Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141 Offer of Cash Deposits or Obligations of the United States in Lieu of Sureties on DOT Conformance Bonds, 65532-65539 [E7-22532]

Download as PDF 65532 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 594 [Docket No. NHTSA 2007–0037; Notice 1] mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS RIN 2127–AK10 Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141 Offer of Cash Deposits or Obligations of the United States in Lieu of Sureties on DOT Conformance Bonds National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). ACTION: SUMMARY: This document proposes to amend NHTSA’s regulations that prescribe fees authorized by 49 U.S.C. Sec. 30141 for various functions performed by the agency with respect to the importation of motor vehicles that do not conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety and bumper standards. An importer must file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) a Department of Transportation (DOT) conformance bond at the time that a nonconforming motor vehicle is offered for importation into the United States, or in lieu of such a bond, the importer may post cash deposits or obligations of the United States to ensure that the vehicle will be brought into conformance with all applicable standards within 120 days from the date of importation, or will be exported from, or abandoned to, the United States. To avoid the costs of a DOT conformance bond, some importers have sought to PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 post cash deposits, which would relieve the importers of the bonding costs but cause the agency to expend considerable resources. To permit the government to recover these expenses, this amendment would establish a fee for the agency’s processing of these cash deposits or obligations of the United States that are furnished in lieu of a DOT conformance bond. You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that Docket Management receives them not later than January 7, 2008. DATES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above and be submitted by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 EP21NO07.004</GPH> Issued on: November 15, 2007. Ronald L. Medford, Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety. [FR Doc. 07–5758 Filed 11–19–07; 10:00 am] Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 202–493–2251. Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, 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 (65 FR 19477–78) or you may visit http:// DocketInfo.dot.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov. or the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues: Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590 (202–366–3151). For legal issues: Michael Goode, Office of Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590 (202–366–5238). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS A. Background Subject to certain exceptions, 49 U.S.C. 30112(a) prohibits any person from importing into the United States a motor vehicle manufactured on or after the date that an applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) takes effect unless the vehicle complies with the standard and is so certified by its manufacturer. One of the exceptions to this prohibition is found in 49 U.S.C. 30141. That section permits an importer that is registered with NHTSA (a ‘‘registered importer’’) to import a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS, provided NHTSA has decided that the vehicle is eligible VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 for importation. Under the criteria that are specified in Section 30141 for these decisions, a motor vehicle is not eligible for importation unless, among other things, it is capable of being altered to comply with all applicable FMVSS. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (B). B. Requirements for Bonding Once a motor vehicle has been declared eligible for importation, it can be imported by a registered importer (RI) or by an individual who has executed a contract or other agreement with an RI to bring the vehicle into compliance with applicable FMVSS. For vehicles that are imported in this fashion, a DOT conformance bond (Form HS–474), in an amount equivalent to 150 percent of the declared value of the vehicle, must be furnished to CBP at the time of importation to ensure that the necessary modifications are completed within 120 days of entry or, if conformance is not achieved, for the vehicle to be delivered to the Secretary of Homeland Security for export at no cost to the United States, or for the vehicle to be abandoned to the United States. See 49 CFR 591.6(c). The DOT conformance bond must be underwritten by a surety that possesses a certificate of authority to underwrite Federal bonds. See 49 CFR 591.8(c), referencing a list of certificated sureties at 54 FR 27800, June 30, 1989. In lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond, an importer may offer United States money, United States bonds (except for savings bonds), United States certificates of indebtedness, Treasury notes, or Treasury bills (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘cash deposits’’) in an amount equal to the amount of the bond. See 49 CFR 591.10(a). In recent years, a number of RIs have encountered difficulty in obtaining DOT conformance bonds underwritten by certificated sureties. To achieve the entry of the nonconforming vehicles they have sought to import, these RIs have had to resort to furnishing NHTSA with cash deposits in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond. The receipt, processing, handling, and disbursement of these cash deposits has caused the agency to consume a considerable amount of staff time and material resources. C. Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141 NHTSA is authorized under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(3) to establish an annual fee requiring RIs to pay for the costs of carrying out the RI program. The agency is also authorized under this section to establish fees to pay for the costs of PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65533 processing the conformance bonds that RIs provide, and fees to pay for the costs of making agency decisions relating to the importation of noncomplying motor vehicles and equipment. The agency has, to date, established five separate fees under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 30141. These are set forth in 49 CFR part 594. The first is the annual fee that is collected from RIs to cover the agency’s costs for administering the RI program. This fee, which is covered by section 594.6, is currently set at $677 for persons applying for RI status and at $570 for those seeking the renewal of that status. As described in section 594.6, the fee is based on the direct and indirect costs incurred by the agency in processing and acting upon initial applications for RI status and annual statements seeking the renewal of that status, as well as other actions performed by the agency in administering the RI program. The second fee is collected from each motor vehicle manufacturer or RI who petitions NHTSA to decide that a nonconforming vehicle is eligible for importation. This fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 594.7, is currently set at $175 for a petition seeking an eligibility decision on the basis that a nonconforming vehicle is substantially similar to a U.S. certified counterpart, and at $800 for a petition seeking such a decision on the basis that a nonconforming vehicle is capable of being altered to conform to all applicable standards. As detailed in section 594.7, this fee is based on the direct and indirect costs incurred by NHTSA in processing and acting upon import eligibility petitions. In the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the sum of $827 is added to the fee for vehicles that are the subject of either type of petition. The third fee is for importing a vehicle under an eligibility decision made by the Administrator. This fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 594.8, is currently set at $208 per vehicle. As described in section 594.8, this fee is calculated to cover NHTSA’s direct and indirect costs in making import eligibility decisions. The fourth fee covers the agency’s costs for reviewing a certificate of conformity that an RI submits for each vehicle that it imports under conformance bond. This fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 594.10, encompasses review of the RI’s certificate of conformity, which establishes that a nonconforming vehicle has been brought into conformity with all applicable standards and permits the agency to release the conformance bond that was furnished for the vehicle at the E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 65534 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS time of entry. This fee is currently $18 per vehicle if the vehicle is entered using paper documents. If the vehicle has been electronically entered through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system and the RI has an e-mail address, the fee for reviewing the certificate of conformity is $6, provided the fee is paid by credit card. If however, there are errors made in the ABI entry information or omissions in the certificate of conformity, $48 is charged to correct or complete the information. The fifth fee has been established pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(3)(A) to pay for the costs of processing bonds provided to the Secretary of the Treasury. RIs furnish these bonds for each vehicle covered by a certificate of conformity that is submitted to NHTSA. This fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 594.9, is currently set at $9.77 and only reimburses CBP for services that agency performs at the time of entry. The fee is based on direct and indirect cost information provided to NHTSA by CBP. D. Proposed Fee for Processing Cash Deposits Although the above-described fees have permitted NHTSA to recover the costs it incurs in administering certain aspects of the RI program, such as making import eligibility decisions, other services that NHTSA provides to importers of nonconforming vehicles have gone unreimbursed. One such service for which the agency believes it is entitled to reimbursement under 49 U.S.C. 30141 is the receipt, processing, handling, and disbursement