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Proposed Rule

International Services Surveys: BE-22, Annual Survey of Selected Services Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) publishes this propose rule to revise the reporting requirements for the BE-22, Annual Survey of Selected Services Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons.

The BE-22 survey is conducted by BEA under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act. The data are needed to compile the U.S. international transactions, national income and product, and input-output accounts; support U.S. trade policy initiatives; assess U.S. competitiveness in international trade in services; and improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities. This document solicits comments on changes to the BE-22 survey and proposes changes to the regulation governing the BE-22. The survey incorporates new reporting categories for trade-related services, auxiliary insurance services, and waste treatment and depollution services; adds coverage of transcription services; and amends several other services categories. These changes mirror changes introduced in the 2001 BE-20 benchmark survey. Additionally, a new reporting category is proposed for medical services, receipts only. The proposed rule revises the list of items set forth in the “covered services” section of the existing rule, to reflect the addition of the new category in the survey. These changes to the survey and regulations will close some statistical gaps in the coverage of cross-border services transactions and bring the survey into better alignment with international standards for compilation of statistics on trade in services.

DATES:

Comments on these proposed rules will receive consideration if submitted in writing on or before October 25, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to the Office of the Chief, International Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington DC 20230. Because of slow mail, and to assure that comments are received in a timely manner, please consider using one of the following delivery methods: (1) Fax to (202) 606-5318, (2) deliver by courier to U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-50), Shipping and Receiving Section, room M-100, 1441 L Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005, or e-mail to David.Belli@bea.gov. Comments received will be available for public inspection in room 7005, 1441 L Street, NW., between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

R. David Belli, Chief, International Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone (202) 606-9800.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This proposed rule amends 15 CFR part 801 by revising § 801.9(b)(6)(ii) to set forth revised reporting requirements for the BE-22, Annual Survey of Selected Services Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons. The survey is conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Department of Commerce, under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (Pub. L. 94-472, 90 Stat. 2059, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, as amended). Section 3103(a) of the Act provides that “The President shall, to the extent he deems necessary and feasible— * * * (1) conduct a regular data collection program to secure current information * * * related to international investment and trade in services * * *” In Section 3 of Executive Order 11961, as amended by Executive Order 12518, the President delegated the authority under the Act as concerns international trade in services to the Secretary of Commerce, who has redelegated it to BEA.

The BE-22 is an annual survey of selected services transactions with unaffiliated foreign persons. The data are needed to compile the U.S. international transactions, national income and product, and input-output accounts; support U.S. trade policy initiatives; assess U.S. competitiveness in international trade in services; and improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities.

This document solicits comments on changes to the BE-22 survey and proposes changes to the regulation governing the BE-22. The survey incorporates new reporting categories for trade-related services, auxiliary insurance services, and waste treatment and depollution services; adds coverage of transcription services; and amends several other services categories. These changes mirror changes introduced in the 2001 BE-20 benchmark survey. Additionally, a new reporting category is proposed for medical services, receipts only. The proposed rule revises the list of items set forth in the “covered services” section of the existing rule, to reflect this new category in the survey. These changes to the survey and regulations will close statistical gaps in the coverage of cross-border services transactions and bring the survey into better alignment with international standards for compilation of statistics on trade in services.

Executive Order 12866

This proposed rule is not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.

Executive Order 13132

This proposed rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in E.O. 13132.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed rule contains a new collection-of-information requirement subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The new requirement will be submitted to OMB for approval as a revision to a collection currently approved under OMB control number 0608-0060. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply Start Printed Page 54749with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

The survey, as proposed, is expected to result in the filing of reports from approximately 1,600 respondents. The respondent reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to vary from less than four hours to 500 hours, with an overall average burden of 11.5 hours. This includes time for reviewing the instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Thus, the total respondent burden of the survey is estimated at about 18,400 hours (1,600 times 11.5 hours average burden).

Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) 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. Comments should be addressed to: Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, O.I.R.A., Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0058, Washington, DC 20503 (Attention PRA Desk Officer for BEA).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), that this proposed rulemaking, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. While the survey does not collect data on total sales or other measures of the overall size of businesses that respond to the survey, historically the respondent universe has been comprised mainly of major U.S. corporations. With the exemption level for the survey being $1 million in covered receipts or payments, few small businesses can be expected to be subject to reporting. Of those smaller businesses that must report, most will tend to have specialized operations and activities and thus will be likely to report only one type of service transaction, often limited to transactions with a single partner country; therefore, the burden on them can be expected to be small.

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List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 801

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Dated: July 17, 2002.

J. Steven Landefeld,

Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, BEA proposes to amend 15 CFR part 801, as follows:

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PART 801—SURVEY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN SERVICES BETWEEN U.S. AND FOREIGN PERSONS

1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 801 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 15 U.S.C. 4908, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, and E.O. 11961 (3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 860 as amended by E.O. 12013 (3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 147), E.O. 12318 (3 CFR, 1981 Comp., p. 173), and E.O. 12518 (3 CFR, 1985 Comp., p. 348).

2. Section 801.9(b)(6)(ii) is revised to read as follows:

Reports required.
* * * * *

(b) * * *

(6) * * *

(ii) Covered services. With the exceptions given in this paragraph, the services covered by this survey are the same as those covered by the BE-20, Benchmark Survey of Selected Services Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons—2001, as listed in § 801.10(c) of this part. The exceptions are the addition of coverage of medical services, receipts only, and the elimination of coverage of four small types of services—agricultural services; management of health care facilities; mailing, reproduction, and commercial art; and temporary help supply services.

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[FR Doc. 02-21691 Filed 8-23-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-06-P