Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Change in Membership, 49314-49317 [2018-21266]

Download as PDF amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 49314 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2018 / Proposed Rules area. All interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the July 19, 2018, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and information collection impacts of this action on small businesses. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the Order’s information collection requirements have been previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581–0189, Fruit Crops. No changes in those requirements would be necessary as a result of this proposed rule. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval. This proposed rule would not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large California kiwifruit handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this action. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/ rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously-mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposed rule. All written comments timely received will be considered before a final determination is made on this rule. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 920 Kiwifruit, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 920 is proposed to be amended as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:05 Sep 28, 2018 Jkt 247001 PART 920—KIWIFRUIT GROWN IN CALIFORNIA 1. The authority citation for part 920 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Section 920.213 is revised to read as follows: ■ § 920.213 On and after August 1, 2018, an assessment rate of $0.025 per 9-kilo volume-fill container or equivalent of kiwifruit is established for kiwifruit grown in California. Dated: September 26, 2018. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2018–21264 Filed 9–28–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1212 [Document Number AMS–SC–18–0016] Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Change in Membership Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: This proposal invites comments on changing the National Honey Board (Board) importer-handler member and alternate to an importer member and alternate. The Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) is administered by the Board with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This proposal would also update the definition for the term Board to reflect current practices, and make clarifying and conforming changes to other provisions of the program. DATES: Comments must be received by October 31, 2018. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposal. Comments may be submitted on the internet at: http://www.regulations.gov or to the Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1406–S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250–0244; facsimile: (202) 205–2800. All comments should reference the PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Sue Coleman, Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1406–S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250–0244; telephone: (202) 378–2569; facsimile: (202) 205–2800; or electronic mail: Sue.Coleman@ams.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposal affecting 7 CFR part 1212 is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411– 7425). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Assessment rate. SUMMARY: document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection, including name and address, if provided, in the above office during regular business hours or it can be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB’s Memorandum titled ‘‘Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled ‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’ ’’ (February 2, 2017). Executive Order 13175 This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications. Executive Order 12988 This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil E:\FR\FM\01OCP1.SGM 01OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2018 / Proposed Rules amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. Section 524 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7423) provides that it shall not affect or preempt any other Federal or State law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural commodity. Under section 519 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7418), a person subject to an order may file a written petition with USDA stating that an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, is not established in accordance with the law, and request a modification of an order or an exemption from an order. Any petition filed challenging an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, shall be filed within two years after the effective date of an order, provision, or obligation subject to challenge in the petition. The petitioner will have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. Thereafter, USDA will issue a ruling on the petition. The 1996 Act provides that the district court of the United States for any district in which the petitioner resides or conducts business shall have the jurisdiction to review a final ruling on the petition, if the petitioner files a complaint for that purpose not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of USDA’s final ruling. Background This proposal invites comments on changing the importer-handler member and alternate to an importer member and alternate on the Board under the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. Under the Order, assessments are collected from first handlers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. This proposal would change the importerhandler representatives to importer representatives and make clarifying and conforming changes to other provisions of the program. This action was unanimously recommended by the Board in October 2017 and would allow more importers to be eligible to serve on the Board. Section 1212.46 of the Order provides authority for the Board to recommend amendments to the Order. Section 1212.40 of the Order provides that the Board have ten members—three first handlers, two importers, one importerhandler, three producers, and one marketing cooperative representative. Each member shall have an alternate. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:05 Sep 28, 2018 Jkt 247001 Currently, the eligible importer-handler member and alternate must import at least 75 percent of the honey or honey products they market in the United States and handle at least 250,000 pounds annually. With the proposed amendment, the total number of Board representatives would remain at ten, but importer representatives would increase from two to three representatives and the importer-handler member would be removed. Handlers would continue to be represented with three members on the Board. A corresponding adjustment would be made to the alternate representatives for each member. This action would increase the pool of importer nominees eligible to serve on the Board and reflect the current distribution of the industry. U.S. honey imports have dramatically increased from 104,984 metric tons in 2008 to 203,534 metric tons in 2017. In comparison, U.S. honey production has decreased. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates U.S. honey production from producers with 5 or more colonies at 164 million pounds in 2008 and at 148 million pounds in 2017.1 The proposed changes to the Board would reflect the distribution of the production of honey and the quantity of the honey and honey products imported into the United States. Nominations to the Board are made by qualified national organizations and these organizations were consulted before the Board’s recommendation. No qualified national organizations were opposed to the recommendation. The Board met on October 26, 2017, and unanimously recommended that the importer-handler member and alternate become an importer member and alternate. This should allow more importers to be eligible to serve on the Board. Section 1212.40 of the Order is proposed to be revised accordingly. Conforming changes would be made to remove references to the importerhandler representative by removing § 1212.12 and revising §§ 1212.22, 1212.41, and 1212.42(b). The current importer-handler member and alternate were appointed to the Board for a term that began on January 1, 2018 and ends on December 31, 2020. The importer-handler member and alternate would remain in their positions until their term expires on December 31, 2020. The following term beginning on January 1, 2021, would be 1 USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Honey, March 14, 2018, p. 3, http:// usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/Hone/ Hone-03-14-2018.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 49315 filled by an importer member and importer alternate. Finally, this proposal would revise the term Board as defined in § 1212.2 from the ‘Honey Packers and Importers Board’ to the ‘National Honey Board’ to reflect current practices. The term as it appears in § 1212.40 and in the undesignated heading preceding § 1212.40 would also be revised to read ‘National Honey Board.’ Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601– 612), AMS is required to examine the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on such entities. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms (first handlers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no more than $7.5 million. The Board reported that there were about 785 importers and 40 first handlers of honey and honey products covered under the program during the 2017 fiscal period. Fourteen out of the 40 first handlers (35 percent) and 23 out of the 785 importers (3 percent) accounted for 91 and 90 percent of the assessments in their respective categories. Total assessments for 2017 were $8.87 million, of which $2.09 million (24 percent) were paid by first handlers and $6.78 million (76 percent) were paid by importers. This data can be used to compute an estimate of average annual revenue from honey sales from each of these categories, which in turn helps to estimate the number of large and small first handlers and importers. As mentioned above, 14 first handlers account for 91 percent of the domestic assessments. Multiplying first handler assessments in 2017 of $2,091,881 by 0.91 and then dividing by 14 yields an average annual assessment of $135,972 for the first handlers in this category. Dividing this figure ($135,972) by the assessment rate of 1.5 cents per pound ($0.015) yields an average quantity per first handler of 9.065 million pounds. Multiplying 9.065 million pounds by the average 2017 U.S. E:\FR\FM\01OCP1.SGM 01OCP1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 49316 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2018 / Proposed Rules domestic price of $2.16 per pound 2 yields an average, annual honey revenue per handler of $19.58 million, which is well above the SBA threshold of $7.5 million. It should be noted that this revenue estimate is based on the average price at the producer level, and the $19.58 million is an estimate of the total value at which the average size handler acquired the honey from producers. Therefore, most of the 14 first handlers that pay 91 percent of the domestic assessments are likely to be large firms according to the SBA definition. An equivalent computation can be made for the 23 importers who paid 90 percent of the $6,778,147 in assessments in 2017. Of the 23 importers, the average assessment per importer was $265,741. Dividing the average assessment per importer by the assessment rate of $0.015 per pound yields an average quantity per importer estimate of 17.716 million pounds. For honey imports, the equivalent of the season average price for domestic honey is referred to as a ‘‘unit value.’’ The unit value of $1.23 per pound is computed by dividing annual imported honey value of $550.16 million by average quantity of 448.72 million pounds.3 Multiplying the $1.23 unit value by the average quantity of 17.716 million pounds yields average annual honey revenue per importer figure of $21.790 million, almost three times the SBA threshold figure of $7.5 million for a large firm. Therefore, the majority of the 23 importers that pay 90 percent of the assessments are large firms, according to the SBA definition. Comparable computations can be made to determine the average 2017 honey revenue for the 26 first handlers and 762 importers that paid 9 and 10 percent, respectively, of the assessment in the first handler and importer categories. The first handler and importer average annual honey revenue figures are approximately $1,043,000 and $17,000, respectively, indicating that the vast majority are small businesses (in terms of honey sales), under the SBA large business threshold of $7.5 million in annual sales. Based on the foregoing, the majority of first handlers and importers may be classified as small entities. This proposed rule invites comments on changing the importer-handler Board member and alternate, as specified in section 1212.40 of the Order, to an importer member and alternate. The 2 USDA, NASS, Honey, March 14, 2018, p. 3, http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/ Hone/Hone-03-14-2018.pdf. 3 USDA, AMS, SCP, MND, National Honey Report, February 26, 2018, p. 10, https:// www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvmhoney.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:05 Sep 28, 2018 Jkt 247001 Order currently requires one importerhandler representative on the Board who must import at least 75 percent of the honey or honey products they market in the United States and handle at least 250,000 pounds annually. The U.S. honey industry has experienced dramatic increases in imported honey and honey products, as the domestic production has decreased. Thus, the Board unanimously recommended that the importer-handler representative become an importer representative. This would allow for a greater pool of importer nominees to be eligible to serve on the Board. Conforming changes would also be made to remove § 1212.12 and revise §§ 1212.22, 1212.41, and 1212.42(b). Finally, this proposal would update the term Board to reflect current practices (§ 1212.2, the heading preceding § 1212.40 and § 1212.40). Authority for this action is provided in section 1212.46(d) of the Order. Relaxing the eligibility requirements for importer representatives on the Board is administrative in nature and would have no economic impact on entities covered under the program. This change would help increase the number of importers who would be eligible to serve on the Board. Eligible producers, first handlers, and importers interested in serving on the Board would have to complete a background questionnaire. Those requirements are addressed later in this proposal in the section titled Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements. Prior to arriving at this proposed action, the Board consulted with the qualified national organizations that make the nominations to the Board. Alternatives that were considered included making no changes and adjusting the eligibility requirements. However, in considering the distribution of the production of honey and the quantity of honey and honey products imported into the United States, the Board concluded that revising the importer-handler representative to an importer representative would be an accurate reflection of the industry and would increase the pool of eligible importers. Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the information collection requirements that are imposed by the part have been previously approved by OMB under OMB control number 0581– 0093. Additionally, Board nominees (including producers) must submit a Background Information form (AD–755) to ensure they are qualified to serve on PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 the Board. The time to complete that form is estimated at 30 minutes per response. The background form is approved under OMB control no. 0505– 0001. This proposed rule would not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and would impose no additional reporting requirements and recordkeeping burden on honey producers, first handlers, or importers. As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and publicsector agencies. Finally, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule. This action was discussed with the qualified national organizations. The Board met on October 26, 2017, and unanimously recommended changing the importer-handler representative to an importer representative. All of the Board’s meetings are open to the public and interested persons are invited to participate and express their views. AMS has performed this initial RFA regarding the impact of this proposed action on small entities and invites comments concerning potential effects of this action. USDA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with and would effectuate the purposes of the 1996 Act. A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposal. All written comments received in response to this proposed rule by the date specified will be considered prior to finalizing this action. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1212 Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer information, Honey Packer and Importer promotion, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1212 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 1212—HONEY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS RESEARCH, PROMOTION, CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1212 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7411–7425; 7 U.S.C. 7401. ■ 2. Revise § 1212.2 to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\01OCP1.SGM 01OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2018 / Proposed Rules § 1212.2 Board. ‘‘Board’’ or ‘‘National Honey Board’’ means the administrative body established pursuant to § 1212.40, or such other name as recommended by the Board and approved by the Department. ■ 3. Remove and reserve § 1212.12. ■ 4. Revise § 1212.22 to read as follows: § 1212.22 Qualified national organization representing importer interests. ‘‘Qualified national organization representing importer interests’’ means an organization that the Secretary certifies as being eligible to nominate importer and alternate importer members of the Board under § 1212.42. ■ 5. Revise the undesignated center heading preceding § 1212.40 to read ‘‘National Honey Board.’’ ■ 6. Revise 1212.40 to read as follows: § 1212.40 Establishment and membership. The National Honey Board is established to administer the terms and provisions of this part. The Board shall have ten members, composed of three first handler representatives, three importer representatives, three producer representatives, and one marketing cooperative representative. In addition, each producer representative must produce a minimum of 50,000 pounds of honey in the United States annually based on the best three-year average of the most recent five calendar years, as certified by producers. The Secretary will appoint members to the Board from nominees submitted in accordance with § 1212.42. The Secretary shall also appoint an alternate for each member. ■ 7. Revise § 1212.41 to read as follows: § 1212.41 Term of office. Each Board member and alternate will serve a three-year term or until the Secretary selects his or her successor. No member or alternate may serve more than two consecutive terms. Each term of office will end on December 31, with new terms of office beginning on January 1. ■ 8. Revise § 1212.42 paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 1212.42 Nominations and appointments. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 * * * * * (b) All qualified national organizations representing importer interests will have the opportunity to participate in a nomination caucus and will, to the extent practical, submit as a group a single slate of nominations to the Secretary for importer positions and the importer alternate positions on the Board. If the Secretary determines that there are no qualified national organizations representing importer VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:05 Sep 28, 2018 Jkt 247001 interests, individual importers who have paid assessments to the Board in the most recent fiscal period may submit nominations. * * * * * Dated: September 26, 2018. Bruce Summers, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2018–21266 Filed 9–28–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2018–0801; Product Identifier 2017–NM–147–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2008–24– 14, which applies to all Bombardier, Inc., Model CL–600–2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. AD 2008– 24–14 requires revising the instructions for continued airworthiness to incorporate certain airworthiness limitations for the main landing gear (MLG) trunnion fitting assembly. Since we issued AD 2008–24–14, new airworthiness limitation (AWL) tasks have been introduced with revised inspection, modification, and safe-life requirements. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate certain AWLs. It would also require reworking the trunnion fitting in order to meet new structural safe-life limits. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 15, 2018. DATES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 49317 W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Coˆte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Que´bec H4S 1Y9, Canada; Widebody Customer Response Center North America toll-free telephone 1–866–538– 1247 or direct-dial telephone 1–514– 855–2999; fax 514–855–7401; email ac.yul@aero.bombardier.com; internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2018– 0801; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516–228–7329; fax 516–794–5531. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA– 2018–0801; Product Identifier 2017– NM–147–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each E:\FR\FM\01OCP1.SGM 01OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 190 (Monday, October 1, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 49314-49317]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-21266]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 1212

