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Notice of Intent To Request Public Comments

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ACTION:

Notice of intent to request public comments.

SUMMARY:

As part of its ongoing, systematic review of all Federal Trade Commission rules and guides, the Commission announces a modified ten-year regulatory review schedule. No Commission determination on the need for, or the substance of, the rules and guides listed below should be inferred from the notice of intent to publish requests for comments.

DATES:

Effective April 13, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Further details about particular rules or guides may be obtained from the contact person listed below for the rule or guide.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

To ensure that its rules and industry guides stay relevant and are not unduly burdensome, the Commission reviews its rules and guides on a ten-year schedule. Each year the Commission publishes its review schedule, with adjustments in response to public input, changes in the marketplace, and resource demands.

When the Commission reviews a rule or guide, it publishes a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the continuing need for the rule or guide as well as the rule's or guide's costs and benefits to consumers and businesses. Based on this feedback, the Commission may modify or repeal the rule or guide to address public concerns or changed conditions, or to reduce undue regulatory burden.

The Commission posts information about its review schedule on its Web site,[1] thereby facilitating comment about rules and guides, and providing links in one location to comment requests, comment forms, and comments for rules and guides that are currently under review. The Web site also has a continuously updated review schedule, a list of rules and guides previously eliminated in the regulatory review process, and the Commission's regulatory review plan.

When the Commission published its regulatory review schedule for 2011-2020, it also sought input on ways to improve its regulatory review program.[2] The Commission received three comments in response.[3]

Two commenters, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (“AHAM”) and Whirlpool Corporation (“Whirlpool”), urged the Commission to reconsider its earlier decision to accelerate review of the Appliance Labeling Rule to 2012. AHAM explained, and Whirlpool concurred, that the Commission should avoid frequent rule revisions unless existing requirements are outdated, overly burdensome, or deficient. However, the Appliance Labeling Rule warrants a comprehensive review at this time that will allow the Commission to consider burden reductions associated with existing reporting requirements, explore ways to reduce the number of labels missing in showrooms, improve access to label information on retail Web sites, and consider whether additional consumer products should have energy labels. Therefore, the Commission has proceeded with the scheduled review of the Appliance Labeling Rule, 16 CFR part 305.

The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America submitted a comment that noted the Commission's commitment to regulatory review and reduction of unnecessary burdens on business, but did not address the questions posed by the Commission, or any other aspect of the Commission's regulatory review plan. Rather, it expressed various concerns, principally relating to transparency and scope, regarding Commission enforcement of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 45. The Commission notes that it is familiar with these concerns generally, has addressed them in various forums, and will continue to do so.

Modified Ten-Year Schedule for Review of FTC Rules and Guides

For 2012, the Commission intends to initiate reviews of, and solicit public comments on, the following guides:

(1) Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used Automobile Parts Industry, 16 CFR part 20. Agency Contact: Jonathan L. Kessler, (216) 263-3436, Federal Trade Commission, East Central Region, 1111 Superior Ave E # 200, Cleveland, OH 44114-2577.

(2) Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, 16 CFR part 23. Agency Contact: Reenah Kim, (202) 326-2272, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580.

(3) Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services, 16 CFR part 240. Agency Contact: Michael Bloom, (202) 326-2475, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580.

The Commission is currently reviewing 22 of the 65 rules and guides within its jurisdiction. Due to resource constraints caused by the large number of rules and guides under review, the Commission is postponing review of the following matters previously scheduled for review in 2012: Guides Against Deceptive Pricing, 16 CFR part 233; Guides Against Bait Advertising, 16 CFR part 238; Guides Concerning Use of the Word “Free” and Similar Representations, 16 CFR part 251; and the Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses Rule [Holder in Due Course Rule], 16 CFR part 433. It is postponing the reviews of the three guides until 2017, and the review of the rule until 2013.

The Commission is also consolidating its review of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act Coverage Rules, 16 CFR part 801; and the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act Exemption Rules, 16 CFR part 802, with its next review in 2020 of the Hart- Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act Transmittal Rules.[4]

A copy of the Commission's modified regulatory review schedule for 2012 through 2021 is appended. The Commission, in its discretion, may modify or reorder the schedule in the future to incorporate new rules, or to respond to external factors (such as changes in the law) or other considerations.

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 41-58.

