Electronic Notice of Liquidation, 89375-89381 [2016-29656]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 2016–25–04 Fokker Services B.V.: Amendment 39–18730; Docket No. FAA–2015–7530; Directorate Identifier 2014–NM–257–AD. (a) Effective Date This AD is effective January 17, 2017. (b) Affected ADs None. (i) Related Information (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Inspection Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed inspection for cracking of the trailing edge rib at wing station 8700, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100–57–048, dated October 27, 2014. If any crack is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Fokker Services B.V.’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). (h) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European AD 2014–0271, dated December 12, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2015–7530. (j) Material Incorporated by Reference (e) Reason This AD was prompted by report of cracking in the secondary structure of the wing at station 8700. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking that could lead to failure of the affected rib and consequent reduced control of the airplane. VerDate Sep<11>2014 (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–1405; fax 425–227–1149. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM– 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Fokker B.V. Service’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise. (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100–57– 048, dated October 27, 2014. (ii) Reserved. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88–6280–350; fax +31 (0)88–6280–111; email technicalservices@ fokker.com; Internet http:// www.myfokkerfleet.com. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 89375 Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 25, 2016. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–29243 Filed 12–9–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Parts 159 and 173 [USCBP–2016–0065; CBP Dec. No. 16–25] RIN 1515–AE16 Electronic Notice of Liquidation U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HDS; Department of the Treasury. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This document adopts as a final rule, with changes, proposed amendments to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations reflecting that official notice of liquidation, suspension of liquidation, and extension of liquidation will be posted electronically on the CBP Web site. The regulatory revisions reflect that official notice of liquidation will no longer be posted at the customhouses or stations and that official notices of suspension of liquidation and extension of liquidation will no longer be mailed. Additionally, this rule makes certain technical corrections to the CBP regulations to reflect statutory amendments. SUMMARY: This final rule is effective on January 14, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Virginia McPherson, ACE Business Office, Office of Trade, virginia.h.mcpherson@cbp.dhs.gov. Randy Mitchell, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of Trade, randy.mitchell@cbp.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Background Section 500 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1500), provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the authority, under rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, to, among other things, give or transmit notice of liquidation pursuant to an electronic data interchange system. See 19 U.S.C. 1500(e). Similarly, CBP is authorized to E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES 89376 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations give notice of extension of liquidation in such form and manner (which may include electronic transmittal) as prescribed by regulation and notice of suspension of liquidation in such manner as considered appropriate. See 19 U.S.C. 1504(b) and (c). Additionally, the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established by Subtitle B of Title VI—Customs Modernization, in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103–182, 107 Stat. 2057, December 8, 1993), to provide for, among other things, the electronic status of liquidation. See 19 U.S.C. 1411. Currently, notices of liquidation for formal entry, including notices of liquidation by operation of law, are physically posted in the customhouse or station at the port of entry on CBP Form 4333, and this physical posting is deemed the legal evidence of liquidation. When extension or suspension of liquidation occurs, official notices are mailed on an appropriately modified CBP Form 4333– A. On October 14, 2016, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 71019) proposing to amend title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (‘‘19 CFR’’) to reflect that official notice of liquidation, suspension of liquidation, and extension of liquidation would be posted electronically on the CBP Web site rather than being physically posted at the customhouses or stations or mailed. CBP also proposed eliminating the mailed paper courtesy notices of liquidation but stated its intention to continue sending electronic courtesy notices of liquidation, extension, and suspension via a CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system to the electronic filer when entries liquidate or are extended or suspended. The proposed amendments were intended to modernize, centralize, and facilitate the method by which importers are provided official notice of liquidation, extension, and suspension. Additionally, CBP proposed certain technical corrections to sections 159.11(a), 159.12(f), and 173.4a of 19 CFR to update the regulatory language to reflect statutory changes to sections 504 and 520 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1504 and 1520). The notice of proposed rulemaking requested public comments. The public comment period closed on November 14, 2016. CBP received four comments regarding the proposed amendments to part 159 of 19 CFR regarding posting official notice of liquidation, suspension of liquidation, and extension of liquidation on the CBP Web site. No VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 comments were received on the technical corrections to the regulations contained in sections 159.11(a), 159.12(f), and 173.4a of 19 CFR reflecting the statutory changes to 19 U.S.C. 1504 and 1520. Discussion of Comments Four comments were received in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. CBP has addressed the comments below: Comment: Three commenters expressed support for the proposed changes to post liquidation information on CBP’s Web site, www.cbp.gov. CBP Response: CBP appreciates the support and the input from the commenters. Comment: One commenter suggested that the regulations state that the link will be visible on the CBP home page so that it remains conspicuous regardless of future CBP Web site changes and the public will not have to search for the link. CBP Response: CBP agrees that the link needs to be conspicuous although not necessarily on the homepage. The link will be labelled ‘‘Official Notices of Liquidation’’ and, pursuant to 19 CFR 159.9(b), it will be placed in a conspicuous place on CBP’s Web site in such a manner that it can readily be located and consulted by all interested persons. CBP assures that the link will remain conspicuous regardless of any potential future CBP Web site changes. Comment: One commenter stated that the regulations should include a definition of what constitutes the posting and its data elements. CBP Response: CBP disagrees that adding a definition of what constitutes the posting and its data elements is necessary because CBP believes such a definition would not add value or clarity. As proposed, the regulations at 19 CFR 159.9 provide that the posting will occur on CBP’s Web site, address the date of posting, state that the electronic posting will be deemed the legal evidence of liquidation, and address liquidations by operation of law. Comment: One commenter stated that the regulations appear not to deal with reliquidations and proposed adding reliquidation to 19 CFR 159.9(b). CBP Response: CBP disagrees with the commenter. CBP intends that the posting of reliquidations will also be done electronically. Section 173.3(b) regarding reliquidation (which is in the current regulations and was not proposed to be amended) provides that notice of reliquidation will be given in accordance with the requirements for giving notice of the original liquidation. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Accordingly, CBP believes there is no need to add reliquidation to 19 CFR 159.9(b). Comment: One commenter stated that the regulation should spell out in detail how the date of posting will appear. CBP Response: CBP disagrees that the regulation needs to spell out in detail how the date of posting will appear as the posting will be in a format that is easy to understand. The date of posting will appear in standard MM/DD/YYYY format. For example, December 31, 2016, will appear as 12/31/2016. Comment: One commenter asked if importers or brokers will be able to print the notice and asked if the printed notices would include the posting date. CBP Response: A printed copy may be obtained using a web browser’s print functionality which should include the information that is displayed on the screen, such as the posting date. Comment: One commenter stated that the liquidation information posted on the CBP Web site should be searchable using data elements. CBP Response: CBP agrees and has designed the liquidation information posted on the CBP Web site to be searchable using data elements. Comment: One commenter stated that the large majority of liquidations take place on a Friday and asked if that practice will continue. CBP Response: CBP has designed the functionality so that entries that are set for auto-liquidation, that is, liquidations that occur on the standard 314-day cycle without CBP intervention will continue to be made on Fridays. However, for manual liquidations where CBP action is required, liquidations will generally post to the Web site within 90 minutes after CBP processes the liquidation. Comment: Two commenters suggested that the 15-month timeline for maintaining liquidation information on the CBP Web site should be stated in the regulations. CBP Response: CBP agrees that adding this language to the regulations will be beneficial. Accordingly, CBP has added language to §§ 159.9(c)(1), 159.12(b), and 159.12(c) stating that notices of liquidation, extension, and suspension, respectively, will be maintained on the CBP Web site for a minimum of 15 months. Comment: One commenter requested that CBP place in the regulations the process for requesting access to notices that are no longer available on the Web site beyond the 15-month timeline. CBP Response: CBP disagrees that this process needs to be included in the regulations. Guidance will be provided in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Business Rules E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Process Document, which can be updated in a quicker manner than the regulations should a more efficient process for obtaining historical information be developed. When the information is no longer available on the CBP Web site, a request may be made to CBP for historical information by contacting the filer’s assigned client representative or by contacting the appropriate port or Center of Excellence and Expertise directly. Additionally, ACE account holders may run queries to obtain the historical information without having to contact CBP. Comment: One commenter stated that CBP has the ability to post notices regarding liquidations by operation of law immediately when they occur in the electronic environment rather than ‘‘within a reasonable period’’ after each liquidation by operation of law. Another commenter asked that CBP post notice of liquidation by operation of law within 14 days of the liquidation. CBP Response: CBP disagrees that it has the ability to post this information immediately upon occurrence because in many situations, CBP is unaware of the liquidation by operation of law for some time after