Water Carrier Tariff Filing Procedures, 66229-66234 [2018-27913]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules requirements for fluids for use in hydraulic brake systems of motor vehicle, containers for these fluids, and labeling of the containers. The purpose of this standard is to reduce failures, which may occur because of the manufacture or use of improper or contaminated fluid, in the hydraulic braking systems of motor vehicles. This standard applies to all fluid for use in hydraulic brake systems of motor vehicles. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 The NPRM On February 3, 2010, NHTSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend FMVSS No. 116 to include tests to measure the impact of brake fluid on ethylene, propylene, and diene terpolymer (EPDM) rubber, update references to industry standards, and correct minor errors in the standard.1 The supporting rationale for the proposed EPDM testing amendment was that the motor vehicle industry had shifted over the last two decades from using styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), which is currently covered by FMVSS No. 116, to EPDM rubber. The proposed rule informed the public about the agency’s proposal to amend the standard by: (1) Adding the testing of a terpolymer of ethylene, propylene, and diene (EPDM) rubber to the corrosion test and the temperature sensitivity test; (2) updating the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) references; and (3) correcting minor errors. Comments Received NHTSA received comments on the 2010 NPRM from three manufacturers of brake fluid/components, an international standards organization, and an individual. Two of the manufacturers mentioned that the Compatibility Fluid, RM–66–05, was no longer available, and had been replaced by RM–66–06 or ISO 4926 fluid. All three manufacturers suggested changes to a performance test that was unmentioned in the agency’s proposal. The international standards organization suggested changes that reflected more recent SAE standards. The individual opposed the incorporation of industry standards into Federal regulations and suggested additional performance tests. Reason for Withdrawal Although the agency proposal in 2010 provided amendments to add EPDM rubber to the standard and update the 1 75 FR 5553 (Feb. 3, 2010). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:03 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 references to industry standards, further research and studies are necessary to develop a proposed upgrade to FMVSS No. 116 that would effectively provide minimum performance requirements for the type of EPDM rubber currently available. The rubber formulations included in recent updates to industry standards have changed, and the blends referenced in the NPRM include ingredients that are no longer available. In addition to changes to the SBR and EPDM rubber formulations, the agency determined other corrections are necessary that were not included in the NPRM. One such correction brought up by commenters is the reference to the Compatibility Fluid, RM–66–05, which had been replaced by the RM–66–06 fluid. Another correction needed is the hardness test procedure for the EPDM rubber, which had been inadvertently omitted from the proposed performance tests in the NPRM. Finally, NHTSA notes SAE International and the ASTM have updated several of the industry standards and tests referenced in the NPRM since the publication of the notice in 2010. Since publication of the NPRM and after review of the comments, the agency has determined that updates and corrections outside the scope of the notice are necessary in order to publish a final rule, and additional research and data analyses are needed. Accordingly, NHTSA has determined that the proposed updates in the 2010 NPRM to FMVSS No. 116 should not be adopted at this time and is withdrawing the NPRM. Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.5. Heidi Renate King, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2018–27796 Filed 12–21–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD 49 CFR Parts 1002 and 1312 [Docket No. EP 743] Water Carrier Tariff Filing Procedures Surface Transportation Board. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) proposes a new procedure for water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade to electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public inspection. As explained in this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the Board proposes to update its water carrier tariff filing SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 66229 regulations to reflect current business practices. Comments are due by January 25, 2019. Reply comments are due by February 25, 2019. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted either via the Board’s e-filing format or in paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a document and otherwise comply with the instructions found on the Board’s website at www.stb.gov at the E–FILING link. Any person submitting a filing in paper format should send an original and 10 paper copies of the filing to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: Docket No. EP 743, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. Written comments and replies will be posted on the Board’s website and can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance (OPAGAC) at RCPA@stb.gov or (202) 245–0238. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Higgins at 202–245–0284. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In April 2017, the Board established its Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF), with the primary objective of identifying Board rules and practices that are burdensome, unnecessary, or outdated and to recommend how they should be addressed. See Regulatory Reform Task Force, EP 738 (STB served June 20, 2017). The RRTF identified the current water carrier tariff regulations at 49 CFR part 1312 as imposing significant costs on the carriers as well as the Board. See RRTF 90-Day Status Report (issued May 25, 2017); RRTF Status Report (issued Nov. 21, 2017).1 Accordingly, the proposed rules would update the Board’s regulations to allow water carriers 2 to electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public inspection. The Board anticipates that the new procedures would significantly reduce costs and burdens that water carriers incur in complying with tariffrelated statutory requirements. Background. Water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade 3 DATES: 1 These status reports can both be accessed on the Board’s website at https://www.stb.gov/stb/about/ RRTF.html. 2 Many water carriers use third-party service providers to manage and maintain their tariffs on the internet. 3 Noncontiguous domestic trade means ‘‘transportation subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 involving traffic originating in or destined to Alaska, Hawaii, or a territory or possession of the United States.’’ 49 U.S.C. 13102(17). E:\FR\FM\26DEP1.SGM 26DEP1 66230 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 are subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under 49 U.S.C. 13521. For their common carrier services, water carriers are required to publish, file, and keep available for public inspection tariffs setting forth their rates, charges, rules, and classifications. 49 U.S.C. 13702(a)– (b).4 Water carriers are required to charge and receive compensation for their services in accordance with the rates set forth in their tariffs and are prohibited from rebating or granting special privileges or accommodations to shippers that affect the value of the transportation or service provided. 49 U.S.C. 13702(a).5 Under 49 U.S.C. 13702(b), the Board is required to prescribe the form and manner of publishing, filing, and keeping tariffs available for public inspection. The current regulations for filing water carrier tariffs, which are set forth in Part 1312 and were last substantively updated in April 1997,6 contemplate the filing of tariffs with the Board in paper format and require the rates, rules, and practices for any transportation or service provided by the carrier to be contained in a published tariff that is on file with the Board. 49 CFR 1312.2; 1312.4(b). Between 1996 and 1999, the Board granted Special Tariff Authority to water carriers that allowed them to file tariffs electronically through the Automated Tariff Filing and Information (ATFI) system, a web-based portal hosted and maintained by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). See Electronic Filing of Noncontiguous Domestic Trade Tariffs, 1 S.T.B. 635 (1996). The FMC developed the ATFI system to allow ocean carriers operating in the U.S. foreign trade subject to its jurisdiction to file tariffs electronically. The FMC shared the ATFI system with the STB, thereby facilitating electronic tariff filing for water carriers subject to the Board’s jurisdiction. 1997 Regulations for Publ’n, 2 S.T.B. at 191. After the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, Public Law 105–258, 112 Stat. 1902 (1998), which eliminated tariff filing for ocean carriers operating in the U.S. foreign trade, the FMC terminated the ATFI system, and the Board 4 Section 13702(a)(1) includes an exception from the tariff filing requirement for bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal scrap, waste paper, and paper waste. 5 Water carriers, however, are permitted to enter into private contracts with shippers to provide transportation services subject to privatelynegotiated rates and terms. 49 U.S.C. 14101(b). In these contracts, water carriers and shippers may mutually agree to waive rights and remedies that would otherwise be available. Id. 6 See Regulations for the Publ’n, Posting & Filing of Tariffs for the Transp. of Prop. by or with a Water Carrier in the Noncontiguous Domestic Trade (1997 Regulations for Publ’n), 2 S.T.B. 188, recon. granted in part, 2 S.T.B. 301 (1997). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 declined to assume control over it or develop a new electronic system. However, the Board permitted individual water carriers to continue to apply for Special Tariff Authority, under 49 CFR 1312.2(e), to file their tariffs in alternative electronic formats. See Regulations for the Publ’n, Posting & Filing of Tariffs for Transp. of Prop. by or with a Water Carrier in Noncontiguous Domestic Trade (1999 Regulations for Publ’n), 4 S.T.B. 1 (1999). Special Tariff Authority applications are handled by the Board’s Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance (OPAGAC). See 49 CFR 1011.7(b)(3). Special Tariff Authority applications have been addressed on a case-by-case basis. For example, in April 1999, the Board granted the application of D.X.I. Incorporated (DXI), a third-party tariff publisher, to file tariffs electronically.7 Electronic Filing of Noncontiguous Domestic Trade Tariffs (Electronic Filing Decision), 4 S.T.B. 43 (1999). In that decision, the Board allowed DXI to maintain tariffs in an online system that Board staff and the public would be able to access via ‘‘dial up’’ to DXI’s system from the Board’s offices. DXI was required to submit an electronic transmittal letter of all tariff changes made on a given day as well as a machine-readable copy of tariff changes. While some subsequent Special Tariff Authority applications have been similar to the one in the Electronic Filing Decision, other applications have contemplated that water carriers would convert their paper tariffs into PDF documents and file PDF updates with the Board via email or compact disk. See, e.g., Filing of Printed Noncontiguous Domestic Trade Tariffs by Email, STA 8 (STB served Dec. 4, 2000.) Although few formal cases relating to water carrier rates and services have been filed with the agency,8 the Board believes it is important to ensure that its water carrier tariff rules are updated to reflect current business practices and reduce unnecessary burdens. Proposed Rules. The RRTF has reviewed the water carrier tariff regulations, including grants of Special Tariff Authority and filing requirements, and has recommended that the Board 7 At the time, DXI represented several water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade. 8 The Board’s last water carrier case was decided in October 2010, West Point Relocation, Inc. & Eli Cohen–Petition for Declaratory Order, FD 35290 (STB served Oct. 29, 2010), and the last rate case involving a water carrier was dismissed at the request of the complainant in October 2007, Government of the Territory of Guam v. Sea-Land Service, Inc., WCC 101, (STB served Oct. 12, 2007). PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 update these regulations to allow for more convenient electronic filing procedures. The Board finds that it is appropriate to modify the regulations at 49 CFR part 1312. Specifically, the Board proposes to allow water carriers to publish, file, and keep their tariffs electronically, but would also continue to allow water carriers the option of filing their tariffs in paper format. Under the proposal, water carriers would be permitted to comply with the filing requirement in 49 U.S.C. 13702 by: (1) Maintaining a publicly available version of its current and historical tariffs on the internet, and (2) electronically filing (e-filing) with the Board an annual certification made by a duly authorized corporate officer of the carrier that (a) contains an active link 9 to the internet location and access information for its tariffs and (b) affirms the water carrier’s continuing compliance with the relevant sections of Part 1312. The proposed rule provides sample language to be used in the certification. To utilize e-filing, a filer would first pay the required fee 10 via electronic payment through Pay.gov.11 Once the payment has been submitted, a confirmation email from Pay.gov would be sent containing a unique transaction number. The filer would then go to the Board’s e-filing website and, through a registered account, submit the transaction number received from Pay.gov and attach the annual certification. See Payment, Filing, and Service Procedures, EP 747, slip op. at 5–6. OPAGAC would acknowledge receipt of each carrier’s annual certification in writing. The Board would create a specific page on its website for water carriers that electronically file their tariffs. The page would provide links to the location of a water carrier’s current tariff, links to the most recent annual certification, and links to prior certifications. Access to water carrier tariffs filed in paper format would continue to be available to the public via requests to OPAGAC. 9 If the water carrier’s internet address changes during the 12-month period following the filing of its annual certification, the water carrier should provide the Board an updated certification with an active link as soon as possible. 10 The Board proposes an expansion of fee item 78 at 49 CFR 1002.2(f), to reflect the filing fee associated with the annual certification. 11 In a separate rulemaking, the Board is proposing to update its regulations to, among other things, add an electronic payment option at 49 CFR 1002.2(a). See Payment, Filing, and Service Procedures, EP 747 (STB served Aug. 24, 2018). As described further in that rulemaking, the Board would implement electronic payment through Pay.gov, which would accept bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo, and digital wallet for the payment of fees. E:\FR\FM\26DEP1.SGM 26DEP1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules By adding an e-filing option to the regulations, the Board believes it is appropriate to eliminate the option for obtaining tariff filing relief under the existing Special Tariff Authority applications process. See 49 CFR 1312.2(e). Accordingly, this proposal would also eliminate prior grants of Special Tariff Authority, meaning that all water carriers must either file their tariffs in paper format or electronically under the proposal outlined here. Currently under grants of Special Tariff Authority, some water carriers send notifications to the Board by email each time a tariff changes, which for many carriers is a daily occurrence. Discontinuing this practice, as well as the use of compact discs and floppy disks, as a means to submit and keep tariffs is anticipated to reduce the overall costs and burdens incurred by water carriers in complying with tariffrelated statutory requirements. Under the new framework, Board staff would be able to access and review water carrier tariffs for purposes of maintaining regulatory oversight. In addition, stakeholders would have access to current and historical tariffs without requesting them from the Board. Tariffs kept on the internet would need to comply with the content requirements of 49 CFR 1312.3, in addition to the new requirement that water carriers provide the date on which tariffs first appear on the internet and the date on which they are expected to become effective. The proposed rule would not prescribe the specific information technology resources (programming, applications or software, etc.) that carriers must use to house this information. As proposed, whatever information technology platform that a water carrier chooses would need to allow the Board and the public to retrieve historical versions of the tariff, including all rates and applicable rules, for a period of not less than five years. The requirement for electronically archiving five years of existing historical data would begin when a carrier first electronically files its tariffs. The Board expects that water carrier tariffs would be available to the Board and the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. If a water carrier anticipates an outage for routine electronic maintenance, it would be required to provide the Board with at least two days’ advance notice of the start and duration of the outage. If a tariff were to become unavailable for reasons beyond the carrier’s control (such as a software malfunction), the carrier would be required to notify the Board promptly via email at tariffs@ stb.gov. In the event of any outage, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 carriers would be required to make alternative arrangements with the agency to ensure that the Board and public have access to the tariffs in effect during the outage. In turn, the Board would provide that information on its website so that the public would be made aware of the particular outage as soon as reasonably possible. The proposed rule would allow water carriers to establish registration requirements on their own portal for tariff access over the internet. However, any registration process would be required to allow access to the tariff free of charge by anyone who requests it. For example, registration features that require a showing of ‘‘need’’ or ‘‘relevance,’’ or proof that a person or entity is a customer or potential customer as a prerequisite to accessing tariff information would be prohibited. Registration requirements would be permitted to require basic information, such as a person’s name and email address. See Publ’n Requirements for Ag. Products, EP 528 et al., slip op. at 6 (STB served June 30, 2017). Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601–612, generally requires a description and analysis of new rules that would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In drafting a rule, an agency is required to: (1) Assess the effect that its regulation will have on small entities, (2) analyze effective alternatives that may minimize a regulation’s impact, and (3) make the analysis available for public comment. Sections 601–604. In its notice of proposed rulemaking, the agency must either include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, section 603(a), or certify that the proposed rule would not have a ‘‘significant impact on a substantial number of small entities,’’ section 605(b). The impact must be a direct impact on small entities ‘‘whose conduct is circumscribed or mandated’’ by the proposed rule. White Eagle Coop. v. Conner, 553 F.3d 467, 480 (7th Cir. 2009). The proposed rules would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the RFA.12 The proposed regulations provide for new procedures for water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade to 12 The Small Business Administration’s Office of Size Standards has established a size standard for water transportation, pursuant to which deep sea freight transportation is considered small if its number of employees is 500 or less, and coastal and Great Lakes freight transportation is considered small if its number of employees is 750 or less. 13 CFR 121.201 (industry subsector 483). PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 66231 electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public inspection. When a carrier chooses to utilize these e-filing procedures, the requirements contained in these proposed regulations would not have a significant impact on participants, including small entities. They are intended as an option to eliminate the burdens associated with the current tariff filing requirements. Therefore, the Board certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined by the RFA. A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, DC 20416. Paperwork Reduction Act. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(3), and the Appendix, the Board seeks comments about the revisions in the proposed rules to the currently approved collection of Water Carrier Tariffs (OMB Control No. 2140–0026) regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information, as modified in the proposed rule below, is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board’s burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate. Because water carriers may make annual certifications and post their tariffs on their websites, rather than submitting each tariff directly to the Board, the Board estimates the proposed rules would reduce the total annual hourly burden by 583.75 hours under the PRA. The Board welcomes comment on the estimates of actual time and costs of compliance with the proposed rules, as detailed below and in the Appendix. Information pertinent to these issues is included in the Appendix. The proposed rules will be submitted to OMB for review as required under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) and 5 CFR 1320.11(b). Comments received by the Board regarding the information collection will also be forwarded to OMB for its review when the final rule is published. It is ordered: 1. Comments are due by January 25, 2019. Reply comments are due by February 25, 2019. E:\FR\FM\26DEP1.SGM 26DEP1 66232 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules 2. Notice of this decision will be published in the Federal Register. 3. A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration. 4. This decision is effective on its service date. Decided: December 18, 2018. By the Board, Board Members Begeman and Miller. to schedule ex parte meetings should contact the Board’s Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance (202–245–0238) or the Board Member’s office with whom the meeting is requested. Parties are not, however, required to schedule such meetings if they instead wish to participate solely by filing written comments. BOARD MEMBER MILLER, commenting: 49 CFR Part 1002 Administrative practice and procedure, Common carriers, Freedom of information. List of Subjects I write separately to remind parties that have an interest in this proceeding that the Board adopted new regulations in Ex Parte Communications in Informal Rulemaking Proceedings, EP 739 (STB served Feb. 28, 2018) that removed the prohibition on ex parte communications in informal rulemakings, such as the one here. Under these newly adopted regulations, 49 CFR 1102.2(g), parties may schedule ex parte meetings with Board Members by February 4, 2019. As the regulations specify, parties wishing 49 CFR Part 1312 Freight forwarders, Maritime carriers, Motor carriers, Pipelines, Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Board proposes to amend parts 1002 and 1312 of title 49, chapter X, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 1002—FEES 1. The authority citation for part 1002 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), (a)(6)(B), and 553; 31 U.S.C. 9701; and 49 U.S.C. 1321. Section 1002.1(f)(11) is also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 31 U.S.C. 3717. 2. Amend § 1002.2 by, re-designating the introductory text of paragraph (f)(78) as paragraph (f)(78)(i) and adding paragraph (f)(78)(ii) to read as follows: ■ § 1002.2 * Filing fees. * * (f) * * * * Brendetta Jones, Clearance Clerk. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Surface Transportation Type of proceeding * * PART VI: Informal Proceedings: * Fee * * * * * * * * (78) (i) The filing of tariffs, including supplements, or contract summaries .......................................... (ii) The filing of water carrier electronic annual certifications ......................................................... * * * * * * * * PART 1312—REGULATIONS FOR THE PUBLICATION, POSTING AND FILING OF TARIFFS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY BY OR WITH A WATER CARRIER IN NONCONTIGUOUS DOMESTIC TRADE 3. The authority citation for part 1312 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 1321(a), 13702(a), 13702(b) and 13702(d). 4. The heading of part 1312 is revised to read as set forth above. ■ 5. Amend § 1312.1(c) by revising the definition of publication to read as follows: ■ amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 § 1312.1 Scope; definitions. * * * * * (c) * * * Publication means a bound tariff, a tariff supplement, a looseleaf tariff page, or an electronically published tariff. * * * * * ■ 6. Amend § 1312.2 by revising paragraph (b), removing paragraph (e) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 * * § 1312.2 tariff. Requirement to publish and file a * * * * * (b) Adherence to tariff. The carrier may not charge or receive a different compensation for the transportation or service than the rate specified in the tariff, whether by returning a part of that rate to a person, giving a person a privilege, allowing the use of a facility that affects the value of that transportation or service, or another device. * * * * * ■ 7. Amend § 1312.3 by revising paragraph(a) to read as follows: § 1312.3 Tariff contents and standards; Essential criteria. (a) Contents. Tariffs filed with the Board, including tariffs published, filed, and kept electronically in accordance with § 1312.4(c) of this part, must be filed in English; must include an accurate description of the services offered to the public; must provide the PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4702 * * $1 per page. ($29 min charge.) $29. * and re-designating paragraph (f) as paragraph (e) to read as follows: Sfmt 4702 * * * specific applicable rates explicitly stated in U.S. dollars and cents (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms; and must be arranged in a way that allows for the determination of the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to any given shipment (or to any given group of shipments). Tariffs that are electronically kept on the internet must also provide the date on which a new tariff or any change in a tariff matter first appears on the internet and the date on which it becomes effective. * * * * * ■ 8. Amend § 1312.4 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows: § 1312.4 Filing of tariffs. (a) Paper filing requirements. (1) Two copies of each tariff publication shall be filed with the Board. Packages containing tariff filings should be prominently marked ‘‘TARIFF FILING’’ and addressed to: Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs and Compliance, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423–0001. E:\FR\FM\26DEP1.SGM 26DEP1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules Tariffs shall be printed on paper not larger than 81⁄2 x 11 inches. (2) A paper tariff filing must be accompanied by an authorized document of transmittal identifying each publication filed, and by the appropriate filing fee (see 49 CFR part 1002). Acknowledgement of Board receipt of a paper tariff filing can be obtained by enclosing a duplicate transmittal letter and a postage-paid, self-addressed return envelope. Each transmittal letter shall clearly indicate in the upper left-hand corner thereof: (i) The assigned alpha code of the issuing carrier or agent; (ii) The number of pages transmitted; (iii) The filing fee enclosed (pursuant to 49 CFR 1002.2(a)); and (iv) The transmittal number if the filer utilizes transmittal numbers. (b) Electronic filing requirements. As an alternative to the paper tariff filing procedures set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, a water carrier may file its tariff(s) electronically in accordance with the procedures and requirements of this section. Tariffs published, filed, and kept electronically in accordance with the requirements of this section shall be deemed to be on file with the Board for purposes of 49 U.S.C. 13702(b). (1) Annual certification. A water carrier that seeks to file its tariff electronically must electronically file an annual certification with the Board, made by the water carrier’s duly authorized corporate officer. The annual certification must be submitted to the Board on the first business day in February each year. The Director of the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance or a designee will acknowledge receipt of each carrier’s certification in writing. The annual certification shall include the following: (i) Certification that it is a water carrier operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade subject to the Board’s jurisdiction; (ii) Certification that it is in compliance with the regulations of this section for purposes of publishing, filing, and keeping its tariff electronically; (iii) Certification that it is in compliance with all other regulations at part 1312, except those specifically applicable to tariffs maintained in paper format; (iv) An active link to the internet address of tariffs; (v) The assigned alpha code of the issuing carrier or agent; and (vi) The filing fee (pursuant to 49 CFR 1002.2(a)). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 66233 (vii) The annual certification must be submitted to the Board on the first business day in February each year. The Director of the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance or a designee will acknowledge receipt of each carrier’s certification in writing. (2) Sample text for the annual certification. and the public to retrieve historical versions, including all rates and applicable rules, for a period of not less than five years, beginning on the date when a carrier first electronically files its tariffs under these regulations. * * * * * ■ 9. In § 1312.6, add paragraph (e) to read as follows: [Name of Director, Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance], Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs and Compliance, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC. Dear Director: I, [name of signor], certify that I am [title of office] of [name of water carrier], a water carrier operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade subject to STB jurisdiction, that [Name of water carrier] is in compliance with the regulations at part 1312 for purposes of publishing, filing, and keeping its tariff electronically, and that it is in compliance with all other regulations at part 1312, except those specifically applicable to tariffs maintained in paper format. The internet address where [name of water carrier]’s tariffs can be located is: This internet address is current as of [date]. I further declare (certify, verify or state) under penalty of perjury (‘‘under the laws of the United States of America’’ if executed outside of the United States of America) that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). Very truly yours, [signature of a duly authorized corporate officer of water carrier.] § 1312.6 (3) Tariff Access Requirement. (i) A water carrier must provide the Board with at least two business days advance notice of any planned outage when its tariff will not be available on the internet, and prompt notice on any occasion when the tariff becomes unavailable due to circumstances beyond the carrier’s control. Notice shall be submitted by email to tariffs@ stb.gov. In the event of any outage, carriers are required to make alternative arrangements with the agency to ensure that the Board receives the tariff(s) in effect during the outage. (ii) A water carrier may establish reasonable registration requirements for purposes of public access to its current tariff and historical tariff information, such as requiring a user to provide his or her name and email address; however, such requirements may not limit tariff access to any particular group or class of users (such as shippers or potential shippers) or impose unreasonable burdens on the user, such as access fees or a showing of need. (4) Historical Tariff Information and Archiving. Tariffs kept on the internet by a water carrier must allow the Board PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Advance notice required. * * * * * (e) Notice for purposes of electronically filed tariffs. A water carrier that keeps its tariffs on the internet must comply with the notice requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, provided however, that the relevant notice periods set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section shall run from the date on which the tariff matter first appears in the water carrier’s tariff on the internet. ■ 10. Amend § 1312.12 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows: § 1312.12 Posting requirements. * * * * * (c) Exemption for electronically filed tariffs. A water carrier that publishes, files, and keeps its tariffs electronically in accordance with § 1312.4(b) is exempt from the posting requirements of this section. ■ 11. Amend § 1312.13 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows: § 1312.13 Furnishing copies of tariff publications. * * * * * (g) Exemption for electronically filed tariffs. A water carrier that publishes, files, and keeps its tariffs electronically in accordance with § 1312.4(b) is exempt from this section. ■ 12. Amend § 1312.15 by adding a sentence at the end of paragraph (a) and a sentence at the end of paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 1312.15 Change of carrier or agent. (a) * * * A water carrier that publishes, files, and keeps its tariffs electronically in accordance with § 1312.4(b) shall promptly submit any such change by email to tariffs@stb.gov, but in no case later than 20 days after the effective date. (b) * * * A water carrier that publishes, files, and keeps its tariffs electronically in accordance with § 1312.4(b) shall promptly submit any such change of agent by email to tariffs@ stb.gov, but in no case later than 20 days after the effective date. Note: The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. E:\FR\FM\26DEP1.SGM 26DEP1 66234 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 246 / Wednesday, December 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules Appendix—Information Collection Under the Paperwork Reduction Act Title: Water Carrier Tariffs. OMB Control Number: 2140–0026. STB Form Number: None. Type of Review: Extension with change. Summary: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the revision of the currently approved information collection, Water Carrier Tariffs, OMB Control No. 2140–0026, as further described below. The requested revision to the currently approved collection is necessitated by this NPRM. Respondents: Water carriers that provide freight transportation in noncontiguous domestic trade. Number of Respondents: Approximately 20. Frequency: Annually. Total Burden Hours (annually including all respondents): 80 hours (20 annual filings × 4 hours estimated time per certification). Total ‘‘Non-Hour Burden’’ Cost (such as start-up costs and mailing costs): There are no non-hourly burden costs for this collection. The annual certifications will be submitted electronically. Needs and Uses: Under 49 U.S.C. 13702(b) and 49 CFR part 1312, water carriers that provide freight transportation in noncontiguous domestic trade (i.e., shipments moving to or from Alaska, Hawaii, or the U.S. territories or possessions (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands) to or from the mainland U.S.) may file an annual certification with the Board that includes the internet address of a website containing a list of current and historical prices and fees that the water carrier charges to the shipping public, rather than submit individual tariffs to the Board. The collection by the Board of these water carrier annual certifications with active website links will decrease the burden on carriers. [FR Doc. 2018–27913 Filed 12–21–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with PROPOSALS1 [Docket No. 181010932–8999–01] RIN 0648–XG562 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2019 Bluefish Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:37 Dec 21, 2018 Jkt 247001 specifications are available upon request from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic SUMMARY: NMFS proposes specifications Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, for the 2019 Atlantic bluefish fishery, as 800 N State Street, Dover, DE 19901. recommended by the Mid-Atlantic These documents are also accessible via Fishery Management Council. This the internet at http://www.mafmc.org. action is necessary to comply with the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: implementing regulations of the Cynthia Ferrio, Fishery Management Bluefish Fishery Management Plan that Specialist, (978) 281–9180. require NMFS to publish specifications SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: for the fishery after providing the opportunity for public comment. The Background proposed specifications are intended to The Mid-Atlantic Fishery establish allowable harvest levels for the Management Council and the Atlantic stock that will prevent overfishing while States Marine Fisheries Commission allowing optimum yield, consistent jointly manage the Atlantic Bluefish with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Conservation and Management Act and FMP requires the specification of the the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan. acceptable biological catch (ABC), This action also informs the public of annual catch limit (ACL), annual catch the proposed fishery specifications, and targets (ACT), commercial quotas, provides an opportunity for comment. recreational harvest limit, and other DATES: Comments must be received by management measures, for up to three January 10, 2019. years at a time. This action proposes ADDRESSES: You may submit comments specifications for the bluefish fishery for on this document, identified by NOAA– the 2019 fishing year. NMFS–2018–0127, by either of the In 2015, the 60th Northeast Stock following methods: Assessment Workshop concluded that Electronic Submission: Submit all the Atlantic bluefish stock is not electronic public comments via the overfished, and overfishing is not Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. occurring. The most recent data update 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/ (2018) showed slight declines in #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018biomass after 2016, but no change in 0127, stock status from the 2015 benchmark 2. Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, assessment. Based on this best available complete the required fields, and scientific information, the Council’s 3. Enter or attach your comments. Scientific and Statistical Committee —OR— (SSC) recommended that specifications for the 2019 bluefish fishery remain Mail: Submit written comments to unchanged from the 2018 specifications Michael Pentony, Regional provided in the August 4, 2016, final Administrator, National Marine rule (81 FR 26267), as corrected in the Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic September 27, 2016, final rule (81 FR Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the 66197). The SSC found no compelling outside of the envelope: ‘‘Comments on reason to change the overfishing limit, the Proposed Rule for Bluefish ABC, or subsequent catch limits and Specifications.’’ targets. The Council’s Bluefish Instructions: Comments sent by any Monitoring Committee (MC) also made other method, to any other address or status quo recommendations following individual, or received after the end of their 2018 meeting, consistent with the the comment period, may not be SSC. considered by NMFS. All comments The Bluefish FMP has a prescriptive received are part of the public record process for deriving specifications from and will generally be posted for public the ABC. The FMP sets the ACL equal viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying to the ABC, and there is historically no reduction due to management information (e.g., name, address, etc.), uncertainty because of persistent underconfidential business information, or harvest of available catch limits. The otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will ACL is then divided between the commercial and recreational sectors by be publicly accessible. NMFS will allocating 17 percent to the commercial accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish ACT and 83 percent to the recreational ACT. Discards are then subtracted from to remain anonymous). each sector to calculate each sector’s Copies of the Supplemental TAL. Commercial discards are assumed Information Report (SIR) prepared for to be negligible and recreational this action and other supporting discards are projected using a terminal documents for the proposed Proposed rule; request for comments. ACTION: PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\26DEP1.SGM 26DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 246 (Wednesday, December 26, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66229-66234]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27913]


