Multi Year Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading and Audit Services, 11517-11519 [08-928]

Download as PDF 11517 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 73, No. 43 Tuesday, March 4, 2008 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Parts 56 and 70 [Docket No. AMS–PY–07–0065] RIN 0581–AC73 Multi Year Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and Rabbit Grading and Audit Services Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is increasing the fees and charges for Federal voluntary egg, poultry, and rabbit grading, certification, and audit services for the next two fiscal years, FY 2008 and FY 2009. The fees and charges are being increased by 2.76% to 7.74% to cover the increase in salaries of Federal employees, salary increases of State employees cooperatively utilized in administering the programs, and other increased Agency costs. AMS is required to collect fees from users of these services to cover the costs of services rendered. EFFECTIVE DATE: March 30, 2008. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Bowden, Jr., Chief, USDA, AMS, PY, Standards, Promotions and Technology Branch, (202) 690–3148. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES Background and Proposed Changes The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA), as amended, (7 U.S.C. 1621–1627), gives AMS the authority to provide services so that agricultural products may be marketed to their best advantage, that global marketing and trade may be facilitated, and that consumers may be able to ascertain characteristics involved in the production and processing of products VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 03, 2008 Jkt 214001 and obtain the quality of product they desire. The AMA also provides for the collection of fees from users of these services that are reasonable and cover the cost of providing services. Voluntary grading and certification of eggs, poultry, and rabbits and verification and conformance audits, fall within this authorization. A recent review determined that the existing fee schedule, effective April 1, 2007, will not generate sufficient revenue to cover program costs while maintaining an adequate trust fund reserve balance in FY 2008 and FY 2009. Revenue, investment income and other adjustments in FY 2006 were $36 million while expenses were $35 million, resulting in a trust fund reserve balance increase from $12.3 million to $13.3 million.1 FY 2007 revenue, investment income and other adjustments are currently projected at $35.9 million and expenses in FY 2007 are projected at $35.8 million. This will result in a trust fund reserve balance of $13.4 million. Without a fee increase, FY 2008 revenue is projected to be $35 million. Expenses are projected to be $37.4 million, which would leave a reserve of $11 million. With a fee increase, FY 2008 revenue is projected at $37.5 million. The fee increase will result in a trust fund reserve balance of $13.5 million. Without a fee increase, FY 2009 revenue is projected at $34.9 million. Expenses are projected at $38.2 million, which would leave a reserve of $7.7 million. With a fee increase in FY 2009, revenue is projected at $38.8 million. The fee increase will result in a trust fund reserve balance of $14 million. Employee salaries and benefits account for approximately 85 percent of the total operating budget. The last general and locality salary increase for Federal employees became effective on January 1, 2007, and it materially affected program costs. Projected cost estimates for that increase were based on a salary increase of 1.7 percent; however, the increase was actually 1.81 to 3.02 percent, depending on locality. The average annual increase in salary over the past five years has been 3.71 percent and was used for the projected salary increase for January 2008 and 1 With the increase, the reserve would be $14 million. However a six month reserve is needed for all program contingencies, including shutdown. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 January 2009. Also, from October 2007 through September 2009, salaries and fringe benefits of federally-licensed State employees are estimated to increase by about 6.0 percent. The hourly rate for resident and nonresident service covers graders’ salaries and benefits. The current hourly rates of $39.04, $69.68, and $80.12 for the resident and fee service cover graders’ salaries and benefits, plus the cost of travel and supervision. The minimum monthly administrative volume charge for resident poultry, shell egg, and rabbit grading remains at $275, because the fee analysis determined that raising the minimum monthly administrative charge would not generate additional reserve. For FY 2008 the resident fee rate will be $40.88 for regular hours and $64.44 for holiday hours, an increase of approximately 5 percent from the previous year. Beginning in January 2009, the resident fees rates will be $42.68 for regular hours and $67.28 for holiday hours, an increase of approximately 4 percent from the previous year. For FY 2008 the non-resident fee rates will be $74.08 for regular hours and $86.68 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of approximately 7 percent from the previous year. Beginning in January 2009, the non-resident fee rates will be $77.28 for regular hours and $93.24 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of approximately 6 percent from the previous year. Current rates for auditing services are $82.16 and $102.84. In FY 2008 they will be $87.56 for regular hours and $112.00 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of approximately 8 percent from the previous year. Beginning in January 2009, the audit rates will be $89.20 for regular hours and $116.08 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of approximately 3 percent. The inauguration charge of $310, when an application for service has been received, has been eliminated. By restructuring the inauguration charge, expenses incurred for plant surveys and billed to applicants will reflect a more accurate accounting for the services rendered. Since a plant survey still is required, the fee for the survey will be borne by the applicant at rates set forth for shell eggs in § 56.46 (a)-(c) and for poultry and rabbits in § 70.71 (a)-(c), plus any travel and additional expenses. E:\FR\FM\04MRR1.SGM 04MRR1 11518 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 43 / Tuesday, March 4, 2008 / Rules and Regulations The following table compares current and new fees. The fee rate will be increased by approximately 7.0 percent. The hourly rate for resident and Service nonresident service covers graders’ salaries and benefits. Current 2008 2009 0 0 Resident Service (egg, poultry, and rabbit grading) Inauguration of service ........................................................................................ Hourly charges: Regular hours ............................................................................................... Holiday hours ................................................................................................ Administrative charges—Poultry grading ............................................................ Per pound of poultry ..................................................................................... Minimum per month ...................................................................................... Maximum per month ..................................................................................... Administrative charges—Shell egg grading ........................................................ Per 30-dozen case of shell eggs ................................................................. Minimum per month ...................................................................................... Maximum per month ..................................................................................... Administrative charges—Rabbit grading: Based on 25% of grader’s salary, minimum per month .............................. 310 39.04 61.44 .00043 275 3,075 ................................ .053 275 3,075 ................................ 40.88 64.44 .00045 275 3,150 ................................ .055 275 3,150 ................................ 275 275 42.68 67.28 .00047 275 3,225 ................................ .058 275 3,225 ................................ 275 Non-resident Service (egg, poultry, and rabbit grading) Hourly charges: Regular hours ............................................................................................... Administrative charges: Based on 25% of grader’s salary, minimum per month .............................. 39.04 40.88 275 275 42.68 275 Nonresident Fee and Appeal Service (egg, poultry, and rabbit grading) Hourly charges: Regular hours ............................................................................................... Weekend and holiday hours ......................................................................... 69.68 80.12 74.08 86.68 77.28 93.24 87.56 112.00 89.20 116.08 Audit Fee (Plant Systems, Animal Welfare, QSVP) Hourly charges: Regular hours ............................................................................................... Weekend and holiday hours ......................................................................... Comments Based on the analysis of costs to provide these services, a proposed rule to increase fees for these services was published in the Federal Register (72 FR 62591) on November 6, 2007. Comments on the proposed rule were solicited from interested parties until December 6, 2007. No comments were received. Executive Order 12866 This action has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)(5 U.S.C. 601–674), AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. It is determined that its provisions will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. There are about 390 users of Poultry Programs’ services. These official plants can pack eggs, poultry, and rabbits in VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 03, 2008 Jkt 214001 82.16 102.84 packages bearing the USDA grade shield when AMS graders are present to certify that the products meet the grade requirements as labeled. Many of these users are small entities under the criteria established by the Small Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201). These entities are under no obligation to use program services as authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. AMS regularly reviews its user fee financed programs to determine if fees are adequate and if costs are reasonable. A recent review determined that the existing fee schedule, effective April 1, 2007, will not generate sufficient revenue to cover program costs while maintaining an adequate reserve balance in FY 2008 and FY 2009. Expenses in FY 2008 are projected at $37.4 million. Without a fee increase, FY 2008 revenue is projected at $35 million. With a fee increase, FY 2008 revenues are projected at $37.5 million. Expenses in FY 2009 are projected at $38.2 million. Without a fee increase, FY 2009 revenues are projected at $34.9 million. With a fee increase, FY 2009 revenues are projected at $38.8 million. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This action will raise the fees charged to users of grading and auditing services. AMS estimates that, overall, this rule will yield about $2.4 million during FY 2008 and an additional $1.3 million for FY 2009. The hourly rate for resident and nonresident service will increase by approximately 4.71 percent in FY 2008 and 4.4 percent in FY 2009. The fee rate will increase by approximately 7 percent in FY 2008 and approximately 6 percent in FY 2009. The audit fee will increase by approximately 8 percent in FY 2008 and approximately 3 percent in FY 2009. The impact of these rate changes in a poultry plant will range from about $0.000078 to $0.000952 per pound of poultry handled in FY 2008 and $0.000085 to $0.001068 in FY 2009. In a shell egg plant, the range will be $0.000273 to $0.003499 per dozen eggs handled in FY 2008 and $0.000410 to $0.004870 per dozen eggs handled in FY 2009. Civil Justice Reform This action has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This action is not intended to E:\FR\FM\04MRR1.SGM 04MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 43 / Tuesday, March 4, 2008 / Rules and Regulations have retroactive effect. This rule will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. There are no administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule. Paperwork Reduction The information collection requirements that appear in the sections to be amended by this action have been previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB Control Numbers under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) as follows: § 56.52(a)(4)— No. 0581–0128; and § 70.77(a)(4)—No. 0581–0127. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 533, it is found and determined that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The revised fees need to be implemented on an expedited basis in order to avoid further financial losses in the grading program. The effective date of the fee increase is March 30, 2008. List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 56 Eggs and egg products, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 7 CFR Part 70 Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Poultry and poultry products, Rabbits and rabbit products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. I For reasons set forth in the preamble, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 56 and 70 is amended as follows: PART 56—VOLUNTARY GRADING OF SHELL EGGS 1. The authority citation for part 56 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621–1627. § 56.46 [Amended] 2. Section 56.46 is amended by: A. Removing in paragraph (b), ‘‘$69.68’’ and adding ‘‘$74.08, beginning March 30, 2008, and $77.28 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I B. Removing in paragraph (c), ‘‘$80.12 per hour’’ and adding ‘‘$86.68 per hour, beginning March 30, 2008, and $93.24 per hour on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I C. Removing in paragraph (d), ‘‘$82.16’’ and adding ‘‘$87.56 beginning March 30, 2008, and $89.20 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I D. Removing in paragraph (e), ‘‘$102.84 per hour’’ and adding rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES I I VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 03, 2008 Jkt 214001 ‘‘$112.00 per hour beginning March 30, 2008, and $116.08 per hour on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I 3. Section 56.52 is amended by: I A. Removing the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1), and adding three sentences to read as set forth below; and I B. Removing in paragraph (a)(4), ‘‘$0.053’’ and adding ‘‘$0.055 beginning March 30, 2008, and $0.058 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place, and removing ‘‘$3,075’’ and adding ‘‘$3,150 beginning March 30, 2008, and $3,225 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. § 56.52 Charges for continuous grading performed on a resident basis. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) When a signed application for service has been received, the State supervisor or the supervisor’s assistant shall complete a plant survey pursuant to § 56.30. The costs for completing the plant survey shall be borne by the applicant on a fee basis at rates set forth in § 56.46 (a) through(c), plus any travel and additional expenses. No charges will be assessed when the application is required because of a change in name or ownership. * * * * * * * * 11519 beginning March 30, 2008, and $0.00047 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place, and removing ‘‘$3,075’’ and adding ‘‘$3,150 beginning March 30, 2008, and $3,225 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. § 70.77 Charges for continuous poultry or rabbit grading performed on a resident basis. * * * * * (a) * * * (1) When a signed application for service has been received, the State supervisor or the supervisor’s assistant shall complete a plant survey pursuant to § 70.34. The costs for completing the plant survey shall be borne by the applicant on a fee basis at rates set forth in § 70.71 (a) through (c), plus any travel and additional expenses. No charges will be assessed when the application is required because of a change in name or ownership. * * * * * * * * Dated: February 28, 2008. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 08–928 Filed 2–28–08; 11:26 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PART 70—VOLUNTARY GRADING OF POULTRY PRODUCTS AND RABBIT PRODUCTS Farm Service Agency 4. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows: RIN 0560–AH74 I Dairy Disaster Assistance Payment Program III Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621–1627. § 70.71 [Amended] 5. Section 70.71 is amended by: A. Removing in paragraph (b) ‘‘$69.68’’ and adding ‘‘$74.08 beginning March 30, 2008, and $77.28 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I B. Removing in paragraph (c) ‘‘$80.12 per hour’’ and adding ‘‘$86.68 per hour beginning March 30, 2008, and $93.24 per hour on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I C. Removing in paragraph (d), ‘‘$82.16’’ and adding ‘‘$87.56 beginning March 30, 2008, and $89.20 on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I D. Removing in paragraph (e), ‘‘$102.84 per hour’’ and adding ‘‘$112.00 per hour beginning March 30, 2008, and $116.08 per hour on or after January 25, 2009,’’ in its place. I 6. Section 70.77 is amended by: I A. Removing the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1), and adding three sentences to read as set forth below; and I B. Removing in paragraph (a)(4), ‘‘$0.00043’’ and adding ‘‘$0.00045 I I PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 7 CFR Part 786 Farm Service Agency, USDA. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This final rule establishes a new program, the Dairy Disaster Assistance Payment Program III, as authorized by the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007. The program will provide $16 million in assistance for producers in counties designated as a major disaster or emergency area by the President, or those declared a natural disaster area by the Secretary of Agriculture. Counties declared disasters by the President may be eligible, even though agricultural loss was not covered by the declaration, if there has been a Farm Service Agency Administrator’s Physical Loss Notice covering such losses. The natural disaster declarations by the Secretary or the President must have been issued between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2007, that is, after January 1, 2005, and before December 31, 2007. Counties E:\FR\FM\04MRR1.SGM 04MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 43 (Tuesday, March 4, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11517-11519]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 08-928]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 43 / Tuesday, March 4, 2008 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 11517]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Parts 56 and 70