it has occurred. However, the commenters validly pointed out that the electronic environment enables CBP to post notice without delay. Accordingly, based on these comments, CBP has amended the regulation at 19 CFR 159.9(c)(2)(i) to state that CBP will post this information when it has determined that an entry has liquidated by operation of law, and has removed the phrase regarding posting within a reasonable time period. Comment: One commenter asked if the term ‘‘filer’’ was the filer code or the name of the importer of record and noted that both the filer code and the importer of record should be included with the information posted on the CBP Web site. CBP Response: The term ‘‘filer’’ is not referencing the filer code or importer of record number but is instead referring to the party transmitting entry/entry summary data to CBP. The filer code is a searchable data element and will be displayed in the search results. However, as stated in the notice of proposed rulemaking, when the results of a search are viewed, the CBP Web site will not display the importer of record numbers. Comment: One commenter asked if people in one location may search the notices for another location and used the example of being in Miami and searching notices from Long Beach. CBP Response: Because information will be posted on the CBP Web site, all notices of liquidation throughout the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 country will be available to view and search regardless of the physical location of the searcher. Comment: One commenter asked that the liquidation information remain on the CBP Web site indefinitely until historical information is available to sureties through the ACE portal, so that the surety can generate search results easily for its own list of entries. This commenter also requested that ‘‘Surety Code’’ be added to the list of data elements. CBP Response: As stated elsewhere in the document, the liquidation information will be maintained on the CBP Web site for a minimum of 15 months. Regarding sureties, CBP has provided for surety code to be a searchable data element. Comment: One commenter asked that the surety on an entry be included in 19 CFR 159.9(d) as a party to receive courtesy notices of liquidation. CBP Response: A surety on an entry is able to receive courtesy notice if it is set up in ACE to receive courtesy notices of liquidation. However, based on this comment, CBP has amended the regulation at 19 CFR 159.9(d) to state that courtesy notices of the extension will be sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry. Comment: One commenter asked that the filer and the surety be included as a recipient of courtesy notices of extension of liquidation in 19 CFR 159.12(d)(2) in order to maintain consistency with 19 CFR 159.12(b) and (c) regarding whom the regulations identify as parties receiving courtesy notices. CBP Response: CBP agrees that the regulations should each be consistent in this regard. Accordingly, based on this comment, CBP has amended the regulation at 19 CFR 159.12(b), (c), and (d)(2), to state that courtesy notices of the extension will be sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBP-authorized electronic data interchange. Conclusion Accordingly, after review of the comments and further consideration, CBP has decided to adopt as final, with the changes discussed above, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register (81 FR 71019) on October 14, 2016. Specifically, the final rule contains the following changes based on the comments: —Clarification in § 159.9(c)(1), which pertains to the date of liquidation, that notices of liquidation will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 89377 —Clarification in § 159.9(c)(2)(i), which pertains to entries liquidated by operation of law, that notice of such will be posted when CBP determines that an entry has liquidated by operation of law. —Clarification in § 159.9(c)(2)(ii) by making editorial changes for ease of reading. —Clarification in § 159.9(d), which pertains to courtesy notice of liquidation, that CBP will endeavor to provide courtesy notice to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry. —Clarification in § 159.12(b), which pertains to notices of extension, that notices of extension will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months and that courtesy notice will be sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry. —Clarification in § 159.12(c), which pertains to notices of suspension, that notices of suspension will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months and that courtesy notice will be sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry. —Clarification in § 159.12(d)(2), which pertains to additional extensions at the importer’s request, that courtesy notice will be sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed this regulation. Regulatory Flexibility Act This section examines the impact of this rule on small entities per the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires agencies E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 89378 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations to assess the impact of regulations on small entities. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-forprofit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people). Background mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES Most goods imported into the United States are subject to duty assessments, which CBP conducts during a process known as liquidation. During this liquidation process, CBP performs a final computation of duties (not including vessel repair duties) on the entry covering the imported merchandise and then closes out the entry. In accordance with current regulations, CBP officially notifies importers,1 as well as the public, of a formal entry’s liquidation by posting a weekly bulletin notice of liquidation in a readily-located and consulted place in the customhouse or station at each port of entry.2 These notices are generally available for importers and the public to peruse for a few weeks before they are placed in CBP storage. CBP provides the same official notice of liquidation for informal entries where a duty cannot be determined at the time of entry and for reliquidated dutiable entries.3 For other informal, mail, and baggage entries, CBP furnishes official notice of liquidation to an importer (and its surety when required) by a suitable printed statement appearing on the receipt issued for duties collected, by release of the merchandise under a free entry, or by acceptance of the free entry after release under a special permit for immediate delivery.4 Once CBP provides official notice of liquidation or reliquidation, importers generally have 180 days to file a protest challenging certain aspects of their entry’s liquidation.5 In addition to these official notices, CBP endeavors to provide importers (and their sureties) informal, courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation for entries scheduled to be liquidated or deemed liquidated by operation of law. For the majority of importers filing entries, who actually file electronically, CBP generally sends 1 For the purposes of this analysis, ‘‘importers’’ can also refer to agents, such as brokers, who act on behalf of importers. 2 See 19 CFR 159.9(b). 3 See 19 CFR 159.10. 4 See 19 CFR 159.10. 5 For entries filed before December 18, 2004, the time limit is within 90 days after liquidation, but for entries filed on or after that date, it is now 180 days (see CFR part 174; see 19 U.S.C. 1514(c)(3) as amended by section 2103(2)(B), Pub. L. 108–429). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 these filers (and their sureties) courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation via a CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system before the official notice (and protest period’s start date). For the small portion of importers who file entries by paper, CBP typically mails paper courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation using CBP Form 4333–A to these filers on or around the date of the official notice’s posting. These courtesy notices are not direct, formal, and decisive notices of liquidation or reliquidation; however, based on anecdotal evidence, most importers rely on these courtesy notices to determine liquidations and reliquidations to avoid the time and resource costs incurred to view official bulletin notices at U.S. customhouses or stations. Some liquidations may be extended or suspended. If liquidation is extended or suspended, CBP officially notifies the importer and its surety by mail using CBP Form 4333–A, as appropriately modified.6 CBP also provides importers who file entries electronically and their sureties with electronic courtesy notices of extension and suspension, which are generally sent in advance of mailed notifications. Although these courtesy notices are not direct, formal, and decisive notices of extension or suspension, CBP believes that most importers (and all sureties) rely on them to determine extensions and suspensions because importers receive them before the official notice and they contain the same information. Importers who file entries by paper do not receive electronic or paper courtesy notices of extension and suspension. In an effort to modernize the liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension notification processes, CBP, through this rulemaking, will discontinue physically posting official bulletin notices of liquidation and reliquidation at U.S. port of entry customhouses and stations. Instead, CBP will post these official notices in a readily-located, conspicuous place on the CBP Web site: www.cbp.gov. Additionally through this rule, CBP will begin posting electronically on www.cbp.gov official notices of extension and suspension that are currently mailed. CBP will tie all electronic notices directly to an alreadydeveloped, automated process by which entries are liquidated, reliquidated, extended, or suspended, ensuring that these actions and CBP’s official notifications of these actions occur almost simultaneously. This rule will not change the method in which CBP 6 See PO 00000 19 CFR 159.12. Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 provides electronic courtesy notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, or suspension, but it will discontinue the practice of mailing any paper notices. For other informal, mail, and baggage entries, CBP will continue to furnish official notices of liquidation and reliquidation to importers (and their sureties when required) by a suitable printed statement appearing on the receipt issued for duties collected, by release of the merchandise under a free entry, or by acceptance of the free entry after release under a special permit for immediate delivery. As described next, these regulatory changes will introduce benefits and costs to importers, including small entities. For most importers (and their sureties), this rule will simply change the way in which they can access official notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension. Instead of posting weekly official bulletin notices of liquidation and reliquidation at each U.S. customhouse and station and mailing official notices of extension and suspension, CBP will publish these notices on the CBP Web site once this rule is in effect. CBP will also discontinue mailing all paper courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation with this rule. Because the vast majority of importers (and all their sureties) already rely on the electronic courtesy notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension that CBP provides, this rule’s transition to electronic official notice publications will presumably only affect a small portion of importers. Specifically, this transition to electronic notice publications will only affect those importers who currently rely on official bulletin notices physically posted at U.S. customhouses and stations and those importers who receive and rely on paper courtesy notifications of liquidation and reliquidation and paper official notices of extension and suspension due to their paper entry filings. Number of Small Entities Affected by Rule