[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 134 (Wednesday, July 13, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41365-41370]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-17488]



[[Page 41365]]

Vol. 76

Wednesday,

No. 134

July 13, 2011

Part III





Department of Commerce





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Bureau of Industry and Security





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15 CFR Parts 713 and 716





Impact of Reducing the Mixture Concentration Threshold for Commercial 
Schedule 2A Chemical Activities Under the Chemical Weapons Convention 
Regulations; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 76 , No. 134 / Wednesday, July 13, 2011 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 41366]]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Bureau of Industry and Security

15 CFR Parts 713 and 716

RIN 0694-XA27
[Docket No. 100817370-0464-01]


Impact of Reducing the Mixture Concentration Threshold for 
Commercial Schedule 2A Chemical Activities Under the Chemical Weapons 
Convention Regulations

AGENCY: Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of inquiry.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking public 
comments on the impact of amending the Chemical Weapons Convention 
Regulations (CWCR) to reduce the concentration level below which the 
CWCR exempt certain mixtures containing a Schedule 2A chemical from the 
declaration requirements that apply to Schedule 2A chemical production, 
processing, and consumption under the Chemical Weapons Convention 
(CWC). To make these declaration requirements consistent with the 
international agreement adopted by the Organization for the Prohibition 
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), BIS is considering amending the CWCR to 
replace the current low concentration exemption (a concentration of 
``less than 30%'' by volume or weight) with a two-tiered low 
concentration exemption that is based, in part, on whether the total 
amount of a Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed, or consumed at 
one or more plants on a plant site during a calendar year is less than 
the applicable verification threshold in the CWCR. Under this two-
tiered approach, the declaration and reporting requirements in the CWCR 
would not apply to a chemical mixture containing a Schedule 2A chemical 
if: The concentration of the Schedule 2A chemical in the mixture is 
``1% or less,'' or the concentration of the Schedule 2A chemical in the 
mixture is ``more than 1%, but less than or equal to 10%,'' and the 
annual amount of the Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed, or 
consumed is less than the relevant verification threshold. Legislative 
amendment of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act (CWCIA) 
is required in order to implement this proposed amendment to the CWCR.
    In addition, at U.S. national discretion, BIS is considering 
amending the CWCR to require declarations/reports for exports and 
imports of any mixtures that contain ``more than 10%'' of a Schedule 2A 
chemical by volume or weight (whichever method yields the lesser 
percentage), if the total quantity of the Schedule 2A chemical exported 
or imported during a calendar year exceeds the applicable CWCR 
declaration threshold.

DATES: Comments are due August 12, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include the phrase ``Schedule 
2A Notice of Inquiry'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: (202) 482-3355 (Attn: Willard Fisher). Please alert 
the Regulatory Policy Division, by calling (202) 482-2440, if you are 
faxing comments.
     Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Willard Fisher, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Regulatory 
Policy Division, 14th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Room 2705, 
Washington, DC 20230.

Send comments regarding the collection of information identified in 
this notice of inquiry, including suggestions for reducing the burden, 
to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by e-mail to 
[email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285; and to 
the Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, 
Department of Commerce, 14th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Room 
2705, Washington, DC 20230. Comments on this collection of information 
should be submitted separately from comments on the notice of inquiry--
all comments on the latter should be submitted by one of the three 
methods outlined above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions on the Chemical Weapons 
Convention requirements for Schedule 2A and 2A* chemicals, contact 
Douglas Brown, Treaty Compliance Division, Office of Nonproliferation 
and Treaty Compliance, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department 
of Commerce, Phone: (202) 482-2163. For questions on the submission of 
comments, contact Willard Fisher, Regulatory Policy Division, Office of 
Exporter Services, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of 
Commerce, Phone: (202) 482-2440.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, 
Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction, 
commonly called the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC or the 
Convention), is an international arms control and nonproliferation 
treaty that established the Organization for the Prohibition of 
Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to implement the verification provisions of the 
treaty. A major objective of the CWC is to verify that lawful 
activities of chemical producers and users are not converted to 
unlawful activities related to chemical weapons. Consistent with this 
objective, the CWC imposes a number of obligations on countries that 
have ratified the CWC (States Parties). In this regard, the CWC 
establishes a comprehensive verification scheme and requires the 
declaration and inspection of facilities that produce, process, or 
consume certain ``scheduled'' chemicals (i.e., Schedule 1, Schedule 2, 
and Schedule 3 chemicals) and unscheduled discrete organic chemicals 
(UDOCs), many of which have significant commercial applications. The 
CWC also requires States Parties to report exports and imports and to 
impose export and import restrictions on certain chemicals. These 
requirements apply to all entities under the jurisdiction and control 
of States Parties, including commercial entities and individuals.
    To ensure the implementation of this verification scheme on a 
national level, the CWC requires each State Party to enact legislation 
that prohibits the production, storage and use of chemical weapons, and 
to establish a National Authority to serve as a liaison with the OPCW 
and other States Parties. The CWC also requires that each State Party 
implement a comprehensive data declaration \1\ and inspection regime 
\2\ to

