eligibility decision on the agency’s own initiative (other than vehicles imported from Canada that are covered by eligibility numbers VSA–80 through 83, for which no eligibility decision fee is assessed), the fee will remain $125. NHTSA determined that the costs associated with previous eligibility determinations on the agency’s own initiative will be fully recovered by October 1, 2006. We will apply the fee of $125 per vehicle only to vehicles VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Aug 02, 2006 Jkt 208001 covered by determinations made by the agency on its own initiative on or after October 1, 2006. In 2005, the most recent year for which complete data exists, the agency expended $79,626 in making import eligibility decisions based on petitions. The petitioners paid $8,575 of that amount in the processing fees that accompanied the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining $71,051 to be recovered from the importers of the 192 vehicles imported that year under petition-based import eligibility decisions. Dividing $71,051 by 192 yields a pro rata fee of $370 for each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that resulted from the granting of a petition. However, the agency believes that the volume of petition-based imports for the next two fiscal years should not be projected on the basis of a single year, particularly one in which the volume of petitioned-based imports was atypically low. The agency therefore took the average number of petition-based imports over the past 15 years to project the number of such vehicles that would be imported in Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008. Further, we anticipate that petitions filed during Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008 would also more closely reflect the average number of petitions received each year since 1991, the first year that the agency received import eligibility petitions. Based on these estimates, we anticipate that nearly 600 vehicles would be imported under petition-based eligibility decisions and that 42 petition-based import eligibility decisions would be made. Based on these estimates, the agency’s costs for processing these petitions would increase to no more than $140,000. Petitioners would pay slightly more than $15,000 of that amount in the processing fees that accompany the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining $125,000 to be recovered from the importers of the nearly 600 vehicles to be imported each year under petition-based import eligibility decisions. Dividing $125,000 by 600 yields a pro-rata fee of $208 for each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that results from the granting of a petition. Based on our estimates for Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008, the pro rata fee to be paid by the importer of each such vehicle will increase from $150 to $208, representing an increase of $58 from the existing fee for each vehicle imported. The same $208 fee will be paid regardless of whether the vehicle was petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(a), based on the substantial similarity of the vehicle to a U.S.-certified model, or was PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 43987 petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(b), based on the safety features of the vehicle complying with, or being capable of being modified to comply with all applicable FMVSS. Section 594.9—Fee To Recover the Costs of Processing the Bond Section 30141(a)(3) also requires a registered importer to pay any other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes ‘‘* * * to pay for the costs of—(A) processing bonds provided to the Secretary of the Treasury * * *’’ Under Section 30141(d), the bond is provided at the time a nonconforming vehicle is imported to ensure that the vehicle will be brought into compliance within 120 days as required by 49 CFR 591.8(d)(1), or if it is not brought into compliance within such time, that it be exported, without cost to the United States, or abandoned to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (Customs) now exercises the functions associated with the processing of these bonds. The statute contemplates that we will make a reasonable determination of the cost that Customs incurs in processing the bonds. In essence, the cost to Customs is based upon an estimate of the time that a GS– 9, Step 5 employee spends on each entry, which Customs has judged to be 20 minutes. Based on General Schedule salary and locality raises that were effective in January 2005 and 2006 and the inclusion of costs for benefits, we are increasing the processing fee by $0.47, from $9.30 per bond to $9.77. This fee will reflect the direct and indirect costs that are actually associated with processing the bonds. Section 594.10—Fee for Review and Processing of Conformity Certificate Each RI is currently required to pay $18 per vehicle to cover the costs the agency incurs in reviewing a certificate of conformity. We have found that these costs have decreased to an average of $13 per vehicle because of lower contractor costs and reduced ‘‘per hour’’ computer costs, which are attributed to the implementation of client-server IT systems based on user-friendly personal computers. Based on these costs, we are reducing the fee charged for vehicles for which a paper entry and fee payment is made, from $18 to $13, a difference of $5 per vehicle. However, if an RI enters a vehicle through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system, has an e-mail address to receive communications from NHTSA, and pays the fee by credit card, the cost savings that we realize allow us to significantly reduce the fee to $6. We E:\FR\FM\03AUR1.SGM 03AUR1 43988 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 149 / Thursday, August 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations are maintaining the fee of $6 per vehicle if all the information in the ABI entry is correct. Errors in ABI entries not only eliminate any time savings, but also require additional staff time to be expended in reconciling the erroneous ABI entry information with the conformity data that is ultimately submitted. Our experience with these errors has shown that staff members must examine records, make timeconsuming long distance telephone calls, and often consult supervisory personnel to resolve the conflicts in the data. We have calculated this staff and supervisory time, as well the telephone charges, to amount to approximately $42 for each erroneous ABI entry. Adding this to the $6 fee for the review of conformity packages on automated entries yields a total of $48, representing no change in the fee that is currently charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or omissions in the statement of conformity. Statutory Basis for the Final Rule and Effective Date NHTSA is required under 49 U.S.C. 30141(e) to ‘‘review and make appropriate adjustments at least every 2 years in the amounts of the fees’’ relating to the registration of importers, the processing of bonds, and making decisions concerning the importation of nonconforming vehicles. The statute further requires the agency to ‘‘establish the fees for each fiscal year before the beginning of that year.’’ This final rule implements the statutory provisions. Fiscal Year 2007 begins on October 1, 2006. In the NPRM, we proposed to make this rule effective October 1, 2006, and did not receive any comments on this issue. Accordingly, the effective date of this final rule is October 1, 2006. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Aug 02, 2006 Jkt 208001 State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. We have considered the impact of this rulemaking action under Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation’s regulatory policies and procedures. This rulemaking is not significant. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed this rulemaking document under Executive Order 12886. Based on the level of the fees and the volume of affected vehicles, NHTSA currently anticipates that the costs of the final rule would be so minimal as not to warrant preparation of a full regulatory evaluation. The action does not involve any substantial public interest or controversy. There would be no substantial effect upon State and local governments. There would be no substantial impact upon a major transportation safety program. A regulatory evaluation analyzing the economic impact of the final rule establishing the registered importer program, adopted on September 29, 1989, was prepared, and is available for review in the docket. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBFEFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration’s regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a business entity ‘‘which operates primarily within the United States.’’ (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The agency has considered the effects of this rulemaking under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that the adopted amendments will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities. The following is NHTSA’s statement providing the factual basis for the certification (5 U.S.C. 605(b)). The adopted amendments will primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles and which are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act; however, the agency has no reason to believe that these companies would be unable to pay the fees adopted in this rulemaking action. In some instances, these fees are only modestly increased (and in most instances decreased) from the fees previously paid by these entities. Moreover, consistent with prevailing industry practices, these fees should be passed through to the ultimate purchasers of the vehicles that are altered and, in most instances, sold by the affected registered importers. The cost to owners or purchasers of nonconforming vehicles that are altered to conform to the FMVSS may be expected to increase (or decrease) to the extent necessary to reimburse the registered importer for the fees payable to the agency for the cost of carrying out the registration program and making eligibility decisions, and to compensate Customs for its bond processing costs. Governmental jurisdictions will not be affected at all since they are generally neither importers nor purchasers of nonconforming motor vehicles. C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) Executive Order 13132 on ‘‘Federalism’’ requires NHTSA to develop an accountable process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications.’’ Executive Order 13132 defines the term ‘‘policies that have federalism implications’’ to include regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Under Executive Order 13132, NHTSA may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance E:\FR\FM\03AUR1.SGM 03AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 149 / Thursday, August 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations costs incurred by State and local governments, or NHTSA consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. The amendments adopted in this final rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government as specified in Executive Order 13132. The reason is that this final rule applies to importers of motor vehicles and registered importers, not to State or local governments. Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply to this rulemaking action. D. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this action for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The action would not have a significant effect upon the environment because the fee adjustments being adopted have no environmental implications. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES E. Executive Order 12778 (Civil Justice Reform) Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ‘‘Civil Justice Reform,’’ this agency has considered whether the amendments adopted in this final rule will have any retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that those amendments will not have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of the final rule may be obtained pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 702. That section does not require that a petition for reconsideration be filed prior to seeking judicial review. F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with the base year of 1995). Before promulgating a rule for which a written assessment is needed, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and to adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of Section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Aug 02, 2006 Jkt 208001 applicable law. Moreover, Section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most costeffective or least burdensome alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted. Because this final rule will not require the expenditure of resources beyond $100 million annually, this action is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. G. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. This final rule will require no information collections. H. Executive Order 13045 Executive Order 13045 applies to any rule that (1) is determined to be ‘‘economically significant’’ as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental, health, or safety risk that NHTSA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, we must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the planned rule is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by us. This rulemaking is not economically significant. I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– 113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) directs NHTSA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs the agency to provide Congress, through the OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. After conducting a search of available sources, we have concluded that there are no voluntary consensus standards applicable to this final rule. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 43989 J. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all submissions received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment or petition (or signing the comment or petition, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78) or you may visit http:// dms.dot.gov. K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN that appears in the heading on the first page of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594 Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles. I In consideration of the foregoing, part 594, Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows: PART 594—SCHEDULE OF FEES AUTHORIZED BY 49 U.S.C. 30141 1. The authority citation for part 594 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141, 31 U.S.C. 9701; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 2. Section 594.6 is amended by; (a) Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a); I (b) Revising paragraph (b); I (c) Revising paragraph (d); I (d) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (h); and I (e) Revising paragraph (i) to read as follows: I I § 594.6 Annual fee for administration of the registration program. (a) Each person filing an application to be granted the status of a Registered Importer pursuant to part 592 of this chapter on or after October 1, 2006, must pay an annual fee of $677, as calculated below, based upon the direct and indirect costs attributable to: * * * * * (b) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the processing of the application for applications filed on and after October 1, 2006, is $266. The sum of $266, representing this portion, shall E:\FR\FM\03AUR1.SGM 03AUR1 43990 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 149 / Thursday, August 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations not be refundable if the application is denied or withdrawn. * * * * * (d) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the remaining activities of administering the registration program on and after October 1, 2006, is set forth in paragraph (i) of this section. This portion shall be refundable if the application is denied, or withdrawn before final action upon it. * * * * * (h) * * * This cost is $17.07 per manhour for the period beginning October 1, 2006. (i) Based upon the elements and indirect costs of paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of this section, the component of the initial annual fee attributable to administration of the registration program, covering the period beginning October 1, 2006, is $411. When added to the costs of registration of $266, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, the costs per applicant to be recovered through the annual fee are $677. The annual renewal registration fee for the period beginning October 1, 2006, is $570. I 3. Section 594.7 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows: § 594.9 Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs. * * * * * (c) The bond processing fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2006, for which a certificate of conformity is furnished, is $9.77. I 6. Section 594.10 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows: § 594.10 Fee for review and processing of conformity certificate. * * * * * (d) The review and processing fee for each certificate of conformity submitted on and after October 1, 2006 is $13. However, if the vehicle covered by the certificate has been entered electronically with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Automated Broker Interface and the registered importer submitting the certificate has an e-mail address, the fee for the certificate is $6, provided that the fee is paid by a credit card issued to the registered importer. If NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the certificate is incorrect, requiring further processing, the processing fee shall be $48. § 594.7 Fee for filing petition for a determination whether a vehicle is eligible for importation. Issued on: July 28, 2006. Nicole R. Nason, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–12497 Filed 8–2–06; 8:45 am] * BILLING CODE 4910–59–P * * * * (e) For petitions filed on and after October 1, 2006, the fee payable for seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is $175. The fee payable for a petition seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(2) of this section is $800. If the petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the sum of $827 shall be added to such fee. No portion of this fee is refundable if the petition is withdrawn or denied. * * * * * I 4. Section 594.8 is amended by revising paragraph (b) and the first sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows: § 594.8 Fee for importing a vehicle pursuant to a determination by the Administrator. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES * * * * * (b) If a determination has been made pursuant to a petition, the fee for each vehicle is $208. The direct and indirect costs that determine the fee are those set forth in §§ 594.7(b), (c), and (d). (c) If a determination has been made on or after October 1, 2006, pursuant to the Administrator’s initiative, the fee for each vehicle is $125. * * * I 5. Section 594.9 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:16 Aug 02, 2006 Jkt 208001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE allowable catch (TAC) of ‘‘other rockfish’’ in this area has been reached. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 31, 2006, until 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Hogan, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2006 TAC of ‘‘other rockfish’’ in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 386 metric tons as established by the 2006 and 2007 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (71 FR 10870, March 3, 2006). ‘‘Other rockfish’’ includes slope rockfish and demersal shelf rockfish. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the ‘‘other rockfish’’ TAC in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that further catches of ‘‘other rockfish’’ in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b). Classification National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 060216044–6044–01; I.D. 072806D] Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; ‘‘Other Rockfish’’ in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; prohibition of retention. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting retention of ‘‘other rockfish’’ in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). NMFS is requiring that catch of ‘‘other rockfish’’ in this area be treated in the same manner as prohibited species and discarded at sea with a minimum of injury. This action is necessary because the 2006 total PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the prohibition of retention of ‘‘other rockfish’’ in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 28, 2006. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30–day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of E:\FR\FM\03AUR1.SGM 03AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 149 (Thursday, August 3, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 43985-43990]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-12497]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 594

