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TitlePublishedFR Doc.Description
TitlePublishedFR Doc.Description
Treasury Department -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Implementation and Transition of the Current Expected Credit Losses Methodology for Allowances and Related Adjustments to the Regulatory Capital Rules and Conforming Amendments to Other Regulations2018-May-142018-08999The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) are inviting public comment on a joint proposal to address changes to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) described in Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Topic 326, Financial Instruments--Credit Losses (ASU 2016-13), including banking organizations' implementation of the current expected credit losses methodology. Specifically, the proposal would revise the agencies' regulatory capital rules to identify which credit loss allowances under the new accounting standard are eligible for inclusion in regulatory capital and to provide banking organizations the option to phase in the day-one adverse effects on regulatory capital that may result from the adoption of the new accounting standard. The proposal also would amend certain regulatory disclosure requirements to reflect applicable changes to U.S. GAAP covered under ASU 2016-13. In addition, the agencies are proposing to make amendments to their stress testing regulations so that covered banking organizations that have adopted ASU 2016-13 would not include the effect of ASU 2016-13 on their provisioning for purposes of stress testing until the 2020 stress test cycle. Finally, the agencies are proposing to make conforming amendments to their other regulations that reference credit loss allowances.
Agriculture Department -- Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order; Termination of Rulemaking Proceeding2018-May-142018-10131This action terminates a rulemaking proceeding that proposed to establish a national research and promotion program for certified organic products under authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). The program was proposed by the proponent group, the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Based on uncertain industry support for and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program, USDA is terminating the proceeding.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2018-May-022018-09243The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending Federal mortgage disclosure requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) that are implemented in Regulation Z. The amendments relate to when a creditor may compare charges paid by or imposed on the consumer to amounts disclosed on a Closing Disclosure, instead of a Loan Estimate, to determine if an estimated closing cost was disclosed in good faith.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Removal of Certain Capital Rules That Are No Longer Effective Following the Implementation of the Revised Capital Rules2018-Apr-242018-06881This final rule rescinds certain capital regulations of the FDIC's codified rules (superseded capital rules) that were no longer effective following the January 1, 2015 implementation of the revised capital rules. The final rule also makes conforming changes to sections in the FDIC's codified rules that refer to the superseded capital rules. The FDIC has concluded that good cause exists to publish this rule as final without a period of notice and comment and with an effective date as of the date of its publication in the Federal Register because this final rule rescinds the superseded capital rules and other sections of the FDIC's codified rules that refer to the superseded capital rules and imposes no new requirement on FDIC- supervised institutions.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20192018-Apr-172018-07355This final rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment and risk adjustment data validation programs; cost-sharing parameters; and user fees for Federally- facilitated Exchanges and State Exchanges on the Federal platform. It finalizes changes that provide additional flexibility to States to apply the definition of essential health benefits (EHB) to their markets, enhance the role of States regarding the certification of qualified health plans (QHPs); and provide States with additional flexibility in the operation and establishment of Exchanges, including the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges. It includes changes to standards related to Exchanges; the required functions of the SHOPs; actuarial value for stand-alone dental plans; the rate review program; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; exemptions; and other related topics.
Transportation Department -- Electronic Documents and Signatures2018-Apr-162018-07749FMCSA amends its regulations to allow the use of electronic records and signatures to satisfy FMCSA's regulatory requirements. These amendments permit the use of electronic methods to generate, certify, sign, maintain, or exchange records so long as the documents accurately reflect the required information and can be used for their intended purpose. This rule applies only to those documents that FMCSA's regulations obligate entities or individuals to retain; it does not apply to forms or other documents that must be submitted directly to FMCSA unless there are already procedures in place in the regulations for electronic submission to FMCSA. This rule partially implements the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN).
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- Transferred OTS Regulations Regarding Fiduciary Powers of State Savings Associations and Consent Requirements for the Exercise of Trust Powers2018-Apr-102018-07227The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposes to rescind and remove from the Code of Federal Regulations the part entitled Fiduciary Powers of State Savings Associations and to amend current FDIC regulations regarding consent to exercise trust powers to reflect the applicability of these parts to both State savings associations and State nonmember banks.
Agriculture Department -- Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order; Amendment To Include Frozen Mangos2018-Apr-062018-06968This proposed rule invites comments on amending the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a fresh mango national research and promotion program to include frozen mangos as a covered commodity. Additionally, this proposal announces AMS' intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements necessary to include frozen mangos under the program.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule; Correction2018-Apr-052018-06694The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') is issuing a correction to the Energy Labeling Rule to replace regulatory language inadvertently removed.
Agriculture Department -- Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Change in Assessment Rate Computation2018-Mar-302018-06283This proposal invites comments on changing the assessment rate computation under the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a national research and promotion program for U.S. peanuts. This proposal would change the basis for assessment under the regulations from value to volume (per ton). Two rates of assessment would be established instead of using a formula currently specified in the regulations. This proposal would also update the definition for ``fiscal year'' specified in the regulations to reflect current practices.
Health and Human Services Department -- Cigarettes, Smokeless Tobacco, and Covered Tobacco Products; Change of Office Name and Address; Technical Amendment2018-Mar-282018-06164The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is amending its Cigarettes, Smokeless Tobacco, and Covered Tobacco Products regulations to reflect a change of office name and mailing address for the Center for Tobacco Products' (CTP's) Office of Compliance and Enforcement. This action is editorial in nature and is intended to improve the accuracy of the Agency's regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Christmas Tree Promotion Research, and Information Order; Referendum2018-Mar-162018-05313This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers and importers of Christmas trees to determine whether they favor continuance of the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a national Christmas tree research and promotion program.
Agriculture Department -- Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Change in Producer Eligibility Requirements and Implementation of Charges for Past Due Assessments2018-Mar-142018-05063This rule revises the eligibility requirements for producer representatives on the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) and prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulation regarding a national research and promotion program for honey and honey products. This rule reduces the minimum production requirement for producers to serve on the Board and thereby allow more producers to be eligible to serve on the Board. This rule also prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments to help facilitate program administration.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2018-Mar-122018-04823The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending certain Regulation Z mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Definitions2018-Feb-232018-03590The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the ``Commission'') is amending its primary definitions regulation to make it more user- friendly both to industry and the public. Specifically, the Commission is amending the primary definitions regulation to replace the complex and confusing lettering system with a simple alphabetical list; and replacing all existing cross references to any definition within the primary definitions regulation with a general reference to the revised alphabetical list, rather than to a specific lettered paragraph.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2018-Feb-222018-03665The Commission amends the Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') by updating ranges of comparability and unit energy cost figures on EnergyGuide labels for dishwashers, furnaces, room air conditioners, and pool heaters. The Commission also sets a compliance date of October 1, 2019 for EnergyGuide labels on room air conditioner boxes and makes several minor clarifications and corrections to the Rule.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Rules Concerning Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2018-Feb-132018-01305The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, and the official interpretations to those regulations. This rulemaking relates to a final rule published in the Federal Register on November 22, 2016, as amended on April 25, 2017, regarding prepaid accounts under Regulations E and Z. The Bureau is finalizing modifications to several aspects of that rule, including with respect to error resolution and limitations on liability for prepaid accounts where the financial institution has not successfully completed its consumer identification and verification process; application of the rule's credit-related provisions to digital wallets that are capable of storing funds; certain other clarifications and minor adjustments; technical corrections; and an extension of the overall effective date to April 1, 2019.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Continuance Referendum2018-Feb-122018-02485This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible domestic (U.S.) manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber to determine whether they favor continuance of the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a national softwood lumber research and promotion program.
Agriculture Department -- Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Redistricting and Importer Representation2018-Jan-312018-01802This rule realigns the production districts for producer and handler membership on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board) under the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulations regarding a national research and promotion program for watermelons. This rule also adds four importer seats to the Board. These changes were recommended by the Board after a review of the production volume in each district as well as assessments paid by importers. This action is necessary to provide for the equitable representation of producers, handlers, and importers on the Board.
Federal Trade Commission -- Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act2018-Jan-232018-01202The Commission amends the Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (``Textile Rules'') to delete the requirement that an owner of a registered word trademark, used as a house mark, furnish the FTC with a copy of the mark's registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') before using the mark on labels.
Federal Trade Commission -- Labeling and Advertising of Home Insulation: Trade Regulation Rule2018-Jan-222017-26569The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') seeks comments on proposed amendments to its Trade Regulation Rule Concerning the Labeling and Advertising of Home Insulation (``R-value Rule'' or ``Rule''). This document provides background on the R-value Rule and this proceeding; and discusses public comments received by the Commission and solicits further comments on the proposed amendments to clarify, streamline, and improve the Rule's requirements.
Federal Reserve System -- Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)2018-Jan-032017-27325The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is proposing to revise its Regulation M, which was issued to implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws, including the CLA, from the Board to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau). Under section 1029 of the Dodd-Frank Act, however, the Board retains authority to issue rules for motor vehicle dealers that are predominantly engaged in the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and servicing of motor vehicles, or both, and are otherwise not subject to the Bureau's regulatory authority. The Board is proposing to revise its Regulation M and the accompanying Official Staff Commentary to reflect this change in the persons covered by the Board's Regulation M.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Adjustment to Asset-Size Exemption Threshold2017-Dec-272017-27897The Bureau is amending the official commentary that interprets the requirements of the Bureau's Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to reflect a change in the asset-size threshold for certain creditors to qualify for an exemption to the requirement to establish an escrow account for a higher-priced mortgage loan based on the annual percentage change in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November. The exemption threshold is adjusted to increase to $2.112 billion from $2.069 billion. The adjustment is based on the 2.1 percent increase in the average of the CPI-W for the 12-month period ending in November 2017. Therefore, creditors with assets of less than $2.112 billion (including assets of certain affiliates) as of December 31, 2017, are exempt, if other requirements of Regulation Z also are met, from establishing escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans in 2018. This asset limit will also apply during a grace period, in certain circumstances, with respect to transactions with applications received before April 1 of 2019. The adjustment to the escrows asset- size exemption threshold will also increase a similar threshold for small-creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgages. Balloon-payment qualified mortgages that satisfy all applicable criteria, including being made by creditors that have (together with certain affiliates) total assets below the threshold, are also excepted from the prohibition on balloon payments for high-cost mortgages.
Agriculture Department -- Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Change in Producer Eligibility Requirements and Implementation of Charges for Past Due Assessments2017-Dec-222017-27526This proposal invites comments on revising the eligibility requirements for producer representatives on the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) and prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) regulation regarding a national research and promotion program for honey and honey products. The Board administers the regulations with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This proposal would reduce the minimum production requirement for producers to serve on the Board from 150,000 to 50,000 pounds annually and thereby allow more producers to be eligible to serve on the Board. This proposal would also prescribe late payment and interest charges on past due assessments to help facilitate program administration. Both of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Board.
Agriculture Department -- Rules of Practice and Procedures To Formulate or Amend a Marketing Agreement, a Marketing Order, or Certain Research and Promotion Orders2017-Dec-112017-26718The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting a final rule to amend the definition of ``judge'' in the rules of practice and procedure to formulate or amend a marketing agreement, marketing order, or certain research and promotion orders. The new definition adds a presiding official appointed by the Secretary, as well as an administrative law judge, as an official who may preside over the rulemaking hearing.
Treasury Department -- Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold2017-Nov-092017-24443The OCC, the Board, and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations for their regulations that implement section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 129H of TILA establishes special appraisal requirements for ``higher-risk mortgages,'' termed ``higher-priced mortgage loans'' or ``HPMLs'' in the agencies' regulations. The OCC, the Board, the Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (collectively, the Agencies) issued joint final rules implementing these requirements, effective January 18, 2014. The Agencies' rules exempted, among other loan types, transactions of $25,000 or less, and required that this loan amount be adjusted annually based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board, and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the CPI-W in effect as of June 1, 2017, the exemption threshold will increase from $25,500 to $26,000 effective January 1, 2018.
