Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program, 19122-19125 [2016-07635]

Download as PDF 19122 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES (2) The potential trade impact of the proposed project on market retention, market access, and market expansion, including the potential for expanding commercial sales in the targeted market (12.5%); (3) The completeness and viability of the proposal. Among other things, this can include the cost of the project and the amount of other resources dedicated to the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties (15%); (4) The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal (15%); (5) The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive (17.5%); (6) The degree to which time is essential to addressing specific export barriers (5%); (7) The ability of the applicant to provide a broad base of producer representation (12.5%); (8) The effectiveness and potential of the performance measures (10%); 2. Review and Selection Process: FAS will review proposals for eligibility and will evaluate each proposal against the criteria referred to above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. FAS may, when appropriate, request the assistance of other U.S. government subject area experts in evaluating the merits of a proposal. F. Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including levels of funding, timelines for implementation, and written evaluation requirements. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant. Interested parties should review the TASC program regulations found at 7 CFR part 1487 in addition to this announcement. TASC program VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:03 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 regulations are available at the following URL address: http://www.fas.usda.gov/ programs/technical-assistancespecialty-crops-tasc. Hard copies may be obtained by contacting the Program Operations Division at (202) 720–4327. 3. Reporting: TASC participants will be required to submit regular interim reports and a final performance report, each of which evaluate the TASC project using the performance measures presented in the approved proposal, as set forth in the written program agreement. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by e–mail: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Signed at Washington, DC on the 25th of March, 2016. Bryce Quick, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2016–07633 Filed 4–1–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program Announcement Type: New. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605. SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces it is inviting proposals for the 2017 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2017 and to set out the criteria for the award of funds under the program in October 2016. QSP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). DATES: To be considered for funding, applications must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 3, 2016. Any applications received after this time will be considered only if funds are still available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Entities wishing to apply for funding assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/ quality-samples-program-qsp. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Funding Opportunity Description Authority: QSP is authorized under Section 5(f) of the CCC Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f). Purpose: QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities. QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging for the procurement of) commodity samples, exporting the samples, and providing the on-site technical assistance necessary to facilitate successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement from QSP for the sample purchase price and for the cost of transporting the samples domestically to the port of export and then to the foreign port or point of entry. Transportation costs from the foreign port or point of entry to the final destination are not eligible for reimbursement. CCC will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and transporting samples, such as: Inspection or documentation fees, certificates of any kind, tariffs, etc. Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, QSP will not reimburse the costs of providing technical assistance. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after CCC reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is complete. General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects are the activities undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate sample of a U.S. agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a group of foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of the project is to provide information to an appropriate target audience regarding the attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A QSP project addresses a single market/commodity combination. As a general matter, QSP projects should conform to the following guidelines: E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Notices • Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and not a specific company or brand; • Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product rather than promote the substitution of one established U.S. product for another; • Commodities provided under a QSP project must be available on a commercial basis and in sufficient supply; • The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars in the importing country designed to demonstrate to an appropriate target audience the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of an end product; • Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. However, the end product (that is, the product resulting from further processing, substantial transformation, or a technical preparation seminar) may be provided to end-use consumers to demonstrate to importers consumer preference for that end product; • Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the destination country); and • Projects should be completed within one year of CCC approval. QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who: • Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity that will be transported under QSP; • Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attributes, or end-use characteristics of the U.S. commodity; • Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, process, and market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary issues); • Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of the U.S. commodity; or • Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. commodity. B. Award Information Under this announcement, the number of projects per participant will not be limited. However, individual projects will be limited to $75,000 of QSP reimbursement. Projects comprised only of technical preparation seminars VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:03 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 (that is, projects that do not include further processing or substantial transformation of the sample) will be limited to $15,000 of QSP reimbursement due to the need for smaller samples. Financial assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis only; cash advances will not be made available to any QSP participant. All proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements between the applicant and CCC. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the project. C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: Any United States private or government entity with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations include non-profit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and profitmaking entities. 2. Cost Sharing: FAS considers the applicant’s willingness to contribute resources, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals to approve for funding. 3. Proposals should include a justification for funding assistance from the program—an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance. Applicants may submit more than one proposal. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address to Request Application Package: Organizations shall submit their QSP applications to FAS through the web-based Uniform Export Strategy (UES) application. The UES allows applicants to submit a single consolidated and strategically coordinated proposal that incorporates requests for funding for virtually all of the FAS marketing programs, financial assistance programs, and market access programs. The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the constraints or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities that would help overcome such impediments, consider PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19123 the entire pool of complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish realistic export goals. Applicants must contact FAS’ Program Operations Division to obtain UES Web site access information. The Internet-based application may be found at the following URL address: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission: To be considered for QSP, an applicant must submit to FAS, via the UES, information detailed in this notice. Additionally, in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s policy directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated tollfree DUNS number request line at (866) 705–5711. In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 must: (i) Provide a valid DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to CCC; (ii) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application or plan; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by CCC. Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each entity that applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive QSP funding. Incomplete applications and applications that do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review. Proposals should contain, at a minimum, the following: (a) Organizational information, including: • Organization’s name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number; • Type of organization; • Name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the primary contact person; • A description of the organization and its membership; E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 19124 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Notices • A description of the organization’s prior export promotion experience; and • A description of the organization’s experience in implementing an appropriate trade/technical assistance component. (b) Market information, including: • An assessment of the market; • A long-term strategy in the market; and • U.S. export value/volume and market share (historic and goals) for 2010–2016. (c) Project information, including: • A brief project title; • The amount of funding requested; • The beginning and end dates for the proposed project; • A brief description of the specific market development trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project; • A description of the activities planned to address the constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/technical servicing component (including who will provide and fund this component); • The performance measures that will be used to benchmark performance and measure the effectiveness of the project, the long-term sales to the market, and the benefits to the represented industry; • A description of the sample to be provided (i.e., commodity, quantity, quality, type, and grade), including a justification for why a sample with such characteristics is needed (this justification should explain why the project could not be effective with a smaller sample); • An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with the project for which reimbursement will be sought; • The importer’s role in the project regarding handling and processing the commodity sample; and • An explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance; (d) Information indicating all funding sources and amounts to be contributed by each entity that will supplement implementation of the proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third parties, CCC, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may include cash, goods, or services. 3. Submission Dates and Times: QSP applications are reviewed on a rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:03 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 QSP funding is available as set forth below: • Proposals received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 3, 2016, will be considered for funding with other proposals received by that date; • Proposals not approved for funding during this review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing, and only if funding remains available; • Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 3, 2016, will be considered in the order received for funding only if funding remains available. 4. Other Submission Requirements: All applications must be properly submitted through the UES by 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 3, 2016, in order to be considered for funding; submissions received after this deadline will be considered only if funding remains available. 5. Funding Restrictions: Proposals that request more than $75,000 of CCC funding for individual projects will not be considered. Projects comprised only of technical preparation seminars will be limited to $15,000 in QSP funding. CCC will not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or expenditures made prior to approval of a proposal. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria and Review Process: FAS will use the following criteria in evaluating QSP proposals, each weighted at 10%: • The income, population, or market share growth potential in the proposed market; • Benefits of project would accrue to entire industry, not a single company; • The proposed sample size is appropriate to the project; • The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal; • The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive; • The potential for expanding commercial sales in the proposed market; • The nature of the specific market constraint or opportunity identified and how well it is addressed by the proposal; • The extent to which the importer’s contribution in terms of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the project; • The amount of reimbursement requested and the organization’s willingness to contribute resources, PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties; and • How well the proposed technical assistance component assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the intended end-use benefit. FAS will also review and evaluate how well the following unweighted criteria are addressed in the proposal: • The quality of the performance measures and how effective they will be in demonstrating the impact of the project; • The assessment of the market; • The long-term strategy in the market; and • Export goals in each country. Proposals will be evaluated by the appropriate Commodity Branch in FAS’ Cooperator Programs Division. The Commodity Branches will review each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. 2. Anticipated Announcement Date: Announcements of funding decisions for QSP are anticipated during October 2016. F. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of QSP funding and any cost-share contribution requirements. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should endeavor to ship commodities within 6 months of the effective date of the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as required), E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Notices compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of expiration or termination of the agreement. QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS’ Compliance, Security and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a QSP participant shall provide to CCC the original documents that support the participant’s reimbursement claims. CCC may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation. 3. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted via the UES within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each participant’s QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures that were presented in the proposal. G. Agency Contact(s) For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Signed at Washington, DC, on the 25th of March, 2016. Bryce Quick, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2016–07635 Filed 4–1–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ashley Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Ashley Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Vernal, Utah. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community SelfDetermination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:03 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http:// cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/ RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcvKAAS. DATES: Meeting will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on April 20, 2016. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at Ashley National Forest (NF) Supervisor’s Office, 355 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal, Utah. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Ashley NF Supervisor’s Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Louis Haynes, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 435–781–5105 or via email at ljhaynes@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the meeting is to: 1. Conduct a final evaluation and roll call; 2. Vote on each submitted project; and 3. Finalize recommendations for funding of project long forms for the Designated Federal Officer’s approval. The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by April 6, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Attention: Louis Haynes, RAC Coordinator, Ashley NF Supervisor’s Office, 355 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal, Utah 84078; by email to ljhaynes@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 435–781–5142. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19125 access to the facility, please contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. Dated: March 25, 2016. Dustin Bambrough, Acting Forest Supervisor. [FR Doc. 2016–07568 Filed 4–1–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested. DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by June 3, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Utilities Service, Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250–1522. Telephone: (202) 690–4492. FAX: (202) 720–8435. Email: Thomas.Dickson@ wdc.usda.gov SUMMARY: The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\04APN1.SGM 04APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 64 (Monday, April 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19122-19125]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07635]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the 
Quality Samples Program