[[Page 41367]]

provide transparency and to verify that both the public and private 
sectors of States Parties are not engaged in activities prohibited 
under the CWC.
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    \1\ In the United States, facilities that have data declaration 
obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention Regulations (CWCR) 
(15 CFR Parts 710-722), because they engage in certain activities 
involving scheduled chemicals or unscheduled discrete organic 
chemicals, must submit the appropriate declaration forms to the 
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Such facilities are treated 
as ``declared'' facilities under the CWCR and their facility-
specific information is transmitted by the U.S. to the OPCW. 
Entities that are ``undeclared'' facilities or trading companies, 
whose obligations under the CWCR are limited to certain export and/
or import activities, must submit the appropriate report forms to 
BIS--their facility-specific information is not transmitted by the 
U.S. to the OPCW (i.e., the information is aggregated prior to 
transmission to the OPCW). ``Declared'' facilities also must submit 
export/import information to BIS if such activities are subject to 
the declaration/reporting requirements of the CWCR.
    \2\ Each State Party to the CWC, including the United States, 
has agreed to allow certain inspections of ``declared'' facilities 
by inspection teams employed by the OPCW to ensure that the 
activities of such facilities comply with CWC requirements. BIS is 
responsible for leading, hosting and escorting inspections of all 
facilities subject to the provisions of the CWCR. (See 15 CFR part 
716 for the types of activities that are subject to inspection and 
specific inspection thresholds.)
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    This notice of inquiry addresses the CWC requirements that apply to 
certain mixtures that contain a Schedule 2 chemical. Part VII, 
paragraph 5 of the Verification Annex to the CWC (``Schedule 2 
Regime'') provides that declarations ``are generally not required for 
mixtures containing a low concentration of a Schedule 2 chemical'' and 
that the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention will 
consider and approve guidelines to establish the appropriate low 
concentration level. Schedule 2 chemicals, as set forth in the 
Convention's ``Annex on Chemicals,'' include those chemicals and 
precursors identified in the Convention as posing a ``significant'' 
risk to the object and purpose of the Convention.\3\
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    \3\ The CWC ``Annex on Chemicals'' groups scheduled chemicals 
(i.e, Schedules 1, 2, and 3) according to the level of risk to the 
``object and purpose'' of the CWC, with Schedule 1 chemicals 
representing the highest level of risk and Schedule 3 chemicals, the 
lowest.
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    Consistent with the requirements of the CWC, the Chemical Weapons 
Implementation Act of 1998 (CWCIA) (22 U.S.C. 6701 et seq.), which was 
enacted on October 21, 1998, authorizes the United States to require 
the U.S. chemical industry and other private entities to submit 
declarations, notifications and other reports and to provide access for 
on-site inspections conducted by inspectors sent by the OPCW. Section 
402(a)(1) of the CWCIA established 10% as the concentration limit of 
any Schedule 2 chemical (i.e. Schedule 2A, 2A*, or 2B chemicals) \4\ in 
a mixture, below which the CWC's declaration, reporting and inspection 
requirements do not apply.
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    \4\ Schedule 2 in the CWC ``Annex on Chemicals'' contains the 
subcategories 2A and 2B. Schedule 2A chemicals consist of those 
Schedule 2 chemicals that are identified as ``toxic'' chemicals. 
Schedule 2B chemicals consist of those Schedule 2 chemicals that are 
identified as ``precursor'' chemicals. One chemical within the 
subcategory Schedule 2A (i.e., ``BZ: 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate'') is 
designated as a Schedule 2A* chemical, because it has a lower 
declaration threshold and a lower inspection/verification threshold 
than the other Schedule 2A chemicals.
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    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers the Chemical 
Weapons Convention Regulations (CWCR) (15 CFR Parts 710-722), which 
implement provisions of the CWCIA. Currently, the CWCR do not require 
that the quantity of a Schedule 2A chemical contained in a mixture be 
counted for declaration or reporting purposes if the concentration of 
the Schedule 2A chemical in the mixture is ``less than 30%'' by volume 
or weight, whichever yields the lesser percentage. This low 