Federal Reserve System -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)2017-Nov-092017-24445The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2017, the exemption threshold will increase from $54,600 to $55,800 effective January 1, 2018. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Federal Reserve System -- Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)2017-Nov-092017-24411The Board and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the CLA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer leases be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2017, the exemption threshold will increase from $54,600 to $55,800 effective January 1, 2018. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Truth in Lending Act's threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Truth in Lending Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2017-Nov-092017-24381The Commission proposes to amend the Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') by updating ranges of comparability and unit energy cost figures on EnergyGuide labels for dishwashers, furnaces, room air conditioners, and pool heaters. The Commission also proposes to set a compliance date for EnergyGuide labels on room air conditioner boxes.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20192017-Nov-022017-23599This proposed rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment and risk adjustment data validation programs; cost-sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges and State-based Exchanges on the Federal platform. It proposes changes that would enhance the role of States as related to essential health benefits (EHB) and qualified health plan (QHP) certification; and would provide States with additional flexibility in the operation and establishment of Exchanges, including the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges. It includes proposed changes to standards related to Exchanges; the required functions of the SHOPs; actuarial value for stand-alone dental plans; the rate review program; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; exemptions; and other related topics.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; De Minimis Quantity Exemption Threshold2017-Oct-262017-23094This rule establishes a de minimis quantity exemption threshold under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regulations regarding a national research and promotion program for softwood lumber. In response to a 2016 federal district court decision, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted a new analysis to determine a reasonable and appropriate de minimis threshold. Based on that analysis, this rule establishes the de minimis quantity threshold at 15 million board feet (mmbf) and entities manufacturing (and domestically shipping) or importing less than 15 mmbf per year will be exempt from paying assessments under the regulations.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2017-Oct-182017-21907The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing amendments to certain Regulation Z mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a consumer's bankruptcy case. The Bureau requests public comment on these proposed changes.
Agriculture Department -- Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Redistricting and Importer Representation2017-Sep-272017-20610This proposal invites comments on realigning the production districts under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) for producer and handler membership on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board), and adding four importer seats to the Board. The Board administers the Plan with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These changes were recommended by the Board after a review of the production volume in each district as well as assessments paid by importers. This action is necessary to provide for the equitable representation of producers, handlers and importers on the Board. The Plan requires that such a review be conducted every 5 years. This action would increase the number of importer seats from 8 to 12, thereby increasing the number of Board members from 37 to a total of 41: 14 producers, 14 handlers, 12 importers, and one public member.
Federal Trade Commission -- Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles2017-Sep-192017-19869The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') issues final amendments to the Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles (``Fuel Economy Guide'' or ``Guide'') to address advertising claims prevalent in the market and harmonize with current Environmental Protection Agency (``EPA'') and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (``NHTSA'') fuel economy labeling rules.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2017 Amendments)2017-Sep-052017-18758The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, increasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. In addition, AMS is updating the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) statistical reporting numbers that were amended since the last assessment adjustment in 2016.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z) Annual Threshold Adjustments (Credit Cards, HOEPA, and ATR/QM)2017-Aug-302017-18003The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending the official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Bureau is required to calculate annually the dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z; this final rule revises, as applicable, the dollar amounts for provisions implementing TILA and amendments to TILA, including under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). The Bureau is adjusting these amounts, where appropriate, based on the annual percentage change reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in effect on June 1, 2017.
Federal Trade Commission -- Telemarketing Sales Rule Fees2017-Aug-212017-17437The Federal Trade Commission (the ``Commission'' or ``FTC'') is amending its Telemarketing Sales Rule (``TSR'') by updating the fees charged to entities accessing the National Do Not Call Registry (the ``Registry'') as required by the Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Procedures for Conduct of Sign-Up Period2017-Aug-152017-17143The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is making corrections to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) by revising the authority citation for its regulation, Cotton Research and Promotion. In a final rule published in the Federal Register on June 24, 2015, changes were inadvertently made to remove a legal citation from the authority citation and to erroneously include an unnecessary authority citation after a section in AMS regulations. This document corrects those errors.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2017-Aug-112017-15764The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is modifying the Federal mortgage disclosure requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act that are implemented in Regulation Z. This rule memorializes the Bureau's informal guidance on various issues and makes additional clarifications and technical amendments. This rule also creates tolerances for the total of payments, adjusts a partial exemption mainly affecting housing finance agencies and nonprofits, extends coverage of the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure (integrated disclosure) requirements to all cooperative units, and provides guidance on sharing the integrated disclosures with various parties involved in the mortgage origination process.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2017-Aug-112017-15763The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing to amend Federal mortgage disclosure requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act that are implemented in Regulation Z. The proposed amendments relate to when a creditor may compare charges paid by or imposed on the consumer to amounts disclosed on a Closing Disclosure, instead of a Loan Estimate, to determine if an estimated closing cost was disclosed in good faith. Specifically, the proposed amendments would permit creditors to do so regardless of when the Closing Disclosure is provided relative to consummation.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction2017-Jul-052017-13796The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is making several corrections to the final rule it issued in August 2016 (2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule) amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules. First, the Bureau is correcting two typographical errors relating to the early intervention requirements. Second, the Bureau is making corrections relating to the effective date of official commentary relating to servicers' ability to remove certain language in periodic statement sample forms as an option when, for example, communicating with confirmed successors in interest; sample periodic statement forms that servicers may use for certain consumers in bankruptcy; and official commentary relating to the bankruptcy periodic statement exemptions and modified statements. The corrected effective date for the sample periodic statement forms and commentary will be April 19, 2018. Third, the Bureau is amending the Bureau's authority citation for Regulation Z.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to Rules Concerning Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2017-Jun-292017-12845The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau or CFPB) is proposing to amend Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, and the official interpretations to those regulations. This proposal relates to a final rule, published in the Federal Register on November 22, 2016, as amended on April 25, 2017, regarding prepaid accounts under Regulations E and Z. This proposal requests comment on potential modifications to several aspects of that rule, including error resolution and limitations on liability for prepaid accounts where the financial institution has not completed its consumer identification and verification process; application of the rule's credit-related provisions to digital wallets that are capable of storing funds; certain other clarifications and minor adjustments; and two issues relating to the effective date of the rule.
Federal Trade Commission -- Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act2017-Jun-282017-13470The Commission proposes amending the Textile Rules (``Rules and Regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act'') to delete the requirement that an owner of a registered word trademark furnish the FTC with a copy of the mark's registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') before using the mark on labels, and to no longer restrict the use of such trademarks to only those also employed as house marks. Eliminating these requirements is expected to reduce compliance costs while increasing firms' flexibility.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2017-Jun-282017-13469The Commission issues amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule to eliminate certain marking requirements for plumbing products and to exempt certain ceiling fans from labeling requirements. Additionally, the amendments update the Rule to include labeling requirements for electric instantaneous water heaters. The Commission also makes non- substantive, conforming changes to the testing provisions for LED covered lamps and minor corrections to other provisions.
Agriculture Department -- Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment2017-Jun-162017-12528This final rule adjusts representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in domestic cattle inventories and changes in levels of imported cattle, beef, and beef products that have occurred since the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) last reapportioned the Board in July 2014. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and will result in a decrease in Board membership from 100 to 99, effective with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2018.
National Credit Union Administration -- Bylaws; Bank Conversions and Mergers; and Voluntary Mergers of Federally Insured Credit Unions2017-Jun-082017-11331The NCUA Board (Board) proposes to revise the procedures a federal credit union (FCU) must follow to merge voluntarily with another credit union. The proposed changes: Revise and clarify the contents and format of the member notice; require merging FCUs to disclose all merger-related financial arrangements for covered persons; increase the minimum member notice period; and provide procedures to allow reasonable member-to-member communications regarding the proposed merger. The proposed changes also make conforming amendments to NCUA regulations governing termination of federal share insurance when the continuing credit union is not an FCU.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; De Minimis Quantity Exemption Threshold2017-May-302017-10997This action proposes to establish a de minimis quantity exemption threshold under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In response to a 2016 federal district court decision, USDA conducted a new analysis to determine a reasonable and appropriate de minimis threshold. Based on that analysis contained herein, this proposal would establish the de minimis quantity threshold at 15 million board feet (mmbf) and entities manufacturing (and domestically shipping) or importing less than 15 mmbf per year would be exempt from paying assessments under the Order.
Agriculture Department -- Beef Promotion and Research Rules and Regulations2017-May-302017-10986This final rule amends the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act) by adding six Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes for imported veal and veal products and updating assessment levels for imported veal and veal products based on revised determinations of live animal equivalencies. In addition to the foregoing, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Order's definition of ``Imported beef or beef products'' by deleting its reference to tariff numbers that are no longer in use and obsolete.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Market Stabilization2017-Apr-182017-07712This rule finalizes changes that will help stabilize the individual and small group markets and affirm the traditional role of State regulators. This final rule amends standards relating to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the individual market for the 2018 plan year; standards related to network adequacy and essential community providers for qualified health plans; and the rules around actuarial value requirements.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Market Stabilization2017-Feb-172017-03027This rule proposes changes that would help stabilize the individual and small group markets. This proposed rule would amend standards relating to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the individual market for the 2018 plan year; standards related to network adequacy and essential community providers for qualified health plans; and the rules around actuarial value requirements.
Treasury Department -- Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 Amendments2017-Jan-232016-30502As part of its review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is revising certain of its rules to remove outdated or otherwise unnecessary provisions. Specifically, the OCC is: revising certain licensing rules related to chartering applications, business combinations involving Federal mutual savings associations, and notices for changes in permanent capital; clarifying national bank director oath requirements; revising certain fiduciary activity requirements for national banks and Federal savings associations; removing certain financial disclosure regulations for national banks; removing certain unnecessary regulatory reporting, accounting, and management policy regulations for Federal savings associations; updating the electronic activities regulation for Federal savings associations; integrating and updating OCC regulations for national banks and Federal savings associations relating to municipal securities dealers, Securities Exchange Act disclosure rules, and securities offering disclosure rules; updating and revising recordkeeping and confirmation requirements for national banks' and Federal savings associations' securities transactions; integrating and updating regulations relating to insider and affiliate transactions; and making other technical and clarifying changes.
Agriculture Department -- Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order2017-Jan-182017-00601This rulemaking proposes the establishment of an industry- funded promotion, research, and information program for certified organic products. The purpose of the program would be to strengthen the position of certified organic products in the marketplace, support research to benefit the organic industry, and improve access to information and data across the organic sector. The proposed program, the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (proposed Order), was submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Under the proposed Order, certified producers (producers) and certified handlers (handlers) with gross sales in excess of $250,000 for the previous marketing year of certified organic agricultural commodities would pay an assessment of one-tenth of one percent of net organic sales. Importers importing greater than $250,000 in transaction value of organic products for the previous marketing year would pay an assessment of one-tenth of one percent of the transaction value of certified organic products reported to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs or CBP). Producers, handlers, and importers that fall below these thresholds could choose to pay assessments into the program as a ``voluntarily assessed'' entity. The proposed program would be implemented under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (the Act) and would be administered by a board of assessment payers and one public member appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). An initial referendum would be held among mandatorily and voluntarily assessed entities (i.e. domestic producers, handlers, and importers) to determine whether they favor implementation of the program prior to it going into effect. This proposed rule also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program.
Agriculture Department -- Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order; Referendum Procedures2017-Jan-182017-00599This proposed rule invites comments on procedures for conducting a referendum to determine whether the issuance of a proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (proposed Order) is favored by certified organic producers, certified organic handlers, and importers of certified organic products. The organic market includes a range of agricultural commodities such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, breads, grains, snack foods, condiments, beverages, and packaged and prepared foods, as well as non-food items such as fiber (linen and clothing), personal care products, pet food, and flowers. The procedures would also be used for any subsequent referendum under the proposed Order. The proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. This document also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of new information collection requirements to implement the program.
