[Federal Register: March 13, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 49)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 11260-11262]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 14

RIN: 1018-AH75

Conferring Designated Port Status on Anchorage, Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confers designated port 
status on Anchorage, Alaska, pursuant to section 9(f) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973. Designated port status will allow the direct 
importation and exportation of wildlife through this growing 
international port. A public hearing has been held on this designation.

DATES: This rule is effective March 13, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Special Agent Julie Scully, (703) 358-
1949, or Special Agent Stanley Pruszenski, Assistant Regional Director 
for Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska, 
(907) 786-3311.



    The Endangered Species Act requires that all fish and wildlife, 
with only limited exceptions, be imported and exported through 
designated ports. Designated ports facilitate U.S. efforts to monitor 
wildlife trade and enforce wildlife protection laws and regulations by 
funneling wildlife shipments through a limited number of locations. The 
Secretary of the Interior, with approval of the Secretary of the 
Treasury, designates ports for wildlife trade by regulation after 
holding a public hearing and collecting and considering public 
comments. The Service presently has 13 designated ports of entry for 
the importation and exportation of wildlife: Los Angeles, California; 
San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; Honolulu, Hawaii; Chicago, 
Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Seattle, 
Washington; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Baltimore, 
Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; and Atlanta, Georgia. The Service 
maintains a staff of wildlife inspectors at each designated port to 
inspect and clear wildlife shipments. Regulatory exceptions allow 
certain types of wildlife shipments to enter or leave the country 
through ports that are not designated. Under certain conditions, 
importers and exporters can obtain a permit from the Service 
authorizing their use of non-designated ports. The importer or exporter 
will accrue additional fees associated with the inspection and permit 
authorizing use of a non-designated port.

Summary of Comments and Information Received

    Section 9(f) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. 1538 
(f)(1), requires that the public be given an opportunity to comment at 
a hearing before the Secretary of the Interior confers designated port 
status on any port. The Service published a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register of August 20, 2001 (66 FR 43554), to make Anchorage, 
Alaska, a designated port under section 9 (f) and to announce a public 
    Accordingly, the Service held a public hearing on September 17, 
2001, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska 
Regional Office, Anchorage, Alaska. The Service received oral comments 
from two persons in the import and export arena: A manager from the 
Federal Express Corporation and the director of the Alaska Export 
Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    One commenter stated that his company has supported the Service's 
effort to designate the Port of Anchorage for a long time. The second 
commenter said that the opportunity to use Anchorage as a designated 
port for wildlife trade promised continued expansion of Alaska's 
business potential and would facilitate increased exports from the 

Service Response

    The Service appreciates the oral comments received at the public 
hearing in support of the designation of

[[Page 11261]]

Anchorage as a designated port. No written comments were submitted to 
the Service in response to the proposed rule.

Need for Final Rulemaking

    The proximity of Anchorage to the Asian continent has prompted the 
State of Alaska, the City of Anchorage, and private groups such as 
international express carriers, the Alaskan tourism industry, and the 
outdoor recreational industry to target foreign trade markets as a way 
to bring increased economic growth to Anchorage. Stevens International 
Airport is expanding and a 100,000-square-foot warehouse is being 
constructed to accommodate both the growth in airline passengers and 
the 20 million tons of air freight that already pass through Anchorage 
each year. This volume is one of the highest for any airport in the 
United States, and future increases of 11.1 percent per year are 
projected. International cargo off-loaded in Anchorage has been 
estimated at 341 million pounds for the year 2000.
    Two large international express carriers have regional hubs in 
Anchorage. Since 1995, both carriers have experienced an annual 
increase in the volume of international shipments of between 18 to 22 
percent. Parallel growth has occurred in the number of wildlife 
shipments. Since the Service charges higher fees for inspecting and 
clearing shipments at Anchorage and other non-designated ports, 
wildlife importers using these facilities have asked that over 70 
percent of their shipments be cleared at designated ports of entry in 
the lower 48 States. Making Anchorage a designated port will facilitate 
clearance of these shipments and reduce costs for all importers and 
exporters bringing wildlife through this city.
    Increases in international visitors to Alaska have also affected 
the number of wildlife shipments requiring clearance. The number of 
U.S. and foreign hunters requesting clearance of wildlife trophies in 
Anchorage has increased by nearly 300 percent in the last 5 years. 
Since 1995, the number of foreign hunters exporting Alaskan big game 
trophies has jumped by 73 percent, adding substantially to the total 
number of wildlife shipments cleared in Anchorage.
    The Service's data for fiscal year 2000 show that the port of 
Anchorage handled a total of 3,555 wildlife shipments with a declared 
value of $9.3 million. Anchorage has the highest number of declared 
wildlife shipments per wildlife inspector of any port in the Nation. 
The Service projects that the number of wildlife shipments will triple 
over the next 3 to 5 years following the establishment of Anchorage as 
a designated port. This projection is based on trends associated with 
the designation of the ports of Dallas-Fort Worth, Portland, and 
    Existing and projected increases in air and express cargo along 
with substantial growth in the number of airline passengers, 
international visitors, and hunters seeking clearance of wildlife 
imports and exports justify the designation of the port of Anchorage. 
This change will improve service to international mail carriers, small 
businesses, and the public while maintaining effective regulation of 
U.S. wildlife trade.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), we are making this rule 
effective upon publication because it recognizes an exemption to the 
restriction in 50 CFR 14.11.

