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Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, September 16, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA” or “Department”) is proposing to add a new rule requiring ticket sellers to disclose on tickets for trips to the Statue of Liberty that the trip will not land at Ellis Island.  Additionally, the Department is proposing a new rule that would prohibit ticket sellers from representing that a tour or trip includes any destination the tour or trip does not include or that consumers must pay for a tour or trip that can otherwise be taken for free.

The Department has learned of ticket sellers misrepresenting to consumers that a trip to the Statue of Liberty will also stop at Ellis Island when the trip has no intent to do so.  A disclosure on tickets for trips to the Statue of Liberty will ensure that consumers receive proper information about the trip destination.  Likewise, the Department has learned of ticket sellers misrepresenting the destination of trips and selling tickets for trips that are otherwise free, such as the Staten Island Ferry.  This conduct is deceptive and harmful to consumers. 

Finally, the Department is proposing to add entries to the penalty schedule for ticket sellers in Chapter 6 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York for these new proposed rules.  Penalties for violations would be based on Section 20-559 of the New York City Administrative Code.  

Sections 1043 and 2203(f) of the New York City Charter, and Sections 20-104(b), 20-558, and 20-702 of the New York City Administrative Code authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make these proposed rules.

 
Keywords:
Subject: 

Proposed Rules Governing Ticket Sellers

Location: 
Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Carlos Ortiz, Director of Legislative Affairs; 212 436 0345; cortiz@dca.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA” or “Department”) is adding new rules relating to auctioneers and auction houses to subchapter M of chapter 2 of title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York.

 

First, the Department is adding a new rule to clarify that auction houses must receive an auction house license to engage in the business of auctioneering.  Section 20-278 of the New York City Administrative Code states that it is “unlawful for any person to engage in the business of auctioneer without a license therefor.”  “Person” is defined broadly in the Administrative Code to include both businesses and individuals.  See NYC Admin. Code § 20-102.  Auction houses, which are businesses that conduct auctions and employ auctioneers, are required to be licensed under this provision.  Accordingly, the Department has long issued two separate licenses: one for auctioneers and one for auction houses.  Many sections of the Department’s rules already reference licensed auction houses separate from auctioneers.  See 6 R.C.N.Y § 2-121(f); 6 R.C.N.Y. § 2-123(c)(1), (c)(2).  This new rule clarifies the requirements of the Administrative Code and longstanding Department practice that auction houses must be licensed.  It also clarifies that an auction house must use only licensed auctioneers to conduct auctions.

 

Second, the Department is adding a new rule to require that auctioneers must notify a winning bidder within seven days of the auction if the auctioneer opts to cancel the sale of the lot or reoffer and resell the lot.  Currently, many auctioneers and auction houses have significant discretion under their own auction terms and conditions to cancel sales at any time because of potential errors or disputes related to bidding.  Such cancelations create significant confusion for buyers.  To prevent abuse and ensure finality with respect to auction sales, the new rule establishes a deadline by which an auctioneer or auction house must identify an error or dispute and notify the successful buyer of its decision to cancel the sale or reoffer and resell the lot.

Effective Date: 
Sat, 09/14/2019

Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA” or “Department”) is proposing an amendment to the rules governing amusement devices to correct a cross-reference to the Department of Buildings’ rules.  The amendment also includes minor plain language edits.  This amendment would not alter the meaning of DCA’s rule. 

Sections 1043 and 2203(f) of the New York City Charter, and Section 20-104(b) of the New York City Administrative Code authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make this proposed rule.

 

Keywords:
Subject: 

The public hearing is waived pursuant to section 1043(e)(iii) of the New York City Charter (“Charter”) on the ground that it would serve no public purpose.