[Docket No. NHTSA 2006-24128; Notice 3]
RIN 2127-AJ87


Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document adopts fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 and until 
further notice, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, relating to the 
registration of importers and the importation of motor vehicles not 
certified as conforming to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 
(FMVSS). These fees are needed to maintain the registered importer (RI) 
program.
    We are decreasing the fees for the registration of a new RI from 
$830 to $677 and the annual fee for renewing an existing registration 
from $745 to $570. These fees include the costs of maintaining the RI 
program. The fee required to reimburse the U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security (Customs) for conformance bond processing costs will increase 
from $9.30 to $9.77 per bond. We are also increasing the fees assessed 
against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision to grant 
import eligibility. For vehicles determined eligible based on their 
substantial similarity to a U.S. certified vehicle, the fee is 
increased from $150 to $208. For vehicles determined eligible based on 
their capability of being modified to comply with all applicable FMVSS, 
the fee is increased from $150 to $208. In the event that a petitioner 
requests an inspection of a vehicle, the fee for such an inspection 
will remain $827 for vehicles that are the subject of either type of 
petition. The fee that an RI must pay as a processing cost for review 
of each conformity package that it submits to NHTSA will decrease to 
$13 from $18 per certificate. If the vehicle has been entered 
electronically with Customs through the Automated Broker Interface 
(ABI) and the registered importer has an e-mail address, the fee for 
processing the conformity package will continue to be $6, provided the 
fee is paid by credit card. However, if NHTSA finds that the 
information in the entry or the conformity package is incorrect, the 
processing fee will be $48, representing no change from the fee that is 
currently charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or 
omissions in the statement of conformity.

DATES: The amendments established by this final rule will become 
effective on October 1, 2006, the beginning of FY 2007. Petitions for 
reconsideration must be received by NHTSA not later than September 18, 
2006.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule should 
refer to the docket and notice numbers identified above and be 
submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. It is 
requested, but not required, that 10 copies of the petition be 
submitted. The petition must be received not later than 45 days after 
publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. Petitions filed 
after that time will be considered petitions filed by interested 
persons to initiate rulemaking pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301.
    The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and an 
explanation as to why compliance with the final rule is not 
practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest. Unless 
otherwise specified in the final rule, the statement and explanation 
together may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments 
may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15-page limit. 
If it is requested that additional facts be considered, the petitioner 
must state the reason why they were not presented to the Administrator 
within the prescribed time. The Administrator does not consider 
repetitious petitions and unless the Administrator otherwise provides, 
the filing of a petition does not stay the effectiveness of the final 
rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal issues: Michael Goode, 
Office of

[[Page 43986]]

Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (202-366-5263). For all other 
issues: Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20590 (202-366-5291).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Introduction

    This rule was preceded by a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
that NHTSA published on April 19, 2006 (71 FR 20061). On May 9, 2006, 
the agency published another notice correcting the docket number (71 FR 
26919).
    The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended by 
the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, and recodified as 
49 U.S.C. 30141-30147 (``the Act''), provides for fees to cover the 
costs of the importer registration program, the cost of making import 
eligibility decisions, and the cost of processing the bonds furnished 
to Customs. Certain fees became effective on January 31, 1990, and have 
been in effect, with modifications, since then. On June 24, 1996, we 
published a notice in the Federal Register at 61 FR 32411 that 
discussed the rulemaking history of 49 CFR part 594 and the fees 
authorized by the Act. The reader is referred to that notice for 
background information relating to this rulemaking action.
    We last amended the fee schedule in 2004. See final rule published 
on September 28, 2004 at 69 FR 57869. Those fees applied to Fiscal 
Years 2005 and 2006.
    The fees adopted by this final rule are based on time and costs 
associated with the tasks for which the fees are assessed and reflect 
the slight increase in hourly costs in the past two fiscal years 
attributable to the approximately 3.71 and 3.44 percent raises 
(including the locality adjustment for Washington, DC) in salaries of 
employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 
2005, and on January 1, 2006, respectively.

B. Comments

    There were no comments in response to the notice of proposed 
rulemaking.

C. Requirements of the Fee Regulation

Section 594.6--Annual Fee for Administration of the Importer 
Registration Program

