Notice of Funding Availability: Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program, 21257-21260 [2018-09869]

Download as PDF 21257 Notices Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 90 Wednesday, May 9, 2018 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Foreign Agricultural Service Notice of Funding Availability: Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2019 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The QSP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2019 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. Future announcements of funding availability for the QSP program will be made through the Grants.gov website. DATES: To be considered for funding, applications must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018. Any proposals received after that date will be considered only if funds remain available. FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be made by the end of December 2018, with the initial award dates estimated to be by the end of February 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS website at http:// www.fas.usda.gov/programs/qualitysamples-program-qsp. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Award Instrument: Grant. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605. Authority: The QSP is authorized under Section 5(f) of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f). Purpose: The QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities. QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging for the procurement of) the commodity samples, exporting the samples, and providing the on–site technical assistance necessary to facilitate successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement from FAS for the sample purchase price and for the cost of transporting the samples domestically to the port of export and then to the first foreign port or first point of entry. Transportation costs from the first foreign port or first point of entry to the final destination are not eligible for reimbursement. FAS will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and transporting samples, such as: Inspection or documentation fees, certificates of any kind, tariffs, demurrage, etc. Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, the costs of providing such technical assistance are not reimbursable under the program. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after FAS reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is complete. B. Eligibility and Qualification Information 1. Eligible Organizations: Any United States private or government entity with a demonstrated role and interest in exporting U.S. agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations include non–profit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and profit– making entities. 2. General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects encompass the activities undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate sample of a U.S. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a group of foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of these projects is to provide information to the target audience regarding the attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A QSP project is limited to a single market/commodity combination. 3. Qualification Information: To be found eligible for consideration, QSP proposals must address the following criteria: • Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and not a specific company or brand; • Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product rather than promote the substitution of one established U.S. product for another; • Commodities provided under a QSP project must be available on a commercial basis and in sufficient supply; • The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars in the importing country designed to demonstrate the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of an end product; • Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. However, the end product (that is, the product resulting from further processing, substantial transformation, or a technical preparation seminar) may be provided to end–use consumers to demonstrate the consumer preference for that end product to importers; • Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the destination country); and • Projects should be completed within one year of FAS approval. QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who: • Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity that will be supplied under QSP; • Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attributes, or end–use characteristics of the U.S. commodity; E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 21258 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES • Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, process, or market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary issues); • Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of the U.S. commodity; or • Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. commodity. 4. Cost–Sharing: Although highly encouraged, there is no cost share requirement for QSP proposals. FAS will, however, consider the applicant’s willingness to contribute resources towards the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals are approved for funding. 5. Funding Limits: Individual projects that include further processing or substantial transformation of the sample will be limited to $75,000 of QSP reimbursement per project, while projects comprised only of technical preparation seminars will be limited to $15,000 of QSP reimbursement. Financial assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis only; cash advances will not be made available to any QSP participant. 6. Other: Proposals should include a justification for funding assistance from the program—an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance. Applicants may submit more than one proposal, and the number of projects per participant will not be limited. FAS will not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or expenditures made prior to the approval of a proposal. 7. Intergovernmental Review: An intergovernmental review may be required. Applicants must contact their state’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to comply with their state’s process under Executive Order 12372 (see http:// www.fws.gov/policy/library/ rgeo12372.pdf). To ensure currency, the names and addresses of the SPOCs are maintained at the Office of Management and Budget’s home page at http:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc. C. Award Information It is anticipated that FAS will award approximately 15 awards under the 2019 QSP, subject to programmatic approval and available funding. In general, all qualified proposals received before the submission deadline will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and funds will be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 awarded on a competitive basis. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements between the applicant and FAS. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the project. Once an award reaches its completion date, FAS will confirm that the participant has provided all of the required reports and will review the reports for completeness and content. Once the required reports are approved, FAS will prepare a closeout letter that advises the participant of the award closeout procedures. Closeout letters must be countersigned and returned to FAS as soon as the final claim is submitted and paid, but within 60 days of receipt. Once the closeout procedures have been completed, any remaining funding on the agreement will be deobligated. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address to Submit Application Package: Organizations must submit their QSP proposals to FAS through the web–based Uniform Export Strategy (UES) system. The UES allows applicants to submit a single consolidated and strategically coordinated proposal that incorporates requests for funding for all of the FAS market development programs. The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the constraints or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities that would help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish realistic export goals. Applicants must contact FAS’ Program Operations Division to obtain UES website access information. The internet–based application may be found at the following URL address: https://www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/. Applicants experiencing difficulty or otherwise needing assistance applying to the program should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission: To be considered for the QSP, an applicant must submit to FAS, via the UES, the information detailed in this notice. Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Proposals should contain, at a minimum, the following: (a) Organizational information, including: • Organization’s name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number; • Type of organization; • Name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the primary contact person; • A description of the organization and its membership; • A description of the organization’s prior export promotion experience; and • A description of the organization’s ability to implement the required trade/ technical assistance component. (b) Market information, including: • An assessment of the market; • A long-term strategy in the market; and • Appropriate trade data for the years 2016 through 2022. (c) Project information, including: • A brief project title; • The amount of funding requested; • The beginning and end dates for the proposed project; • A brief description of the specific market development trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project; • A description of the activities planned to address the constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/technical servicing component (including who will provide and fund this component); • Projects should include performance measures for quantifying progress and demonstrating results. In the development of performance measures, FAS believes the measures should meet the following criteria: Æ Aligned: The indicator should, as closely as possible, measure exactly the relevant result. Æ Clear: The indicator should be precise and unambiguous about what is being measured and how. There should be no doubt on how to measure or interpret the indicator. Æ Quantifiable: The indicator(s) should sufficiently capture all of the elements of a result. Æ Include an identified methodology: The data can be obtained to inform the indicator in a timely and efficient manner and the data are of high-quality. • A description of the sample to be provided (i.e., commodity, quantity, quality, type, and grade), including a justification for why a sample with such characteristics is needed (this E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices justification should explain why the project would not be effective with a smaller sample); • An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with the project for which reimbursement will be sought; and • The importer’s role in the project regarding handling and processing the commodity sample. (d) Information indicating all funding sources and the amounts to be contributed by each entity in support of the proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third parties, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may include cash, goods, or services. 