[Document Number AMS-SC-18-0016]


Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer 
Education and Industry Information Order; Change in Membership

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: This proposal invites comments on changing the National Honey 
Board (Board) importer-handler member and alternate to an importer 
member and alternate. The Honey Packers and Importers Research, 
Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) is 
administered by the Board with oversight by the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA). This proposal would also update the definition for 
the term Board to reflect current practices, and make clarifying and 
conforming changes to other provisions of the program.

DATES: Comments must be received by October 31, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this proposal. Comments may be submitted on the internet at: 
http://www.regulations.gov or to the Promotion and Economics Division, 
Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 
1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; facsimile: (202) 205-
2800. All comments should reference the document number and the date 
and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made 
available for public inspection, including name and address, if 
provided, in the above office during regular business hours or it can 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sue Coleman, Marketing Specialist, 
Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 
20250-0244; telephone: (202) 378-2569; facsimile: (202) 205-2800; or 
electronic mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposal affecting 7 CFR part 1212 is 
authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act 
of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425).

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. 
This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 
12866 review. Additionally, because this rule does not meet the 
definition of a significant regulatory action it does not trigger the 
requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum 
titled ``Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order 
of January 30, 2017, titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs' '' (February 2, 2017).

Executive Order 13175

    This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements 
of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not 
have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not 
have significant Tribal implications.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil

[[Page 49315]]

Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. Section 
524 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7423) provides that it shall not affect 
or preempt any other Federal or State law authorizing promotion or 
research relating to an agricultural commodity.
    Under section 519 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7418), a person subject 
to an order may file a written petition with USDA stating that an 
order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in 
connection with an order, is not established in accordance with the 
law, and request a modification of an order or an exemption from an 
order. Any petition filed challenging an order, any provision of an 
order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, shall be 
filed within two years after the effective date of an order, provision, 
or obligation subject to challenge in the petition. The petitioner will 
have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. Thereafter, USDA 
will issue a ruling on the petition. The 1996 Act provides that the 
district court of the United States for any district in which the 
petitioner resides or conducts business shall have the jurisdiction to 
review a final ruling on the petition, if the petitioner files a 
complaint for that purpose not later than 20 days after the date of the 
entry of USDA's final ruling.

