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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection for collecting user fees, ensuring remittances in a timely manner, and determining proper credit for payment of international air passenger, aircraft clearance, commercial truck, commercial railroad car, commercial vessel, phytosanitary certificate, import/export, and veterinary diagnostic user fees.

DATES:

We will consider all comments we receive that are postmarked, delivered, or e-mailed by April 29, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by postal mail/commercial delivery or by e-mail. If you use postal mail/commercial delivery, please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 02-007-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 02-007-1. If you use e-mail, address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in your message and “Docket No. 02-007-1” on the subject line.

You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on user fees, contact Ms. Donna J. Ford, User Fees Section Head, FSSB, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 54, Riverdale, MD 20737-1232, (301) 734-5752. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: User Fee Regulations.

OMB Number: 0579-0094.

Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: This information collection is necessary for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to effectively collect fees, ensure remittances in a timely manner, and determine proper credit for payment of international air passenger, aircraft clearance, commercial truck, commercial railroad car, commercial vessel, phytosanitary certificate, import/export, and veterinary diagnostic user fees. APHIS does not receive an appropriation to fund these activities; instead, user fees are calculated and assessed to ensure full cost recovery of each user fee program. If the information was not collected, the Agency would not be able to perform the services since the fees collected are necessary to fund the work.

Requesters of our services usually are repeat customers, and, in many cases, request that we bill them for our services. Also, the 1996 Debt Collection Improvement Act requires that agencies collect tax identification numbers (TINs) from all persons doing business with the Government for purposes of collecting delinquent debts. Without a TIN, service cannot be provided on a credit basis.

We are responsible for ensuring that the fees collected are correct and that they are remitted in full and in a timely manner. To ensure this, the party (ticketing agents for transportation companies) responsible for collecting and remitting fees must allow APHIS personnel to verify the accuracy of the fees collected and remitted, and otherwise determine compliance with the statute and regulations. We also require that whoever is responsible for making fee payments advise us of the name, address, and telephone number of a responsible officer who is authorized to verify fee calculations, collections, and remittances.

The requests for our services are in writing, by telephone, or in person. The information contained in each request identifies the specific service requested and the time in which the requester wishes the service to be performed. This information is necessary in order for the animal import centers and port offices to schedule the work and to calculate the fees due.

We have reviewed the paperwork requirements of the user fee programs and have made every possible effort to streamline our processes and minimize the impact on the public. Whenever possible, we use existing billing/collection methods to minimize the cost to the Agency. If the work is not performed, individuals and businesses will not be able to import animals, fruits, vegetables, plants, and animal and plant products.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of this information collection activity for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; Start Printed Page 8779

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.0341739 hours per response.

Respondents: Arriving international passengers, representatives of international means of conveyances, and importers/exporters who wish to import or export animals and animal products.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 88,453.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 2.5274665.

Estimated annual number of responses: 223,562.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 7,640 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 21st day of February 2002.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-4517 Filed 2-25-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P