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Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the intention of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection in support of the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs.


Comments on this notice must be received by February 14, 2005.

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Contact Shields Jones, Standardization Branch, Poultry Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 0259, Washington, DC 20050-0259, (202) 720-3506.

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Title: Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs—7 CFR Part 56.

OMB Number: 0581-0128.

Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2005.

Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (60 Stat. 1087-1091, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) (AMA) directs and authorizes the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop standards of quality, grades, grading programs, and services which facilitate trading of agricultural products and assure consumers of quality products which are graded and identified under USDA programs.

To provide programs and services, section 203(h) of the AMA directs and authorizes USDA to inspect; certify and identify; and identify the grade, class, quality, quantity, and condition of agricultural products under such rules and regulations as prescribed, including assessment and collection of fees for the cost of the service.

The regulations in 7 CFR part 56 provide a voluntary program for grading shell eggs on the basis of U.S. standards, grades, and weight classes. In addition, the shell egg industry and users of the products have requested that other types of voluntary services be developed and provided under these regulations; e.g., contract and specification acceptance services and certification of quantity. This voluntary grading service is available on a resident basis or on an as-needed basis. A fee for service is paid by the user.

Since this is a voluntary program, respondents need to request or apply for the specific service they wish, and in doing so, they provide information. Since the AMA requires that the cost of service be assessed and collected, information is collected to establish the Agency's cost.

The information collection requirements in this request are essential to carry out the intent of the AMA, to provide the respondents the type of service they request, and to administer the program.

The information collected is used only by authorized representatives of USDA (AMS, Poultry Programs' national staff; regional directors and their staffs; Federal-State supervisors and their staffs; and resident Federal-State graders, which includes State agencies). The information is used to administer and to conduct and carry out the grading services requested by the respondents. The Agency is the primary user of the information. Information is also used by each authorized State agency which has a cooperative agreement with AMS.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.232 hours per response.

Respondents: State or local governments, businesses or other for-profits, Federal agencies or employees, small businesses or organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 623.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 36.87.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 5,319.96 hours.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Shields Jones, Standardization Branch, on (202) 720-3506.

Send comments regarding, but not limited to, the following: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; or (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, to: David Bowden, Jr., Chief, Standardization Branch, Poultry Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Stop 0259, Washington, DC 20250-0259. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for the Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: December 10, 2004.

A.J. Yates,

Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-27428 Filed 12-14-04; 8:45 am]