Using historical data, CBP estimates that importers took an average of 2,500 trips to U.S. customhouses or stations each year for the single purpose of viewing official bulletin notices because the official bulletin notice’s posting date was significant to a protest that importer planned to file.7 CBP also estimates that 7 Based on the 2,500 Applications for Further Review (AFRs) filed with protests in 2015. Importers or their attorneys who file AFRs depend on the exact dates of liquidation or reliquidation to E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations CBP mailed an average of 23,500 paper courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation and 3,100 paper notices of extension and suspension each year to importers who filed paper entries.8 Considering this historical data, CBP estimates that this rule could affect up to approximately 29,100 importers per year. To the extent that the same importer took more than one trip to the U.S. customhouse or station to view an official bulletin notice or received and relied on more than one paper notice, the number of importers affected by this rule will be lower. Nonetheless, because the majority of importers are small businesses, CBP believes this rule will affect a substantial number of small entities. Impacts of Rule on Small Entities mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES This rule’s transition to fully electronic notices will require the estimated 29,100 importers who currently rely on official bulletin notices physically posted at U.S. customhouses and stations and those who rely on paper notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension to visit the CBP Web site to determine entry liquidations, reliquidations, extensions, and suspensions.9 To view this rule’s official bulletin notices on the CBP Web site, CBP assumes that these importers will spend an added 4 minutes (0.0667 hours) 10 navigating the CBP Web site to find a liquidation, reliquidation, extension, or suspension notice, at a time cost of $2.01 based on the assumed file a timely protest, and thus likely travel to a U.S. customhouse or station to physically view official bulletin notices with the official dates of liquidation and reliquidation. Using the 2015 AFR filings as a proxy for trips taken to view official bulletin notices, CBP estimates that importers or their attorneys took 2,500 trips to U.S. customhouses or stations each year for the single purpose of viewing official bulletin notices. Sources: 19 CFR 174.12(e) and email correspondence with CBP’s Office of Trade on July 15, 2016. 8 Based on data received through email correspondence with CBP’s Office of Trade on May 26, 2016; June 22–24, 2016; August 29, 2016; and September 21, 2016. 9 Importers could set up an Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) account to receive electronic courtesy notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension, but the time cost to do so is likely longer than the time it takes to view official notices on the CBP Web site. As such, CBP assumes that importers who receive and rely on paper notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension now will visit the CBP Web site for official notice rather than set up an ACE account to receive electronic courtesy notices once this rule is effective. 10 The 4-minute added time burden represents the incremental change in the time burden over the current paper notification process. Source: Email correspondence with CBP’s Office of Trade on April 26, 2016. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 hourly wage rate for importers.11 Most affected importers will presumably visit the CBP Web site once per year to view an entry’s official notice of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, or suspension, for a total cost of $2.01 per year.12 11 The time cost estimate is equal to the assumed hourly wage for importers ($30.09) multiplied by the hourly time burden for a trade member to navigate the CBP Web site to find a liquidation, reliquidation, extension, or suspension notice (0.0667 hours), and then rounded. CBP bases the $30.09 hourly wage rate for importers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2015 median hourly wage rate for Cargo and Freight Agents ($20.13), which CBP assumes best represents the wage for importers, by the ratio of BLS’ average 2015 total compensation to wages and salaries for Office and Administrative Support occupations (1.4799), the assumed occupational group for importers, to account for non-salary employee benefits. CBP then adjusted this figure, which was in 2015 U.S. dollars, to 2016 U.S. dollars by applying a 1.0 percent annual growth rate to the figure, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s value of travel time guidance. Source of median wage rate: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment Statistics, ‘‘May 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States—Median Hourly Wage by Occupation Code: 43–5011.’’ Updated March 30, 2016. Available at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2015/may/ oes435011.htm. Accessed June 1, 2016. The total compensation to wages and salaries ratio is equal to the calculated average of the 2015 quarterly estimates (shown under Mar., June, Sep., Dec.) of the total compensation cost per hour worked for Office and Administrative Support occupations ($24.9475) divided by the calculated average of the 2015 quarterly estimates (shown under Mar., June, Sep., Dec.) of wages and salaries cost per hour worked for the same occupation category ($16.8575). Source of total compensation to wages and salaries ratio data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Historical Listing March 2004–March 2016, ‘‘Table 3. Civilian workers, by occupational group: employer costs per hours worked for employee compensation and costs as a percentage of total compensation, 2004–2016 by Respondent Type: Office and administrative support occupations.’’ June 9, 2016. Available at http:// www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ececqrtn.pdf. Accessed June 14, 2016. Source of suggested growth rate: U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Transportation Policy. The Value of Travel Time Savings: Departmental Guidance for Conducting Economic Evaluations Revision 2 (2015 Update), ‘‘Table 4 (Revision 2— corrected): Recommended Hourly Values of Travel Time Savings.’’ April 29, 2015. http:// www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ Revised%20Departmental%20 Guidance%20on%20Valuation %20of%20Travel%20Time%20in %20Economic%20Analysis.pdf. Accessed June 1, 2016. 12 Importers will likely access the CBP Web site once a year to determine whether CBP has officially liquidated, reliquidated, extended, or suspended their entry. If CBP liquidates or reliquidates an entry, which will be the case for the importers who currently take 2,500 trips to U.S. customhouses or stations to view official bulletin notices and who receive 23,500 paper courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation annually, the importer will likely not have to access the CBP Web site again after the initial Web site visit to determine the entry’s liquidation status. However, in a small number of cases, an importer may have to access the Web site more than once per year, over the course of more PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 89379 However, some affected importers, such as those who receive extension and suspension notices that are in effect for an unknown amount of time, could visit the CBP Web site more than once per year for an entry, incurring the access cost of $2.01 each time they visit the CBP Web site. Even if an importer accesses the CBP Web site twice a month for an entry, or 24 times per year, it will incur only a $48.24 cost to do so. The average value per entry was $69,300 in FY 2015.13 The range of annual importer costs for this rule ($2.01 to $48.24) amounts to between 0.003 percent and 0.07 percent of this average entry value. Likewise, if an importer processes multiple entries per year, its total costs from this rule will be higher but the value of its entries will also be higher, meaning that the average cost to the importer will be between 0.003 percent and 0.07 percent of the entry value regardless of the number of entries the importer files per year. CBP does not consider this to be a significant economic impact. Along with the minor Web site access cost imposed by this rule, this rule will provide benefits to importers who currently rely on official bulletin notices physically posted at U.S. customhouses and stations. This rule’s electronic publication of official bulletin notices of liquidation and reliquidation will allow these importers to avoid visiting U.S. customhouses and stations for formal entry liquidation and reliquidation information, which typically occur 2,500 times a year. For each trip to a U.S. customhouse or station avoided, importers will save an estimated 45 minutes (0.75 hours), which will result than one year to determine its entry’s reliquidation status. If CBP extends or suspends an entry, which will be the case for the importers who receive 3,100 paper notices of extension and suspension annually, the importer may have to access the CBP Web site more than once per year, over the course of more than one year to determine the status of its entry’s extension or suspension. However, considering the typical timeframes of extensions and suspensions, importers are most likely to access the CBP Web site only once per year for information on their entry’s extension or suspension. Moreover, importers will likely receive information from CBP indicating whether CBP has reliquidated their entry or their extension or suspension has ended. 13 Based on fiscal year 2015 U.S. entry and import value data. Source of entry data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Summary of Performance and Financial Information Fiscal Year 2015. May 2016. Available at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/ assets/documents/2016-May/summaryperformance-financial-info-2015.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2016. Source of import value data: U.S. Census Bureau. FT920: U.S. Merchandise Trade Selected Highlights—October 2014 through September 2015 Releases, ‘‘Exhibit 3: U.S. Imports—U.S. Customs District of Entry—Total General Customs Value by Month.’’ December 5, 2014–November 4, 2015. Available at https:// www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/ft920_ index.html. Accessed September 22, 2016. E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 89380 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations in a time cost saving of $22.57 using the average hourly wage for importers of $30.09.14 Importers will also save $16.20 in travel costs per trip based on the estimated distance they sustain from traveling to and from a U.S. customhouse or station—30 miles—and the IRS’s $0.54 standard mileage rate for business purposes.15 To the extent that some trips are taken for multiple purposes, not just for viewing an official bulletin notice of liquidation or reliquidation, fewer costs will be avoided and the benefits of this rule per trip will be lower. The electronic bulletin notices introduced with this rule will also provide benefits of eased access, relatively quicker notification, and extended viewing to importers. In particular, this electronic transition will allow importers to easily view and query a complete, consolidated list of U.S. entry liquidations, reliquidations, extensions, and suspensions, thus facilitating the process by which these individuals obtain such entry information. For importers who typically rely on paper courtesy notices for liquidation and reliquidation information, which they receive by mail after the official notice’s posting, this electronic posting will provide the added benefit of more timely notice and additional protest time. Importers who receive and rely on paper courtesy notices will also benefit from this rule’s consolidated electronic notice posting. This change will allow importers and their agents to view liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension notices simultaneously instead of individually as they currently do through paper notices. Furthermore, importers will have at least 14 more months to view official liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension notices before having to request access to the notices through CBP. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES Conclusion Although CBP believes that this rule will affect a substantial number of small entities, specifically importers, CBP believes that the (negative) economic 14 The time cost estimate is equal to the assumed hourly wage for importers ($30.09) multiplied by the estimated hourly time burden for a trade member to travel to and from a U.S. customhouse or station (0.75 hours), and then rounded. 15 Source of miles traveled: Based on estimates from CBP’s Office of Trade on May 2, 2016. Source of mileage rate: Internal Revenue Service. 2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced. IR–2015–137, December 17, 2015. Available at https://www.irs.gov/uac/ Newsroom/2016-Standard-Mileage-Rates-forBusiness-Medical-and-Moving-Announced. Accessed April 19, 2016. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 impact of this rule on small entities will not be significant. Accordingly, CBP certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. CBP received no public comments on the Electronic Notice of Liquidation Notice of Proposed Rulemaking challenging this certification. Paperwork Reduction Act As there is no collection of information proposed in this document, the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) are inapplicable. Signing Authority This document is being issued in accordance with § 0.1(a)(1) of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 0.1(a)(1)) pertaining to the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury (or his/her delegate) to approve regulations related to certain customs revenue functions. List of Subjects 19 CFR Part 159 Antidumping, Countervailing duties, Customs duties and inspection, Foreign currencies. 19 CFR Part 173 Administrative practice and procedure, Customs duties and inspection. Amendments to the CBP Regulations For the reasons given above, parts 159 and 173 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR parts 159 and 173) are amended as set forth below: PART 159—LIQUIDATION OF DUTIES 1. The general authority citation for part 159 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 19 U.S.C. 66, 1500, 1504, 1624. * * * * * 2. Section 159.9 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 159.9 Notice of liquidation and date of liquidation for formal entries. (a) Notice of liquidation. Notice of liquidation of formal entries will be provided on CBP’s public Web site, www.cbp.gov. (b) Posting of notice. The notice of liquidation will be posted for the information of importers in a conspicuous place on www.cbp.gov in such a manner that it can readily be located and consulted by all interested persons. (c) Date of liquidation—(1) Generally. The notice of liquidation will be dated PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 with the date it is posted electronically on www.cbp.gov for the information of importers. This electronic posting will be deemed the legal evidence of liquidation. The notice of liquidation will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months from the date of posting. (2) Exception: Entries liquidated by operation of law. (i) Entries liquidated by operation of law at the expiration of the time limitations prescribed in section 504, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1504), and set out in §§ 159.11 and 159.12, will be deemed liquidated as of the date of expiration of the appropriate statutory period and will be posted on www.cbp.gov when CBP determines that each entry has liquidated by operation of law and will be dated with the date of liquidation by operation of law. (ii) For liquidation notices that were posted or lodged in the customhouse, pursuant to section 514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1514) and part 174 of this chapter, a protest of a decision relating to an entry made before December 18, 2004, must be filed within 90 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by operation of law or within 90 days from the date the bulletin notice thereof was posted or lodged in the customhouse, or, in the case of a protest of a decision relating to an entry made on or after December 18, 2004, within 180 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by operation of law. (iii) For liquidation notices posted on www.cbp.gov, pursuant to section 514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1514) and part 174 of this chapter, a protest of a decision relating to an entry made before December 18, 2004, must be filed within 90 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by operation of law or within 90 days from the date notice thereof is posted on www.cbp.gov, or, in the case of a protest of a decision relating to an entry made on or after December 18, 2004, within 180 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by operation of law. (d) Courtesy notice of liquidation. CBP will endeavor to provide the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry with a courtesy notice of liquidation for all electronically filed entries liquidated by CBP or deemed liquidated by operation of law. The courtesy notice of liquidation that CBP will endeavor to provide will be electronically transmitted pursuant to a CBP authorized electronic data interchange system if the entry was filed electronically in accordance with part 143 of this chapter. This notice will serve as an informal, courtesy notice E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 238 / Monday, December 12, 2016 / Rules and Regulations and not as a direct, formal, and decisive notice of liquidation. § 159.10 [Amended] 3. Section 159.10 is amended as follows: ■ a. By removing the words ‘‘posting or lodging of’’ from the last sentence in paragraph (b); ■ b. By removing the words ‘‘on CBP Form 4333 posted or lodged’’ from the last sentence of paragraph (c)(1); and ■ c. By removing the words ‘‘on a bulletin notice of liquidation, CBP Form 4333,’’ from the last sentence of paragraph (c)(3). ■ 4. In § 159.11, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 159.11 law. Entries liquidated by operation of (a) Time limit generally. Except as provided in § 159.12, an entry not liquidated within one year from the date of entry of the merchandise, or the date of final withdrawal of all merchandise covered by a warehouse entry, will be deemed liquidated by operation of law at the rate of duty, value, quantity, and amount of duties asserted by the importer of record. Notice of liquidation will be given electronically as provided in §§ 159.9 and 159.10(c)(3) of this part. CBP will endeavor to provide a courtesy notice of liquidation in accordance with § 159.9(d). * * * * * ■ 5. In § 159.12, revise paragraphs (b), (c), (d)(2), and (f) and remove paragraph (g). The revisions read as follows: § 159.12 Extension of time for liquidation. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with RULES * * * * * (b) Notice of extension. If the port director extends the time for liquidation, as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the official notice of extension and reasons therefor will be posted on www.cbp.gov. The notice of extension will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months from the date of posting. The port director will also endeavor to transmit a courtesy notice of extension to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBPauthorized electronic data interchange system. (c) Notice of suspension. If the liquidation of an entry is suspended as required by statute or court order, as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the official notice of suspension will be posted on www.cbp.gov. The notice of suspension will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months from the date of posting. The port director will also endeavor to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:18 Dec 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 transmit a courtesy notice of suspension to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBPauthorized electronic data interchange system. (d) * * * (2) At importer’s request. If the statutory period has been extended for one year at the importer’s request, and the importer thereafter determines that additional time is necessary, it may request another extension in writing before the original extension expires, giving reasons for its request. If the port director finds that good cause (as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section) exists, the official notice of extension extending the time for liquidation for an additional period not to exceed one year will be posted on www.cbp.gov, and CBP will provide courtesy notice of the extension to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system. * * * * * (f) Time limitation. An entry not liquidated within four years from either the date of entry, or the date of final withdrawal of all the merchandise covered by a warehouse entry, will be deemed liquidated by operation of law at the rate of duty, value, quantity, and amount of duty asserted by the importer of record, unless liquidation continues to be suspended by statute or court order. CBP will endeavor to provide a courtesy notice of liquidation, in accordance with § 159.9(d), in addition to the notice specified in § 159.9(c)(2)(i). PART 173—ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN GENERAL 6. The general authority citation for part 173 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 19 U.S.C. 66, 1501, 1520, 1624. ■ 7. Revise § 173.4a to read as follows: § 173.4a Refund of excess duties, fees, charges, or exaction paid prior to liquidation. Pursuant to section 520(a)(4), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1520(a)(4)), whenever an importer of record declares or it is ascertained that excess duties, fees, charges, or exactions have been deposited or paid, the port director may, prior to liquidation of an entry or reconciliation, take appropriate action to refund the deposit or payment PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 89381 of excess duties, fees, charges, or exactions. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approved: December 6, 2016. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. [FR Doc. 2016–29656 Filed 12–9–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 91 and 92 [Docket No. FR–5792–C–02] RIN 2501–AD69 Changes to HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program Commitment Requirement; Correction AGENCY: Office of General Counsel, HUD. ACTION: Interim final rule; correction. On December 2, 2016, HUD published an interim final rule that changes the commitment requirement of the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program. After publication, HUD discovered that the effective dates and comment due dates were inadvertently reversed. This document corrects the preamble to reflect a 30-day effective date and a 60-day comment period. SUMMARY: Effective Date: The corrected effective date for HUD’s interim rule published on December 2, 2016 (81 FR 86947), is January 3, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: With respect to this supplementary document, contact Ariel Pereira, Associate General Counsel for Legislation and Regulations, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10238, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 202–708–1793 (this is not a tollfree number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339 (this is a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the interim final rule FR Doc. 2016–28591, published on December 2, 2016, the following correction is made: On page 86947, in the first column, correct the DATES section to read as follows: Dates: Effective Date: January 3, 2017. Comment Due Date: January 31, 2017. DATES: E:\FR\FM\12DER1.SGM 12DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 238 (Monday, December 12, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 89375-89381]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29656]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

