[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 188 (Tuesday, September 29, 1998)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51864-51865]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-25922]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

7 CFR Part 1464

RIN 0560-AF52


Tobacco--Importer Assessments

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This document proposes to amend the definition of de minimis 
special entries in the tobacco program regulations which applies to the 
collection of the ``budget deficit'' and ``no-net-cost'' assessments on 
certain kinds of imported tobacco. The current de minimis special 
entries definition exempts entries of unmanufactured imported tobacco 
of 5 kilograms or less if certain conditions are met. This document 
proposes to raise the maximum allowable weight to 100 kilograms to save 
administrative cost without compromising the purpose of the exemption.

DATES: Comments on this rule should be in writing and must be received 
on or before October 29, 1998, in order to be assured of consideration. 
Written comments on the information collection contained in this rule 
must be received on or before November 30, 1998, in order to be assured 
of consideration.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to 
the Director, Tobacco and Peanuts Division, USDA/FSA/TPD/STOP 0514, 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-0514. All written 
submissions made pursuant to this notice will be made available for 
public inspection in room 5750-South Building, USDA, between the hours 
of 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David McCarty, USDA/FSA/TPD/STOP 0514, 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-0514, telephone (202) 
720-6389, E-mail [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant and 
therefore was not reviewed by OMB under Executive Order 12866.

Federal Assistance Program

    The title and number of the Federal Assistance Program, as found in 
the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, to which this rule applies 
are: Commodity Loans and Purchases--10.051.

Environmental Evaluation

    It has been determined by an environmental evaluation that this 
action will have no significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an 
environmental impact statement is needed.

Executive Order 12372

    This activity is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 
12372 which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and 
local officials. See the notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, 
published at 48 FR 29115 (June 24, 1983). This rule contains no Federal 
mandates under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) for State, local, and tribal 
governments or the private sector. Thus this rule is not subject to the 
requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12988. The provisions of this proposed rule are not retroactive 
and preempt State laws to the extent that such laws are inconsistent 
with the provisions of this proposed rule. Before any legal action is 
brought regarding determinations made under provisions of 7 CFR part 
1464, the administrative appeal provisions set forth at 7 CFR 780, and 
those of 7 CFR part 11, must be exhausted.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection in this regulation has been approved by 
OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and assigned OMB control 
number 0560-0148. In order to renew that approval, the following 
additional information is provided:
    Title: Tobacco Importer Assessments Program.
    OMB Control Number: 0560-0148.
    Type of Request: Request for Approval of a Previously Approved 
Information.

[[Page 51865]]

Collections Package

    Abstract: Importers, of unmanufactured tobacco not produced in the 
United States, are required to provide information regarding the type 
and amount of tobacco entered for consumption into the commerce of the 
United States. This information collection is used by CCC to determine 
if the Budget Deficit Marketing Assessments and Importer No-Net Cost 
Assessments have been remitted correctly and timely.
    Estimate of Burden: Importer reporting burden for this collection 
of information is estimated to average 15 minutes per response.
    Respondents: Tobacco Importers.
    Estimated number of Respondents: 30.
    Estimated number of Responses per Respondent: 27.
    Estimated total annual burden on Respondents: 202.5 hours.
    Comment is sought on the information collection separate from that 
on the merits of the rule. Proposed topics for comment on the 
collection requirements include: (a) whether the exemption of 
assessments on small quantities of tobacco for samples, research, and 
other purposes would reduce burdensome paperwork without jeopardizing 
revenue; (b) whether the exemption would violate the intent of the 
budget deficit marketing assessment and importer no-net-cost assessment 
legislation set forth at sections 106, 106A and 106B of the 
Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended. Comments should be sent to the 
Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Office of 
Management and Budget, Washington, D.C. 20503 and to the Director, 
Tobacco and Peanuts Division, USDA/FSA/TPD/STOP 0514, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-0514.

Background

General Provisions of the Proposed Rule

    With respect to the substance of the proposed rule, this document 
proposes to make a revision in the definition of de minimis special 
entries by changing the number of kilograms of imported tobacco, 
classified as a sample, for the purpose of certain assessments, from 
five (5) kilograms or less to one hundred (100) kilograms or less. The 
objective is to lessen burdensome paperwork by importers and Commodity 
Credit Corporation (CCC) without jeopardizing revenue or violating the 
intent of the budget deficit marketing assessment and importer no-net-
cost assessment legislation set forth at sections 106, 106A and 106B of 
the Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended (1949 Act). Implementing 
regulations for the assessments are set forth at 7 CFR part 1464, 
Subpart B. Under those regulations, as provided for in the 1949 Act, 
the assessments apply only to certain kinds of imported tobacco and 
1464.102 and 1464.103 provide, further, that the assessments will not 
be collected on ``de minimus special entries'' which are defined, 
currently, in 1464.101 to be imports of unmanufactured tobacco when the 
total importation at any time or on any date is 5 kilograms or less and 
such tobacco is imported segregated from other tobacco for use as 
samples, for research, or other use approved by the Director. Changing 
the quantity threshold to 100 kilograms should still provide an 
accurate test for identifying non-commercial tobacco entries and should 
produce a net savings in light of the costs involved in administering 
the assessments on small quantities.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1464

    Importer assessments, Tobacco, Tobacco loan program.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, CCC proposes to amend 7 
CFR part 1464 as follows:

PART 1464--TOBACCO

    1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1464 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1421, 1423, 1441, 1445, 1445-1 and 1445-2; 
15 U.S.C. 714b, 714c.

    2. Section 1464.101 is amended by revising the definition of ``de 
minimis special entries'' to read as follows:


Sec. 1464.101  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (b) Terms. * * *
    De minimis special entries. Imports of unmanufactured tobacco when 
the total importation at any time or on any date is 100 kilograms or 
less and such tobacco is imported segregated from other tobacco for use 
as samples, for research, or other use approved by the Director.
* * * * *

    Signed at Washington, DC, on September 21, 1998.
Keith Kelly,
Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 98-25922 Filed 9-28-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-05-P