Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Applicability of Fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement, 9487-9488 [2010-4294]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / Notices that indicates that safety is being compromised. Based upon its evaluation of the 6 renewal applications, FMCSA renews the Federal vision exemptions for James S. Ayers, Vernon J. Dohrn, Mark A. Massengill, Douglas J. Mauton, Dennis L. Maxcy, and Dean B. Ponte. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, each renewal exemption will be valid for 2 years unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315. Issued on: February 19, 2010. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2010–4250 Filed 3–1–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Applicability of Fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of regulatory guidance. SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces regulatory guidance concerning the applicability of fees in 49 CFR 367.20 to registration under the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and Agreement beginning after December 31, 2009. Until an adjustment in the fees is published by FMCSA, States participating in the UCR Plan and Agreement may assess and collect fees under the current FMCSA regulation. In accordance with a statutory amendment that applies to the current regulation, fees must be based on the number of self-propelled commercial motor vehicles owned and operated. DATES: Effective Date: This regulatory guidance is effective on March 2, 2010. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frederic L. Wood, Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590. E-mail: VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:07 Mar 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 9487 commercial motor vehicle is defined as ‘‘a self-propelled or towed vehicle used on the highways in commerce principally to transport passengers or Legal Basis cargo * * *.’’ Taken together, these The Secretary of Transportation has provisions required entities subject to the responsibility for setting the initial registration and payment of fees to the fees, as well as any adjustments in those UCR Plan to determine both the number fees, to be paid by motor carrier entities of self-propelled vehicles (i.e., powered required to register with the UCR Plan units, such as tractors and straight and Agreement (49 U.S.C. trucks) and the number of towed 14504a(d)(7)(B)). The Secretary is also vehicles (i.e., trailers) in their fleets in authorized by section 4308 of the Safe, order to assess the applicable fee to be Accountable, Flexible, Efficient paid under 49 CFR 367.20. In § 367.20, FMCSA published a table Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for that established the fee schedule for Users, Pub L. 109–59, 119 Stat. 1144, motor carrier entities that are subject to 1774 (Aug. 10, 2005) (SAFETEA–LU) registration and payment of fees under (set out as a note to 49 U.S.C. 13902), the UCR Plan. The headings of both to ‘‘issue such regulations as the § 367.20 and the table it contains read Secretary determines are necessary to ‘‘Fees under the Unified Carrier carry out [the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement for Registration Act of 2005, title IV, each registration year.’’ Accordingly, the subtitle C, of SAFETEA–LU].’’ The fee schedule is not limited to a specific FMCSA Administrator has been delegated authority by 49 CFR 1.73(a)(5) year, but can be used in any registration year. The fee schedule is based on and (7) to carry out the functions and brackets established by the ‘‘number of exercise the authority vested in the Secretary of Transportation by 49 U.S.C. commercial motor vehicles owned or operated by an exempt or non-exempt chapters 139 and 145. motor carrier, motor private carrier, or Background freight forwarder.’’ This is essentially This document provides regulatory identical to the statutory phrase in guidance concerning the applicability of section 14504a(f)(1)(A)(i). Section 49 CFR 367.20, Fees under the Unified 367.20 does not contain a separate Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement definition of the term ‘‘commercial for each registration year, for motor vehicles.’’ Therefore, it is registration years beginning after reasonable to conclude that the term’s December 31, 2009. FMCSA added this meaning is controlled by the statutory section to part 367 of title 49, Code of definition found in section Federal Regulations (CFR) in a final rule 14504a(f)(1)(A)(i). The provisions of in 2007 in order to set the initial fees for § 367.20 have been applied by the States the Unified Carrier Registration Plan participating in the UCR Plan and (UCR Plan). 72 FR 48590 (Aug. 24, Agreement on that basis to assess and 2007). collect fees for three registration years: The UCR Plan is generally governed 2007, 2008 and 2009. See 73 FR 10157– by the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 14504a, 58 (Feb. 26, 2008). as added by section 4305 of SAFETEA– In 2008, in section 701(d)(1)(B) of the LU, 119 Stat. 1764–1773. The UCR Plan Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, is the organization responsible for Public Law 110–432, div. A, title IV, 122 implementing and administering the Stat. 4848, 4906 (Oct. 16, 2008), Unified Carrier Registration Agreement Congress amended section (UCR Agreement), an interstate 14504a(a)(1)(A) so that it now provides: agreement governing the collection and [T]he term ‘‘commercial motor vehicle’’— distribution of registration information (i) for calendar years 2008 and 2009, has and fees collected pursuant to the the meaning given the term in section 31101 statute. 49 U.S.C. 14504a(a)(8) and (9). [of title 49, U.S.C.].; and Section 14504a(f)(1)(A)(i) requires that (ii) for years beginning after December 31, 2009, means a self-propelled vehicle motor carriers, motor private carriers, described in section 31101. and freight forwarders operating motor vehicles be charged registration fees that This amendment means that for UCR are ‘‘based on the number of commercial registration years beginning with 2010, motor vehicles owned or operated by the number of ‘‘commercial motor the motor carrier, motor private carrier, vehicles’’ used to determine the size of or freight forwarder * * *.’’ At the time a motor carrier’s fleet will be based only of the issuance of the 2007 final rule, on the number of self-propelled (or section 14504a(a)(1)(A) provided that, in powered) vehicles and will not include general, a commercial motor vehicle towed vehicles. ‘‘has the meaning such term has under Because the meaning of the term [49 U.S.C.] 31101.’’ In that section, a ‘‘commercial motor vehicles’’ in § 367.20 frederic.wood@dot.gov. Telephone: (202) 366–0834. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1 9488 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / Notices WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES is controlled by the meaning of that term in section 14504a(a)(1)(A), the change in meaning made by the statutory amendment also applies to the term used in § 367.20. This is a necessary result of this basic principle: ‘‘First, always, is the question whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress.’’ Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842–43 (1984). Congress has clearly expressed its intent to change the meaning of the term ‘‘commercial motor vehicles’’ as used in section 14504a for years beginning after December 31, 2009. The relevant FMCSA regulation implementing the statutory provisions must be interpreted accordingly. Purpose and Effect of This Interpretation FMCSA has received a recommendation by the UCR Plan regarding an adjustment in fees for 2010 in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 14504a(d)(7)(A). Although FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding a recommended adjustment in the fees on September 3, 2009 (74 FR 45583), a final rule has not yet been issued due to unexpected delays. States may, of course, await the publication of the final rule before assessing and collecting UCR Plan fees for 2010. However, the interpretation of § 367.20 set forth in this regulatory guidance—namely, the fact that the fee schedule in § 367.20 is not limited, but can be used in any registration year— allows the States participating in the UCR Plan to consider the option of assessing and collecting fees for registration year 2010 by applying that existing fee structure. In doing so, States would have to base fees on the number of self-propelled vehicles (not including towed vehicles) that are owned or operated by exempt or non-exempt motor carriers, motor private carriers, or freight forwarders. This option allows those States to continue meeting their commitment, in accordance with section 14504a(e)(1)(B), ‘‘that an amount at least equal to the revenue derived by the State from the unified carrier registration agreement shall be used for motor carrier safety programs, enforcement, or the administration of the UCR plan and UCR agreement.’’ In addition, the participating States will also have funds available to meet their share of the costs of participating in the Motor Carrier VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:07 Mar 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 Safety Assistance Program’s grants, as permitted by 49 U.S.C. 31103(a), as amended by section 4307 of SAFETEA– LU, 119 Stat. 1774. To be sure, because the fees set in § 367.20 were based on the previous definition of commercial motor vehicles that included trailers, many motor carriers would pay fees based on a smaller number of commercial motor vehicles, thus producing less revenues for the participating States. Nonetheless, registration and payment of fees for 2010 under § 367.20 would allow participating States an opportunity to receive at least a partial flow of revenues in order to meet the statutory objectives. The final rule establishing the adjusted fees beginning with registration year 2010 is presently under consideration by the Agency and the Department and will most likely be reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget. Once a final determination is made concerning a final rule, participating States that decided to assess and collect fees under the current fee schedule may then assess and collect the balance due from any motor carrier entities that registered and paid the fees established in the current fee schedule. Regulatory Guidance Part 367—Standards for Registration With States Sections Interpreted Section 367.20 Fees Under the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement for Each Registration Year. Question: Do the fees set by this section apply to registration years beginning after December 31, 2009? Guidance: Yes. The States participating in the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement may assess and collect fees pursuant to the fee schedule set forth in 49 CFR 367.20. The statutory amendment of the applicable definition of commercial motor vehicles in 49 U.S.C. 14504a that applies beginning after December 31, 2009, also governs the application of the fees established by this section. Issued on: February 22, 2010. Rose A. McMurray, Associate Administrator and Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2010–4294 Filed 3–1–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Thrift Supervision Basel Comprehensive Quantitative Impact Study AGENCY: Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice and request for comment. SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507. The Office of Thrift Supervision within the Department of the Treasury will submit the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. Today, OTS is soliciting public comments on its proposal to extend this information collection. DATES: Submit written comments on or before May 3, 2010. ADDRESSES: Send comments, referring to the collection by title of the proposal or by OMB approval number, to Information Collection Comments, Chief Counsel’s Office, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552; send a facsimile transmission to (202) 906–6518; or send an e-mail to infocollection.comments@ots.treas.gov. OTS will post comments and the related index on the OTS Internet Site at http:// www.ots.treas.gov. In addition, interested persons may inspect comments at the Public Reading Room, 1700 G Street, NW., by appointment. To make an appointment, call (202) 906– 5922, send an e-mail to public.info@ots.treas.gov, or send a facsimile transmission to (202) 906– 7755. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You can request additional information about this proposed information collection from Roberta M. Renz (202) 906–6447, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552. OTS may not conduct or sponsor an information collection, and respondents are not required to respond to an information collection, unless the information collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. As part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 2, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9487-9488]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4294]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Applicability of Fees for the 
Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of regulatory guidance.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces regulatory guidance concerning the applicability of fees in 
49 CFR 367.20 to registration under the Unified Carrier Registration 
(UCR) Plan and Agreement beginning after December 31, 2009. Until an 
adjustment in the fees is published by FMCSA, States participating in 
the UCR Plan and Agreement may assess and collect fees under the 
current FMCSA regulation. In accordance with a statutory amendment that 
applies to the current regulation, fees must be based on the number of 
self-propelled commercial motor vehicles owned and operated.