19 CFR Parts 159 and 173

[USCBP-2016-0065; CBP Dec. No. 16-25]
RIN 1515-AE16


Electronic Notice of Liquidation

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HDS; Department of the 
Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This document adopts as a final rule, with changes, proposed 
amendments to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations 
reflecting that official notice of liquidation, suspension of 
liquidation, and extension of liquidation will be posted electronically 
on the CBP Web site. The regulatory revisions reflect that official 
notice of liquidation will no longer be posted at the customhouses or 
stations and that official notices of suspension of liquidation and 
extension of liquidation will no longer be mailed. Additionally, this 
rule makes certain technical corrections to the CBP regulations to 
reflect statutory amendments.

DATES: This final rule is effective on January 14, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Virginia McPherson, ACE Business 
Office, Office of Trade, virginia.h.mcpherson@cbp.dhs.gov. Randy 
Mitchell, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of Trade, 
randy.mitchell@cbp.dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 500 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1500), 
provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the authority, 
under rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the 
Treasury, to, among other things, give or transmit notice of 
liquidation pursuant to an electronic data interchange system. See 19 
U.S.C. 1500(e). Similarly, CBP is authorized to

[[Page 89376]]

give notice of extension of liquidation in such form and manner (which 
may include electronic transmittal) as prescribed by regulation and 
notice of suspension of liquidation in such manner as considered 
appropriate. See 19 U.S.C. 1504(b) and (c). Additionally, the National 
Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established by Subtitle B of 
Title VI--Customs Modernization, in the North American Free Trade 
Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, December 
8, 1993), to provide for, among other things, the electronic status of 
liquidation. See 19 U.S.C. 1411.
    Currently, notices of liquidation for formal entry, including 
notices of liquidation by operation of law, are physically posted in 
the customhouse or station at the port of entry on CBP Form 4333, and 
this physical posting is deemed the legal evidence of liquidation. When 
extension or suspension of liquidation occurs, official notices are 
mailed on an appropriately modified CBP Form 4333-A.
    On October 14, 2016, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register 
(81 FR 71019) proposing to amend title 19 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (``19 CFR'') to reflect that official notice of 
liquidation, suspension of liquidation, and extension of liquidation 
would be posted electronically on the CBP Web site rather than being 
physically posted at the customhouses or stations or mailed. CBP also 
proposed eliminating the mailed paper courtesy notices of liquidation 
but stated its intention to continue sending electronic courtesy 
notices of liquidation, extension, and suspension via a CBP-authorized 
electronic data interchange system to the electronic filer when entries 
liquidate or are extended or suspended. The proposed amendments were 
intended to modernize, centralize, and facilitate the method by which 
importers are provided official notice of liquidation, extension, and 
suspension. Additionally, CBP proposed certain technical corrections to 
sections 159.11(a), 159.12(f), and 173.4a of 19 CFR to update the 
regulatory language to reflect statutory changes to sections 504 and 
520 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1504 and 1520). 
The notice of proposed rulemaking requested public comments. The public 
comment period closed on November 14, 2016.
    CBP received four comments regarding the proposed amendments to 
part 159 of 19 CFR regarding posting official notice of liquidation, 
suspension of liquidation, and extension of liquidation on the CBP Web 
site. No comments were received on the technical corrections to the 
regulations contained in sections 159.11(a), 159.12(f), and 173.4a of 
19 CFR reflecting the statutory changes to 19 U.S.C. 1504 and 1520.

Discussion of Comments

    Four comments were received in response to the notice of proposed 
rulemaking. CBP has addressed the comments below:
    Comment: Three commenters expressed support for the proposed 
changes to post liquidation information on CBP's Web site, www.cbp.gov.
    CBP Response: CBP appreciates the support and the input from the 
commenters.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the regulations state that 
the link will be visible on the CBP home page so that it remains 
conspicuous regardless of future CBP Web site changes and the public 
will not have to search for the link.
    CBP Response: CBP agrees that the link needs to be conspicuous 
although not necessarily on the homepage. The link will be labelled 
``Official Notices of Liquidation'' and, pursuant to 19 CFR 159.9(b), 
it will be placed in a conspicuous place on CBP's Web site in such a 
manner that it can readily be located and consulted by all interested 
persons. CBP assures that the link will remain conspicuous regardless 
of any potential future CBP Web site changes.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the regulations should include a 
definition of what constitutes the posting and its data elements.
    CBP Response: CBP disagrees that adding a definition of what 
constitutes the posting and its data elements is necessary because CBP 
believes such a definition would not add value or clarity. As proposed, 
the regulations at 19 CFR 159.9 provide that the posting will occur on 
CBP's Web site, address the date of posting, state that the electronic 
posting will be deemed the legal evidence of liquidation, and address 
liquidations by operation of law.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the regulations appear not to 
deal with reliquidations and proposed adding reliquidation to 19 CFR 
159.9(b).
    CBP Response: CBP disagrees with the commenter. CBP intends that 
the posting of reliquidations will also be done electronically. Section 
173.3(b) regarding reliquidation (which is in the current regulations 
and was not proposed to be amended) provides that notice of 
reliquidation will be given in accordance with the requirements for 
giving notice of the original liquidation. Accordingly, CBP believes 
there is no need to add reliquidation to 19 CFR 159.9(b).
    Comment: One commenter stated that the regulation should spell out 
in detail how the date of posting will appear.
    CBP Response: CBP disagrees that the regulation needs to spell out 
in detail how the date of posting will appear as the posting will be in 
a format that is easy to understand. The date of posting will appear in 
standard MM/DD/YYYY format. For example, December 31, 2016, will appear 
as 12/31/2016.
    Comment: One commenter asked if importers or brokers will be able 
to print the notice and asked if the printed notices would include the 
posting date.
    CBP Response: A printed copy may be obtained using a web browser's 
print functionality which should include the information that is 
displayed on the screen, such as the posting date.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the liquidation information 
posted on the CBP Web site should be searchable using data elements.
    CBP Response: CBP agrees and has designed the liquidation 
information posted on the CBP Web site to be searchable using data 
elements.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the large majority of 
liquidations take place on a Friday and asked if that practice will 
continue.
    CBP Response: CBP has designed the functionality so that entries 
that are set for auto-liquidation, that is, liquidations that occur on 
the standard 314-day cycle without CBP intervention will continue to be 
made on Fridays. However, for manual liquidations where CBP action is 
required, liquidations will generally post to the Web site within 90 
minutes after CBP processes the liquidation.
    Comment: Two commenters suggested that the 15-month timeline for 
maintaining liquidation information on the CBP Web site should be 
stated in the regulations.
    CBP Response: CBP agrees that adding this language to the 
regulations will be beneficial. Accordingly, CBP has added language to 
Sec. Sec.  159.9(c)(1), 159.12(b), and 159.12(c) stating that notices 
of liquidation, extension, and suspension, respectively, will be 
maintained on the CBP Web site for a minimum of 15 months.
    Comment: One commenter requested that CBP place in the regulations 
the process for requesting access to notices that are no longer 
available on the Web site beyond the 15-month timeline.
    CBP Response: CBP disagrees that this process needs to be included 
in the regulations. Guidance will be provided in the Automated 
Commercial Environment (ACE) Business Rules

[[Page 89377]]

Process Document, which can be updated in a quicker manner than the 
regulations should a more efficient process for obtaining historical 
information be developed. When the information is no longer available 
on the CBP Web site, a request may be made to CBP for historical 
information by contacting the filer's assigned client representative or 
by contacting the appropriate port or Center of Excellence and 
Expertise directly. Additionally, ACE account holders may run queries 
to obtain the historical information without having to contact CBP.
    Comment: One commenter stated that CBP has the ability to post 
notices regarding liquidations by operation of law immediately when 
they occur in the electronic environment rather than ``within a 
reasonable period'' after each liquidation by operation of law. Another 
commenter asked that CBP post notice of liquidation by operation of law 
within 14 days of the liquidation.
    CBP Response: CBP disagrees that it has the ability to post this 
information immediately upon occurrence because in many situations, CBP 
is unaware of the liquidation by operation of law for some time after 
it has occurred. However, the commenters validly pointed out that the 
electronic environment enables CBP to post notice without delay. 
Accordingly, based on these comments, CBP has amended the regulation at 
19 CFR 159.9(c)(2)(i) to state that CBP will post this information when 
it has determined that an entry has liquidated by operation of law, and 
has removed the phrase regarding posting within a reasonable time 
period.
    Comment: One commenter asked if the term ``filer'' was the filer 
code or the name of the importer of record and noted that both the 
filer code and the importer of record should be included with the 
information posted on the CBP Web site.
    CBP Response: The term ``filer'' is not referencing the filer code 
or importer of record number but is instead referring to the party 
transmitting entry/entry summary data to CBP. The filer code is a 
searchable data element and will be displayed in the search results. 
However, as stated in the notice of proposed rulemaking, when the 
results of a search are viewed, the CBP Web site will not display the 
importer of record numbers.
    Comment: One commenter asked if people in one location may search 
the notices for another location and used the example of being in Miami 
and searching notices from Long Beach.
    CBP Response: Because information will be posted on the CBP Web 
site, all notices of liquidation throughout the country will be 
available to view and search regardless of the physical location of the 
searcher.
    Comment: One commenter asked that the liquidation information 
remain on the CBP Web site indefinitely until historical information is 
available to sureties through the ACE portal, so that the surety can 
generate search results easily for its own list of entries. This 
commenter also requested that ``Surety Code'' be added to the list of 
data elements.
    CBP Response: As stated elsewhere in the document, the liquidation 
information will be maintained on the CBP Web site for a minimum of 15 
months. Regarding sureties, CBP has provided for surety code to be a 
searchable data element.
    Comment: One commenter asked that the surety on an entry be 
included in 19 CFR 159.9(d) as a party to receive courtesy notices of 
liquidation.
    CBP Response: A surety on an entry is able to receive courtesy 
notice if it is set up in ACE to receive courtesy notices of 
liquidation. However, based on this comment, CBP has amended the 
regulation at 19 CFR 159.9(d) to state that courtesy notices of the 
extension will be sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety 
on an entry.
    Comment: One commenter asked that the filer and the surety be 
included as a recipient of courtesy notices of extension of liquidation 
in 19 CFR 159.12(d)(2) in order to maintain consistency with 19 CFR 
159.12(b) and (c) regarding whom the regulations identify as parties 
receiving courtesy notices.
    CBP Response: CBP agrees that the regulations should each be 
consistent in this regard. Accordingly, based on this comment, CBP has 
amended the regulation at 19 CFR 159.12(b), (c), and (d)(2), to state 
that courtesy notices of the extension will be sent to the entry filer 
or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBP-authorized 
electronic data interchange.