    Announcement Type: New.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605.

SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces it is 
inviting proposals for the 2017 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The 
intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications from eligible 
applicants for fiscal year 2017 and to set out the criteria for the 
award of funds under the program in October 2016. QSP is administered 
by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

DATES: To be considered for funding, applications must be received by 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 3, 2016. Any applications received 
after this time will be considered only if funds are still available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Entities wishing to apply for funding 
assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of 
Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 
1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 
720-4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: 
podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS Web 
site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/quality-samples-program-qsp.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Funding Opportunity Description

    Authority: QSP is authorized under Section 5(f) of the CCC Charter 
Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f).
    Purpose: QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion 
of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. 
entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers 
to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality 
of U.S. agricultural commodities.
    QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging 
for the procurement of) commodity samples, exporting the samples, and 
providing the on-site technical assistance necessary to facilitate 
successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are 
funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement from QSP for the 
sample purchase price and for the cost of transporting the samples 
domestically to the port of export and then to the foreign port or 
point of entry. Transportation costs from the foreign port or point of 
entry to the final destination are not eligible for reimbursement. CCC 
will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and transporting 
samples, such as: Inspection or documentation fees, certificates of any 
kind, tariffs, etc. Although providing technical assistance is required 
for all projects, QSP will not reimburse the costs of providing 
technical assistance. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after CCC 
reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is 
complete.
    General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects are the activities 
undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate sample of a 
U.S. agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a group of 
foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of the project is to 
provide information to an appropriate target audience regarding the 
attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A 
QSP project addresses a single market/commodity combination.
    As a general matter, QSP projects should conform to the following 
guidelines:

[[Page 19123]]

     Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and 
not a specific company or brand;
     Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, 
promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product 
rather than promote the substitution of one established U.S. product 
for another;
     Commodities provided under a QSP project must be available 
on a commercial basis and in sufficient supply;
     The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample 
to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing 
country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars in the 
importing country designed to demonstrate to an appropriate target 
audience the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of 
an end product;
     Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly 
used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. 
However, the end product (that is, the product resulting from further 
processing, substantial transformation, or a technical preparation 
seminar) may be provided to end-use consumers to demonstrate to 
importers consumer preference for that end product;
     Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical 
commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the 
project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the 
destination country); and
     Projects should be completed within one year of CCC 
approval.
    QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who:
     Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity that will 
be transported under QSP;
     Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attributes, or 
end-use characteristics of the U.S. commodity;
     Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, 
process, and market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper 
specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary 
issues);
     Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of 
the U.S. commodity; or
     Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. 
commodity.

B. Award Information

    Under this announcement, the number of projects per participant 
will not be limited. However, individual projects will be limited to 
$75,000 of QSP reimbursement. Projects comprised only of technical 
preparation seminars (that is, projects that do not include further 
processing or substantial transformation of the sample) will be limited 
to $15,000 of QSP reimbursement due to the need for smaller samples. 
Financial assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis 
only; cash advances will not be made available to any QSP participant.
    All proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria 
contained herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. 
Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific 
agreements between the applicant and CCC. These agreements will 
incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in 
advance any subsequent changes to the project.

C. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Any United States private or government 
entity with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. 
agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government 
organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private 
organizations include non-profit trade associations, universities, 
agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and profit-
making entities.
    2. Cost Sharing: FAS considers the applicant's willingness to 
contribute resources, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. 
industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals to 
approve for funding.
    3. Proposals should include a justification for funding assistance 
from the program--an explanation as to what specifically could not be 
accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the 
participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the 
project without such assistance. Applicants may submit more than one 
proposal.

D. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Organizations shall 
submit their QSP applications to FAS through the web-based Uniform 
Export Strategy (UES) application. The UES allows applicants to submit 
a single consolidated and strategically coordinated proposal that 
incorporates requests for funding for virtually all of the FAS 
marketing programs, financial assistance programs, and market access 
programs. The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the 
constraints or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities 
that would help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of 
complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish 
realistic export goals.
    Applicants must contact FAS' Program Operations Division to obtain 
UES Web site access information. The Internet-based application may be 
found at the following URL address: https://www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: To be considered for 
QSP, an applicant must submit to FAS, via the UES, information detailed 
in this notice. Additionally, in accordance with the Office of 
Management and Budget's policy directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) 
regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government 
awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number 
at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line 
at (866) 705-5711.
    In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that 
applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 
25.110 must:
    (i) Provide a valid DUNS number in each application or plan it 
submits to CCC;
    (ii) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior 
to submitting an application or plan; and
    (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current 
information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or 
an application or plan under consideration by CCC.
    Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each entity that 
applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 
170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in 
place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR 
part 170 should it receive QSP funding.
    Incomplete applications and applications that do not otherwise 
conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review.
    Proposals should contain, at a minimum, the following:
    (a) Organizational information, including:
     Organization's name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or 
designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number;
     Type of organization;
     Name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of 
the primary contact person;
     A description of the organization and its membership;

[[Page 19124]]

