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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; APHIS Credit and User Fee Accounts

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Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS') intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with establishing credit accounts and the collection of user fees for certain reimbursable APHIS services.


We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 31, 2020.


You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2020-0034 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

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For information on APHIS user fees forms covered by this notice, contact Ms. Kris Caraher, Review and Analysis Branch Chief, Financial Management Division, MRPBS, APHIS, USDA, 4700 River Road, Unit 54, Riverdale, MD 20737-3148; (301) 851-2834. For information on the information collection process, contact Mr. Joseph Moxey, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


Title: APHIS Credit and User Fee Accounts.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0055.

Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: Section 2509 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, as amended, authorizes the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to establish credit accounts and collect user fees for providing import- and export-related services for animals, animal products, birds, germplasm, organisms, and vectors. In addition, this section authorizes APHIS to collect user fees for agricultural quarantine and inspection services, inspection and certification of plants and plant products offered for export or transiting the United States, and for providing veterinary diagnostic services and services related to the importation and exportation of animals and animal products.

APHIS also provides the services of a Federal inspector to clear imported and exported agricultural commodities for animal and plant health purposes. These services are paid for by user fees during regular working hours. If an importer wishes to have shipments cleared at other hours, such services will usually be provided on a reimbursable overtime basis, unless already covered by a user fee. Exporters wishing cargo to be certified during nonworking hours may also utilize this procedure.

The services that APHIS provides involves certain information collection activities. For example, many importers and exporters who require inspection services are repeat customers who request that APHIS bill them. The Agency needs to collect certain information to conduct a credit check on prospective applicants to ensure creditworthiness prior to extending credit services and to prepare billings. Also, the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, as amended (31 U.S.C. 3332), requires that agencies collect tax identification numbers from all persons doing business with the Government for purposes of collecting delinquent debts. Without a tax identification number, service cannot be provided on a credit basis.

Also, requests for APHIS services are in writing, by telephone, or in person. The information contained in each request identifies the specific service requested and the time in which the requester wishes the service to be performed. This information is necessary in order for animal import centers and port offices to schedule the work and to calculate the fees due.

Lastly, APHIS is responsible for ensuring that fees collected are correct and that they are remitted in full and in a timely manner. To ensure this, the party (ticketing agents for transportation companies) responsible for collecting and remitting fees must allow APHIS personnel to verify the accuracy of the fees collected and remitted, and otherwise determine compliance with the statute and regulations. We also require that whoever is responsible for making fee payments advise us of the name, address, and telephone number of a responsible officer who is authorized to verify fee calculations, collections, and remittances.

This information collection was previously titled “Credit Account Approval for Reimbursable Services.” It now incorporates burden from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 0579-0094, User Fee Regulations, and is retitled “APHIS Credit and User Fee Accounts.”

We are asking OMB to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection Start Printed Page 33080of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.063 hours per response.

Respondents: Individuals and private and commercial importers or exporters of agricultural plants and animals or their products.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 6,980.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 200.

Estimated annual number of responses: 1,395,559.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 88,025 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 27th day of May 2020.

Michael Watson,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2020-11738 Filed 5-29-20; 8:45 am]