Schedule of Fees, 57002-57007 [2014-22619]

Download as PDF 57002 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185 / Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Issued On: September 17, 2014. Daniel C. Smith, Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety. [FR Doc. 2014–22608 Filed 9–23–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 594 [Docket No. NHTSA–2014–0052; Notice 3] RIN 2127–AL51 Schedule of Fees National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This document adopts fees for Fiscal Year 2015 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 will also apply beyond Fiscal Year 2015 until further notice. These fees are needed to maintain the registered importer (RI) program. We are increasing the fees for the registration of a new RI from $805 to $844 and the annual fee for renewing an existing registration from $676 to $726. The fee to reimburse Customs for conformance bond processing costs will increase from $9.09 to $9.34 per bond. The fee for the review, processing, handling, and disbursement of cash deposits that are submitted in lieu of a conformance bond will increase from $495 to $499. We are increasing the fees for the importation of a vehicle covered by an import eligibility decision made on an individual model and model year basis. For vehicles determined eligible based on their substantial similarity to a U.S. certified vehicle, the fee will increase from $101 to $138. For vehicles determined eligible based on their capability of being modified to comply with all applicable FMVSS, the fee will also increase from $101 to $138. The fee for the inspection of a vehicle will remain $827. The fee for processing a conformity package will decrease from $12 to $10. If the vehicle has been entered electronically with Customs through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and the RI has an email address, the fee for processing the conformity package will continue to be $6, provided the fee is paid by credit card. If NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the conformity package is tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 23, 2014 Jkt 232001 incorrect, the processing fee will increase from $57 to $59, representing a $2 increase in the fee that is currently charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or omissions in the statement of conformity. DATES: The amendments established by this final rule will become effective on October 1, 2014. Petitions for reconsideration must be received by NHTSA not later than November 10, 2014. ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule should refer to the docket and notice numbers identified above and be submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590. It is requested, but not required, that 10 copies of the petition be submitted. The petition must be received not later than 45 days after publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. Petitions filed after that time will be considered petitions filed by interested persons to initiate rulemaking pursuant to 49 U.S.C. chapter 301. The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and an explanation as to why compliance with the final rule is not practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest. Unless otherwise specified in the final rule, the statement and explanation together may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15page limit. If it is requested that additional facts be considered, the petitioner must state the reason why they were not presented to the Administrator within the prescribed time. The Administrator does not consider repetitious petitions and unless the Administrator otherwise provides, the filing of a petition does not stay the effectiveness of the final rule. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Lindsay, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202–366–5291). For legal issues, you may call Nicholas Englund, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (202–366–5263). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction This rule was preceded by a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that NHTSA published on July 31, 2014 (79 FR 44363). The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended by the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, and recodified at 49 U.S.C. 30141–30147 (‘‘the Act’’), provides for PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 fees to cover the costs of the importer registration program, the cost of making import eligibility decisions, and the cost of processing the bonds furnished to Customs. Certain fees became effective on January 31, 1990, and have been in effect, with modifications, since then. On June 24, 1996, we published a document in the Federal Register at 61 FR 32411 that discussed the rulemaking history of 49 CFR part 594 and the fees authorized by the Act. The reader is referred to that document for background information relating to this rulemaking action. 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 last amended the fee schedule in 2012. See final rule published on August 22, 2012 at 77 FR 50637. Those fees apply to Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014. The fees adopted in this final rule are based on time expenditures and costs associated with the tasks for which the fees are assessed. The fees proposed in this document reflect the one percent increase in General Schedule salary rates that were effective January 1, 2014 and the slight increases in indirect costs attributed to the agency’s overhead costs since the fees were last adjusted. Comments There were no comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. 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). To comply 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 E:\FR\FM\24SER1.SGM 24SER1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185 / Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Rules and Regulations processing and acting upon registration applications. We will increase this fee from $330 to $333 for new applications. We have also determined that the fee for the review of the annual statement submitted by existing RIs who wish to renew their registrations will be increased from $201 to $215. These fee adjustments reflect our time expenditures in reviewing both new applications and annual statements with accompanying documentation, and the small increases in indirect costs attributed to the agency’s overhead costs in the two years since the fees were last adjusted, the increase in direct costs relating to the one percent raise in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2014, and the increase in contractor costs to the agency. 