concentration exemption was implemented by BIS in the CWCR in 1999, 
prior to the 2009 approval by the Conference of the States Parties to 
the Convention of guidelines, as described below, that established the 
low concentration exemption for mixtures containing Schedule 2 
chemicals, in accordance with the Schedule 2 Regime.
    The CWCR currently apply a 30% low concentration threshold to the 
application of the Schedule 2A chemical declaration, reporting, and 
inspection requirements, rather than the 10% low concentration 
threshold established by the CWCIA, in order to ensure that the 
chemical mixture requirements in the CWCR are compatible with the 
export requirements in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (15 
CFR parts 730-774) that apply to certain scheduled chemical precursors 
(including mixtures that contain these precursors). Although the 
Schedule 2A chemical low concentration threshold in the CWCR is higher 
than the low concentration threshold established by CWCIA, it is 
consistent with the CWCIA because it still exempts mixtures that 
contain Schedule 2A chemicals at a concentration level below 10% from 
the declaration, reporting, and inspection requirements of the CWC. 
However, legislative amendment of the CWCIA will be required prior to 
any change in the CWCR low concentration threshold that would reduce 
this threshold below the 10% low concentration threshold established by 
the CWCIA.
    The declaration, reporting, and inspection/verification 
requirements in the CWC that affect commercial activities involving 
Schedule 2 chemicals are described in parts 713 and 716 of the CWCR. 
These CWCR provisions:
    (1) Require annual declarations by certain facilities (i.e., 
``declared'' Schedule 2 ``plant sites'') that were engaged in the 
production, processing, or consumption of a Schedule 2A chemical during 
any of the three previous calendar years, or which anticipate engaging 
in such activities in the next calendar year, in excess of the 
following quantities (declaration thresholds):
    (a) 100 kilograms of chemical Amiton: 0,0 Diethyl S-[2-
(diethylamino) ethyl] phosphorothiolate and corresponding alkylated or 
protonated salts;
    (b) 100 kilograms of chemical PFIB: 1,1,3,3,3-Pentafluoro-
2(trifluoromethyl)-1-propene; or
    (c) 1 kilogram of chemical BZ: 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (15 CFR 
Sec.  713.2(a)(1));
    (2) Require that the calculation of the quantity of any Schedule 2 
chemical that is produced, processed or consumed must include the 
quantities produced, processed or consumed in mixtures, if the 
concentration of the Schedule 2 chemical in the mixture is equal to or 
greater than 30% by volume or by weight, whichever yields the lesser 
percentage (15 CFR 713.2(a)(3));
    (3) Define Schedule 2 chemical production to include all steps in 
the production of a Schedule 2 chemical in any units within the same 
plant through chemical reaction, including any associated processes 
(e.g., purification, separation, extraction, distillation, or refining) 
in which the chemical is not converted into another chemical (15 CFR 
713.2(a)(2));
    (4) Provide that all ``declared Schedule 2'' plant sites are 
subject to initial and routine inspection by the OPCW (15 CFR 
713.2(e));
    (5) Require plant sites, trading companies, and any other person 
subject to the CWCR to submit annual declarations/reports of all 
exports and imports of any Schedule 2 chemical to, or from, other 
destinations if the total quantity exported or imported exceeds the 
applicable declaration threshold (15 CFR 713.3); and
    (6) Define inspection/verification thresholds for the production, 
processing, or consumption, during the calendar year of a Schedule 2A 
chemical as being in excess of the following quantities:
    (a) 1 metric ton (MT) of chemical Amiton: 0,0 Diethyl S [2 
(diethylamino) ethyl] phosphorothiolate and corresponding alkylated or 
protonated salts;
    (b) 1 MT of chemical PFIB: 1,1,3,3,3-Pentafluoro-
2(trifluoromethyl)-1-propene; or
    (c) 10 kg of chemical BZ: 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (15 CFR 
716.1(b)(2)).
    During the OPCW's 14th Conference of the States Parties, which was 
held in The Hague, the Netherlands, on December 2, 2009, the States 
Parties to the CWC agreed that the CWC's declaration and reporting 
requirements would not apply to a chemical mixture containing a 
Schedule 2A chemical if: (1) The concentration of the Schedule 2A 
chemical in the mixture is ``1% or less'' or (2) the concentration of 
the Schedule 2A chemical in the mixture is ``more than 1%, but less 
than or equal to 10%,'' and the annual amount of the Schedule 2A 
chemical produced, processed, or consumed is less than the

