Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 02/15/2007
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 72:7468-7476
• Standard Number: 1910.7(f)
• Title: Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories; Revised Fee Schedule

[Federal Register: February 15, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 31)]
[Notices]               
[Page 7468-7476]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15fe07-100]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2006-0050]
 
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories; Revised Fee Schedule

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice provides the revised schedule of fees to be 
charged by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to 
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs). OSHA charges fees 
for specific types of services it provides to NRTLs. The fees charged 
to NRTLs first went into effect on October 1, 2000.

DATES: The Fee Schedule will become effective on February 15, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: MaryAnn Garrahan, Director, Office of 
Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, NRTL Program, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of 
Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N3655, Washington, DC 20210, 
or phone (202) 693-2110. Our Web page includes information about the 
NRTL Program (see http://www.osha.gov and select "N" in the site 
index).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Notice and Introduction

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hereby 
gives notice that it has revised the fees that the Agency charges for 
the services it provides to Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories 
(NRTLs). OSHA is taking this action as a result of its process for 
annually reviewing the fees, as provided under 29 CFR 1910.7(f). This 
review showed that the costs of providing the services covered by the 
fees had changed sufficiently to warrant adjustments to the fee 
schedule, which had been in effect since January 2002. The notice to 
propose the revised fees was published in the Federal Register on 
December 20, 2006 (71 FR 76365). That notice requested submission of 
comments by January 4, 2007. No comment was received. The notice also 
stated that the fees would go into effect on February 5, 2007; OSHA, 
however, has changed the effective date of the fee increase. As set 
forth above, the new fee schedule is effective February 15, 2007.
    You may obtain or review documents related to the establishment of 
the fees by contacting the Docket Office, Room N2625, Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, at the 
above address. Docket No. OSHA-2006-0050 (formerly, NRTL95-F-1), 
contains all materials in the record concerning OSHA's NRTL Program 
fees.
    The fee adjustments described in this notice are based on the 
current approach for calculating fees, which is the same approach OSHA 
used in developing the first fee schedule (effective October 1, 2000). 
OSHA is also in the process of developing a new approach to calculating 
fees that would more accurately recoup the total costs of the services 
OSHA provides to NRTLs. The Agency will be proposing this new approach, 
and seeking comments on it, in a Federal Register notice to be 
published at a later date.

II. Background

    Many of OSHA's safety standards require that equipment or products 
used in the workplace be tested and certified to help ensure they can 
be used safely. See, e.g., 29 CFR 1910, Subpart S. In general, this 
testing and certification must be performed by a Nationally Recognized 
Testing Laboratory (NRTL). In order to ensure that the testing and 
certification is done appropriately, OSHA implemented the NRTL Program. 
The NRTL Program establishes the criteria that an organization must 
meet in order to be and remain recognized as an NRTL.
    The NRTL Program requirements are set forth under 29 CFR 1910.7,
"Definition and requirements for a nationally recognized testing 
laboratory." To be recognized by OSHA, an organization must: (1) Have 
the appropriate capability to test, evaluate, and approve products to 
assure their safe use in the workplace; (2) be completely independent 
of the manufacturers, vendors, and major users of the products for 
which OSHA requires certification; (3) have internal programs that 
ensure proper control of the testing and certification process; and (4) 
have effective reporting and complaint handling procedures.
    OSHA requires NRTL applicants (i.e., organizations seeking initial 
recognition as NRTLs) to provide detailed and comprehensive information 
about their programs, processes, and procedures in writing when they 
apply. OSHA reviews the written information and conducts an on-site 
assessment to determine whether the organization meets the requirements 
of 29 CFR 1910.7. OSHA uses a similar process when an NRTL (i.e., an 
organization already recognized) applies for expansion or renewal of 
its recognition. In addition, the Agency conducts annual audits to 
ensure that the recognized laboratories maintain their programs and 
continue to meet the recognition requirements. Currently, there are 18 
NRTLs operating over 50 recognized sites in the U.S., Canada, Europe, 
and the Far East.

III. Program Costs and Fee Calculation

    To understand the adjustments we have made to the fee schedule, 
Section A discusses the derivation of the hourly rate we used to assess 
the fees. Section B discusses changes we made to the estimate of 
activity times and briefly describes new chargeable activities for the 
services to NRTLs. Section C details new activity costs.

A. Derivation of Hourly Rate (ECR)

    In preparing the fee schedule presented in this notice, OSHA has 
updated its calculation of the total resources that it has committed to 
the NRTL Program overall and has then computed the costs that are 
involved solely with the application approval and the periodic review 
(i.e., audit) functions.
    OSHA calculates the fees for these services by multiplying an 
equivalent average direct staff cost per hour rate (ECR) by the time it 
takes to perform the activities involved in application processing or 
audit functions. Simply put,

Fee for activity = ECR x Time for activity.

    OSHA derives the ECR by taking the total estimated direct and 
indirect costs of the program, consisting of personnel costs (salary 
and fringe) and office expenses, but excluding travel, and dividing 
that total by the total available annual work hours of the direct staff 
devoted to all the NRTL Program activities, i.e., the number of full-
time equivalent (FTE) personnel.\1\ Illustrated as an equation:

    \1\ In discussing total hours in this notice, we often refer to 
FTEs which stands for full-time equivalents and equals total hours 
dividedby 2,080, the total available annual work hours for one full-
time employee.