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 $511 for each RI. When this $511 is added to the $333 representing the registration application component, the cost to an applicant for RI status comes to $844, which is the fee we are adopting. This represents an increase of $39 over the existing fee. When the $511 is added to the $215 representing the annual statement component, the total cost to an RI for renewing its registration comes to $726, which represents an increase of $50. Section 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 $21.66 per man-hour. We are increasing this figure by $4.07, to $25.73. This 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 23, 2014 Jkt 232001 into account other 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)(B) also requires registered importers to pay other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes to cover the costs of ‘‘making the decisions under this 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. The agency’s direct and indirect costs must be taken into account in the computation of these costs. Since we last amended the fee schedule, the overall number of vehicle imports by RIs has increased, while the number of petitions has remained approximately the same. The total number of vehicles that RIs imported between 2009 and 2013 was 117,512 or approximately 23,502 vehicles each year. Over the same period, the number of vehicles imported under an import eligibility petition that was submitted by an RI (as opposed to an import eligibility decision initiated by the agency) increased to 1,987 or approximately 397 vehicles each year. Over the past five years, RIs submitted 83 petitions to NHTSA, averaging 17 per year and the agency has devoted more staff time reviewing and processing import eligibility petitions since we last revised the fees. Based on these trends, the pro rata share of petition costs assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the eligibility decision will increase. We PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57003 project that for FY 2015 and 2016, the agency’s costs for processing these 17 petitions will be $60,095. The petitioners will pay $5,300 of that amount in the processing fees that accompany the filing of their petitions, leaving the remaining $54,795 to be recovered from the importers of the approximately 397 vehicles projected to be imported under petition-based import eligibility decisions. Dividing $54,795 by 397 yields a pro rata fee of $138 for each vehicle imported under an eligibility decision that results from the granting of a petition. We are therefore increasing the pro rata share of petition costs that are to be assessed against the importer of each vehicle from $101 to $138, which represents an increase of $37. The same $138 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. We are not increasing the current fee of $175 that covers the initial processing of a ‘‘substantially similar’’ petition. Likewise, we are also maintaining 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 will remain $827 for vehicles that are the subject of either type of petition. 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 remains $125. NHTSA determined that the costs associated with previous eligibility determinations on the agency’s own initiative would be fully recovered by October 1, 2014. We will 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, 2014. Section 594.9—Fee for Reimbursement of Bond Processing Costs and Costs for Processing Offers of Cash Deposits or Obligations of the United States in Lieu of Sureties on Bonds Section 30141(a)(3) also requires a registered importer to pay any other fees the Secretary of Transportation E:\FR\FM\24SER1.SGM 24SER1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 57004 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185 / Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Rules and Regulations establishes ‘‘to pay for the costs of . . . 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) 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, which Customs has judged to be 20 minutes. When the fee schedule was last amended, we projected General Schedule salary raises to be effective in January 2013 and 2014. Based on the increase in hourly costs attributable to the approximately one percent raises in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2014, we are increasing the processing fee by $0.25, from $9.09 per bond to $9.34. This increase reflects the fact that GS–9 salaries have been increased since we last amended the fee schedule in 2012. The $9.34 fee will more closely reflect the direct and indirect costs that are actually associated with processing the bonds. In lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond, an importer may offer United States money, United States bonds (except for savings bonds), United States certificates of indebtedness, Treasury notes, or Treasury bills (collectively referred to as ‘‘cash deposits’’) in an amount equal to the amount of the bond. 49 CFR 591.10(a). The receipt, processing, handling, and disbursement of the cash deposits that have been tendered by RIs cause the agency to consume a considerable amount of staff time and material resources. NHTSA has concluded that the expense incurred by the agency to receive, process, handle, and disburse cash deposits may be treated as part of the bond processing cost, which NHTSA is authorized to set a fee under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(3)(A). We first established a fee of $459 for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2008, for which cash deposits or obligations of the United States are furnished in lieu of a conformance bond. See the Final Rule published on July 11, 2008 at 73 FR 39890. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 23, 2014 Jkt 232001 The agency considered its direct and indirect costs in calculating the fee for the review, processing, handling, and disbursement of cash deposits submitted by importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond. We are increasing the fee from $495 to $499, which represents an increase of $4. The factors that the agency has taken into account in proposing the fee include time expended by agency personnel, the slight increase in overhead and contractor costs, and the increase in projected salary costs based on the General Schedule increase on January 1, 2014. Section 594.10—Fee for Review and Processing of Conformity Certificate Each RI is currently required to pay $12 per vehicle to cover the costs the agency incurs in reviewing a certificate of conformity. We have found that these costs have decreased from $12 to an average of $10 per vehicle. Although our overhead and contractor costs increased and the salary and benefit costs are slightly greater based on the General Schedule salary increase, the number of certificates of conformity submitted for agency review has increased. This has decreased the agency’s cost attributed to the review of each certificate of conformity. Based on these costs, we are decreasing the fee charged for vehicles for which a paper entry and fee payment is made, from $12 to $10, a difference of $2 per vehicle. However, if an RI enters a vehicle through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system, has an email 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. We are maintaining the fee of $6 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 as the telephone charges, to amount to approximately $59 for each erroneous ABI entry. Adding this to the $6 fee for the review of conformity packages on automated entries yields a total of $65, representing a $2 increase in the fee that is currently charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or in the statement of conformity. PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Statutory Basis for the Final Rule and Effective Date NHTSA is required under 49 U.S.C. 30141(e) to ‘‘review and make appropriate adjustments at least every 2 years in the amounts of the fees’’ relating to the registration of importers, the processing of bonds, and making decisions concerning the importation of nonconforming vehicles. The statute further requires the agency to ‘‘establish the fees for each fiscal year before the beginning of that year.’’ This final rule implements the statutory provisions. According to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) a final rule generally cannot become effective until thirty days after the date on which the rule was issued. The APA contains an exemption that allows a rule to become effective prior to thirty days after the rule is issued if the agency finds that there is good cause for an earlier effective date and the good cause finding is published with the final rule. Because 49 U.S.C. 30141(e) requires the agency to establish the new fee schedule before the beginning of the next fiscal year, we believe that there is good cause for this final rule to become effective prior to thirty days after the date of publication of today’s final rule. Allowing today’s final rule to become effective prior to a date thirty dates after this rule is published will allow the new fee schedule to be in place at the beginning of the new fiscal year as required by the statute. In the NPRM, we proposed to make this rule effective October 1, 2014, and did not receive any comments on this issue. Accordingly, the effective date of this final rule is October 1, 2014. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 13563, 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; E:\FR\FM\24SER1.SGM 24SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185 / Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Rules and Regulations tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (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, E.O. 13563, 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 or 13563. 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. The rule will have no substantial effect upon State and local governments. There will be no substantial impacts 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 (SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration’s regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a business entity ‘‘which operates primarily within the United States.’’ (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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 23, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 rulemaking under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that the rules being adopted will 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 adopted amendments will primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles and that 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 would 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 will not be affected at all since they are generally neither importers nor purchasers of nonconforming motor vehicles. C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) Executive Order 13132 on ‘‘Federalism’’ requires NHTSA to develop an accountable process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications.’’ Executive Order 13132 defines the term ‘‘policies that have federalism implications’’ to include regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Under Executive Order 13132, NHTSA may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57005 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. NHTSA has examined today’s final rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that the rule does 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 final rule for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The final rule 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,’’ the agency has considered whether the amendments adopted in this final rule will have any retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that those amendments will not have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of the rule 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. Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 provides, in part that the regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, E:\FR\FM\24SER1.SGM 24SER1 57006 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185 / Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Rules and Regulations safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. In its NPRM, NHTSA requested public comment on whether (a) ‘‘regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments’’ concerning the subject matter of this rulemaking and (b) the above policy statement has any implications for this rulemaking. No comments were received. NHTSA concludes that the registered importer fees that are established by this final rule relate to program costs incurred by the agency in administering the vehicle importation program. Consistent with the statutory authority for the collection of these fees, they are set at a level that is appropriate for the agency to recover no more than its actual costs in administering the program. Because it establishes no standards for imported products, this rulemaking has no impact on the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. The desirability of achieving international regulatory cooperation therefore has no bearing on this rulemaking. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES G. Executive Order 13211 Executive Order 13211 applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. If the regulatory action meets either criterion, we must evaluate the adverse energy effects of the proposed rule and explain why the proposed regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by NHTSA. As noted above, this final rule is not significant under E.O. 12866. NHTSA also believes that this final rule has no effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. H. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 23, 2014 Jkt 232001 $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 this final rule will 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. I. 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. Part 594 includes collections of information for which NHTSA has obtained OMB Clearance No. 2127– 0002, a consolidated collection of information for ‘‘Importation of Vehicles and Equipment Subject to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Prevention Standards,’’ approved through April 30, 2017. This final rule will not affect the burden hours associated with Clearance No. 2127– 0002 because we are only adjusting the fees associated with participating in the registered importer program. The new fees that we are adopting will not impose new collection of information requirements or otherwise affect the scope of the program. J. Executive Order 13045 Executive Order 13045, ‘‘Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks’’ (62 FR 19855, April 23, 1997), 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. PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This rulemaking is not economically significant and does not concern an environmental, health, or safety risk. K. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– 113, (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, with explanations when it decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. In this final rule, we are adjusting the fees associated with the registered importer program. We are making no substantive changes to the program nor did we adopt any technical standards. For these reasons, Section 12(d) of the NTTAA does not apply. L. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all submissions received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment or petition (or signing the comment or petition, 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 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78) or you may visit http:// www.regulations.gov. M. 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. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594 Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles. In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 594 is amended as follows: E:\FR\FM\24SER1.SGM 24SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 185 / Wednesday, September 24, 2014 / Rules and Regulations PART 594—SCHEDULE OF FEES AUTHORIZED BY 49 U.S.C. 30141 1. The authority citation for part 594 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141, 31 U.S.C. 9701; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95. 2. Amend § 594.6 by: a. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a); ■ b. Revising paragraph (b); ■ c. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (d); ■ d. Revising the second sentence of paragraph (h); and ■ e. Revising paragraph (i) to read as follows: ■ ■ § 594.6 Annual fee for administration of the registration program. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES (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, 2014, must pay an annual fee of $844, 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, 2014, is $333. The sum of $333, 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, 2014, is set forth in paragraph (i) of this section. * * * * * * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Sep 23, 2014 Jkt 232001 (h) * * * This cost is $25.73 per manhour for the period beginning October 1, 2014. (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, 2014, is $511. When added to the costs of registration of $333, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, the costs per applicant to be recovered through the annual fee are $844. The annual renewal registration fee for the period beginning October 1, 2014, is $726. ■ 3. Amend § 594.7 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (e) to read as follows: § 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, 2014, the fee payable for seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is $175. * * * * * * * * ■ 4. Amend § 594.8 by revising the first sentences of paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows: § 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 $138. * * * (c) If a determination has been made on or after October 1, 2014, pursuant to PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 57007 the Administrator’s initiative, the fee for each vehicle is $125. * * * ■ 5. Amend § 594.9 by revising paragraphs (c) and (e) to read as follows: § 594.9 Fee for reimbursement of bond processing costs and costs for processing offers of cash deposits or obligations of the United States in lieu of sureties on bonds. * * * * * (c) The bond processing fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2014, for which a certificate of conformity is furnished, is $9.34. * * * * * (e) The fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2014, for which cash deposits or obligations of the United States are furnished in lieu of a conformance bond, is $499. 6. Amend § 594.10 by revising the first sentence of 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, 2014 is $10. * * * Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95. Dated: September 17, 2014. Daniel C. Smith, Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety. [FR Doc. 2014–22619 Filed 9–23–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\24SER1.SGM 24SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 185 (Wednesday, September 24, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57002-57007]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-22619]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 594