     A description of the organization's prior export promotion 
experience; and
     A description of the organization's experience in 
implementing an appropriate trade/technical assistance component.
    (b) Market information, including:
     An assessment of the market;
     A long-term strategy in the market; and
     U.S. export value/volume and market share (historic and 
goals) for 2010-2016.
    (c) Project information, including:
     A brief project title;
     The amount of funding requested;
     The beginning and end dates for the proposed project;
     A brief description of the specific market development 
trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project;
     A description of the activities planned to address the 
constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the 
end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be 
demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/
technical servicing component (including who will provide and fund this 
component);
     The performance measures that will be used to benchmark 
performance and measure the effectiveness of the project, the long-term 
sales to the market, and the benefits to the represented industry;
     A description of the sample to be provided (i.e., 
commodity, quantity, quality, type, and grade), including a 
justification for why a sample with such characteristics is needed 
(this justification should explain why the project could not be 
effective with a smaller sample);
     An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with 
the project for which reimbursement will be sought;
     The importer's role in the project regarding handling and 
processing the commodity sample; and
     An explanation as to what specifically could not be 
accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the 
participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the 
project without such assistance;
    (d) Information indicating all funding sources and amounts to be 
contributed by each entity that will supplement implementation of the 
proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the 
proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third 
parties, CCC, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may 
include cash, goods, or services.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: QSP applications are reviewed on a 
rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as QSP funding is 
available as set forth below:
     Proposals received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 
3, 2016, will be considered for funding with other proposals received 
by that date;
     Proposals not approved for funding during this review 
period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if 
the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing, 
and only if funding remains available;
     Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 
June 3, 2016, will be considered in the order received for funding only 
if funding remains available.
    4. Other Submission Requirements: All applications must be properly 
submitted through the UES by 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 3, 
2016, in order to be considered for funding; submissions received after 
this deadline will be considered only if funding remains available.
    5. Funding Restrictions: Proposals that request more than $75,000 
of CCC funding for individual projects will not be considered. Projects 
comprised only of technical preparation seminars will be limited to 
$15,000 in QSP funding. CCC will not reimburse unreasonable 
expenditures or expenditures made prior to approval of a proposal.

E. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria and Review Process: FAS will use the following criteria 
in evaluating QSP proposals, each weighted at 10%:
     The income, population, or market share growth potential 
in the proposed market;
     Benefits of project would accrue to entire industry, not a 
single company;
     The proposed sample size is appropriate to the project;
     The ability of the organization to provide an experienced 
staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the 
proposal;
     The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market 
in which the United States is generally competitive;
     The potential for expanding commercial sales in the 
proposed market;
     The nature of the specific market constraint or 
opportunity identified and how well it is addressed by the proposal;
     The extent to which the importer's contribution in terms 
of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the 
project;
     The amount of reimbursement requested and the 
organization's willingness to contribute resources, including cash, 
goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties; and
     How well the proposed technical assistance component 
assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the 
intended end-use benefit.
    FAS will also review and evaluate how well the following unweighted 
criteria are addressed in the proposal:
     The quality of the performance measures and how effective 
they will be in demonstrating the impact of the project;
     The assessment of the market;
     The long-term strategy in the market; and
     Export goals in each country.
    Proposals will be evaluated by the appropriate Commodity Branch in 
FAS' Cooperator Programs Division. The Commodity Branches will review 
each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this 
review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate 
funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit 
proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, 
Office of Trade Programs.
    2. Anticipated Announcement Date: Announcements of funding 
decisions for QSP are anticipated during October 2016.

F. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the 
final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an 
approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval 
letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable 
to the project, including the levels of QSP funding and any cost-share 
contribution requirements.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements 
will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each 
agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will 
reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline 
the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, 
procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a 
fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample 
within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should 
endeavor to ship commodities within 6 months of the effective date of 
the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment 
on United States flag vessels, as required),

[[Page 19125]]

compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United 
States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation 
of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report 
within 90 days of expiration or termination of the agreement.
    QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS' 
Compliance, Security and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a 
QSP participant shall provide to CCC the original documents that 
support the participant's reimbursement claims. CCC may deny a claim 
for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate 
documentation.
    3. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted via the 
UES within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each 
participant's QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all 
performance measures that were presented in the proposal.

G. Agency Contact(s)

    For additional information and assistance, contact the Program 
Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-
4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on the 25th of March, 2016.
Bryce Quick,
Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, 
Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2016-07635 Filed 4-1-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-10-P