Agriculture Department -- Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment2017-Jan-132017-00587This proposed rule would adjust representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in domestic cattle inventories since January 1, 2013, as well as changes in levels of imported cattle, beef, and beef products that have occurred since December 31, 2012, which were the cut-off dates for data used by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) when the Board was last reapportioned in July 2014. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and, if adopted, would result in a decrease in Board membership from 100 to 99, effective with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2018.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018; Amendments to Special Enrollment Periods and the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program2016-Dec-222016-30433This final rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment program; cost-sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges and State-based Exchanges on the Federal platform. It also provides additional guidance relating to standardized options; qualified health plans; consumer assistance tools; network adequacy; the Small Business Health Options Programs; stand-alone dental plans; fair health insurance premiums; guaranteed availability and guaranteed renewability; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; appeals; consumer-operated and oriented plans; special enrollment periods; and other related topics.
Treasury Department -- Amendments To Streamline Importation of Distilled Spirits, Wine, Beer, Malt Beverages, Tobacco Products, Processed Tobacco, and Cigarette Papers and Tubes and Facilitate Use of the International Trade Data System2016-Dec-222016-29201In this document, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is amending its regulations governing the importation of distilled spirits, wine, beer and malt beverages, tobacco products, processed tobacco, and cigarette papers and tubes. The amendments in this document clarify and streamline import procedures, and support the implementation of the International Trade Data System and the filing of import information electronically. The amendments include providing the option for importers to file import-related data electronically when filing entry or entry summary data electronically with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as an alternative to current TTB requirements that importers submit paper documents to CBP upon importation.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Adjustment to Asset-Size Exemption Threshold2016-Dec-212016-30730The Bureau is amending the official commentary that interprets the requirements of the Bureau's Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to reflect a change in the asset-size threshold for certain creditors to qualify for an exemption to the requirement to establish an escrow account for a higher-priced mortgage loan based on the annual percentage change in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November. The exemption threshold is adjusted to increase to $2.069 billion from $2.052 billion. The adjustment is based on the .8 percent increase in the average of the CPI-W for the 12-month period ending in November 2016. Therefore, creditors with assets of less than $2.069 billion (including assets of certain affiliates) as of December 31, 2016, are exempt, if other requirements of Regulation Z also are met, from establishing escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans in 2017. This asset limit will also apply during a grace period, in certain circumstances, with respect to transactions with applications received before April 1 of 2018. The adjustment to the escrows exemption asset-size threshold will also increase a similar threshold for small-creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgages. Balloon-payment qualified mortgages that satisfy all applicable criteria, including being made by creditors that have (together with certain affiliates) total assets below the threshold, are also excepted from the prohibition on balloon payments for high-cost mortgages.
Agriculture Department -- Amendment to the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations To Update Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Information Provisions2016-Dec-142016-29988This final rule amends the Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Publications, and Product Formulations (IP) language of the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations (Regulations) to conform with commodity research and promotion program orders created under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act).
Federal Trade Commission -- Contact Lens Rule2016-Dec-072016-28471As part of its regulatory review of the Contact Lens Rule (``Rule''), and consistent with the requirements of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (the ``Act''), the Federal Trade Commission proposes to amend the Rule to require that prescribers obtain a signed acknowledgment after releasing a contact lens prescription to a patient, and maintain each such acknowledgment for a period of not less than three years. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal and several other issues.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Notification of Submission to the Secretary of Agriculture; Pesticides; Removal of Obsolete Information2016-Dec-052016-29113This document notifies the public as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that the EPA Administrator has forwarded to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) a draft regulatory document concerning removal of obsolete information. The draft regulatory document is not available to the public until after it has been signed and made available by EPA.
Treasury Department -- Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold2016-Nov-302016-28699The OCC, the Board, and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations for their regulations that implement section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 129H of TILA establishes special appraisal requirements for ``higher-risk mortgages,'' termed ``higher-priced mortgage loans'' or ``HPMLs'' in the agencies' regulations. The OCC, the Board, the Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (collectively, the Agencies) issued joint final rules implementing these requirements, effective January 18, 2014. The Agencies' rules exempted, among other loan types, transactions of $25,000 or less, and required that this loan amount be adjusted annually based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. The final rule will memorialize this as well as the agencies' calculation method for determining the adjustment in years following a year in which there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W. Based on the CPI-W in effect as of June 1, 2016, the exemption threshold will remain at $25,500 through 2017.
Federal Reserve System -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)2016-Nov-302016-28718The Board and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. The final rule memorializes this as well as the agencies' calculation method for determining the adjustment in years following a year in which there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W. Based on the CPI-W in effect as of June 1, 2016, the exemption threshold will remain at $54,600 through 2017. The Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases. Accordingly, the Board and the Bureau are adopting similar amendments to the commentaries to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Federal Reserve System -- Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)2016-Nov-302016-28710The Board and the Bureau are finalizing amendments to the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the CLA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer leases be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. The final rule memorializes this as well as the agencies' calculation method for determining the adjustment in years following a year in which there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W. Based on the CPI-W in effect as of June 1, 2016, the exemption threshold will remain at $54,600 through 2017. The Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Truth in Lending Act's threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions. Accordingly, the Board and the Bureau are adopting similar amendments to the commentaries to each of their respective regulations implementing the Truth in Lending Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Commodity Pool Operator Financial Reports2016-Nov-252016-28388The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) is amending certain of its regulations applicable to the financial reports that each person registered or required to be registered as a commodity pool operator (CPO) must provide for each commodity pool that it operates. These amendments: Permit the use of additional alternative generally accepted accounting principles, standards or practices; provide relief from the Annual Report audit requirement under certain circumstances; and make clear that an audited Annual Report must be distributed and submitted at least once during the life of a pool.
Agriculture Department -- Provisions for Removing Commodity Research and Promotion Board Members and Staff2016-Nov-232016-28050This proposal would amend the research and promotion orders-- or the regulations under the orders--overseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to provide uniform authority for the removal of board members and staff who fail to perform their duties or who engage in dishonest actions or willful misconduct. The removal provisions in 13 of the orders would be modified to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take action necessary to ensure the boards can continue to fulfill their intended purposes with minimal disruption. Removal provisions would be added to the six orders that do not currently provide for such action.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z)2016-Nov-222016-24503The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau or CFPB) is issuing this final rule to create comprehensive consumer protections for prepaid accounts under Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act; Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act; and the official interpretations to those regulations. The final rule modifies general Regulation E requirements to create tailored provisions governing disclosures, limited liability and error resolution, and periodic statements, and adds new requirements regarding the posting of account agreements. Additionally, the final rule regulates overdraft credit features that may be offered in conjunction with prepaid accounts. Subject to certain exceptions, such credit features will be covered under Regulation Z where the credit feature is offered by the prepaid account issuer, its affiliate, or its business partner and credit can be accessed in the course of a transaction conducted with a prepaid card.
Treasury Department -- Proposed Addition of New Grape Variety Names for American Wines2016-Nov-172016-27573The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to amend its wine labeling regulations by adding a number of new names to the list of grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines. TTB also proposes to remove one existing entry and replace it with a slightly different name, and to correct the spelling of another existing entry. The proposed amendments would allow wine bottlers to use these additional approved grape variety names on wine labels and in wine advertisements.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2016-Oct-192016-18901The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending certain mortgage servicing rules issued by the Bureau in 2013. This final rule clarifies, revises, or amends provisions regarding force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, and loss mitigation requirements under Regulation X's servicing provisions; and prompt crediting and periodic statement requirements under Regulation Z's servicing provisions. The final rule also addresses proper compliance regarding certain servicing requirements when a person is a potential or confirmed successor in interest, is a debtor in bankruptcy, or sends a cease communication request under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The final rule also makes technical corrections to several provisions of Regulations X and Z. The Bureau is issuing concurrently with this final rule an interpretive rule under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act relating to servicers' compliance with certain mortgage servicing rules.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2016-Sep-152016-21854The Commission issues final amendments to improve access to energy labels online and improve labels for refrigerators, ceiling fans, central air conditioners, and water heaters. The Commission is issuing these amendments to assist consumers in their purchasing decisions and ensure labels are consistent with Department of Energy requirements.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2016-Sep-122016-21783The Commission proposes amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule to require labels for portable air conditioners, large-diameter and high-speed small diameter ceiling fans, and instantaneous electric water heaters. Additionally, it proposes eliminating certain marking requirements for plumbing products.
Health and Human Services Department -- Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties for Inflation2016-Sep-062016-18680The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a new regulation to adjust for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts for the various civil monetary penalty authorities for all agencies within HHS. We are taking this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act), as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. In addition, this interim final rule includes updates to certain agency-specific regulations to identify their updated information, and note the location of HHS-wide regulations.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20182016-Sep-062016-20896This proposed rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment program; cost-sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally- facilitated Exchanges and State-based Exchanges on the Federal platform. It also provides additional guidance relating to standardized options; qualified health plans; consumer assistance tools; network adequacy; the Small Business Health Options Program; stand-alone dental plans; fair health insurance premiums; guaranteed renewability; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; appeals; and other related topics.
Federal Trade Commission -- Telemarketing Sales Rule Fees2016-Aug-312016-20817The Federal Trade Commission (the ``Commission'' or ``FTC'') is amending its Telemarketing Sales Rule (``TSR'') by updating the fees charged to entities accessing the National Do Not Call Registry (the ``Registry'') as required by the Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Revision of Time Frame for Continuance Referenda2016-Aug-302016-20805This interim rule invites comments on revising the time frame for continuance referenda under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Order requires USDA to conduct a continuance referendum five years after the program took effect (2011). This action revises this time frame from five years (2016) to no later than seven years (2018). This will allow time for USDA to complete a separate rulemaking action on the Order's exemption threshold. That rulemaking is being initiated in response to a federal district court decision in Resolute Forest Products Inc., v. USDA, et al. (Resolute). Once USDA completes that action, a continuance referendum will be conducted. The results of the exemption threshold rulemaking could impact who votes in the referendum and who pays assessments under the Order.
Agriculture Department -- Amendment to the Beef Promotion and Research Rules and Regulations2016-Aug-232016-20098This proposed rule would amend the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act) to add six Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) codes for imported veal and veal products and update assessment levels for imported veal and veal products based on revised determinations of live animal equivalencies.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2016-Aug-152016-18426The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing various amendments to Federal mortgage disclosure requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act that are implemented in Regulation Z. The proposed amendments memorialize the Bureau's informal guidance on various issues and include clarifications and technical amendments. The Bureau is also proposing tolerance provisions for the total of payments, an adjustment to a partial exemption mainly affecting housing finance agencies and nonprofits, extension of coverage of the integrated disclosure requirements to all cooperative units, and guidance on sharing the disclosures with various parties involved in the mortgage origination process.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017; Corrections2016-Aug-112016-19108This document corrects technical and typographical errors that appeared in the final rule published in the March 8, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 12204 through 12352) entitled ``Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017.'' The effective date for the rule was May 9, 2016.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Commodity Pool Operator Annual Report2016-Aug-052016-18400The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) is proposing to amend certain of its regulations applicable to the Annual Report that each person registered or required to be registered as a commodity pool operator (CPO) must distribute for each commodity pool that it operates (Proposal). Specifically, the Proposal addresses the use of additional alternative generally accepted accounting principles, standards or practices, and the Annual Report audit requirement where the first fiscal year of a pool consists of a period of three months or less from the date of formation of the pool.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2016 Amendments)2016-Aug-052016-18109The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.
Federal Reserve System -- Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)2016-Aug-042016-18059The Board and the Bureau are proposing to amend the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the CLA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. The proposal would memorialize this as well as the agencies' calculation method for determining the adjustment in years following a year in which there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Truth in Lending Act's threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions, the Board and the Bureau are proposing similar amendments to the commentaries to each of their respective regulations implementing the Truth in Lending Act elsewhere in the Federal Register.
Federal Reserve System -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)2016-Aug-042016-18062The Board and the Bureau are proposing to amend the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. The proposal would memorialize this as well as the agencies' calculation method for determining the adjustment in years following a year in which there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases, the Board and the Bureau are proposing similar amendments to the commentaries to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act elsewhere in the Federal Register.
Treasury Department -- Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold2016-Aug-042016-18058The OCC, the Board and the Bureau are publishing proposed rules amending the official interpretations for their regulations that implement section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 129H of TILA establishes special appraisal requirements for ``higher-risk mortgages,'' termed ``higher-priced mortgage loans'' or ``HPMLs'' in the agencies' regulations. The OCC, the Board, the Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (collectively, the Agencies) issued joint final rules implementing these requirements, effective January 18, 2014. The Agencies' rules exempted, among other loan types, transactions of $25,000 or less, and required that this loan amount be adjusted annually based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. The proposal would memorialize this as well as the agencies' calculation method for determining the adjustment in years following a year in which there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W.