Conclusion

    Accordingly, after review of the comments and further 
consideration, CBP has decided to adopt as final, with the changes 
discussed above, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register 
(81 FR 71019) on October 14, 2016. Specifically, the final rule 
contains the following changes based on the comments:

--Clarification in Sec.  159.9(c)(1), which pertains to the date of 
liquidation, that notices of liquidation will be maintained on 
www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months.
--Clarification in Sec.  159.9(c)(2)(i), which pertains to entries 
liquidated by operation of law, that notice of such will be posted when 
CBP determines that an entry has liquidated by operation of law.
--Clarification in Sec.  159.9(c)(2)(ii) by making editorial changes 
for ease of reading.
--Clarification in Sec.  159.9(d), which pertains to courtesy notice of 
liquidation, that CBP will endeavor to provide courtesy notice to the 
entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry.
--Clarification in Sec.  159.12(b), which pertains to notices of 
extension, that notices of extension will be maintained on www.cbp.gov 
for a minimum of 15 months and that courtesy notice will be sent to the 
entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry.
--Clarification in Sec.  159.12(c), which pertains to notices of 
suspension, that notices of suspension will be maintained on 
www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months and that courtesy notice will be 
sent to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry.
--Clarification in Sec.  159.12(d)(2), which pertains to additional 
extensions at the importer's request, that courtesy notice will be sent 
to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry.

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866

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

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This section examines the impact of this rule on small entities per 
the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness 
Act of 1996. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996, requires agencies

[[Page 89378]]

to assess the impact of regulations on small entities. A small entity 
may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and 
operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small 
business per the Small Business Act); a small not-for-profit 
organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer 
than 50,000 people).

Background

    Most goods imported into the United States are subject to duty 
assessments, which CBP conducts during a process known as liquidation. 
During this liquidation process, CBP performs a final computation of 
duties (not including vessel repair duties) on the entry covering the 
imported merchandise and then closes out the entry. In accordance with 
current regulations, CBP officially notifies importers,\1\ as well as 
the public, of a formal entry's liquidation by posting a weekly 
bulletin notice of liquidation in a readily-located and consulted place 
in the customhouse or station at each port of entry.\2\ These notices 
are generally available for importers and the public to peruse for a 
few weeks before they are placed in CBP storage. CBP provides the same 
official notice of liquidation for informal entries where a duty cannot 
be determined at the time of entry and for reliquidated dutiable 
entries.\3\ For other informal, mail, and baggage entries, CBP 
furnishes official notice of liquidation to an importer (and its surety 
when required) by a suitable printed statement appearing on the receipt 
issued for duties collected, by release of the merchandise under a free 
entry, or by acceptance of the free entry after release under a special 
permit for immediate delivery.\4\ Once CBP provides official notice of 
liquidation or reliquidation, importers generally have 180 days to file 
a protest challenging certain aspects of their entry's liquidation.\5\ 
In addition to these official notices, CBP endeavors to provide 
importers (and their sureties) informal, courtesy notices of 
liquidation and reliquidation for entries scheduled to be liquidated or 
deemed liquidated by operation of law. For the majority of importers 
filing entries, who actually file electronically, CBP generally sends 
these filers (and their sureties) courtesy notices of liquidation and 
reliquidation via a CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system 
before the official notice (and protest period's start date). For the 
small portion of importers who file entries by paper, CBP typically 
mails paper courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation using CBP 
Form 4333-A to these filers on or around the date of the official 
notice's posting. These courtesy notices are not direct, formal, and 
decisive notices of liquidation or reliquidation; however, based on 
anecdotal evidence, most importers rely on these courtesy notices to 
determine liquidations and reliquidations to avoid the time and 
resource costs incurred to view official bulletin notices at U.S. 
customhouses or stations.
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    \1\ For the purposes of this analysis, ``importers'' can also 
refer to agents, such as brokers, who act on behalf of importers.
    \2\ See 19 CFR 159.9(b).
    \3\ See 19 CFR 159.10.
    \4\ See 19 CFR 159.10.
    \5\ For entries filed before December 18, 2004, the time limit 
is within 90 days after liquidation, but for entries filed on or 
after that date, it is now 180 days (see CFR part 174; see 19 U.S.C. 
1514(c)(3) as amended by section 2103(2)(B), Pub. L. 108-429).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some liquidations may be extended or suspended. If liquidation is 
extended or suspended, CBP officially notifies the importer and its 
surety by mail using CBP Form 4333-A, as appropriately modified.\6\ CBP 
also provides importers who file entries electronically and their 
sureties with electronic courtesy notices of extension and suspension, 
which are generally sent in advance of mailed notifications. Although 
these courtesy notices are not direct, formal, and decisive notices of 
extension or suspension, CBP believes that most importers (and all 
sureties) rely on them to determine extensions and suspensions because 
importers receive them before the official notice and they contain the 
same information. Importers who file entries by paper do not receive 
electronic or paper courtesy notices of extension and suspension.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See 19 CFR 159.12.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In an effort to modernize the liquidation, reliquidation, 
extension, and suspension notification processes, CBP, through this 
rulemaking, will discontinue physically posting official bulletin 
notices of liquidation and reliquidation at U.S. port of entry 
customhouses and stations. Instead, CBP will post these official 
notices in a readily-located, conspicuous place on the CBP Web site: 
www.cbp.gov. Additionally through this rule, CBP will begin posting 
electronically on www.cbp.gov official notices of extension and 
suspension that are currently mailed. CBP will tie all electronic 
notices directly to an already-developed, automated process by which 
entries are liquidated, reliquidated, extended, or suspended, ensuring 
that these actions and CBP's official notifications of these actions 
occur almost simultaneously. This rule will not change the method in 
which CBP provides electronic courtesy notices of liquidation, 
reliquidation, extension, or suspension, but it will discontinue the 
practice of mailing any paper notices. For other informal, mail, and 
baggage entries, CBP will continue to furnish official notices of 
liquidation and reliquidation to importers (and their sureties when 
required) by a suitable printed statement appearing on the receipt 
issued for duties collected, by release of the merchandise under a free 
entry, or by acceptance of the free entry after release under a special 
permit for immediate delivery. As described next, these regulatory 
changes will introduce benefits and costs to importers, including small 
entities.
    For most importers (and their sureties), this rule will simply 
change the way in which they can access official notices of 
liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension. Instead of 
posting weekly official bulletin notices of liquidation and 
reliquidation at each U.S. customhouse and station and mailing official 
notices of extension and suspension, CBP will publish these notices on 
the CBP Web site once this rule is in effect. CBP will also discontinue 
mailing all paper courtesy notices of liquidation and reliquidation 
with this rule. Because the vast majority of importers (and all their 
sureties) already rely on the electronic courtesy notices of 
liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension that CBP 
provides, this rule's transition to electronic official notice 
publications will presumably only affect a small portion of importers. 
Specifically, this transition to electronic notice publications will 
only affect those importers who currently rely on official bulletin 
notices physically posted at U.S. customhouses and stations and those 
importers who receive and rely on paper courtesy notifications of 
liquidation and reliquidation and paper official notices of extension 
and suspension due to their paper entry filings.