=======================================================================
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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

49 CFR Parts 1002 and 1312

[Docket No. EP 743]


Water Carrier Tariff Filing Procedures

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

SUMMARY: The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) proposes a new 
procedure for water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic 
trade to electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for 
public inspection. As explained in this notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM), the Board proposes to update its water carrier tariff filing 
regulations to reflect current business practices.

DATES: Comments are due by January 25, 2019. Reply comments are due by 
February 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing 
format or in paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a 
document and otherwise comply with the instructions found on the 
Board's website at www.stb.gov at the E-FILING link. Any person 
submitting a filing in paper format should send an original and 10 
paper copies of the filing to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: 
Docket No. EP 743, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001. Written 
comments and replies will be posted on the Board's website and can also 
be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental 
Affairs, and Compliance (OPAGAC) at RCPA@stb.gov or (202) 245-0238.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Higgins at 202-245-0284. 
Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In April 2017, the Board established its 
Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF), with the primary objective of 
identifying Board rules and practices that are burdensome, unnecessary, 
or outdated and to recommend how they should be addressed. See 
Regulatory Reform Task Force, EP 738 (STB served June 20, 2017). The 
RRTF identified the current water carrier tariff regulations at 49 CFR 
part 1312 as imposing significant costs on the carriers as well as the 
Board. See RRTF 90-Day Status Report (issued May 25, 2017); RRTF Status 
Report (issued Nov. 21, 2017).\1\ Accordingly, the proposed rules would 
update the Board's regulations to allow water carriers \2\ to 
electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public 
inspection. The Board anticipates that the new procedures would 
significantly reduce costs and burdens that water carriers incur in 
complying with tariff-related statutory requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ These status reports can both be accessed on the Board's 
website at https://www.stb.gov/stb/about/RRTF.html.
    \2\ Many water carriers use third-party service providers to 
manage and maintain their tariffs on the internet.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Background. Water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic 
trade \3\

[[Page 66230]]

are subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under 49 U.S.C. 13521. For 
their common carrier services, water carriers are required to publish, 
file, and keep available for public inspection tariffs setting forth 
their rates, charges, rules, and classifications. 49 U.S.C. 13702(a)-
(b).\4\ Water carriers are required to charge and receive compensation 
for their services in accordance with the rates set forth in their 
tariffs and are prohibited from rebating or granting special privileges 
or accommodations to shippers that affect the value of the 
transportation or service provided. 49 U.S.C. 13702(a).\5\ Under 49 
U.S.C. 13702(b), the Board is required to prescribe the form and manner 
of publishing, filing, and keeping tariffs available for public 
inspection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Noncontiguous domestic trade means ``transportation subject 
to jurisdiction under chapter 135 involving traffic originating in 
or destined to Alaska, Hawaii, or a territory or possession of the 
United States.'' 49 U.S.C. 13102(17).
    \4\ Section 13702(a)(1) includes an exception from the tariff 
filing requirement for bulk cargo, forest products, recycled metal 
scrap, waste paper, and paper waste.
    \5\ Water carriers, however, are permitted to enter into private 
contracts with shippers to provide transportation services subject 
to privately-negotiated rates and terms. 49 U.S.C. 14101(b). In 
these contracts, water carriers and shippers may mutually agree to 
waive rights and remedies that would otherwise be available. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The current regulations for filing water carrier tariffs, which are 
set forth in Part 1312 and were last substantively updated in April 
1997,\6\ contemplate the filing of tariffs with the Board in paper 
format and require the rates, rules, and practices for any 
transportation or service provided by the carrier to be contained in a 
published tariff that is on file with the Board. 49 CFR 1312.2; 
1312.4(b). Between 1996 and 1999, the Board granted Special Tariff 
Authority to water carriers that allowed them to file tariffs 
electronically through the Automated Tariff Filing and Information 
(ATFI) system, a web-based portal hosted and maintained by the Federal 
Maritime Commission (FMC). See Electronic Filing of Noncontiguous 
Domestic Trade Tariffs, 1 S.T.B. 635 (1996). The FMC developed the ATFI 
system to allow ocean carriers operating in the U.S. foreign trade 
subject to its jurisdiction to file tariffs electronically. The FMC 
shared the ATFI system with the STB, thereby facilitating electronic 
tariff filing for water carriers subject to the Board's jurisdiction. 
1997 Regulations for Publ'n, 2 S.T.B. at 191.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See Regulations for the Publ'n, Posting & Filing of Tariffs 
for the Transp. of Prop. by or with a Water Carrier in the 
Noncontiguous Domestic Trade (1997 Regulations for Publ'n), 2 S.T.B. 
188, recon. granted in part, 2 S.T.B. 301 (1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, Public Law 105-258, 
112 Stat. 1902 (1998), which eliminated tariff filing for ocean 
carriers operating in the U.S. foreign trade, the FMC terminated the 
ATFI system, and the Board declined to assume control over it or 
develop a new electronic system. However, the Board permitted 
individual water carriers to continue to apply for Special Tariff 
Authority, under 49 CFR 1312.2(e), to file their tariffs in alternative 
electronic formats. See Regulations for the Publ'n, Posting & Filing of 
Tariffs for Transp. of Prop. by or with a Water Carrier in 
Noncontiguous Domestic Trade (1999 Regulations for Publ'n), 4 S.T.B. 1 
(1999). Special Tariff Authority applications are handled by the 
Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and 
Compliance (OPAGAC). See 49 CFR 1011.7(b)(3).
    Special Tariff Authority applications have been addressed on a 
case-by-case basis. For example, in April 1999, the Board granted the 
application of D.X.I. Incorporated (DXI), a third-party tariff 
publisher, to file tariffs electronically.\7\ Electronic Filing of 
Noncontiguous Domestic Trade Tariffs (Electronic Filing Decision), 4 
S.T.B. 43 (1999). In that decision, the Board allowed DXI to maintain 
tariffs in an online system that Board staff and the public would be 
able to access via ``dial up'' to DXI's system from the Board's 
offices. DXI was required to submit an electronic transmittal letter of 
all tariff changes made on a given day as well as a machine-readable 
copy of tariff changes. While some subsequent Special Tariff Authority 
applications have been similar to the one in the Electronic Filing 
Decision, other applications have contemplated that water carriers 
would convert their paper tariffs into PDF documents and file PDF 
updates with the Board via email or compact disk. See, e.g., Filing of 
Printed Noncontiguous Domestic Trade Tariffs by Email, STA 8 (STB 
served Dec. 4, 2000.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ At the time, DXI represented several water carriers 
operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although few formal cases relating to water carrier rates and 
services have been filed with the agency,\8\ the Board believes it is 
important to ensure that its water carrier tariff rules are updated to 
reflect current business practices and reduce unnecessary burdens.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ The Board's last water carrier case was decided in October 
2010, West Point Relocation, Inc. & Eli Cohen-Petition for 
Declaratory Order, FD 35290 (STB served Oct. 29, 2010), and the last 
rate case involving a water carrier was dismissed at the request of 
the complainant in October 2007, Government of the Territory of Guam 
v. Sea-Land Service, Inc., WCC 101, (STB served Oct. 12, 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Proposed Rules. The RRTF has reviewed the water carrier tariff 
regulations, including grants of Special Tariff Authority and filing 
requirements, and has recommended that the Board update these 
regulations to allow for more convenient electronic filing procedures. 
The Board finds that it is appropriate to modify the regulations at 49 
CFR part 1312. Specifically, the Board proposes to allow water carriers 
to publish, file, and keep their tariffs electronically, but would also 
continue to allow water carriers the option of filing their tariffs in 
paper format.
    Under the proposal, water carriers would be permitted to comply 
with the filing requirement in 49 U.S.C. 13702 by: (1) Maintaining a 
publicly available version of its current and historical tariffs on the 
internet, and (2) electronically filing (e-filing) with the Board an 
annual certification made by a duly authorized corporate officer of the 
carrier that (a) contains an active link \9\ to the internet location 
and access information for its tariffs and (b) affirms the water 
carrier's continuing compliance with the relevant sections of Part 
1312. The proposed rule provides sample language to be used in the 
certification. To utilize e-filing, a filer would first pay the 
required fee \10\ via electronic payment through Pay.gov.\11\ Once the 
payment has been submitted, a confirmation email from Pay.gov would be 
sent containing a unique transaction number. The filer would then go to 
the Board's e-filing website and, through a registered account, submit 
the transaction number received from Pay.gov and attach the annual 
certification. See Payment, Filing, and Service Procedures, EP 747, 
slip op. at 5-6. OPAGAC would acknowledge receipt of each carrier's 
annual certification in writing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ If the water carrier's internet address changes during the 
12-month period following the filing of its annual certification, 
the water carrier should provide the Board an updated certification 
with an active link as soon as possible.
    \10\ The Board proposes an expansion of fee item 78 at 49 CFR 
1002.2(f), to reflect the filing fee associated with the annual 
certification.
    \11\ In a separate rulemaking, the Board is proposing to update 
its regulations to, among other things, add an electronic payment 
option at 49 CFR 1002.2(a). See Payment, Filing, and Service 
Procedures, EP 747 (STB served Aug. 24, 2018). As described further 
in that rulemaking, the Board would implement electronic payment 
through Pay.gov, which would accept bank accounts, credit cards, 
debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo, and digital wallet for 
the payment of fees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Board would create a specific page on its website for water 
carriers that electronically file their tariffs. The page would provide 
links to the location of a water carrier's current tariff, links to the 
most recent annual certification, and links to prior certifications. 
Access to water carrier tariffs filed in paper format would continue to 
be available to the public via requests to OPAGAC.

[[Page 66231]]

