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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

DOT Proposes Revised Registration Fees for Importers and Importation of Motor Vehicles

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a document proposing fees for Fiscal Year 2009 and until further notice, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30141, relating to the registration of importers and the importation of motor vehicles not certified as conforming to the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). The Administration states that these fees are needed to maintain the registered importer (RI) program. Comments should be sent no later than September 3, 2008. For more details, see the notice published in the Federal Register.

NHTSA is required to review and make appropriate adjustments at least every 2 years in the fees established for the administration of the RI program. The fees applicable in any fiscal year (FY) are to be established before the beginning of such year. NHTSA thus is proposing fees that would become effective on October 1, 2008, the beginning of FY 2009. The statute authorizes fees to cover the costs of the importer registration program, to cover the cost of making import eligibility decisions, and to cover the cost of processing the bonds furnished to the Department of Homeland Security (Customs). NHTSA last amended the fee schedule in 2006. Those fees apply to Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008.

The proposed fees are based on time and costs associated with the tasks for which the fees are assessed and reflect the slight increase in hourly costs in the past two fiscal years attributable to the approximately 2.64 and 4.49% raises (including the locality adjustment for Washington, D.C.) in salaries of employees on the General Schedule that became effective on January 1, 2007, and on January 1, 2008, respectively.

For further information, contact: Clint Lindsay, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA; (202) 366-5291. For legal issues, you may call Michael Goode, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA; Phone: (202) 366-5263.

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