Agriculture Department -- Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information; Beef Promotion and Research; Amendments To Allow Redirection of State Assessments to the National Program; Technical Amendments2016-Jul-152016-16698This proposed rule would amend the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Soybean Order) and the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Beef Order) to add provisions allowing soybean and beef producers to request, under certain circumstances, that their assessments paid to a State board or council authorized under their respective statutes, be redirected to the national program. The proposed rule also would make technical amendments to the Beef Order.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z) Annual Threshold Adjustments (CARD Act, HOEPA and ATR/QM)2016-Jun-272016-14782The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending the regulatory text and official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Bureau is required to calculate annually the dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z; this final rule revises, as applicable, the dollar amounts for provisions implementing amendments to TILA under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). In addition to adjusting these amounts, where appropriate, based on the annual percentage change reflected in the Consumer Price Index in effect on June 1, 2016, the Bureau is correcting a calculation error pertaining to the 2016 subsequent violation penalty safe harbor fee.
Securities and Exchange Commission -- Asset-Backed Securities Disclosure and Registration2016-Jun-222016-14730This release makes technical corrections to rules that were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2014 (79 FR 57184). The Commission adopted revisions to Regulation AB and other rules governing the offering process, disclosure, and reporting for asset- backed securities. These technical amendments are being published to restore rule text that was inadvertently changed, revise outdated cross-references, and make other technical corrections.
Treasury Department -- Proposed Revisions to Wine Labeling and Recordkeeping Requirements2016-Jun-222016-14696The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to amend its labeling and recordkeeping regulations in 27 CFR part 24 to provide that any standard grape wine containing 7 percent or more alcohol by volume that is covered by a certificate of exemption from label approval may not be labeled with a varietal (grape type) designation, a type designation of varietal significance, a vintage date, or an appellation of origin unless the wine is labeled in compliance with the standards set forth in the appropriate sections of 27 CFR part 4 for that label information. TTB is also proposing to amend its part 4 wine labeling regulations to include a reference to the new part 24 requirement.
Treasury Department -- Amendments To Streamline Importation of Distilled Spirits, Wine, Beer, Malt Beverages, Tobacco Products, Processed Tobacco, and Cigarette Papers and Tubes, and Facilitate Use of the International Trade Data System2016-Jun-212016-14359In this document, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to amend its regulations governing the importation of distilled spirits, wine, beer and malt beverages, tobacco products, processed tobacco, and cigarette papers and tubes. The proposed amendments are intended to clarify and streamline import procedures, and support the implementation of the International Trade Data System and the filing of import information electronically in conjunction with an electronic import filing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The proposed amendments include providing the option for importers to file import-related data electronically when filing entry or entry summary data electronically with CBP, as an alternative to the current TTB requirements that importers submit paper documents to CBP upon importation.
Postal Service -- Rules of Procedure Before the Judicial Officer2016-Jun-212016-14553This document amends the rules of practice prescribed by the Judicial Officer to implement an electronic filing system and to clarify the assigning judge in matters governed by the Administrative Procedure Act.
Agriculture Department -- Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2016-Jun-152016-14150This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Christmas Tree Promotion Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for fresh cut Christmas trees. This rule implements authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Late payment and interest charges will begin to accrue on unpaid assessments beginning 30 days after the effective date of this rule. This action contributes to effective administration of the program. This rule also provides authority for the crop year and fiscal period to be changed through administrative action. These changes were unanimously recommended by the Board.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Amending Importer Line-Item De Minimis2016-Jun-152016-14174The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations to remove the cotton import de minimis provision. The Cotton Research and Promotion (R&P) Program assesses U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton- containing products. Importers are exempt from paying the cotton import assessment (known commonly among importers as the ``cotton fee'') if a line item on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documentation is $2.00 or less. The exemption was initially established to lessen the administrative burden of collecting an import assessment, which was originally estimated to be $2.00 per line item, in instances in which the transactions costs of the collection would exceed the actual value of the assessment; however, technological advances in the CBP documentation process significantly reduced the transactions costs associated with collecting import assessments, and CBP has since stopped charging USDA for the processing and collecting of assessments. Given that transactions costs no longer exceed assessment rates of $2.00 or less, AMS is removing this de minimis provision from the regulations. In addition, the definition of cotton with respect to procedures for conducting the sign-up period is being modified.
Federal Trade Commission -- Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles2016-Jun-062016-13098The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') seeks comments on proposed amendments to the Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles (``Fuel Economy Guide'' or ``Guide'') to reflect current Environmental Protection Agency (``EPA'') and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (``NHTSA'') fuel economy labeling rules and to consider advertising claims prevalent in the market.
Federal Trade Commission -- Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising2016-May-192016-11789The FTC announces revised monetary thresholds for three exemptions from the Franchise Rule. The FTC is required to adjust the size of the monetary thresholds every fourth year based upon the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers published by the Department of Labor.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Amendments to Special Enrollment Periods and the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program2016-May-112016-11017This interim final rule with comment establishes provisions that alter the parameters of select special enrollment periods and that revise certain rules governing consumer operated and oriented plans (CO-OPs).
Health and Human Services Department -- Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; Restrictions on the Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Required Warning Statements for Tobacco Products2016-May-102016-10685The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing this final rule to deem products meeting the statutory definition of ``tobacco product,'' except accessories of the newly deemed tobacco products, to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). The Tobacco Control Act provides FDA authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and any other tobacco products that the Agency by regulation deems to be subject to the law. With this final rule, FDA is extending the Agency's ``tobacco product'' authorities in the FD&C Act to all other categories of products that meet the statutory definition of ``tobacco product'' in the FD&C Act, except accessories of such newly deemed tobacco products. This final rule also prohibits the sale of ``covered tobacco products'' to individuals under the age of 18 and requires the display of health warnings on cigarette tobacco, roll-your own tobacco, and covered tobacco product packages and in advertisements. FDA is taking this action to reduce the death and disease from tobacco products. In accordance with the Tobacco Control Act, we consider and intend the extension of our authorities over tobacco products and the various requirements and prohibitions established by this rule to be severable.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Finalization of Interim Final Rules (Subject to Any Intervening Amendments) Under Consumer Financial Protection Laws2016-Apr-282016-09431Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of July 21, 2011. In December 2011, the Bureau republished the existing regulations implementing those laws, as previously adopted by the seven predecessor agencies, as interim final rules (December 2011 IFRs) with technical and conforming changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act. The December 2011 IFRs did not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing regulations. This final rule adopts the December 2011 IFRs as final, subject to any intervening final rules published by the Bureau.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Operations in Rural Areas Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Interim Final Rule2016-Mar-252016-06834This interim final rule amends certain provisions of Regulation Z in light of title LXXXIX of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, entitled the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act, Public Law 114-94. The amendments to Regulation Z concern two matters: The eligibility of certain small creditors that operate in rural or underserved areas for special provisions that permit the origination of balloon-payment qualified mortgages and balloon-payment high cost mortgages and for an exemption from the requirement to establish an escrow account for higher-priced mortgage loans and the determination of whether an area is rural for the purposes of Regulation Z.
Agriculture Department -- Egg Research and Promotion: Updates to Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Information Provisions2016-Mar-162016-05838This proposed rule would update the Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Information Language (IP) of the Egg Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations (Regulations). The proposed amendment would model current commodity research and promotion program orders created under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.
Agriculture Department -- Amendment to the Beef Promotion and Research Rules and Regulations2016-Mar-162016-05859This proposed rule would amend the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act) to increase assessment levels for imported veal and veal products based on revised determinations of live animal equivalencies and to update and expand the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) numbers and categories, which identify imported veal and veal products to conform with recent updates in the numbers and categories used by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs).
Treasury Department -- Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 Amendments2016-Mar-142016-05089As part of its review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is proposing to revise certain of its rules to remove outdated or otherwise unnecessary provisions. Specifically, the OCC is proposing to: Revise certain licensing rules related to chartering applications, business combinations involving Federal mutual savings associations, and notices for changes in permanent capital; clarify national bank director oath requirements; revise certain fiduciary activity requirements for national banks and Federal savings associations, including increasing the asset size limit for mini-funds; remove certain financial disclosure requirements for national banks; remove certain unnecessary regulatory reporting, accounting, and management policy requirements for Federal savings associations; revise the electronic activities provisions for Federal savings associations; integrate and update OCC rules for national banks and Federal savings associations relating to municipal securities dealers, Securities Exchange Act disclosure rules, and securities offering disclosure rules, including providing for the electronic submission of required filings and applying the less burdensome national bank rule to Federal savings associations; update and revise recordkeeping and confirmation requirements for national banks' and Federal savings associations' securities transactions; integrate and update rules relating to insider and affiliate transactions; and make other technical and clarifying changes.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20172016-Mar-082016-04439This final rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs; cost-sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It also provides additional amendments regarding the annual open enrollment period for the individual market for the 2017 and 2018 benefit years; essential health benefits; cost sharing; qualified health plans; Exchange consumer assistance programs; network adequacy; patient safety; the Small Business Health Options Program; stand-alone dental plans; third-party payments to qualified health plans; the definitions of large employer and small employer; fair health insurance premiums; student health insurance coverage; the rate review program; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; exemptions and appeals; and other related topics.
Agriculture Department -- Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2016-Mar-012016-04469This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Christmas Tree Promotion Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for fresh cut Christmas trees. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. If this rule is finalized, it is proposed that late payment and interest charges would begin to accrue on unpaid assessments beginning 30 days after the effective date of the final rule. One additional change would provide authority in the Order for the Board to change the crop year and fiscal period through administrative action. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program.
Treasury Department -- Expanded Examination Cycle for Certain Small Insured Depository Institutions and U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks2016-Feb-292016-03877The OCC, Board, and FDIC (collectively, the agencies) are jointly issuing and requesting public comment on interim final rules to implement section 83001 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which was enacted on December 4, 2015. Section 83001 of the FAST Act permits the agencies to examine qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets no less than once during each 18-month period. Prior to enactment of the FAST Act, only qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $500 million in total assets were eligible for an 18-month on-site examination cycle. The interim final rules generally would allow well capitalized and well managed institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets to benefit from the extended 18-month examination schedule. In addition, the interim final rules make parallel changes to the agencies' regulations governing the on-site examination cycle for U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, consistent with the International Banking Act of 1978. Finally, the FDIC is integrating its regulations regarding the frequency of safety and soundness examinations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Continuance Referendum2016-Feb-232016-03805This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible domestic manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber to determine whether they favor continuance of the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order).
Agriculture Department -- Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Continuance Referendum2016-Feb-232016-03806This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers and importers of highbush blueberries to determine whether they favor continuance of the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order).
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2016-Feb-112016-02744The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') amends its Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') by publishing new ranges of comparability for required EnergyGuide labels on clothes washers.
Federal Trade Commission -- Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries2016-Jan-122016-00107The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') proposes revisions to its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries (``Jewelry Guides'' or ``Guides''). The proposed revisions aim to respond to changes in the marketplace and help marketers avoid deceptive and unfair practices. This document summarizes the Commission's proposed revisions to the Guides and includes the proposed revised Guides.
Agriculture Department -- Exemption of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law2015-Dec-312015-32517This rule implements the provisions of section 10004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 and modifies the organic assessment exemption regulations under 23 Federal marketing orders and 22 research and promotion programs (commodity promotion programs). This rule amends the current regulations to allow persons that produce, handle, market, process, manufacture, feed, or import ``organic'' and ``100 percent organic'' products to be exempt from paying assessments associated with commodity promotion activities, including paid advertising, conducted under a commodity promotion program administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), regardless of whether the person requesting the exemption also produces, handles, markets, processes, manufactures, feeds, or imports conventional or nonorganic products. Currently, only persons that exclusively produce and market products certified as 100 percent organic are eligible for an exemption from assessments under commodity promotion programs. This rule expands the exemption to cover all ``organic'' and ``100 percent organic'' products certified under the National Organic Program regardless of whether the person requesting the exemption also produces, handles, markets, processes, manufactures, feeds, or imports conventional or nonorganic products.