    Section 30141(a)(3) of Title 49, U.S. Code provides that RIs must 
pay the annual fee the Secretary of Transportation establishes ``* * * 
to pay for the costs of carrying out the registration program for 
importers * * *.'' This fee is payable both by new applicants and by 
existing RIs. To maintain its registration, each RI, at the time it 
submits its annual fee, must also file a statement affirming that the 
information it furnished in its registration application (or in later 
submissions amending that information) remains correct (49 CFR 
592.5(f)).
    In compliance with the statutory directive, we reviewed the 
existing fees and their bases in an attempt to establish fees that 
would be sufficient to recover the costs of carrying out the 
registration program for importers for at least the next two fiscal 
years. The initial component of the Registration Program Fee is the fee 
attributable to processing and acting upon registration applications. 
We will decrease this fee from $293 to $266 for new applications. We 
have also determined that the fee for the review of the annual 
statement will be decreased from $208 to $159. These fee adjustments 
reflect reduced ``per hour'' computer costs, which are attributed to 
the implementation of client-server Information Technology (IT) systems 
based on user-friendly personal computers. The proposed adjustments 
also reflect our time expenditures in reviewing both new applications 
and annual statements with accompanying documentation, as well as the 
inflation factor attributable to Federal salary increases and locality 
adjustments in the two years since the regulation was last amended.
    We must also recover costs attributable to maintenance of the 
registration program that arise from the need for us to review a 
registrant's annual statement and to verify the continuing validity of 
information already submitted. These costs also include anticipated 
costs attributable to the possible revocation or suspension of 
registrations and reflect the amount of time that we have devoted to 
those matters in the past two years.
    Based upon our review of these costs, the portion of the fee 
attributable to the maintenance of the registration program is 
approximately $411 for each RI, a decrease of $126. When this $411 is 
added to the $266 representing the registration application component, 
the cost to an applicant comes to $677, which is the fee we are 
adopting. This represents a decrease of $260 over the existing fee. 
When the $411 is added to the $159 representing the annual statement 
component, the total cost to the RI comes to $570, which represents a 
decrease of $175.
    Section 594.6(h) enumerates indirect costs associated with 
processing the annual renewal of RI registrations. The provision states 
that these costs represent a pro rata allocation of the average salary 
and benefits of employees who process the annual statements and perform 
related functions, and ``a pro rata allocation of the costs 
attributable to maintaining the office space, and the computer or word 
processor.'' The indirect costs that were previously calculated at 
$20.07 per man-hour are being decreased by $3.00, to $17.07. This 
decrease is based on the difference between enacted budgetary costs 
within the Department of Transportation for the last two fiscal years, 
which were lower than the estimates used when the fee schedule was last 
amended, and takes account of further projected decreases over the next 
two fiscal years.

Sections 594.7 and 594.8--Fees To Cover Agency Costs in Making 
Importation Eligibility Determinations

    Section 30141(a)(3) also requires RIs to pay other fees the 
Secretary of Transportation establishes to cover the costs of ``* * * 
(B) making the decisions under this subchapter.'' This includes 
decisions on whether the vehicle sought to be imported is substantially 
similar to a motor vehicle that was originally manufactured for 
importation into and sale in the United States and certified by its 
original manufacturer as complying with all applicable FMVSS, and 
whether the vehicle is capable of being readily altered to meet those 
standards. Alternatively, where there is no substantially similar 
U.S.--certified motor vehicle, the decision is whether the safety 
features of the vehicle comply with, or are capable of being altered to 
comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or such 
other evidence that NHTSA deems to be adequate. These decisions are 
made in response to petitions submitted by RIs or manufacturers, or on 
the Administrator's own initiative.
    The fee for a vehicle imported under an eligibility decision made 
in response to a petition is payable in part by the petitioner and in 
part by other importers. The fee to be charged for each vehicle is the 
estimated pro rata share of the costs in making all the eligibility 
determinations in a fiscal year.
    The fee adopted by this final rule reflects the slight increase in 
hourly costs in the past two fiscal years attributable to the 
approximately 3.71 and 3.44 percent raises (including the locality 
adjustment for Washington, DC) in salaries of employees on the General 
Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2005, and on January 1, 
2006, respectively. We have also reduced costs by issuing a single 
Federal

[[Page 43987]]

