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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-017, Free Trade Agreements-Bahrain and Guatemala

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCIES:

Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed to adopt the interim rule published in the Federal Register at 71 FR 67776, November 22, 2006, as a final rule without change. This final rule amends the Federal Acquisition regulation (FAR) to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement with respect to Guatemala and the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement.

DATES:

Effective Date: August 17, 2007.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Meredith Murphy, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 208-6925 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the FAR Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-19, FAR case 2006-017.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 71 FR 67776, November 22, 2006. The interim rule amended FAR Part 25 and the corresponding clauses in FAR Part 52 to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with respect to Guatemala and the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Congress approved these trade agreements in the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 109-53) and the United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 109-169), respectively. These trade agreements waive the applicability of the Buy American Act for some foreign supplies and construction materials from Guatemala and Bahrain and specify procurement procedures designed to ensure fairness in the acquisition of supplies and services.

The interim rule added Bahrain and Guatemala to the definition of “Free Trade Agreement country.” The rule also deleted Guatemala from the definition of “Caribbean Basin country” because, in accordance with Section 201(a)(3) of Pub. L. 109-53, when the CAFTA-DR agreement enters into force with respect to a country, that country is no longer designated as a beneficiary country for purposes of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act. The Councils received no comments on the interim rule; therefore, the Councils have agreed to implement the interim rule as a final rule without change.

This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. Although the rule opens up Government procurement to the goods and services of Guatemala and Bahrain, the Councils do not anticipate any significant economic impact on U.S. small businesses. The Department of Defense only applies the trade agreements to the non-defense items listed at DFARS 225.401-70, and acquisitions that are set aside for small businesses are exempt. No comments were received with regard to impact on small entities.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act does apply; however, these changes to the FAR do not impose additional information collection requirements to the paperwork burden previously approved under OMB Control Numbers 9000-0025, 9000-0130, 9000-0136, and 9000-0141.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 25 and 52

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Dated: July 30, 2007.

Al Matera,

Acting Director, Contract Policy Division.

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Interim Rule Adopted as Final Without Change

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Accordingly, the interim rule amending

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[FR Doc. 07-3802 Filed 8-16-07; 8:45 am]

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