Agriculture Department -- Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2015-Dec-242015-32448This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Paper and Packaging Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from manufacturers and importers and used for projects to promote paper and paper-based packaging. This rule implements the authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Two additional changes are being made to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action contributes to effective administration of the program and was unanimously recommended by the Board.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction2015-Dec-242015-32463The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is making technical corrections to Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) and the Official Interpretations of Regulation Z. These corrections republish certain provisions of Regulation Z and the Official Interpretations that were inadvertently removed from or not incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations by the ``Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)'' final rule (TILA-RESPA Final Rule).
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Adjustment to Asset-Size Exemption Threshold2015-Dec-232015-32293The Bureau is amending the official commentary that interprets the requirements of the Bureau's Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to reflect a change in the asset size threshold for certain creditors to qualify for an exemption to the requirement to establish an escrow account for a higher-priced mortgage loan based on the annual percentage change in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November. The exemption threshold is adjusted to decrease to $2.052 billion from $2.060 billion. The adjustment is based on the 0.4 percent decrease in the average of the CPI-W for the 12-month period ending in November 2015. Therefore, creditors with assets of less than $2.052 billion (including assets of certain affiliates) as of December 31, 2015, are exempt, if other requirements of Regulation Z also are met, from establishing escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans in 2016. This asset limit will also apply during a grace period, in certain circumstances, with respect to transactions with applications received before April 1 of 2017. The adjustment to the escrows exemption asset-size threshold will also decrease a similar threshold for small-creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgages. Balloon-payment qualified mortgages that satisfy all applicable criteria, including being made by creditors that have (together with certain affiliates) total assets below the threshold, are also excepted from the prohibition on balloon payments for high-cost mortgages.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Amending Importer Line-Item De Minimis2015-Dec-112015-31116The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations to remove the cotton import de minimis provision. The Cotton Research and Promotion (R&P) Program assesses U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton- containing products. Importers are exempt from paying the cotton import assessment (known commonly among importers as the ``cotton fee'') if a line item on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documentation is $2.00 or less. The exemption was initially established to lessen the administrative burden of collecting an import assessment, which was originally estimated to be $2.00 per line item, in instances in which the transactions costs of the collection would exceed the actual value of the assessment. However, technological advances in the CBP documentation process significantly reduced the transactions costs associated with collecting import assessments, and CBP has since stopped charging USDA for the processing and collecting of assessments. Given that transactions costs no longer exceed assessment rates of $2.00 or less, AMS proposes to remove this de minimis provision from the regulations. In addition, the definition of cotton with respect to procedures for conducting the sign-up period would also be modified.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20172015-Dec-022015-29884This proposed rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs; cost sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It also provides additional standards for the annual open enrollment period for the individual market for the 2017 benefit year; essential health benefits; cost-sharing requirements; qualified health plans; updated standards for Exchange consumer assistance programs; network adequacy; patient safety standards; the Small Business Health Options Program; stand-alone dental plans; acceptance of third-party payments by qualified health plans; the definitions of large employer and small employer; fair health insurance premiums; guaranteed availability; student health insurance coverage; the rate review program; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; exemptions and appeals; and other related topics.
Federal Reserve System -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)2015-Nov-272015-30091The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. Based on the annual percentage decrease in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2015, the exemption threshold will remain at $54,600 through December 31, 2016. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Treasury Department -- Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold2015-Nov-272015-30097The OCC, the Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations for their regulations that implement section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 129H of TILA establishes special appraisal requirements for ``higher-risk mortgages,'' termed ``higher-priced mortgage loans'' or ``HPMLs'' in the agencies' regulations. The OCC, the Board, the Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (collectively, the Agencies) issued joint final rules implementing these requirements, effective January 18, 2014. The Agencies' rules exempted, among other loan types, transactions of $25,000 or less, and required that this loan amount be adjusted annually based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the OCC, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. Based on the annual percentage decrease in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2015, the exemption threshold will remain at $25,500 through December 31, 2016.
Federal Reserve System -- Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)2015-Nov-272015-30071The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the CLA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer leases be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. Based on the annual percentage decrease in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2015, the exemption threshold will remain at $54,600 through December 31, 2016. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Truth in Lending Act's threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Truth in Lending Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2015-Nov-022015-27772The Commission issues final amendments to expand coverage of the Lighting Facts label, require room air conditioner labels on packaging instead of the units themselves, enhance the durability of appliance labels, and improve plumbing disclosure requirements. This Notice completes the Commission's recent regulatory review of the Energy Labeling Rule.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling2015-Nov-022015-27773The Commission proposes amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule to create requirements related to a new label database on the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Web site, redesign ceiling fan labels, improve and update the comparability ranges for refrigerator labels, revise central air conditioner labels in response to new DOE enforcement requirements, improve water heater labels, and update current plumbing disclosures.
Agriculture Department -- Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order; Termination of Rulemaking Proceeding2015-Oct-282015-27448This action terminates a rulemaking proceeding that proposed to establish a Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order) under authority in the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). The Order was proposed by the proponent group, the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC), and would have authorized a national research and promotion program for hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood. USDA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking in response to the extensive comments received. Based on comments received, outstanding substantive questions and significant proposed modifications from stakeholders, USDA is terminating the proceeding. Termination of this proceeding will remove ex parte communication prohibitions and allow USDA to engage fully with all interested parties to discuss and consider the evolving needs of the industry going forward.
Federal Communications Commission -- Broadcast Licensee-Conducted Contests2015-Oct-232015-26093In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (``Commission'') amends the portion of its rules known as the ``Contest Rule'' to permit broadcast licensees to comply with their obligation to disclose material contest terms either by broadcasting those terms or by making them available in writing on a publicly accessible Internet Web site. In particular, the Commission amends the Contest Rule to allow licensees to satisfy their disclosure obligation by posting material contest terms on the station's Web site, the licensee's Web site, or, if neither the individual station nor the licensee has its own Web site, any Internet Web site that is readily accessible to the public. The Commission also adopts requirements that define the disclosure obligation in cases where a licensee has chosen to meet its obligation through an Internet Web site.
Agriculture Department -- Soybean Promotion and Research: Amend the Order To Adjust Representation on the United Soybean Board2015-Oct-222015-26952This final rule adjusts the number of members on the United Soybean Board (Board) to reflect changes in production levels that have occurred since the Board was last reapportioned in 2012. As required by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act), membership on the Board is reviewed every 3 years and adjustments are made accordingly. This change will result in an increase in Board membership for three States, resulting in an increase in the total number of Board members from 70 to 73. These changes will be reflected in the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order) and will be effective for the 2016 appointment process.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Apprenticeship Programs; Corrections2015-Oct-072015-25491The EEOC is correcting a cross-reference in its regulation concerning the procedures for requesting an exemption for apprenticeship programs from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) pursuant to Section 9 of the Act.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments Relating to Small Creditors and Rural or Underserved Areas Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2015-Oct-022015-24362The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending certain mortgage rules issued by the Bureau in 2013. This final rule revises the Bureau's regulatory definitions of small creditor, and rural and underserved areas, for purposes of certain special provisions and exemptions from various requirements provided to certain small creditors under the Bureau's mortgage rules.
Transportation Department -- General Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations2015-Oct-012015-24635FMCSA amends its regulations by making technical corrections and ministerial corrections throughout title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), subtitle B, chapter III. The Agency is making minor changes to correct errors and omissions, ensure conformity with Office of the Federal Register style guidelines, update cross references, restore an inadvertent deletion of the reference to an Underwriters Laboratories' standard, and improve clarity and consistency of certain regulatory provisions. This rule does not make any substantive changes to the affected regulations, except to remove one obsolete provision.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z) Annual Threshold Adjustments (CARD ACT, HOEPA and ATR/QM)2015-Sep-212015-22987The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending the regulatory text and official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Bureau is required to calculate annually the dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z; this final rule reviews the dollar amounts for provisions implementing amendments to TILA under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). These amounts are adjusted, where appropriate, based on the annual percentage change reflected in the Consumer Price Index in effect on June 1, 2015. The minimum interest charge disclosure thresholds will remain unchanged in 2016.
Agriculture Department -- Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Expanding the Membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Other Changes2015-Sep-032015-21880This rule expands the membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (Council) under the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Council administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This rule increases the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This will help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. This rule also adds eligibility requirements for the public member, clarifies the Council's nomination procedures and its ability to serve the diversity of the industry, and increases the number of members needed for a quorum. This rule also prescribes late payment and interest charges for past due assessments. These changes will help facilitate program administration. All of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Council.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments)2015-Sep-032015-21782The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.
Agriculture Department -- Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2015-Aug-192015-20437This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Paper and Paper- Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Paper and Packaging Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from manufacturers and importers and used for projects to promote paper and paper-based packaging. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Two additional changes are proposed to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program and was unanimously recommended by the Board.
Agriculture Department -- Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2015-Aug-062015-19325This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Processed Raspberry Council (Council) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for processed raspberries. This rule implements authority contained in the Order that allows the Council to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Three additional changes are being made to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. The changes will contribute to effective administration of the program and were unanimously recommended by the Council.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Amendments; Delay of Effective Date2015-Jul-242015-18239The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is delaying until October 3, 2015, the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the related TILA-RESPA Amendments. In light of certain procedural requirements under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments cannot take effect on August 1, 2015, as originally provided by those rules. To comply with the CRA and to help ensure the smooth implementation of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, the Bureau is extending the effective date of both the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments beyond the additional minimum period required by the CRA to October 3, 2015, as proposed. The Bureau is also making certain technical amendments to the Official Interpretations of Regulation Z to reflect the new effective date and technical corrections to two provisions of Regulation Z adopted by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.
National Credit Union Administration -- Member Business Loans; Commercial Lending2015-Jul-012015-15466As part of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the NCUA Board (Board) proposes to amend its member business loans (MBL) rule to provide federally insured credit unions with greater flexibility and individual autonomy in safely and soundly providing commercial and business loans to serve their members. The proposed amendments would modernize the regulatory requirements that govern credit union commercial lending activities by replacing the current rule's prescriptive requirements and limitations--such as collateral and security requirements, equity requirements, and loan limits--with a broad principles-based regulatory approach. As such, the amendments would also eliminate the current MBL waiver process, which is unnecessary under a principles-based rule. The Board emphasizes that the proposed rule represents a change in regulatory approach and supervisory expectations for safe and sound lending would change accordingly. With adoption of a final rule, NCUA would publish updated supervisory guidance to examiners, which would be shared with credit unions, to provide more extensive discussion of expectations in relation to the revised rule.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Amendments; Delay of Effective Date2015-Jun-262015-15836The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is proposing to delay the August 1, 2015, effective date of the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Final Rule) and the related Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (TILA-RESPA Amendments) to October 3, 2015. In light of certain procedural requirements under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments cannot take effect on August 1, 2015. Under the CRA, and unless the Bureau takes the action proposed in this document, the rule will take effect 60 days after the date on which Congress received the rule. The Bureau requests comment on a proposal to extend the effective date of both the TILA- RESPA Final Rule and the TILA-RESPA Amendments to October 3, 2015.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Procedures for Conduct of Sign-up Period2015-Jun-242015-15423This rule amends the rules and regulations regarding the procedures for the conduct of a sign-up period for eligible cotton producers and importers to request a continuance referendum on the 1991 amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (Order) provided in the 1990 amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (Act). The amendments update various dates, name changes, addresses, and make other administrative changes.
Agriculture Department -- Soybean Promotion and Research: Amend the Order To Adjust Representation on the United Soybean Board2015-Jun-162015-14708This proposed rule would adjust the number of members on the United Soybean Board (Board) to reflect changes in production levels that have occurred since the Board was last reapportioned in 2012. As required by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act), membership on the Board is reviewed every 3 years and adjustments are made accordingly. This proposed change would result in an increase in Board membership for three States, increasing the total number of Board members from 70 to 73. These changes would be reflected in the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order) and would be effective for the 2016 appointment process.