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0052; Notice 3]
RIN 2127-AL51


Schedule of Fees

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document adopts fees for Fiscal Year 2015 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 will also apply beyond Fiscal Year 2015 until 
further notice. These fees are needed to maintain the registered 
importer (RI) program. We are increasing the fees for the registration 
of a new RI from $805 to $844 and the annual fee for renewing an 
existing registration from $676 to $726. The fee to reimburse Customs 
for conformance bond processing costs will increase from $9.09 to $9.34 
per bond. The fee for the review, processing, handling, and 
disbursement of cash deposits that are submitted in lieu of a 
conformance bond will increase from $495 to $499. We are increasing the 
fees for the importation of a vehicle covered by an import eligibility 
decision made on an individual model and model year basis. For vehicles 
determined eligible based on their substantial similarity to a U.S. 
certified vehicle, the fee will increase from $101 to $138. For 
vehicles determined eligible based on their capability of being 
modified to comply with all applicable FMVSS, the fee will also 
increase from $101 to $138. The fee for the inspection of a vehicle 
will remain $827. The fee for processing a conformity package will 
decrease from $12 to $10. If the vehicle has been entered 
electronically with Customs through the Automated Broker Interface 
(ABI) and the RI has an email address, the fee for processing the 
conformity package will continue to be $6, provided the fee is paid by 
credit card. If NHTSA finds that the information in the entry or the 
conformity package is incorrect, the processing fee will increase from 
$57 to $59, representing a $2 increase in the fee that is currently 
charged when there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or omissions 
in the statement of conformity.

DATES: The amendments established by this final rule will become 
effective on October 1, 2014. Petitions for reconsideration must be 
received by NHTSA not later than November 10, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule should 
refer to the docket and notice numbers identified above and be 
submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, 
DC 20590. It is requested, but not required, that 10 copies of the 
petition be submitted. The petition must be received not later than 45 
days after publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. 
Petitions filed after that time will be considered petitions filed by 
interested persons to initiate rulemaking pursuant to 49 U.S.C. chapter 
301. The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and 
an explanation as to why compliance with the final rule is not 
practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest. Unless 
otherwise specified in the final rule, the statement and explanation 
together may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments 
may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15-page limit. 
If it is requested that additional facts be considered, the petitioner 
must state the reason why they were not presented to the Administrator 
within the prescribed time. The Administrator does not consider 
repetitious petitions and unless the Administrator otherwise provides, 
the filing of a petition does not stay the effectiveness of the final 
rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Lindsay, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5291). For legal issues, you may call 
Nicholas Englund, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (202-366-5263).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    This rule was preceded by a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
that NHTSA published on July 31, 2014 (79 FR 44363).
    The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended by 
the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, and recodified at 
49 U.S.C. 30141-30147 (``the Act''), provides for fees to cover the 
costs of the importer registration program, the cost of making import 
eligibility decisions, and the cost of processing the bonds furnished 
to Customs. Certain fees became effective on January 31, 1990, and have 
been in effect, with modifications, since then. On June 24, 1996, we 
published a document in the Federal Register at 61 FR 32411 that 
discussed the rulemaking history of 49 CFR part 594 and the fees 
authorized by the Act. The reader is referred to that document for 
background information relating to this rulemaking action.
    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 last amended the fee schedule in 2012. See final rule 
published on August 22, 2012 at 77 FR 50637. Those fees apply to Fiscal 
Years 2013 and 2014. The fees adopted in this final rule are based on 
time expenditures and costs associated with the tasks for which the 
fees are assessed.
    The fees proposed in this document reflect the one percent increase 
in General Schedule salary rates that were effective January 1, 2014 
and the slight increases in indirect costs attributed to the agency's 
overhead costs since the fees were last adjusted.

Comments

    There were no comments in response to the notice of proposed 
rulemaking.

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).
    To comply 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

[[Page 57003]]