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relevant verification threshold. As previously indicated, a low 
concentration exemption of ``less than 30%'' currently applies to 
Schedule 2 chemicals in the United States under the CWCR. The OPCW 
agreement is documented in OPCW Decision C-14/DEC.4 and can be obtained 
from the OPCW Web site (http://www.opcw.org). Amendment to the CWCIA 
and CWCR is necessary to implement these new OPCW guidelines.
    In addition, during the OPCW's 5th Conference of the States 
Parties, which was held in The Hague, the Netherlands, on May 19, 2000, 
the States Parties to the CWC agreed that the CWC's declaration 
requirements would not apply to a chemical mixture containing a 
Schedule 2B chemical or a Schedule 3 chemical if the concentration of 
the Schedule 2B chemical or the Schedule 3 chemical in the mixture is 
``30% or less.'' The impact of this CWC agreement on the declaration 
requirements for Schedule 2B chemicals is expected to be modest because 
the amount of a Schedule 2B chemical in a mixture is currently exempted 
from the declaration requirements in the CWCR if the concentration of 
the Schedule 2B chemical in the mixture is ``less than 30%.'' BIS will 
address the impact of these new CWC guidelines on Schedule 3 chemical 
declaration requirements in a separate rulemaking. The CWC agreement is 
documented in OPCW Decision C-V/DEC.19 and can be obtained from the 
OPCW Web site (http://www.opcw.org).

