Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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On March 2, 2002, the Bush Administration authorized the implementation of a steel
In Proclamation 7741 of December 4, 2003 (68 FR 68483), the President terminated the steel safeguard measures but directed the Secretary of Commerce to continue the steel import licensing and monitoring system until the earlier of March 21, 2005, or such time as the Secretary of Commerce established a replacement monitoring program. On December 9, 2003 (68 FR 68594), the Department published a notice stating that the monitoring system would continue to be in effect as described in Proclamation 7741 until March 21, 2005. Prior to the March 21, 2005, termination date, the Department of Commerce determined that there continued to be a need to collect import data, and published an interim rule (70 FR 12136, March 11, 2005) revising part 360 to slightly expand the monitoring program, and a final rule (70 FR 72373, December 5, 2005) continuing the program through March 21, 2009; at this time the system became known as SIMA. On March 18, 2009, the Department of Commerce published a final rule (74 FR 11474) in the
This proposed rule would extend the implementation of the current SIMA system until March 21, 2017. This extension would continue the Department's ability to track certain steel mill imports into the United States and make the import data publicly available approximately seven weeks in advance of the full trade data release.
The purpose of the SIMA system is to provide steel producers, steel consumers, importers, and the general public with accurate and timely information on anticipated imports of certain steel products into the United States. Steel import licenses, issued through the online SIMA licensing system, are required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for filing entry paperwork for imports of certain steel mill products into the United States. Import data collected through the issuance of the licenses are aggregated weekly and posted on the publicly available Steel Mill Import Monitor. Details of the current system and monitor can be found at
The Department proposes to extend the SIMA system beyond its current expiration date for an additional period of four years, until March 21, 2017 (see 19 CFR part 360). SIMA's renewal is coming at a time when the cyclical nature of the global steel industry is of critical concern to the domestic markets. As an import sensitive industry, the industry strongly supports this licensing system as it allows the market to monitor import fluctuations, especially those that may be unfairly traded, as early as possible.
All comments responding to this notice will be a matter of public record and available for public inspection and copying on
Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as that term is defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601
This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of companies. This rule, if implemented, would extend the current SIMA system until March 21, 2017. The entities that would be impacted by this rule are importers and brokerage companies who import steel mill products. These entities would be required to obtain steel import licenses through the online SIMA licensing system for filing entry paperwork required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for U.S. imports of steel mill products. Based on statistics derived from current license applications, of the approximately 1,600 licenses issued each day, Commerce estimates that fewer than two percent of the licenses would be filed by importers and brokerage companies that would be considered small entities.
Based on the current usage of SIMA, Commerce does not anticipate that the extension of the SIMA system will have a significant economic impact. Companies are already familiar with the licensing of certain steel products under the current system. In most cases, brokerage companies will apply for the license on behalf of the steel importers. Most brokerage companies that are currently involved in filing documentation for importing goods into the United States are accustomed to Customs and Border Protection's automated entry filing systems. Today, more than 99% of the Customs filings are handled electronically. Therefore, the web-based, automated nature of this simple license application should not be a significant obstacle to any firm in completing this requirement. However, should an importer or brokerage company need to register for an account or apply for a license non-electronically, a fax/phone option will be available at Commerce during regular business hours. There is no cost to register for a company-specific steel license account and no cost to file for the license. Each license form is expected to take less than 10 minutes to complete and collects much of the same information required on the Customs entry summary documentation. The steel import license is the only additional U.S. entry requirement that the importers or their representatives must fulfill in order to import each covered steel product shipment.
Although Commerce does not charge for licenses, Commerce estimates that the likely aggregate license costs incurred by small entities in terms of the time to apply for licenses as a result of this proposed rule would be fewer than two percent, or an estimated $37,151.00, of the estimated total $1,857,560.00 cost to all steel importers to process the on-line automatic licenses. These calculations were based on an hourly pay rate of $20.00 multiplied by the estimated 92,878 total annual burden hours. Based on the current patterns of license applications, the vast majority of the licenses are applied for by large companies. The approximate cost of a single license is less than 10 minutes of the fillers time and this is reduced if applicants use templates or the electronic data interface for multiple licenses.
This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction
Paperwork Reduction Act Data:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number.
This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.
This rule does not contain policies with federalism implications as that term is defined in EO 13132.
Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Steel.
For reasons discussed in the preamble, we propose amending 19 CFR 360 as follows:
1. The authority citation for part 360 continues to read as follows:
13 U.S.C. 301(a) and 302.
2. Section 360.105 is revised to read as follows.
The licensing program will be in effect through March 21, 2017, but may be extended upon review and notification in the