of cash deposits submitted by importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on DOT conformance bonds. When the RI program was first established following the enactment of the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, Pub. L. 100–52, bonding companies were reluctant to serve as sureties because of their unfamiliarity with DOT conformance bonds, and prospective importers found it difficult to obtain such bonds. To assist importers and to provide relief from an unintended impediment to the importation of nonconforming vehicles, the agency later proposed cash deposits as an alternate to providing a bond, and formalized the process by adding to its regulations a provision permitting such deposits, as found at 49 CFR 591.10. See 58 FR 12905 (March 8, 1993). When other fees were established under part 594, NHTSA did not recognize a need to impose a fee to recover the costs it incurs in handling cash deposits because few cash deposits had been made and they accounted for VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 a relatively small share of the work performed by the agency. In the ensuing years, NHTSA has devoted a substantially greater share of its staff time to those efforts. More recently, a Customs broker representing an RI who could obtain a DOT conformance bond from a surety asked the agency whether the importer could provide a cash deposit instead. The broker stated that the importer was reluctant to pay the necessary fee for obtaining a DOT conformance bond and was informed by the RI that he could avoid any fee by sending NHTSA a cash deposit. Had the importer submitted a cash deposit, the agency would have been required to expend considerable resources for his benefit, and for the sole reason that he was unwilling to pay for a DOT conformance bond. This circumstance alerted the agency to the need to charge a fee for processing cash deposits to offset the agency’s costs for performing this work. Because NHTSA’s acceptance of the cash deposits is a necessary predicate to the release of the vehicle into the commerce of the United States, NHTSA has tentatively concluded that the expense incurred by the agency to receive, process, handle, and disburse cash deposits may be treated as part of the bond processing cost, for which NHTSA is authorized to set a fee under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(3)(A). Even if such authority did not exist in Chapter 301 of Title 49, U.S. Code, the Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 1952, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 9701, provides ample authority for NHTSA to impose fees that are sufficient to recover the agency’s full costs to receive, process, handle, and disburse cash deposits. By performing these tasks related to cash deposits, NHTSA is performing a specific service for an identifiable beneficiary that can form the basis for the imposition of a fee under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 9701. Courts have long recognized that Federal agencies may impose fees under section 9701 for providing comparable services to regulated entities. See, e.g., Seafarers International Union of North America v. U.S. Coast Guard, 81 F.3d 179, 183 (DC Cir. 1996) (finding the Coast Guard authorized to charge reasonable fees for processing applications for merchant mariner licenses, certificates, and work documents); Engine Manufacturers Association v. E.P.A., 20 F.3d 1177, 1180 (DC Cir. 1994) (finding the E.P.A. authorized to impose a fee to recover its costs for testing vehicles and engines for compliance with the emission standards of the Clean Air Act); and National Cable Television Association, Inc. v. F.C.C., 554 F.2d 1094, 1101 (DC Cir. PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 1976) (finding the F.C.C. authorized to impose fees for issuing certificates of compliance to cable television operators). In view of the language and judicial construction of 31 U.S.C. 9701, NHTSA is relying on this provision as an independent source of authority for the proposed fee. The agency believes that this provision and 49 U.S.C. 30141 each provide sufficient separate authority for the proposed fee and the other fees that the agency has established under 49 CFR part 594. E. Fee Computation As previously noted, NHTSA has computed all other fees that it collects under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 30141 on the basis of all direct and indirect costs incurred by the agency in performing the function for which the fee is charged. In the Federal Register notice proposing the original schedule of fees that was adopted in part 594, the agency observed that this approach was consistent with the manner in which other agencies have computed user fees under the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 31 U.S.C. 9701, and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, P.L. 99–272. See 54 FR 17792, 17793 (April 25, 1989). NHTSA specified in its 1989 NPRM proposing rules for the RI program that ‘‘the fees imposed by part 594 would include the agency’s best direct and indirect cost estimates of the man-hours involved in each activity, on both the staff and supervisory levels, the costs of computer and word processor usage, costs attributable to travel, salary, and benefits, and maintenance of work space,’’ as appropriate for each fee. See 54 FR 17795 (April 25, 1989). Subsequently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in Circular A–25 that established Federal policy for the assessment of user fees under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 9701, stated that such fees must be ‘‘sufficient to recover the full cost to the Federal Government * * * of providing the service, resource, or good when the Government is acting in its capacity as a sovereign.’’ See 58 FR 38142, 38144 (July 15, 1993). Applying an approach consistent with the OMB Circular and the one followed in its 1989 rulemaking, the agency has considered its direct and indirect costs in calculating the proposed fee for the review, processing, handling, and disbursement of cash deposits submitted by importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond as follows: The direct costs that would be used to calculate the proposed fee include the estimated cost of contractor and E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules needed for agency chain-of-command review and approval of the agreement. Once the agreement is executed, the OVSC manager expends 10 minutes preparing and faxing a letter that notifies CBP that NHTSA has approved the vehicle’s formal entry into the United States. The OVSC manager prepares an additional letter notifying the importer that the agreement has been signed, that CBP has been notified, and that the vehicle can now be formally entered into the United States. We estimate that preparing and transmitting this letter takes 10 minutes. The OVSC manager also notifies a contractor to record a notation in the agency’s Motor Vehicle Importation Information (MVII) database. The OVSC manager consumes 10 minutes of work time preparing a cover memorandum and delivering the cash deposits to the agency’s finance manager. The finance manager delivers the cash deposits to a Washington, DC bank for deposit in a non-interest bearing account. We estimate that it takes one hour to accomplish this task, which concludes the first stage of administering the cash deposit. Based on the time required to TABLE 1.—STAFF COSTS accomplish these tasks, we calculate that for FY 2007, 20 minutes of FY 2008 contractor time costs $16.83 and two NHTSA staff FY 2007 est. hours and 40 minutes of professional Contractor ................. $33.43 $34.70 staff time costs $241.01. Therefore, the NHTSA Manager ...... 59.93 62.20 total FY 2007 cost for staff time is $260.84. Using projected hourly rate NHTSA Senior Manager ....................... 67.04 69.58 increases of 3.79% for both contract and professional staff, we estimate a staff Administering the process begins time cost of $268.80 for FY 2008. when the cash deposits are received by The second phase of the process mail. We estimate that a contractor begins when the importer notifies spends 10 minutes logging receipt of, NHTSA that vehicle conformance and hand delivering the cash deposits obligations have been met. We estimate to, a manager within NHTSA’s Office of that this notification takes 10 minutes of Vehicle Safety Compliance (OVSC). The professional staff time. The OVSC OVSC manager spends an estimated 20 manager takes 10 minutes of time minutes discussing by telephone with preparing a cover memorandum to the the importer, the necessary formal finance manager that requests that a agreement and its obligations, preparing check be drawn on the agency’s account the formal agreement between the in the importer’s name. We estimate that agency and the importer, and faxing the it takes one hour of the finance agreement to the importer for signature. manager’s time to order and retrieve After the importer signs and returns the from the bank a check drawn on the agreement, a contractor spends an agency’s non-interest bearing account. estimated 5 minutes logging receipt of The finance manager consumes 10 the agreement and returning it to the minutes of time delivering the check to OVSC manager. We estimate that the the OVSC manager and notifying the OVSC manager spends 20 minutes to agency’s Director of Finance of the prepare a transmittal memo that transaction. The OVSC manager then describes the formal agreement and composes a letter to the importer and requests the approval and signature of a mails the letter with the enclosed check, senior NHTSA manager, who by consuming another 10 minutes of time. regulation is authorized to obligate the On a monthly basis, the finance agency. Another 30 minutes of time is manager expends 5 minutes reviewing mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS professional staff time for administering cash deposits submitted by importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond. Additional direct costs include computer equipment and maintenance costs, telephone toll charges, and postage. The indirect costs include a pro rata allocation of the average benefits of agency staff while administering cash deposits. Benefits provided by NHTSA amount to 21.5 percent of the salary earned by its professional staff. The indirect costs also include a pro rata allocation of the costs