Discussion and Request for Comments

    Section 713.2(a) of the CWCR requires submission of a declaration 
from a plant site if one or more plants at that plant site produced, 
processed or consumed a Schedule 2A chemical during any of the three 
previous calendar years, or anticipate doing so in the next calendar 
year, in excess of the quantity specified (the declaration threshold) 
for a Schedule 2A chemical. A plant site is subject to inspection/
verification if it produced, processed or consumed a Schedule 2A 
chemical during any of the three previous calendar years, or 
anticipates doing so in the next calendar year, in excess of ten times 
the applicable declaration threshold for a Schedule 2A chemical (the 
verification threshold). Currently, the CWCR require that the quantity 
of a Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed or consumed in mixtures 
be included in the calculation of the annual quantity of Schedule 2A 
chemicals produced, processed or consumed only if the mixture contains 
30% or more by weight or volume (whichever yields the lesser 
percentage) of the Schedule 2A chemical.
    To make these CWCR requirements consistent with OPCW Decision C-14/
DEC.4, BIS is considering amending the CWCR to establish a two-tiered 
low concentration exemption for certain mixtures containing Schedule 2A 
chemicals. The two tiers would be based, in part, on whether the total 
Schedule 2A chemical production, processing, or consumption at one or 
more plants on a plant site during a calendar year is less than the 
applicable verification threshold in the CWCR.
    Under the first tier, a mixture that contains a Schedule 2A 
chemical at a concentration of ``1% or less'' by volume or weight 
(whichever method yields the lesser percentage) would be exempt from 
the CWCR declaration requirements for Schedule 2A chemicals and, as 
such, none of the Schedule 2A chemical in the mixture would have to be 
counted for declaration purposes. Furthermore, the amount of the 
Schedule 2A chemical in such a mixture would be exempt from the CWCR 
Schedule 2A declaration requirements regardless of the total amount of 
the Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed, or consumed at one or 
more plants on a plant site during a calendar year. Under the second 
tier, a mixture that contains a Schedule 2A chemical at a concentration 
of ``more than 1%, but less than or equal to 10%,'' by volume or weight 
(whichever method yields the lesser percentage) would be exempt from 
the CWCR declaration requirements for Schedule 2A chemicals, provided 
that the total amount of a Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed, or 
consumed at one or more plants on a plant site during a calendar year 
is less than the applicable verification threshold.
    Also, BIS is considering amending the threshold level at which the 
CWCR would require declarations/reports on exports and imports of 
Schedule 2A chemicals contained in mixtures. Under the changes being 
considered by BIS, the CWCR would require declarations/reports on 
exports and imports of a Schedule 2A chemical contained in a mixture at 
a concentration of ``more than 10%'' by volume or weight (whichever 
yields the lesser percentage), if the total quantity of the Schedule 2A 
chemical exported or imported during a calendar year exceeds the 
applicable declaration threshold. Currently, the CWCR require that 
exports and imports of a Schedule 2 chemical in a mixture be counted 
for declaration/reporting \5\ purposes if the concentration of the 
Schedule 2 chemical in the mixture is ``30% or more'' by volume or 
weight (whichever yields the lesser percentage).
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    \5\ ``Declared'' facilities that engaged in certain export and/
or import activities involving Schedule 2 chemicals must submit such 
export/import information as part of their declarations, if the 
exported/imported chemicals are the same as those chemicals that 
were declared as produced, processed, and/or consumed by such 
facilities. ``Declared'' facilities that engaged in export and/or 
import activities involving Schedule 2 chemicals that were different 
from those produced, processed, and/or consumed by such facilities 
above the applicable declaration threshold must report such 
activities to BIS either with their respective declarations or in a 
separate report. ``Undeclared'' facilities or trading companies that 
engaged in export and/or import activities involving Schedule 2 
chemicals also must report such information to BIS. (See Section 
713.3(a) of the CWCR and the Notes thereto.)
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    The impact of implementing OPCW Decision C-14/DEC.4 in the CWCR is 
illustrated, below, by using the production of the Schedule 2A chemical 
Perfluoroisobutene (PFIB), also known as 1,1,3,3,3-Pentafluoro-2-
(trifluoromethyl)-1-propene, as an example. The CWCR implement the 
declaration requirements in the CWC that apply if at least one plant at 
a plant site produces, processes, or consumes more than 100 kg of PFIB 
during a calendar year (i.e., the declaration threshold for PFIB). 
Additionally, the CWCR impose the CWC inspection/verification 
requirements for the production, processing, or consumption of more 
than 1 MT of PFIB (i.e., the verification threshold for PFIB). Using 
the declaration and verification thresholds for PFIB, a number of 
possible scenarios are described below to clarify how these proposed 
amendments would operate in practice.
    (1) If the calendar year production of PFIB at one or more plants 
on a plant site totaled 90 kg of PFIB as a mixture containing PFIB at a 
concentration of 11%, then the Schedule 2A chemical declaration 
requirements in the CWCR would not apply, because the total amount of 
PFIB produced by one or more plants on the plant site did not exceed 
the declaration threshold of 100 kg. In addition, if the plant site (or 
a person or trading company) exported or imported a total of 90 kg of 
PFIB as a mixture containing PFIB at a concentration of 11%, then the 
CWCR declaration/reporting requirements for exports and imports of 
Schedule 2A chemicals would not apply, because the total amount of PFIB 
exported or imported did not exceed the applicable declaration/
reporting threshold for exports or imports (100 kg). In both scenarios, 
the concentration of PFIB in