3. Other Required Information: In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s policy directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at (866) 705–5711. In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 must: (i) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application or plan; and (ii) Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FAS; and (iii) Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to FAS. FAS may not make an award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements, and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FAS is ready to make the award, FAS may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant. Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each entity that applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive QSP funding. 4. Submission Dates and Times: QSP applications are reviewed on a rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 QSP funding is available as set forth below: • Proposals received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding with other proposals received by that date; • Proposals not approved for funding during the initial review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing and only if funding remains available; • Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding in the order received only if funding remains available. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria and Review Process: FAS will use the following criteria in evaluating QSP proposals, each weighted at 10%: • Whether or not appropriate trade data for the years 2016–2022 is provided; • Whether the benefits of the project would accrue to the entire industry; • The appropriateness of the proposed sample size for the project; • The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal; • The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive; • The potential for expanding commercial sales in the proposed market; • The nature of the specific market constraint or opportunity identified and how well it is addressed by the proposal; • The extent to which the importer’s contribution in terms of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the project; • The amount of reimbursement requested and the organization’s willingness to contribute resources towards the project, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties; and • How well the proposed technical assistance component assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the intended end-use benefit. FAS will also review and evaluate how well the following unweighted criteria are addressed in the proposal: • The quality of the performance measures and how effective they will be in demonstrating the impact of the project; • The assessment of the market; PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 21259 • The long-term strategy in the market; and • Export goals in each country. 2. Review and Selection Process: Proposals will be evaluated by the appropriate Commodity Branch in FAS’ Cooperator Programs Division. The Commodity Branches will review each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. In addition, FAS, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM. FAS will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 ‘‘Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.’’ F. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify the terms and conditions pursuant to which FAS will reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should endeavor to ship commodities within 6 E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES 21260 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / Notices months of the effective date of the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as required), compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of expiration or termination of the agreement. All successful applicants for all grant and cooperative agreements are required to comply with the Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions, which are available online at: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/grants/general_ terms_and_conditions/default.asp. The applicable Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions will be for the last year specified at that URL, unless the application is to continue an award first awarded in an earlier year. In that event, the terms and conditions that apply will be those in effect for the year in which the award was originally made unless explicitly stated otherwise in subsequent mutually-agreed amendments to the award. Before accepting the award the potential awardee should carefully read the approval letter and program agreement for instructions on administering the grant award and the terms and conditions associated with responsibilities under Federal Awards. Recipients must accept all conditions in this NOFA as well as any special terms and conditions in the approval letter and program agreement to receive an award under this program. QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS’ Compliance, Security, and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a QSP participant shall provide to FAS the original documents that support the participant’s reimbursement claims. FAS may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation. 2. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted via the UES within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each participant’s QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures that were presented in the proposal and must include the following standard performance measures: (1) The number of people/organizations/companies trained, (2) the percent of trainees that have a better understanding of the commodity qualities and uses, and (3) the number of people requesting additional information about the commodity by the date of the final report. In addition, a final financial VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 May 08, 2018 Jkt 244001 report must be submitted no later than 90 days after completion of the project. This report must provide a final accounting of all project expenditures by cost category and include the accounting of actual contributions made to the project by the applicant and all other participating entities. G. Agency Contact(s) 1. Application Submission Contact(s) and Program Support: For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. 2. Grants Management Contact(s): Eric Bozoian, Grants Management Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States, Department of Agriculture, Email: Eric.Bozoian@ fas.usda.gov, Office: (202) 378–1054. Signed at Washington, DC, on the 6 of April, 2018. Bobby Richey, Jr., Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2018–09869 Filed 5–8–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Foreign Agricultural Service Notice of Funding Availability: Inviting Applications for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2019 Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program. The TASC program is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit proposals from the U.S. private sector and government agencies for fiscal year 2019 and to set out the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. Future announcements of funding availability for the TASC program will be made through the Grants.gov website. DATES: To be considered for funding, proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018. Any proposals received after this time will be considered only if SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 funds remain available. FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be made by the end of December 2018, with the initial award dates estimated to be by the end of February 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS website at http:// www.fas.usda.gov/programs/technicalassistance-specialty-crops-tasc. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Award Instrument: Grant. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.604. Authority: The TASC program is authorized by section 3205 of Public Law 107–171. The TASC regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1487. Purpose: The TASC program is designed to assist U.S. organizations by providing funding for projects that seek to remove, resolve, or mitigate sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. U.S. specialty crops, for the purpose of the TASC program, are defined to include all cultivated plants, or the products thereof, produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco. This NOFA is being released prior to Congress appropriating funding for the TASC program for FY 2019. USDA makes no commitment to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards regardless of whether or at what level program funding for FY 2019 is provided. B. Eligibility and Qualification Information 1. Eligible Organizations: Any U.S. organization, private or government, with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural specialty crops may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations may include non– profit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and private companies. Foreign organizations, whether government or private, may participate as third parties in activities carried out by eligible organizations, but are not E:\FR\FM\09MYN1.SGM 09MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 90 (Wednesday, May 9, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21257-21260]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-09869]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 9, 2018 / 
Notices

