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THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE TREASURY,
Washington, D.C., March 8, 1966. Hon. WARREN G. MAGNUSON Chairman, Committee on Commerce, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to your request for the views of this Department on S. 2669, to establish safety standards for motor vehicle tires sold or shipped in interstate commerce and for other purposes.
The proposed legislation directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish and publish in the Federal Register and from time to time to revise certain tire safety standards.
Section 6 of the bill is to take effect not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days after publication of the regulations first prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce. Among the acts prohibited by section 6(a) is the importation of any motor vehicle tire manufactured on or after the effective date of this section unless in compliance with the published standards. To base such a prohibition on a determination as to whether certain tires are manufactured on or after the effective date of the bill would present administrative problems with respect to imported tires in ascertaining the actual date of manufacture and, in addition, would allow the importation of unsafe tires which are shown to be manufactured prior to such effective date. Consequently, consideration should be given to amending section 6(a) with respect to imported tires, to prohibit the importation of nonconforming tires which are entered into the United States on or after the effective date of section 6, without regard to the date of manufacture.
Section 6(b) prohibits, in part, the importation of any new motor vehicles equipped with tires not in compliance with the standards prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce.
Section 7 of the bill provides that nonconforming tires (except those intended for export) which have entered in terstato commerce may be proceeded against by libel and condemned under procedures conforming, as nearly as may be, to admiralty procedures. No provision is made for detention by the Treasury's Bureau of Customs of nonconforming imported tires prior to their entry into in terstate commerce. If it is the intention of the Congress that this Department should perform administrative and enforcement functions under this bill, to implement the probibition in section 6 of the importation of such tires, a separate provision would be necessary to authorize the detention of such tires at the time of importation and their release under bond until they are shown to comply with the established standards, and their reexportation or other disposition if prescribed standards are not satisfied. The present provision for seizure and condemnation by libel proceedings after entry into interstate commerce, in the vent of noncompliance, should continue to be limited to tires which have entered interstate commerce, and would be enforced by some other agency.
A provision for the release of importod tires under bond, conditioned upon their redelivery if they are found not to conform to the prescribed standards, would be similar to provisions of other laws enforced by this Department and would minimize administrative problems involved in the storage and handling of imported tires until compliance with the act is determinad. Failure to redeliver such tires would incur a charge aginst the bond..
If the revisions discussed above are made in the bill, they should include authority for the Secretary of the Treasury to promulgate implementing procedural regulations with respect to imported tires.
It is assumed, however, that since the Secretary of Commerce is authorized under section 10(a) to conduct such testing and inspection as he dooms necessary for the enforcement of the act, this Department would not be required or expected to examino or test tires to determine compliance with the prescribed standards. It is also assumed that the Secretary of Commerce in establishing standards would, by regulation, provide for some form of certification to show compliance. This Department would therefore be required only to obtain the prescribed certification for imported tires and to furnish such samples as the Secretary of Commerce may require to determino compliance.
The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection from the standpoint of the administration's program to the submission of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,
FRED B. SMITH, Acting General Counsel.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW There are no changes in existing law.
Calendar No. 1060 S. 2669
[Report No. 1089]
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
OCTOBER 19, 1965 Mr. MAGNUBON (for himself and Mr. Nelson) introduced the following bill;
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce
MARCH 24, 1966 Reported, under authority of the order of the Senate of March 22 (legislative
day, March 21), 1966, by Mr. MAGNUBON, with an amendment
[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic)
A BILL To establish safety standards for motor vehicle tires sold or
shipped in interstate commerce, and for other purposes. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 That this Aet may be cited as the "Tire Safety Act of 1968”.
SEO. 4. As used in this Act
tot The term "interstate commerco” ineludes commerce
7 between one State, territory, possession, the District of 8 Columbia, of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and another
1 State, territory, POSSESsion, the District of Columbia, or the 2 Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 3 fot the term "motor vehiclo” means passenger cars 4 and station wagons used on the highways except those regt 5 leted under elauses fit, 427, and föt of seetion 204 fat 6 of the Interstate Commerce Aet 149 U.S.C. 204 fot 7 fH . 8 fet The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of 9 Commerce.
MINIMUM GAFBRY STANDARDS POR MES
11 SED. 2. In order that motor vehiele accidents caused by 12 tire failure can be kept to a minimum, the Secretary shall 13 establish and publish, as interim minimum safety standards, 14 in the Federal Register the tire safety standards substantially 15 as preseribed in regulation 11 by the Vehiele. Equipment 16 Safety Commission, an interstate agency established pursuant 17 to the joint resolution of the Congress relating to highway 18 traffie safety approved August 20, 1958, as the initial mini 19 mum safety standards for motor vehiele tiros.
IMPROVING STANDARDS SEO. 4. tot two years after the effective date of this 22 Art and thereafter as he deems necessary the Secretary shall 23 review and revise to the extent necessary the minimum safety 24 standards preseribed pursuant to seetion 2. Suek revised 1 standards shall be published in the Federal Register and 2 shall become effective on the date specified in the regulations. 3 fbt It suek revised minimum standards the Secretary 4 shall preseribe the maximum permissible loads for each motor 5 vehiele tire, and the application of such maximum permissible 6 load standards
tot In order to carry out this section, the Seeretary
417 is authorized to conduet a rescarel and de
velopment program to improve minimum new tire safety
127 is authorized to conduet a research and de
velopment program to develop minimum safety stand ards for retreaded motor vehiele tires;
te shall consult with tire manufacturers, and other interested industries, teebnical organizations, State, loent and interstate agencies coneerned with tire safety, and tire users; and
+47 shalt take into consideration suel factors es size, load carrying ability and its relation to the type of expeeted use, skid resistanee, blowout resistanee; resistance to curb striking and pothole or bump damage, commering ability, rim resistance and such other factors
as he deems relevant.
8. Rept. 1089 O, 89-2