[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 234 (Thursday, December 5, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 73169-73173]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28877]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

49 CFR Part 592

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0041; Notice 1]
RIN 2127-AL43


Registered Importers of Vehicles Not Originally Manufactured To 
Conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This document proposes to clarify NHTSA regulations on 
registered importers (``RIs'') of motor vehicles not originally 
manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards. The proposal would require RIs to certify to NHTSA, as 
appropriate, that an imported vehicle either is not required to comply 
with the parts marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard or 
that the vehicle complies with those requirements as manufactured, or 
as modified prior to importation. The proposal would replace text that 
was inadvertently omitted when the regulations were last revised.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that 
Docket Management receives them not later than January 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above 
and be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process,

[[Page 73170]]

see the Public Participation heading of the Supplementary Information 
section of this document. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
below.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://DocketInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the 
online instructions for accessing the dockets or visit the Docket 
Management Facility at the street address listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Lindsay, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202) 366-5288. For legal issues, you may call 
Nicholas Englund, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (202) 366-5263. You 
may call Docket Management at (202) 366-9324. You may visit the Docket 
in person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    NHTSA published a final rule on August 25, 2011 (76 FR 53072) 
amending parts 567, 591, 592, and 593 of title 49 to address issues 
related to the RI program. In amending the regulations, the agency 
inadvertently deleted from 49 CFR 592.6(d)(1) text under paragraphs (i) 
and (ii) that requires the RI to certify to NHTSA, as appropriate, that 
an imported vehicle either is not required to comply with the parts 
marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541) 
or that the vehicle complies with those requirements as manufactured, 
or as modified prior to importation.

Background and Amendments

    The Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-
562, ``the 1988 Act''), which became effective on January 31, 1990, 
limited the importation of vehicles that did not comply with the 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) to those capable of 
being modified to comply. To enhance oversight, the 1988 Act required 
that necessary modifications be performed by RIs. RIs are business 
entities that have demonstrated to NHTSA that they are technically and 
financially capable of importing nonconforming motor vehicles and of 
performing the necessary modifications on those vehicles so that they 
conform to all applicable FMVSS. See generally, 49 U.S.C. 30141-30147. 
As discussed in the January 14, 2011 proposed rulemaking that preceded 
the final rule (76 FR 2631), NHTSA proposed certain amendments to the 
RI regulations to protect the integrity of the RI program and to 
clarify RI requirements. In the final rule that was published on August 
25, 2011 (76 FR 53072), CFR 592.6(d)(1) was amended by adding language 
requiring that RIs certify to NHTSA that they destroyed or exported 
nonconforming motor vehicle equipment that was removed from imported 
vehicles during conformance modifications. The remaining text of the 
paragraph remained unchanged and read: ``The Registered Importer shall 
also certify, as appropriate, that either:
    (i) The vehicle is not required to comply with the parts marking 
requirements of the theft prevention standard (part 541 of this 
chapter); or
    (ii) The vehicle complies with those parts marking requirements as 
manufactured, or as modified prior to importation.''
    In the regulatory text of the final rule, NHTSA inadvertently 
failed to properly mark subparagraphs (i) and (ii), resulting in the 
deletion of those paragraphs. In this rulemaking, the agency is 
proposing to restore the language that was originally in subparagraphs 
(i) and (ii).
    The proposed amendment would not change the meaning or application 
of the regulations, as explained in the preamble of the final rule at 
76 FR 53072.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 
13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR 
51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a 
regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the 
Executive Order. The Order defines a ``significant regulatory action'' 
as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    The agency has considered the impact of this rulemaking action 
under E.O. 12866, E.O. 13563, and the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures. This action was reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866. This rulemaking is 
not significant. Further, NHTSA has determined that the rulemaking is 
not significant under Department of Transportation's regulatory 
policies and procedures. Based on the level of the fees and the volume 
of affected vehicles, NHTSA currently anticipates that if made final, 
the costs of the proposed rule would be so minimal as not to warrant 
preparation of a full regulatory evaluation. The action does not 
involve any substantial public interest or controversy. If made final, 
the rule would have no substantial effect upon State and local 
governments. There would be no substantial impact upon a major 
transportation safety program. A regulatory evaluation analyzing the 
economic impact of the final rule establishing the registered importer 
program, adopted on September 29, 1989, was prepared, and is available 
for review in the docket.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of proposed rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare 
and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis 
that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR Part 121 
define a small business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates 
primarily within the United States.'' (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No 
regulatory flexibility analysis is

