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Notice

General Program Test Extended: Quota Preprocessing

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:

Customs and Border Protection; Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

General notice.

SUMMARY:

With this notice, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announces that the duration of the quota preprocessing program test, which provides for the electronic processing of certain quota-class apparel merchandise prior to arrival of the importing carrier, is extended until December 31, 2008. The quota preprocessing program test is currently being conducted at all CBP ports and was set to expire on December 31, 2006. The duration of the test is being extended so that CBP can continue to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Public comments concerning any aspect of the program test as well as applications to participate in the test are requested.

DATES:

The program test is extended to run until December 31, 2008. Applications to participate in the test and comments concerning the test will continue to be accepted throughout the testing period.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments regarding this notice or any aspect of the program test should be addressed to Christine Kegley, Quota Enforcement and Administration, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Room 5.3-D, Washington, DC 20229, or may be sent via e-mail to HQ.Quota@dhs.gov. An application to participate in the program test must be sent to the CBP port(s) (Attention: Program Coordinator for Quota Preprocessing) where the applicant intends to submit quota entries for preprocessing. Information on CBP port addresses may be obtained from the CBP Web site at http://www.cbp.gov (Office Locations).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christine Kegley, Quota Enforcement and Administration, 202-344-2319.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On July 24, 1998, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a general notice in the Federal Register (63 FR 39929) announcing the limited testing of a new operational procedure regarding the electronic processing of quota-class apparel merchandise. The test, authorized under § 101.9(a), CBP Regulations (19 CFR 101.9(a)), was commenced on September 15, 1998, at two ports. Quota preprocessing permits certain quota entries (merchandise classifiable in chapter 61 or 62 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)) to be filed, reviewed for admissibility, and to have their quota priority and status determined by CBP prior to arrival of the carrier, similar to the method of preliminary review by which non-quota entries are currently processed. The purpose of quota preprocessing is to reduce CBP processing time for qualified quota entries and to expedite the release of the subject merchandise to the importer. To this end, participants in the quota preprocessing test have been allowed to submit quota entries to CBP up to 5 days prior to vessel arrival or after the wheels are up on air shipments. The July 24, 1998, Federal Register notice described the new procedure, specified the eligibility and application requirements for participation in the program test, and noted the acts of misconduct for which a participant in the test could be suspended and disqualified from continued participation in the program. The test was scheduled to continue for a six-month period that expired on March 14, 1999.

On March 25, 1999, January 6, 2000, and November 30, 2000, CBP published general notices in the Federal Register (64 FR 14499, 65 FR 806, and 65 FR 71356, respectively) that extended the program test through December 31, 2002. These extensions of the test procedure were undertaken so that CBP could further evaluate the effectiveness of the program and determine whether the program test should be expanded to other ports. By a notice published in the Federal Register (66 FR 66018) on December 21, 2001, the test was expanded to a selected number of additional ports in order to enable CBP to continue to study the program's effectiveness and determine whether the program should be established nationwide on a permanent basis.

The expansion of the test to the additional 15 ports was determined by the volume of quota lines of apparel merchandise entered at these ports. By a notice published in the Federal Register (67 FR 57271) on September 9, 2002, CBP expanded the test to all CBP ports effective as of October 9, 2002, and extended the duration of the program test until December 31, 2004. CBP further extended the duration of the test until December 31, 2006, by a notice published in the Federal Register (70 FR 1732) on January 10, 2005. Start Printed Page 55206

The duration of the test is now being further extended so that CBP can continue to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Prospective applicants may consult the July 24,1998 and December 21, 2001, Federal Register notices for a more detailed discussion of the quota preprocessing program and the September 9, 2002, Federal Register notice for eligibility criteria. All requirements and aspects of the quota preprocessing test, as set forth in these notices, continue to apply.

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Dated: September 18, 2006.

Jayson P. Ahern,

Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations.

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[FR Doc. 06-7882 Filed 9-20-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9111-14-P