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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The FTC has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) information collection requirements contained in its regulations under the Fair Packaging Labeling Act (FPLA). The FTC is seeking public comments on the proposal to extend through December 31, 2005 the current PRA clearance for information collection requirements contained in the regulations. That clearance expires on December 31, 2002.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by November 18, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Send written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10202, Washington, DC 20503, ATTN.: Desk Officer for the Federal Trade Commission (comments in electronic form should be sent to oira_docket@omb.eop.gov), and to Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20580 (comments in electronic form should be sent to FPLApprwk@ftc.gov). All comments should be captioned “FPLA Regulations: Paperwork Comment” as prescribed below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information or copies of the proposed information requirements should be sent to Stephen Ecklund, Investigator, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2841.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. On July 31, 2002, the FTC sought comment on the information collection requirements associated with the FPLA regulations, 16 CFR parts 500-503 (OMB Control Number: 3084-0110). Sec 67 FR 49694. No comments were received. Pursuant to the OMB regulations that implement the PRA (5 CFR part 1320), the FTC is providing this second opportunity for public comment while seeking OMB approval to extend the existing paperwork clearance for the Rule.

If a comment contains nonpublic information, it must be filed in paper form, and the first page of the document must be clearly labeled “confidential.” Comments that do not contain any nonpublic information may instead be filed in electronic form (in ASCII format, WordPerfect, or Microsoft Word) as part of or as an attachment to e-mail messages directed to the following e-mail box: FPLA pprwk@ftc.gov. Such comments will be considered by the Commission and will be available for inspection and copying at its principal office in accordance with section 4.9(b)96)(ii) of the Commission's rules of practice, 16 CFR section 4.9(b)(6)(ii).

The FPLA was enacted to eliminate consumer deception concerning product size representations and package content information. The regulations that implement the FPLA, 16 CFR parts 500-503, establish requirements for the Start Printed Page 64126manner and form of labeling applicable to manufacturers, packagers, and distributors of “consumer commodities.” [1] Section 4 of the FPLA specifically requires packages or labels to be marked with: (1) A statement of identity; (2) a net quantity of contents disclosure; and (3) the name and place of business of a company that is responsible for the product.

Estimated annual hours burden: 8,095,000 total burden hours (solely relating to disclosure [2] ).

Based on U.S. Census data, staff conservatively estimates that approximately 809,500 manufacturers, packagers, distributors, and retailers of consumer commodities make disclosures at an average burden of ten hours per entity, for a total disclosure burden of 8,095,000 hours.

Estimated annual cost burden: $135,187,000, rounded (solely relating to labor costs).

The estimated annual labor cost burden associated with the FPLA disclosure requirements consists of an estimated hour of managerial and/or professional time per covered entity (at an estimated average hourly rate of $50) and nine hours of clerical time per covered entity (at an estimated average hourly rate of $13), for a total of $135,186,500 ($167 per covered entity × 809,500 entities).

Total capital and start-up costs are de minimis. For many years, the packaging and labeling activities that require capital and start-up costs have been performed by covered entities in the ordinary course of business independent of the FPLA and implementing regulations. Similarly, firms provide in the ordinary course business the information that the statute and regulations require be placed on packages and labels.

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John D. Graubert,

Acting General Counsel.

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Footnotes

1.  “Consumer commodity” means any article, product, or commodity of any kind or class which is customarily produced or distributed for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption by individuals, or use by individuals for purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily rendered within the household, and which usually is consumed or expended in the course of such consumption or use.” 16 CFR 500.2(c). For the precise scope of the term's coverage see 16 CFR 500.2(c); 503.2; 503.5. See also http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​statutes/​fpla/​outline.html.

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2.  To the extent that the FPLA-implementing regulations require sellers of consumer commodities to keep records that substantiate “cents off,” “introductory offer,” and/or “economy size” claims, staff believes that most, if not all, of the records that sellers maintain would be kept in the ordinary course of business, regardless of the legal mandates. “Burden,” for OMB purposes, excludes such items. See 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2).

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[FR Doc. 02-26393 Filed 10-16-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-M