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required if the head of an agency certifies that the rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require 
Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for 
certifying that a rule would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities.
    The agency has considered the effects of this proposed rulemaking 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that if the 
proposed amendments are adopted they would not have a significant 
economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities.
    The following is NHTSA's statement providing the factual basis for 
the certification (5 U.S.C. 605(b)). The proposed amendments would 
primarily affect entities that currently modify nonconforming vehicles 
and that are small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act; however, the agency has no reason to believe that 
these companies would be unable to certify as proposed by this action 
that either: (i) The vehicle is not required to comply with the parts 
marking requirements of the theft prevention standard (part 541 of this 
chapter); or (ii) The vehicle complies with those parts marking 
requirements as manufactured, or as modified prior to importation.''
    Governmental jurisdictions would not be affected at all since they 
are generally neither importers nor purchasers of nonconforming motor 
vehicles.

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132 on ``Federalism'' requires NHTSA to develop 
an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful and timely input by State 
and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have 
Federalism implications.'' Executive Order 13132 defines the term 
``policies that have federalism implications'' to include regulations 
that have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.'' Under Executive Order 13132, NHTSA may not issue a 
regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless 
the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct 
compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or NHTSA 
consults with State and local officials early in the process of 
developing the proposed regulation.
    The proposed rule would not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government as specified in Executive Order 13132. 
Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply 
to this rulemaking action.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this action for purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The action would not have a significant 
effect upon the environment because it is anticipated that the annual 
volume of motor vehicles imported through registered importers would 
not vary significantly from that existing before promulgation of the 
rule as proposed.

E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ``Civil Justice Reform,'' the 
agency has considered whether this proposed rule would have any 
retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that this proposed rule would not 
have any retroactive effect. Judicial review of any rule adopted from 
this proposal may be obtained pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 702. That section 
does not require that a petition for reconsideration be filed prior to 
seeking judicial review.

F. Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation

    The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 
provides, in part:
    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ 
from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. 
In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of 
U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be 
necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export 
and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving 
health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, 
international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are 
at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the 
absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can 
also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in 
regulatory requirements. NHTSA requests public comment on whether (a) 
``regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments'' concerning the 
subject matter of this rulemaking and (b) the above policy statement 
has any implications for this rulemaking.

G. Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined 
to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and is 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the 
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a 
significant energy action. If the regulatory action meets either 
criterion, we must evaluate the adverse energy effects of the proposed 
rule and explain why the proposed regulation is preferable to other 
potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered 
by NHTSA. As noted above, this proposed rule is not significant under 
E.O. 12866. NHTSA also believes that this proposed rule would not have 
any effect on the supply, distribution or use of energy.

H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more 
than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with the base year 
of 1995). Before promulgating a rule for which a written assessment is 
needed, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify 
and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and to 
adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome 
alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of 
Section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable 
law. Moreover, Section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other 
than the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome 
alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation 
why that alternative was not adopted. Because a final rule based on 
this proposal would not require the expenditure of resources beyond 
$100 million annually, this action is not subject to the requirements 
of Sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

I. Plain Language

    Executive Order 12866 and the President's memorandum of June 1, 
1998, require each agency to write all

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rules in plain language. Application of the principles of plain 
language includes consideration of the following questions:

--Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
--Are the requirements in the proposed rule clearly stated?
--Does the proposed rule contain technical language or jargon that is 
unclear?
--Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of 
heading, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
--Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
--Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?
--What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?

    If you have any responses to these questions, please include them 
in your comments on this document.

J. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless 
the collection displays a valid OMB control number. Part 592 includes 
collections of information for which NHTSA has obtained OMB Clearance 
No. 2127-0001, a consolidated collection of information for 
``Importation of Vehicles and Equipment Subject to the Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Prevention Standards,'' approved 
through January 31, 2014. This proposed rule, if made final, would not 
affect the burden hours associated with Clearance No. 2127-0001 because 
we are proposing only to reinstate regulatory text that was 
inadvertently omitted when the regulations were last amended. This 
proposed regulation will not impose new collection of information 
requirements or otherwise affect the scope of the program.

K. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 applies to any rule that (1) is determined to 
be ``economically significant'' as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) 
concerns an environmental, health, or safety risk that NHTSA has reason 
to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the 
regulatory action meets both criteria, we must evaluate the 
environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, 
and explain why the planned rule is preferable to other potentially 
effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by us. This 
rulemaking is not economically significant and does not concern an 
environmental, health, or safety risk.

L. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) 
directs NHTSA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs the agency to provide Congress, 
through the OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and 
applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This proposed rule would reinstate regulatory text that was 
inadvertently omitted when the regulations at issue were last amended. 
We are proposing no substantive changes to the vehicle import program 
or any action that would require the use of voluntary consensus 
standards. For these reasons, Section 12(d) of the NTTAA would not 
apply.

M. Public Participation

How do I prepare and submit comments?
    Your comments must be written and be in English. To ensure that 
your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the 
docket number of this document in your comments. Your comments must not 
be more than 15 pages long. 49 CFR 553.21. We established this limit to 
encourage you to write your primary comments in a concise fashion. 
However, you may attach necessary additional documents to your 
comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments.
    Please submit two copies of your comments, including the 
attachments, to Docket Management at the address identified at the 
beginning of this document, under ADDRESSES. You may also submit your 
comments electronically to the docket following the steps outlined 
under ADDRESSES.
How can I be sure that my comments were received?
    If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of 
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the 
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket 
Management will return the postcard by mail.
How do I submit confidential business information?
    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit the following to the NHTSA Office of 
Chief Counsel (NCC-110), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590: (1) A complete copy of the submission; (2) a redacted copy of 
the submission with the confidential information removed; and (3) 
either a second complete copy or those portions of the submission 
containing the material for which confidential treatment is claimed and 
any additional information that you deem important to the Chief 
Counsel's consideration of your confidentiality claim. A request for 
confidential treatment that complies with 49 CFR Part 512 must 
accompany the complete submission provided to the Chief Counsel. For 
further information, submitters who plan to request confidential 
treatment for any portion of their submissions are advised to review 49 
CFR Part 512, particularly those sections relating to document 
submission requirements. Failure to adhere to the requirements of Part 
512 may result in the release of confidential information to the public 
docket. In addition, you should submit two copies from which you have 
deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket 
Management at the address identified at the beginning of this document 
under ADDRESSES.
Will the agency consider late comments?
    We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives 
before the close of business on the comment closing date identified at 
the beginning of this document under DATES. In accordance with our 
policies, to the extent possible, we will also consider comments that 
Docket Management receives after the specified comment closing date. If 
Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to consider in 
developing the proposed rule, we will consider that comment as an 
informal suggestion for future rulemaking action.
How can I read the comments submitted by other people?
    You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the 
address and times identified at the beginning of this document under 
ADDRESSES.
    You may also see the comments on the Internet. To read the comments 
on the Internet, go to http://

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www.regulations.gov and follow the on-line instructions provided.
    You may download the comments. The comments are imaged documents, 
in either TIFF or PDF format. Please note that even after the comment 
closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the 
Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late 
comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the 
Docket for new material.

N. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN that appears in the heading on the first page of this 
document to find this action in the Unified Agenda.
    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 
part 592 as follows:

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 592

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

PART 592--REGISTERED IMPORTERS OF VEHICLES NOT ORIGINALLY 
MANUFACTURED TO CONFORM TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 
STANDARDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 592 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Pub. L. 100-562, 49 U.S.C. 322(a), 30117, 30141-
30147; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

0
2. Amend Sec.  592.6 to add subparagraphs (d)(1)(i) and (ii):


Sec.  592.6  Duties of a registered importer.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) The vehicle is not required to comply with the parts marking 
requirements of the theft prevention standard (part 541 of this 
chapter); or
    (ii) The vehicle complies with those parts marking requirements as 
manufactured, or as modified prior to importation.
* * * * *

    Issued on November 27, 2013.
Daniel C. Smith,
Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.
[FR Doc. 2013-28877 Filed 12-4-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P