attributable to the rental and maintenance of office space and equipment, the use of office supplies, and other overhead items. For fiscal years (FY) 2007 and 2008, these costs are projected to average $17.07/ hour for each employee and contract support staff member working at NHTSA headquarters. The estimated cost of contract and professional staff time is calculated on the basis of the full cost for time spent during FY 2007 and the estimated FY 2008 rates, including benefits (for professional staff only) and overhead. This is summarized in Table 1 below: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65535 for accuracy the agency’s bank statement transactions. This phase of the process consumes one hour and 45 minutes of professional staff time and costs the agency for FY 2007 a total of $157.30. We estimate for FY 2008 that this cost will increase to $162.13, based on a projected 3.79% hourly rate increase for both contractor and professional staff. As previously stated, additional direct costs include computer equipment and maintenance costs, which we have calculated at $1.86/hour. We have determined that one hour and 25 minutes of computer time is needed to accomplish the tasks associated with processing each cash deposit, yielding a total of $158.10. We also estimate that the agency will spend $5.75 for the toll costs incurred for three telephone transmissions (i.e., faxing the formal agreement to the importer for signature; faxing a letter informing CBP that the vehicle’s entry is approved; and faxing a letter notifying the importer to proceed with the vehicle’s entry) and $3.00 postage for mailing the check to the importer. Based on the above factors, NHTSA proposes to charge $598.00 as the fee to recover the costs it incurs for each vehicle imported during FY 2008, for which the importer submits a cash deposit in lieu of a DOT conformance bond. This fee would have to be tendered with each cash deposit submitted to the agency in lieu of a bond. The time expended, hourly rates, direct and indirect costs, and proposed fees to reimburse NHTSA are summarized in Appendix A of this notice. F. Effective Date Section 30141(e) of Title 49, U.S. Code requires the amount of fees imposed under section 30141(a) to be reviewed, and, if appropriate, adjusted by NHTSA at least every two years. It also requires that the fee for each fiscal year be established before the beginning of that year. Any final rule on this proposal must therefore be issued not later than September 30, 2008 so that the fee it establishes will be applicable in Fiscal Year 2009, which begins on October 1, 2008. G. Appendix A The following tables provide an itemization of the time expended, hourly rates, direct and indirect costs, and proposed fees to reimburse NHTSA for the costs of receiving, processing, handling, and disbursing cash deposits: E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 65536 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules Step of process Staff* Time mins. FY 07 Rate FY 07 Cost FY 08 Rate FY 08 Cost Receipt, Processing, and Handling of Cash Deposits (Cash) Cash received and delivered ............................................ Agreement obligations discussed with importer ............... Prepare formal agreement ................................................ Agreement faxed for importer’s signature ........................ Signed agreement received and delivered ....................... Prepare agreement approval memo ................................. Agreement review and signature ...................................... Prepare CBP letter approving vehicle entry ..................... Fax CBP letter ................................................................... Prepare importer letter approving vehicle entry ............... Transmit letter to importer by fax ...................................... Create database record .................................................... Prepare and deliver memo/cash to finance ...................... Deposit cash in bank ........................................................ Subtotal ...................................................................... *Staff Notes: (C) is contractor and (E) is employee. C ....... E ....... E ....... ........... C ....... E ....... E ....... E ....... E ....... E ....... ........... E ....... ........... C ....... E ....... E ....... 10 10 10 ............ 5 20 10 10 10 10 ............ 10 ............ 5 10 60 $50.50 $89.88 $89.88 ........................ $50.50 $89.88 $98.52 $98.52 $98.52 $89.88 ........................ $89.88 ........................ $50.50 $89.88 $89.88 $8.42 $14.98 $14.98 Toll charge $4.21 $29.96 $16.42 $16.42 $16.42 $14.98 Toll charge $14.98 Toll charge $4.21 $14.98 $89.88 $51.77 $92.64 $92.64 ........................ $51.77 $92.64 $101.61 $101.61 $101.61 $92.64 ........................ $92.64 ........................ $51.77 $92.64 $92.64 $8.63 $15.44 $15.44 Toll charge $4.31 $30.88 $16.94 $16.94 $16.94 $15.44 Toll charge $15.44 Toll charge $4.31 $15.44 $92.64 ........... ............ ........................ $260.84 ........................ $268.80 Handling and Disbursement of Cash Deposits (Cash) Importer notifies NHTSA that vehicle conformance obligations are met. Prepare memo requesting check to importer ................... Withdraw funds from bank by check ................................ Deliver check ..................................................................... Notify NHTSA Finance Director ........................................ Prepare letter with check enclosure ................................. Mail letter and check to importer ...................................... Review monthly bank statements ..................................... E ....... 10 $89.88 $14.98 $92.64 $15.44 E ....... E ....... E ....... E ....... E ....... ........... E ....... 10 60 5 5 10 ............ 5 $89.88 $89.88 $89.88 $89.88 $89.88 ........................ $89.88 $14.98 $89.88 $7.49 $7.49 $14.98 postage $7.49 $92.64 $92.64 $92.64 $92.64 $92.64 ........................ $92.64 $15.44 92.64 $7.72 $7.72 $15.44 postage $7.72 Subtotal ...................................................................... *Staff Notes: (C) is contractor and (E) is employee. ........... ............ ........................ $157.30 ........................ $162.13 Other Direct Costs Direct costs Time Mins. Computer and Computer Maintenance ........................................... Postage ............................................................................................ Toll Calls (3) ..................................................................................... 85 ............ ............ $1.86/hr $3.00 $1.92 $158.10 $3.00 $5.75 $1.86/hr $3.00 $1.92 $158.10 $3.00 $5.75 Subtotal ..................................................................................... ............ ........................ $166.85 ........................ $166.85 Subtotals: Subtotal ..................................................................................... Subtotal ..................................................................................... Subtotal ..................................................................................... ............ ............ ............ ........................ ........................ ........................ $260.84 $157.30 $166.85 ........................ ........................ ........................ $268.80 $162.13 $166.85 Total ................................................................................... ............ ........................ $584.99 ........................ $597.78 Rulemaking Analyses mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS 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 as to whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and subject 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: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 FY 07 Rate (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 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 FY 07 Cost FY 08 Rate FY 08 Cost (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. NHTSA has 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. Further, NHTSA has determined that the rulemaking is not significant under E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Department of Transportation’s regulatory policies and procedures. 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 RI 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 (SBREFA) 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.’’ See 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 proposed rulemaking under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that if the proposed amendments are adopted they would 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 proposed amendment would primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles and which are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Of the 73 such entities that are currently licensed with NHTSA, only several have furnished the agency with cash deposits VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 in lieu of sureties on DOT conformance bonds. Despite the fact that they qualify as small businesses, the agency has no reason to believe that these companies would be unable to pay the fee proposed by this action. Moreover, consistent with prevailing industry practices, the fee should be passed through to the ultimate purchasers of any vehicle for which a cash deposit in lieu of sureties is given to the agency. The cost to owners or purchasers of these vehicles may be expected to increase to the extent necessary to reimburse the RI for the fee payable to the agency for the cost of processing a cash deposit. Governmental jurisdictions would 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 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 proposed rule would 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. 