DATES: Effective Date: This regulatory guidance is effective on March 
2, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frederic L. Wood, Regulatory Affairs 
Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590. E-
mail: frederic.wood@dot.gov. Telephone: (202) 366-0834.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Legal Basis

    The Secretary of Transportation has the responsibility for setting 
the initial fees, as well as any adjustments in those fees, to be paid 
by motor carrier entities required to register with the UCR Plan and 
Agreement (49 U.S.C. 14504a(d)(7)(B)). The Secretary is also authorized 
by section 4308 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Pub L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 
1144, 1774 (Aug. 10, 2005) (SAFETEA-LU) (set out as a note to 49 U.S.C. 
13902), to ``issue such regulations as the Secretary determines are 
necessary to carry out [the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005, 
title IV, subtitle C, of SAFETEA-LU].'' The FMCSA Administrator has 
been delegated authority by 49 CFR 1.73(a)(5) and (7) to carry out the 
functions and exercise the authority vested in the Secretary of 
Transportation by 49 U.S.C. chapters 139 and 145.

Background

    This document provides regulatory guidance concerning the 
applicability of 49 CFR 367.20, Fees under the Unified Carrier 
Registration Plan and Agreement for each registration year, for 
registration years beginning after December 31, 2009. FMCSA added this 
section to part 367 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in a 
final rule in 2007 in order to set the initial fees for the Unified 
Carrier Registration Plan (UCR Plan). 72 FR 48590 (Aug. 24, 2007).
    The UCR Plan is generally governed by the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 
14504a, as added by section 4305 of SAFETEA-LU, 119 Stat. 1764-1773. 
The UCR Plan is the organization responsible for implementing and 
administering the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCR 
Agreement), an interstate agreement governing the collection and 
distribution of registration information and fees collected pursuant to 
the statute. 49 U.S.C. 14504a(a)(8) and (9). Section 14504a(f)(1)(A)(i) 
requires that motor carriers, motor private carriers, and freight 
forwarders operating motor vehicles be charged registration fees that 
are ``based on the number of commercial motor vehicles owned or 
operated by the motor carrier, motor private carrier, or freight 
forwarder * * *.'' At the time of the issuance of the 2007 final rule, 
section 14504a(a)(1)(A) provided that, in general, a commercial motor 
vehicle ``has the meaning such term has under [49 U.S.C.] 31101.'' In 
that section, a commercial motor vehicle is defined as ``a self-
propelled or towed vehicle used on the highways in commerce principally 
to transport passengers or cargo * * *.'' Taken together, these 
provisions required entities subject to registration and payment of 
fees to the UCR Plan to determine both the number of self-propelled 
vehicles (i.e., powered units, such as tractors and straight trucks) 
and the number of towed vehicles (i.e., trailers) in their fleets in 
order to assess the applicable fee to be paid under 49 CFR 367.20.
    In Sec.  367.20, FMCSA published a table that established the fee 
schedule for motor carrier entities that are subject to registration 
and payment of fees under the UCR Plan. The headings of both Sec.  
367.20 and the table it contains read ``Fees under the Unified Carrier 
Registration Plan and Agreement for each registration year.'' 
Accordingly, the fee schedule is not limited to a specific year, but 
can be used in any registration year. The fee schedule is based on 
brackets established by the ``number of commercial motor vehicles owned 
or operated by an exempt or non-exempt motor carrier, motor private 
carrier, or freight forwarder.'' This is essentially identical to the 
statutory phrase in section 14504a(f)(1)(A)(i). Section 367.20 does not 
contain a separate definition of the term ``commercial motor 
vehicles.'' Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the term's 
meaning is controlled by the statutory definition found in section 
14504a(f)(1)(A)(i). The provisions of Sec.  367.20 have been applied by 
the States participating in the UCR Plan and Agreement on that basis to 
assess and collect fees for three registration years: 2007, 2008 and 
2009. See 73 FR 10157-58 (Feb. 26, 2008).
    In 2008, in section 701(d)(1)(B) of the Rail Safety Improvement Act 
of 2008, Public Law 110-432, div. A, title IV, 122 Stat. 4848, 4906 
(Oct. 16, 2008), Congress amended section 14504a(a)(1)(A) so that it 
now provides:

    [T]he term ``commercial motor vehicle''--
    (i) for calendar years 2008 and 2009, has the meaning given the 
term in section 31101 [of title 49, U.S.C.].; and
    (ii) for years beginning after December 31, 2009, means a self-
propelled vehicle described in section 31101.

This amendment means that for UCR registration years beginning with 
2010, the number of ``commercial motor vehicles'' used to determine the 
size of a motor carrier's fleet will be based only on the number of 
self-propelled (or powered) vehicles and will not include towed 
vehicles.
    Because the meaning of the term ``commercial motor vehicles'' in 
Sec.  367.20

[[Page 9488]]

is controlled by the meaning of that term in section 14504a(a)(1)(A), 
the change in meaning made by the statutory amendment also applies to 
the term used in Sec.  367.20. This is a necessary result of this basic 
principle: ``First, always, is the question whether Congress has 
directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of 
Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as 
well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed 
intent of Congress.'' Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources 
Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842-43 (1984). Congress has 
clearly expressed its intent to change the meaning of the term 
``commercial motor vehicles'' as used in section 14504a for years 
beginning after December 31, 2009. The relevant FMCSA regulation 
implementing the statutory provisions must be interpreted accordingly.

Purpose and Effect of This Interpretation

    FMCSA has received a recommendation by the UCR Plan regarding an 
adjustment in fees for 2010 in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 
14504a(d)(7)(A). Although FMCSA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking regarding a recommended adjustment in the fees on September 
3, 2009 (74 FR 45583), a final rule has not yet been issued due to 
unexpected delays. States may, of course, await the publication of the 
final rule before assessing and collecting UCR Plan fees for 2010. 
However, the interpretation of Sec.  367.20 set forth in this 
regulatory guidance--namely, the fact that the fee schedule in Sec.  
367.20 is not limited, but can be used in any registration year--allows 
the States participating in the UCR Plan to consider the option of 
assessing and collecting fees for registration year 2010 by applying 
that existing fee structure. In doing so, States would have to base 
fees on the number of self-propelled vehicles (not including towed 
vehicles) that are owned or operated by exempt or non-exempt motor 
carriers, motor private carriers, or freight forwarders.
    This option allows those States to continue meeting their 
commitment, in accordance with section 14504a(e)(1)(B), ``that an 
amount at least equal to the revenue derived by the State from the 
unified carrier registration agreement shall be used for motor carrier 
safety programs, enforcement, or the administration of the UCR plan and 
UCR agreement.'' In addition, the participating States will also have 
funds available to meet their share of the costs of participating in 
the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program's grants, as permitted by 
49 U.S.C. 31103(a), as amended by section 4307 of SAFETEA-LU, 119 Stat. 
1774. To be sure, because the fees set in Sec.  367.20 were based on 
the previous definition of commercial motor vehicles that included 
trailers, many motor carriers would pay fees based on a smaller number 
of commercial motor vehicles, thus producing less revenues for the 
participating States. Nonetheless, registration and payment of fees for 
2010 under Sec.  367.20 would allow participating States an opportunity 
to receive at least a partial flow of revenues in order to meet the 
statutory objectives.
    The final rule establishing the adjusted fees beginning with 
registration year 2010 is presently under consideration by the Agency 
and the Department and will most likely be reviewed by the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and 
Budget. Once a final determination is made concerning a final rule, 
participating States that decided to assess and collect fees under the 
current fee schedule may then assess and collect the balance due from 
any motor carrier entities that registered and paid the fees 
established in the current fee schedule.

Regulatory Guidance

Part 367--Standards for Registration With States

Sections Interpreted
    Section 367.20 Fees Under the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and 
Agreement for Each Registration Year.
    Question: Do the fees set by this section apply to registration 
years beginning after December 31, 2009?
    Guidance: Yes. The States participating in the Unified Carrier 
Registration Plan and Agreement may assess and collect fees pursuant to 
the fee schedule set forth in 49 CFR 367.20. The statutory amendment of 
the applicable definition of commercial motor vehicles in 49 U.S.C. 
14504a that applies beginning after December 31, 2009, also governs the 
application of the fees established by this section.

    Issued on: February 22, 2010.
Rose A. McMurray,
Associate Administrator and Chief Safety Officer.
[FR Doc. 2010-4294 Filed 3-1-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P