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Rule

Addition of Lithuania to the List of Nations Entitled to Special Tonnage Tax Exemption

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to information provided by the Department of State, Customs and Border Protection has found that no discriminating or countervailing duties are imposed by the government of Lithuania on vessels owned by citizens of the United States. Accordingly, vessels of Lithuania are exempt from special tonnage taxes and light money in ports of the United States. This document amends title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations by adding Lithuania to the list of nations whose vessels are exempt from payment of any higher tonnage duties than are applicable to vessels of the United States and from the payment of light money.

DATES:

This amendment is effective March 10, 2008. The exemption from special tonnage taxes and light money for vessels registered in Lithuania became applicable on February 13, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Glen Vereb, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, (202) 572-8724.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Generally, the United States imposes regular and special tonnage taxes, and a duty of a specified amount per ton, called “light money,” on all foreign vessels which enter U.S. ports (46 U.S.C. 60301-60303). However, vessels of a foreign country may be exempted from the payment of special tonnage taxes and light money upon presentation of satisfactory proof that the government of that foreign country does not impose discriminatory or countervailing duties to the disadvantage of the United States (46 U.S.C. 60304).

Section 4.22, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations (19 CFR 4.22), lists those countries whose vessels have been found to be exempt from the payment of any higher tonnage duties than are applicable to vessels of the United States and from the payment of light money. The authority to amend this section of the CBP regulations has been delegated to the Chief, Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade.

By letter dated April 13, 2007, the Department of State informed CBP that the government of Lithuania does not impose discriminating or countervailing duties on vessels owned by citizens of the United States. Accordingly, the Department of State recommended that Lithuania be added to the list of countries whose vessels are exempt from special tonnage taxes and light money in ports of the United States, effective February 13, 2002.

Finding

On the basis of the above-mentioned information from the Department of State regarding the absence of discriminating or countervailing duties imposed by the government of Lithuania on vessels owned by citizens of the United States, CBP has determined that vessels of Lithuania are exempt from the payment of special tonnage tax and light money, effective February 13, 2002. The CBP regulations are amended accordingly.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

Because this amendment merely implements a statutory requirement and confers a benefit upon the public, CBP has determined that notice and public procedure are unnecessary pursuant to section 553(b)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)). Further, for the same reasons, good cause exists for dispensing with a delayed effective date under section 553(d)(3) of the APA (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)).

Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply. This amendment does not meet the criteria for a “significant regulatory action” as specified in Executive Order 12866.

Signing Authority

This document is being issued by CBP in accordance with § 0.1(b)(1) of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 0.1(b)(1)).

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List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 4

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Amendment to the CBP Regulations

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For the reasons set forth above, part 4 of title of the Code of Federal Regulations (

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PART 4—VESSELS IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC TRADES

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1. The general authority citation for part 4 and the specific authority for § 4.22 are revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1431, 1433, 1434, 1624, 2071 note; 46 U.S.C. 501, 60105.

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Section 4.22 also issued under 46 U.S.C. 60301, 60302, 60303, 60304, 60305, 60306, 60312, 60503;

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[Amended]
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2. Section 4.22 is amended by adding “Lithuania” in appropriate alphabetical order.

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Dated: March 5, 2008.

Craig A. Walker

Acting Chief, Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade.

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[FR Doc. E8-4641 Filed 3-7-08; 8:45 am]

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