Agriculture Department -- Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order2015-Jun-092015-13719The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to amend the 2013 proposed rule for a Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). In that 2013 proposed rule, USDA requested comments on a proposed industry-funded, national research and promotion program for hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood that would be administered by a board of industry members selected by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). USDA is reopening the comment period only with respect to specific issues identified in this proposed rule. USDA is taking this action in response to the extensive comments received in response to that 2013 proposed rule.
Agriculture Department -- Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order; Referendum Procedures2015-Jun-092015-13646The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to amend the 2013 proposed rule on procedures for conducting a referendum to determine whether issuance of a proposed Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order) is favored by manufacturers of hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood. The procedures would also be used for any subsequent referendum under the Order. USDA is reopening the comment period with respect to specific issues identified in this proposed rule. USDA is taking this action in response to the extensive comments received in response to a separate 2013 proposed rule on specific provisions of the proposed Order. A supplemental notice proposing to amend the 2013 proposed Order is being published separately in this issue of the Federal Register. The changes proposed herein are conforming changes to ensure definitions are the same in the proposed Order and proposed referendum procedures.
Treasury Department -- Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies2015-Jun-092015-12719The OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, Bureau, and FHFA (collectively, the Agencies) are adopting a final rule to implement the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) to be applied by participating States in the registration and supervision of appraisal management companies (AMCs). The final rule also implements the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Act for AMCs that are subsidiaries owned and controlled by an insured depository institution and regulated by a Federal financial institutions regulatory agency (Federally regulated AMCs). Under the final rule, these Federally regulated AMCs do not need to register with a State, but are subject to the same minimum requirements as State-regulated AMCs. The final rule also implements the requirement for States to report to the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) the information required by the ASC to administer the new national registry of AMCs (AMC National Registry). In conjunction with this implementation, the FDIC is integrating its appraisal regulations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Treasury Department -- Integration of National Bank and Federal Savings Association Regulations: Licensing Rules2015-May-182015-11229The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is adopting a final rule to integrate its rules relating to policies and procedures for corporate activities and transactions involving national banks and Federal savings associations, to revise some of these rules in order to eliminate unnecessary requirements consistent with safety and soundness and to promote fairness in supervision, and to make other technical and conforming changes. The OCC also is adopting amendments to update its rules for agency organization and function.
Agriculture Department -- Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Expanding the Membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Other Changes2015-May-082015-10449This proposal invites comments on expanding the membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (Council) under the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Council administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This proposal would increase the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This would help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. This proposal would also add eligibility requirements for the public member, clarify the Council's nomination procedures and its ability to serve the diversity of the industry, and increase the number of members needed for a quorum. This proposal also invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges for past due assessments. These changes would help facilitate program administration. All of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Council.
Agriculture Department -- Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order; Assessment Rate Increase2015-Apr-222015-09292This rule amends the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $0.01 per pound to $0.015 per pound on honey and honey products, over a two-year period. The Order limits an increase in the assessment rate to no more than one-quarter cent per pound per year. Thus, the rate will increase to $0.0125 per pound for the period January 1 through December 31, 2015, and to $0.015 per pound on and after January 1, 2016. This increase was unanimously recommended by the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) which administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the program, assessments are collected from first handlers (packers) and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. Additional funds will allow the Board to expand its production research activities and promotional efforts. The Board's production research focuses on maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. Increasing demand for honey and honey products will benefit the honey industry as a whole. This action also makes three additional changes to: Clarify that the assessment rate applies not only to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers but to any other numbers used to identify honey; change the length of time that books and records are to be held; and change the exemption requirements.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Submission of Credit Card Agreements Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2015-Apr-172015-09000The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, and the official interpretation to that regulation, to temporarily suspend card issuers' obligations to submit credit card agreements to the Bureau for a period of one year (i.e., four quarterly submissions), in order to reduce burden while the Bureau works to develop a more streamlined and automated electronic submission system. Other requirements, including card issuers' obligations to post currently- offered agreements on their own Web sites, remain unaffected.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Research and Promotion Program: Procedures for Conduct of Sign-Up Period2015-Apr-132015-08163This proposed rule would amend the rules and regulations regarding the procedures for the conduct of a sign-up period for eligible cotton producers and importers to request a continuance referendum on the 1991 amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (Order) provided for in the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (Act) amendments of 1990. The amendments would update various dates, name changes, addresses, and make other administrative changes.
Federal Trade Commission -- EnergyGuide Labels on Televisions2015-Mar-272015-07070The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') amends its Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') by publishing new ranges of comparability for required EnergyGuide labels on televisions.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20162015-Feb-272015-03751This final rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs; cost sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It also finalizes additional standards for the individual market annual open enrollment period for the 2016 benefit year, essential health benefits, qualified health plans, network adequacy, quality improvement strategies, the Small Business Health Options Program, guaranteed availability, guaranteed renewability, minimum essential coverage, the rate review program, the medical loss ratio program, and other related topics.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Submission of Credit Card Agreements Under the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z)2015-Feb-262015-03879The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing to amend Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, and the official interpretation to that regulation. The proposal would temporarily suspend card issuers' obligations to submit credit card agreements to the Bureau for a period of one year (i.e., four quarterly submissions), in order to reduce burden while the Bureau works to develop a more streamlined and automated electronic submission system. Other requirements, including card issuers' obligations to post currently-offered agreements on their own Web sites, would remain unaffected.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2015-Feb-192015-01321This final rule modifies the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule. This rule extends the timing requirement for revised disclosures when consumers lock a rate or extend a rate lock after the Loan Estimate is provided and permits certain language related to construction loans for transactions involving new construction on the Loan Estimate. This rule also amends the 2013 Loan Originator Final Rule to provide for placement of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry ID (NMLSR ID) on the integrated disclosures. Additionally, the Bureau is making non-substantive corrections, including citation and cross- reference updates and wording changes for clarification purposes, to various provisions of Regulations X and Z as amended or adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule.
Agriculture Department -- Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order; Continuance Referendum2015-Feb-122015-02899This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible first handlers and importers of mangos to determine whether they favor continuance of the Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order).
Agriculture Department -- Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Continuance Referendum2015-Feb-122015-02901This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible first handlers and importers of honey or honey products to determine whether they favor continuance of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order).
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments Relating to Small Creditors and Rural or Underserved Areas Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2015-Feb-112015-02125The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) proposes amendments to certain mortgage rules issued in 2013. The proposed rule revises the Bureau's regulatory definitions of small creditor, and rural and underserved areas, for purposes of certain special provisions and exemptions from various requirements provided to certain small creditors under the Bureau's rules.
Treasury Department -- Use of American Viticultural Area Names as Appellations of Origin on Wine Labels2015-Feb-092015-02552The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is proposing to amend its regulations to permit the use of American viticultural area names as appellations of origin on labels for wines that would otherwise qualify for the use of the AVA name, except that the wines have been fully finished in a State adjacent to the State in which the viticultural area is located, rather than the State in which the labeled viticultural area is located. The proposal would provide greater flexibility in wine production and labeling while still ensuring that consumers are provided with adequate information as to the identity of the wines they purchase. TTB permits the use of viticultural area names as appellations of origin on wine labels, so that vintners may better describe the origin of their wines and consumers may better identify the wines they may purchase.
Securities and Exchange Commission -- Asset-Backed Securities Disclosure and Registration2015-Feb-062015-02425This release makes technical corrections to rules that were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2014. The Commission adopted revisions to Regulation AB and other rules governing the offering process, disclosure, and reporting for asset-backed securities. These technical amendments are being published to reinstate language that was inadvertently removed and make other technical corrections.
Treasury Department -- Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold Adjustment-Final Rule2014-Dec-302014-30419The OCC, the Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official staff interpretations for their regulations that implement section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Section 129H of TILA establishes special appraisal requirements for ``higher-risk mortgages,'' termed ``higher-priced mortgages'' or ``HPMLs'' in the agencies' regulations. The OCC, the Board, the Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (collectively, the Agencies) issued joint final rules implementing these requirements, effective January 18, 2014. The Agencies' rules exempted, among other loan types, transactions of $25,000 or less, and required that this loan amount be adjusted annually based on any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2014, the OCC, the Board and the Bureau are adjusting the exemption threshold to $25,500, effective January 1, 2015.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Adjustment to Asset-Size Exemption Threshold2014-Dec-292014-30405The Bureau is amending the official commentary that interprets the requirements of the Bureau's Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to reflect a change in the asset size threshold for certain creditors to qualify for an exemption to the requirement to establish an escrow account for a higher-priced mortgage loan based on the annual percentage change in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November. The exemption threshold is adjusted to increase to $2.060 billion from $2.028 billion. The adjustment is based on the 1.1 percent increase in the average of the CPI-W for the 12-month period ending in November 2014. Therefore, creditors with assets of $2.060 billion or less as of December 31, 2014, are exempt, if other requirements of Regulation Z also are met, from establishing escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans in 2015. The adjustment to the escrows exemption asset-size threshold will also increase a similar threshold for small-creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgages. Balloon-payment qualified mortgages that satisfy all applicable criteria, including being made by creditors that do not exceed the asset-size threshold, are also excepted from the prohibition on balloon payments for high-cost mortgages.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy and Water Use Labeling for Consumer Products Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (Energy Labeling Rule)2014-Dec-292014-30135Consistent with proposed amendments published in a June 18, 2014 Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), the Commission updates its label requirements for heating and cooling equipment and removes information from furnace labels about regional conservation standards.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2014-Dec-232014-27286The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing to amend Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA); Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA); and the official interpretations to the regulations. The proposal would create comprehensive consumer protections for prepaid financial products. The proposal would expressly bring such products within the ambit of Regulation E as prepaid accounts and create new provisions specific to such accounts. The proposal would generally cover those prepaid accounts that are cards, codes, or other devices capable of being loaded with funds and usable at unaffiliated merchants or for person-to-person transfers, and are not gift cards (or certain other related types of cards). The proposal would modify Regulation E to establish disclosure requirements specific to prepaid accounts that would require financial institutions to provide certain disclosures to consumers prior to and after the acquisition of a prepaid account. The proposal would also include an option for an alternative to Regulation E's periodic statement requirement that would permit prepaid product providers to make available to consumers certain methods for access to account information in lieu of sending periodic statements. Additionally, the proposal would apply Regulation E's limited liability and error resolution provisions to prepaid accounts, with certain modifications, including applying these provisions after account registration. Moreover, the proposal would require prepaid account issuers to provide the Bureau with terms and conditions for prepaid accounts, which it would post on a Web site maintained by the Bureau. Relatedly, issuers would also be required to post the terms and conditions on their own Web sites or make them available upon request. Finally, the proposal would also contain amendments to Regulations Z and E to regulate prepaid accounts with overdraft services or credit features. Among other things, prepaid cards that access overdraft services or credit features for a fee would generally be credit cards subject to Regulation Z and its credit card rules. Moreover, the proposal would require that consumers consent to overdraft services or credit features and give them at least 21 days to repay the debt incurred in connection with using such services or features. Further, Regulation E would be amended to include disclosures about overdraft services or credit features that could be linked to prepaid accounts. The compulsory use provision under Regulation E would also be amended so that prepaid account issuers would be prohibited from requiring consumers to set up preauthorized electronic fund transfers to repay credit extended through an overdraft service or credit feature.
Federal Communications Commission -- Broadcast Licensee-Conducted Contests2014-Dec-192014-29633In this document, the Commission proposes to amend its rules governing broadcast licensee-conducted contests (the ``Contest Rule'') in a manner that reflects how consumers access information in the 21st Century. This document proposes to amend the Contest Rule by, among other things, allowing licensees to comply with their obligation to disclose material contest terms either through broadcast announcements or by making such terms available in writing on a publicly accessible Internet Web site. In addition, the Commission proposes to adopt rules that would define the disclosure obligation in cases where a station chooses to meet that obligation through an Internet Web site.