[Docket No. AMS-PY-07-0065]
RIN 0581-AC73


Multi Year Increase in Fees and Charges for Egg, Poultry, and 
Rabbit Grading and Audit Services

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is increasing the 
fees and charges for Federal voluntary egg, poultry, and rabbit 
grading, certification, and audit services for the next two fiscal 
years, FY 2008 and FY 2009. The fees and charges are being increased by 
2.76% to 7.74% to cover the increase in salaries of Federal employees, 
salary increases of State employees cooperatively utilized in 
administering the programs, and other increased Agency costs. AMS is 
required to collect fees from users of these services to cover the 
costs of services rendered.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 30, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Bowden, Jr., Chief, USDA, AMS, 
PY, Standards, Promotions and Technology Branch, (202) 690-3148.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background and Proposed Changes

    The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA), as amended, (7 U.S.C. 
1621-1627), gives AMS the authority to provide services so that 
agricultural products may be marketed to their best advantage, that 
global marketing and trade may be facilitated, and that consumers may 
be able to ascertain characteristics involved in the production and 
processing of products and obtain the quality of product they desire. 
The AMA also provides for the collection of fees from users of these 
services that are reasonable and cover the cost of providing services. 
Voluntary grading and certification of eggs, poultry, and rabbits and 
verification and conformance audits, fall within this authorization.
    A recent review determined that the existing fee schedule, 
effective April 1, 2007, will not generate sufficient revenue to cover 
program costs while maintaining an adequate trust fund reserve balance 
in FY 2008 and FY 2009. Revenue, investment income and other 
adjustments in FY 2006 were $36 million while expenses were $35 
million, resulting in a trust fund reserve balance increase from $12.3 
million to $13.3 million.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ With the increase, the reserve would be $14 million. However 
a six month reserve is needed for all program contingencies, 
including shutdown.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     FY 2007 revenue, investment income and other adjustments are 
currently projected at $35.9 million and expenses in FY 2007 are 
projected at $35.8 million. This will result in a trust fund reserve 
balance of $13.4 million.
    Without a fee increase, FY 2008 revenue is projected to be $35 
million. Expenses are projected to be $37.4 million, which would leave 
a reserve of $11 million. With a fee increase, FY 2008 revenue is 
projected at $37.5 million. The fee increase will result in a trust 
fund reserve balance of $13.5 million.
    Without a fee increase, FY 2009 revenue is projected at $34.9 
million. Expenses are projected at $38.2 million, which would leave a 
reserve of $7.7 million. With a fee increase in FY 2009, revenue is 
projected at $38.8 million. The fee increase will result in a trust 
fund reserve balance of $14 million.
    Employee salaries and benefits account for approximately 85 percent 
of the total operating budget. The last general and locality salary 
increase for Federal employees became effective on January 1, 2007, and 
it materially affected program costs. Projected cost estimates for that 
increase were based on a salary increase of 1.7 percent; however, the 
increase was actually 1.81 to 3.02 percent, depending on locality. The 
average annual increase in salary over the past five years has been 
3.71 percent and was used for the projected salary increase for January 
2008 and January 2009. Also, from October 2007 through September 2009, 
salaries and fringe benefits of federally-licensed State employees are 
estimated to increase by about 6.0 percent.
    The hourly rate for resident and non-resident service covers 
graders' salaries and benefits. The current hourly rates of $39.04, 
$69.68, and $80.12 for the resident and fee service cover graders' 
salaries and benefits, plus the cost of travel and supervision. The 
minimum monthly administrative volume charge for resident poultry, 
shell egg, and rabbit grading remains at $275, because the fee analysis 
determined that raising the minimum monthly administrative charge would 
not generate additional reserve.
    For FY 2008 the resident fee rate will be $40.88 for regular hours 
and $64.44 for holiday hours, an increase of approximately 5 percent 
