Inadmissibility of Consumer Products and Industrial Equipment Noncompliant With Applicable Energy Conservation or Labeling Standards, 17364-17367 [2012-7105]

Download as PDF 17364 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 58 / Monday, March 26, 2012 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Central Service Center, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137. Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA’s Office of Rulemaking (202) 267–9677, to request a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11–2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure. The Proposal This action proposes to amend Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at West Memphis, AR, to accommodate the separation of existing Class E airspace surrounding West Memphis Municipal Airport from the Class E airspace of Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN. The amendment for the existing Class E airspace surrounding Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN, would be simultaneously coordinated with this action. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. Class E airspace areas are published in Paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9V, dated August 9, 2011 and effective September 15, 2011, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document would be published subsequently in the Order. The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore, (1) is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:40 Mar 23, 2012 Jkt 226001 Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle 1, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish controlled airspace at West Memphis Municipal Airport, West Memphis, AR. This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on March 14, 2012. David P. Medina, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center. [FR Doc. 2012–7096 Filed 3–23–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4901–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Part 12 [Docket No. USCBP–2012–0004] RIN 1515–AD82 Inadmissibility of Consumer Products and Industrial Equipment Noncompliant With Applicable Energy Conservation or Labeling Standards Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air). U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. The Proposed Amendment SUMMARY: List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR Part 71 as follows: PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959– 1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9V, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 9, 2011, and effective September 15, 2011, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth. * * * ASW AR E5 * * West Memphis, AR [New] West Memphis Municipal Airport, AR (Lat. 35°08′06″ N., long. 90°14′04″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of West Memphis Municipal Airport. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 AGENCIES: This document proposes amendments to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations to provide that if certain imports do not comply with applicable energy conservation or labeling standards, CBP will refuse admission when so notified by the Department of Energy (DOE) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and CBP may, upon a recommendation from DOE or FTC, conditionally release the goods so that they may be brought into compliance. Specifically, CBP will refuse admission into the customs territory of the United States to consumer products and industrial equipment deemed noncompliant with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) and its implementing regulations, and for which CBP has received written notice from the DOE or the FTC that identifies merchandise as noncompliant with applicable EPCA requirements. In lieu of immediate refusal of admission, and upon written or electronic notice by DOE or FTC, CBP may conditionally release under bond to the importer such noncompliant products or equipment for purposes of reconditioning, re-labeling, or other action so as to bring the subject product or equipment into compliance with applicable energy conservation and labeling admissibility standards. If the subject import is not timely brought into compliance, CBP, at the direction of DOE or FTC, will issue a refusal of admission notice to the importer and E:\FR\FM\26MRP1.SGM 26MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 58 / Monday, March 26, 2012 / Proposed Rules demand redelivery of the subject products to CBP custody. A failure to comply with a demand for redelivery will result in the assessment of liquidated damages. This proposed regulation, if adopted, will implement the mandate of the EPCA, as amended, to preclude admission into the United States of certain consumer products and industrial equipment that do not meet applicable labeling or energy conservation requirements. Comments must be received on or before May 25, 2012. DATES: You may submit comments, identified by USCBP docket number, by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments via docket number USCBP–2012–0004. • Mail: Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 799 9th Street NW. (Mint Annex), Washington, DC 20229–1179. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and USCBP docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. 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. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov. Submitted comments may also be inspected during regular business days between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 799 9th Street NW., 5th Floor, Washington, DC. Arrangements to inspect submitted comments should be made in advance by calling Joseph Clark at (202) 325– 0118. ADDRESSES: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Craig, Chief, Interagency Requirements Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, (202) 863–6558. Valarie M. Neuhart, Import Safety & Interagency Requirements Division, Office of International Trade, (202) 863–6223. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:40 Mar 23, 2012 Jkt 226001 Public Participation Interested persons are invited to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written data, views, or arguments on all aspects of the proposed rule. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also invites comments that relate to the economic, environmental, or federalism effects that might result from this proposed rule. If appropriate to a specific comment, the commenter should reference the specific portion of the proposed rule, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include data, information, or authority that support such recommended change. Background General Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94–163 (42 U.S.C. 6291– 6309), as amended, established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances. Similarly, Title III, Part C of the EPCA, (42 U.S.C. 6311–6317) as amended, added by Public Law 95–619, Title IV, section 441(a), established the Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment, a program covering industrial equipment. Section 6302(a) of title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)), and its implementing regulations, prescribe the specific energy conservation and labeling standards applicable to manufacturers and, in some instances, private labelers, distributors, and retailers. Sections 6301 and 6316 of title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. 6301 and 6316) require the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations refusing admission into the customs territory of the United States to covered products or covered equipment offered for importation in violation of 42 U.S.C. 6302. The statute also provides the Secretary with the discretion to authorize the importation of covered products or covered industrial equipment under such terms and conditions (including the furnishing of a bond) that ensure that the merchandise will not violate 42 U.S.C. 6302. Proposed Regulation Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6301, this document proposes to amend part 12 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) by adding a new § 12.50 which provides that CBP will refuse admission into the customs territory of the United States to covered PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17365 imports that the Department of Energy (DOE) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has determined to be in violation of 42 U.S.C. 6302, upon receipt of written or electronic notice from the DOE or FTC, as appropriate. The notice will identify a named regulated party as being in violation of 42 U.S.C. 6302 and will describe the subject product or equipment in a manner sufficient to enable CBP to identify the articles. While refusal of admission will be the norm, there may be instances where reconditioning, re-labeling, or other modification may bring an import into compliance with applicable energy conservation or labeling admissibility standards. Accordingly, this rule proposes a procedure to allow CBP to conditionally release noncompliant imports to the importer under a CBP basic importation and entry bond for purposes of bringing the merchandise into conformity with the applicable standards, upon a recommendation by the DOE or FTC. In any case involving conditional release of a covered import under bond, the CBP port director always retains the discretion to require additional security in any case where he believes that acceptance of a continuous bond would hamper the enforcement of the law. See 19 CFR 113.13(d). An initial conditional release period of 30 days is proposed to be established by this rulemaking. If the DOE or FTC notifies CBP that the subject imports have been brought into compliance with applicable energy conservation and labeling admissibility standards before the conclusion of the 30-day conditional release period, or any authorized extension thereof, CBP may release the subject goods into the commerce and entry may be completed. If attempts at modification fail within the 30-day conditional release period, or any authorized extension thereof, the DOE or FTC will notify CBP of that fact, and CBP will issue a notice of refusal of admission to the importer concurrent with a demand for redelivery under the terms and conditions of the CBP bond. A failure to comply with the demand for redelivery will result in the assessment of liquidated damages equal to three times the value of the imports at issue. Moreover, covered imports that are conditionally released will be under the concurrent jurisdiction of DOE and/or FTC. The proposed amendments are consistent with § 429.5(b) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 429.5(b)), which is a DOE regulation that further notifies the importing public that any covered product or equipment offered for importation that does not meet the applicable energy E:\FR\FM\26MRP1.SGM 26MRP1 17366 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 58 / Monday, March 26, 2012 / Proposed Rules conservation standards set forth in 42 U.S.C. 6291–6317 will be refused admission into the customs territory of the United States under CBP issued regulations. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Executive Order 12866 Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. The Regulatory Flexibility Act This section examines the impact of the rule on small entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-forprofit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people). The proposed rule, if finalized, will establish a procedure whereby the DOE or the FTC will notify CBP of any imported article that is in violation of 42 U.S.C 6302 and its implementing regulations. Upon notification, CBP will refuse these articles admission into the commerce of the United States. Upon a recommendation by the DOE or FTC, however, CBP will conditionally release noncompliant imported articles under a CBP basic importation and entry bond for the purpose of bringing the merchandise into compliance with 42 U.S.C. 6302 and its implementing regulations. This conditional release is valid for a period of 30 days, but it may be extended by the DOE or FTC. The DOE has identified only a small number of businesses importing noncompliant articles, of which fewer than five were small entities. When notified of their noncompliance, each of these businesses ceased importation of these articles. Given the small number VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:40 Mar 23, 2012 Jkt 226001 of small entities identified by DOE as having been noncompliant and that the law prohibiting the importation of these noncompliant articles within the United States was enacted in 1975, CBP does not anticipate a significant number of small entities attempting to import articles which violate 42 U.S.C 6302 and its implementing regulations. If a small entity does import an article in violation of 42 U.S.C 6302 and its implementing regulations, the small entity can request the DOE or the FTC allow CBP to grant the imported article a conditional release. CBP believes that cost associated with this conditional release to be negligible because this request is virtually costless to the small entity and the importer is already required to maintain a CBP basic importation and entry bond. Accordingly, CBP does not believe this rule will have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. CBP welcomes any comments regarding this assessment. If CBP does not receive any comments contradicting this finding, CBP will certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities at the final rule stage. Paperwork Reduction Act As there is no collection of information proposed in this document, the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) are inapplicable. Signing Authority This proposed regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.1(a)(1) pertaining to the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority (or that of his delegate) to approve regulations related to certain customs revenue functions. List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12 Customs duties and inspection, Electronic products, Entry of merchandise, Imports, Prohibited merchandise, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Restricted merchandise, Seizure and forfeiture. Proposed Amendments to the CBP Regulations For the reasons stated above, it is proposed to amend part 12 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) as set forth below. PART 12—SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE 1. The general authority citation for part 12 continues to read as follows and the specific authority citation is added to read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624; * * * * * Section 12.50 also issued under 42 U.S.C. 6301; * * * * * 2. A new center heading and new § 12.50 are added to read as follows: Consumer Products and Industrial Equipment Subject to Energy Conservation or Labeling Standards § 12.50 Consumer products and industrial equipment subject to energy conservation or labeling standards. (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings indicated: Covered import. The term ‘‘covered import’’ means a consumer product or industrial equipment that is classified by the Department of Energy as covered by an applicable energy conservation standard, or by the Federal Trade Commission as covered by an applicable energy labeling standard, pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 62916317), and that is imported or attempted to be imported. DOE. The term ‘‘DOE’’ means the Department of Energy. Energy conservation standard. The term ‘‘energy conservation standard’’ means any standard meeting the definitions of that term in 42 U.S.C. 6291(6) or 42 U.S.C. 6311(18). FTC. The term ‘‘FTC’’ means the Federal Trade Commission. Noncompliant covered import. The term ‘‘noncompliant covered import’’ means a covered import that the Department of Energy (DOE) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has determined to be in violation of 42 U.S.C. 6302. (b) CBP action. If a covered import does not comply with applicable energy conservation or labeling admissibility standards, the DOE or FTC may direct CBP to either refuse admission of the covered import pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section or recommend conditional release of the covered import to be brought into compliance pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section. (c) Refusal of admission. CBP will refuse admission into the customs territory of the United States to any noncompliant covered import upon receipt of written or electronic notice from the DOE (see also 10 CFR 429.5) or FTC that identifies the importer of the noncompliant covered import and describes the subject import in a manner E:\FR\FM\26MRP1.SGM 26MRP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 58 / Monday, March 26, 2012 / Proposed Rules sufficient to enable CBP to identify the article. (d) Conditional release. In lieu of immediate refusal of admission into the customs territory of the United States, CBP, upon a recommendation from the DOE or FTC, may permit the release of a noncompliant covered import to the importer of record for purposes of reconditioning, re-labeling, or other modification. The release