Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, 45195-45201 [E8-17516]

Download as PDF 45195 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules Contracts, to revise 503.702 to delete the definition for ‘‘Notice’’ and ‘‘Voiding and rescinding official’’ as the terms do not require definition; to add a new section 503.703, Authority, to identify the Senior Procurement Executive as having the authority to void and rescind contracts pursuant to FAR 3.703 and 3.705(b); to relocate 503.705 from the GSAR to the manual part of the GSAM because it relates to internal administrative procedures; to add a new Subpart 503.10, Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, to establish a lower threshold for the inclusion of FAR 52.203–14, Display of Hotline Poster(s), at 503.1004(a) and include the name of the poster and where the poster may be obtained at 503.1004(b)(i) and (ii) pursuant to FAR 52.203.14(b)(3); to delete GSAR 552.203–5, Covenant Against Contingent Fees, to ensure consistency with the GSAM that provides that the acquisition of leasehold interests in real property is established by GSAM Part 570; and to delete GSAR 552.203, Price Adjustment for Illegal or Improper Activity, to ensure consistency with the GSAM requirements that leasehold interests in real property is established by GSAM Part 570. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804. ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS B. Regulatory Flexibility Act The General Services Administration does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the revisions are not considered substantive. The revisions only update the GSAR and reorganize existing coverage. An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has, therefore, not been performed. We invite comments from small businesses and other interested parties. GSA will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected GSAR Parts 503 and 552 in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. (GSAR case 2008– G502), in correspondence. C. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed changes to the GSAM do not impose information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. Subpart 503.10—Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 503 and 552 Government procurement. 503.1004 Dated: July 28, 2008 Al Matera, Director, Office of Acquisition Policy. Therefore, GSA proposes to amend 48 CFR parts 503 and 552 as set forth below: PART 503—IMPROPER BUSINESS PRACTICES AND PERSONAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 503 is revised to read as follows: Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c). 503.104–3 and 503–104–9 [Removed] 2. Remove sections 503.104–3 and 503.104–9. 3. Amend section 503.204 by— a. Removing from paragraph (a)(2) ‘‘or joint venture’’; b. Removing from paragraph (c) ‘‘designated by the Chairman of the GSA Board of Contract Appeals.’’ and adding a period, in its place; and c. Revising paragraph (f). The revised text reads as follows: 503.204 * * * * (f) If the Gratuities clause was violated, the contractor may present evidence of mitigating factors to the Senior Procurement Executive, or designee, in accordance with FAR 3.204(b), either orally or in writing, consistent with a schedule the Senior Procurement Executive, or designee, establishes. The Senior Procurement Executive, or designee, exercises the Government’s rights under FAR 3.204(c) only after considering mitigating factors. [Removed] 4. Remove section 503.404. 503.570–1 [Amended] 5. Amend section 503.570–1 by removing ‘‘referring’’ and adding ‘‘making references’’ in its place. 503.702 [Removed] 6. Remove section 503.702. 503.703 [Added] 7. Add section 503.703 to read as follows: 503.703 Authority. Pursuant to FAR 3.703 and 3.705(b), the authority to void or rescind contracts resides with the Senior Procurement Executive. 8. Add Subpart 503.10 to read as follows: PO 00000 PART 552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 9. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 552 continues to read as follows: Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c). 552.203–5 and 552.203–70 [Removed] 10. Remove sections 552.203–5 and 552.203–70. [FR Doc. E8–17790 Filed 8–1–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–61–S Treatment of violations. * 503.404 Contract clauses. (a) The FAR threshold for the clause at 52.203–14, Display of Hotline Poster(s), is $5,000,000. However, GSA has exercised the authority provided at FAR 3.1004(b)(1)(i) to establish a lower threshold, $1,000,000, for inclusion of the clause when the contract or order is funded with disaster assistance funds. (b) The information required to be inserted in the clause at FAR 52.203–14, Display of Hotline Poster(s), is as follows: (i) Poster: GSA OIG ‘‘FRAUDNET HOTLINE’’; and (ii) Obtain from: Contracting Officer. Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 594 [Docket No. NHTSA 2008–0114; Notice 1] RIN 2127–AK33 Schedule of Fees Authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document proposes fees for Fiscal Year 2009 and until further notice, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, relating to the registration of importers and the importation of motor vehicles not certified as conforming to the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). These fees are needed to maintain the registered importer (RI) program. DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that Docket Management receives them not later than September 3, 2008. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above and be submitted by any of the following methods: E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1 45196 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS • 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 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 to the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Lindsay, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202–366–5291). For legal issues, you may call Michael Goode, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (202–366–5263). You may call Docket Management at 202–366–9324. You may visit the Docket in person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction On June 24, 1996, at 61 FR 32411, we published a notice that discussed in full the rulemaking history of 49 CFR part 594 and the fees authorized by the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, Public Law 100–562, since recodified at 49 U.S.C. 30141–47. The reader is referred to that notice for background information relating to this rulemaking action. Certain fees were initially established to become effective January 31, 1990, and have been periodically adjusted since then. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 We are required to review and make appropriate adjustments at least every two years in the fees established for the administration of the RI program. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(e). The fees applicable in any fiscal year (FY) are to be established before the beginning of such year. Ibid. We are proposing fees that would become effective on October 1, 2008, the beginning of FY 2009. The statute authorizes fees to cover the costs of the importer registration program, to cover the cost of making import eligibility decisions, and to cover the cost of processing the bonds furnished to the Department of Homeland Security (Customs). We last amended the fee schedule in 2006. See final rule published on August 3, 2006 at 71 FR 43985. Those fees apply to Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008. The proposed fees are based on time and costs associated with the tasks for which the fees are assessed and reflect the slight increase in hourly costs in the past two fiscal years attributable to the approximately 2.64 and 4.49 percent raises (including the locality adjustment for Washington, DC) in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2007, and on January 1, 2008, respectively. Requirements of the Fee Regulation Section 594.6—Annual Fee for Administration of the Importer Registration Program Section 30141(a)(3) of Title 49, U.S. Code provides that RIs must pay the annual fees established ‘‘* * * to pay for the costs of carrying out the registration program for importers * * *’’ This fee is payable both by new applicants and by existing RIs. To maintain its registration, each RI, at the time it submits its annual fee, must also file a statement affirming that the information it furnished in its registration application (or in later submissions amending that information) remains correct (49 CFR 592.5(f)). In compliance