Number of Small Entities Affected by Rule

    Using historical data, CBP estimates that importers took an average 
of 2,500 trips to U.S. customhouses or stations each year for the 
single purpose of viewing official bulletin notices because the 
official bulletin notice's posting date was significant to a protest 
that importer planned to file.\7\ CBP also estimates that

[[Page 89379]]

CBP mailed an average of 23,500 paper courtesy notices of liquidation 
and reliquidation and 3,100 paper notices of extension and suspension 
each year to importers who filed paper entries.\8\ Considering this 
historical data, CBP estimates that this rule could affect up to 
approximately 29,100 importers per year. To the extent that the same 
importer took more than one trip to the U.S. customhouse or station to 
view an official bulletin notice or received and relied on more than 
one paper notice, the number of importers affected by this rule will be 
lower. Nonetheless, because the majority of importers are small 
businesses, CBP believes this rule will affect a substantial number of 
small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Based on the 2,500 Applications for Further Review (AFRs) 
filed with protests in 2015. Importers or their attorneys who file 
AFRs depend on the exact dates of liquidation or reliquidation to 
file a timely protest, and thus likely travel to a U.S. customhouse 
or station to physically view official bulletin notices with the 
official dates of liquidation and reliquidation. Using the 2015 AFR 
filings as a proxy for trips taken to view official bulletin 
notices, CBP estimates that importers or their attorneys took 2,500 
trips to U.S. customhouses or stations each year for the single 
purpose of viewing official bulletin notices. Sources: 19 CFR 
174.12(e) and email correspondence with CBP's Office of Trade on 
July 15, 2016.
    \8\ Based on data received through email correspondence with 
CBP's Office of Trade on May 26, 2016; June 22-24, 2016; August 29, 
2016; and September 21, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Impacts of Rule on Small Entities

    This rule's transition to fully electronic notices will require the 
estimated 29,100 importers who currently rely on official bulletin 
notices physically posted at U.S. customhouses and stations and those 
who rely on paper notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and 
suspension to visit the CBP Web site to determine entry liquidations, 
reliquidations, extensions, and suspensions.\9\ To view this rule's 
official bulletin notices on the CBP Web site, CBP assumes that these 
importers will spend an added 4 minutes (0.0667 hours) \10\ navigating 
the CBP Web site to find a liquidation, reliquidation, extension, or 
suspension notice, at a time cost of $2.01 based on the assumed hourly 
wage rate for importers.\11\ Most affected importers will presumably 
visit the CBP Web site once per year to view an entry's official notice 
of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, or suspension, for a total 
cost of $2.01 per year.\12\ However, some affected importers, such as 
those who receive extension and suspension notices that are in effect 
for an unknown amount of time, could visit the CBP Web site more than 
once per year for an entry, incurring the access cost of $2.01 each 
time they visit the CBP Web site. Even if an importer accesses the CBP 
Web site twice a month for an entry, or 24 times per year, it will 
incur only a $48.24 cost to do so. The average value per entry was 
$69,300 in FY 2015.\13\ The range of annual importer costs for this 
rule ($2.01 to $48.24) amounts to between 0.003 percent and 0.07 
percent of this average entry value. Likewise, if an importer processes 
multiple entries per year, its total costs from this rule will be 
higher but the value of its entries will also be higher, meaning that 
the average cost to the importer will be between 0.003 percent and 0.07 
percent of the entry value regardless of the number of entries the 
importer files per year. CBP does not consider this to be a significant 
economic impact.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Importers could set up an Automated Commercial Environment 
(ACE) account to receive electronic courtesy notices of liquidation, 
reliquidation, extension, and suspension, but the time cost to do so 
is likely longer than the time it takes to view official notices on 
the CBP Web site. As such, CBP assumes that importers who receive 
and rely on paper notices of liquidation, reliquidation, extension, 
and suspension now will visit the CBP Web site for official notice 
rather than set up an ACE account to receive electronic courtesy 
notices once this rule is effective.
    \10\ The 4-minute added time burden represents the incremental 
change in the time burden over the current paper notification 
process. Source: Email correspondence with CBP's Office of Trade on 
April 26, 2016.
    \11\ The time cost estimate is equal to the assumed hourly wage 
for importers ($30.09) multiplied by the hourly time burden for a 
trade member to navigate the CBP Web site to find a liquidation, 
reliquidation, extension, or suspension notice (0.0667 hours), and 
then rounded. CBP bases the $30.09 hourly wage rate for importers on 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) 2015 median hourly wage rate 
for Cargo and Freight Agents ($20.13), which CBP assumes best 
represents the wage for importers, by the ratio of BLS' average 2015 
total compensation to wages and salaries for Office and 
Administrative Support occupations (1.4799), the assumed 
occupational group for importers, to account for non-salary employee 
benefits. CBP then adjusted this figure, which was in 2015 U.S. 
dollars, to 2016 U.S. dollars by applying a 1.0 percent annual 
growth rate to the figure, as recommended by the U.S. Department of 
Transportation's value of travel time guidance. Source of median 
wage rate: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment 
Statistics, ``May 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage 
Estimates, United States--Median Hourly Wage by Occupation Code: 43-
5011.'' Updated March 30, 2016. Available at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2015/may/oes435011.htm. Accessed June 1, 2016.
    The total compensation to wages and salaries ratio is equal to 
the calculated average of the 2015 quarterly estimates (shown under 
Mar., June, Sep., Dec.) of the total compensation cost per hour 
worked for Office and Administrative Support occupations ($24.9475) 
divided by the calculated average of the 2015 quarterly estimates 
(shown under Mar., June, Sep., Dec.) of wages and salaries cost per 
hour worked for the same occupation category ($16.8575). Source of 
total compensation to wages and salaries ratio data: U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation. Employer 
Costs for Employee Compensation Historical Listing March 2004-March 
2016, ``Table 3. Civilian workers, by occupational group: employer 
costs per hours worked for employee compensation and costs as a 
percentage of total compensation, 2004-2016 by Respondent Type: 
Office and administrative support occupations.'' June 9, 2016. 
Available at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ececqrtn.pdf. Accessed 
June 14, 2016.
    Source of suggested growth rate: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Office of Transportation Policy. The Value of Travel 
Time Savings: Departmental Guidance for Conducting Economic 
Evaluations Revision 2 (2015 Update), ``Table 4 (Revision 2--
corrected): Recommended Hourly Values of Travel Time Savings.'' 
April 29, 2015. http://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/Revised%20Departmental%20Guidance%20on%20Valuation%20of%20Travel%20Time%20in%20Economic%20Analysis.pdf. Accessed June 1, 2016.
    \12\ Importers will likely access the CBP Web site once a year 
to determine whether CBP has officially liquidated, reliquidated, 
extended, or suspended their entry. If CBP liquidates or 
reliquidates an entry, which will be the case for the importers who 
currently take 2,500 trips to U.S. customhouses or stations to view 
official bulletin notices and who receive 23,500 paper courtesy 
notices of liquidation and reliquidation annually, the importer will 
likely not have to access the CBP Web site again after the initial 
Web site visit to determine the entry's liquidation status. However, 
in a small number of cases, an importer may have to access the Web 
site more than once per year, over the course of more than one year 
to determine its entry's reliquidation status. If CBP extends or 
suspends an entry, which will be the case for the importers who 
receive 3,100 paper notices of extension and suspension annually, 
the importer may have to access the CBP Web site more than once per 
year, over the course of more than one year to determine the status 
of its entry's extension or suspension. However, considering the 
typical timeframes of extensions and suspensions, importers are most 
likely to access the CBP Web site only once per year for information 
on their entry's extension or suspension. Moreover, importers will 
likely receive information from CBP indicating whether CBP has 
reliquidated their entry or their extension or suspension has ended.
    \13\ Based on fiscal year 2015 U.S. entry and import value data. 
Source of entry data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Summary of 
Performance and Financial Information Fiscal Year 2015. May 2016. 
Available at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-May/summary-performance-financial-info-2015.pdf. 
Accessed September 22, 2016. Source of import value data: U.S. 
Census Bureau. FT920: U.S. Merchandise Trade Selected Highlights--
October 2014 through September 2015 Releases, ``Exhibit 3: U.S. 
Imports--U.S. Customs District of Entry--Total General Customs Value 
by Month.'' December 5, 2014-November 4, 2015. Available at https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/ft920_index.html. 
Accessed September 22, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Along with the minor Web site access cost imposed by this rule, 
this rule will provide benefits to importers who currently rely on 
official bulletin notices physically posted at U.S. customhouses and 
stations. This rule's electronic publication of official bulletin 
notices of liquidation and reliquidation will allow these importers to 
avoid visiting U.S. customhouses and stations for formal entry 
liquidation and reliquidation information, which typically occur 2,500 
times a year. For each trip to a U.S. customhouse or station avoided, 
importers will save an estimated 45 minutes (0.75 hours), which will 
result

[[Page 89380]]

in a time cost saving of $22.57 using the average hourly wage for 
importers of $30.09.\14\ Importers will also save $16.20 in travel 
costs per trip based on the estimated distance they sustain from 
traveling to and from a U.S. customhouse or station--30 miles--and the 
IRS's $0.54 standard mileage rate for business purposes.\15\ To the 
extent that some trips are taken for multiple purposes, not just for 
viewing an official bulletin notice of liquidation or reliquidation, 
fewer costs will be avoided and the benefits of this rule per trip will 
be lower.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ The time cost estimate is equal to the assumed hourly wage 
for importers ($30.09) multiplied by the estimated hourly time 
burden for a trade member to travel to and from a U.S. customhouse 
or station (0.75 hours), and then rounded.
    \15\ Source of miles traveled: Based on estimates from CBP's 
Office of Trade on May 2, 2016. Source of mileage rate: Internal 
Revenue Service. 2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical 
and Moving Announced. IR-2015-137, December 17, 2015. Available at 
https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2016-Standard-Mileage-Rates-for-Business-Medical-and-Moving-Announced. Accessed April 19, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The electronic bulletin notices introduced with this rule will also 
provide benefits of eased access, relatively quicker notification, and 
extended viewing to importers. In particular, this electronic 
transition will allow importers to easily view and query a complete, 
consolidated list of U.S. entry liquidations, reliquidations, 
extensions, and suspensions, thus facilitating the process by which 
these individuals obtain such entry information. For importers who 
typically rely on paper courtesy notices for liquidation and 
reliquidation information, which they receive by mail after the 
official notice's posting, this electronic posting will provide the 
added benefit of more timely notice and additional protest time. 
Importers who receive and rely on paper courtesy notices will also 
benefit from this rule's consolidated electronic notice posting. This 
change will allow importers and their agents to view liquidation, 
reliquidation, extension, and suspension notices simultaneously instead 
of individually as they currently do through paper notices. 
Furthermore, importers will have at least 14 more months to view 
official liquidation, reliquidation, extension, and suspension notices 
before having to request access to the notices through CBP.