    By adding an e-filing option to the regulations, the Board believes 
it is appropriate to eliminate the option for obtaining tariff filing 
relief under the existing Special Tariff Authority applications 
process. See 49 CFR 1312.2(e). Accordingly, this proposal would also 
eliminate prior grants of Special Tariff Authority, meaning that all 
water carriers must either file their tariffs in paper format or 
electronically under the proposal outlined here. Currently under grants 
of Special Tariff Authority, some water carriers send notifications to 
the Board by email each time a tariff changes, which for many carriers 
is a daily occurrence. Discontinuing this practice, as well as the use 
of compact discs and floppy disks, as a means to submit and keep 
tariffs is anticipated to reduce the overall costs and burdens incurred 
by water carriers in complying with tariff-related statutory 
requirements.
    Under the new framework, Board staff would be able to access and 
review water carrier tariffs for purposes of maintaining regulatory 
oversight. In addition, stakeholders would have access to current and 
historical tariffs without requesting them from the Board. Tariffs kept 
on the internet would need to comply with the content requirements of 
49 CFR 1312.3, in addition to the new requirement that water carriers 
provide the date on which tariffs first appear on the internet and the 
date on which they are expected to become effective. The proposed rule 
would not prescribe the specific information technology resources 
(programming, applications or software, etc.) that carriers must use to 
house this information. As proposed, whatever information technology 
platform that a water carrier chooses would need to allow the Board and 
the public to retrieve historical versions of the tariff, including all 
rates and applicable rules, for a period of not less than five years. 
The requirement for electronically archiving five years of existing 
historical data would begin when a carrier first electronically files 
its tariffs.
    The Board expects that water carrier tariffs would be available to 
the Board and the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. 
If a water carrier anticipates an outage for routine electronic 
maintenance, it would be required to provide the Board with at least 
two days' advance notice of the start and duration of the outage. If a 
tariff were to become unavailable for reasons beyond the carrier's 
control (such as a software malfunction), the carrier would be required 
to notify the Board promptly via email at tariffs@stb.gov. In the event 
of any outage, carriers would be required to make alternative 
arrangements with the agency to ensure that the Board and public have 
access to the tariffs in effect during the outage. In turn, the Board 
would provide that information on its website so that the public would 
be made aware of the particular outage as soon as reasonably possible.
    The proposed rule would allow water carriers to establish 
registration requirements on their own portal for tariff access over 
the internet. However, any registration process would be required to 
allow access to the tariff free of charge by anyone who requests it. 
For example, registration features that require a showing of ``need'' 
or ``relevance,'' or proof that a person or entity is a customer or 
potential customer as a prerequisite to accessing tariff information 
would be prohibited. Registration requirements would be permitted to 
require basic information, such as a person's name and email address. 
See Publ'n Requirements for Ag. Products, EP 528 et al., slip op. at 6 
(STB served June 30, 2017).
    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 
(RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, generally requires a description and analysis 
of new rules that would have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. In drafting a rule, an agency is 
required to: (1) Assess the effect that its regulation will have on 
small entities, (2) analyze effective alternatives that may minimize a 
regulation's impact, and (3) make the analysis available for public 
comment. Sections 601-604. In its notice of proposed rulemaking, the 
agency must either include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, 
section 603(a), or certify that the proposed rule would not have a 
``significant impact on a substantial number of small entities,'' 
section 605(b). The impact must be a direct impact on small entities 
``whose conduct is circumscribed or mandated'' by the proposed rule. 
White Eagle Coop. v. Conner, 553 F.3d 467, 480 (7th Cir. 2009).
    The proposed rules would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the 
RFA.\12\ The proposed regulations provide for new procedures for water 
carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade to 
electronically publish, file, and keep tariffs available for public 
inspection. When a carrier chooses to utilize these e-filing 
procedures, the requirements contained in these proposed regulations 
would not have a significant impact on participants, including small 
entities. They are intended as an option to eliminate the burdens 
associated with the current tariff filing requirements. Therefore, the 
Board certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
as defined by the RFA. A copy of this decision will be served upon the 
Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business 
Administration, Washington, DC 20416.
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    \12\ The Small Business Administration's Office of Size 
Standards has established a size standard for water transportation, 
pursuant to which deep sea freight transportation is considered 
small if its number of employees is 500 or less, and coastal and 
Great Lakes freight transportation is considered small if its number 
of employees is 750 or less. 13 CFR 121.201 (industry subsector 
483).
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    Paperwork Reduction Act. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act 
(PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
regulations at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(3), and the Appendix, the Board seeks 
comments about the revisions in the proposed rules to the currently 
approved collection of Water Carrier Tariffs (OMB Control No. 2140-
0026) regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information, as modified 
in the proposed rule below, is necessary for the proper performance of 
the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has 
practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; 
(3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on the respondents, including the use of 
automated collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology, when appropriate.
    Because water carriers may make annual certifications and post 
their tariffs on their websites, rather than submitting each tariff 
directly to the Board, the Board estimates the proposed rules would 
reduce the total annual hourly burden by 583.75 hours under the PRA. 
The Board welcomes comment on the estimates of actual time and costs of 
compliance with the proposed rules, as detailed below and in the 
Appendix. Information pertinent to these issues is included in the 
Appendix. The proposed rules will be submitted to OMB for review as 
required under 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) and 5 CFR 1320.11(b). Comments 
received by the Board regarding the information collection will also be 
forwarded to OMB for its review when the final rule is published.
    It is ordered:
    1. Comments are due by January 25, 2019. Reply comments are due by 
February 25, 2019.

[[Page 66232]]

    2. Notice of this decision will be published in the Federal 
Register.
    3. A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel 
for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration.
    4. This decision is effective on its service date.
    Decided: December 18, 2018.
    By the Board, Board Members Begeman and Miller.
BOARD MEMBER MILLER, commenting:
    I write separately to remind parties that have an interest in this 
proceeding that the Board adopted new regulations in Ex Parte 
Communications in Informal Rulemaking Proceedings, EP 739 (STB served 
Feb. 28, 2018) that removed the prohibition on ex parte communications 
in informal rulemakings, such as the one here. Under these newly 
adopted regulations, 49 CFR 1102.2(g), parties may schedule ex parte 
meetings with Board Members by February 4, 2019. As the regulations 
specify, parties wishing to schedule ex parte meetings should contact 
the Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and 
Compliance (202-245-0238) or the Board Member's office with whom the 
meeting is requested. Parties are not, however, required to schedule 
such meetings if they instead wish to participate solely by filing 
written comments.

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 1002

    Administrative practice and procedure, Common carriers, Freedom of 
information.

49 CFR Part 1312

    Freight forwarders, Maritime carriers, Motor carriers, Pipelines, 
Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Brendetta Jones,
Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Surface 
Transportation Board proposes to amend parts 1002 and 1312 of title 49, 
chapter X, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 1002--FEES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1002 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), (a)(6)(B), and 553; 31 U.S.C. 
9701; and 49 U.S.C. 1321. Section 1002.1(f)(11) is also issued under 
5 U.S.C. 5514 and 31 U.S.C. 3717.

0
2. Amend Sec.  1002.2 by, re-designating the introductory text of 
paragraph (f)(78) as paragraph (f)(78)(i) and adding paragraph 
(f)(78)(ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  1002.2   Filing fees.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Type of proceeding                           Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
PART VI: Informal Proceedings:
 
                              * * * * * * *
    (78) (i) The filing of tariffs, including     $1 per page. ($29 min
     supplements, or contract summaries.           charge.)
        (ii) The filing of water carrier          $29.
         electronic annual certifications.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

PART 1312--REGULATIONS FOR THE PUBLICATION, POSTING AND FILING OF 
TARIFFS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY BY OR WITH A WATER 
CARRIER IN NONCONTIGUOUS DOMESTIC TRADE

0
3. The authority citation for part 1312 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 1321(a), 13702(a), 13702(b) and 13702(d).

0
4. The heading of part 1312 is revised to read as set forth above.
0
5. Amend Sec.  1312.1(c) by revising the definition of publication to 
read as follows:


Sec.  1312.1   Scope; definitions.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    Publication means a bound tariff, a tariff supplement, a looseleaf 
tariff page, or an electronically published tariff.
* * * * *
0
6. Amend Sec.  1312.2 by revising paragraph (b), removing paragraph (e) 
and re-designating paragraph (f) as paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  1312.2   Requirement to publish and file a tariff.

* * * * *
    (b) Adherence to tariff. The carrier may not charge or receive a 
different compensation for the transportation or service than the rate 
specified in the tariff, whether by returning a part of that rate to a 
person, giving a person a privilege, allowing the use of a facility 
that affects the value of that transportation or service, or another 
device.
* * * * *
0
7. Amend Sec.  1312.3 by revising paragraph(a) to read as follows:


Sec.  1312.3   Tariff contents and standards; Essential criteria.

    (a) Contents. Tariffs filed with the Board, including tariffs 
published, filed, and kept electronically in accordance with Sec.  
1312.4(c) of this part, must be filed in English; must include an 
accurate description of the services offered to the public; must 
provide the specific applicable rates explicitly stated in U.S. dollars 
and cents (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) 
and service terms; and must be arranged in a way that allows for the 
determination of the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to any 
given shipment (or to any given group of shipments). Tariffs that are 
electronically kept on the internet must also provide the date on which 
a new tariff or any change in a tariff matter first appears on the 
internet and the date on which it becomes effective.
* * * * *
0
8. Amend Sec.  1312.4 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1312.4   Filing of tariffs.

    (a) Paper filing requirements. (1) Two copies of each tariff 
publication shall be filed with the Board. Packages containing tariff 
filings should be prominently marked ``TARIFF FILING'' and addressed 
to: Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs and Compliance, 
Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001.