with the statutory directive, we reviewed the existing fees and their bases in an attempt to establish fees that would be sufficient to recover the costs of carrying out the registration program for importers for at least the next two fiscal years. The initial component of the Registration Program Fee is the fee attributable to processing and acting upon registration applications. We have tentatively determined that this fee should be increased from $266 to $295 for new applications. We have also tentatively determined that the fee for the review of the annual statement should be increased from $159 to $186. The PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 proposed adjustments reflect our time expenditures in reviewing both new applications and annual statements with accompanying documentation, as well as the inflation factor attributable to Federal salary increases and locality adjustments in the two years since the fees were last adjusted. We must also recover costs attributable to maintenance of the registration program that arise from the need for us to review a registrant’s annual statement and to verify the continuing validity of information already submitted. These costs also include anticipated costs attributable to the possible revocation or suspension of registrations and reflect the amount of time that we have devoted to those matters in the past two years. Based upon our review of these costs, the portion of the fee attributable to the maintenance of the registration program is approximately $465 for each RI, an increase of $54. When this $465 is added to the $295 representing the registration application component, the cost to an applicant for RI status comes to $760, which is the fee we propose. This represents an increase of $83 over the existing fee. When the $465 is added to the $186 representing the annual statement component, the total cost to an RI for renewing its registration comes to $651, which represents an increase of $81. Sec. 594.6(h) enumerates indirect costs associated with processing the annual renewal of RI registrations. The provision states that these costs represent a pro-rata allocation of the average salary and benefits of employees who process the annual statements and perform related functions, and ‘‘a prorata allocation of the costs attributable to maintaining the office space, and the computer or word processor.’’ For the purpose of establishing the fees that are currently in existence, indirect costs are $17.07 per man-hour. We are proposing to increase this figure by $3.24, to $20.31. This proposed increase is based on the difference between enacted budgetary costs within the Department of Transportation for the last two fiscal years, which were higher than the estimates used when the fee schedule was last amended, and takes account of further projected increases over the next two fiscal years. Sections 594.7, 594.8—Fees To Cover Agency Costs in Making Importation Eligibility Decisions Section 30141(a)(3) also requires registered importers to pay other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes to cover the costs of ‘‘* * * (B) making the decisions under this E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1 ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules subchapter.’’ This includes decisions on whether the vehicle sought to be imported is substantially similar to a motor vehicle that was originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States and certified by its original manufacturer as complying with all applicable FMVSS, and whether the vehicle is capable of being readily altered to meet those standards. Alternatively, where there is no substantially similar U.S. certified motor vehicle, the decision is whether the safety features of the vehicle comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or such other evidence that NHTSA deems to be adequate. These decisions are made in response to petitions submitted by RIs or manufacturers, or on the Administrator’s own initiative. The fee for a vehicle imported under an eligibility decision made in response to a petition is payable in part by the petitioner and in part by other importers. The fee to be charged for each vehicle is the estimated pro-rata share of the costs in making all the eligibility decisions in a fiscal year. Inflation and General Schedule raises must also be taken into account in the computation of costs. We have reduced costs by issuing a single Federal Register notice to announce import eligibility decisions made on multiple vehicles. Despite the cost savings that have accrued from this effort, RIs have imported fewer vehicles each year since we last amended the fee schedule. This has increased the pro-rata share of petition costs that are to be assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the decision to grant import eligibility. Although the number of petitions submitted in the past two years has decreased, the agency has devoted an increasing share of staff time to the review and processing of import eligibility petitions owing to complications that result when the petitioner or one or more commenters request confidentiality for information they submit to the agency. Additional staff time is also needed to analyze the petitions and any comments received owing to new requirements being adopted in the FMVSS, such as the advanced air bag rule that became effective September 1, 2006. Despite these factors, we are proposing no increase in the current fee of $175 that covers the initial processing of a ‘‘substantially similar’’ petition. Instead, as discussed below, we are proposing to address these additional costs by increasing the pro-rata share of petition costs that are assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 decision to grant import eligibility. Likewise, we are also proposing to maintain the existing fee of $800 to cover the initial costs for processing petitions for vehicles that have no substantially similar U.S.-certified counterpart. In the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the fee for such an inspection would remain $827 for vehicles that are the subject of either type of petition. Importers of vehicles determined to be eligible for importation pay, upon the importation of those vehicles, a pro-rata share of the total cost for making the eligibility decision. The importation fee varies depending upon the basis on which the vehicle is determined to be eligible. For vehicles covered by an eligibility decision on the agency’s own initiative (other than vehicles imported from Canada that are covered by import eligibility numbers VSA–80 through 83, for which no eligibility decision fee is assessed), the fee would remain $125. NHTSA determined that the costs associated with previous eligibility determinations on the agency’s own initiative would be fully recovered by October 1, 2008. We apply the fee of $125 per vehicle only to vehicles covered by determinations made by the agency on its own initiative on or after October 1, 2008. The agency’s costs for making an import eligibility decision pursuant to a petition are borne in part by the petitioner and in part by the importers of vehicles imported under the petition. In 2007, the most recent year for which complete data exists, the agency expended $76,031 in making import eligibility decisions based on petitions. The petitioners paid $6,975 of that amount in the processing fees that accompanied the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining $69,056 to be recovered from the importers of the 236 vehicles imported that year under petition-based import eligibility decisions. Dividing $69,056 by 236 yields a pro-rata fee of $293 for each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that resulted from the granting of a petition. However, the agency believes that the volume of petition-based imports for the next two fiscal years should not be projected on the basis of a single year, particularly one in which the volume of petition-based imports was atypically low. The agency therefore took the average number of petition-based imports over the past 15 years to project the number of such vehicles that would be imported in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010. Further, we assume that petitions filed during Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 45197 would also more closely reflect the average number of petitions received each year since 1991, the first year that the agency received RI petitions. Based on these estimates, we project that 621 vehicles would be imported under petition-based eligibility decisions and that 39 petition-based import eligibility decisions would be made. Based on these estimates, the agency’s costs for processing these petitions would increase to no more than $136,000. Petitioners would pay slightly more than $13,000 of that amount in the processing fees that accompany the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining $123,000 to be recovered from the importers of the 621 vehicles to be imported each year under petitionbased import eligibility decisions. Dividing $123,000 by 621 yields a prorata fee of $198 for each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that results from the granting of a petition. Based on our estimates for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, the pro-rata fee to be paid by the importer of each such vehicle would decrease from $208 to $198, representing a decrease of $10 from the existing fee for each vehicle imported. The same $198 fee would be paid regardless of whether the vehicle was petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(a), based on the substantial similarity of the vehicle to a U.S.