processing and acting upon registration applications. We will increase 
this fee from $330 to $333 for new applications. We have also 
determined that the fee for the review of the annual statement 
submitted by existing RIs who wish to renew their registrations will be 
increased from $201 to $215. These fee adjustments reflect our time 
expenditures in reviewing both new applications and annual statements 
with accompanying documentation, and the small increases in indirect 
costs attributed to the agency's overhead costs in the two years since 
the fees were last adjusted, the increase in direct costs relating to 
the one percent raise in salaries of employees on the General Schedule 
that became effective on January 1, 2014, and the increase in 
contractor costs to the agency.
    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 $511 for each RI. When this $511 is added to the $333 
representing the registration application component, the cost to an 
applicant for RI status comes to $844, which is the fee we are 
adopting. This represents an increase of $39 over the existing fee. 
When the $511 is added to the $215 representing the annual statement 
component, the total cost to an RI for renewing its registration comes 
to $726, which represents an increase of $50.
    Section 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 $21.66 per man-hour. We are 
increasing this figure by $4.07, to $25.73. This 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 
into account other 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)(B) also requires registered importers to pay 
other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes to cover the 
costs of ``making the decisions under this 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. The agency's direct and indirect costs must 
be taken into account in the computation of these costs.
    Since we last amended the fee schedule, the overall number of 
vehicle imports by RIs has increased, while the number of petitions has 
remained approximately the same. The total number of vehicles that RIs 
imported between 2009 and 2013 was 117,512 or approximately 23,502 
vehicles each year. Over the same period, the number of vehicles 
imported under an import eligibility petition that was submitted by an 
RI (as opposed to an import eligibility decision initiated by the 
agency) increased to 1,987 or approximately 397 vehicles each year. 
Over the past five years, RIs submitted 83 petitions to NHTSA, 
averaging 17 per year and the agency has devoted more staff time 
reviewing and processing import eligibility petitions since we last 
revised the fees.
    Based on these trends, the pro rata share of petition costs 
assessed against the importer of each vehicle covered by the 
eligibility decision will increase. We project that for FY 2015 and 
2016, the agency's costs for processing these 17 petitions will be 
$60,095. The petitioners will pay $5,300 of that amount in the 
processing fees that accompany the filing of their petitions, leaving 
the remaining $54,795 to be recovered from the importers of the 
approximately 397 vehicles projected to be imported under petition-
based import eligibility decisions. Dividing $54,795 by 397 yields a 
pro rata fee of $138 for each vehicle imported under an eligibility 
decision that results from the granting of a petition. We are therefore 
increasing the pro rata share of petition costs that are to be assessed 
against the importer of each vehicle from $101 to $138, which 
represents an increase of $37. The same $138 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.
    We are not increasing the current fee of $175 that covers the 
initial processing of a ``substantially similar'' petition. Likewise, 
we are also maintaining 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 
will remain $827 for vehicles that are the subject of either type of 
petition.
    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 remains $125. NHTSA determined that the costs 
associated with previous eligibility determinations on the agency's own 
initiative would be fully recovered by October 1, 2014. We will 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, 2014.

Section 594.9--Fee for Reimbursement of Bond Processing Costs and Costs 
for Processing Offers of Cash Deposits or Obligations of the United 
States in Lieu of Sureties on Bonds

    Section 30141(a)(3) also requires a registered importer to pay any 
other fees the Secretary of Transportation

[[Page 57004]]

establishes ``to pay for the costs of . . . 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) 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, which Customs has judged to be 20 
minutes.
    When the fee schedule was last amended, we projected General 
Schedule salary raises to be effective in January 2013 and 2014. Based 
on the increase in hourly costs attributable to the approximately one 
percent raises in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that 
became effective on January 1, 2014, we are increasing the processing 
fee by $0.25, from $9.09 per bond to $9.34. This increase reflects the 
fact that GS-9 salaries have been increased since we last amended the 
fee schedule in 2012. The $9.34 fee will more closely reflect the 
direct and indirect costs that are actually associated with processing 
the bonds.
    In lieu of sureties on a DOT conformance bond, an importer may 
offer United States money, United States bonds (except for savings 
bonds), United States certificates of indebtedness, Treasury notes, or 
Treasury bills (collectively referred to as ``cash deposits'') in an 
amount equal to the amount of the bond. 49 CFR 591.10(a). The receipt, 
processing, handling, and disbursement of the cash deposits that have 
been tendered by RIs cause the agency to consume a considerable amount 
of staff time and material resources. NHTSA has concluded that the 
expense incurred by the agency to receive, process, handle, and 
disburse cash deposits may be treated as part of the bond processing 
cost, which NHTSA is authorized to set a fee under 49 U.S.C. 
30141(a)(3)(A). We first established a fee of $459 for each vehicle 
imported on and after October 1, 2008, for which cash deposits or 
obligations of the United States are furnished in lieu of a conformance 
bond. See the Final Rule published on July 11, 2008 at 73 FR 39890.
    The agency considered its direct and indirect costs in calculating 
the fee for the review, processing, handling, and disbursement of cash 
deposits submitted by importers and RIs in lieu of sureties on a DOT 
conformance bond. We are increasing the fee from $495 to $499, which 
represents an increase of $4. The factors that the agency has taken 
into account in proposing the fee include time expended by agency 
personnel, the slight increase in overhead and contractor costs, and 
the increase in projected salary costs based on the General Schedule 
increase on January 1, 2014.