from CBP custody of any such covered import will be deemed conditional and subject to the bond conditions set forth in § 113.62 of this Chapter. Note: Conditionally released covered imports will also be subject to the jurisdiction of DOE and/ or FTC. (1) Duration. Unless extended in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the conditional release period will terminate upon the earliest occurring of the following events: (i) The date that CBP issues a notice of refusal of admission pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section; (ii) The date that the DOE or FTC issues a notice to CBP stating that the covered import is in compliance and may proceed; or (iii) At the conclusion of the 30-day period following the date of release. (2) Extension. The conditional release period may be extended if both CBP and the importer of record receive, within the initial 30-day conditional release period or any subsequent authorized extension thereof, a written or electronic notice from the DOE or FTC stating the reason for and anticipated length of the extension. (3) Issuance of a redelivery notice and demand for redelivery. If the noncompliant covered import is not timely brought into compliance, and if so directed by DOE or FTC, CBP will issue a refusal of admission notice to the importer pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section and, in addition, CBP will demand the redelivery of the specified covered product to CBP custody. The demand for redelivery may be made concurrently with the notice of refusal of admission. (4) Liquidated damages. A failure to comply with a demand for redelivery made under this paragraph (d) will result in the assessment of liquidated damages equal to three times the value of the covered product. Value as used in this provision means value as determined under 19 U.S.C. 1401a. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:40 Mar 23, 2012 Jkt 226001 Approved: March 20, 2012. David V. Aguilar, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. [FR Doc. 2012–7105 Filed 3–23–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection 19 CFR Part 111 [USCBP–2010–0038] RIN 1651–AA80 Permissible Sharing of Client Records by Customs Brokers U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking, published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2010, that proposed amendments to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations that would allow brokers, upon the client’s consent in a written authorization, to share client information with affiliated entities related to the broker so that these entities may offer non-customs business services to the broker’s clients. Although the proposed rule was prepared in response to a request from a member of the broker community seeking to allow brokers to share clients’ information for marketing purposes, there was opposition to the proposal from brokers due to the condition on sharing the information that CBP included in the document to protect importers’ proprietary information. The notice is being withdrawn to permit further consideration of the relevant issues involved in the proposed rulemaking. SUMMARY: Effective March 26, 2012, the proposed rule published October 27, 2010, (75 FR 66050), is withdrawn. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anita Harris, Chief, Broker Compliance Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, (202) 863– 6069. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Background On October 27, 2010, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17367 notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (75 FR 66050) pertaining to the obligations of customs brokers to keep clients’ information confidential. The proposed amendment would allow brokers, upon the client’s written consent, to share client information with affiliated entities related to the broker so that these entities may offer non-customs business services to the broker’s clients. The proposed amendment would also allow customs brokers to use a third-party to perform photocopying, scanning, and delivery of client records for the broker. These proposed changes were intended to update the regulations to reflect modern business practices, while protecting the confidentiality of client (importer) information. The comment period ended on December 27, 2010. CBP received public comment on the proposed rulemaking. The majority of commenters expressed concern that the proposed rule did not serve the interests of the importing public. Specifically, there was opposition to the proposal from brokers due to the condition on sharing the information that CBP included in the document to protect importers’ proprietary information. Withdrawal of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking CBP is withdrawing the notice published in the Federal Register (75 FR 66050) on October 27, 2010, pending further consideration of the relevant issues involved in the proposed rulemaking. Dated: March 21, 2012. David V. Aguilar, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. [FR Doc. 2012–7223 Filed 3–23–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R01–OAR–2009–0919; A–1–FRL– 9651–9] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Regional Haze Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: EPA is proposing approval of a revision to the Connecticut State Implementation Plan (SIP) that addresses regional haze for the first planning period from 2008 through SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26MRP1.SGM 26MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 58 (Monday, March 26, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17364-17367]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7105]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