-certified model, or was petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(b), based on the safety features of the vehicle complying with, or being capable of being modified to comply with, all applicable FMVSS. Section 594.9—Fee To Recover the Costs of Processing the Bond Section 30141(a)(3) also requires a registered importer to pay any other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes ‘‘* * * to pay for the costs of—(A) processing bonds provided to the Secretary of the Treasury * * *’’ upon the importation of a nonconforming vehicle to ensure that the vehicle would be brought into compliance within a reasonable time, or if it is not brought into compliance within such time, that it be exported, without cost to the United States, or abandoned to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (Customs) now exercises the functions associated with the processing of these bonds. To carry out the statute, we make a reasonable determination of the costs that Department incurs in processing the bonds. In essence, the cost to Customs is based upon an estimate of the time that a GS–9, Step 5 employee spends on each entry, E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1 45198 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules which Customs has judged to be 20 minutes. Based on General Schedule salary and locality raises that were effective in January 2007 and 2008 and the inclusion of costs for benefits, we are proposing that the processing fee be increased by $.46, from $9.77 per bond to $10.23. This fee would reflect the direct and indirect costs that are actually associated with processing the bonds. Section 594.10—Fee for Review and Processing of Conformity Certificate Each RI is currently required to pay $13 per vehicle to cover the costs the agency incurs in reviewing a certificate of conformity. We estimate that these costs would increase to an average of $14.00 per vehicle because of increased contractor and overhead costs. Based on these estimates, we are proposing to increase the fee charged for vehicles for which a paper entry and fee payment is made, from $13 to $14, a difference of $1 per vehicle. However, if an RI enters a vehicle through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system, has an e-mail address to receive communications from NHTSA, and pays the fee by credit card, the cost savings that we realize allow us to significantly reduce the fee to $6.00. We propose to maintain the fee of $6.00 per vehicle if all the information in the ABI entry is correct. Errors in ABI entries not only eliminate any time savings, but also require additional staff time to be expended in reconciling the erroneous ABI entry information to the conformity data that is ultimately submitted. Our experience with these errors has shown that staff members must examine records, make time-consuming long distance telephone calls, and often consult supervisory personnel to resolve the conflicts in the data. We have calculated this staff and supervisory time, as well the telephone charges, to amount to approximately $42 for each erroneous ABI entry. Adding this to the $6 fee for the review of conformity packages on automated entries yields a total of $48, representing no change in the fee that is currently charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or in the statement of conformity. ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS Effective Date The proposed effective date of the final rule is October 1, 2008. Rulemaking Analyses A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. 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 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 registered importer program, adopted on September 29, 1989, was prepared, and is available for review in the docket. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBFEFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration’s regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a business entity ‘‘which operates primarily within the United States.’’ (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The agency has considered the effects of this 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 amendments would primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles and which are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act; however, the agency has no reason to believe that these companies would be unable to pay the fees proposed by this action. In most instances, these fees would not be changed or be only modestly increased (and in some instances decreased) from the fees now being paid by these entities. Moreover, consistent with prevailing industry practices, these fees should be passed through to the ultimate purchasers of the vehicles that are altered and, in most instances, sold by the affected registered importers. The cost to owners or purchasers of nonconforming vehicles that are altered to conform to the FMVSS may be expected to increase (or decrease) to the extent necessary to reimburse the registered importer for the fees payable to the agency for the cost of carrying out the registration program and making eligibility decisions, and to compensate Customs for its bond processing costs. Governmental jurisdictions 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 E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules 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. Moreover, NHTSA is required by statute to impose fees for the administration of the RI program and to review and make necessary adjustments in those fees at least every two years. 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 registered importers would not vary significantly from that existing before promulgation of the rule. ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS 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. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 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? —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 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 45199 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 and does not concern an environmental, health, or safety risk. 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. Comments 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. E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1 45200 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules Please submit two copies of your comments, including the attachments, to Docket Management 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. ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS 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 indicated 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 near 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. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 (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: List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594 § 594.6 Annual fee for administration of the registration program. (a) Each person filing an application to be granted the status of a Registered Importer pursuant to part 592 of this chapter on or after October 1, 2008, must pay an annual fee of $760, as calculated below, based upon the direct and indirect costs attributable to: * * * * * (b) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the processing of the application for applications filed on and after October 1, 2008, is $295. The sum of $295, representing this portion, shall not be refundable if the application is denied or withdrawn. * * * * * (d) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the remaining activities of administering the registration program on and after October 1, 2008, is set forth in paragraph (i) of this section. This portion shall be refundable if the application is denied, or withdrawn before final action upon it. * * * * * (h) * * * This cost is $23.31 per manhour for the period beginning October 1, 2008. (i) Based upon the elements and indirect costs of paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of this section, the component of the initial annual fee attributable to administration of the registration program, covering the period beginning October 1, 2008, is $465. When added to the costs of registration of $295, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, the costs per applicant to be recovered through the annual fee are $760. The annual renewal registration fee for the period beginning October 1, 2008, is $651. 3. Section 594.7 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows: Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles. § 594.7 Fee for filing petitions for a determination whether a vehicle is eligible for importation. 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 594.6 is amended by; A. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a); B. Revising paragraph (b); C. Revising paragraph (d); D. Revising the final sentence of paragraph (h); and E. Revising paragraph (i) to read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 * * * * (e) For petitions filed on and after October 1, 2008, the fee payable for seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is $175. The fee payable for a petition seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(2) of this section is $800. If the petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, the sum of $827 shall be added to such fee. No portion of this fee is refundable if the petition is withdrawn or denied. * * * * * 4. Section 594.8 is amended by revising paragraph (b) and the first sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 150 / Monday, August 4, 2008 / Proposed Rules § 594.8 Fee for importing a vehicle pursuant to a determination by the Administrator. * * * * * (b) If a determination has been made pursuant to a petition, the fee for each vehicle is $198. The direct and indirect costs that determine the fee are those set forth in §§ 594.7(b), (c), and (d). (c) If a determination has been made on or after October 1, 2008, pursuant to the Administrator’s initiative, the fee for each vehicle is $125. * * * 5. Section 594.9 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows: § 594.9 Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs. * * * * * (c) The bond processing fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2008, for which a certificate of conformity is furnished, is $10.23. 5. Section 594.10 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows: § 594.10 Fee for review and processing of conformity certificate. * * * * * (d) The review and processing fee for each certificate of conformity submitted on and after October 1, 2008 is $14. However, if the vehicle covered by the certificate has been entered electronically with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Automated Broker Interface and the registered importer submitting the certificate has an e-mail address, the fee for the certificate is $6, provided that the fee is paid by a credit card issued to the registered importer. If NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the certificate is incorrect, requiring further processing, the processing fee shall be $48. Issued on: July 25, 2008. Ronald L. Medford, Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety. [FR Doc. E8–17516 Filed 8–1–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 ebenthall on PRODPC60 with PROPOSALS [Docket No. 071203794–8828–01] RIN 0648–AW36 Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Subsistence Fishing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:20 Aug 01, 2008 Jkt 214001 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations that amend the subsistence fishery rules for members of an Alaska Native tribe eligible to harvest Pacific halibut in waters in and off Alaska for customary and traditional use. The proposed change would correct the location listed in the regulations for the Village of Kanatak tribe and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) halibut regulatory area (Area) in which members may subsistence fish. These regulations correctly define the headquarters and Area for the Village of Kanatak tribe. The action would change the tribe’s headquarters from Egegik to Wasilla and the corresponding Area from 4E to Area 3A. The intent of the correction is to remove restrictions on participation of tribal members in traditional subsistence fisheries for Pacific halibut by aligning the tribe’s headquarters with its actual location in Wasilla. DATES: Comments must be received no later than September 3, 2008. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sue Salveson, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. You may submit comments, identified by ‘‘RIN 0648– AW36’’ by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov. • Mail: P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802. • Fax: (907) 586–7557. • Hand delivery to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK. All comments received are a part of the public record and will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (e.g., 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 (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments must be in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe portable document file (pdf) formats to be accepted. Copies of the Categorical Exclusion (CE) and Regulatory Impact Review PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 45201 (RIR) prepared for this action may be obtained from the NMFS Alaska Region, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, Alaska 99802, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, Records Officer; in person at NMFS Alaska Region, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, Alaska; and via the Internet at the NMFS Alaska Region website at http:// www.noaa.fakr.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peggy Murphy, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Need for Action The United States and Canada participate in the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and promulgate regulations governing the Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) fishery under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act). Regulations governing the allocation and catch of halibut in U.S. convention waters that are in agreement with the Halibut Act may be developed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council). Regulations recommended by the Council must be approved by the Secretary of Commerce before being implemented through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Council prepared an environmental assessment/regulatory impact review (EA/RIR) for subsistence halibut fisheries, in January 2003, and NMFS published the final rule to implement subsistence halibut regulations in April 2003 (68 FR 18145). The Alaska Native tribe, Village of Kanatak is recognized in the regulations as an organized tribal entity with its tribal headquarters located in Egegik, Alaska within halibut regulatory area 3A. However, the tribe’s headquarters are actually located in Wasilla, Alaska in halibut regulatory area 4E. The initial assignment of the tribal headquarters location to Egegik was incorrect. The lists of rural communities and native tribes recommended by the Council and approved by the Secretary for subsistence fishing eligibility were derived from positive customary and traditional findings for halibut and bottomfish made by the Alaska State Board of Fisheries (BOF) prior to the Alaska Supreme Court decision, McDowell v. State, 785 P.2d 1 (Alaska 1989). The Council retains exclusive authority to recommend changes to the list of communities § 300.65(g)(1) and Alaska Native tribes § 300.65(g)(2) with customary and traditional uses of Pacific halibut. Residents and tribal members who believe that their rural or tribal place was incorrectly left out of the subsistence eligibility listing for E:\FR\FM\04AUP1.SGM 04AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 150 (Monday, August 4, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45195-45201]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-17516]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 594