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

    Each RI is currently required to pay $12 per vehicle to cover the 
costs the agency incurs in reviewing a certificate of conformity. We 
have found that these costs have decreased from $12 to an average of 
$10 per vehicle. Although our overhead and contractor costs increased 
and the salary and benefit costs are slightly greater based on the 
General Schedule salary increase, the number of certificates of 
conformity submitted for agency review has increased. This has 
decreased the agency's cost attributed to the review of each 
certificate of conformity. Based on these costs, we are decreasing the 
fee charged for vehicles for which a paper entry and fee payment is 
made, from $12 to $10, a difference of $2 per vehicle. However, if an 
RI enters a vehicle through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) 
system, has an email 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. We are maintaining the fee of $6 
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 as the telephone charges, to amount to approximately $59 
for each erroneous ABI entry. Adding this to the $6 fee for the review 
of conformity packages on automated entries yields a total of $65, 
representing a $2 increase in the fee that is currently charged when 
there are one or more errors in the ABI entry or in the statement of 
conformity.

Statutory Basis for the Final Rule and Effective Date

    NHTSA is required under 49 U.S.C. 30141(e) to ``review and make 
appropriate adjustments at least every 2 years in the amounts of the 
fees'' relating to the registration of importers, the processing of 
bonds, and making decisions concerning the importation of nonconforming 
vehicles. The statute further requires the agency to ``establish the 
fees for each fiscal year before the beginning of that year.'' This 
final rule implements the statutory provisions.
    According to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) a final rule 
generally cannot become effective until thirty days after the date on 
which the rule was issued. The APA contains an exemption that allows a 
rule to become effective prior to thirty days after the rule is issued 
if the agency finds that there is good cause for an earlier effective 
date and the good cause finding is published with the final rule.
    Because 49 U.S.C. 30141(e) requires the agency to establish the new 
fee schedule before the beginning of the next fiscal year, we believe 
that there is good cause for this final rule to become effective prior 
to thirty days after the date of publication of today's final rule. 
Allowing today's final rule to become effective prior to a date thirty 
dates after this rule is published will allow the new fee schedule to 
be in place at the beginning of the new fiscal year as required by the 
statute.
    In the NPRM, we proposed to make this rule effective October 1, 
2014, and did not receive any comments on this issue. Accordingly, the 
effective date of this final rule is October 1, 2014.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 
13563, 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;

[[Page 57005]]

    (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, E.O. 13563, 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 or 
13563. 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. The rule will have no substantial 
effect upon State and local governments. There will be no substantial 
impacts 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 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare 
and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis 
that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR part 121 
define a small business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates 
primarily within the United States.'' (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 rulemaking under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that the rules being adopted 
will 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 adopted amendments will 
primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles 
and that 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 would 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 will not be affected at all since they 
are generally neither importers nor purchasers of nonconforming motor 
vehicles.

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132 on ``Federalism'' requires NHTSA to develop 
an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful and timely input by State 
and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have 
Federalism implications.'' Executive Order 13132 defines the term 
``policies that have federalism implications'' to include regulations 
that have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.'' Under Executive Order 13132, NHTSA may not issue a 
regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless 
the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct 
compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or NHTSA 
consults with State and local officials early in the process of 
developing the proposed regulation.
    NHTSA has examined today's final rule pursuant to Executive Order 
13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that the rule does 
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 final rule for purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The final rule 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,'' the 
agency has considered whether the amendments adopted in this final rule 
will have any retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that those amendments 
will not have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of the rule 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. Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation

    The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 
provides, in part that the regulatory approaches taken by foreign 
governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to 
address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the 
regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign 
counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of 
American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting 
shared challenges involving health,

