DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Office of the Secretary
7 CFR Part 17
Regulations Governing the Financing of Commercial Sales of Agricultural Commodities
AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This rule amends regulations applicable to the financing of the sale and exportation of agricultural commodities pursuant to title I of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as amended ("Pub. L. 480").
The amendment simplifies the purchasing procedures and shortens the regulations. The purpose of these changes is to keep the costs of the Pub. L. 480, title I program as low as possible, to reflect the provisions of the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, and to reduce the public reporting burden.
Executive Order 12752 of February 25, 1991, establishes a program under title I of Pub. L. 480 to be implemented by the Secretary of Agriculture. In accordance with section 406(c) of Pub. L. 480, the funds, facilities, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation are used to carry out this program.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule is effective November 10, 1997.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Connie B. Delaplane, Director, P.L. 480 Operations Division, Export Credits, Foreign Agricultural Service, Room 4549 South Building, Stop 1033, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-1033. Telephone: (202) 720-3664.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This final rule is issued in conformance with Executive Order 12866. It has been determined significant for the purposes of E.O. 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Regulatory Flexibility Act
This final rule has been reviewed with regard to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), who is the General Sales Manager, has certified that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The final rule eliminates some existing program requirements which should make it easier for firms to participate, including small businesses. A copy of this final rule has been submitted to the General Counsel, Small Business Administration.
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).
Paperwork Reduction Act
In accordance with the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department submitted an updated information collection package to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0551-0005, in conjunction with the publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register (see "Background.") OMB has approved the estimated total burden of 455 hours through February 28, 2000. Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Valerie Countiss, the Agency Information Collection Coordinator, at (202) 720-6713.
Executive Order 12988
This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The final rule would have preemptive effect with respect to any state or local laws, regulations, or policies which conflict with such provisions or which otherwise impede their full implementation. The final rule would not have retroactive effect. The rule does not require that administrative remedies be exhausted before suit may be filed.
Title I of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as amended (Pub. L. 480) authorizes CCC to finance the sale and exportation of agricultural commodities on concessional credit terms. 7 U.S.C. 1701 et seq. On January 27, 1997, CCC published a Proposed Rule (62 FR 3810) to amend the regulations governing the financing of the sale and exportation of agricultural commodities made available under title I, Pub. L. 480. The proposed rule was drafted after considering comments received in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (60 FR 47495) published September 13, 1995. Most of the comments received supported the changes made by the proposed rule. The comments which raised questions are discussed below, except those comments that were outside the scope of the proposed rule. A copy of the "Benefit-Cost Assessment" prepared in connection with this final rule can be obtained from Connie B. Delaplane. See "For Further Information Contact."[FoodAid/images/footer.html]