National Credit Union Administration -- Appraisals-Availability to Applicants and Requirements for Transactions Involving an Existing Extension of Credit2014-Dec-192014-29635As part of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the NCUA Board (Board) is revising two of NCUA's regulations regarding appraisals. In response to a recent amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Regulation B, the Board is eliminating from NCUA's regulations the now duplicative requirement that federal credit unions (FCUs) make available, to any requesting member, a copy of the appraisal used in connection with that member's application for a loan secured by a first lien on a dwelling. Also, the Board is amending NCUA's appraisal regulations by expanding the current exemption for certain transactions involving an existing extension of credit. More specifically, under the expanded exemption, a federally insured credit union (FICU) will be permitted to refinance or modify a real estate- related loan held by the FICU, without having to obtain another appraisal, if there is no advancement of new monies or if there is adequate collateral protection even with the advancement of new monies. Lastly, the Board is making a minor technical amendment to the definition of the term ``application.''
Environmental Protection Agency -- Labeling of Pesticide Products and Devices for Export; Clarification of Requirements2014-Dec-192014-29787EPA is revising the regulations that pertain to the labeling of pesticide products and devices that are intended solely for export. Pesticide products and devices intended solely for export will be able to meet the Agency's export labeling requirements by attaching a label to the immediate product container or by providing collateral labeling that is either attached to the immediate product being exported or that accompanies the shipping container of the product being exported at all times when it is shipped or held for shipment in the United States. Collateral labeling will ensure the availability of the required labeling information, while allowing pesticide products and devices that are intended solely for export to be labeled for use in, and consistent with the applicable requirements of the importing country.
Agriculture Department -- Exemption of Organic Products From Assessment Under a Commodity Promotion Law2014-Dec-162014-29280This proposal would modify the organic assessment exemption regulations under 23 Federal marketing orders and 22 research and promotion programs. The current regulations would be amended to allow persons that produce, handle, market, or import certified organic products to be exempt from paying assessments associated with commodity promotion activities, including paid advertising, conducted under a commodity promotion program administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The exemption would cover all ``organic'' and ``100 percent organic'' products certified under the National Organic Program regardless of whether the person requesting the exemption also produces, handles, markets, or imports conventional or nonorganic products. Currently, only persons that exclusively produce and market products certified as 100 percent organic are eligible for an exemption from assessments under commodity promotion programs. The authority for this proposal is in section 10004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2014-Dec-152014-28167The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing amendments to certain mortgage servicing rules issued in 2013. These proposed amendments focus primarily on clarifying, revising, or amending provisions regarding force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, and loss mitigation requirements under Regulation X's servicing provisions; and periodic statement requirements under Regulation Z's servicing provisions. The proposed amendments also address proper compliance regarding certain servicing requirements when a consumer is a potential or confirmed successor in interest, is in bankruptcy, or sends a cease communication request under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The proposed rule makes technical corrections to several provisions of Regulations X and Z. The Bureau requests public comment on these changes.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 20162014-Nov-262014-27858This proposed rule would set forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs; cost sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It would also provide additional standards for the annual open enrollment period for the individual market for benefit years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, essential health benefits, qualified health plans, network adequacy, quality improvement strategies, the Small Business Health Options Program, guaranteed availability, guaranteed renewability, minimum essential coverage, the rate review program, the medical loss ratio program, and other related topics.
Federal Trade Commission -- Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices Rule2014-Nov-252014-27798The FTC has completed its regulatory review of its Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices Rule (``Unavailability Rule'' or ``Rule''). After reviewing public comments regarding the Rule's overall costs, benefits, and regulatory and economic impact, the Commission retains the Rule. The Commission, however, takes this opportunity to issue guidance concerning the Rule's coverage. The Commission also corrects a typographical error, and ceases to publish dissents to the Rule's previous amendment.
Agriculture Department -- Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order; Assessment Rate Increase2014-Nov-182014-27253This proposed rule invites comments on amending the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $0.01 per pound to $0.015 per pound on honey and honey products, over a two- year period. The Order limits an increase in the assessment rate to no more than one-quarter cent per year. Thus, the rate would increase to $0.0125 per pound for the period January 1 through December 31, 2015, and to $0.015 per pound on and after January 1, 2016. The Order is administered by the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the program, assessments are collected from first handlers (packers) and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. Additional funds would allow the Board to expand its production research activities and promotional efforts. The Boards production research focuses on maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. Increasing demand for honey and honey products would benefit the honey industry as a whole. This action also makes three additional changes to: Clarify that the assessment rate applies not only to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers but to any other numbers used to identify honey; change the length of time that books and records are to be held; and change the exemption requirements.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2014-Nov-032014-25503The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending certain mortgage rules issued in 2013. The final rule provides an alternative small servicer definition for nonprofit entities that meet certain requirements and amends the existing exemption from the ability-to-repay rule for nonprofit entities that meet certain requirements. The final rule also provides a cure mechanism for the points and fees limit that applies to qualified mortgages.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2014-Oct-292014-24739The Bureau is proposing two modifications to the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Final Rule (TILA- RESPA Final Rule): An adjustment to the timing requirement for revised disclosures when the consumer locks a rate or extends a rate lock after the initial disclosures are provided; and an amendment to permit language related to new construction loans to be included on the Loan Estimate form. The Bureau also is proposing to amend the 2013 Loan Originator Final Rule to provide for placement of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry ID (NMLSR ID) on the integrated disclosures. Additionally, the Bureau is proposing technical corrections, including citation and cross-reference updates, and wording changes for clarification purposes to various provisions of Regulations X and Z as amended or adopted by the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2014-Oct-292014-25657This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (domestic) and importers and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. Softwood lumber is used in products like flooring, siding and framing. This rule implements authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. This action will contribute to effective administration of the program.
Federal Trade Commission -- Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services2014-Sep-292014-23137The Federal Trade Commission (``the Commission'') previously published in the Federal Register a request for public comments on the overall costs and benefits of and the continuing need for its Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services (``the Guides''). The Commission issued this request as part of its program for periodic review of its rules and guides to ensure they are up-to-date, effective, and not overly burdensome.
Securities and Exchange Commission -- Asset-Backed Securities Disclosure and Registration2014-Sep-242014-21375We are adopting significant revisions to Regulation AB and other rules governing the offering process, disclosure, and reporting for asset-backed securities (``ABS''). The final rules require that, with some exceptions, prospectuses for public offerings under the Securities Act of 1933 (``Securities Act'') and ongoing reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') of asset-backed securities backed by real estate related assets, auto related assets, or backed by debt securities, including resecuritizations, contain specified asset-level information about each of the assets in the pool. The asset-level information is required to be provided according to specified standards and in a tagged data format using eXtensible Markup Language (``XML''). We also are adopting rules to revise filing deadlines for ABS offerings to provide investors with more time to consider transaction-specific information, including information about the pool assets. We are also adopting new registration forms tailored to ABS offerings. The final rules also repeal the credit ratings references in shelf eligibility criteria for ABS issuers and establish new shelf eligibility criteria.
Federal Reserve System -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)2014-Sep-222014-21849The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2014, the Board and the Bureau are adjusting the exemption threshold to $54,600, effective January 1, 2015. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act in a joint rulemaking published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Federal Reserve System -- Consumer Leasing (Regulation M)2014-Sep-222014-21847The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the CLA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer leases be adjusted annually by any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2014, the Board and the Bureau are adjusting the exemption threshold to $54,600, effective January 1, 2015. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Truth in Lending Act's threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Truth in Lending Act in a rule published elsewhere in the Federal Register.
Agriculture Department -- National Sheep Industry Improvement Center2014-Sep-172014-22125The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is affirming without changes, its interim rule to promulgate rules and regulations as provided under the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) amends the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) regulations to redesignate the statutory authority from the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, amends the definition of Act consistent with the redesignated statutory authority, and amends the regulations by increasing the administrative cap for the use of the fund from 3 percent to 10 percent.
Agriculture Department -- Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Program: Amendment of Procedures and Notification of Request for Referendum2014-Sep-102014-21512The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is affirming without changes its interim rule (79 FR 12037) to amend the procedures to Request a Referendum at 7 CFR Part 1220 by removing the specific number of soybean producers eligible to request a referendum under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information program, commonly known as the Soybean Checkoff Program. The number of soybean producers will be replaced with language that allows the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to update this number based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, this rule removes specific USDA and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Web site and office addresses and replaces them with more flexible language. These changes will enable AMS to announce future Requests for Referendum without engaging in additional informal rulemaking.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Truth in Lending (Regulation Z) Annual Threshold Adjustments (CARD ACT, HOEPA and ATR/QM)2014-Aug-152014-18838The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending the regulatory text and official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Bureau is required to calculate annually the dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z; this final rule reviews the dollar amounts for provisions implementing amendments to TILA under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). These amounts are adjusted, where appropriate, based on the annual percentage change reflected in the Consumer Price Index in effect on June 1, 2014. The minimum interest charge disclosure thresholds will remain unchanged in 2015. The adjusted dollar amount for the penalty fees safe harbor in 2015 is $27 for a first late payment and $38 for each subsequent violation within the following six months. For HOEPA loans, the adjusted total loan amount threshold is $20,391, effective January 1, 2015. The adjusted statutory fee trigger for HOPEA loans is $1,020, effective January 1, 2015. Effective January 1, 2015, for the purpose of creditor's determination of a consumer's ability to repay a transaction secured by a dwelling, a covered transaction is not a qualified mortgage unless the transaction's total points and fees do not exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount for a loan greater than or equal to $101,953; $3,059 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $61,172 but less than $101,953; 5 percent of the total loan amount for a loan greater than or equal to $20,391 but less than $61,172; $1,020 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $12,744 but less than $20,391; and 8 percent of the total loan amount for a loan amount less than $12,744.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2014-Aug-122014-18501The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') amends its Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') by publishing new ranges of comparability for required labels on central air conditioners, heat pumps, and weatherized furnaces.
Agriculture Department -- Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment2014-Aug-122014-19029This rule adjusts representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in cattle inventories as well as cattle and beef imports that have occurred since the most recent Board reapportionment rule became effective in July 2011. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and result in a decrease in Board membership from 103 to 100, effective with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2015. The rule also makes technical amendments to update and correct information in the Order and regulations.
Federal Trade Commission -- Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used Automobile Parts Industry2014-Jul-142014-16339The Commission has completed its review of the Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used Automobile Parts Industry (Used Auto Parts Guides or Guides) and has determined to revise and retain the Guides.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Withdrawal of Labeling of Pesticide Products and Devices for Export2014-Jul-112014-16275In the Federal Register of April 30, 2014, EPA published a direct final rule amending the regulations that pertain to the labeling of pesticide products and devices intended solely for export. In accordance with the procedures described in the April 30, 2014 Federal Register document, EPA is withdrawing the direct final rule, because the Agency received adverse comments.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Labeling of Pesticide Products and Devices for Export; Clarification of Requirements2014-Jul-112014-16274EPA is proposing to amend the regulations that pertain to the labeling of pesticide products and devices that are intended solely for export. These amendments clarify that pesticide products and devices that are intended solely for export must meet the Agency's labeling requirements by attaching a label to the immediate product container or by providing collateral labeling that is either attached to the immediate product being exported or that accompanies the shipping container of the product being exported at all times when it is shipped or held for shipment in the United States. Collateral labeling will ensure the availability of the required labeling information, while allowing pesticide products and devices that are intended solely for export to be labeled for use in and consistent with the applicable requirements of the importing country.
Agriculture Department -- Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2014 Amendment)2014-Jun-262014-14988The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to assure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.