19 CFR Part 12

[Docket No. USCBP-2012-0004]
RIN 1515-AD82


Inadmissibility of Consumer Products and Industrial Equipment 
Noncompliant With Applicable Energy Conservation or Labeling Standards

AGENCIES: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security; Department of the Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This document proposes amendments to the Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) regulations to provide that if certain imports do not 
comply with applicable energy conservation or labeling standards, CBP 
will refuse admission when so notified by the Department of Energy 
(DOE) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and CBP may, upon a 
recommendation from DOE or FTC, conditionally release the goods so that 
they may be brought into compliance. Specifically, CBP will refuse 
admission into the customs territory of the United States to consumer 
products and industrial equipment deemed noncompliant with the Energy 
Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) and its implementing 
regulations, and for which CBP has received written notice from the DOE 
or the FTC that identifies merchandise as noncompliant with applicable 
EPCA requirements. In lieu of immediate refusal of admission, and upon 
written or electronic notice by DOE or FTC, CBP may conditionally 
release under bond to the importer such noncompliant products or 
equipment for purposes of reconditioning, re-labeling, or other action 
so as to bring the subject product or equipment into compliance with 
applicable energy conservation and labeling admissibility standards. If 
the subject import is not timely brought into compliance, CBP, at the 
direction of DOE or FTC, will issue a refusal of admission notice to 
the importer and

[[Page 17365]]

demand redelivery of the subject products to CBP custody. A failure to 
comply with a demand for redelivery will result in the assessment of 
liquidated damages. This proposed regulation, if adopted, will 
implement the mandate of the EPCA, as amended, to preclude admission 
into the United States of certain consumer products and industrial 
equipment that do not meet applicable labeling or energy conservation 
requirements.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 25, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by USCBP docket number, 
by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments via docket number 
USCBP-2012-0004.
     Mail: Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, Regulations 
and Rulings, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, 799 9th Street NW. (Mint Annex), Washington, DC 20229-1179.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and USCBP docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will 
be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided. 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.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Submitted comments 
may also be inspected during regular business days between the hours of 
9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, 
Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection, 799 9th Street NW., 5th Floor, Washington, DC. 
Arrangements to inspect submitted comments should be made in advance by 
calling Joseph Clark at (202) 325-0118.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Craig, Chief, Interagency 
Requirements Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International 
Trade, (202) 863-6558. Valarie M. Neuhart, Import Safety & Interagency 
Requirements Division, Office of International Trade, (202) 863-6223.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Public Participation

    Interested persons are invited to participate in this rulemaking by 
submitting written data, views, or arguments on all aspects of the 
proposed rule. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also invites 
comments that relate to the economic, environmental, or federalism 
effects that might result from this proposed rule. If appropriate to a 
specific comment, the commenter should reference the specific portion 
of the proposed rule, explain the reason for any recommended change, 
and include data, information, or authority that support such 
recommended change.

Background

General

    Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 
(EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309), as amended, 
established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other 
Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances. 
Similarly, Title III, Part C of the EPCA, (42 U.S.C. 6311-6317) as 
amended, added by Public Law 95-619, Title IV, section 441(a), 
established the Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial 
Equipment, a program covering industrial equipment.
    Section 6302(a) of title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. 
6302(a)), and its implementing regulations, prescribe the specific 
energy conservation and labeling standards applicable to manufacturers 
and, in some instances, private labelers, distributors, and retailers. 
Sections 6301 and 6316 of title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. 
6301 and 6316) require the Secretary of the Treasury to issue 
regulations refusing admission into the customs territory of the United 
States to covered products or covered equipment offered for importation 
in violation of 42 U.S.C. 6302. The statute also provides the Secretary 
with the discretion to authorize the importation of covered products or 
covered industrial equipment under such terms and conditions (including 
the furnishing of a bond) that ensure that the merchandise will not 
violate 42 U.S.C. 6302.