Register notice to announce import eligibility decisions made on 
multiple vehicles and realized reduced ``per hour'' computer costs, 
which are attributed to the implementation of client-server IT systems 
based on user-friendly personal computers. Despite the cost savings 
that have accrued from these developments, RIs have imported fewer 
vehicles each year since we last amended the fee schedule. This has 
increased the pro rata share of petition costs that are to be assessed 
against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision to grant 
import eligibility. The agency has also devoted an increasing share of 
staff time in the past two years to the review and processing of import 
eligibility petitions owing to a proportionately greater number of 
comments being submitted in response to these petitions, as well as 
complications that result when the petitioner or one or more commenters 
request confidentiality for information they submit to the agency. 
Additional staff time is also needed to analyze the petitions and any 
comments received owing to new requirements being adopted in the FMVSS. 
Despite these factors, we are not increasing the current fee of $175 
that covers the initial processing of a ``substantially similar'' 
petition. Instead, as discussed below, we will address these additional 
costs by increasing the pro rata share of petition costs that are 
assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision 
to grant import eligibility. Likewise, we are also maintaining the 
existing fee of $800 to cover the initial costs for processing 
petitions for vehicles that have no substantially similar U.S.-
certified counterpart.
    In the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, 
the fee for such an inspection will remain $827 for vehicles that are 
the subject of either type of petition.
    Importers of vehicles determined to be eligible for importation 
pay, upon the importation of those vehicles, a pro rata share of the 
total cost for making the eligibility decision. The importation fee 
varies depending upon the basis on which the vehicle is determined to 
be eligible. For vehicles covered by an eligibility decision on the 
agency's own initiative (other than vehicles imported from Canada that 
are covered by eligibility numbers VSA-80 through 83, for which no 
eligibility decision fee is assessed), the fee will remain $125. NHTSA 
determined that the costs associated with previous eligibility 
determinations on the agency's own initiative will be fully recovered 
by October 1, 2006. We will apply the fee of $125 per vehicle only to 
vehicles covered by determinations made by the agency on its own 
initiative on or after October 1, 2006.
    In 2005, the most recent year for which complete data exists, the 
agency expended $79,626 in making import eligibility decisions based on 
petitions. The petitioners paid $8,575 of that amount in the processing 
fees that accompanied the filing of their petitions, leaving the 
remaining $71,051 to be recovered from the importers of the 192 
vehicles imported that year under petition-based import eligibility 
decisions. Dividing $71,051 by 192 yields a pro rata fee of $370 for 
each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that resulted from 
the granting of a petition.
    However, the agency believes that the volume of petition-based 
imports for the next two fiscal years should not be projected on the 
basis of a single year, particularly one in which the volume of 
petitioned-based imports was atypically low. The agency therefore took 
the average number of petition-based imports over the past 15 years to 
project the number of such vehicles that would be imported in Fiscal 
Years 2007 and 2008. Further, we anticipate that petitions filed during 
Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008 would also more closely reflect the average 
number of petitions received each year since 1991, the first year that 
the agency received import eligibility petitions. Based on these 
estimates, we anticipate that nearly 600 vehicles would be imported 
under petition-based eligibility decisions and that 42 petition-based 
import eligibility decisions would be made.
    Based on these estimates, the agency's costs for processing these 
petitions would increase to no more than $140,000. Petitioners would 
pay slightly more than $15,000 of that amount in the processing fees 
that accompany the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining 
$125,000 to be recovered from the importers of the nearly 600 vehicles 
to be imported each year under petition-based import eligibility 
decisions. Dividing $125,000 by 600 yields a pro-rata fee of $208 for 
each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that results from 
the granting of a petition.
    Based on our estimates for Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008, the pro rata 
fee to be paid by the importer of each such vehicle will increase from 
$150 to $208, representing an increase of $58 from the existing fee for 
each vehicle imported. The same $208 fee will be paid regardless of 
whether the vehicle was petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(a), based on the 
substantial similarity of the vehicle to a U.S.-certified model, or was 
petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(b), based on the safety features of the 
vehicle complying with, or being capable of being modified to comply 
with all applicable FMVSS.

Section 594.9--Fee To Recover the Costs of Processing the Bond

    Section 30141(a)(3) also requires a registered importer to pay any 
other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes ``* * * to pay 
for the costs of--(A) processing bonds provided to the Secretary of the 
Treasury * * *'' Under Section 30141(d), the bond is provided at the 
time a nonconforming vehicle is imported to ensure that the vehicle 
will be brought into compliance within 120 days as required by 49 CFR 
591.8(d)(1), or if it is not brought into compliance within such time, 
that it be exported, without cost to the United States, or abandoned to 
the United States.
    The Department of Homeland Security (Customs) now exercises the 
functions associated with the processing of these bonds. The statute 
contemplates that we will make a reasonable determination of the cost 
that Customs incurs in processing the bonds. In essence, the cost to 
Customs is based upon an estimate of the time that a GS-9, Step 5 
employee spends on each entry, which Customs has judged to be 20 
minutes.
    Based on General Schedule salary and locality raises that were 
effective in January 2005 and 2006 and the inclusion of costs for 
benefits, we are increasing the processing fee by $0.47, from $9.30 per 
bond to $9.77. This fee will reflect the direct and indirect costs that 
are actually associated with processing the bonds.

Section 594.10--Fee for Review and Processing of Conformity Certificate

    Each RI is currently required to pay $18 per vehicle to cover the 
costs the agency incurs in reviewing a certificate of conformity. We 
have found that these costs have decreased to an average of $13 per 
vehicle because of lower contractor costs and reduced ``per hour'' 
computer costs, which are attributed to the implementation of client-
server IT systems based on user-friendly personal computers. Based on 
these costs, we are reducing the fee charged for vehicles for which a 
paper entry and fee payment is made, from $18 to $13, a difference of 
$5 per vehicle. However, if an RI enters a vehicle through the 
Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system, has an e-mail address to 
receive communications from NHTSA, and pays the fee by credit card, the 
cost savings that we realize allow us to significantly reduce the fee 
to $6. We