[[Page 21257]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

Foreign Agricultural Service


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

SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is 
inviting proposals for the 2019 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The QSP 
is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) 
on behalf of CCC. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit 
proposals from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2019 and to set out 
the criteria for the awarding of funds under the program. Future 
announcements of funding availability for the QSP program will be made 
through the Grants.gov website.

DATES: To be considered for funding, applications must be received by 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on Friday, June 8, 2018. Any proposals 
received after that date will be considered only if funds remain 
available. FAS anticipates that the initial funding selections will be 
made by the end of December 2018, with the initial award dates 
estimated to be by the end of February 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants needing assistance should 
contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, 
Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence 
Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-4327, or by fax: 
(202) 720-9361, or by email: [email protected]. Information is also 
available on the FAS website at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/quality-samples-program-qsp.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Funding Opportunity Description

    Announcement Type: New.
    Award Instrument: Grant.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605.
    Authority: The QSP is authorized under Section 5(f) of the 
Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f).
    Purpose: The QSP is designed to encourage the development and 
expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by 
assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential 
foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation 
for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities.
    QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging 
for the procurement of) the commodity samples, exporting the samples, 
and providing the on-site technical assistance necessary to facilitate 
successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are 
funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement from FAS for the 
sample purchase price and for the cost of transporting the samples 
domestically to the port of export and then to the first foreign port 
or first point of entry. Transportation costs from the first foreign 
port or first point of entry to the final destination are not eligible 
for reimbursement. FAS will not reimburse the costs incidental to 
purchasing and transporting samples, such as: Inspection or 
documentation fees, certificates of any kind, tariffs, demurrage, etc. 
Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, 
the costs of providing such technical assistance are not reimbursable 
under the program. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after FAS 
reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is 
complete.