Proposed Regulation

    Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6301, this document proposes to amend part 12 
of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) by 
adding a new Sec.  12.50 which provides that CBP will refuse admission 
into the customs territory of the United States to covered imports that 
the Department of Energy (DOE) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
has determined to be in violation of 42 U.S.C. 6302, upon receipt of 
written or electronic notice from the DOE or FTC, as appropriate. The 
notice will identify a named regulated party as being in violation of 
42 U.S.C. 6302 and will describe the subject product or equipment in a 
manner sufficient to enable CBP to identify the articles.
    While refusal of admission will be the norm, there may be instances 
where reconditioning, re-labeling, or other modification may bring an 
import into compliance with applicable energy conservation or labeling 
admissibility standards. Accordingly, this rule proposes a procedure to 
allow CBP to conditionally release noncompliant imports to the importer 
under a CBP basic importation and entry bond for purposes of bringing 
the merchandise into conformity with the applicable standards, upon a 
recommendation by the DOE or FTC. In any case involving conditional 
release of a covered import under bond, the CBP port director always 
retains the discretion to require additional security in any case where 
he believes that acceptance of a continuous bond would hamper the 
enforcement of the law. See 19 CFR 113.13(d). An initial conditional 
release period of 30 days is proposed to be established by this 
rulemaking.
    If the DOE or FTC notifies CBP that the subject imports have been 
brought into compliance with applicable energy conservation and 
labeling admissibility standards before the conclusion of the 30-day 
conditional release period, or any authorized extension thereof, CBP 
may release the subject goods into the commerce and entry may be 
completed.
    If attempts at modification fail within the 30-day conditional 
release period, or any authorized extension thereof, the DOE or FTC 
will notify CBP of that fact, and CBP will issue a notice of refusal of 
admission to the importer concurrent with a demand for redelivery under 
the terms and conditions of the CBP bond. A failure to comply with the 
demand for redelivery will result in the assessment of liquidated 
damages equal to three times the value of the imports at issue. 
Moreover, covered imports that are conditionally released will be under 
the concurrent jurisdiction of DOE and/or FTC.
    The proposed amendments are consistent with Sec.  429.5(b) of title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 429.5(b)), which is a DOE 
regulation that further notifies the importing public that any covered 
product or equipment offered for importation that does not meet the 
applicable energy

[[Page 17366]]

conservation standards set forth in 42 U.S.C. 6291-6317 will be refused 
admission into the customs territory of the United States under CBP 
issued regulations.

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess costs 
and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety 
effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 
emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of 
reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This rule has been designated a ``significant regulatory action'' 
although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive 
Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This section examines the impact of the rule on small entities as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act 
of 1996. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any 
independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field 
that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small 
not-for-profit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction 
(locality with fewer than 50,000 people).
    The proposed rule, if finalized, will establish a procedure whereby 
the DOE or the FTC will notify CBP of any imported article that is in 
violation of 42 U.S.C 6302 and its implementing regulations. Upon 
notification, CBP will refuse these articles admission into the 
commerce of the United States. Upon a recommendation by the DOE or FTC, 
however, CBP will conditionally release noncompliant imported articles 
under a CBP basic importation and entry bond for the purpose of 
bringing the merchandise into compliance with 42 U.S.C. 6302 and its 
implementing regulations. This conditional release is valid for a 
period of 30 days, but it may be extended by the DOE or FTC.
    The DOE has identified only a small number of businesses importing 
noncompliant articles, of which fewer than five were small entities. 
When notified of their noncompliance, each of these businesses ceased 
importation of these articles. Given the small number of small entities 
identified by DOE as having been noncompliant and that the law 
prohibiting the importation of these noncompliant articles within the 
United States was enacted in 1975, CBP does not anticipate a 
significant number of small entities attempting to import articles 
which violate 42 U.S.C 6302 and its implementing regulations. If a 
small entity does import an article in violation of 42 U.S.C 6302 and 
its implementing regulations, the small entity can request the DOE or 
the FTC allow CBP to grant the imported article a conditional release. 
CBP believes that cost associated with this conditional release to be 
negligible because this request is virtually costless to the small 
entity and the importer is already required to maintain a CBP basic 
importation and entry bond.
    Accordingly, CBP does not believe this rule will have a significant 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. CBP welcomes any 
comments regarding this assessment. If CBP does not receive any 
comments contradicting this finding, CBP will certify that this rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities at the final rule stage.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    As there is no collection of information proposed in this document, 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) 
are inapplicable.

Signing Authority

    This proposed regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 
0.1(a)(1) pertaining to the Secretary of the Treasury's authority (or 
that of his delegate) to approve regulations related to certain customs 
revenue functions.

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12

    Customs duties and inspection, Electronic products, Entry of 
merchandise, Imports, Prohibited merchandise, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Restricted merchandise, Seizure and 
forfeiture.