[[Page 43988]]

are maintaining the fee of $6 per vehicle if all the information in the 
ABI entry is correct.
    Errors in ABI entries not only eliminate any time savings, but also 
require additional staff time to be expended in reconciling the 
erroneous ABI entry information with the conformity data that is 
ultimately submitted. Our experience with these errors has shown that 
staff members must examine records, make time-consuming long distance 
telephone calls, and often consult supervisory personnel to resolve the 
conflicts in the data. We have calculated this staff and supervisory 
time, as well the telephone charges, to amount to approximately $42 for 
each erroneous ABI entry. Adding this to the $6 fee for the review of 
conformity packages on automated entries yields a total of $48, 
representing no change in the fee that is currently charged when there 
are one or more errors in the ABI entry or omissions in the statement 
of conformity.

Statutory Basis for the Final Rule and Effective Date

    NHTSA is required under 49 U.S.C. 30141(e) to ``review and make 
appropriate adjustments at least every 2 years in the amounts of the 
fees'' relating to the registration of importers, the processing of 
bonds, and making decisions concerning the importation of nonconforming 
vehicles. The statute further requires the agency to ``establish the 
fees for each fiscal year before the beginning of that year.'' This 
final rule implements the statutory provisions.
    Fiscal Year 2007 begins on October 1, 2006. In the NPRM, we 
proposed to make this rule effective October 1, 2006, and did not 
receive any comments on this issue. Accordingly, the effective date of 
this final rule is October 1, 2006.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR 
51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a 
regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the 
Executive Order. The Order defines a ``significant regulatory action'' 
as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    We have considered the impact of this rulemaking action under 
Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation's regulatory 
policies and procedures. This rulemaking is not significant. 
Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed this 
rulemaking document under Executive Order 12886. Based on the level of 
the fees and the volume of affected vehicles, NHTSA currently 
anticipates that the costs of the final rule would be so minimal as not 
to warrant preparation of a full regulatory evaluation. The action does 
not involve any substantial public interest or controversy. There would 
be no substantial effect upon State and local governments. There would 
be no substantial impact upon a major transportation safety program. A 
regulatory evaluation analyzing the economic impact of the final rule 
establishing the registered importer program, adopted on September 29, 
1989, was prepared, and is available for review in the docket.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBFEFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare 
and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis 
that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR part 121 
define a small business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates 
primarily within the United States.'' (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency 
certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a 
statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.
    The agency has considered the effects of this rulemaking under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that the adopted amendments 
will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number 
of small entities.
    The following is NHTSA's statement providing the factual basis for 
the certification (5 U.S.C. 605(b)). The adopted amendments will 
primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles 
and which are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act; however, the agency has no reason to believe that 
these companies would be unable to pay the fees adopted in this 
rulemaking action. In some instances, these fees are only modestly 
increased (and in most instances decreased) from the fees previously 
paid by these entities. Moreover, consistent with prevailing industry 
practices, these fees should be passed through to the ultimate 
purchasers of the vehicles that are altered and, in most instances, 
sold by the affected registered importers. The cost to owners or 
purchasers of nonconforming vehicles that are altered to conform to the 
FMVSS may be expected to increase (or decrease) to the extent necessary 
to reimburse the registered importer for the fees payable to the agency 
for the cost of carrying out the registration program and making 
eligibility decisions, and to compensate Customs for its bond 
processing costs.
    Governmental jurisdictions will not be affected at all since they 
are generally neither importers nor purchasers of nonconforming motor 
vehicles.

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132 on ``Federalism'' requires NHTSA to develop 
an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful and timely input by State 
and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have 
Federalism implications.'' Executive Order 13132 defines the term 
``policies that have federalism implications'' to include regulations 
that have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.'' Under Executive Order 13132, NHTSA may not issue a 
regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless 
the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct 
compliance

[[Page 43989]]

costs incurred by State and local governments, or NHTSA consults with 
State and local officials early in the process of developing the 
proposed regulation.
    The amendments adopted in this final rule will not have substantial 
direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government as specified in 
Executive Order 13132. The reason is that this final rule applies to 
importers of motor vehicles and registered importers, not to State or 
local governments. Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive 
Order do not apply to this rulemaking action.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this action for purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The action would not have a significant 
effect upon the environment because the fee adjustments being adopted 
have no environmental implications.