[Docket No. NHTSA 2008-0114; Notice 1]
RIN 2127-AK33


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

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This document proposes fees for Fiscal Year 2009 and until 
further notice, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, relating to the 
registration of importers and the importation of motor vehicles not 
certified as conforming to the Federal motor vehicle safety standards 
(FMVSS). These fees are needed to maintain the registered importer (RI) 
program.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that 
Docket Management receives them not later than September 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above 
and be submitted by any of the following methods:

[[Page 45196]]

     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 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 to the street 
address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the 
dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Lindsay, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5291). For legal issues, you may call 
Michael Goode, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (202-366-5263). You may 
call Docket Management at 202-366-9324. You may visit the Docket in 
person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    On June 24, 1996, at 61 FR 32411, we published a notice that 
discussed in full the rulemaking history of 49 CFR part 594 and the 
fees authorized by the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, 
Public Law 100-562, since recodified at 49 U.S.C. 30141-47. The reader 
is referred to that notice for background information relating to this 
rulemaking action. Certain fees were initially established to become 
effective January 31, 1990, and have been periodically adjusted since 
then.
    We are required to review and make appropriate adjustments at least 
every two years in the fees established for the administration of the 
RI program. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(e). The fees applicable in any fiscal 
year (FY) are to be established before the beginning of such year. 
Ibid. We are proposing fees that would become effective on October 1, 
2008, the beginning of FY 2009. The statute authorizes fees to cover 
the costs of the importer registration program, to cover the cost of 
making import eligibility decisions, and to cover the cost of 
processing the bonds furnished to the Department of Homeland Security 
(Customs). We last amended the fee schedule in 2006. See final rule 
published on August 3, 2006 at 71 FR 43985. Those fees apply to Fiscal 
Years 2007 and 2008.
    The proposed fees are based on time and costs associated with the 
tasks for which the fees are assessed and reflect the slight increase 
in hourly costs in the past two fiscal years attributable to the 
approximately 2.64 and 4.49 percent raises (including the locality 
adjustment for Washington, DC) in salaries of employees on the General 
Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2007, and on January 1, 
2008, respectively.

