[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 224 (Monday, November 20, 2000)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 69665-69666]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-29469]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Parts 1 and 311


Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as 
Amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

ACTION: Final rule amendments.

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SUMMARY: The Commission is correcting certain previously published 
adjustments to civil penalty amounts within its jurisdiction. These 
corrections will maintain the civil penalty amounts currently published 
in Commission Rule 1.98, as last adjusted in 1996. These corrections 
will not affect certain related amendments intended to incorporate 
previously omitted adjustments in civil penalty amounts for Recycled 
Oil Rule violations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These amendments are effective November 20, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alex Tang, Attorney, Office of General 
Counsel, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580, (202) 
326-2447, atang@ftc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission is correcting certain civil 
penalty inflation adjustments, 65 FR 60857 (Oct. 13, 2000), that were 
intended to update civil penalty amounts that the Commission last 
adjusted for inflation in 1996 under the Federal Civil Penalties 
Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (FCPIAA), as amended by the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA), 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. See 61 
FR 54548 (Oct. 21, 1996), 55840 (Oct. 29, 1996). Section 5 of the 
FCPIAA requires, in relevant part, that any inflation ``increase'' 
since the last adjustment be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10 
(for ``penalties less than or equal to $100''), the nearest $100 (for 
``penalties greater than $100 but less than or equal to $1,000''), the 
nearest $1,000 (for ``penalties greater than $1,000 but less than or 
equal to $10,000''), or the nearest $5,000 (for ``penalties greater 
than $10,000 but less than or equal to $100,000'').
    In determining how these rounding categories apply, the Commission 
had referred to the original statutory penalty amounts. For example, 
for penalties under section 5 of the FTC Act, the Commission used the 
rounding category ``for penalties greater than $1,000 but less than or 
equal to $10,000'' (i.e., increases are rounded in multiples of 
$1,000), even though section 5 penalties had been increased to $11,000 
in 1996.
    The rounding categories, however, do not expressly rely upon or 
refer to the original statutory amounts of the penalties, nor is the 
Commission aware of any legislative history to support a retroactive 
reading of ``penalties'' once the original statutory penalty amount has 
been increased. Rather, in calculating increases, the statute expressly 
refers to the increase since the penalties were last set ``or 
adjusted'' by law. See FCPIAA Sec. 5(b) (defining cost-of-living 
adjustment). Thus, for example, increases in the penalty for a 
violation of section 5 of the FTC Act (i.e., $11,000) must be rounded 
in multiples of $5,000 (rather than multiples of $1,000, as when the 
penalty was only $10,000).

[[Page 69666]]

    Applying the rounding rules this way, the Commission has determined 
that the relevant increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since the 
last adjustment in 1996 is not large enough yet to authorize the 
recently published increased in the civil penalty amounts within the 
Commission's jurisdiction.\1\ Accordingly, the Commission has 
determined that the civil penalty amounts in Commission Rule 1.98, 16 
CFR 1.98, as last adjusted in 1996, should remain unchanged for now. 
This determination does not affect the previously published rule 
amendments to include civil penalties for Recycled Oil Rule violations, 
which were inadvertently omitted from the 1996 adjustment. The 
Commission is re-publishing its final rule amendments to preserve these 
conforming amendments while making the civil penalty corrections 
discussed earlier.
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    \1\ For adjustment purposes, inflation is determined by 
calculating the percentage by which the June CPI for the calendar 
year preceding the adjustment (166.2 in 1999) exceeds the June CPI 
for the year when the last adjustment was made (156.7 in 1996). See 
FCPIAA 5(b). Thus, the relevant inflation increase if 6.1% (not the 
figure previously stated by the Commission). In any event, this 
amount is not yet large enough to justify the inflation increases 
authorized by the statute's rounding rules.
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    These procedural amendments are exempt from the notice-and-comment 
requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. See 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B). The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act also do 
not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 603, 604.

List of Subjects

16 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Trade practices.

16 CFR Part 311

    Energy conservation, Labeling, Recycled oil, Trade practices.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal Trade 
Commission amends Title 16, chapter I, subchapters A and C, of the Code 
of Federal Regulations, as follows:

SUBCHAPTER A--ORGANIZATION, PROCEDURES AND RULES OF PRACTICE

PART 1--GENERAL PROCEDURES

    1. Revise the title of subpart L to read as follows:

Subpart L--Civil Penalty Adjustments Under the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as Amended by the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996

    2. Revise the authority for subpart L to read as follows:

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.


Sec. 1.98   Adjustment of civil monetary penalty amounts.

    This section makes inflation adjustments in the dollar amounts of 
civil monetary penalties provided by law within the Commission's 
jurisdiction. The following civil penalty amounts apply to violations 
occurring after November 20, 2000:
    (a) Section 7A(g)(1) of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18a(g)(1)--
$11,000;
    (b) Section 11(1) of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 21(1)--$5,500;
    (c) Section 5(1) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(1)--$11,000;
    (d) Section 5(m)(1)(A) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(m)(1)(A)--
$11,000;
    (e) Section 5(m)(1)(B) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(m)(1)(B)--
$11,000;
    (f) Section 10 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 50--$110;
    (g) Section 5 of the Webb-Pomerene (Export Trade) Act, 15 U.S.C. 
65--$110;
    (h) Section 6(b) of the Wool Products Labeling Act, 15 U.S.C. 
68d(b)--$110;
    (i) Section 3(e) of the Fur Products Labeling Act, 15 U.S.C. 
69a(e)--$110;
    (j) Section 8(d)(2) of the Fur Products Labeling Act, 15 U.S.C. 
69f(d)(2)--$110;
    (k) Section 333(a) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, 42 
U.S.C. 6303(a)--$110;
    ((l) Sections 525(a) and (b) of the Energy Policy and Conservation 
Act, 42 U.S.C. 6395(a) and (b)--$5,500 and $11,000, respectively; and
    (m) civil monetary penalties authorized by reference to the Federal 
Trade Commission Act under any other provision of law within the 
jurisdiction of the Commission--refer to the amounts set forth in 
paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (f) of this section, as applicable.

SUBCHAPTER C--REGULATIONS UNDER SPECIFIC ACTS OF CONGRESS

PART 311--TEST PROCEDURES AND LABELING STANDARDS FOR RECYCLED OIL

    4. The authority for part 311 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6363(d).

    5. Amend Sec. 311.6 by revising the last sentence to read as 
follows:


Sec. 311.6 3  Prohibited acts.

    * * * Violations will be subject to enforcement through civil 
penalties (as adjusted for inflation pursuant to Sec. 1.98 of this 
chapter), imprisonment, and/or injunctive relief in accordance with the 
enforcement provisions of Section 525 of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6395).

    By Direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 00-29469 Filed 11-17-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-M