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ECR = TPC / TAW,

where TPC is the total estimated direct and indirect program costs 
(excluding travel) and TAW is the total available annual work hours of 
the direct staff.
    Figure 1, below, represents OSHA's TPC of providing the services 
for which we charge fees and shows the calculation of the ECR. As a 
result of our adjustments, our base hourly rate for calculating our 
fees, i.e., the ECR, has increased approximately 17% above the previous 
level, from $54.50 to $63.80. The $54.50 is the rate that was derived 
using 2002 projected staff salary and fringe, and other program costs. 
It is the rate contained in the prior fee schedule (effective January 
1, 2002), which is now superseded by the fee schedule shown in this 
notice. The 17% increase mainly reflects annual salary adjustments 
provided to Federal employees that have accumulated since the revision 
in 2002. The Agency believes these costs are fair and reasonable.

                                  Figure 1.--NRTL Program Annual Cost Estimates
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Avg. cost per
                                                                                        FTE
                        Cost description                                FTE         (including      Total costs
                                                                                      fringe)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Direct Staff Costs..............................................            5.24        $110,743        $580,294
Indirect Staff & Other Costs....................................              na              na        *115,130
    Subtotal Costs..............................................  ..............  ..............         695,424
Travel Expenses.................................................              na              na          60,000
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
        Total Program Costs.....................................  ..............  ..............         755,424
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Avg. direct staff cost/hr. = $580,294/(5.24 FTE x 2,080 hours) = $53.20.
ECR = Equivalent avg. direct staff cost/hr. rate = $695,424/(5.24 FTE x 2,080 hours) = $63.80 (includes direct &
  indirect costs but not travel).
* This amount consists of $60,150 for management and support staff and $54,980 for equipment and other costs.

    In Figure 1, Direct Staff Costs are personnel costs for the staff 
that perform direct activities (i.e., the services, such as the 
application, on-site and legal reviews, and other activities involved 
in application processing and audits) as well as activities not 
directly connected to the fees. Indirect Staff and Other Costs are 
expenses for support and management staff, equipment, and other costs 
that are involved in the operation of the program. Support and 
management staff consists of program management and secretarial staff. 
Equipment and other costs are intended to cover items such as 
computers, telephones, building space, utilities, and supplies, which 
are necessary to perform the services covered by the fees. In general, 
indirect costs, by their very nature, are not readily identified with a 
specific output (in the present context, a specific activity) but are 
used in producing it. They are allocated to the application processing 
and audit activities based on direct staff costs. Travel Expenses shown 
in the figures are estimates of the costs we incur for travel related 
to the services that are covered by the fees. However, this amount is 
not included in the ECR since we charge for the actual staff travel 
expenses of the on-site visits performed by our program staff. In 
Figure 1, the travel expenses figure is presented only to show total 
program costs.
    The use of an "equivalent average direct staff cost per hour 
rate" (ECR) measure is a convenient method of
allocating indirect costs to each of the services for which OSHA is 
charging fees. The same result is obtained if direct staff costs are 
first calculated and then indirect costs are allocated based on the 
value, i.e., dollar amount, of the direct staff costs, which is an 
approach that is consistent with Federal accounting standards.
    To illustrate this, assume that a direct staff member spends 10 
hours on an activity; the direct staff costs would then be calculated 
as follows: Direct staff costs = 10 hours x $53.20/hour = $532.

The $53.20/hour is the average direct staff cost/hour amount shown in 
Figure 1. The indirect costs would be allocated by first calculating 
the ratio of indirect costs to direct staff costs, again using the 
costs shown in Figure 1. This ratio would be as follows: Indirect 
costs/direct staff costs = $115,130/$580,294 = 0.1984.

Next, the indirect costs would be calculated based on the $532 estimate 
of direct staff costs: Indirect costs = $532 x 0.1984 = $106.
inally, the total costs of the activity are calculated: Total costs = 
direct staff costs + indirect costs = $532 + $106 = $638.

We derive the same amount using the ECR of $63.80, i.e., 10 hours x 
$63.80/hour = $638.

B. Modified Activity Times and Additional Activities

    In addition to updating the ECR, the Agency has updated estimates 
of the average staff time that it spends on some specific activities or 
functions of the services covered by the fees. The staff activity times 
we updated resulted in a portion of the adjustments in the Fee Schedule 
(Table A below). OSHA previously developed these times for each major 
activity within the main types of services, which are application 
processing and audits.
    For application processing, OSHA has increased the average staff 
activity time in the areas of the on-site assessment and the final 
report/Federal Register notice activities. In the first case, the 
increase mainly reflects the time necessary for making travel 
arrangements and, in the second case, mainly reflects the separate time 
necessary for the preparation of the notice. For audits, OSHA has 
increased the average staff activity time in the areas of the pre-site 
review and report preparation activities, each for similar reasons as 
the corresponding application activities just described. In addition, 
in both cases, we now charge for actual travel time (i.e., time in 
travel to and from sites), which replaces the nominal 4 hours that was 
included in the first day fee for assessments and audits of the prior 
fee schedule.
    OSHA also is now charging for some additional activities it 
performs during application processing and audits. These activities are 
for Additional Application Review, Supplemental Program Review, and 
Invoice Processing. Section IV of this notice further explains these 
activities and the modifications mentioned above. The revised fees 
reflect the Agency's experience with the NRTL Program fees over the 
four years since OSHA published the prior fee schedule.