[[Page 66233]]

Tariffs shall be printed on paper not larger than 8\1/2\ x 11 inches.
    (2) A paper tariff filing must be accompanied by an authorized 
document of transmittal identifying each publication filed, and by the 
appropriate filing fee (see 49 CFR part 1002). Acknowledgement of Board 
receipt of a paper tariff filing can be obtained by enclosing a 
duplicate transmittal letter and a postage-paid, self-addressed return 
envelope. Each transmittal letter shall clearly indicate in the upper 
left-hand corner thereof:
    (i) The assigned alpha code of the issuing carrier or agent;
    (ii) The number of pages transmitted;
    (iii) The filing fee enclosed (pursuant to 49 CFR 1002.2(a)); and
    (iv) The transmittal number if the filer utilizes transmittal 
numbers.
    (b) Electronic filing requirements. As an alternative to the paper 
tariff filing procedures set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, a 
water carrier may file its tariff(s) electronically in accordance with 
the procedures and requirements of this section. Tariffs published, 
filed, and kept electronically in accordance with the requirements of 
this section shall be deemed to be on file with the Board for purposes 
of 49 U.S.C. 13702(b).
    (1) Annual certification. A water carrier that seeks to file its 
tariff electronically must electronically file an annual certification 
with the Board, made by the water carrier's duly authorized corporate 
officer. The annual certification must be submitted to the Board on the 
first business day in February each year. The Director of the Office of 
Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance or a designee 
will acknowledge receipt of each carrier's certification in writing. 
The annual certification shall include the following:
    (i) Certification that it is a water carrier operating in the 
noncontiguous domestic trade subject to the Board's jurisdiction;
    (ii) Certification that it is in compliance with the regulations of 
this section for purposes of publishing, filing, and keeping its tariff 
electronically;
    (iii) Certification that it is in compliance with all other 
regulations at part 1312, except those specifically applicable to 
tariffs maintained in paper format;
    (iv) An active link to the internet address of tariffs;
    (v) The assigned alpha code of the issuing carrier or agent; and
    (vi) The filing fee (pursuant to 49 CFR 1002.2(a)).
    (vii) The annual certification must be submitted to the Board on 
the first business day in February each year. The Director of the 
Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance or a 
designee will acknowledge receipt of each carrier's certification in 
writing.
    (2) Sample text for the annual certification.

[Name of Director, Office of Public Assistance, Governmental 
Affairs, and Compliance], Office of Public Assistance, Governmental 
Affairs and Compliance, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, 
DC.

Dear Director: I, [name of signor], certify that I am [title of 
office] of [name of water carrier], a water carrier operating in the 
noncontiguous domestic trade subject to STB jurisdiction, that [Name 
of water carrier] is in compliance with the regulations at part 1312 
for purposes of publishing, filing, and keeping its tariff 
electronically, and that it is in compliance with all other 
regulations at part 1312, except those specifically applicable to 
tariffs maintained in paper format.

The internet address where [name of water carrier]'s tariffs can be 
located is:

This internet address is current as of [date].

I further declare (certify, verify or state) under penalty of 
perjury (``under the laws of the United States of America'' if 
executed outside of the United States of America) that the foregoing 
is true and correct. Executed on (date).

Very truly yours,
[signature of a duly authorized corporate officer of water carrier.]

    (3) Tariff Access Requirement. (i) A water carrier must provide the 
Board with at least two business days advance notice of any planned 
outage when its tariff will not be available on the internet, and 
prompt notice on any occasion when the tariff becomes unavailable due 
to circumstances beyond the carrier's control. Notice shall be 
submitted by email to tariffs@stb.gov. In the event of any outage, 
carriers are required to make alternative arrangements with the agency 
to ensure that the Board receives the tariff(s) in effect during the 
outage.
    (ii) A water carrier may establish reasonable registration 
requirements for purposes of public access to its current tariff and 
historical tariff information, such as requiring a user to provide his 
or her name and email address; however, such requirements may not limit 
tariff access to any particular group or class of users (such as 
shippers or potential shippers) or impose unreasonable burdens on the 
user, such as access fees or a showing of need.
    (4) Historical Tariff Information and Archiving. Tariffs kept on 
the internet by a water carrier must allow the Board and the public to 
retrieve historical versions, including all rates and applicable rules, 
for a period of not less than five years, beginning on the date when a 
carrier first electronically files its tariffs under these regulations.
* * * * *
0
9. In Sec.  1312.6, add paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  1312.6   Advance notice required.

* * * * *
    (e) Notice for purposes of electronically filed tariffs. A water 
carrier that keeps its tariffs on the internet must comply with the 
notice requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, 
provided however, that the relevant notice periods set forth in 
paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section shall run from the date on 
which the tariff matter first appears in the water carrier's tariff on 
the internet.
0
10. Amend Sec.  1312.12 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  1312.12  Posting requirements.

* * * * *
    (c) Exemption for electronically filed tariffs. A water carrier 
that publishes, files, and keeps its tariffs electronically in 
accordance with Sec.  1312.4(b) is exempt from the posting requirements 
of this section.
0
11. Amend Sec.  1312.13 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  1312.13  Furnishing copies of tariff publications.

* * * * *
    (g) Exemption for electronically filed tariffs. A water carrier 
that publishes, files, and keeps its tariffs electronically in 
accordance with Sec.  1312.4(b) is exempt from this section.
0
12. Amend Sec.  1312.15 by adding a sentence at the end of paragraph 
(a) and a sentence at the end of paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  1312.15  Change of carrier or agent.

    (a) * * * A water carrier that publishes, files, and keeps its 
tariffs electronically in accordance with Sec.  1312.4(b) shall 
promptly submit any such change by email to tariffs@stb.gov, but in no 
case later than 20 days after the effective date.
    (b) * * * A water carrier that publishes, files, and keeps its 
tariffs electronically in accordance with Sec.  1312.4(b) shall 
promptly submit any such change of agent by email to tariffs@stb.gov, 
but in no case later than 20 days after the effective date.

    Note: The following appendix will not appear in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.


[[Page 66234]]



Appendix--Information Collection Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    Title: Water Carrier Tariffs.
    OMB Control Number: 2140-0026.
    STB Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Extension with change.
    Summary: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork 
burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the 
Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it is 
requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval 
for the revision of the currently approved information collection, 
Water Carrier Tariffs, OMB Control No. 2140-0026, as further 
described below. The requested revision to the currently approved 
collection is necessitated by this NPRM.
    Respondents: Water carriers that provide freight transportation 
in noncontiguous domestic trade.
    Number of Respondents: Approximately 20.
    Frequency: Annually.
    Total Burden Hours (annually including all respondents): 80 
hours (20 annual filings x 4 hours estimated time per 
certification).
    Total ``Non-Hour Burden'' Cost (such as start-up costs and 
mailing costs): There are no non-hourly burden costs for this 
collection. The annual certifications will be submitted 
electronically.
    Needs and Uses: Under 49 U.S.C. 13702(b) and 49 CFR part 1312, 
water carriers that provide freight transportation in noncontiguous 
domestic trade (i.e., shipments moving to or from Alaska, Hawaii, or 
the U.S. territories or possessions (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands) to 
or from the mainland U.S.) may file an annual certification with the 
Board that includes the internet address of a website containing a 
list of current and historical prices and fees that the water 
carrier charges to the shipping public, rather than submit 
individual tariffs to the Board.
    The collection by the Board of these water carrier annual 
certifications with active website links will decrease the burden on 
carriers.

[FR Doc. 2018-27913 Filed 12-21-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P