[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 41 (Tuesday, March 3, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11361-11362]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-03651]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Part 67

[Docket No. USCG-2010-0990]
RIN 1625-AB56


Vessel Documentation Renewal Fees

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks public comment on whether to increase 
the period of validity for renewing endorsements on Certificates of 
Documentation. A separate fee of $26 for annual renewals of 
endorsements upon the Certificate of Documentation was established in a 
recent rulemaking. The Coast Guard is considering options for 
implementing multiyear renewals and updating the fee for services, and 
seeks information on factors to consider when implementing these 
changes.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to the 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before June 1, 2015 
or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2010-0990 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this 
document, call or email Ms. Mary Jager, CG-DCO-832, Coast Guard; 
telephone 202-372-1331, email [email protected]. If you have 
questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. 
Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-
9826.

[[Page 11362]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation and Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments (or related material) on the 
possibility of extending the period of validity and modifying the fee 
for renewal on endorsements on the Certificate of Documentation (COD). 
We will consider all submissions and may adjust our final action based 
on your comments. Comments should be marked with docket number USCG-
2010-0990 and should provide a reason for each suggestion or 
recommendation. You may provide personal contact information so that we 
can contact you if we have questions regarding your comments; but 
please note that all comments will be posted to the online docket 
without change and that any personal information you include can be 
searchable online (see the Federal Register Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets, 73 FR 3316, Jan. 17, 2008).
    Mailed or hand-delivered comments should be in an unbound 8\1/2\ x 
11 inch format suitable for reproduction. The Docket Management 
Facility will acknowledge receipt of mailed comments if you enclose a 
stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope with your submission.
    Documents mentioned in this request for comments, and all public 
comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and 
can be viewed by following the Web site's instructions. You can also 
view the docket online at the Docket Management Facility (see the 
mailing address under ADDRESSES) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    We are not planning to hold a public meeting but will consider 
doing so if public comments indicate a meeting would be helpful. We 
would issue a separate Federal Register notice to announce the date, 
time, and location of such a meeting.

Background

    On August 12, 2014, the Coast Guard published a final rule entitled 
``Vessel Documentation Renewal Fees'' in the Federal Register (79 FR 
47015). The final rule contained the Coast Guard's revision of 46 CFR 
part 67, setting out fees for services provided.
    The Coast Guard received 2,720 comment submissions on the proposed 
fees published on March 4, 2013 (78 FR 14053). Comments were received 
from individuals, law firms, commercial vessel documentation services, 
industry groups, and maritime corporations. We considered all comments 
in promulgating the final rule. The Coast Guard received 1,316 comments 
regarding the implementation of the new fee. The majority of these 
comments (757 comments) suggested the Coast Guard institute a multiyear 
renewal option program. We made no changes to the final rule. However, 
we are now seeking public comments in considering options that could be 
proposed in a future rulemaking. This document provides the public with 
an opportunity to continue this discussion.

Discussion

    The legal basis for charging fees for this service is found in 
section 10401 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 
101-508, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388), codified at 46 U.S.C. 2110, 
which requires that the Coast Guard establish user fees for Coast Guard 
vessel documentation services. That section provides that the Secretary 
of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating (Secretary) 
shall establish a fee or charge for a service or thing of value that is 
provided to the recipient or user of that service. The Secretary is 
empowered in 46 U.S.C. 2104 to delegate the authorities in 46 U.S.C. 
Subtitle II to the Coast Guard. The Secretary exercised that 
delegation's authority for fees in Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1(92)(a).
    In establishing these fees, we are required to use the criteria 
found in 31 U.S.C. 9701. Under this provision the fees must be fair, 
and must be based on the costs to the government, the value of the 
service or thing to the recipient, and the public policy or interest 
served (see 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)). One of the vessel documentation 
services the Coast Guard provides, and for which user fees are required 
under 46 U.S.C. 2110, is renewal of endorsements upon a COD. A COD is 
(1) required for the operation of a vessel in certain trades, (2) 
serves as evidence of vessel nationality, and (3) permits owners of 
vessels to benefit from preferred mortgages (46 CFR 67.1). An 
endorsement means an entry that may be made on a COD, and, except for a 
recreational endorsement, is conclusive evidence that a vessel is 
entitled to engage in a specified trade (46 CFR 67.3).
    The Coast Guard sets fees at an amount calculated to achieve 
recovery of the costs of providing the service, in a manner consistent 
with the general user charges principles set out in the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25. Under that OMB Circular, 
each recipient should pay a reasonable user charge for Federal 
Government services, resources, or goods from which he or she derives a 
special benefit. The user fee should be at an amount sufficient for the 
Federal Government to recover the full costs of providing the service, 
resource, or good (see OMB Circular A-25, sec. 6(a)(2)(a)).
    After reviewing the comments to the proposed rule, the Coast Guard 
is seeking comment on whether it should consider extending the period 
of validity and modifying the fee for renewal on endorsements on the 
COD.

Request for Information

    Through this document, the Coast Guard asks for comments and 
information to consider in updating renewal of endorsements on COD 
processes and fees. Please consider the following questions when 
preparing comments:
    1. Would you prefer a multiyear renewal program with fees charged 
at the time of renewal, or would you prefer to continue annual renewals 
including an annual fee for service? Please explain why you prefer the 
renewal period and its fee payment schedule.
    2. Would you prefer having the option of choosing a multiyear or 
annual renewal each time you renew? Please explain why you prefer the 
option that you chose.
    If the only option for renewal is multiyear, how would you suggest 
the annual renewal is phased over to a multiyear renewal?
    3. Would you prefer a multiyear renewal program that requires 
payment every other year, or one that requires payment every 3 years? 
Please explain why you chose this option.
    4. What are the benefits of a multiyear renewal?
    5. Are there any negative impacts of a multiyear renewal?
    6. What, if any, concerns would you need to have addressed prior to 
selecting the multiyear renewal option?
    7. What are the impacts to mortgages from multiyear information 
verification and COD renewal? Will lenders require additional 
information from the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) to 
manage loans?
    8. What period of renewal is best for mortgage lenders?
    9. What other suggestions do you have for reducing the burden of 
obtaining a COD?
    This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a).

    Dated: February 18, 2015.
J.C. Burton,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Inspections and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2015-03651 Filed 3-2-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P