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 it is anticipated that the annual volume of motor PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65537 vehicles imported through RIs would not vary significantly from that existing before promulgation of the rule. E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ‘‘Civil Justice Reform,’’ this agency has considered whether this proposed rule would have any retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that this proposed rule would not have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of a rule based on this proposal 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 costeffective or least burdensome alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted. Because a final rule based on this proposal would 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. Plain Language Executive Order 12866 and the President’s memorandum of June 1, 1998, require each agency to write all rules in plain language. Application of the principles of plain language includes consideration of the following questions: —Have we organized the material to suit the public’s needs? —Are the requirements in the proposed rule clearly stated? E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 65538 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules —Does the proposed rule contain technical language or jargon that is unclear? —Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of heading, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand? —Would more (but shorter) sections be better? —Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams? —What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand? If you have any responses to these questions, please include them in your comments on this document. H. 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 proposal would require no information collections. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS I. 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. J. 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 are no voluntary consensus standards applicable to this proposed rule. K. Public Participation How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments? Your comments must be written in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket number of this document in your comments. Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). We established this limit to encourage you to write your primary comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments. Please submit two copies of your comments, including the attachments, to Docket Management identified at the beginning of this document, under ADDRESSES. How Can I Be Sure That My Comments Were Received? If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail. How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information? If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given at the beginning of this document under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, you should submit two copies from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket Management at the address given at the beginning of this document under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in our confidential business information regulation, 49 CFR, part 512. Will the Agency Consider Late Comments? We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives before the close of business on the comment closing date identified at the beginning of this notice under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 comments that Docket Management receives after that date. If Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to consider in developing a final rule, we will consider that comment as an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action. How Can I Read the Comments Submitted by Other People? You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the address and times given at the beginning of this document under ADDRESSES. You may also see the comments on the Internet. To read the comments on the Internet, take the following steps: (1) Go to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web page http://www.regulations.gov. (2) On that page, click on ‘‘search for dockets.’’ (3) On the next page (http:// www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ component/main), select NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION from the dropdown menu in the Agency field, enter the Docket ID number and title shown at the heading of this document, and select ‘‘RULEMAKING’’ from the dropdown menu in the Type field. (4) After entering that information, click on ‘‘submit.’’ (5) The next page contains docket summary information for the docket you selected. Click on the comments you wish to see. You may download the comments. Although the comments are imaged documents, instead of the word processing documents, the ‘‘pdf’’ versions of the documents are word searchable. Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the Docket for new material. L. 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. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR part 594 as follows: E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 21, 2007 / Proposed Rules List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594 Administrative practice and procedure, Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles. In consideration of the foregoing, the agency proposes to amend part 594 in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141, 31 U.S.C. 9701; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 2. Section 594.9 is amended by; a. Revising the section heading; b. Adding paragraph (d); and c. Adding paragraph (e); to read as follows: § 594.9 Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs and costs for processing offers of cash deposits or obligations of the United States in lieu of sureties on bonds. * * * * * (d) Each importer must pay a fee based upon the direct and indirect costs the agency incurs for receipt, processing, handling, and disbursement of cash deposits or obligations of the United States in lieu of sureties on bonds that the importer submits as authorized by 591.10 of this chapter in lieu of a conformance bond required under 591.6(c). (e) The fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2008, for which cash deposits or obligations of the United States is furnished in lieu of a conformance bond, is $598.00. * * * * * Issued on: November 13, 2007. Ronald L. Medford, Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety. [FR Doc. E7–22532 Filed 11–20–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 070711313–7637–03] mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS RIN 0648–AV62 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish, Crab, Salmon, and Scallop Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Nov 20, 2007 Jkt 214001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS issues a proposed rule that would implement Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. This amendment, if approved, would revise the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area (AIHCA) boundary to allow nonpelagic trawling in an area historically fished and to prohibit nonpelagic trawling in an area of known coral and sponge occurrence. This action is necessary to ensure the AIHCA protects areas of coral and sponge habitat from the potential effects of nonpelagic trawling and allow nonpelagic trawling in areas historically fished and without evidence of coral and sponge occurrence. DATES: Written comments must be received by January 7, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by 0648–AV62, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov; • Mail: Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802; Attn: Ellen Sebastian, Records Officer; • Hand delivery: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK; or • Fax: 907–586–7557, Attention: Sue Salveson. Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Copies of the map of the AIHCA and the Environmental Assessment/ Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/ RIR/IRFA) for this action may be obtained from the addresses stated above or from the Alaska Region NMFS website at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65539 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melanie Brown, 907–586–7228 or email at melanie.brown@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The groundfish, crab, scallop, and salmon fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off Alaska are managed under their respective fishery management plans (FMPs). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the FMPs under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Regulations implementing the FMPs appear at 50 CFR parts 679 and 680. General regulations governing U.S. fisheries also appear at 50 CFR part 600. The groundfish fishery restrictions for the AIHCA described in the groundfish FMP are implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 679. Revisions to the AIHCA also are described in the proposed Amendment 23 to the FMP for BSAI King and Tanner Crabs, Amendment 12 to the FMP for Scallop Fisheries off Alaska, and Amendment 9 to the FMP for Salmon Fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone off the Coast of Alaska. No regulatory amendments are needed for implementing these FMP amendments due to a prohibition on using nonpelagic trawl gear in the crab, scallop, and salmon fisheries. The Council has submitted the amendments for the AIHCA revision for review by the Secretary of Commerce, and a Notice of Availability of the amendments was published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2007 (72 FR 63871), with comments on the amendments invited through January 14, 2008. Comments may address the FMP amendments, the proposed rule, or both, but must be received by January 7, 2008, to be considered in the approval/ disapproval decision on the FMP amendments. All comments received by that time, whether specifically directed to the FMP amendments or to the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the FMP amendments. Background In 2006, NMFS implemented essential fish habitat (EFH) protection measures for the Aleutian Islands subarea and adjacent State of Alaska (State) waters (71 FR 36694, June 28, 2006, and corrected at 72 FR 63500, November 9, 2007). The background on the development of the EFH protection measures is available in the proposed rule for that action (71 FR 14470, March 22, 2006). The EFH protection measures prohibited nonpelagic trawling within the AIHCA. The AIHCA is the Aleutian E:\FR\FM\21NOP1.SGM 21NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 21, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65532-65539]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-22532]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 594

