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Direct Investment Surveys: BE-15, Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States

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.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends regulations that set forth reporting requirements for the BE-15, Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States. The annual survey is comprised of four forms—the BE-15(LF) long form, the BE-15(SF) short form, the BE-15(EZ) form, which is a new form, and the BE-15 Supplement C-Claim for Exemption From Filing a BE-15(LF), BE-15(SF), or BE-15(EZ). The annual survey is a sample survey that collects data on the financial structure and operations of nonbank U.S. affiliates of foreign companies needed to update similar data for the universe of U.S. affiliates collected once every 5 years in the BE-12 benchmark survey. The data are used to derive annual estimates of the operations of U.S. affiliates of foreign companies, including their balance sheets; income statements; property, plant, and equipment; external financing; employment and employee compensation; merchandise trade; sales of goods and services; taxes; and research and development activity. The data are needed to measure the size and economic significance of foreign direct investment in the United States, to measure changes in such investment, and to assess its impact on the U.S. economy.

DATES:

This final rule will be effective January 5, 2004.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Obie G. Whichard, Chief, International Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone (202) 606-9890.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On August 29, 2003, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) published in the Federal Register (68 FR 51942) a notice of proposed rulemaking setting forth revised reporting requirements for the BE-15, Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States. No comments on the proposed rule were received. Thus, the provisions in the proposed rule are adopted without change.

Description of Revisions

The BE-15, Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, is mandatory and is conducted annually by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Department of Commerce, under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101-3108)—hereinafter, “the Act.” BEA will send the survey to potential respondents in March of each year; responses will be due by May 31.

BEA will introduce a sampling procedure to help reduce respondent burden for some U.S. businesses. The procedure utilizes the new BE-15(EZ) form; this form provides a few basic indicators for non-sample firms that can be used as a basis for estimating data that they otherwise would have to report on the lengthier BE-15(LF) and BE-15(SF) forms. To bring the annual survey into conformity with the Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States-2002, the following changes are being made to the Code of Federal Regulations: (1) Direct that only nonbank majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies report on the BE-15(LF) long form (minority-owned affiliates will report on the BE-15(SF) short form, or Start Printed Page 67940the BE-15(EZ) form, regardless of size); (2) raise the exemption level on the BE-15(LF) long form from $100 million to $125 million (reporting on a given form is required if the affiliate's assets, sales, or net income (or loss) exceed the exemption level); and (3) exempt nonbank subsidiaries or units of U.S. bank or bank holding company affiliates from reporting.

In addition, the following changes are being made to the forms: (1) Add questions to the BE-15 (LF) long form to collect detail on premiums earned and claims paid for U.S. affiliates operating in the insurance industry, and to collect detail on finished goods purchased for resale for U.S. affiliates operating in the wholesale and retail trade industries; (2) in conjunction with increasing the exemption level for reporting on the BE-15(LF) long form, add four items to the short form that will serve to improve estimates of gross product for majority-owned U.S. affiliates—certain realized and unrealized gains and losses, U.S. income taxes, interest received, and interest paid; (3) in conjunction with requiring all minority-owned U.S. affiliates to file on the short form, revise the State Schedule to collect additional detail, by State, for minority-owned U.S. affiliates with activities in more than five States; and (4) to reduce overall respondent burden, drop several questions that BEA feels are no longer of significant analytical interest to the data users.

Survey Background

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Department of Commerce, will conduct the survey under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101-3108), hereinafter, “the Act.” Section 4(a) of the Act provides that with respect to foreign direct investment in the United States, the President shall, to the extent he deems necessary and feasible, conduct a regular data collection program to secure current information on international capital flows and other information related to international investment and trade in services, including (but not limited to) such information as may be necessary for computing and analyzing the United States balance of payments, the employment and taxes of United States parents and affiliates, and the international investment and trade in services position of the United States.

In Section 3 of Executive Order 11961, the President delegated authority granted under the Act as concerns direct investment to the Secretary of Commerce, who has redelegated it to BEA.