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the mixture is irrelevant, because the total quantity of PFIB did not 
exceed the applicable declaration and/or reporting threshold.
    (2) If the calendar year production of PFIB at one or more plants 
on a plant site totaled 1.1 MT of PFIB as a mixture containing PFIB at 
a concentration of 1%, then the Schedule 2A chemical declaration 
requirements in the CWCR would not apply to the quantity of PFIB in the 
mixture. This would be the outcome under the new low concentration 
exemption being considered by BIS, because the amount of PFIB in 
mixtures containing 1% or less of PFIB does not have to be counted, for 
purposes of the Schedule 2A declaration requirements, even if the total 
amount of PFIB produced, processed, or consumed at one or more plants 
on a plant site exceeds the applicable verification threshold (1 MT). 
If such a mixture were exported or imported, then the CWCR declaration/
reporting requirements for exports or imports of Schedule 2A chemicals 
would not apply to the quantity of PFIB in the mixture, because the 
concentration of PFIB in the mixture (1% PFIB) does not exceed the 10% 
low concentration exemption for mixtures containing Schedule 2A 
chemicals.
    (3) If the calendar year production of PFIB at one or more plants 
on a plant site totaled 900 kg of PFIB as a mixture containing PFIB at 
a concentration of 10%, then the Schedule 2A declaration requirements 
in the CWCR would not apply to the quantity of PFIB in the mixture, 
because the total amount of PFIB produced at one or more plants on the 
plant site did not exceed the 1 MT verification threshold and, 
therefore, the 10% low concentration exemption for mixtures containing 
Schedule 2A chemicals would apply (i.e., the amount of PFIB in mixtures 
containing PFIB at a concentration of 10% or less does not have to be 
counted for purposes of the CWCR declaration requirements for the 
production, processing, or consumption of Schedule 2A chemicals when 
the total amount of PFIB produced, processed, or consumed at one or 
more plants on a plant site during a calendar year does not exceed the 
applicable verification threshold). If a plant site (or a person or 
trading company) exported or imported the same quantity of PFIB (900 
kg) as a mixture containing 10% PFIB, then the CWCR declaration/
reporting requirements for exports or imports of Schedule 2A chemicals 
would not apply to the quantity of PFIB in the mixture. This is because 
even though the total amount of PFIB exported or imported (900 kg) 
exceeds the applicable CWCR declaration threshold (100 kg), a mixture 
that contains 10% PFIB would not exceed the 10% low concentration 
exemption for mixtures containing Schedule 2A chemicals.
    (4) If the calendar year production of PFIB at one or more plants 
on a plant site totaled 1.1 MT of PFIB as a mixture containing a 
concentration of 10% PFIB, then the Schedule 2A declaration 
requirements in the CWCR would apply to the quantity of PFIB in the 
mixture, because 1.1 MT of PFIB exceeds the 1 MT verification 
threshold, which means that the applicable low concentration exemption 
for mixtures containing Schedule 2A chemicals would be 1% or less, 
instead of 10% or less (the latter exemption level applies when the 
total amount of PFIB produced, processed, or consumed at one or more 
plants at a plant site does not exceed the 1 MT verification 
threshold). Under these circumstances, the amount of PFIB in mixtures 
of PFIB with a concentration of more than 1% must be included in the 
calculation of the amount produced, processed, or consumed, for 
declaration purposes. If a plant site (or a person or trading company) 
exported or imported the same quantity of PFIB (1.1 MT) as a mixture 
containing PFIB at a concentration of 10%, the CWCR declaration/
reporting requirements for exports or imports of Schedule 2A chemicals 
would not apply to the quantity of PFIB in the mixture, because a 
mixture containing 10% PFIB does not exceed the 10% low concentration 
exemption for mixtures containing Schedule 2A chemicals.
    (5) If the calendar year production of PFIB at one or more plants 
on a plant site totaled 900 kg of PFIB as a mixture containing PFIB at 
a concentration of 11%, then the declaration requirements in the CWCR 
would apply to the quantity of PFIB in the mixture, because 900 kg of 
PFIB exceeds the 100 kg declaration threshold and a mixture that 
contains PFIB at a concentration of 11% exceeds the 10% low 
concentration exemption, which applies when the total amount of a 
Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed, or consumed at one or more 
plants at a plant site does not exceed the verification threshold (1 MT 
of PFIB). Under these circumstances, the quantity of PFIB in mixtures 
containing PFIB at a concentration of more than 10% must be included in 
the calculation of the amount produced, processed, or consumed, for 
declaration purposes. If a plant site (or a person or trading company) 
exported or imported the same quantity of PFIB (900 kg) as a mixture 
containing PFIB at a concentration of 11%, then the CWCR declaration/
reporting requirements for exports or imports of Schedule 2A chemicals 
would apply to the quantity of PFIB in the mixture because the total 
amount of PFIB exported or imported (900 kg) exceeds the applicable 
declaration/reporting requirement threshold in the CWCR (100 kg) and a 
mixture that contains PFIB at a concentration of 11% exceeds the 10% 
low concentration exemption for mixtures containing Schedule 2A 
chemicals.
    BIS is seeking public comments on the potential effects of amending 
the CWCR declaration requirements that apply to the production, 
processing, and consumption of Schedule 2A chemicals by reducing the 
concentration level at which certain mixtures containing low 
concentrations of Schedule 2A chemicals would be exempt from these 
requirements. Specifically, the current exemption, which applies when 
the concentration of the Schedule 2A chemical in the mixture is ``less 
than 30%'' by volume or weight (whichever method yields the lesser 
percentage), would be replaced by a two-tiered exemption under which 
the following mixtures would be exempt: (1) Mixtures containing a 
Schedule 2A chemical at a concentration of ``1% or less'' by volume or 
weight (whichever method yields the lesser percentage) and (2) mixtures 
containing a Schedule 2A chemical at a concentration of ``more than 1%, 
but less than or equal to 10%'' by volume or weight (whichever method 
yields the lesser percentage), provided that the total amount of the 
Schedule 2A chemical produced, processed, or consumed at one or more 
plants on a plant site during a calendar year is less than the 
applicable verification threshold in the CWCR. The public comments 
received in response to this notice of inquiry will assist BIS in 
assessing the impact of this change on U.S. persons involved in the 
production, processing, or consumption of Schedule 2A chemicals.
    Additionally, BIS is seeking public comments on the potential 
effects of amending the CWCR declaration/reporting requirements that 
apply to certain exports or imports of Schedule 2A chemicals by 
reducing the exemption for mixtures containing low concentrations of 
Schedule 2A chemicals from the current level of ``less than 30%'' by 
volume or weight (whichever yields the lesser percentage) to a 
concentration of ``10% or less'' by volume or weight (whichever yields 
the lesser percentage). In particular, BIS seeks comments on the 
potential impact of these changes on costs, operations, and trade.