[Docket No. NHTSA 2007-0037; Notice 1]
RIN 2127-AK10


Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141 Offer of Cash 
Deposits or Obligations of the United States in Lieu of Sureties on DOT 
Conformance Bonds

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document proposes to amend NHTSA's regulations that 
prescribe fees authorized by 49 U.S.C. Sec. 30141 for various functions 
performed by the agency with respect to the importation of motor 
vehicles that do not conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle 
safety and bumper standards. An importer must file with U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection (CBP) a Department of Transportation (DOT) 
conformance bond at the time that a nonconforming motor vehicle is 
offered for importation into the United States, or in lieu of such a 
bond, the importer may post cash deposits or obligations of the United 
States to ensure that the vehicle will be brought into conformance with 
all applicable standards within 120 days from the date of importation, 
or will be exported from, or abandoned to, the United States. To avoid 
the costs of a DOT conformance bond, some importers have sought to post 
cash deposits, which would relieve the importers of the bonding costs 
but cause the agency to expend considerable resources. To permit the 
government to recover these expenses, this amendment would establish a 
fee for the agency's processing of these cash deposits or obligations 
of the United States that are furnished in lieu of a DOT conformance 
bond.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that 
Docket Management receives them not later than January 7, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above 
and be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building

[[Page 65533]]

Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public 
Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this 
document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, 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 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://
DocketInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. or the street 
address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the 
dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues: Coleman Sachs, 
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590 (202-
366-3151). For legal issues: Michael Goode, Office of Chief Counsel, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Washington, DC 20590 (202-366-5238).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Background

    Subject to certain exceptions, 49 U.S.C. 30112(a) prohibits any 
person from importing into the United States a motor vehicle 
manufactured on or after the date that an applicable Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) takes effect unless the vehicle 
complies with the standard and is so certified by its manufacturer. One 
of the exceptions to this prohibition is found in 49 U.S.C. 30141. That 
section permits an importer that is registered with NHTSA (a 
``registered importer'') to import a motor vehicle that was not 
originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS, provided 
NHTSA has decided that the vehicle is eligible for importation. Under 
the criteria that are specified in Section 30141 for these decisions, a 
motor vehicle is not eligible for importation unless, among other 
things, it is capable of being altered to comply with all applicable 
FMVSS. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (B).

B. Requirements for Bonding

    Once a motor vehicle has been declared eligible for importation, it 
can be imported by a registered importer (RI) or by an individual who 
has executed a contract or other agreement with an RI to bring the 
vehicle into compliance with applicable FMVSS. For vehicles that are 
imported in this fashion, a DOT conformance bond (Form HS-474), in an 
amount equivalent to 150 percent of the declared value of the vehicle, 
must be furnished to CBP at the time of importation to ensure that the 
necessary modifications are completed within 120 days of entry or, if 
conformance is not achieved, for the vehicle to be delivered to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security for export at no cost to the United 
States, or for the vehicle to be abandoned to the United States. See 49 
CFR 591.6(c). The DOT conformance bond must be underwritten by a surety 
that possesses a certificate of authority to underwrite Federal bonds. 
See 49 CFR 591.8(c), referencing a list of certificated sureties at 54 
FR 27800, June 30, 1989.
    In lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond, an importer may 
offer United States money, United States bonds (except for savings 
bonds), United States certificates of indebtedness, Treasury notes, or 
Treasury bills (hereinafter referred to as ``cash deposits'') in an 
amount equal to the amount of the bond. See 49 CFR 591.10(a).
    In recent years, a number of RIs have encountered difficulty in 
obtaining DOT conformance bonds underwritten by certificated sureties. 
To achieve the entry of the nonconforming vehicles they have sought to 
import, these RIs have had to resort to furnishing NHTSA with cash 
deposits in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond. The receipt, 
processing, handling, and disbursement of these cash deposits has 
caused the agency to consume a considerable amount of staff time and 
material resources.

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

    NHTSA is authorized under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(3) to establish an 
annual fee requiring RIs to pay for the costs of carrying out the RI 
program. The agency is also authorized under this section to establish 
fees to pay for the costs of processing the conformance bonds that RIs 
provide, and fees to pay for the costs of making agency decisions 
relating to the importation of noncomplying motor vehicles and 
equipment.
    The agency has, to date, established five separate fees under the 
authority of 49 U.S.C. 30141. These are set forth in 49 CFR part 594. 
The first is the annual fee that is collected from RIs to cover the 
agency's costs for administering the RI program. This fee, which is 
covered by section 594.6, is currently set at $677 for persons applying 
for RI status and at $570 for those seeking the renewal of that status. 
As described in section 594.6, the fee is based on the direct and 
indirect costs incurred by the agency in processing and acting upon 
initial applications for RI status and annual statements seeking the 
renewal of that status, as well as other actions performed by the 
agency in administering the RI program.
    The second fee is collected from each motor vehicle manufacturer or 
RI who petitions NHTSA to decide that a nonconforming vehicle is 
eligible for importation. This fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 594.7, 
is currently set at $175 for a petition seeking an eligibility decision 
on the basis that a nonconforming vehicle is substantially similar to a 
U.S. certified counterpart, and at $800 for a petition seeking such a 
decision on the basis that a nonconforming vehicle is capable of being 
altered to conform to all applicable standards. As detailed in section 
594.7, this fee is based on the direct and indirect costs incurred by 
NHTSA in processing and acting upon import eligibility petitions. In 
the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the 
sum of $827 is added to the fee for vehicles that are the subject of 
either type of petition.
    The third fee is for importing a vehicle under an eligibility 
decision made by the Administrator. This fee, which is covered by 49 
CFR 594.8, is currently set at $208 per vehicle. As described in 
section 594.8, this fee is calculated to cover NHTSA's direct and 
indirect costs in making import eligibility decisions.
    The fourth fee covers the agency's costs for reviewing a 
certificate of conformity that an RI submits for each vehicle that it 
imports under conformance bond. This fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 
594.10, encompasses review of the RI's certificate of conformity, which 
establishes that a nonconforming vehicle has been brought into 
conformity with all applicable standards and permits the agency to 
release the conformance bond that was furnished for the vehicle at the

[[Page 65534]]

time of entry. This fee is currently $18 per vehicle if the vehicle is 
entered using paper documents. If the vehicle has been electronically 
entered through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system and the RI 
has an e-mail address, the fee for reviewing the certificate of 
conformity is $6, provided the fee is paid by credit card. If however, 
there are errors made in the ABI entry information or omissions in the 
certificate of conformity, $48 is charged to correct or complete the 
information.
    The fifth fee has been established pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 
30141(a)(3)(A) to pay for the costs of processing bonds provided to the 
Secretary of the Treasury. RIs furnish these bonds for each vehicle 
covered by a certificate of conformity that is submitted to NHTSA. This 
fee, which is covered by 49 CFR 594.9, is currently set at $9.77 and 
only reimburses CBP for services that agency performs at the time of 
entry. The fee is based on direct and indirect cost information 
provided to NHTSA by CBP.