[[Page 57006]]

safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international 
regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as 
protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such 
cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, 
eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory 
requirements. In its NPRM, NHTSA requested public comment on whether 
(a) ``regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments'' concerning 
the subject matter of this rulemaking and (b) the above policy 
statement has any implications for this rulemaking. No comments were 
received. NHTSA concludes that the registered importer fees that are 
established by this final rule relate to program costs incurred by the 
agency in administering the vehicle importation program. Consistent 
with the statutory authority for the collection of these fees, they are 
set at a level that is appropriate for the agency to recover no more 
than its actual costs in administering the program. Because it 
establishes no standards for imported products, this rulemaking has no 
impact on the ability of American businesses to export and compete 
internationally. The desirability of achieving international regulatory 
cooperation therefore has no bearing on this rulemaking.

G. Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined 
to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and is 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the 
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a 
significant energy action. If the regulatory action meets either 
criterion, we must evaluate the adverse energy effects of the proposed 
rule and explain why the proposed regulation is preferable to other 
potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered 
by NHTSA. As noted above, this final rule is not significant under E.O. 
12866. NHTSA also believes that this final rule has no effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.

H. 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 this final rule will 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.

I. 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. Part 594 includes 
collections of information for which NHTSA has obtained OMB Clearance 
No. 2127-0002, a consolidated collection of information for 
``Importation of Vehicles and Equipment Subject to the Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Prevention Standards,'' approved 
through April 30, 2017. This final rule will not affect the burden 
hours associated with Clearance No. 2127-0002 because we are only 
adjusting the fees associated with participating in the registered 
importer program. The new fees that we are adopting will not impose new 
collection of information requirements or otherwise affect the scope of 
the program.

J. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045, ``Protection of Children from Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 19855, April 23, 1997), 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.

K. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, (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, with explanations when it decides not to use available and 
applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    In this final rule, we are adjusting the fees associated with the 
registered importer program. We are making no substantive changes to 
the program nor did we adopt any technical standards. For these 
reasons, Section 12(d) of the NTTAA does not apply.

L. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all submissions 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment or petition (or signing the comment or petition, 
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 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 
19477-78) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.

M. 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.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 594

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 594 is amended as 
follows:

[[Page 57007]]

PART 594--SCHEDULE OF FEES AUTHORIZED BY 49 U.S.C. 30141

0
1. The authority citation for part 594 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 30141, 31 U.S.C. 9701; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.95.


0
2. Amend Sec.  594.6 by:
0
a. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a);
0
b. Revising paragraph (b);
0
c. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (d);
0
d. Revising the second sentence of paragraph (h); and
0
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, 2014, must pay an annual fee of $844, 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, 2014, is $333. The sum of $333, 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, 2014, is set forth in paragraph (i) of this section. * 
* *
* * * * *
    (h) * * * This cost is $25.73 per man-hour for the period beginning 
October 1, 2014.
    (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, 2014, is $511. When added to the costs 
of registration of $333, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, 
the costs per applicant to be recovered through the annual fee are 
$844. The annual renewal registration fee for the period beginning 
October 1, 2014, is $726.

0
3. Amend Sec.  594.7 by revising the first sentence of 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, 2014, the fee 
payable for seeking a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section is $175. * * *
* * * * *
0
4. Amend Sec.  594.8 by revising the first sentences of paragraphs (b) 
and (c) to read as follows:


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 $138. * * *
    (c) If a determination has been made on or after October 1, 2014, 
pursuant to the Administrator's initiative, the fee for each vehicle is 
$125. * * *
0
5. Amend Sec.  594.9 by revising paragraphs (c) and (e) to read as 
follows:


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

* * * * *
    (c) The bond processing fee for each vehicle imported on and after 
October 1, 2014, for which a certificate of conformity is furnished, is 
$9.34.
* * * * *
    (e) The fee for each vehicle imported on and after October 1, 2014, 
for which cash deposits or obligations of the United States are 
furnished in lieu of a conformance bond, is $499.

0
6. Amend Sec.  594.10 by revising the first sentence of 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, 2014 is $10. * * *

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 
49 CFR 1.95.

    Dated: September 17, 2014.
Daniel C. Smith,
Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.
[FR Doc. 2014-22619 Filed 9-23-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P