C. Tables of Activity Costs

    Figures 2, 3, 4, and 5, below, present the costs of the major 
activities for which fees are charged. We include average travel costs 
in the figures below to provide an overall cost for a particular 
activity. However, as explained above, since we charge for actual 
travel, only the non-travel costs serve as the basis for the fees later 
shown in the Fee Schedule (Table A). In deriving the fee amounts shown 
in Table A, OSHA has generally rounded the costs shown in Figures 2, 3, 
4, and 5, up or down, to the nearest $5 or $10 amount.

                                  Figure 2.--Initial Application Cost Estimates
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Major activity                            Type of cost              Average hours   Average cost*
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Initial Application Review.................  Office and field staff time........              80          $5,100
Additional Review Time.....................  Office staff.......................              16           1,020
On-Site Assessment--first day (per site,     field staff time (16 hours                       30           1,914
 per assessor).                               preparation, 6 hours travel
                                              processing, and 8 hours at site).
                                             Field staff travel expense ($700                \1\             800
                                              airfare/other + $100 per diem).
                                                                                 -------------------------------
                                              Total.............................  ..............           2,714
On-Site Assessment--each addnl. day** (per   field staff time (at site).........               8             510
 site, per assessor).
                                             Field staff travel expense (per                 \1\             100
                                              diem only).
                                                                                 -------------------------------
                                              Total.............................  ..............             610
On-Site Assessment travel time--per day      field staff........................               8             510
 (per site, per assessor).
Review and Evaluation (10 test standards)..  Office staff time..................               2             128
Final Report & Federal Register notice.....  field and office staff time........             132           8,422
Fees Invoice Processing....................  Office staff time..................               2            128
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Average cost for staff time = average hours x equivalent average direct staff cost/hr. ($63.80).
** Note: 2 additional days estimated if there are 2 assessors and 4 additional days estimated if there is 1
  assessor.
\1\ Not applicable.


                        Figure 3.--Expansion Application (Additional Site) Cost Estimates
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Major activity                            Type of cost              Average hours   Average cost*
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Application Review (expansion for site)....  Office and field staff time........              16          $1,021
Additional Review Time.....................  Office staff.......................               8             510
On-Site Assessment--first day (per site,     field staff time (12 hours                       24           1,531
 per assessor).                               preparation, 4 hours travel
                                              processing, and 8 hours at site).
                                             field staff travel time expense                 \1\             800
                                              ($700 airfare/other + $100 per
                                              diem).
                                                                                 -------------------------------
                                              Total.............................  ..............           2,331
On-Site Assessment--addnl. day** (per site,  field staff time (at site).........               8             510
 per assessor).
                                             field staff travel expense (per                 \1\             100
                                              diem only).
                                              Total.............................  ..............             610
                                                                                 -------------------------------
On-Site Assessment travel time--per day      field staff........................               8             510
 (per site, per assessor).
Review and Evaluation Fee (10 test           office staff time..................               2             128
 standards).
Final Report & Federal Register notice.....  Field and office staff time........              50           3,190
Fees Invoice Processing....................  Office staff time..................               2            128
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Average cost for staff time = average hours x equivalent average direct staff cost/hr. (63.80).
** Note: 2 additional days estimated for 1 assessor.
\1\ Not applicable.


Figure 4.--Renewal Or Expansion (Other Than Additional Site) Application
                             Cost Estimates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Average    Average
       Major activity             Type of cost        hours      cost*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Application Review (renewal   Office and field              2       $128
 or expansion other than       staff time.
 additional site).
Additional Review Time......  Office staff........          8        510
Renewal Application           Office staff........         16      1,021
 Information Review.
On-Site Assessment--first     field staff time (8          20      1,276
 day (expansion) (per site,    hours preparation,
 per assessor).                4 hours travel
                               processing, and 8
                               hours at site).
                              field staff travel          \3\        800
                               expense ($700
                               airfare/other +
                               $100 per diem).
                               Total..............  .........      2,076
On-Site Assessment--first     field staff time (16         28      1,787
 day (renewal) (per site,      hours preparation,
 per assessor).                4 hours travel
                               processing, and 8
                               hours at site).
                              field staff travel          \3\        800
                               expense ($700
                               airfare/other +
                               $100 per diem).
                                                   ---------------------
                               Total..............  .........      2,587
On-Site Assessment--addnl.    Office staff time             8        510
 day** (per site, per          (at site).
 assessor).
                              field staff travel          \3\        100
                               expense (covers per
                               diem only).
                                                   ---------------------
                               Total..............  .........        610
On-Site Assessment travel     field staff.........          8        510
 time--per day (per site,
 per assessor).
Review and Evaluation Fee     Office staff time...          2        128
 (10 test standards)
 (expansion).
Final Report & Federal        Office and field             50      3,190
 Register notice.              staff time (if
                               there is an on-site
                               assessment).
Final Report & Federal        Office and field             30      1,914
 Register notice.              staff time (if
                               there is NO on-site
                               assessment).
Supplemental Program Review.  Office and field              4        255
                               staff time (per
                               program requested
                               incl. consultation
                               and assessor's
                               memo).
Fees Invoice Processing.....  Office staff time...          2       128
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Average cost for staff time = average hours x equivalent average
  direct staff cost/hr. ($63.80).
** Note: 2 additional days estimated for renewal assessment; no
  additional days for expansion assessment.
\3\ Not applicable.