from the previous year. Beginning in January 2009, the resident fees 
rates will be $42.68 for regular hours and $67.28 for holiday hours, an 
increase of approximately 4 percent from the previous year.
    For FY 2008 the non-resident fee rates will be $74.08 for regular 
hours and $86.68 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of 
approximately 7 percent from the previous year. Beginning in January 
2009, the non-resident fee rates will be $77.28 for regular hours and 
$93.24 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of approximately 6 
percent from the previous year.
    Current rates for auditing services are $82.16 and $102.84. In FY 
2008 they will be $87.56 for regular hours and $112.00 for weekend and 
holiday hours, an increase of approximately 8 percent from the previous 
year. Beginning in January 2009, the audit rates will be $89.20 for 
regular hours and $116.08 for weekend and holiday hours, an increase of 
approximately 3 percent.
    The inauguration charge of $310, when an application for service 
has been received, has been eliminated. By restructuring the 
inauguration charge, expenses incurred for plant surveys and billed to 
applicants will reflect a more accurate accounting for the services 
rendered. Since a plant survey still is required, the fee for the 
survey will be borne by the applicant at rates set forth for shell eggs 
in Sec.  56.46 (a)-(c) and for poultry and rabbits in Sec.  70.71 (a)-
(c), plus any travel and additional expenses.

[[Page 11518]]

    The following table compares current and new fees. The fee rate 
will be increased by approximately 7.0 percent. The hourly rate for 
resident and nonresident service covers graders' salaries and benefits.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Service                               Current              2008               2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Resident Service (egg, poultry, and rabbit grading)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Inauguration of service...............................          310                  0                  0
 Hourly charges:
     Regular hours.....................................           39.04              40.88              42.68
     Holiday hours.....................................           61.44              64.44              67.28
 Administrative charges--Poultry grading...............             .00043             .00045             .00047
     Per pound of poultry..............................          275                275                275
     Minimum per month.................................        3,075              3,150              3,225
     Maximum per month.................................  .................  .................  .................
 Administrative charges--Shell egg grading.............             .053               .055               .058
     Per 30-dozen case of shell eggs...................          275                275                275
    Minimum per month..................................        3,075              3,150              3,225
    Maximum per month..................................  .................  .................  .................
Administrative charges--Rabbit grading:
    Based on 25% of grader's salary, minimum per month.          275                275                275
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Non-resident Service (egg, poultry, and rabbit grading)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hourly charges:
    Regular hours......................................           39.04              40.88              42.68
Administrative charges:
    Based on 25% of grader's salary, minimum per month.          275                275                275
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Nonresident Fee and Appeal Service (egg, poultry, and rabbit grading)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hourly charges:
    Regular hours......................................           69.68              74.08              77.28
    Weekend and holiday hours..........................           80.12              86.68              93.24
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Audit Fee (Plant Systems, Animal Welfare, QSVP)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hourly charges:
    Regular hours......................................           82.16              87.56              89.20
    Weekend and holiday hours..........................          102.84             112.00             116.08
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