E. Executive Order 12778 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ``Civil Justice Reform,'' this 
agency has considered whether the amendments adopted in this final rule 
will have any retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that those amendments 
will not have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of the final rule 
may be obtained pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 702. That section does not require 
that a petition for reconsideration be filed prior to seeking judicial 
review.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more 
than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with the base year 
of 1995). Before promulgating a rule for which a written assessment is 
needed, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify 
and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and to 
adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome 
alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of 
Section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable 
law. Moreover, Section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other 
than the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome 
alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation 
why that alternative was not adopted. Because this final rule will not 
require the expenditure of resources beyond $100 million annually, this 
action is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 205 of 
the UMRA.

G. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless 
the collection displays a valid OMB control number. This final rule 
will require no information collections.

H. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 applies to any rule that (1) is determined to 
be ``economically significant'' as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) 
concerns an environmental, health, or safety risk that NHTSA has reason 
to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the 
regulatory action meets both criteria, we must evaluate the 
environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, 
and explain why the planned rule is preferable to other potentially 
effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by us. This 
rulemaking is not economically significant.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) 
directs NHTSA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs the agency to provide Congress, 
through the OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and 
applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    After conducting a search of available sources, we have concluded 
that there are no voluntary consensus standards applicable to this 
final rule.

J. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all submissions 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment or petition (or signing the comment or petition, 
if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 
19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN that appears in the heading on the first page of this 
document to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.

0
In consideration of the foregoing, part 594, Schedule of Fees 
Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, in Title 49 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 594--SCHEDULE OF FEES AUTHORIZED BY 49 U.S.C. 30141

0
1. The authority citation for part 594 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141, 31 U.S.C. 9701; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

0
2. Section 594.6 is amended by;
0
(a) Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a);
0
(b) Revising paragraph (b);
0
(c) Revising paragraph (d);
0
(d) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (h); and
0
(e) Revising paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  594.6  Annual fee for administration of the registration program.

    (a) Each person filing an application to be granted the status of a 
Registered Importer pursuant to part 592 of this chapter on or after 
October 1, 2006, must pay an annual fee of $677, as calculated below, 
based upon the direct and indirect costs attributable to:
* * * * *
    (b) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the 
processing of the application for applications filed on and after 
October 1, 2006, is $266. The sum of $266, representing this portion, 
shall

[[Page 43990]]

not be refundable if the application is denied or withdrawn.
* * * * *
    (d) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the 
remaining activities of administering the registration program on and 
after October 1, 2006, is set forth in paragraph (i) of this section. 
This portion shall be refundable if the application is denied, or 
withdrawn before final action upon it.
* * * * *
    (h) * * * This cost is $17.07 per man-hour for the period beginning 
October 1, 2006.
    (i) Based upon the elements and indirect costs of paragraphs (f), 
(g), and (h) of this section, the component of the initial annual fee 
attributable to administration of the registration program, covering 
the period beginning October 1, 2006, is $411. When added to the costs 
of registration of $266, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, 
the costs per applicant to be recovered through the annual fee are 
$677. The annual renewal registration fee for the period beginning 
October 1, 2006, is $570.

0
3. Section 594.7 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  594.7  Fee for filing petition for a determination whether a 
vehicle is eligible for importation.

* * * * *
    (e) For petitions filed on and after October 1, 2006, the fee 
payable for seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section is $175. The fee payable for a petition seeking a determination 
under paragraph (a)(2) of this section is $800. If the petitioner 
requests an inspection of a vehicle, the sum of $827 shall be added to 
such fee. No portion of this fee is refundable if the petition is 
withdrawn or denied.
* * * * *

0
4. Section 594.8 is amended by revising paragraph (b) and the first 
sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  594.8  Fee for importing a vehicle pursuant to a determination by 
the Administrator.

* * * * *
    (b) If a determination has been made pursuant to a petition, the 
fee for each vehicle is $208. The direct and indirect costs that 
determine the fee are those set forth in Sec. Sec.  594.7(b), (c), and 
(d).
    (c) If a determination has been made on or after October 1, 2006, 
pursuant to the Administrator's initiative, the fee for each vehicle is 
$125. * * *

0
5. Section 594.9 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  594.9  Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs.

* * * * *
    (c) The bond processing fee for each vehicle imported on and after 
October 1, 2006, for which a certificate of conformity is furnished, is 
$9.77.

0
6. Section 594.10 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  594.10  Fee for review and processing of conformity certificate.

* * * * *
    (d) The review and processing fee for each certificate of 
conformity submitted on and after October 1, 2006 is $13. However, if 
the vehicle covered by the certificate has been entered electronically 
with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Automated 
Broker Interface and the registered importer submitting the certificate 
has an e-mail address, the fee for the certificate is $6, provided that 
the fee is paid by a credit card issued to the registered importer. If 
NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the certificate is 
incorrect, requiring further processing, the processing fee shall be 
$48.

    Issued on: July 28, 2006.
Nicole R. Nason,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. E6-12497 Filed 8-2-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P