                 Figure 5.--On-Site Audit Cost Estimates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Average    Average
       Major activity             Type of cost        hours      cost*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
On-Site Audit--first day      Field staff time (12         24     $1,531
 (per site, per auditor).      hours pre-site
                               review preparation,
                               4 hours travel
                               processing, and 8
                               hours at site).
                              Prepare report/              18      1,148
                               contact NRTL plus
                               office review staff
                               time (2 days for
                               field staff and 2
                               hours for office
                               staff).
                              Subtotal (first day)  .........      2,679
                                                   ---------------------
                              Field staff travel          \4\        800
                               expense ($700
                               airfare/other +
                               $100 per diem).
                                                   ---------------------
                              Total...............  .........      3,479
On-Site Audit--addnl. day **  field staff time (at          8        510
 (per site, per auditor).      site).
                              Travel expense              \4\        100
                               (covers per diem
                               only).
                                                   ---------------------
                              Total...............  .........        610
On-Site Audit travel time--   Field staff.........          8        510
 per day (per site, per
 auditor).
Fees Invoice Processing.....  Office staff time...          2        128
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Average cost for staff time = average hours x equivalent average direct
  staff cost/hr. ($63.80) **Note: 1.0 additional day estimated for 1
  auditor.
\4\ Not applicable.

IV. Fee Schedule and Description of Fees

    OSHA is adopting the fee schedule shown below as Table A.