B. Eligibility and Qualification Information

    1. Eligible Organizations: Any United States private or government 
entity with a demonstrated role and interest in exporting U.S. 
agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government 
organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private 
organizations include non-profit trade associations, universities, 
agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and profit-
making entities.
    2. General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects encompass the 
activities undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate 
sample of a U.S. agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a 
group of foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of these 
projects is to provide information to the target audience regarding the 
attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A 
QSP project is limited to a single market/commodity combination.
    3. Qualification Information: To be found eligible for 
consideration, QSP proposals must address the following criteria:
     Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and 
not a specific company or brand;
     Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, 
promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product 
rather than promote the substitution of one established U.S. product 
for another;
     Commodities provided under a QSP project must be available 
on a commercial basis and in sufficient supply;
     The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample 
to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing 
country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars in the 
importing country designed to demonstrate the proper preparation or use 
of the sample in the creation of an end product;
     Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly 
used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. 
However, the end product (that is, the product resulting from further 
processing, substantial transformation, or a technical preparation 
seminar) may be provided to end-use consumers to demonstrate the 
consumer preference for that end product to importers;
     Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical 
commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the 
project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the 
destination country); and
     Projects should be completed within one year of FAS 
approval.
    QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who:
     Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity that will 
be supplied under QSP;
     Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attributes, or 
end-use characteristics of the U.S. commodity;

[[Page 21258]]

     Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, 
process, or market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper 
specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary 
issues);
     Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of 
the U.S. commodity; or
     Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. 
commodity.
    4. Cost-Sharing: Although highly encouraged, there is no cost share 
requirement for QSP proposals. FAS will, however, consider the 
applicant's willingness to contribute resources towards the project, 
including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign 
third parties, when determining which proposals are approved for 
funding.
    5. Funding Limits: Individual projects that include further 
processing or substantial transformation of the sample will be limited 
to $75,000 of QSP reimbursement per project, while projects comprised 
only of technical preparation seminars will be limited to $15,000 of 
QSP reimbursement. Financial assistance will be made available on a 
reimbursement basis only; cash advances will not be made available to 
any QSP participant.
    6. Other: Proposals should include a justification for funding 
assistance from the program--an explanation as to what specifically 
could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why 
the participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the 
project without such assistance. Applicants may submit more than one 
proposal, and the number of projects per participant will not be 
limited. FAS will not reimburse unreasonable expenditures or 
expenditures made prior to the approval of a proposal.
    7. Intergovernmental Review: An intergovernmental review may be 
required. Applicants must contact their state's Single Point of Contact 
(SPOC) to comply with their state's process under Executive Order 12372 
(see http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/rgeo12372.pdf). To ensure 
currency, the names and addresses of the SPOCs are maintained at the 
Office of Management and Budget's home page at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc.

C. Award Information

    It is anticipated that FAS will award approximately 15 awards under 
the 2019 QSP, subject to programmatic approval and available funding. 
In general, all qualified proposals received before the submission 
deadline will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained 
herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. Funding for 
successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements 
between the applicant and FAS. These agreements will incorporate the 
proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent 
changes to the project.
    Once an award reaches its completion date, FAS will confirm that 
the participant has provided all of the required reports and will 
review the reports for completeness and content. Once the required 
reports are approved, FAS will prepare a closeout letter that advises 
the participant of the award closeout procedures. Closeout letters must 
be countersigned and returned to FAS as soon as the final claim is 
submitted and paid, but within 60 days of receipt. Once the closeout 
procedures have been completed, any remaining funding on the agreement 
will be deobligated.

D. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Submit Application Package: Organizations must submit 
their QSP proposals to FAS through the web-based Uniform Export 
Strategy (UES) system. The UES allows applicants to submit a single 
consolidated and strategically coordinated proposal that incorporates 
requests for funding for all of the FAS market development programs. 
The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the 
constraints or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities 
that would help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of 
complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish 
realistic export goals.
    Applicants must contact FAS' Program Operations Division to obtain 
UES website access information. The internet-based application may be 
found at the following URL address: https://www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/.
    Applicants experiencing difficulty or otherwise needing assistance 
applying to the program should contact the Program Operations Division, 
Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier: Room 
6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: 
(202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: 
[email protected].
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: To be considered for 
the QSP, an applicant must submit to FAS, via the UES, the information 
detailed in this notice. Incomplete proposals or proposals that do not 
otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review.
    Proposals should contain, at a minimum, the following:
    (a) Organizational information, including:
     Organization's name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or 
designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number;
     Type of organization;
     Name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of 
the primary contact person;
     A description of the organization and its membership;
     A description of the organization's prior export promotion 
experience; and
     A description of the organization's ability to implement 
the required trade/technical assistance component.
    (b) Market information, including:
     An assessment of the market;
     A long-term strategy in the market; and
     Appropriate trade data for the years 2016 through 2022.
    (c) Project information, including:
     A brief project title;
     The amount of funding requested;
     The beginning and end dates for the proposed project;
     A brief description of the specific market development 
trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project;
     A description of the activities planned to address the 
constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the 
end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be 
demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/
technical servicing component (including who will provide and fund this 
component);
     Projects should include performance measures for 
quantifying progress and demonstrating results. In the development of 
performance measures, FAS believes the measures should meet the 
following criteria:
    [cir] Aligned: The indicator should, as closely as possible, 
measure exactly the relevant result.
    [cir] Clear: The indicator should be precise and unambiguous about 
what is being measured and how. There should be no doubt on how to 
measure or interpret the indicator.
    [cir] Quantifiable: The indicator(s) should sufficiently capture 
all of the elements of a result.
    [cir] Include an identified methodology: The data can be obtained 
to inform the indicator in a timely and efficient manner and the data 
are of high-quality.
     A description of the sample to be provided (i.e., 
commodity, quantity, quality, type, and grade), including a 
justification for why a sample with such characteristics is needed 
(this

[[Page 21259]]

justification should explain why the project would not be effective 
with a smaller sample);
     An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with 
the project for which reimbursement will be sought; and
     The importer's role in the project regarding handling and 
processing the commodity sample.
    (d) Information indicating all funding sources and the amounts to 
be contributed by each entity in support of the proposed project. This 
may include the organization that submitted the proposal, private 
industry entities, host governments, foreign third parties, FAS, or 
other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may include cash, goods, 
or services.
    3. Other Required Information: In accordance with the Office of 
Management and Budget's policy directive (68 FR 38402 (June 27, 2003)) 
regarding the need to identify entities that are receiving government 
awards, all applicants must submit a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number. An applicant may request a DUNS number 
at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line 
at (866) 705-5711.
    In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that 
applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 
25.110 must:
    (i) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to 
submitting an application or plan; and
    (ii) Maintain an active SAM registration with current information 
at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an 
application or plan under consideration by FAS; and
    (iii) Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it 
submits to FAS.
    FAS may not make an award to an applicant until the applicant has 
complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM 
requirements, and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the 
requirements by the time FAS is ready to make the award, FAS may 
determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and 
use that determination as a basis for making an award to another 
applicant.
    Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each entity that 
applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 
170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in 
place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR 
part 170 should it receive QSP funding.
    4. Submission Dates and Times: QSP applications are reviewed on a 
rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as QSP funding is 
available as set forth below:
     Proposals received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on 
Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding with other 
proposals received by that date;
     Proposals not approved for funding during the initial 
review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period 
only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in 
writing and only if funding remains available;
     Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on 
Friday, June 8, 2018, will be considered for funding in the order 
received only if funding remains available.

E. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria and Review Process: FAS will use the following criteria 
in evaluating QSP proposals, each weighted at 10%:
     Whether or not appropriate trade data for the years 2016-
2022 is provided;
     Whether the benefits of the project would accrue to the 
entire industry;
     The appropriateness of the proposed sample size for the 
project;
     The ability of the organization to provide an experienced 
staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the 
proposal;
     The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market 
in which the United States is generally competitive;
     The potential for expanding commercial sales in the 
proposed market;
     The nature of the specific market constraint or 
opportunity identified and how well it is addressed by the proposal;
     The extent to which the importer's contribution in terms 
of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the 
project;
     The amount of reimbursement requested and the 
organization's willingness to contribute resources towards the project, 
including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign 
third parties; and
     How well the proposed technical assistance component 
assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the 
intended end-use benefit.
    FAS will also review and evaluate how well the following unweighted 
criteria are addressed in the proposal:
     The quality of the performance measures and how effective 
they will be in demonstrating the impact of the project;
     The assessment of the market;
     The long-term strategy in the market; and
     Export goals in each country.
    2. Review and Selection Process: Proposals will be evaluated by the 
appropriate Commodity Branch in FAS' Cooperator Programs Division. The 
Commodity Branches will review each proposal against the factors 
described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious 
proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal 
based upon these factors, and submit the proposals and funding 
recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs.
    In addition, FAS, prior to making a Federal award with a total 
amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition 
threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the 
applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system 
accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). An 
applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated 
integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on 
any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously 
entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance 
system accessible through SAM. FAS will consider any comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated 
integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the 
applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants 
as described in 2 CFR 200.205 ``Federal awarding agency review of risk 
posed by applicants.''

F. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the 
final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an 
approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval 
letter and agreement will incorporate the details of each project as 
approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify the terms and conditions 
pursuant to which FAS will reimburse certain costs of each project. 
Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant, 
including, but not limited to, procurement (or arranging for 
procurement) of the commodity sample at a fair market price, arranging 
for transportation of the commodity sample within the time limit 
specified in the agreement (organizations should endeavor to ship 
commodities within 6

[[Page 21260]]

months of the effective date of the agreement), compliance with cargo 
preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as 
required), compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment 
on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective 
implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written 
evaluation report within 90 days of expiration or termination of the 
agreement.
    All successful applicants for all grant and cooperative agreements 
are required to comply with the Standard Administrative Terms and 
Conditions, which are available online at: https://www.fas.usda.gov/grants/general_terms_and_conditions/default.asp. The applicable 
Standard Administrative Terms and Conditions will be for the last year 
specified at that URL, unless the application is to continue an award 
first awarded in an earlier year. In that event, the terms and 
conditions that apply will be those in effect for the year in which the 
award was originally made unless explicitly stated otherwise in 
subsequent mutually-agreed amendments to the award.
    Before accepting the award the potential awardee should carefully 
read the approval letter and program agreement for instructions on 
administering the grant award and the terms and conditions associated 
with responsibilities under Federal Awards. Recipients must accept all 
conditions in this NOFA as well as any special terms and conditions in 
the approval letter and program agreement to receive an award under 
this program.
    QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS' 
Compliance, Security, and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a 
QSP participant shall provide to FAS the original documents that 
support the participant's reimbursement claims. FAS may deny a claim 
for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate 
documentation.
    2. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted via the 
UES within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each 
participant's QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all 
performance measures that were presented in the proposal and must 
include the following standard performance measures: (1) The number of 
people/organizations/companies trained, (2) the percent of trainees 
that have a better understanding of the commodity qualities and uses, 
and (3) the number of people requesting additional information about 
the commodity by the date of the final report. In addition, a final 
financial report must be submitted no later than 90 days after 
completion of the project. This report must provide a final accounting 
of all project expenditures by cost category and include the accounting 
of actual contributions made to the project by the applicant and all 
other participating entities.

G. Agency Contact(s)

    1. Application Submission Contact(s) and Program Support: For 
additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations 
Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture by courier: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. 
SW, Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 
720-9361, or by email: [email protected].
    2. Grants Management Contact(s): Eric Bozoian, Grants Management 
Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States, Department of 
Agriculture, Email: [email protected], Office: (202) 378-1054.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on the 6 of April, 2018.
Bobby Richey, Jr.,
Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Acting Vice 
President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2018-09869 Filed 5-8-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-10-P