Background

    This proposal invites comments on changing the importer-handler 
member and alternate to an importer member and alternate on the Board 
under the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer 
Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is 
administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. Under the Order, 
assessments are collected from first handlers and importers and used 
for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the 
market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. 
This proposal would change the importer-handler representatives to 
importer representatives and make clarifying and conforming changes to 
other provisions of the program. This action was unanimously 
recommended by the Board in October 2017 and would allow more importers 
to be eligible to serve on the Board.
    Section 1212.46 of the Order provides authority for the Board to 
recommend amendments to the Order. Section 1212.40 of the Order 
provides that the Board have ten members--three first handlers, two 
importers, one importer-handler, three producers, and one marketing 
cooperative representative. Each member shall have an alternate. 
Currently, the eligible importer-handler member and alternate must 
import at least 75 percent of the honey or honey products they market 
in the United States and handle at least 250,000 pounds annually. With 
the proposed amendment, the total number of Board representatives would 
remain at ten, but importer representatives would increase from two to 
three representatives and the importer-handler member would be removed. 
Handlers would continue to be represented with three members on the 
Board. A corresponding adjustment would be made to the alternate 
representatives for each member. This action would increase the pool of 
importer nominees eligible to serve on the Board and reflect the 
current distribution of the industry.
    U.S. honey imports have dramatically increased from 104,984 metric 
tons in 2008 to 203,534 metric tons in 2017. In comparison, U.S. honey 
production has decreased. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics 
Service estimates U.S. honey production from producers with 5 or more 
colonies at 164 million pounds in 2008 and at 148 million pounds in 
2017.\1\ The proposed changes to the Board would reflect the 
distribution of the production of honey and the quantity of the honey 
and honey products imported into the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Honey, March 
14, 2018, p. 3, http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/Hone/Hone-03-14-2018.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nominations to the Board are made by qualified national 
organizations and these organizations were consulted before the Board's 
recommendation. No qualified national organizations were opposed to the 
recommendation.
    The Board met on October 26, 2017, and unanimously recommended that 
the importer-handler member and alternate become an importer member and 
alternate. This should allow more importers to be eligible to serve on 
the Board. Section 1212.40 of the Order is proposed to be revised 
accordingly. Conforming changes would be made to remove references to 
the importer-handler representative by removing Sec.  1212.12 and 
revising Sec. Sec.  1212.22, 1212.41, and 1212.42(b).
    The current importer-handler member and alternate were appointed to 
the Board for a term that began on January 1, 2018 and ends on December 
31, 2020. The importer-handler member and alternate would remain in 
their positions until their term expires on December 31, 2020. The 
following term beginning on January 1, 2021, would be filled by an 
importer member and importer alternate.
    Finally, this proposal would revise the term Board as defined in 
Sec.  1212.2 from the `Honey Packers and Importers Board' to the 
`National Honey Board' to reflect current practices. The term as it 
appears in Sec.  1212.40 and in the undesignated heading preceding 
Sec.  1212.40 would also be revised to read `National Honey Board.'

