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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2009-014, New Designated Country-Taiwan

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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:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed on an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add Taiwan (known in the World Trade Organization as “the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei))” as a designated country, due to the accession of Taiwan to membership in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement.

DATES:

Effective Date: August 11, 2009.

Comment Date: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before October 13, 2009 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by FAC 2005-36, FAR case 2009-014, by any of the following methods:

Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting “FAR Case 2009-014” under the heading “Comment or Submission”. Select the link “Send a Comment or Submission” that corresponds with FAR Case 2009-014. Follow the instructions provided to complete the “Public Comment and Submission Form”. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2009-014” on your attached document.

  • Fax: 202-501-4067.
  • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (VPR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4041, ATTN: Hada Flowers, Washington, DC 20405.Start Printed Page 40462

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2005-36, FAR case 2009-014, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For clarification of content, contact Ms. Meredith Murphy, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 208-6925. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the FAR Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAR Case 2009-014.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

On July 15, 2009, Taiwan became a designated country based on its accession to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement. This interim rule adds Taiwan to the list of World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement countries in FAR 22.1503, 25.003, 52.222-19, 52.225-5, 52.225-11, and 52.225-23.

This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was 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 interim rule is not expected to 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 Taiwan, 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 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 225.401-70, and acquisitions that are set aside for small businesses are exempt. Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been performed. The Councils will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR Parts 22, 25, and 52 in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C 601, et seq. (FAC 2005-36, FAR case 2009-014), in all correspondence.

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 Number 9000-0141, Buy American Act—Construction. The interim rule affects the certification and information collection requirement in the clause at FAR 52.225-11. The impact, however, is negligible.

D. Determination to Issue an Interim Rule

A determination has been made under the authority of the Secretary of Defense (DoD), the Administrator of General Services (GSA), and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that urgent and compelling reasons exist to promulgate this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. This action is necessary because this interim rule implements the designation of Taiwan under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement, which took effect on July 15, 2009. However, pursuant to Pub. L. 98-577 and FAR 1.501, the Councils will consider public comments received in response to this interim rule in the formation of the final rule.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 22, 25, and 52

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Dated: August 4, 2009.

Al Matera,

Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 U.S.C. 2473(c).

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PART 22—APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITIONS

[Amended]
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2. Amend section 22.1503 in paragraph (b)(4) by removing “Switzerland,” and adding “Switzerland, Taiwan,” in its place.

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PART 25—FOREIGN ACQUISITIONS

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3. Amend section 25.003 by—

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a. Revising paragraph (1) in the definition “Designated country” ; and

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b. Removing from the definition “World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) country” the words “Switzerland,” and adding “Switzerland, Taiwan,” in its place.

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The revised text reads as follows:

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Definitions.
* * * * *

Designated country * * *

(1)A World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement country (Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (known in the World Trade Organization as “the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu” (Chinese Taipei)) or United Kingdom);

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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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4. Amend section 52.212-5 by revising the date of the clause, and paragraphs (b)(20) and (b)(33) to read as follows:

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Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders—Commercial Items.
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CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS REQUIRED TO IMPLEMENT STATUTES OR EXECUTIVE ORDERS—COMMERCIAL ITEMS (Aug 09)

* * * * *

(b) * * *

__ (20) 52.222-19, Child Labor—Cooperation with Authorities and Remedies (Aug 09) (E.O. 13126).

* * * * *

__ (33) 52.225-5, Trade Agreements (Aug 09) (19 U.S.C. 2501, et seq., 19 U.S.C. 3301 note).

* * * * *
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5. Amend section 52.213-4 by revising the date of the clause, and paragraph (b)(1)(i) to read as follows:

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Terms and Conditions—Simplified Acquisitions (Other Than Commercial Items).
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TERMS AND CONDITIONS—SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITIONS (OTHER THAN COMMERCIAL ITEMS)(Aug 09)

* * * * *

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) 52.222-19, Child Labor—Cooperation with Authorities and Remedies (Aug 09) (E.O. 13126). (Applies to contracts for supplies exceeding the micro-purchase threshold.)

* * * * *
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[Amended]
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6. Amend section 52.222-19 by removing from the clause heading “(Feb 2008)” and adding “(Aug 09)” in its place; and removing from paragraph (a)(4) “Switzerland,” and adding “Switzerland, Taiwan,” in its place.

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7. Amend section 52.225-5 by revising the date of the clause; and in paragraph (a), in the definition “Designated Country”, revising paragraph (1) to read as follows:

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Trade Agreements.
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TRADE AGREEMENTS (Aug 09)

(a) Definitions. * * *

Designated country * * *

(1) A World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement country (Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (known in the World Trade Organization as “the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei))”, or United Kingdom);

* * * * *
[Amended]
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8. Amend section 52.225-11 by removing from the clause heading “(June 2009)” and adding “(Aug 09)” in its place; and in paragraph (a), in the definition “Designated country”, removing from paragraph (1) “Switzerland,” and adding “Switzerland, Taiwan,” in its place.

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[Amended]
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9. Amend section 52.225-23 by removing from the clause heading “(Mar 2009)” and adding “(Aug 09)” in its place; and in paragraph (a), in the definition “Recovery Act designated country”, removing from paragraph (1) “Switzerland,” and adding “Switzerland, Taiwan,” in its place.

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[FR Doc. E9-19164 Filed 8-10-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-EP-S