[[Page 41370]]

    Finally, BIS is seeking public comments on the anticipated impact 
of these changes with respect to an existing collection of information 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) 
(PRA). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. The changes that 
are being considered by BIS would revise an existing collection of 
information subject to the requirements of the PRA. This collection has 
been approved by OMB under Control Number 0694-0091 (Chemical Weapons 
Convention--Declaration and Report Forms), which carries burden hour 
estimates of 10.6 hours for Schedule 1 Chemicals, 11.9 hours for 
Schedule 2 chemicals, 2.5 hours for Schedule 3 chemicals, 5.3/5.1/5.1 
hours for unscheduled discrete organic chemicals (includes Annual 
Declaration on Past Activities, No Changes Authorization Form, and 
Change in Inspection Status Form, respectively), and 0.17 hours for 
Schedule 1 notifications.
    Specifically, these changes would affect this approved information 
collection with respect to information collection activities (e.g., 
declarations, reports, recordkeeping) involving CWC Schedule 2A 
chemicals that are subject to declaration and/or reporting requirements 
under the CWCR. In this regard, BIS is seeking comments that address 
the anticipated impact of the changes being considered by BIS on the 
burden hours and costs associated with Schedule 2A chemical activities 
under this approved information collection.
    Send comments regarding this collection of information, including 
suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), and to the Regulatory Policy Division, 
Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, as indicated 
in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

Submission of Comments

    All comments must be submitted to the address indicated in this 
notice. The Department requires that all comments be submitted in 
written form.
    The Department encourages interested persons who wish to comment to 
do so at the earliest possible time. The period for submission of 
comments will close on August 12, 2011. The Department will consider 
all comments received before the close of the comment period. Comments 
received after the end of the comment period will be considered if 
possible, but their consideration cannot be assured. The Department 
will not accept comments accompanied by a request that a part or all of 
the material be treated confidentially because of its business 
proprietary nature or for any other reason. The Department will return 
such comments and materials to the persons submitting the comments and 
will not consider them. All comments submitted in response to this 
notice will be a matter of public record and will be available for 
public inspection and copying.
    The Office of Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, displays public comments on the BIS Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) Web site at http://www.bis.doc.gov/foia. This 
office does not maintain a separate public inspection facility. If you 
have technical difficulties accessing this Web site, please call BIS's 
Office of Administration, at (202) 482-2165, for assistance.

    Dated: July 1, 2011.
Matthew S. Borman,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-17488 Filed 7-12-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-33-P