Requirements of the Fee Regulation

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

    Section 30141(a)(3) of Title 49, U.S. Code provides that RIs must 
pay the annual fees established ``* * * to pay for the costs of 
carrying out the registration program for importers * * *'' This fee is 
payable both by new applicants and by existing RIs. To maintain its 
registration, each RI, at the time it submits its annual fee, must also 
file a statement affirming that the information it furnished in its 
registration application (or in later submissions amending that 
information) remains correct (49 CFR 592.5(f)).
    In compliance with the statutory directive, we reviewed the 
existing fees and their bases in an attempt to establish fees that 
would be sufficient to recover the costs of carrying out the 
registration program for importers for at least the next two fiscal 
years. The initial component of the Registration Program Fee is the fee 
attributable to processing and acting upon registration applications. 
We have tentatively determined that this fee should be increased from 
$266 to $295 for new applications. We have also tentatively determined 
that the fee for the review of the annual statement should be increased 
from $159 to $186. The proposed adjustments reflect our time 
expenditures in reviewing both new applications and annual statements 
with accompanying documentation, as well as the inflation factor 
attributable to Federal salary increases and locality adjustments in 
the two years since the fees were last adjusted.
    We must also recover costs attributable to maintenance of the 
registration program that arise from the need for us to review a 
registrant's annual statement and to verify the continuing validity of 
information already submitted. These costs also include anticipated 
costs attributable to the possible revocation or suspension of 
registrations and reflect the amount of time that we have devoted to 
those matters in the past two years.
    Based upon our review of these costs, the portion of the fee 
attributable to the maintenance of the registration program is 
approximately $465 for each RI, an increase of $54. When this $465 is 
added to the $295 representing the registration application component, 
the cost to an applicant for RI status comes to $760, which is the fee 
we propose. This represents an increase of $83 over the existing fee. 
When the $465 is added to the $186 representing the annual statement 
component, the total cost to an RI for renewing its registration comes 
to $651, which represents an increase of $81.
    Sec. 594.6(h) enumerates indirect costs associated with processing 
the annual renewal of RI registrations. The provision states that these 
costs represent a pro-rata allocation of the average salary and 
benefits of employees who process the annual statements and perform 
related functions, and ``a pro-rata allocation of the costs 
attributable to maintaining the office space, and the computer or word 
processor.'' For the purpose of establishing the fees that are 
currently in existence, indirect costs are $17.07 per man-hour. We are 
proposing to increase this figure by $3.24, to $20.31. This proposed 
increase is based on the difference between enacted budgetary costs 
within the Department of Transportation for the last two fiscal years, 
which were higher than the estimates used when the fee schedule was 
last amended, and takes account of further projected increases over the 
next two fiscal years.

Sections 594.7, 594.8--Fees To Cover Agency Costs in Making Importation 
Eligibility Decisions

    Section 30141(a)(3) also requires registered importers to pay other 
fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes to cover the costs of 
``* * * (B) making the decisions under this

[[Page 45197]]