Table A. FEE SCHEDULE

 NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED TESTING LABORATORY PROGRAM (NRTL PROGRAM) FEE SCHEDULE (EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 15, 2007) \12\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Activity or category (fee charged per application
         Type of service                         unless noted otherwise)                        Fee amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
APPLICATION PROCESSING..........  Initial Application Review \1,8\.....................  $5,100.
                                  Expansion Application Review (per additional site) 1,  1,020.
                                   8.
                                  Renewal or Expansion (other) Application Review \1\..  130.
                                  Renewal Information Review Fee \7\...................  1,020.
                                  Additional Review--Initial Application (if the         1,020.
                                   application is substantially revised, submit one-
                                   half Initial Application Review fee) \7\.
                                  Additional Review--Renewal or Expansion Application    510.
                                   \7\.
                                  Assessment--Initial Application (per site--SUBMIT      8,890.
                                   WITH APPLICATION) 2, 4, 8.
                                  Assessment--Initial Application (per person, per       1,910 + actual travel
                                   site--first day--BILLED AFTER ASSESSMENT) 2, 10.       expenses.
                                  Assessment--Renewal Application (per person, per       1,790 + actual travel
                                   site--first day) 3, 10.                                expenses.
                                  Assessment--Expansion Application (additional site)    1,530 + actual travel
                                   (per person, per site--first day) \3\.                 expenses.
                                  Assessment--Expansion Application (other) (per         1,280 + actual travel
                                   person, per site--first day) \3\.                      expenses.
                                  Assessment--each addnl. day or each day on travel      510 + actual travel
                                   (per person, per site) 2, 3.                           expenses.
                                  Review and Evaluation \5\ (13 per standard if it is    13 per standard OR 64
                                   already recognized for NRTLs and requires minimal      per standard.
                                   review; OR else 64 per standard).
                                  Final Report/Register Notice--Initial Application 5,   8,420.
                                   9.
                                  Final Report/Register Notice--Renewal or Expansion     3,190.
                                   Application (if OSHA performs on-site assessment) 5,
                                   9.
                                  Final Report/Register Notice--Renewal or Expansion     1,910.
                                   Application (if OSHA performs NO on-site assessment)
                                   5, 9.
AUDITS..........................  On-site Audit (per person, per site, first day) \6\..  2,680 + actual travel
                                                                                          expenses.
                                  On-site Audit--each addnl. day or each day on travel   510 + actual travel
                                   (per person, per site) \6\.                            expenses.
                                  Office Audit (per person, per site) \6\..............  510.
MISCELLANEOUS...................  Supplemental Travel (per site--for sites located       1,000.
                                   outside the 48 contiguous States or the District of
                                   Columbia) \4\.
                                  Supplemental Program Review (per program requested)    260.
                                   \4\.
                                  Fees Invoice Processing (per application or audit)     130.
                                   \4\.
                                  Late Payment \11\....................................  64.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes to OSHA Fee Schedule for NRTLs:
1. Who must pay the Application Review fees, and when must they be paid?
If you are applying for initial recognition as an NRTL, you must pay the Initial Application Review fee and
  include this fee with your initial application. If you are an NRTL and applying for an expansion or renewal of
  recognition, you must pay the Expansion Application Review fee or Renewal Application Review fee, as
  appropriate, and submit this fee concurrently with your expansion or renewal application. See note 7 if you
  amend or revise your initial or expansion application.
2. What assessment fees do you submit for an initial application, and when must they be paid?
If you are applying for initial recognition as an NRTL, you must pay $8,890 for each site for which you wish to
  obtain recognition, and you must submit this amount concurrently with your initial application. We base this
  amount on two assessors performing a three-day assessment at each site. After completing the actual
  assessment, we calculate our assessment fee based on the actual staff time and travel costs incurred in
  performing the assessment. We calculate this fee at the rate of $1,910 for the first day at the site, $510 for
  each additional day at the site, and $510 for each day in travel, plus actual travel expenses, for each
  assessor. (Note: days charged for being in travel status are those allowed under government travel rules. This
  note applies to any assessment or audit.) Actual travel expenses are determined by government per diem and
  other travel rules. We bill or refund the difference between the amount you pre-paid and the actual assessment
  fee. We reflect this difference in the final bill that we send to you at the time we publish the preliminary
  Federal Register notice announcing the application.
3. What assessment fees do you submit for an expansion or renewal application, and when must they be paid?
If you are an NRTL and applying solely for an expansion or renewal of recognition, you do not submit any
  assessment fee with your application. If we need to perform an assessment for the expansion or renewal
  request, we bill you for this fee after we perform the assessment. The fee is based on the actual staff time
  and travel costs we incurred in performing the assessment. We calculate this fee at the rate of $1,790,
  $1,530, or $1,280 for the first day at the site of a renewal, expansion (site), and expansion (other)
  assessment, respectively. We also include $510 for each additional day at the site and $510 for each day in
  travel, plus actual travel expenses, for each assessor. Actual travel expenses are determined by government
  per diem and other travel rules. When more than one site of the NRTL is visited during one trip, we charge the
  $510 additional day fee, plus actual travel expenses, for each day at a site.
4. When do I pay the Supplemental Travel, the Supplemental Program Review, or the Fees Invoice Processing fees?
You must include the Supplemental Travel fee when you submit an initial application for recognition and the site
  you wish to be recognized is located outside the 48 contiguous U.S. states or the District of Columbia. The
  current supplemental travel fee is $1,000. We factor in this prepayment when we bill for the actual costs of
  the assessment, as described in our note 2, above. See note 8 for possible refund of application or assessment
  fees. You must include the Supplemental Program Review fee when you apply for approval to use other qualified
  parties or facilities to perform specific activities. See Chapter 2 of the NRTL Program Directive for more
  information. We will include the Fees Invoice Processing fee in the total for each of our invoices to you.
5. When do I pay the Review and Evaluation and the Final Report/Register Notice fees?
We bill an applicant or an NRTL for the appropriate fees at the time we publish the preliminary Federal Register
  notice to announce the application. We calculate the Review and Evaluation Fee at the rate of $13 per test
  standard requested for those standards that OSHA previously recognized for any NRTL and that require minimal
  review or do not represent a new area of testing for the NRTL. Otherwise, this fee is $64 per standard
  requested.
6. When do I pay the Audit fee?
We bill the NRTL for this fee (on-site or office, as deemed necessary) after completion of the audit and base
  the fee on actual staff time and travel costs incurred in performing the audit. We calculate our fee at the
  rate of $2,680 for the first day at the site, $510 for each additional day at the site, and $510 for each day
  in travel, plus actual travel expenses for each auditor. Actual travel expenses are determined by government
  per diem and other travel rules.
7. When do I pay the Additional Review fee or Renewal Information Review fee?
The Additional Review fees cover the staff time in reviewing new or modified information submitted after we have
  completed our preliminary review of an application. There is no charge for review of a "minor" revision,
  which entails modifying or supplementing less than approximately 10% of the documentation in the application.
  The Additional Review fee applies to revisions modifying or supplementing from 10% to 50% of that
  documentation. For a new application, the fee represents 16 hours of additional review time and for a renewal
  or expansion application, the fee represents 8 hours of additional review time. If an applicant exceeds that
