(a) In general. Business information provided to the Department of
the Treasury by a business submitter shall not be disclosed pursuant to a Freedom of
Information Act request except in accordance with this section.
(b) Notice to business submitters. A bureau shall provide a business
submitter with prompt written notice of receipt of a request or appeal encompassing
its business information whenever required in accordance with paragraph (c) of this
section, and except as is provided in paragraph (g) of this section. Such written
notice shall either describe the exact nature of the business information requested
or provide copies of the records or portions of records containing the business
(c) When notice is required. The bureau shall provide a business
submitter with notice of receipt of a request or appeal whenever:
(1) The business submitter has in good faith designated the information as
commercially or financially sensitive information, or
(2) The bureau has reason to believe that disclosure of the information could
reasonably be expected to cause substantial competitive harm.
(3) (2) of a request for business information falling within paragraph (c)(1) or
(2) of this section shall be required for a period of not more than ten years after
the date of submission unless the business submitter requests, and provides
acceptable justification for, a specific notice period of greater duration.
(4) The submitter's claim of confidentiality should be supported by a statement by
an authorized representative of the company providing specific justification that
the information in question is in fact confidential commercial or financial
information and has not been disclosed to the public.
(d) Opportunity to object to disclosure.(1) Through the notice
described in paragraph (b) of this section, a bureau shall afford a business
submitter ten days from the date of the notice (exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and
legal public holidays) to provide the bureau with a detailed statement of any
objection to disclosure. Such statement shall specify all grounds for withholding
any of the information under any exemption of the Freedom of Information Act and, in
the case of Exemption 4, shall demonstrate why the information is considered to be a
trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or
confidential. Information provided by a business submitter pursuant to this
paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.
(2) When notice is given to a submitter under this section, the requester shall be
advised that such notice has been given to the submitter. The requester shall be
further advised that a delay in responding to the request may be considered a denial
of access to records and that the requester may proceed with an administrative
appeal or seek judicial review, if appropriate. However, the requester will be
invited to agree to a voluntary extension of time so that the bureau may review the
business submitter's objection to disclose.
(e) Notice of intent to disclose. A bureau shall consider carefully a
business submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure prior to
determining whether to disclose business information. Whenever a bureau decides to
disclose business information over the objection of a business submitter, the bureau
shall forward to the business submitter a written notice which shall include:
(1) A statement of the reasons for which the business submitter's disclosure
objections were not sustained;
(2) A description of the business information to be disclosed; and
(3) A specified disclosure date which is not less than ten days (exclusive of
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the notice of the final
decision to release the requested information has been mailed to the submitter.
Except as otherwise prohibited by law, a copy of the disclosure notice shall be forwarded to the requester at the same time.
(f) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester brings suit seeking
to compel disclosure of business information covered by paragraph (c) of this
section, the bureau shall promptly notify the business submitter.
(g) Exception to notice requirement. The notice requirements of this
section shall not apply if:
(1) The bureau determines that the information shall not be disclosed;
(2) The information lawfully has been published or otherwise made available to the
(3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than 5 U.S.C. 552 ).
Title 31 published on 2012-07-01
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 31.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.