By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

Appendix

Regulatory Review

Modified Ten-Year Schedule

16 CFR partTopicYear to review
239Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and GuaranteesCurrently Under Review.
254Guides for Private Vocational and Distance Education SchoolsCurrently Under Review.
259Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New AutomobilesCurrently Under Review.
260Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing ClaimsCurrently Under Review.
300Rules and Regulations Under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939Currently Under Review.
301Rules and Regulations Under Fur Products Labeling ActCurrently Under Review.
303Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification ActCurrently Under Review.
305Appliance Labeling RuleCurrently Under Review.
306Automotive Fuel Ratings, Certification and PostingCurrently Under Review.
308Trade Regulation Rule Pursuant to the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 [Pay Per Call Rule]Currently Under Review.
309Labeling Requirements for Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fueled VehiclesCurrently Under Review.
312Children's Online Privacy Protection RuleCurrently Under Review.
423Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece GoodsCurrently Under Review.
424Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices [Unavailability Rule]Currently Under Review.
425Use of Prenotification Negative Option PlansCurrently Under Review.
429Rule Concerning the Cooling-Off Period for Sales Made at Homes or at Certain Other LocationsCurrently Under Review.
435Mail or Telephone Order MerchandiseCurrently Under Review.
455Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation RuleCurrently Under Review.
700Interpretations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty ActCurrently Under Review.
701Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and ConditionsCurrently Under Review.
702Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty TermsCurrently Under Review.
703Informal Dispute Settlement ProceduresCurrently Under Review.
20Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used Automobile Parts Industry2012.
23Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries2012.
240Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services2012.
310Telemarketing Sales Rule2013.
433Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses [Holder in Due Course Rule]2013.
500Regulations Under Section 4 of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act2013.
501Exemptions From Requirements and Prohibitions under Part 5002013.
502Regulations Under Section 5(c) of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act2013.
503Statements of General Policy or Interpretation [under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act]2013.
304Rules and Regulations Under the Hobby Protection Act2014.
314Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information2014.
315Contact Lens Rule2015.
316CAN-SPAM Rule2015.
456Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule)2015.
460Labeling and Advertising of Home Insulation2016.
682Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records2016.
233Guides Against Deceptive Pricing2017.
238Guides Against Bait Advertising2017.
251Guide Concerning Use of the Word AFree@ and Similar Representations2017.
410Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets2017.
18Guides for the Nursery Industry2018.
311Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil2018.
436Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising2018.
681Identity Theft [Red Flag] Rules2018.
24Guides for Select Leather and Imitation Leather Products2019.
453Funeral Industry Practices2019.
14Administrative Interpretations, General Policy Statements, and Enforcement Policy Statements2020.
255Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising2020.
313Privacy of Consumer Financial Information2020.
317Prohibition of Energy Market Manipulation Rule2020.
318Health Breach Notification Rule2020.
432Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Utilized in Home Entertainment Products2020.
444Credit Practices2020.
640Duties of Creditors Regarding Risk-Based Pricing2020.
641Duties of Users of Consumer Reports Regarding Address Discrepancies2020.
642Prescreen Opt-Out Notice2020.
660Duties of Furnishers of Information to Consumer Reporting Agencies2020.
680Affiliate Marketing2020.
698Model Forms and Disclosures2020.
801[Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] Coverage Rules2020.
802[Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] Exemption Rules2020.
803[Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act] Transmittal Rules2020.
437Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Business Opportunities2021.

Footnotes

2.  Federal Trade Commission: Notice Announcing Ten-Year Regulatory Review Schedule and Request for Public Comment on the Federal Trade Commission's Regulatory Review Program, 76 FR 41150 (July 13, 2011) .

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3.  These comments are available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/regulatoryreviewschedule/index.shtm.

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4.  The Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) program includes an ongoing review of all the HSR rules. In 2011, the Commission made significant changes to 16 CFR part 803 by overhauling the premerger notification form. The Commission also amended the definition of “associates” in 16 CFR part 801, and made minor amendments to several exemption rules in 16 CFR part 802. See the Statement of Basis and Purpose, Federal Trade Commission: Premerger Notification; Reporting and Waiting Period Requirements, 76 FR 42471 (July 19, 2011) at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-19/pdf/2011-17822.pdf. As this review covered all sections of the HSR rules, it is appropriate to consolidate future reviews of these rules with the next scheduled review of 16 CFR part 803. The Commission will accelerate these reviews if necessary.

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[FR Doc. 2012-8742 Filed 4-12-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P