subchapter.'' This includes decisions on whether the vehicle sought to 
be imported is substantially similar to a motor vehicle that was 
originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United 
States and certified by its original manufacturer as complying with all 
applicable FMVSS, and whether the vehicle is capable of being readily 
altered to meet those standards. Alternatively, where there is no 
substantially similar U.S. certified motor vehicle, the decision is 
whether the safety features of the vehicle comply with, or are capable 
of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test 
information or such other evidence that NHTSA deems to be adequate. 
These decisions are made in response to petitions submitted by RIs or 
manufacturers, or on the Administrator's own initiative.
    The fee for a vehicle imported under an eligibility decision made 
in response to a petition is payable in part by the petitioner and in 
part by other importers. The fee to be charged for each vehicle is the 
estimated pro-rata share of the costs in making all the eligibility 
decisions in a fiscal year.
    Inflation and General Schedule raises must also be taken into 
account in the computation of costs. We have reduced costs by issuing a 
single Federal Register notice to announce import eligibility decisions 
made on multiple vehicles. Despite the cost savings that have accrued 
from this effort, RIs have imported fewer vehicles each year since we 
last amended the fee schedule. This has increased the pro-rata share of 
petition costs that are to be assessed against the importer of each 
vehicle covered by the decision to grant import eligibility. Although 
the number of petitions submitted in the past two years has decreased, 
the agency has devoted an increasing share of staff time to the review 
and processing of import eligibility petitions owing to complications 
that result when the petitioner or one or more commenters request 
confidentiality for information they submit to the agency. Additional 
staff time is also needed to analyze the petitions and any comments 
received owing to new requirements being adopted in the FMVSS, such as 
the advanced air bag rule that became effective September 1, 2006. 
Despite these factors, we are proposing no increase in the current fee 
of $175 that covers the initial processing of a ``substantially 
similar'' petition. Instead, as discussed below, we are proposing to 
address these additional costs by increasing the pro-rata share of 
petition costs that are assessed against the importer of each vehicle 
covered by the decision to grant import eligibility. Likewise, we are 
also proposing to maintain the existing fee of $800 to cover the 
initial costs for processing petitions for vehicles that have no 
substantially similar U.S.-certified counterpart.
    In the event that a petitioner requests an inspection of a vehicle, 
the fee for such an inspection would remain $827 for vehicles that are 
the subject of either type of petition.
    Importers of vehicles determined to be eligible for importation 
pay, upon the importation of those vehicles, a pro-rata share of the 
total cost for making the eligibility decision. The importation fee 
varies depending upon the basis on which the vehicle is determined to 
be eligible. For vehicles covered by an eligibility decision on the 
agency's own initiative (other than vehicles imported from Canada that 
are covered by import eligibility numbers VSA-80 through 83, for which 
no eligibility decision fee is assessed), the fee would remain $125. 
NHTSA determined that the costs associated with previous eligibility 
determinations on the agency's own initiative would be fully recovered 
by October 1, 2008. We apply the fee of $125 per vehicle only to 
vehicles covered by determinations made by the agency on its own 
initiative on or after October 1, 2008.
    The agency's costs for making an import eligibility decision 
pursuant to a petition are borne in part by the petitioner and in part 
by the importers of vehicles imported under the petition. In 2007, the 
most recent year for which complete data exists, the agency expended 
$76,031 in making import eligibility decisions based on petitions. The 
petitioners paid $6,975 of that amount in the processing fees that 
accompanied the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining 
$69,056 to be recovered from the importers of the 236 vehicles imported 
that year under petition-based import eligibility decisions. Dividing 
$69,056 by 236 yields a pro-rata fee of $293 for each vehicle imported 
under an eligibility decision that resulted from the granting of a 
petition.
    However, the agency believes that the volume of petition-based 
imports for the next two fiscal years should not be projected on the 
basis of a single year, particularly one in which the volume of 
petition-based imports was atypically low. The agency therefore took 
the average number of petition-based imports over the past 15 years to 
project the number of such vehicles that would be imported in Fiscal 
Years 2009 and 2010. Further, we assume that petitions filed during 
Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 would also more closely reflect the average 
number of petitions received each year since 1991, the first year that 
the agency received RI petitions. Based on these estimates, we project 
that 621 vehicles would be imported under petition-based eligibility 
decisions and that 39 petition-based import eligibility decisions would 
be made.
    Based on these estimates, the agency's costs for processing these 
petitions would increase to no more than $136,000. Petitioners would 
pay slightly more than $13,000 of that amount in the processing fees 
that accompany the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining 
$123,000 to be recovered from the importers of the 621 vehicles to be 
imported each year under petition-based import eligibility decisions. 
Dividing $123,000 by 621 yields a pro-rata fee of $198 for each vehicle 
imported under an eligibility decision that results from the granting 
of a petition.
    Based on our estimates for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, the pro-rata 
fee to be paid by the importer of each such vehicle would decrease from 
$208 to $198, representing a decrease of $10 from the existing fee for 
each vehicle imported. The same $198 fee would be paid regardless of 
whether the vehicle was petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(a), based on the 
substantial similarity of the vehicle to a U.S.-certified model, or was 
petitioned under 49 CFR 593.6(b), based on the safety features of the 
vehicle complying with, or being capable of being modified to comply 
with, all applicable FMVSS.

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

    Section 30141(a)(3) also requires a registered importer to pay any 
other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes ``* * * to pay 
for the costs of--(A) processing bonds provided to the Secretary of the 
Treasury * * *'' upon the importation of a nonconforming vehicle to 
ensure that the vehicle would be brought into compliance within a 
reasonable time, or if it is not brought into compliance within such 
time, that it be exported, without cost to the United States, or 
abandoned to the United States.
    The Department of Homeland Security (Customs) now exercises the 
functions associated with the processing of these bonds. To carry out 
the statute, we make a reasonable determination of the costs that 
Department incurs in processing the bonds. In essence, the cost to 
Customs is based upon an estimate of the time that a GS-9, Step 5 
employee spends on each entry,

[[Page 45198]]

which Customs has judged to be 20 minutes.
    Based on General Schedule salary and locality raises that were 
effective in January 2007 and 2008 and the inclusion of costs for 
benefits, we are proposing that the processing fee be increased by 
$.46, from $9.77 per bond to $10.23. This fee would reflect the direct 
and indirect costs that are actually associated with processing the 
bonds.

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

    Each RI is currently required to pay $13 per vehicle to cover the 
costs the agency incurs in reviewing a certificate of conformity. We 
estimate that these costs would increase to an average of $14.00 per 
vehicle because of increased contractor and overhead costs. Based on 
these estimates, we are proposing to increase the fee charged for 
vehicles for which a paper entry and fee payment is made, from $13 to 
$14, a difference of $1 per vehicle. However, if an RI enters a vehicle 
through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system, has an e-mail 
address to receive communications from NHTSA, and pays the fee by 
credit card, the cost savings that we realize allow us to significantly 
reduce the fee to $6.00. We propose to maintain the fee of $6.00 per 
vehicle if all the information in the ABI entry is correct.
    Errors in ABI entries not only eliminate any time savings, but also 
require additional staff time to be expended in reconciling the 
erroneous ABI entry information to the conformity data that is 
ultimately submitted. Our experience with these errors has shown that 
staff members must examine records, make time-consuming long distance 
telephone calls, and often consult supervisory personnel to resolve the 
conflicts in the data. We have calculated this staff and supervisory 
time, as well the telephone charges, to amount to approximately $42 for 
each erroneous ABI entry. Adding this to the $6 fee for the review of 
conformity packages on automated entries yields a total of $48, 
representing no change in the fee that is currently charged when there 
are one or more errors in the ABI entry or in the statement of 
conformity.