National Credit Union Administration -- Appraisals-Availability to Applicants and Requirements for Transactions Involving an Existing Extension of Credit2014-Jun-262014-14889As part of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the NCUA Board (Board) is proposing to revise two of NCUA's regulations regarding appraisals. Firstly, the Board is proposing to amend NCUA's regulations to eliminate the now duplicative requirement that federal credit unions (FCUs) make available, to any requesting member/ applicant, a copy of the appraisal used in connection with that member's application for a loan secured by a first lien on a dwelling. A recent amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Regulation B requires that all creditors, including FCUs, now automatically provide applicants with free copies of all appraisals and other written valuations developed in connection with an application for a loan to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling. Secondly, the proposed rule would amend NCUA's appraisal regulations by expanding the current exemption for certain transactions involving an existing extension of credit. Under the expanded exemption, federally insured credit unions (FICUs) would be able to refinance or modify a real estate-related loan held by the FICU, without having to obtain an appraisal, if there is no advancement of new monies or if there is adequate collateral protection, even with the advancement of new monies. The proposal would also make a minor technical amendment to the definition of the term ``application.'' These changes will modernize NCUA's regulations by better aligning them with the modern marketplace, while also reducing costs for FICUs and their members, and removing outdated regulatory requirements.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy Labeling Rule2014-Jun-182014-14058As part of its regulatory review of the Energy Labeling Rule, the Federal Trade Commission proposes to expand coverage of the Lighting Facts label, change the current label categories for refrigerators, revise the ceiling fan label design, and require room air conditioner labels on packaging instead of the units themselves.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Removal of Regulations Transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau2014-Jun-162014-14007Through this rule, HUD removes its regulations previously authorized under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA), the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act), and the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSFDA). Responsibility for administration of these statutes, including authority to issue regulations, was transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) pursuant to title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Accordingly, HUD's regulations for these statutes are no longer operative, and are being removed by this final rule.
Treasury Department -- Integration of National Bank and Federal Savings Association Regulations: Licensing Rules2014-Jun-102014-11473The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is proposing to integrate its rules relating to policies and procedures for corporate activities and transactions involving national banks and Federal savings associations, to revise some of these rules in order to eliminate unnecessary requirements consistent with safety and soundness, and to make other technical and conforming changes. The OCC also is proposing amendments to update its rules for agency organization and function.
Agriculture Department -- National Sheep Industry Improvement Center2014-Jun-032014-12589As provided under the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) regulations. This interim rule redesignates the statutory authority from section 375 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, amends the definition of the Act in the regulations consistent with the redesignated statutory authority, and amends the regulations by increasing the administrative cap for the use of the fund from 3 percent to 10 percent.
Federal Reserve System -- Truth in Savings (Regulation DD)2014-May-292014-12356The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is repealing its Regulation DD, 12 CFR part 230, which was issued to implement the Truth in Saving Act (TISA). Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws, including TISA, from the Board to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau). In December 2011, the Bureau published an interim final rule establishing its own Regulation DD to implement TISA (Bureau Interim Final Rule). The Bureau Interim Final Rule substantially duplicates the Board's Regulation DD. Under section 1029 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Board retains authority to issue rules for certain motor vehicle dealers that offer consumer financial services and are not subject to the Bureau's regulatory authority. The Board is not aware of any entities that are motor vehicle dealers engaging in activities subject to TISA that would be subject to the Board's rulemaking authority under section 1029 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Accordingly, the Board is repealing its Regulation DD.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange and Insurance Market Standards for 2015 and Beyond2014-May-272014-11657This final rule addresses various requirements applicable to health insurance issuers, Affordable Insurance Exchanges (``Exchanges''), Navigators, non-Navigator assistance personnel, and other entities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act). Specifically, the rule establishes standards related to product discontinuation and renewal, quality reporting, non-discrimination standards, minimum certification standards and responsibilities of qualified health plan (QHP) issuers, the Small Business Health Options Program, and enforcement remedies in Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It also finalizes: A modification of HHS's allocation of reinsurance collections if those collections do not meet our projections; certain changes to allowable administrative expenses in the risk corridors calculation; modifications to the way we calculate the annual limit on cost sharing so that we round this parameter down to the nearest $50 increment; an approach to index the required contribution used to determine eligibility for an exemption from the shared responsibility payment under section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code; grounds for imposing civil money penalties on persons who provide false or fraudulent information to the Exchange and on persons who improperly use or disclose information; updated standards for the consumer assistance programs; standards related to the opt-out provisions for self-funded, non-Federal governmental plans and related to the individual market provisions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 including excepted benefits; standards regarding how enrollees may request access to non- formulary drugs under exigent circumstances; amendments to Exchange appeals standards and coverage enrollment and termination standards; and time-limited adjustments to the standards relating to the medical loss ratio (MLR) program. The majority of the provisions in this rule are being finalized as proposed.
Treasury Department -- Integration of National Bank and Savings Association Regulations: Interagency Rules2014-May-162014-11406The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is combining certain rules originally issued jointly with the other Federal banking agencies by the OCC with respect to national banks and by the former Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) with respect to savings associations. Specifically, the OCC is combining rules relating to consumer protection in insurance sales, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance, management interlocks, appraisals, disclosure and reporting of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-related agreements, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This rulemaking also makes technical amendments to the OCC's FCRA rule to conform to provisions of the Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act or Act). This rulemaking will not result in any substantive changes in the combined rules. It will, however, streamline OCC rules, reduce duplication, and create efficiencies by establishing a single set of these rules for all entities supervised by the OCC.
Agriculture Department -- Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments2014-May-132014-10995This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (domestic) and importers and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. Softwood lumber is used in products like flooring, siding and framing. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2014-May-062014-10207The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) proposes amendments to certain mortgage rules issued in 2013. The proposed rule would provide an alternative small servicer definition for nonprofit entities that meet certain requirements, amend the existing exemption from the ability-to-repay rule for nonprofit entities that meet certain requirements, and provide a limited cure mechanism for the points and fees limit that applies to qualified mortgages.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Labeling of Pesticide Products and Devices for Export2014-Apr-302014-09843EPA is amending the regulations that pertain to labeling of pesticide products and devices intended solely for export. This action will allow placement of the required information on collateral labeling attached to the shipping container of such products rather than on the immediate package of each individual product in such a shipment. This restores provisions that previously allowed exporters to use labeling attached to, or accompanying, the product shipping container of the export pesticide at all times when shipped or held for shipment in the United States.
Transportation Department -- Electronic Documents and Signatures2014-Apr-282014-09376FMCSA proposes amendments to its regulations to allow the use of electronic records and signatures to satisfy FMCSA's regulatory requirements. The amendments would permit the use of electronic methods to sign, certify, generate, exchange or maintain records so long as the documents accurately reflect the information in the record and can be used for their intended purpose. This proposed rule would apply only to those documents that FMCSA's regulations obligate entities or individuals to retain; it would not apply to forms or other documents that must be submitted directly to FMCSA. This proposed rule responds in part to the President's January 2011 Regulatory Review and Reform initiative and would implement the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN).
Health and Human Services Department -- Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; Regulations on the Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Required Warning Statements for Tobacco Products2014-Apr-252014-09491The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to deem products meeting the statutory definition of ``tobacco product,'' except accessories of a proposed deemed tobacco product, to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). The Tobacco Control Act provides FDA authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and any other tobacco products that the Agency by regulation deems to be subject to the law. Option 1 of the proposed rule would extend the Agency's ``tobacco product'' authorities in the FD&C Act to all other categories of products, except accessories of a proposed deemed tobacco product, that meet the statutory definition of ``tobacco product'' in the FD&C Act. Option 2 of the proposed rule would extend the Agency's ``tobacco product'' authorities to all other categories of products, except premium cigars and the accessories of a proposed deemed tobacco product, that meet the statutory definition of ``tobacco product'' in the FD&C Act. FDA also is proposing to prohibit the sale of ``covered tobacco products'' to individuals under the age of 18 and to require the display of health warnings on cigarette tobacco, roll-your own tobacco, and covered tobacco product packages and in advertisements. FDA is taking this action to address the public health concerns associated with the use of tobacco products.
Treasury Department -- Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies2014-Apr-092014-06860The OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, Bureau, and FHFA (collectively, the Agencies) are jointly proposing a rule to implement the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act or Act) to be applied by States in the registration and supervision of appraisal management companies (AMCs). The proposed rule also implements the requirement in the Dodd- Frank Act for States to report to the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) the information required by the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) to administer the new national registry of appraisal management companies (AMC National Registry or Registry). In conjunction with this implementation, the FDIC is proposing to integrate its appraisal regulations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Federal Trade Commission -- Energy and Water Use Labeling for Consumer Products Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“Energy Labeling Rule”)2014-Apr-092014-07739The Commission issues conforming amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') to require a new Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for televisions and establish data reporting requirements for those products.
Federal Trade Commission -- Rules and Regulations Under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act2014-Apr-042014-07518The Commission amends the rules and regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (``Textile Rules'' or ``Rules'') to incorporate the updated International Organization for Standardization (``ISO'') standard 2076:2010(E); allow certain hang- tags that do not disclose the product's full fiber content; better address electronic commerce by amending the definition of the terms ``invoice'' and ``invoice or other paper''; update the guaranty provisions by, among other things, replacing the requirement that suppliers provide a guaranty signed under penalty of perjury with a certification, and revising the form used to file continuing guaranties with the Commission under the Textile, Fur, and Wool Acts accordingly; and clarify several other provisions.
Agriculture Department -- Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Importer Membership Requirements2014-Mar-312014-07024This rule amends the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan's (Plan) importer membership requirements to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Board). The Board recommended eliminating the requirement that an importer import more than 50 percent of the total volume handled and imported in order to qualify as an importer member. This change allows for additional parties to qualify as an importer member. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) conducted a referendum among eligible producers, handlers, and importers of watermelons from January 13 through 27, 2014. Seventy- four percent of those voting in the referendum favored amendment of the Plan. Additional revisions are made to remove unnecessary language in the Plan and regulations. Also, a section of the regulations is clarified and revised accordingly.
Agriculture Department -- Beef Promotion and Research; Reapportionment2014-Mar-252014-06174This proposed rule would adjust representation on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act), to reflect changes in cattle inventories as well as cattle and beef imports that have occurred since the most recent Board reapportionment rule became effective in July 2011. These adjustments are required by the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) and would result in a decrease in Board membership from 103 to 99, effective with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) appointments for terms beginning early in the year 2015. The proposed rule also would make technical amendments to update and correct information in the Order and regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership2014-Mar-212014-06181This rule adds the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut- producing State under the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Peanut Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This rule also adds a seat on the Board for the State of Arkansas. Under the Order, primary peanut-producing States must maintain a 3-year average production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts. Arkansas's peanut production meets this requirement. Primary peanut-producing States also have a seat on the Board. This action was recommended by the Board and ensures that the Board's representation reflects changes in the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange and Insurance Market Standards for 2015 and Beyond2014-Mar-212014-06134This proposed rule addresses various requirements applicable to health insurance issuers, Affordable Insurance Exchanges (``Exchanges''), Navigators, non-Navigator assistance personnel, and other entities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act). Specifically, the rule proposes standards related to product discontinuation and renewal, quality reporting, non-discrimination standards, minimum certification standards and responsibilities of qualified health plan (QHP) issuers, the Small Business Health Options Program, and enforcement remedies in Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It also proposes: A modification of HHS's allocation of reinsurance contributions collected if those contributions do not meet our projections; certain changes to the ceiling on allowable administrative expenses in the risk corridors calculation; modifications to the way we calculate certain cost-sharing parameters so that we round those parameters down to the nearest $50 increment; certain approaches we are considering to index the required contribution used to determine eligibility for an exemption from the shared responsibility payment under section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code; grounds for imposing civil money penalties on persons who provide false or fraudulent information to the Exchange and on persons who improperly use or disclose information; updated standards for the consumer assistance programs; standards related to the opt-out provisions for self-funded, non-Federal governmental plans and the individual market provisions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; standards for recognition of certain types of foreign group health coverage as minimum essential coverage; amendments to Exchange appeals standards and coverage enrollment and termination standards; and time-limited adjustments to the standards relating to the medical loss ratio program.
Health and Human Services Department -- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Third Party Payment of Qualified Health Plan Premiums2014-Mar-192014-06031This interim final rule requires issuers of qualified health plans (QHPs), including stand-alone dental plans (SADPs), to accept premium and cost-sharing payments made on behalf of enrollees by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, other Federal and State government programs that provide premium and cost sharing support for specific individuals, and Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Waivers of Rights and Claims in Settlement of a Charge or Lawsuit Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Corrections2014-Mar-112014-05274The EEOC is correcting a cross-reference in its regulation concerning the requirements for a valid waiver of an individual's right to file a lawsuit under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This is a technical correction.
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