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Rule

Flue-Cured Tobacco Advisory Committee; Amendment to Regulations

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that amended the regulations for the Flue-Cured Tobacco Advisory Committee (FCTAC) by removing the sections which specify composition of the committee. The interim final rule allowed greater flexibility in responding to changing marketing conditions.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

June 12, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John P. Duncan III, Deputy Administrator, Tobacco Programs, AMS, USDA, STOP 0280, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0280; telephone number (202) 205-0567.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Since 1935, upon enactment of the Tobacco Inspection Act, the USDA has provided mandatory inspection services at designated tobacco auction markets. In 2002, based on results of referenda conducted among producers eligible for price support, regulations were amended to provide mandatory inspection at places other than designated tobacco auction markets. The USDA has always sought the input of the industry in implementing legislative authority concerning marketing due to the large geographic areas involved and the different procedure in individual types of tobacco such as size and weight of packages used to display the product, the number of designated markets, the number of sets of buyers present, the number of sales days, and other matters that directly impact on the operation of the auction markets and, therefore, the Federal presence necessary to provide the level of service desired by producers and industry.

In 1974, at the request of the industry, the USDA established the Flue-Cured Tobacco Advisory Committee (FCTAC) to provide a mechanism for consultation with flue-cured producers, warehouse representatives, and buying interests on the problems peculiar to that type of tobacco with particular emphasis on the grower designation program. The composition of the committee was specified in regulations although it was not necessary and is not customary. The FCTAC recommended that the regulations referencing its composition and representation be removed. Removal of these regulations will not alter the FCTAC's purpose nor direction for an orderly marketing of tobacco but will allow the USDA more flexibility in making structural changes in its composition as a result of new marketing changes. Historically, almost all flue-cured tobacco was sold at auction. In recent years, most flue-cured tobacco has been sold under contract.

The USDA published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2002 (67 FR 61467), an interim final rule amending the regulations for the FCTAC by removing the sections which specify composition of the committee. In that action, paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e), of § 29.9403, were removed. The USDA requested comments on the interim final rule and the comment period expired on October 31, 2002. No comments were received.

Executive Order 12866 and 12988

This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866, and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

This rule has been reviewed under Executive order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This action is not intended to have retroactive effect. The rule will not exempt any State of local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. There are no administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

In conformance with the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), full consideration has been given to the potential economic impact upon small business. All tobacco warehouses and producers fall within the confines of “small business” which are defined by the Small Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $3,500,000. There are approximately 190 tobacco warehouses and approximately 450,000 tobacco producers and most warehouses and producers may be classified as small entities. The AMS has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule will not substantially affect the normal movement of the commodity into the marketplace. Compliance with this final rule will not impose substantial direct economic cost, recordkeeping, or personnel workload changes on small entities, and will not alter the market share of competitive positions of small entities relative to the large entities and will in no way affect normal competition in the marketplace. This rule merely removes section of the regulations that specify composition of the FCTAC.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 29

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble,

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PART 29—TOBACCO INSPECTION

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Accordingly, the interim final rule amending

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Dated: May 7, 2003.

Kenneth C. Clayton,

Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-11890 Filed 5-12-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P