    Based on the analysis of costs to provide these services, a 
proposed rule to increase fees for these services was published in the 
Federal Register (72 FR 62591) on November 6, 2007. Comments on the 
proposed rule were solicited from interested parties until December 6, 
2007. No comments were received.

Executive Order 12866

    This action has been determined to be not significant for purposes 
of Executive Order 12866 and therefore, has not been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA)(5 U.S.C. 601-674), AMS has considered the 
economic impact of this action on small entities. It is determined that 
its provisions will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    There are about 390 users of Poultry Programs' services. These 
official plants can pack eggs, poultry, and rabbits in packages bearing 
the USDA grade shield when AMS graders are present to certify that the 
products meet the grade requirements as labeled. Many of these users 
are small entities under the criteria established by the Small Business 
Administration (13 CFR 121.201). These entities are under no obligation 
to use program services as authorized under the Agricultural Marketing 
Act of 1946.
    AMS regularly reviews its user fee financed programs to determine 
if fees are adequate and if costs are reasonable. A recent review 
determined that the existing fee schedule, effective April 1, 2007, 
will not generate sufficient revenue to cover program costs while 
maintaining an adequate reserve balance in FY 2008 and FY 2009.
    Expenses in FY 2008 are projected at $37.4 million. Without a fee 
increase, FY 2008 revenue is projected at $35 million. With a fee 
increase, FY 2008 revenues are projected at $37.5 million.
    Expenses in FY 2009 are projected at $38.2 million. Without a fee 
increase, FY 2009 revenues are projected at $34.9 million. With a fee 
increase, FY 2009 revenues are projected at $38.8 million.
    This action will raise the fees charged to users of grading and 
auditing services. AMS estimates that, overall, this rule will yield 
about $2.4 million during FY 2008 and an additional $1.3 million for FY 
2009. The hourly rate for resident and nonresident service will 
increase by approximately 4.71 percent in FY 2008 and 4.4 percent in FY 
2009. The fee rate will increase by approximately 7 percent in FY 2008 
and approximately 6 percent in FY 2009. The audit fee will increase by 
approximately 8 percent in FY 2008 and approximately 3 percent in FY 
2009. The impact of these rate changes in a poultry plant will range 
from about $0.000078 to $0.000952 per pound of poultry handled in FY 
2008 and $0.000085 to $0.001068 in FY 2009. In a shell egg plant, the 
range will be $0.000273 to $0.003499 per dozen eggs handled in FY 2008 
and $0.000410 to $0.004870 per dozen eggs handled in FY 2009.

Civil Justice Reform

    This action has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This action is not intended to

[[Page 11519]]

have retroactive effect. This rule will not preempt any State or local 
laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable 
conflict with this rule. There are no administrative procedures which 
must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of 
this rule.

Paperwork Reduction

    The information collection requirements that appear in the sections 
to be amended by this action have been previously approved by OMB and 
assigned OMB Control Numbers under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 
U.S.C. Chapter 35) as follows: Sec.  56.52(a)(4)--No. 0581-0128; and 
Sec.  70.77(a)(4)--No. 0581-0127.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 533, it is found and determined that good 
cause exists for not postponing the effective date until 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register. The revised fees need to be 
implemented on an expedited basis in order to avoid further financial 
losses in the grading program. The effective date of the fee increase 
is March 30, 2008.