Proposed Amendments to the CBP Regulations

    For the reasons stated above, it is proposed to amend part 12 of 
title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) as set 
forth below.

PART 12--SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE

    1. The general authority citation for part 12 continues to read as 
follows and the specific authority citation is added to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), 
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624;
* * * * *
    Section 12.50 also issued under 42 U.S.C. 6301;
* * * * *
    2. A new center heading and new Sec.  12.50 are added to read as 
follows:

Consumer Products and Industrial Equipment Subject to Energy 
Conservation or Labeling Standards


Sec.  12.50  Consumer products and industrial equipment subject to 
energy conservation or labeling standards.

    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms 
have the meanings indicated:
    Covered import. The term ``covered import'' means a consumer 
product or industrial equipment that is classified by the Department of 
Energy as covered by an applicable energy conservation standard, or by 
the Federal Trade Commission as covered by an applicable energy 
labeling standard, pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 
of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6291- 6317), and that is imported or 
attempted to be imported.
    DOE. The term ``DOE'' means the Department of Energy.
    Energy conservation standard. The term ``energy conservation 
standard'' means any standard meeting the definitions of that term in 
42 U.S.C. 6291(6) or 42 U.S.C. 6311(18).
    FTC. The term ``FTC'' means the Federal Trade Commission.
    Noncompliant covered import. The term ``noncompliant covered 
import'' means a covered import that the Department of Energy (DOE) or 
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has determined to be in violation of 
42 U.S.C. 6302.
    (b) CBP action. If a covered import does not comply with applicable 
energy conservation or labeling admissibility standards, the DOE or FTC 
may direct CBP to either refuse admission of the covered import 
pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section or recommend conditional 
release of the covered import to be brought into compliance pursuant to 
paragraph (d) of this section.
    (c) Refusal of admission. CBP will refuse admission into the 
customs territory of the United States to any noncompliant covered 
import upon receipt of written or electronic notice from the DOE (see 
also 10 CFR 429.5) or FTC that identifies the importer of the 
noncompliant covered import and describes the subject import in a 
manner

[[Page 17367]]

sufficient to enable CBP to identify the article.
    (d) Conditional release. In lieu of immediate refusal of admission 
into the customs territory of the United States, CBP, upon a 
recommendation from the DOE or FTC, may permit the release of a 
noncompliant covered import to the importer of record for purposes of 
reconditioning, re-labeling, or other modification. The release from 
CBP custody of any such covered import will be deemed conditional and 
subject to the bond conditions set forth in Sec.  113.62 of this 
Chapter. Note: Conditionally released covered imports will also be 
subject to the jurisdiction of DOE and/or FTC.
    (1) Duration. Unless extended in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) 
of this section, the conditional release period will terminate upon the 
earliest occurring of the following events:
    (i) The date that CBP issues a notice of refusal of admission 
pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section;
    (ii) The date that the DOE or FTC issues a notice to CBP stating 
that the covered import is in compliance and may proceed; or
    (iii) At the conclusion of the 30-day period following the date of 
release.
    (2) Extension. The conditional release period may be extended if 
both CBP and the importer of record receive, within the initial 30-day 
conditional release period or any subsequent authorized extension 
thereof, a written or electronic notice from the DOE or FTC stating the 
reason for and anticipated length of the extension.
    (3) Issuance of a redelivery notice and demand for redelivery. If 
the noncompliant covered import is not timely brought into compliance, 
and if so directed by DOE or FTC, CBP will issue a refusal of admission 
notice to the importer pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section and, 
in addition, CBP will demand the redelivery of the specified covered 
product to CBP custody. The demand for redelivery may be made 
concurrently with the notice of refusal of admission.
    (4) Liquidated damages. A failure to comply with a demand for 
redelivery made under this paragraph (d) will result in the assessment 
of liquidated damages equal to three times the value of the covered 
product. Value as used in this provision means value as determined 
under 19 U.S.C. 1401a.

     Approved: March 20, 2012.
David V. Aguilar,
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2012-7105 Filed 3-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P