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Notice

Notice of a Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comment.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, this notice announces the Foreign Agricultural Service's intention to request a revision for a currently approved information collection relating to the issuance of certificates of quota eligibility (CQEs) required to enter sugar and sugar-containing products under tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) into the United States.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by no later than April 20, 2020 to be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, identified by the OMB Control number 0551-0014, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for sending comments.
  • Email: William.Janis@usda.gov. Include OMB Control number 0551-0014 in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: 202-720-0876.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-1021.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

William.Janis@usda.gov, 202-720-2194, William.Janis@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Certificates for Quota Eligibility.

OMB Number: 0551-0014.

Expiration Date of Approval: April 30, 2020.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: Additional U.S. note 5 to Chapter 17 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), established by Presidential Proclamation 6763 of December 1994, authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to establish for each fiscal year the quantity of sugars, syrups, and molasses that may be entered at the lower tariff rates of TRQs established under the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations as reflected in the provisions of Schedule XX (United States), annexed to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Pursuant to 15 CFR part 2011, Allocation of Tariff-Rate Quota on Imported Sugars, Syrups, and Molasses, Subpart A—Certificates of Quota, CQEs are issued to foreign countries that have been allocated a share of the WTO sugar TRQ. This regulation provides for the issuance of CQEs by the Secretary of Agriculture and in general prohibits sugar entered under the WTO TRQ from being imported into the United States or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption at the in-quota duty rates unless such sugar is accompanied by a valid CQE.

In addition, CQEs are required for the import of sugar into the United States under the sugar TRQs established under the U.S.—Colombia, U.S.—Panama, and U.S.—Peru Trade Promotion Agreements, as set forth in 19 U.S.C. 3805.

CQEs for the aforementioned WTO and FTA sugar TRQs are distributed to foreign countries by the Senior Director of the Multilateral Affairs Division, Foreign Agriculture Service, or his or her designee. The distribution of CQEs is in such amounts and at such times as the Senior Director determines are appropriate to enable the foreign country to fill its quota allocation for such quota period in a reasonable manner, taking into account harvesting periods, U.S. import requirements, and other relevant factors. The information required to be collected on the CQE is used to monitor and control the imports of products subject to the WTO and FTA sugar TRQs. A valid CQE, duly executed and issued by the Certifying Authority of the foreign country, is required for eligibility to enter the products into U.S. customs territory under the TRQs.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for the collection directly varies with the number of CQEs issued.

Respondents: Foreign governments.

Estimated Number of WTO Respondents: 30.

Estimated Number of FTA Respondents: 2.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 124 per fiscal year.

Estimated Total Annual Reporting Burden: 3,968 hours

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Connie Ehrhart, the Agency Information Collection Coordinator, at (202) 690-1578.Start Printed Page 8807

Requests for Comments: Send comments regarding (a) Whether the information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information including validity of the methodology and assumption used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Copies of this information collection may be obtained from Ronald Croushorn, the Agency Information Collection Coordinator, at (202) 720-3038.

Comments may be sent to William Janis, International Economist, Multilateral Affairs Division, AgStop 1021, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-1021 or telephone (202) 720-2194 or email William.Janis@usda.gov. All comments received will be available for public inspection in Room 5526 at the above address.

Persons with disabilities who require an alternative means of communication for information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's target center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments also will become a matter of public record.

FAS is committed to complying with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act which requires Government agencies, to the maximum extent feasible, to provide the public the option of electronically submitting information collection. CQEs permit exporters to ship raw cane sugar to the United States at the U.S. sugar price, which is ordinarily higher than the world sugar price. Therefore, in contrast to most information collection documents, CQEs have a monetary value equivalent to the substantial benefits to exporters. CQEs have always been carefully handled as secure documents and distributed only to foreign government-approved Certifying Authorities.

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Dated: February 7, 2020.

Kenneth Isley,

Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service.

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[FR Doc. 2020-03133 Filed 2-14-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-10-P