The annual survey is a sample survey that collects data on the financial structure and operations of nonbank U.S. affiliates of foreign companies needed to update similar data for the universe of U.S. affiliates collected once every 5 years in the BE-12 benchmark survey. The data are used to derive annual estimates of the operations of U.S. affiliates of foreign companies, including their balance sheets; income statements; property, plant, and equipment; external financing; employment and employee compensation; merchandise trade; sales of goods and services; taxes; and research and development activity. The data are needed to measure the size and economic significance of foreign direct investment in the United States, to measure changes in such investment, and to assess its impact on the U.S. economy. Such data are generally found in enterprise-level accounting records of respondent companies. The data are disaggregated by industry of U.S. affiliate, by country and industry of foreign parent or ultimate beneficial owner, and, for selected items, by State.

Executive Order 13132

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

Executive Order 12866

This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) unless that collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This final rule covers a collection of information subject to the provisions of the PRA. The OMB has approved this collection and assigned to it OMB Control Number 0608-0034. The collection will display this control number.

The survey is expected to result in the filing of reports from approximately 4,950 U.S. affiliates. The respondent burden for this collection of information is expected to vary from 20 minutes for the smallest and least complex company reporting on the BE-15 Supplement C form to 550 hours for the largest and most complex company reporting on the BE-15(LF) long form, with an average burden of 21.8 hours per response (down from 32 hours for the previous annual survey), including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Total respondent burden for the previous (2001) annual survey was estimated at 128,000 hours. Total respondent burden for this survey is estimated to be 107,900 hours (4,950 responses times 21.8 hours average burden). The decrease of 20,100 hours in the estimated total respondent burden is largely attributable to the changes to the reporting requirements.

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 the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as that term is defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The factual basis for the certification was published with the proposed rule. No comments were received regarding the economic impact of the rule. As a result, no final regulatory flexibility analysis was prepared.

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List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 806

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Dated: November 24, 2003.

J. Steven Landefeld,

Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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For reasons set forth in the preamble, BEA amends

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PART 806—DIRECT INVESTMENT SURVEYS

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108; and E.O. 11961 (3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 86), 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).

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2. Section 806.15(i) is revised to read as follows:

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Foreign direct investment in the United States.
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(i) Annual report form. BE-15-Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: One report is required for each consolidated Start Printed Page 67941U.S. affiliate, except a U.S. banking affiliate or U.S. bank holding company affiliate (including all of the subsidiaries and units of the bank holding company), exceeding an exemption level of $30 million. A long form, BE-15(LF), must be filed by each nonbank majority-owned U.S. affiliate (a “majority-owned” U.S. affiliate is one in which the combined direct and indirect ownership interests of all foreign parents of the U.S. affiliate exceed 50 percent) for which at least one of the three items-total assets, sales or gross operating revenues excluding sales taxes, or net income after provision for U.S. income taxes-exceeds $125 million (positive or negative), unless the nonbank majority-owned U.S. affiliate is selected to file a BE-15(EZ) form. A short form, BE-15(SF), must be filed by each nonbank majority-owned U.S. affiliate for which at least one of the three items-total assets, sales or gross operating revenues excluding sales taxes, or net income after provision for U.S. income taxes-exceeds $30 million but no one item exceeds $125 million (positive or negative), and by each nonbank minority-owned U.S. affiliate (a “minority-owned” U.S. affiliate is one in which the combined direct and indirect ownership interest of all foreign parents of the U.S. affiliate is 50 percent or less) for which at least one of the three items-total assets, sales or gross operating revenues excluding sales taxes, or net income after provision for U.S. income taxes-exceeds $30 million (positive or negative), unless the nonbank U.S. affiliate is selected to file a BE-15(EZ) form. A BE-15(EZ) form must be filed by each nonbank U.S. affiliate that is selected to file this form in lieu of filing the BE-15(LF) or BE-15(SF). A BE-15 Supplement C (Exemption Claim) must be filed by each nonbank U.S. affiliate to claim exemption from filing a BE-15(LF), BE-15(SF), or BE-15(EZ). Following an initial filing, the BE-15 Supplement C is not required annually from those nonbank U.S. affiliates that meet the stated exemption criteria from year to year.

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[FR Doc. 03-29996 Filed 12-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-06-P