List of Subjects

7 CFR Part 56

    Eggs and egg products, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 70

    Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Poultry and poultry 
products, Rabbits and rabbit products, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

0
For reasons set forth in the preamble, Title 7, Code of Federal 
Regulations, parts 56 and 70 is amended as follows:

PART 56--VOLUNTARY GRADING OF SHELL EGGS

0
1. The authority citation for part 56 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.


Sec.  56.46  [Amended]


0
2. Section 56.46 is amended by:
0
A. Removing in paragraph (b), ``$69.68'' and adding ``$74.08, beginning 
March 30, 2008, and $77.28 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in its 
place.
0
B. Removing in paragraph (c), ``$80.12 per hour'' and adding ``$86.68 
per hour, beginning March 30, 2008, and $93.24 per hour on or after 
January 25, 2009,'' in its place.
0
C. Removing in paragraph (d), ``$82.16'' and adding ``$87.56 beginning 
March 30, 2008, and $89.20 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in its 
place.
0
D. Removing in paragraph (e), ``$102.84 per hour'' and adding ``$112.00 
per hour beginning March 30, 2008, and $116.08 per hour on or after 
January 25, 2009,'' in its place.
0
3. Section 56.52 is amended by:
0
A. Removing the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1), and adding three 
sentences to read as set forth below; and
0
B. Removing in paragraph (a)(4), ``$0.053'' and adding ``$0.055 
beginning March 30, 2008, and $0.058 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in 
its place, and removing ``$3,075'' and adding ``$3,150 beginning March 
30, 2008, and $3,225 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in its place.


Sec.  56.52  Charges for continuous grading performed on a resident 
basis.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) When a signed application for service has been received, the 
State supervisor or the supervisor's assistant shall complete a plant 
survey pursuant to Sec.  56.30. The costs for completing the plant 
survey shall be borne by the applicant on a fee basis at rates set 
forth in Sec.  56.46 (a) through(c), plus any travel and additional 
expenses. No charges will be assessed when the application is required 
because of a change in name or ownership. * * *
* * * * *

PART 70--VOLUNTARY GRADING OF POULTRY PRODUCTS AND RABBIT PRODUCTS

0
4. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.


Sec.  70.71  [Amended]


0
5. Section 70.71 is amended by:
0
A. Removing in paragraph (b) ``$69.68'' and adding ``$74.08 beginning 
March 30, 2008, and $77.28 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in its 
place.
0
B. Removing in paragraph (c) ``$80.12 per hour'' and adding ``$86.68 
per hour beginning March 30, 2008, and $93.24 per hour on or after 
January 25, 2009,'' in its place.
0
C. Removing in paragraph (d), ``$82.16'' and adding ``$87.56 beginning 
March 30, 2008, and $89.20 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in its 
place.
0
D. Removing in paragraph (e), ``$102.84 per hour'' and adding ``$112.00 
per hour beginning March 30, 2008, and $116.08 per hour on or after 
January 25, 2009,'' in its place.

0
6. Section 70.77 is amended by:
0
A. Removing the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1), and adding three 
sentences to read as set forth below; and
0
B. Removing in paragraph (a)(4), ``$0.00043'' and adding ``$0.00045 
beginning March 30, 2008, and $0.00047 on or after January 25, 2009,'' 
in its place, and removing ``$3,075'' and adding ``$3,150 beginning 
March 30, 2008, and $3,225 on or after January 25, 2009,'' in its 
place.


Sec.  70.77  Charges for continuous poultry or rabbit grading performed 
on a resident basis.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) When a signed application for service has been received, the 
State supervisor or the supervisor's assistant shall complete a plant 
survey pursuant to Sec.  70.34. The costs for completing the plant 
survey shall be borne by the applicant on a fee basis at rates set 
forth in Sec.  70.71 (a) through (c), plus any travel and additional 
expenses. No charges will be assessed when the application is required 
because of a change in name or ownership. * * *
* * * * *

    Dated: February 28, 2008.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 08-928 Filed 2-28-08; 11:26 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P