  50% threshold in revising its application, we will charge one-half the Initial Application Review fee and the
  full Expansion Application Review fee, as applicable. The Renewal Information Review fee applies when an NRTL
  submits updated information to OSHA in connection with a request for renewal of recognition.
8. When and how can I obtain a refund for the fees that I paid?
If you withdraw before we complete our preliminary review of your initial application or your expansion
  application to include an additional site, we will refund half of the application fee. If you are applying for
  initial recognition as an NRTL, we will refund the pre-paid assessment fees if you withdraw your application
  before we have traveled to your site to perform the on-site assessment. For an initial application, we will
  also credit your account for any amount of the pre-paid assessment fees collected that is greater than the
  actual cost of the assessment. Other than these cases, we do not generally refund or grant credit for any
  other fees that are due or collected.
9. Will I be billed even if my application is rejected?
If we reject your application, we will bill you for the fees pertaining to tasks that we have performed that are
  not covered by the fees you have submitted. For example, if we perform an assessment for an expansion
  application but deny the expansion, we will bill you for the assessment fee. Similarly, we will bill you for
  the Final Report and Federal Register fee if we also wrote the report and published the notice. See note 11
  for the consequences of non-payment.
10. What rate does OSHA use to charge for staff time?
OSHA has estimated an equivalent staff cost per hour that it uses for determining the fees that are shown in the
  Fee Schedule. This hourly rate takes into account the costs for salary, fringe benefits, equipment,
  supervision and support for each "direct staff" member, that is, the staff that perform the main activities
  identified in the Fee Schedule. The rate is an average of these amounts for each of these direct staff
  members. The current estimated equivalent staff costs per hour = $63.80.
11. What happens if I do not pay the fees that I am billed?
As explained above, if you are an applicant, we will send you a final bill (for any assessment and for the
  Review and Evaluation and Final Report/Register Notice fees) at the time we publish the preliminary Federal
  Register notice. If you do not pay the bill by the due date, we will assess the Late Payment fee shown in the
  Fee Schedule. This late payment fee represents one hour of staff time at the equivalent staff cost per hour
  (see note 10). If we do not receive payment within 60 days of the bill date, we will cancel your application.
  As also explained above, if you are an NRTL, we will generally send you a bill for the audit fee after
  completion of the audit. If you do not pay the fee by the due date, we will assess the Late Payment Fee shown
  in the Fee Schedule. If we do not receive payment within 60 days of the bill date, we will publish a Federal
  Register notice stating our intent to revoke recognition. However, please note that in either case, you may be
  subject to collection procedures under U.S. (Federal) law.
12. How do I know whether this is the most Current Fee Schedule?
You should contact OSHA's NRTL Program (202-693-2110) or visit the program's Web site to determine the effective
  date of the most current Fee Schedule. Access the site by selecting "N" in the Subject Index at
  http://www.osha.gov. Any application review fees are those in effect on the date you submit your application. Other
  application processing fees are those in effect when the activity covered by the fee is performed. Audit fees
  are those in effect on the date we begin our audit.
    The following is a description of the tasks and functions currently 
covered by each type of fee category, e.g., application fees, and the 
basis used to charge each fee.
    Application Fees: This fee reflects the technical work performed by 
office and field staff in reviewing application documents to determine 
whether an applicant submitted complete and adequate information. The 
application review does not include a determination on the test 
standards requested, which is reflected in the Review and Evaluation 
fee. Application fees are based upon average costs per type of 
application. OSHA uses an average cost because the amount of time spent 
on the application review does not vary greatly by type of application. 
This is based on the premise that the number and type of documents 
submitted will generally be the same for a given type of application. 
Experience has shown that, indeed, most applicants do follow the 
application guide that OSHA provides. Two new fees were added in this 
area, which are explained in the Section VI, below.
    Assessment Fees: This fee is different for the initial, renewal, 
expansion (site) and expansion (other) applications. It is based on the 
number of days for staff preparatory and on-site work and related 
travel. Six types of fees are shown, and five are charged per site and 
per person. The four fees for the first day reflect time for office 
preparation and 8 hours at the applicant's facility. There is one fee 
covering either additional days at the facility and/or days in travel. 
Additional days or days in travel are assessed for either a half or a 
full day. A supplemental travel amount is assessed for travel outside 
the contiguous 48 states or the District of Columbia. For initial 
applications, an amount to cover the assessment must be submitted "up-
front" with the application. In addition to the first day and 
additional day amounts, the applicant or NRTL must pay actual travel 
expenses, based on government per diem and travel rules. For initial 
applications, any difference between actual travel expenses and the up-
front travel amount is reflected in the final bill or refund sent to 
the applicant.
    Similar to the application fee, the office preparation time 
generally involves the same types of activities. Actual time at the 
facility may vary, but the staff devote at least a full day to 
performing the on-site work. The fee for the additional day reflects 
time spent at the facility and the actual travel expenses for that day.
    Review and Evaluation Fee: This fee is charged per test standard 
(which is part of an applicant's proposed scope of recognition). The 
fee reflects the fact that staff time spent on the office review of an 
application varies based on the number of test standards requested by 
the applicant. In general, the fee is based on the estimated time 
necessary to review test standards to determine whether each one is 
"appropriate," as defined in 29 CFR 1910.7, and covers equipment for 
which OSHA mandates certification by an NRTL. The fee also covers time 
to determine the current designation and status (i.e., active or 
withdrawn) of a test standard by reviewing current directories of the 
applicable test standard organization. Moreover, it includes time spent 
discussing the results of the application review with the applicant. 
The actual time spent will vary depending on whether an applicant 
requests test standards that have previously been approved for other 
NRTLs. When the review is minimal, these activities take approximately 
2 hours for 10 standards. This translates to $13 per standard. When the 
review is more substantial, the estimated average review time per 
standard is one hour for each standard, which translates to $64 per 
standard. Substantial review will occur when the standard has not been 
previously recognized for any NRTL or when the NRTL is proposing to 
conduct testing in a "new" area, i.e., for a type of product not 
similar to any currently included under its scope of recognition.
    Final Report/Register Notice Fees: Each of these fees are charged 
per application. The fee reflects the staff time required to prepare 
the report of the on-site review of an applicant's or an NRTL's 
facility, which includes contacting the applicant or NRTL to discuss 
issues or items in its response to our findings during our assessment. 
The fee also reflects the time spent making the final evaluation of an 
application, preparing the required Federal Register notices, and 
responding to comments received in response to the preliminary finding 
notice. These fees are based on average costs per type of application, 
since the type and content of documents prepared are generally the same 
for each type of applicant. There is a separate fee when OSHA performs 
no on-site assessment. In these cases, the NRTL Program staff perform 
an office assessment and prepare a memorandum to recommend the 
expansion or renewal.
    Audit (Post-Recognition Review) Fees: These fees reflect the time 
for office preparation, time at the facility and travel, and time to 
prepare the audit report of the on-site audit. A separate fee is shown 
for an office audit conducted in lieu of an actual visit. Each fee is 
per site and does not generally vary for the same reasons described for 
the assessment fee and because the audit is generally limited to 
between one and two days. As previously described, the audit fee 
includes amounts for travel, and, similar to assessments, OSHA will 
bill the NRTL for actual travel expenses.
    Miscellaneous Fees: Four different fees are shown under this 
category. OSHA can charge a Late Payment fee if an invoice is not paid 
by the due date. This amount represents 1 hour of staff time for 
contacting the NRTL and preparing a late invoice and cover letter. The 
Supplemental Travel fee applies per site for an initial application if 
the site to be recognized is located outside the 48 contiguous U.S. 
states or the District of Columbia. The fee is $1,000. We added two new 
miscellaneous fees, which are explained in Section VI, below.