Effective Date

    The proposed effective date of the final rule is October 1, 2008.

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 whether a 
regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the 
Executive Order. The Order defines a ``significant regulatory action'' 
as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    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 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 registered importer program, adopted on September 29, 
1989, was prepared, and is available for review in the docket.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBFEFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare 
and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis 
that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR part 121 
define a small business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates 
primarily within the United States.'' (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency 
certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a 
statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.
    The agency has considered the effects of this 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 amendments would 
primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles 
and which are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act; however, the agency has no reason to believe that 
these companies would be unable to pay the fees proposed by this 
action. In most instances, these fees would not be changed or be only 
modestly increased (and in some instances decreased) from the fees now 
being paid by these entities. Moreover, consistent with prevailing 
industry practices, these fees should be passed through to the ultimate 
purchasers of the vehicles that are altered and, in most instances, 
sold by the affected registered importers. The cost to owners or 
purchasers of nonconforming vehicles that are altered to conform to the 
FMVSS may be expected to increase (or decrease) to the extent necessary 
to reimburse the registered importer for the fees payable to the agency 
for the cost of carrying out the registration program and making 
eligibility decisions, and to compensate Customs for its bond 
processing costs.
    Governmental jurisdictions 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

[[Page 45199]]

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. 
Moreover, NHTSA is required by statute to impose fees for the 
administration of the RI program and to review and make necessary 
adjustments in those fees at least every two years. 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 registered importers 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?
--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 and does not concern an 
environmental, health, or safety risk.

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. Comments

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.

[[Page 45200]]

    Please submit two copies of your comments, including the 
attachments, to Docket Management 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 indicated 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 near 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:

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.

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 594.6 is amended by;
    A. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a);
    B. Revising paragraph (b);
    C. Revising paragraph (d);
    D. Revising the final sentence of paragraph (h); and
    E. Revising paragraph (i) to read as follows:


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

    (a) Each person filing an application to be granted the status of a 
Registered Importer pursuant to part 592 of this chapter on or after 
October 1, 2008, must pay an annual fee of $760, as calculated below, 
based upon the direct and indirect costs attributable to:
* * * * *
    (b) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the 
processing of the application for applications filed on and after 
October 1, 2008, is $295. The sum of $295, representing this portion, 
shall not be refundable if the application is denied or withdrawn.
* * * * *
    (d) That portion of the initial annual fee attributable to the 
remaining activities of administering the registration program on and 
after October 1, 2008, is set forth in paragraph (i) of this section. 
This portion shall be refundable if the application is denied, or 
withdrawn before final action upon it.
* * * * *
    (h) * * * This cost is $23.31 per man-hour for the period beginning 
October 1, 2008.
    (i) Based upon the elements and indirect costs of paragraphs (f), 
(g), and (h) of this section, the component of the initial annual fee 
attributable to administration of the registration program, covering 
the period beginning October 1, 2008, is $465. When added to the costs 
of registration of $295, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, 
the costs per applicant to be recovered through the annual fee are 
$760. The annual renewal registration fee for the period beginning 
October 1, 2008, is $651.
    3. Section 594.7 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as 
follows:


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

* * * * *
    (e) For petitions filed on and after October 1, 2008, the fee 
payable for seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section is $175. The fee payable for a petition seeking a determination 
under paragraph (a)(2) of this section is $800. If the petitioner 
requests an inspection of a vehicle, the sum of $827 shall be added to 
such fee. No portion of this fee is refundable if the petition is 
withdrawn or denied.
* * * * *
    4. Section 594.8 is amended by revising paragraph (b) and the first 
sentence of paragraph (c) to read as follows:

[[Page 45201]]

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

* * * * *
    (b) If a determination has been made pursuant to a petition, the 
fee for each vehicle is $198. The direct and indirect costs that 
determine the fee are those set forth in Sec. Sec.  594.7(b), (c), and 
(d).
    (c) If a determination has been made on or after October 1, 2008, 
pursuant to the Administrator's initiative, the fee for each vehicle is 
$125. * * *
    5. Section 594.9 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  594.9  Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs.

* * * * *
    (c) The bond processing fee for each vehicle imported on and after 
October 1, 2008, for which a certificate of conformity is furnished, is 
$10.23.
    5. Section 594.10 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


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

* * * * *
    (d) The review and processing fee for each certificate of 
conformity submitted on and after October 1, 2008 is $14. However, if 
the vehicle covered by the certificate has been entered electronically 
with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Automated 
Broker Interface and the registered importer submitting the certificate 
has an e-mail address, the fee for the certificate is $6, provided that 
the fee is paid by a credit card issued to the registered importer. If 
NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the certificate is 
incorrect, requiring further processing, the processing fee shall be 
$48.

    Issued on: July 25, 2008.
Ronald L. Medford,
Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.
[FR Doc. E8-17516 Filed 8-1-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P