Office of the Secretary

13 CFR Ch. III

15 CFR Subtitle A; Subtitle B, Chs. I, II, III, VII, VIII, IX, and XI

19 CFR Ch. III

37 CFR Chs. I, IV, and V

48 CFR Ch. 13

50 CFR Chs. II, III, IV, and VI

Fall 2012 Semiannual Agenda of Regulations

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Commerce.

ACTION: Semiannual regulatory agenda.

SUMMARY: In compliance with Executive Order 12866, entitled "Regulatory Planning and Review," and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, the Department of Commerce (Commerce), in the spring and fall of each year, publishes in the Federal Register an agenda of regulations under development or review over the next 12 months. Rulemaking actions are grouped according to prerulemaking, proposed rules, final rules, long-term actions, and rulemaking actions completed since the spring 2012 agenda. The purpose of the agenda is to provide information to the public on regulations that are currently under review, being proposed, or issued by Commerce. The agenda is intended to facilitate comments and views by interested members of the public.

Commerce's fall 2012 regulatory agenda includes regulatory activities that are expected to be conducted during the period October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013.


Specific: For additional information about specific regulatory actions listed in the agenda, contact the individual identified as the contact person.

General: Comments or inquiries of a general nature about the agenda should be directed to Asha Mathew, Chief Counsel for Regulation, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, telephone: 202-482-3151.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Commerce hereby publishes its fall 2012 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions pursuant to Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to publish an agenda of those regulations that are under consideration pursuant to this order. By memorandum of June 13, 2012, the Office of Management and Budget issued guidelines and procedures for the preparation and publication of the fall 2012 Unified Agenda. The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to publish, in the spring and fall of each year, a regulatory flexibility agenda that contains a brief description of the subject of any rule likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and a list that identifies those entries that have been selected for periodic review under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

In this edition of Commerce's regulatory agenda, a list of the most important significant regulatory actions and a Statement of Regulatory Priorities are included in the Regulatory Plan, which appears in both the online Unified Agenda and in part II of the issue of the Federal Register that includes the Unified Agenda.

In addition, beginning with the fall 2007 edition, the Internet became the basic means for disseminating the Unified Agenda. The complete Unified Agenda is available online at, in a format that offers users a greatly enhanced ability to obtain information from the Agenda database.

Because publication in the Federal Register is mandated for the regulatory flexibility agendas required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Commerce's printed agenda entries include only:

(1) Rules that are in the Agency's regulatory flexibility agenda, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, because they are likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; and

(2) Rules that the Agency has identified for periodic review under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Printing of these entries is limited to fields that contain information required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act's Agenda requirements. Additional information on these entries is available in the Unified Agenda published on the Internet. In addition, for fall editions of the Agenda, Commerce's entire Regulatory Plan will continue to be printed in the Federal Register.

Within Commerce, the Office of the Secretary and various operating units may issue regulations. These operating units, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Patent and Trademark Office, issue the greatest share of Commerce's regulations.

A large number of regulatory actions reported in the Agenda deal with fishery management programs of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). To avoid repetition of programs and definitions, as well as to provide some understanding of the technical and institutional elements of NMFS' programs, an "Explanation of Information Contained in NMFS Regulatory Entries" is provided below.

Explanation of Information Contained in NMFS Regulatory Entries

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) (the Act) governs the management of fisheries within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States (EEZ). The EEZ refers to those waters from the outer edge of the State boundaries, generally 3 nautical miles, to a distance of 200 nautical miles. Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) are to be prepared for fisheries that require conservation and management measures. Regulations implementing these FMPs regulate domestic fishing and foreign fishing where permitted. Foreign fishing may be conducted in a fishery in which there is no FMP only if a preliminary fishery management plan has been issued to govern that foreign fishing. Under the Act, eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) prepare FMPs or amendments to FMPs for fisheries within their respective areas. In the development of such plans or amendments and their implementing regulations, the Councils are required by law to conduct public hearings on the draft plans and to consider the use of alternative means of regulating.

The Council process for developing FMPs and amendments makes it difficult for NMFS to determine the significance and timing of some regulatory actions under consideration by the Councils at the time the semiannual regulatory agenda is published.

Commerce's fall 2012 regulatory agenda follows.

NAME: Cameron F. Kerry,

General Counsel.