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Changes to Customs and Border Protection List of Designated Public International Organizations

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AGENCY:

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document amends the Customs Regulations by updating the list of designated public international organizations entitled to certain free entry privileges provided for under provisions of the International Organizations Immunities Act. The last time the list was updated was in 1996 and since then the President has issued several Executive Orders, which have designated certain organizations as entitled to certain free entry privileges. Accordingly, Customs and Border Start Printed Page 50699Protection deems it appropriate to update the list at this time.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 22, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dennis Sequeira, Director, International Organizations & Agreements Division, Office of International Affairs, (202) 927-1480.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The International Organizations Immunities Act (the Act) (22 U.S.C. 288 et seq.) generally provides that certain international organizations, agencies, and committees, in which the United States participates or otherwise has an interest and which have been designated by the President through appropriate Executive Order as public international organizations, are entitled to enjoy certain privileges, exemptions, and immunities conferred by the Act. The Department of State lists the public international organizations, designated by the President as entitled to enjoy any measure of the privileges, exemptions, and immunities conferred by the Act, in the notes following the provisions of Section 288.

One of the privileges provided for under the Act at 22 U.S.C. 288a is that the baggage and effects of alien officers, employees, and representatives—and their families, and servants—to the designated organization, are admitted free of duty and without entry. Those designated organizations entitled to this duty-free entry privilege are delineated at § 148.87(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 148.87(b)). Thus, the list of public international organizations maintained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is for the limited purpose of identifying those organizations entitled to the duty-free entry privilege; it does not necessarily include all of the organizations that are on the list maintained by the Department of State, which delineates all of the international organizations designated by the President regardless of the extent of the privileges conferred.

The last revision of the list of public international organizations at § 148.87(b) was in 1996 (T.D. 96-23), when the total number of designated international organizations became 69. Since 1996, eight Executive Orders have been issued each designating a new public international organization, as follows:

1. Executive Order 12956 of March 13, 1995, 60 FR 14199, 3 CFR 1996 Comp., p. 332, 31 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 408, designated the Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation;

2. Executive Order 12986 of January 18, 1996, 61 FR 1693, 3 CFR 1997 Comp., p. 156, 32 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 77, designated the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources with limited privileges; certain privileges, regarding immunity from suit and judicial process and search and seizure, were not extended;

3. Executive Order 12997 of April 1, 1996, 61 FR 14949, 3 CFR 1997 Comp., p. 179, 32 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 596, designated the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization;

4. Executive Order 13042 of April 9, 1997, 62 FR 18017, 73 CFR 1998 Comp., p. 194, 33 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 492, designated the World Trade Organization;

5. Executive Order 13049 of June 11, 1997, 62 FR 32472, 3 CFR 1998 Comp., p. 206, 33 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 857, designated the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons;

6. Executive Order 13052 of June 30, 1997, 62 FR 35659, 3 CFR 1998 Comp., p. 210, 33 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 998, designated the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices;

7. Executive Order 13097 of August 7, 1998, 63 FR 43065, 3 CFR 1999 Comp., p. 205, 34 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 1588, designated the Interparliamentary Union; and

8. Executive Order 13240 of December 18, 2001, 66 FR 66257, 3 CFR 2002 Comp., p. 824, 37 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 1813, designated the Council of Europe in Respect of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).

This brings the total number of designated international organizations listed at § 148.87(b) to 77. Accordingly, CBP is amending its list of designated public international organizations at § 148.87(b) to account for these eight additions.

This document also corrects an editorial error, i.e., an international organization designated by T.D. 96-13 is incorrectly referenced; thus, the reference to the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission should read the Border Environment Cooperation Commission.

Inapplicability of Public Notice and Comment Requirements, Delayed Effective Date Requirements, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and Executive Order 12866

Because this amendment merely corrects the listing of designated organizations entitled by law to free entry privileges as public international organizations, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), good cause exists for dispensing with notice and public procedure thereon as unnecessary. For the same reason, good cause exists for dispensing with a delayed effective date under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) (1) and (3). Since this document is not subject to the notice and public procedure requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553, it is not subject to provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This document does not meet the criteria for a “'significant regulatory action”' as specified in E.O. 12866.

Drafting Information

The principal author of this document was Gregory R. Vilders, Attorney, Regulations Branch, Office of Regulations and Rulings.

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List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 148

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Amendment to the Regulations

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For the reasons stated above, part 148, Customs Regulations (

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PART 148—PERSONAL DECLARATIONS AND EXEMPTIONS

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1. The general authority citation for part 148 and the specific authority citation for § 148.87 continue to read as follows:

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Authority: 19 U.S.C. 66, 1496, 1498, 1624. The provisions of this part, except for subpart C, are also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1202 (General Note 23, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States);

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* * * * *

Section 148.87 also issued under 22 U.S.C. 288.

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2. Section 148.87(b) is amended by removing in the “Organization” column the name “Border Environmental Cooperation Commission” and adding in its place “Border Environment Cooperation Commission” and by adding the following, in appropriate alphabetical order, to the table, to read as follows:

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Officers and employees of, and representatives to, public international organizations.
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(b) * * *Start Printed Page 50700

OrganizationExecutive OrderDate
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Council of Europe in Respect of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO)13240Dec. 18, 2001.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices13052June 30, 1997.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources—Limited privileges12986Jan. 18, 1996.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Interparliamentary Union13097Aug. 7, 1998.
Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation12956Mar. 13, 1995.
Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization12997Apr. 1, 1996.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.13049June 11, 1997.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
World Trade Organization13042Apr. 9, 1997.
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Dated: August 18, 2003.

Robert C. Bonner,

Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection.

Timothy E. Skud,

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

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[FR Doc. 03-21577 Filed 8-21-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4820-02-P