Conclusion

    Although CBP believes that this rule will affect a substantial 
number of small entities, specifically importers, CBP believes that the 
(negative) economic impact of this rule on small entities will not be 
significant. Accordingly, CBP certifies that this regulation will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. CBP received no public comments on the Electronic Notice of 
Liquidation Notice of Proposed Rulemaking challenging this 
certification.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Signing Authority

    This document is being issued in accordance with Sec.  0.1(a)(1) of 
the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 0.1(a)(1)) pertaining to the authority of 
the Secretary of the Treasury (or his/her delegate) to approve 
regulations related to certain customs revenue functions.

List of Subjects

19 CFR Part 159

    Antidumping, Countervailing duties, Customs duties and inspection, 
Foreign currencies.

19 CFR Part 173

    Administrative practice and procedure, Customs duties and 
inspection.

Amendments to the CBP Regulations

    For the reasons given above, parts 159 and 173 of title 19 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR parts 159 and 173) are amended as 
set forth below:

PART 159--LIQUIDATION OF DUTIES

0
1. The general authority citation for part 159 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  19 U.S.C. 66, 1500, 1504, 1624.

* * * * *

0
2. Section 159.9 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  159.9   Notice of liquidation and date of liquidation for formal 
entries.

    (a) Notice of liquidation. Notice of liquidation of formal entries 
will be provided on CBP's public Web site, www.cbp.gov.
    (b) Posting of notice. The notice of liquidation will be posted for 
the information of importers in a conspicuous place on www.cbp.gov in 
such a manner that it can readily be located and consulted by all 
interested persons.
    (c) Date of liquidation--(1) Generally. The notice of liquidation 
will be dated with the date it is posted electronically on www.cbp.gov 
for the information of importers. This electronic posting will be 
deemed the legal evidence of liquidation. The notice of liquidation 
will be maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months from the 
date of posting.
    (2) Exception: Entries liquidated by operation of law. (i) Entries 
liquidated by operation of law at the expiration of the time 
limitations prescribed in section 504, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended 
(19 U.S.C. 1504), and set out in Sec. Sec.  159.11 and 159.12, will be 
deemed liquidated as of the date of expiration of the appropriate 
statutory period and will be posted on www.cbp.gov when CBP determines 
that each entry has liquidated by operation of law and will be dated 
with the date of liquidation by operation of law.
    (ii) For liquidation notices that were posted or lodged in the 
customhouse, pursuant to section 514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended 
(19 U.S.C. 1514) and part 174 of this chapter, a protest of a decision 
relating to an entry made before December 18, 2004, must be filed 
within 90 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by operation of 
law or within 90 days from the date the bulletin notice thereof was 
posted or lodged in the customhouse, or, in the case of a protest of a 
decision relating to an entry made on or after December 18, 2004, 
within 180 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by operation 
of law.
    (iii) For liquidation notices posted on www.cbp.gov, pursuant to 
section 514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1514) and part 
174 of this chapter, a protest of a decision relating to an entry made 
before December 18, 2004, must be filed within 90 days from the date of 
liquidation of an entry by operation of law or within 90 days from the 
date notice thereof is posted on www.cbp.gov, or, in the case of a 
protest of a decision relating to an entry made on or after December 
18, 2004, within 180 days from the date of liquidation of an entry by 
operation of law.
    (d) Courtesy notice of liquidation. CBP will endeavor to provide 
the entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry with a courtesy 
notice of liquidation for all electronically filed entries liquidated 
by CBP or deemed liquidated by operation of law. The courtesy notice of 
liquidation that CBP will endeavor to provide will be electronically 
transmitted pursuant to a CBP authorized electronic data interchange 
system if the entry was filed electronically in accordance with part 
143 of this chapter. This notice will serve as an informal, courtesy 
notice

[[Page 89381]]

and not as a direct, formal, and decisive notice of liquidation.


Sec.  159.10   [Amended]

0
3. Section 159.10 is amended as follows:
0
a. By removing the words ``posting or lodging of'' from the last 
sentence in paragraph (b);
0
b. By removing the words ``on CBP Form 4333 posted or lodged'' from the 
last sentence of paragraph (c)(1); and
0
c. By removing the words ``on a bulletin notice of liquidation, CBP 
Form 4333,'' from the last sentence of paragraph (c)(3).

0
4. In Sec.  159.11, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  159.11   Entries liquidated by operation of law.

    (a) Time limit generally. Except as provided in Sec.  159.12, an 
entry not liquidated within one year from the date of entry of the 
merchandise, or the date of final withdrawal of all merchandise covered 
by a warehouse entry, will be deemed liquidated by operation of law at 
the rate of duty, value, quantity, and amount of duties asserted by the 
importer of record. Notice of liquidation will be given electronically 
as provided in Sec. Sec.  159.9 and 159.10(c)(3) of this part. CBP will 
endeavor to provide a courtesy notice of liquidation in accordance with 
Sec.  159.9(d).
* * * * *

0
5. In Sec.  159.12, revise paragraphs (b), (c), (d)(2), and (f) and 
remove paragraph (g).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  159.12   Extension of time for liquidation.

* * * * *
    (b) Notice of extension. If the port director extends the time for 
liquidation, as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the 
official notice of extension and reasons therefor will be posted on 
www.cbp.gov. The notice of extension will be maintained on www.cbp.gov 
for a minimum of 15 months from the date of posting. The port director 
will also endeavor to transmit a courtesy notice of extension to the 
entry filer or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBP-
authorized electronic data interchange system.
    (c) Notice of suspension. If the liquidation of an entry is 
suspended as required by statute or court order, as provided in 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the official notice of suspension 
will be posted on www.cbp.gov. The notice of suspension will be 
maintained on www.cbp.gov for a minimum of 15 months from the date of 
posting. The port director will also endeavor to transmit a courtesy 
notice of suspension to the entry filer or its agent and the surety on 
an entry through a CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system.
    (d) * * *
    (2) At importer's request. If the statutory period has been 
extended for one year at the importer's request, and the importer 
thereafter determines that additional time is necessary, it may request 
another extension in writing before the original extension expires, 
giving reasons for its request. If the port director finds that good 
cause (as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section) exists, the 
official notice of extension extending the time for liquidation for an 
additional period not to exceed one year will be posted on www.cbp.gov, 
and CBP will provide courtesy notice of the extension to the entry 
filer or its agent and the surety on an entry through a CBP-authorized 
electronic data interchange system.
* * * * *
    (f) Time limitation. An entry not liquidated within four years from 
either the date of entry, or the date of final withdrawal of all the 
merchandise covered by a warehouse entry, will be deemed liquidated by 
operation of law at the rate of duty, value, quantity, and amount of 
duty asserted by the importer of record, unless liquidation continues 
to be suspended by statute or court order. CBP will endeavor to provide 
a courtesy notice of liquidation, in accordance with Sec.  159.9(d), in 
addition to the notice specified in Sec.  159.9(c)(2)(i).

PART 173--ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN GENERAL

0
6. The general authority citation for part 173 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  19 U.S.C. 66, 1501, 1520, 1624.


0
7. Revise Sec.  173.4a to read as follows:


Sec.  173.4a   Refund of excess duties, fees, charges, or exaction paid 
prior to liquidation.

    Pursuant to section 520(a)(4), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 
U.S.C. 1520(a)(4)), whenever an importer of record declares or it is 
ascertained that excess duties, fees, charges, or exactions have been 
deposited or paid, the port director may, prior to liquidation of an 
entry or reconciliation, take appropriate action to refund the deposit 
or payment of excess duties, fees, charges, or exactions.

R. Gil Kerlikowske,
Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    Approved: December 6, 2016.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2016-29656 Filed 12-9-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-14-P