Carriers transporting certain hazardous materials will continue to pay a registration fee of $275 or $1,975 (plus a processing fee), depending on the size of the business, according to a final rule issued September 16 by the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA). In adopting the rule, the agency has established the North American Industry Classification System to define a “small business,” which for truck transportation is listed as $21.5 million average annual receipts.
RSPA has been criticized for its fee leveling because the fees, originally set in February 2000, enriched RSPA coffers by $21 million each registration year since the rule inception.
“As soon as Congress acts on the FY (fiscal year) 2003 budget request, we intend to take appropriate action on the proposals to temporarily reduce registration fees and charge not-for-profit organizations the same registration fee as a small business,” RSPA says in the final rule. “In the meantime, however, we consider that it is appropriate to adopt those proposals that are unrelated to reducing registration fees.” The agency plans to address these issues in a separate final rule after Congress enacts Department of Transportation appropriations for 2003.
The new rule also allows carriers to register via the Internet and authorizes use of additional credit cards to pay the registration fee. This rule takes effect Jan 6, 2003.
More information on the business size criteria can be found at www.sba.gov/size/sizetable.html. Information from RSPA can be obtained by phoning David Donaldson at 202-366-4484 or Deborah Boothe at 202-366-8553.