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 
601-612), AMS is required to examine the impact of the proposed rule on 
small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of 
this action on such entities.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be 
disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration (SBA) 
defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those 
having annual receipts of no more than $750,000, and small agricultural 
service firms (first handlers and importers) as those having annual 
receipts of no more than $7.5 million.
    The Board reported that there were about 785 importers and 40 first 
handlers of honey and honey products covered under the program during 
the 2017 fiscal period. Fourteen out of the 40 first handlers (35 
percent) and 23 out of the 785 importers (3 percent) accounted for 91 
and 90 percent of the assessments in their respective categories. Total 
assessments for 2017 were $8.87 million, of which $2.09 million (24 
percent) were paid by first handlers and $6.78 million (76 percent) 
were paid by importers. This data can be used to compute an estimate of 
average annual revenue from honey sales from each of these categories, 
which in turn helps to estimate the number of large and small first 
handlers and importers. As mentioned above, 14 first handlers account 
for 91 percent of the domestic assessments. Multiplying first handler 
assessments in 2017 of $2,091,881 by 0.91 and then dividing by 14 
yields an average annual assessment of $135,972 for the first handlers 
in this category. Dividing this figure ($135,972) by the assessment 
rate of 1.5 cents per pound ($0.015) yields an average quantity per 
first handler of 9.065 million pounds. Multiplying 9.065 million pounds 
by the average 2017 U.S.

[[Page 49316]]

domestic price of $2.16 per pound \2\ yields an average, annual honey 
revenue per handler of $19.58 million, which is well above the SBA 
threshold of $7.5 million. It should be noted that this revenue 
estimate is based on the average price at the producer level, and the 
$19.58 million is an estimate of the total value at which the average 
size handler acquired the honey from producers. Therefore, most of the 
14 first handlers that pay 91 percent of the domestic assessments are 
likely to be large firms according to the SBA definition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ USDA, NASS, Honey, March 14, 2018, p. 3, http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/Hone/Hone-03-14-2018.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An equivalent computation can be made for the 23 importers who paid 
90 percent of the $6,778,147 in assessments in 2017. Of the 23 
importers, the average assessment per importer was $265,741. Dividing 
the average assessment per importer by the assessment rate of $0.015 
per pound yields an average quantity per importer estimate of 17.716 
million pounds.
    For honey imports, the equivalent of the season average price for 
domestic honey is referred to as a ``unit value.'' The unit value of 
$1.23 per pound is computed by dividing annual imported honey value of 
$550.16 million by average quantity of 448.72 million pounds.\3\ 
Multiplying the $1.23 unit value by the average quantity of 17.716 
million pounds yields average annual honey revenue per importer figure 
of $21.790 million, almost three times the SBA threshold figure of $7.5 
million for a large firm. Therefore, the majority of the 23 importers 
that pay 90 percent of the assessments are large firms, according to 
the SBA definition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ USDA, AMS, SCP, MND, National Honey Report, February 26, 
2018, p. 10, https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvmhoney.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comparable computations can be made to determine the average 2017 
honey revenue for the 26 first handlers and 762 importers that paid 9 
and 10 percent, respectively, of the assessment in the first handler 
and importer categories. The first handler and importer average annual 
honey revenue figures are approximately $1,043,000 and $17,000, 
respectively, indicating that the vast majority are small businesses 
(in terms of honey sales), under the SBA large business threshold of 
$7.5 million in annual sales.
    Based on the foregoing, the majority of first handlers and 
importers may be classified as small entities.
    This proposed rule invites comments on changing the importer-
handler Board member and alternate, as specified in section 1212.40 of 
the Order, to an importer member and alternate. The Order currently 
requires one importer-handler representative on the Board who must 
import at least 75 percent of the honey or honey products they market 
in the United States and handle at least 250,000 pounds annually. The 
U.S. honey industry has experienced dramatic increases in imported 
honey and honey products, as the domestic production has decreased. 
Thus, the Board unanimously recommended that the importer-handler 
representative become an importer representative. This would allow for 
a greater pool of importer nominees to be eligible to serve on the 
Board. Conforming changes would also be made to remove Sec.  1212.12 
and revise Sec. Sec.  1212.22, 1212.41, and 1212.42(b). Finally, this 
proposal would update the term Board to reflect current practices 
(Sec.  1212.2, the heading preceding Sec.  1212.40 and Sec.  1212.40). 
Authority for this action is provided in section 1212.46(d) of the 
Order.
    Relaxing the eligibility requirements for importer representatives 
on the Board is administrative in nature and would have no economic 
impact on entities covered under the program. This change would help 
increase the number of importers who would be eligible to serve on the 
Board. Eligible producers, first handlers, and importers interested in 
serving on the Board would have to complete a background questionnaire. 
Those requirements are addressed later in this proposal in the section 
titled Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements.
    Prior to arriving at this proposed action, the Board consulted with 
the qualified national organizations that make the nominations to the 
Board. Alternatives that were considered included making no changes and 
adjusting the eligibility requirements. However, in considering the 
distribution of the production of honey and the quantity of honey and 
honey products imported into the United States, the Board concluded 
that revising the importer-handler representative to an importer 
representative would be an accurate reflection of the industry and 
would increase the pool of eligible importers.

Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
chapter 35), the information collection requirements that are imposed 
by the part have been previously approved by OMB under OMB control 
number 0581-0093. Additionally, Board nominees (including producers) 
must submit a Background Information form (AD-755) to ensure they are 
qualified to serve on the Board. The time to complete that form is 
estimated at 30 minutes per response. The background form is approved 
under OMB control no. 0505-0001. This proposed rule would not result in 
a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements 
previously approved and would impose no additional reporting 
requirements and recordkeeping burden on honey producers, first 
handlers, or importers.
    As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public-sector agencies. Finally, USDA has 
not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with this proposed rule.
    This action was discussed with the qualified national 
organizations. The Board met on October 26, 2017, and unanimously 
recommended changing the importer-handler representative to an importer 
representative. All of the Board's meetings are open to the public and 
interested persons are invited to participate and express their views.
    AMS has performed this initial RFA regarding the impact of this 
proposed action on small entities and invites comments concerning 
potential effects of this action.
    USDA has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with and 
would effectuate the purposes of the 1996 Act.
    A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to 
respond to this proposal. All written comments received in response to 
this proposed rule by the date specified will be considered prior to 
finalizing this action.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1212

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer 
information, Honey Packer and Importer promotion, Marketing agreements, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1212 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 1212--HONEY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS RESEARCH, PROMOTION, 
CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1212 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7411-7425; 7 U.S.C. 7401.

0
2. Revise Sec.  1212.2 to read as follows:

[[Page 49317]]

Sec.  1212.2  Board.

    ``Board'' or ``National Honey Board'' means the administrative body 
established pursuant to Sec.  1212.40, or such other name as 
recommended by the Board and approved by the Department.
0
3. Remove and reserve Sec.  1212.12.
0
4. Revise Sec.  1212.22 to read as follows:


Sec.  1212.22  Qualified national organization representing importer 
interests.

    ``Qualified national organization representing importer interests'' 
means an organization that the Secretary certifies as being eligible to 
nominate importer and alternate importer members of the Board under 
Sec.  1212.42.
0
5. Revise the undesignated center heading preceding Sec.  1212.40 to 
read ``National Honey Board.''
0
6. Revise 1212.40 to read as follows:


Sec.  1212.40  Establishment and membership.

    The National Honey Board is established to administer the terms and 
provisions of this part. The Board shall have ten members, composed of 
three first handler representatives, three importer representatives, 
three producer representatives, and one marketing cooperative 
representative. In addition, each producer representative must produce 
a minimum of 50,000 pounds of honey in the United States annually based 
on the best three-year average of the most recent five calendar years, 
as certified by producers. The Secretary will appoint members to the 
Board from nominees submitted in accordance with Sec.  1212.42. The 
Secretary shall also appoint an alternate for each member.
0
7. Revise Sec.  1212.41 to read as follows:


Sec.  1212.41  Term of office.

    Each Board member and alternate will serve a three-year term or 
until the Secretary selects his or her successor. No member or 
alternate may serve more than two consecutive terms. Each term of 
office will end on December 31, with new terms of office beginning on 
January 1.
0
8. Revise Sec.  1212.42 paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  1212.42  Nominations and appointments.

* * * * *
    (b) All qualified national organizations representing importer 
interests will have the opportunity to participate in a nomination 
caucus and will, to the extent practical, submit as a group a single 
slate of nominations to the Secretary for importer positions and the 
importer alternate positions on the Board. If the Secretary determines 
that there are no qualified national organizations representing 
importer interests, individual importers who have paid assessments to 
the Board in the most recent fiscal period may submit nominations.
* * * * *

    Dated: September 26, 2018.
Bruce Summers,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-21266 Filed 9-28-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-02-P