(a) Confidential Commercial Information obtained by the NCPC from a Submitter shall be disclosed under the FOIA only in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(b) A Submitter of Confidential Commercial Information shall use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA. These designations will expire ten years after the date of the submission unless the Submitter requests, and provides justification for, a longer designation period.

(c) Notice shall be given to a Submitter of a FOIA Request for potential Confidential Commercial Information if:

(1) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the Submitter as Confidential Commercial Information eligible for protection from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA; or

(2) The NCPC has reason to believe the requested information is Confidential Commercial Information protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA.

(d) Subject to the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (g) of this section, the NCPC shall provide a Submitter with prompt written notice of a FOIA Request or administrative appeal that seeks the Submitter's Confidential Commercial Information. The notice shall give the Submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure of any specified portion of that Confidential Commercial Information pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section. The notice shall either describe the Confidential Commercial Information Requested or include copies of the Requested Records or portions thereof containing the Confidential Commercial Information. When notice to a large number of Submitters is required, NCPC may provide notification by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably likely to accomplish the intent of the notice requirement such as a newspaper, newsletter, the NCPC Web site, or the Federal Register.

(e) The NCPC shall allow a Submitter a reasonable time to respond to the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section and shall specify within the notice the time period for response. If a Submitter has any objection to disclosure, it shall submit a detailed written statement. The statement must specify all grounds for withholding any portion of the Confidential Commercial Information under any exemption of the FOIA and, in the case of Exemption 4, it must show why the Confidential Commercial Information is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. If the Submitter fails to respond to the notice within the specified time, the NCPC shall consider this failure to respond as no objection to disclosure of the Confidential Commercial Information on the part of the Submitter, and NCPC shall proceed to release the requested information. A statement provided by the Submitter that is not received by NCPC until after the NCPC's disclosure decision has been made shall not be considered by the NCPC. Information provided by a Submitter under this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

(f) The NCPC shall consider a Submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose Confidential Commercial Information. Whenever the NCPC decides to disclose Confidential Commercial Information over the objection of a Submitter, the NCPC shall give the Submitter written notice, which shall include:

(1) A statement of the reason(s) why each of the Submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;

(2) A description of the Confidential Commercial Information to be disclosed; and

(3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time subsequent to the notice.

(g) The notice requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply if:

(1) The NCPC determines that the Confidential Commercial Information is exempt under FOIA;

(2) The Confidential Commercial Information has been published lawfully or has been officially made available to the public;

(3) The Confidential Commercial Information's disclosure is required by statute (other than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 (Predisclosure Notification Procedures for Confidential Commercial Information); or

(4) The designation made by the Submitter under paragraph (b) of this section appears obviously frivolous in which case the NCPC shall, within a reasonable time prior to a specified disclosure date, give the Submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the Confidential Commercial Information.

(h) Whenever a Requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of Confidential Commercial Information, the NCPC shall promptly notify the Submitter.

(i) Whenever the NCPC provides a Submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under paragraph (d) of this section, the NCPC shall also notify the Requester. Whenever the NCPC notifies a Submitter of its intent to disclose Requested Information under paragraph (f) of this section, the NCPC shall also notify the Requester. Whenever a Submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of Confidential Commercial Information, the NCPC shall notify the Requester.


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