VI. Major Changes to the Fee Schedule

    The following table shows the major adjustments (i.e., increases or 
decreases of $100 or more) that we made to the fee schedule in Table A 
as compared to the prior fee schedule, which had been in effect since 
January 1, 2002. Following the table, we explain each of the major 
adjustments.

                                   Table of Major Adjustments to Fee Schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Prior fee    Present fee
         Description of activity or category            amount       amount      Comment on change in fee amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Initial Application Review..........................     $4,400          $5,100  none
Expansion Application Review........................        850           1,020  none
Additional Review--Initial Application..............        \1\           1,020  new fee
Renewal Application Information Review..............        \1\           1,020  new fee
Additional Review--Renewal or Expansion Application.        \1\             510  new fee
Assessment--Initial Application (SUBMIT WITH              6,500           8,890  none
 APPLICATION).
Assessment--Initial Application (per person, per          1,500           1,910  none
 site--first day--BILLED AFTER ASSESSMENT).
Assessment--Renewal Application (per person, per          1,100           1,790  currently combined with
 site--first day).                                                                expansion assessment fee
Assessment--Expansion (additional site) (per person,      1,100           1,530  currently combined with renewal
 per site--first day).                                                            assessment fee
Assessment--Expansion (other) (per person, per site--     1,100           1,280  currently combined with renewal
 first day).                                                                      assessment fee
Assessment--each addnl. day OR travel time--each day        440             510  only 4 hours of travel time
 (per person, per site).                                                          currently charged through the
                                                                                  first day fee for assessments
Review & Evaluation.................................     \2\ 10          \3\ 13  correction of undercharge per
                                                                                  ten standards: $130 x $10 =
                                                                                  $120
Final Report/Register Notice--Initial Application...      6,550           8,420  none
Final Report/Register Notice--Renewal or Expansion        2,600           3,190  none
 Application (if OSHA performs on-site assessment).
Final Report/Register Notice--Renewal or Expansion        1,500           1,910  none
 Application (if OSHA performs NO on-site
 assessment).
On-site Audit (first day)...........................      1,950           2,680  none
Supplemental Program Review.........................        \1\             260  new fee
Fees Invoice Processing.............................        \1\             130  new fee
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ None.
\2\ Per ten standards.
\3\ Per standard.

    Application and Assessment. The increase in the application review 
fees, the assessment-related fees, and the final report/register notice 
fees resulted primarily from the increase in the hourly cost charged 
for the direct staff time. The audit-related fees also increased in 
part for the same reason but also because we added 4 hours for the pre-
site review of each audit and 14 hours for the preparation of the audit 
report. These extra audit-related hours are reflected in Figure 5. In 
our prior fee schedule, we had a fee for Assessment--Expansion or 
Renewal Application (first day). Under the new schedule, we replace 
this with a separate assessment fee for renewals and a separate fee for 
each type of expansion.
    Travel. We changed our treatment of "travel time," which is time 
in travel to and from a site, as opposed to audit or assessment time at 
a site. Travel time is determined following government travel 
regulations. The prior fee schedule included only 4 hours of travel 
time for an entire trip, which was reflected in the first day fee for 
assessments and audits. As explained in the notes to the fee schedule, 
we have now removed the 4-hour travel time from these first day fees 
and charge for actual travel time at the rate for an additional day, 
which under the new schedule would be $510. This rate would be charged 
based on either a half-day or a full day. We are charging this fee 
separately, as opposed to including it in the first day flat fee, in 
order to more accurately recoup our travel costs. For example, if a 
trip for an audit lasts a total of three days, with two of those days 
spent at the site, we previously charged the lab for 2.5 workdays (20 
hours). Under the new schedule, we are charging for 3 workdays (24 
hours). This charge is most important in the case of foreign travel 
where travel time may be 2 or 3 days in total. Of course, the removal 
of the 4 hours of travel time from the first day of an assessment or of 
an audit reduces those fees.
    Additional Application Review. The new Additional Review fees cover 
the staff time in reviewing new or modified information submitted for 
an application. For example, an applicant may need to revise or amend 
an initial or expansion application if we find that there are "major" 
deficiencies with it. There is no charge for review of a "minor" 
revision, which as Note 7 to the Fee Schedule describes, entails 
modifying or supplementing less than approximately 10% of the 
documentation in the application. The Additional Review fee applies to 
revisions modifying or supplementing from 10% to 50% of that 
documentation. For a new application, the fee represents 16 hours of 
additional review time and for a renewal or expansion application, the 
fee represents 8 hours of additional review time. If an applicant 
exceeds that 50% threshold in revising its application, we will charge 
one-half the Initial Application Review fee and the full Expansion 
Application Review fee, as applicable. The Renewal Information Review 
fee applies when an NRTL submits updated information to OSHA in 
connection with a request for renewal of recognition. For example, such 
information may include revised procedures and manuals for various 
parts of its testing and certification activities.
    Supplemental Program Review and Fees Invoice Processing. There are 
two more new fees, which will recoup costs for tasks we now perform in 
application processing and/or audits, but for which we had not been 
charging. The first fee, Supplemental Program Review, covers the time 
to review requests by NRTLs to use a supplemental program, under which 
NRTLs can use other qualified parties to perform tasks necessary for 
product testing and certification. Currently, there are eight of these 
programs, and NRTLs may apply to use one or more of them. The use of 
the term "program" in this context may be a bit misleading. It is not 
separate from, but just a segment within, the NRTL Program and defines 
the category or type of activity or service that the NRTL can accept 
from other parties or facilities. To be approved to use a program, the 
NRTL must meet certain criteria and the fee covers the time for us to 
make the office review and determination. If an on-site assessment were 
needed as part of granting the approval, this would be covered 
separately in the fee for the on-site assessment or audit during which 
we review documentation or other operational aspects related to a 
proposed use of the applicable program(s). The second fee is Fees 
Invoice Processing, which also involves tasks directly related to the 
application processing or audit activities and for which we have not 
been recouping costs. We follow essentially the same process to prepare 
each invoice for either an application or an audit and would thus 
charge per invoice prepared.
    Review and Evaluation Fee. The increase in the Review and 
Evaluation Fee is primarily a correction to the basis we used in the 
current fee schedule. In both cases, we base the fee on performing two 
separate reviews of 10 standards in 2 hours. However, the current fee 
schedule incorrectly reflects a $10 cost for those 2 hours. Since the 
prior hourly rate had been $54.50, this means the prior fee was 
understated by about $100 per ten standards (i.e., it should have been 
$109 per 10 standards, but we only charged $10 per 10 standards). At the 
new hourly rate, those 2 hours would result in a cost of $130 for the 
10 standards or $13 per standard.
    Notes to the Fee Schedule. We have also changed a few of the notes 
to the fee schedule. In the table below, we show the notes that we have 
modified or added and explain why. Adjustments that merely updated a 
fee amount mentioned in a note are not explained or described in the 
table below.

