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International Services Surveys: BE-25, Quarterly Survey of Transactions With Unaffiliated Foreign Persons in Selected Services and in Intangible Assets

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 the reporting requirements for the BE-25, Quarterly Survey of Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons in Selected Services and in Intangible Assets.

The survey is mandatory and will be conducted under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act. Data from the BE-25 survey are needed to monitor trade in services and intangible assets, analyze its impact on the U.S. and foreign economies, compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, support U.S. commercial policy on financial services, conduct trade promotion, improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities, and for other government and public uses.

The survey will cover some of the selected services presently covered by the BE-22, Annual Survey of Selected Services Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons. The selected services covered by the BE-25 survey will be removed from the BE-22 survey after the survey for 2003 is conducted. The BE-22 survey will continue to be conducted for those services that were not moved to the BE-25 survey. The BE-25 survey will also cover construction, engineering, architectural, and surveying services presently covered by the BE-47, Annual Survey of Construction, Engineering, Architectural, and Mining Services Provided by U.S. Firms to Unaffiliated Foreign Persons, and will cover the same transactions in intangible assets presently covered by the BE-93, Annual Survey of Royalties, License Fees, and Other Receipts and Payments for Intangible Rights Between U.S. and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons; both of these annual surveys will be discontinued, following a final data collection for 2003.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This final rule will be effective January 30, 2004.

Start Further Info

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; or via the Internet at obie.whichard@bea.gov (telephone (202) 606-9890).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the September 23, 2003, Federal Register, (68 FR 55204-55206), BEA published a notice of proposed rulemaking setting forth reporting requirements for the BE-25, Quarterly Survey of Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons in Selected Services and in Intangible Assets. No comments on the proposed rule were received. Thus, the proposed rule is adopted without change.

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). Section 4(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 3103(a)) provides that the President shall, to the extent he deems necessary and feasible, conduct a regular data collection program to secure current information related to international investment and trade in services and publish for the use of the general public and United States Government agencies periodic, regular, and comprehensive statistical information collected pursuant to this subsection. In section 3 of Executive Order 11961, as amended by Executive Order 12518, the President delegated authority granted under the Act as concerns international trade in services to the Secretary of Commerce, who has redelegated it to BEA.

The major purposes of the survey are to monitor trade in services and in intangible assets, analyze the impact of this trade on the U.S. and foreign economies, compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, support U.S. commercial policy on services and intangible assets, conduct trade promotion, and improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities.

The BE-25 survey is mandatory and will be conducted under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act. The first survey conducted under this rule will cover transactions in the first quarter of 2004. BEA will send the survey to potential respondents in March of 2004; responses will be due by May 15, 2004. The survey will update the data provided on the universe of transactions between U.S. and unaffiliated foreign persons in selected services and in intangible assets. Reporting is required from U.S. persons whose sales of covered services to unaffiliated foreign persons exceeded $6 million for the previous fiscal year or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year, or whose purchases of covered services from unaffiliated foreign persons exceeded $4 million for the previous fiscal year or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. U.S. persons meeting any of these criteria must supply data on the amount of their sales or purchases for each type of covered service, disaggregated by country. U.S. persons that do not meet the mandatory reporting requirements are requested to provide voluntary estimates of their total sales and purchases of each type of covered service or intangible asset.

The BE-25 survey will cover some of the selected services presently covered by the BE-22, Annual Survey of Selected Services Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons. It will also cover construction, engineering, architectural, and surveying services presently covered by the BE-47, Annual Survey of Construction, Engineering, Architectural, and Mining Services Provided by U.S. Firms to Unaffiliated Foreign Persons, and will cover the same transactions in intangible rights presently covered by the BE-93, Annual Survey of Royalties, License Fees, and Other Receipts and Payments for Intangible Rights Between U.S. and Unaffiliated Foreign Persons; both of these annual surveys will be discontinued, following a final data collection for 2003.

Executive Order 12866

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

Executive Order 13132

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

The collection of information required in this final rule has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the 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 unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB Control Number; such a Control Number (0608-0067) will be displayed.

The BE-25 survey is expected to result in the filing of reports containing mandatory data from about 700 respondents on a quarterly basis, or Start Printed Page 754112,800 responses annually. The average burden for completing the BE-25 is estimated to be 16 hours. Thus, the total respondent burden of the survey is estimated at 44,800 hours (2,800 responses times 16 hours average burden). The actual burden will vary from reporter to reporter, depending upon the number and variety of their covered services transactions and the ease of assembling the data. This estimate includes time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

Comments regarding the burden estimate or any aspect of this collection of information should be addressed to: Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, and either faxed (202-395-7245) or e-mailed (pbugg@omb.eop.gov) to the Office of Management and Budget, O.I.R.A. (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 provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), that this rule will 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 801

  • International transactions
  • Economic statistics
  • Foreign trade
  • Penalties
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
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Dated: December 10, 2003.

J. Steven Landefeld,

Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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

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

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

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 15 U.S.C. 4908; 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108; 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 801.9 is amended by adding new paragraph (c)(6) to read as follows:

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Reports required.
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(c) Quarterly surveys. * * *

(6) BE-25, Quarterly Survey of Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons in Selected Services and in Intangible Assets:

(i) A BE-25, Quarterly Survey of Transactions with Unaffiliated Foreign Persons in Selected Services and in Intangible Assets, will be conducted covering the first quarter of the 2004 calendar year and every quarter thereafter.

(A) Who must report—(1) Mandatory reporting. Reports are required from each U.S. person that: (a) Had sales of covered services to unaffiliated foreign persons that exceeded $6 million for the previous fiscal year or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year; or (b) had purchases of covered services from unaffiliated foreign persons that exceeded $4 million for the previous fiscal year or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. Because the thresholds are applied separately to sales and purchases, the mandatory reporting requirement may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both sales and purchases. Quarterly reports for a year may be required retroactively when it is determined that the exemption level has been exceeded.

(2) Voluntary reporting. Reports are requested from each U.S. person that had sales of covered services to unaffiliated foreign persons that were $6 million or less for the previous fiscal year and are expected to be less than or equal to that amount during the current fiscal year, or had purchases of covered services from unaffiliated foreign persons that were $4 million or less for the previous fiscal year and are expected to be less than or equal to that amount during the current fiscal year. Provision of this information is voluntary. The estimates may be based on recall, without conducting a detailed records search. Because these thresholds apply separately to sales and purchases, voluntary reporting may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both.

(B) Any person receiving a BE-25 survey form from BEA must complete all relevant parts of the form and return the form to BEA. A person that is not subject to the mandatory reporting requirement in paragraph (c)(6)(i)(A) of this section and is not filing information on a voluntary basis must only complete the “Determination of reporting status” and the “Certification” sections of the survey. This requirement is necessary to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements and efficient administration of the survey by eliminating unnecessary followup contact.

(C) Covered services and intangible assets. The services covered by this survey are: Accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping services; computer and data processing services; construction services; foreign expenses related to construction projects; data base and other information services; engineering, architectural, and surveying services; industrial engineering services; industrial-type maintenance, installation, alteration, and training services; legal services; management, consulting, and public relations services; operational leasing services; research, development, and testing services; and telecommunication services. The intangible assets covered by this survey are rights related to: industrial processes and products; books, compact discs, audio tapes and other copyrighted material and intellectual property; trademarks, brand names, and signatures; performances and events pre-recorded on motion picture film and television tape, including digital recording; broadcast and recording of live performances and events; general use computer software; business format franchising fees; and other intangible assets, including indefeasible rights of users.

(ii) [Reserved]

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[FR Doc. 03-32124 Filed 12-30-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-06-P