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CCC Facility Guarantee Program Regulations

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12291

This rule has been determined to be significant and was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

It has been determined that the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not applicable to this interim rule since CCC is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other provision of law to publish a notice of rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of this rule.

Executive Order 12372

This program is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with state and local officials. See the Notice related to
7 CFR Part 3015, Subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115 (June 24, 1983).

Environmental Evaluation

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is excluded from the requirements of preparing procedures to implement the National Environmental Policy Act and is categorically excluded from the preparation of an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement unless the Administrator of FAS determines that an action may have a significant environmental effect.
7 CFR 1b.4(b)(7). The Administrator has made no such determination with respect to this action.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, CCC will submit an emergency information collection request (ICR) for the reinstatement of the Facility Guarantee Program (FGP) submission.

Title: The Facility Guarantee Program.

OMB Control Number: 0551-0032.

Type of Request: Reinstatement, with change, of previously-approved collection for which approval has expired.

Abstract: The information to be collected under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Number 0551-0032 is needed to enable the CCC to effectively administer the FGP. The information collection will be used by the CCC to determine the eligibility of applications. CCC considers this information to be essential to prudent eligibility determinations. Failure to make sound decisions in providing payment guarantees for the sale of goods and services may negatively impact exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products.

The FGP information collection is similar to those for the Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) Program and the Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-103) Program (OMB control number 0551-004). The information collection for the FGP differs primarily as follows:

(1) The applicant, in order to receive a payment guarantee, provides information evidencing that the exported goods and services used to develop improved infrastructure will primarily benefit exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products;

(2) The applicant is required to certify that the value of non-U.S. components of goods and services is less than 50 percent of the contract value covered under the payment guarantee.

Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for this information collection is estimated to average 0.6 hours per response.

Respondents: Agricultural equipment manufacturers and exporters.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 25.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 11.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 159.

Topics for comments include: (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the CCC, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the CCC's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions 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 the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments should be submitted in accordance with the Dates section above and sent to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C. 20503; and to L.T. McElvain, Director, CCC Operations Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA), Stop 1035, Washington, DC 20250-1035. Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Valerie Countiss, Agency Information Collection Coordinator, at telephone (202) 720-6713.

OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection(s) of information contained in these interim regulations between 30 and 60 days after the publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. This does not affect the deadline for the public to comment to the Department of Agriculture on the FGP regulations.

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

Executive Order 12778

This interim rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12778. Civil Justice Reform. The interim rule has preemptive effect with respect to any state or local laws, regulations, or policies which conflict with the provisions of this rule. The rule does not have a retroactive effect. The interim rule requires that certain administrative remedies be exhausted before suit may be filed.

Summary of Benefit-Cost Analysis

The benefit-cost analysis identifies and estimates potential benefits and costs attributed to provisions of this interim rule, which has been designated as "Significant." These provisions include application requirements and program procedures. The changes in the program made by this rule are expected to have only limited economic effect and are not expected to increase administrative workload of the Federal Government. Provisions of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (the 1996 Act) which target emerging markets lower estimated subsidy costs by $2.5 million in FY 1997. Proposed foreign content provisions will provide participants with fewer restrictions when negotiating terms and conditions of a sales transaction.

Request for Public Comment

The need for immediate action by CCC is predicated by two of the 1996 Act's amendments to the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, as amended (1990 Act). The 1996 Act (1) expanded the field of eligible countries to include emerging markets and (2) provided the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to determine and select the emerging markets. These changes reflect the importance of CCC being able to quickly respond to fleeting opportunities for increasing U.S. agricultural exports to emerging market countries, often in volatile and unpredictable circumstances, while at the same time enhancing and helping stabilize the rural business systems of those countries whose economies are in transition. In addition, in order to implement a program to make available such credit in a timely manner and in a manner that will provide a more uniform distribution of funds in each fiscal year, it has been determined that this rule shall become effective upon publication in the Federal Register. However, comments are requested with respect to the provisions of this rule and will be taken into consideration in the development of the final rule. Comments should be submitted to the person indicated in the section titled "ADDRESSES."

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