D. Proposed Fee for Processing Cash Deposits

    Although the above-described fees have permitted NHTSA to recover 
the costs it incurs in administering certain aspects of the RI program, 
such as making import eligibility decisions, other services that NHTSA 
provides to importers of nonconforming vehicles have gone unreimbursed. 
One such service for which the agency believes it is entitled to 
reimbursement under 49 U.S.C. 30141 is the receipt, processing, 
handling, and disbursement of cash deposits submitted by importers and 
RIs in lieu of sureties on DOT conformance bonds.
    When the RI program was first established following the enactment 
of the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, Pub. L. 100-52, 
bonding companies were reluctant to serve as sureties because of their 
unfamiliarity with DOT conformance bonds, and prospective importers 
found it difficult to obtain such bonds. To assist importers and to 
provide relief from an unintended impediment to the importation of 
nonconforming vehicles, the agency later proposed cash deposits as an 
alternate to providing a bond, and formalized the process by adding to 
its regulations a provision permitting such deposits, as found at 49 
CFR 591.10. See 58 FR 12905 (March 8, 1993).
    When other fees were established under part 594, NHTSA did not 
recognize a need to impose a fee to recover the costs it incurs in 
handling cash deposits because few cash deposits had been made and they 
accounted for a relatively small share of the work performed by the 
agency. In the ensuing years, NHTSA has devoted a substantially greater 
share of its staff time to those efforts. More recently, a Customs 
broker representing an RI who could obtain a DOT conformance bond from 
a surety asked the agency whether the importer could provide a cash 
deposit instead. The broker stated that the importer was reluctant to 
pay the necessary fee for obtaining a DOT conformance bond and was 
informed by the RI that he could avoid any fee by sending NHTSA a cash 
deposit. Had the importer submitted a cash deposit, the agency would 
have been required to expend considerable resources for his benefit, 
and for the sole reason that he was unwilling to pay for a DOT 
conformance bond. This circumstance alerted the agency to the need to 
charge a fee for processing cash deposits to offset the agency's costs 
for performing this work.
    Because NHTSA's acceptance of the cash deposits is a necessary 
predicate to the release of the vehicle into the commerce of the United 
States, NHTSA has tentatively concluded that the expense incurred by 
the agency to receive, process, handle, and disburse cash deposits may 
be treated as part of the bond processing cost, for which NHTSA is 
authorized to set a fee under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(3)(A).
    Even if such authority did not exist in Chapter 301 of Title 49, 
U.S. Code, the Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 1952, 31 U.S.C. 
Sec. 9701, provides ample authority for NHTSA to impose fees that are 
sufficient to recover the agency's full costs to receive, process, 
handle, and disburse cash deposits. By performing these tasks related 
to cash deposits, NHTSA is performing a specific service for an 
identifiable beneficiary that can form the basis for the imposition of 
a fee under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 9701. Courts have long recognized that 
Federal agencies may impose fees under section 9701 for providing 
comparable services to regulated entities. See, e.g., Seafarers 
International Union of North America v. U.S. Coast Guard, 81 F.3d 179, 
183 (DC Cir. 1996) (finding the Coast Guard authorized to charge 
reasonable fees for processing applications for merchant mariner 
licenses, certificates, and work documents); Engine Manufacturers 
Association v. E.P.A., 20 F.3d 1177, 1180 (DC Cir. 1994) (finding the 
E.P.A. authorized to impose a fee to recover its costs for testing 
vehicles and engines for compliance with the emission standards of the 
Clean Air Act); and National Cable Television Association, Inc. v. 
F.C.C., 554 F.2d 1094, 1101 (DC Cir. 1976) (finding the F.C.C. 
authorized to impose fees for issuing certificates of compliance to 
cable television operators).
    In view of the language and judicial construction of 31 U.S.C. 
9701, NHTSA is relying on this provision as an independent source of 
authority for the proposed fee. The agency believes that this provision 
and 49 U.S.C. 30141 each provide sufficient separate authority for the 
proposed fee and the other fees that the agency has established under 
49 CFR part 594.

E. Fee Computation

    As previously noted, NHTSA has computed all other fees that it 
collects under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 30141 on the basis of all 
direct and indirect costs incurred by the agency in performing the 
function for which the fee is charged. In the Federal Register notice 
proposing the original schedule of fees that was adopted in part 594, 
the agency observed that this approach was consistent with the manner 
in which other agencies have computed user fees under the Independent 
Offices Appropriation Act, 31 U.S.C. 9701, and the Consolidated Omnibus 
Budget Reconciliation Act, P.L. 99-272. See 54 FR 17792, 17793 (April 
25, 1989). NHTSA specified in its 1989 NPRM proposing rules for the RI 
program that ``the fees imposed by part 594 would include the agency's 
best direct and indirect cost estimates of the man-hours involved in 
each activity, on both the staff and supervisory levels, the costs of 
computer and word processor usage, costs attributable to travel, 
salary, and benefits, and maintenance of work space,'' as appropriate 
for each fee. See 54 FR 17795 (April 25, 1989). Subsequently, the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in Circular A-25 that 
established Federal policy for the assessment of user fees under 31 
U.S.C. Sec. 9701, stated that such fees must be ``sufficient to recover 
the full cost to the Federal Government * * * of providing the service, 
resource, or good when the Government is acting in its capacity as a 
sovereign.'' See 58 FR 38142, 38144 (July 15, 1993).
    Applying an approach consistent with the OMB Circular and the one 
followed in its 1989 rulemaking, the agency has considered its direct 
and indirect costs in calculating the proposed fee for the review, 
processing, handling, and disbursement of cash deposits submitted by 
importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond as 
follows:
    The direct costs that would be used to calculate the proposed fee 
include the estimated cost of contractor and

[[Page 65535]]

professional staff time for administering cash deposits submitted by 
importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond. 
Additional direct costs include computer equipment and maintenance 
costs, telephone toll charges, and postage.
    The indirect costs include a pro rata allocation of the average 
benefits of agency staff while administering cash deposits. Benefits 
provided by NHTSA amount to 21.5 percent of the salary earned by its 
professional staff. The indirect costs also include a pro rata 
allocation of the costs attributable to the rental and maintenance of 
office space and equipment, the use of office supplies, and other 
overhead items. For fiscal years (FY) 2007 and 2008, these costs are 
projected to average $17.07/hour for each employee and contract support 
staff member working at NHTSA headquarters.
    The estimated cost of contract and professional staff time is 
calculated on the basis of the full cost for time spent during FY 2007 
and the estimated FY 2008 rates, including benefits (for professional 
staff only) and overhead. This is summarized in Table 1 below:

                          Table 1.--Staff Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                FY 2008
                    NHTSA staff                      FY 2007      est.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contractor........................................     $33.43     $34.70
NHTSA Manager.....................................      59.93      62.20
NHTSA Senior Manager..............................      67.04      69.58
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Administering the process begins when the cash deposits are 
received by mail. We estimate that a contractor spends 10 minutes 
logging receipt of, and hand delivering the cash deposits to, a manager 
within NHTSA's Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (OVSC). The OVSC 
manager spends an estimated 20 minutes discussing by telephone with the 
importer, the necessary formal agreement and its obligations, preparing 
the formal agreement between the agency and the importer, and faxing 
the agreement to the importer for signature. After the importer signs 
and returns the agreement, a contractor spends an estimated 5 minutes 
logging receipt of the agreement and returning it to the OVSC manager. 
We estimate that the OVSC manager spends 20 minutes to prepare a 
transmittal memo that describes the formal agreement and requests the 
approval and signature of a senior NHTSA manager, who by regulation is 
authorized to obligate the agency. Another 30 minutes of time is needed 
for agency chain-of-command review and approval of the agreement.
    Once the agreement is executed, the OVSC manager expends 10 minutes 
preparing and faxing a letter that notifies CBP that NHTSA has approved 
the vehicle's formal entry into the United States. The OVSC manager 
prepares an additional letter notifying the importer that the agreement 
has been signed, that CBP has been notified, and that the vehicle can 
now be formally entered into the United States. We estimate that 
preparing and transmitting this letter takes 10 minutes. The OVSC 
manager also notifies a contractor to record a notation in the agency's 
Motor Vehicle Importation Information (MVII) database.
    The OVSC manager consumes 10 minutes of work time preparing a cover 
memorandum and delivering the cash deposits to the agency's finance 
manager. The finance manager delivers the cash deposits to a 
Washington, DC bank for deposit in a non-interest bearing account. We 
estimate that it takes one hour to accomplish this task, which 
concludes the first stage of administering the cash deposit.
    Based on the time required to accomplish these tasks, we calculate 
that for FY 2007, 20 minutes of contractor time costs $16.83 and two 
hours and 40 minutes of professional staff time costs $241.01. 
Therefore, the total FY 2007 cost for staff time is $260.84. Using 
projected hourly rate increases of 3.79% for both contract and 
professional staff, we estimate a staff time cost of $268.80 for FY 
2008.
    The second phase of the process begins when the importer notifies 
NHTSA that vehicle conformance obligations have been met. We estimate 
that this notification takes 10 minutes of professional staff time. The 
OVSC manager takes 10 minutes of time preparing a cover memorandum to 
the finance manager that requests that a check be drawn on the agency's 
account in the importer's name. We estimate that it takes one hour of 
the finance manager's time to order and retrieve from the bank a check 
drawn on the agency's non-interest bearing account. The finance manager 
consumes 10 minutes of time delivering the check to the OVSC manager 
and notifying the agency's Director of Finance of the transaction. The 
OVSC manager then composes a letter to the importer and mails the 
letter with the enclosed check, consuming another 10 minutes of time. 
On a monthly basis, the finance manager expends 5 minutes reviewing for 
accuracy the agency's bank statement transactions.
    This phase of the process consumes one hour and 45 minutes of 
professional staff time and costs the agency for FY 2007 a total of 
$157.30. We estimate for FY 2008 that this cost will increase to 
$162.13, based on a projected 3.79% hourly rate increase for both 
contractor and professional staff.
    As previously stated, additional direct costs include computer 
equipment and maintenance costs, which we have calculated at $1.86/
hour. We have determined that one hour and 25 minutes of computer time 
is needed to accomplish the tasks associated with processing each cash 
deposit, yielding a total of $158.10. We also estimate that the agency 
will spend $5.75 for the toll costs incurred for three telephone 
transmissions (i.e., faxing the formal agreement to the importer for 
signature; faxing a letter informing CBP that the vehicle's entry is 
approved; and faxing a letter notifying the importer to proceed with 
the vehicle's entry) and $3.00 postage for mailing the check to the 
importer.
    Based on the above factors, NHTSA proposes to charge $598.00 as the 
fee to recover the costs it incurs for each vehicle imported during FY 
2008, for which the importer submits a cash deposit in lieu of a DOT 
conformance bond. This fee would have to be tendered with each cash 
deposit submitted to the agency in lieu of a bond. The time expended, 
hourly rates, direct and indirect costs, and proposed fees to reimburse 
NHTSA are summarized in Appendix A of this notice.

F. Effective Date

    Section 30141(e) of Title 49, U.S. Code requires the amount of fees 
imposed under section 30141(a) to be reviewed, and, if appropriate, 
adjusted by NHTSA at least every two years. It also requires that the 
fee for each fiscal year be established before the beginning of that 
year. Any final rule on this proposal must therefore be issued not 
later than September 30, 2008 so that the fee it establishes will be 
applicable in Fiscal Year 2009, which begins on October 1, 2008.

G. Appendix A

    The following tables provide an itemization of the time expended, 
hourly rates, direct and indirect costs, and proposed fees to reimburse 
NHTSA for the costs of receiving, processing, handling, and disbursing 
cash deposits:

[[Page 65536]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Time
       Step of process          Staff*    mins.     FY 07 Rate      FY 07 Cost      FY 08 Rate      FY 08 Cost
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Receipt, Processing, and Handling of Cash Deposits (Cash)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cash received and delivered..  C.......       10          $50.50           $8.42          $51.77           $8.63
Agreement obligations          E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 discussed with importer.
Prepare formal agreement.....  E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
Agreement faxed for            ........  .......  ..............     Toll charge  ..............     Toll charge
 importer's signature.
Signed agreement received and  C.......        5          $50.50           $4.21          $51.77           $4.31
 delivered.
Prepare agreement approval     E.......       20          $89.88          $29.96          $92.64          $30.88
 memo.
Agreement review and           E.......       10          $98.52          $16.42         $101.61          $16.94
 signature.
                               E.......       10          $98.52          $16.42         $101.61          $16.94
                               E.......       10          $98.52          $16.42         $101.61          $16.94
Prepare CBP letter approving   E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 vehicle entry.
Fax CBP letter...............  ........  .......  ..............     Toll charge  ..............     Toll charge
Prepare importer letter        E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 approving vehicle entry.
Transmit letter to importer    ........  .......  ..............     Toll charge  ..............     Toll charge
 by fax.
Create database record.......  C.......        5          $50.50           $4.21          $51.77           $4.31
Prepare and deliver memo/cash  E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 to finance.
Deposit cash in bank.........  E.......       60          $89.88          $89.88          $92.64          $92.64
                                                                 ----------------                ---------------
    Subtotal.................  ........  .......  ..............         $260.84  ..............         $268.80
*Staff Notes: (C) is
 contractor and (E) is
 employee.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Handling and Disbursement of Cash Deposits (Cash)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Importer notifies NHTSA that   E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 vehicle conformance
 obligations are met.
Prepare memo requesting check  E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 to importer.
Withdraw funds from bank by    E.......       60          $89.88          $89.88          $92.64           92.64
 check.
Deliver check................  E.......        5          $89.88           $7.49          $92.64           $7.72
Notify NHTSA Finance Director  E.......        5          $89.88           $7.49          $92.64           $7.72
Prepare letter with check      E.......       10          $89.88          $14.98          $92.64          $15.44
 enclosure.
Mail letter and check to       ........  .......  ..............         postage  ..............         postage
 importer.
Review monthly bank            E.......        5          $89.88           $7.49          $92.64           $7.72
 statements.
                                                                 ----------------                ---------------
    Subtotal.................  ........  .......  ..............         $157.30  ..............         $162.13
*Staff Notes: (C) is
 contractor and (E) is
 employee.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Other Direct Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
                                           Time
              Direct costs                Mins.     FY 07 Rate      FY 07 Cost      FY 08 Rate      FY 08 Cost
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Computer and Computer Maintenance......       85        $1.86/hr         $158.10        $1.86/hr         $158.10
Postage................................  .......           $3.00           $3.00           $3.00           $3.00
Toll Calls (3).........................  .......           $1.92           $5.75           $1.92           $5.75
                                                                 ----------------                ---------------
    Subtotal...........................  .......  ..............         $166.85  ..............         $166.85
================================================================================================================
Subtotals:
    Subtotal...........................  .......  ..............         $260.84  ..............         $268.80
    Subtotal...........................  .......  ..............         $157.30  ..............         $162.13
    Subtotal...........................  .......  ..............         $166.85  ..............         $166.85
                                                                 ----------------                ---------------
        Total..........................  .......  ..............         $584.99  ..............         $597.78
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rulemaking Analyses

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 as to 
whether a regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and subject 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.
    NHTSA has 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. Further, NHTSA has 
determined that the rulemaking is not significant under

[[Page 65537]]

Department of Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. 
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 RI 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 
(SBREFA) 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.'' See 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 proposed rulemaking 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that if the 
proposed amendments are adopted they would 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 proposed amendment would 
primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles 
and which are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Of the 73 such entities that are currently licensed 
with NHTSA, only several have furnished the agency with cash deposits 
in lieu of sureties on DOT conformance bonds. Despite the fact that 
they qualify as small businesses, the agency has no reason to believe 
that these companies would be unable to pay the fee proposed by this 
action. Moreover, consistent with prevailing industry practices, the 
fee should be passed through to the ultimate purchasers of any vehicle 
for which a cash deposit in lieu of sureties is given to the agency. 
The cost to owners or purchasers of these vehicles may be expected to 
increase to the extent necessary to reimburse the RI for the fee 
payable to the agency for the cost of processing a cash deposit.
    Governmental jurisdictions would 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 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 proposed rule would 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. 
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 it is anticipated that the annual 
volume of motor vehicles imported through RIs would not vary 
significantly from that existing before promulgation of the rule.

E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ``Civil Justice Reform,'' this 
agency has considered whether this proposed rule would have any 
retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that this proposed rule would not 
have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of a rule based on this 
proposal 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 a final rule based on 
this proposal would 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. Plain Language

    Executive Order 12866 and the President's memorandum of June 1, 
1998, require each agency to write all rules in plain language. 
Application of the principles of plain language includes consideration 
of the following questions:

--Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
--Are the requirements in the proposed rule clearly stated?

[[Page 65538]]

--Does the proposed rule contain technical language or jargon that is 
unclear?
--Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of 
heading, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
--Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
--Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?
--What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?

    If you have any responses to these questions, please include them 
in your comments on this document.

H. 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 proposal would 
require no information collections.

I. 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.

J. 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 
proposed rule.

K. Public Participation

How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments?
    Your comments must be written in English. To ensure that your 
comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket 
number of this document in your comments.
    Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). 
We established this limit to encourage you to write your primary 
comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary 
additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length 
of the attachments.
    Please submit two copies of your comments, including the 
attachments, to Docket Management identified at the beginning of this 
document, under ADDRESSES.
How Can I Be Sure That My Comments Were Received?
    If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of 
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the 
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket 
Management will return the postcard by mail.
How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information?
    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete 
submission, including the information you claim to be confidential 
business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given 
at the beginning of this document under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT. In addition, you should submit two copies from which you have 
deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket 
Management at the address given at the beginning of this document under 
ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be 
confidential business information, you should include a cover letter 
setting forth the information specified in our confidential business 
information regulation, 49 CFR, part 512.
Will the Agency Consider Late Comments?
    We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives 
before the close of business on the comment closing date identified at 
the beginning of this notice under DATES. To the extent possible, we 
will also consider comments that Docket Management receives after that 
date. If Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to 
consider in developing a final rule, we will consider that comment as 
an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action.
How Can I Read the Comments Submitted by Other People?
    You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the 
address and times given at the beginning of this document under 
ADDRESSES.
    You may also see the comments on the Internet. To read the comments 
on the Internet, take the following steps:
    (1) Go to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web page 
http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) On that page, click on ``search for dockets.''
    (3) On the next page (http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/
component/main), select NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION 
from the drop-down menu in the Agency field, enter the Docket ID number 
and title shown at the heading of this document, and select 
``RULEMAKING'' from the drop-down menu in the Type field.
    (4) After entering that information, click on ``submit.''
    (5) The next page contains docket summary information for the 
docket you selected. Click on the comments you wish to see. You may 
download the comments. Although the comments are imaged documents, 
instead of the word processing documents, the ``pdf'' versions of the 
documents are word searchable. Please note that even after the comment 
closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the 
Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late 
comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the 
Docket for new material.

L. 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.
    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 
part 594 as follows:

[[Page 65539]]

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594

    Administrative practice and procedure, Imports, Motor vehicle 
safety, Motor vehicles.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the agency proposes to amend 
part 594 in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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:

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

    2. Section 594.9 is amended by;
    a. Revising the section heading;
    b. Adding paragraph (d); and
    c. Adding paragraph (e); to read as follows:


Sec.  594.9  Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs and costs 
for processing offers of cash deposits or obligations of the United 
States in lieu of sureties on bonds.

* * * * *
    (d) Each importer must pay a fee based upon the direct and indirect 
costs the agency incurs for receipt, processing, handling, and 
disbursement of cash deposits or obligations of the United States in 
lieu of sureties on bonds that the importer submits as authorized by 
591.10 of this chapter in lieu of a conformance bond required under 
591.6(c).
    (e) The fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2008, 
for which cash deposits or obligations of the United States is 
furnished in lieu of a conformance bond, is $598.00.
* * * * *

    Issued on: November 13, 2007.
Ronald L. Medford,
Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.
 [FR Doc. E7-22532 Filed 11-20-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P