Required Determinations

    This final rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866. In accordance with the 
criteria in Executive Order 12866, this rule is not a significant 
regulatory action.
    a. This rule will not have an annual economic effect of $100 
million or adversely affect an economic sector, productivity, jobs, the 
environment, or other units of government. A cost-benefit and economic 
analysis is not required.
    The purpose of this rule is to confer designated port status on 
Anchorage, Alaska. This conferral will have very little or no adverse 
effect on the economic sector, productivity, jobs or the environment, 
or other units of government. It is intended to decrease the 
administrative and financial burden on wildlife importers and exporters 
by allowing them to use the port of Anchorage for all varieties of 
wildlife shipments. This rule provides a small benefit to those 
businesses that deal in wildlife trade by allowing the inspection of 
shipments in Anchorage, and will result in a savings of approximately 
$65 per shipment for the importer or exporter.
    The funds necessary to confer designated port status on Anchorage 
have been specifically allocated by the United States Congress as part 
of the FY 2001 budget.
    b. This rule will not create inconsistencies with other agencies' 
actions. The Service is responsible for regulating the import and 
export of wildlife, and their parts and products. Therefore, this 
proposed policy has no effect on other agencies' responsibilities and 
will not create inconsistencies with other agencies' actions.
    c. This rule will not materially affect entitlements, grants, loan 
programs, or the rights and obligations of their recipients. It will, 
however, affect user fees. User fees will be decreased or cancelled 
depending on the importer or exporter's status as a licensee. 50 CFR 
14.91 specifies that persons engaged in business as importers or 
exporters of wildlife are required to be licensed by the Service. 
Engage in business is defined as devoting time, attention, labor, or 
profit to an activity for gain or profit. As stated in 50 CFR 14.94, 
the inspection fees during normal working hours at non-designated ports 
(Anchorage) for licensees and non-licensees are $55 plus a two-hour 
minimum at $20/hr. A $25 designated port exception permit is also 
required to use the port of Anchorage. The inspection fee associated 
with designated ports during normal working hours is $55 for licensees 
and no charge for non-licensees. As a consequence, licensees will save 
approximately $65 per shipment by having inspection capability in 
Anchorage for all wildlife shipments.
    d. This rule will not raise novel legal or policy issues. This rule 
will not raise novel legal or policy issues because it is based upon 
specific language in the Endangered Species Act and the Code of Federal 
Regulations which has been applied numerous times to various ports 
around the country.
    The Department of the Interior (Department) has determined that 
this rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial 
number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 
601 et seq.). The Service anticipates that the addition of the port of 
Anchorage to the list of Service-designated ports for the importation 
and exportation of wildlife will have no adverse effect upon individual 
industries and cause no demographic changes in populations. In 
addition, the Service anticipates that this rule will not increase 
direct costs for small entities and will have no effect upon 
information collection and record keeping requirements. In light of 
this analysis, the Service has determined that the rule will not have a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities 
as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    The Service has determined that this rule will not affect energy 
supplies, distribution, and use as described in Executive Order 13211. 
Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action

[[Page 11262]]

and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.
    This final rule has no private property takings implications as 
defined in Executive Order 12630. The only effect of this rule will be 
to make it easier for businesses to import and export wildlife directly 
through Anchorage, Alaska.
    This action does not contain any federalism impacts as described in 
Executive Order 13132.
    This final rule does not contain any information collection 
requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and 
Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
    These changes in the regulations in part 14 are regulatory and 
enforcement actions covered by a categorical exclusion from National 
Environmental Policy Act procedures under 516 Department Manual, 
Chapter 2, Appendix 1.10.
    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order.
    A determination has been made under Section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act that this revision of Part 14 will not affect federally 
listed species.
    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), this rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
    This final rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more. The port of Anchorage currently clears imports when the shipper 
requests clearance in Anchorage, as opposed to continuing under U.S. 
Customs bond to a designated port. The economic impact of authorizing 
Anchorage as a designated port can be approximated by multiplying the 
average number of shipments by the average difference in fees 
associated with designated and non-designated ports. The estimated 
annual benefit to importers and exporters will be roughly $250,000. 
This benefit will accrue primarily to small businesses involved in the 
wildlife trade.
    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.
    In accordance with the presidential memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we 
have evaluated possible effects on federally recognized Indian tribes 
and have determined that there are no effects. Individual tribal 
members are subject to the same regulatory requirements as other 
individuals who engage in the import and export of wildlife.


    The originator of this final rule is Special Agent Julie Scully, 
Division of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Washington, D.C.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 14

    Animal welfare, Exports, Fish, Imports, Labeling, Reporting and 
record keeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Service amends part 
14, subchapter B, of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set 
forth below.


    1. The authority citation for part 14 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 668, 704, 712, 1382, 1538(d)-(f), 1540(f), 
3371-3378, 4223-4244, and 4901-4916; 18 U.S.C. 42; 31 U.S.C. 9701.

    2. Revise Sec. 14.12 to read as follows:

Sec. 14.12  Designated ports.

    The following ports of entry are designated for the importation and 
exportation of wildlife and are referred to hereafter as ``designated 
    (a) Los Angeles, California.
    (b) San Francisco, California.
    (c) Miami, Florida.
    (d) Honolulu, Hawaii.
    (e) Chicago, Illinois.
    (f) New Orleans, Louisiana.
    (g) New York, New York.
    (h) Seattle, Washington.
    (i) Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
    (j) Portland, Oregon.
    (k) Baltimore, Maryland.
    (l) Boston, Massachusetts.
    (m) Atlanta, Georgia.
    (n) Anchorage, Alaska.

    Dated: February 13, 2002.
Joseph E. Doddridge,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-5860 Filed 3-12-02; 8:45 am]