                               Table of Modified or New Notes to the Fee Schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Note to fee  dchedule    Fee or area covered by note            Reason(s) for modifying or adding note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2......................  Initial application           This note now also describes the separate charge for
                          assessment.                   staff travel time.
3......................  Expansion or renewal          This note now also describes the separate charge for
                          assessment.                   staff travel time and shows the different first day fees
                                                        for renewal and expansion assessments.
4......................  Supplemental travel.........  This note mentions possible refund of application fees.
                                                        It also describes the new Supplemental Program Review
                                                        and Fees Invoice Processing fees.
5......................  Review and evaluation.......  We corrected the basis for charging this fee, as
                                                        explained in the section above.
6......................  Audit.......................  This note now also describes the separate charge for
                                                        staff travel time.
7......................  Additional review...........  Note 7 previously covered refund of fees and now would
                                                        cover the fee for additional reviews of applications.
8......................  Refunds.....................  This note would permit refunds of half the application
                                                        fee if an applicant withdraws its initial or expansion
                                                        (additional site) application before we complete our
                                                        preliminary review. Note 8 previously covered the hourly
                                                        rate for staff time, which is now under Note 10.
9......................  Application rejection.......  Note 9 previously covered non-payment of fees and now
                                                        would cover the new area of fees due if we were to
                                                        reject an application.
11.....................  Non-payment.................  Note 11 is new. This area was previously covered under
                                                        Note 9 and now would include a statement about
                                                        collection procedures under U.S. (Federal) law.
12.....................  Fees in effect..............  Note 12 is new. This area was previously covered under
                                                        Note 10 and now would include a note primarily to change
                                                        the "in-effect" criterion for certain application
                                                        processing fees.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, we are explaining again a matter dealing with the fee for 
Review and Evaluation, which was addressed when revising our fees in 
2002. We revisit it here to clarify one aspect of our work involved in 
this activity. NRTLs submit requests to expand their scope to include 
additional test standards, i.e., testing of additional types of 
products. Generally, this request has consisted of a listing of the 
test standards. If we determine that the products requested are similar 
to products already in the particular NRTL's scope, the testing falls 
within its current capabilities, and no additional documentation needs 
to be reviewed. In that case, the NRTL is charged the new fee of $13 
per standard requested. However, if the NRTL requests a standard that 
represents a new area of testing outside its scope, then it must submit 
information on the testing equipment and procedures it will use as well 
as the qualifications of personnel that will perform the testing. In 
that case, the charge will be $64 per standard, representing an average 
of 1 hour to review the information that must be submitted. Similarly, 
if OSHA has not previously recognized a particular standard for any 
NRTL, even though it may cover types of products under test standards 
that we have recognized, we will charge $64 per standard, representing 
an average of 1 hour to review the testing and other provisions of the 
standard and to determine if the NRTL has the necessary capability.

Final Decision

    OSHA has performed its annual review of the fees it currently 
charges to Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories, as provided 
under 29 CFR 1910.7(f). Based on this review, OSHA has determined that 
its prior fee schedule warranted adjustment, as detailed in this 
notice. As a result, OSHA now establishes the revised fees by adopting 
the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program Fees Schedule 
shown as Table A above, effective February 15, 2007. This fee schedule 
will remain in effect until superseded by a later fee schedule. OSHA 
will provide the public an opportunity to comment on any future changes 
to the fees.

    Signed at Washington, DC this 12th day of February, 2007.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.
[FR Doc. E7-2661 Filed 2-14-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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