Contact: 

Carlos Ortiz - 212 436 0345 - cortiz@dca.nyc.gov

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA” or “Department”) is proposing amendments to the penalty schedule for the sales of petroleum products located in Section 6-42 of Chapter 6 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York (“Rules”) and the penalty schedule for weights and measures located in Section 6-38 of the Rules.  Specifically, DCA is proposing the following:

 

  • Currently, the penalty schedule provides a maximum penalty of $500 for violations of DCA Rule 5-51. However, Section 20-703 of the Code provides for a maximum penalty of $350 for violations of regulations promulgated pursuant to the Consumer Protection Law. Because DCA Rule 5-51 was promulgated pursuant to the Consumer Protection Law, it should carry a maximum penalty of $350.
  • Currently, the penalty schedule has entries for 1 NYCRR §§ 220.8 and 220.9, which have been repealed, and 1 NYCRR § 224.18, which does not exist. DCA is proposing to eliminate these entries. 
  • Section 3-103 of the Rules of the City of New York, Inspection of Printer Tickets, was recently added to DCA’s rules. DCA is now proposing to add a penalty for violations of Section 3-103 to the penalty schedule. 
  • Adding the following violations to the weights and measures penalty schedule in Section 6-38, which exist in City and State law and should be included in the penalty schedule: Section 20-584 of the New York City Administrative Code (“Code”) (testing, sealing and marking), Code Section 20-585 (standard measures and containers), Code Section 20-587 (sale by true weight or measure required), Code Section 20-590 (repair of inaccurate devices), Section 184 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law (condemnation, seizure or repair of false devices), Section 185 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law (stop-use, stop-removal and removal orders), and Section 186 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law (possession and use of false devices).

 

Section 180(3) of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 20-574 of Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code, and Sections 1043 and 2203(f) of the New York City Charter authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make these proposed amendments.

 

An analysis of this proposed rule as described in Section 1043(d) of the New York City Charter was not performed because it falls under the exception in Section 1043(d)(4)(ii). 

Keywords:
Subject: 

.Proposed Amendments to the Penalty Schedule for the Sales of Petroleum Products

Location: 
Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Carlos Ortiz - 212 436 0345 - cortiz@dca.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

Section 5-66(b)(6) of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York (“6 RCNY”) requires tax preparers who use the word “accountant” in any advertisement to have a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) or Public Accountant (“PA”) present on the business premises. Section 5-66(c) requires tax preparers who advertise their services to post information regarding how they compute their fees and to post certain disclosures.

 

The Department of Consumer Affairs is amending its rules to address complaints received from non-CPA or non-PA tax preparers, regarding the inability of such tax preparers to refer to themselves as accountants in advertisements.  The amendments also address complaints received from tax preparers regarding their inability to comply with price list sign requirements when conducting business at a consumer’s home or business.  These rules amend Subchapter A of Chapter 5 of 6 RCNY to update the procedures that tax preparers who advertise their services must follow and update the requirements for posting of a price list. Specifically, these rules:

·        

Allow tax preparers to call themselves accountants in any advertisement even if a CPA or PA is not present at their place of business as long as they immediately follow the word “accountant” with a conspicuous and prominent disclaimer that the tax preparer is not a CPA or PA.

·        

Require a tax preparer who conducts business at a consumer’s home or business to provide such consumer with a hard copy of the tax preparer’s price list rather than post signs wherever payment is made.

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 08/05/2019

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, August 5, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

Subchapter 6 of Title 20, Chapter 2, of the Administrative Code authorizes DCA to license and regulate sidewalk cafés. Section 14-01 of Article I, Chapter 4, of the Zoning Resolution states that the “[p]hysical criteria, including structural and operational requirements for . . . unenclosed sidewalk cafes in particular, shall be regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs[.]” To help support public understanding of DCA’s licensing and regulation of sidewalk cafés and compliance by businesses, DCA is proposing updates to Subchapter F of Chapter 2 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York (Rule or Rules). These proposed rules would:

• Incorporate the definition and physical criteria for small sidewalk cafés provided in Sections 12-10 and 14-30 of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York.

• Clarify the meaning of “public sidewalk,” pursuant to Section 20-223(a) of the NYC Administrative Code (Code), by incorporating the definitions for “sidewalk” provided in Section 19-101 of the Code and Section 4-01(b) of Title 34, Chapter 4, of the Rules.

• Clarify that a petition for a revocable consent or an application for a license must include all materials required by DCA.

• Clarify how consent fees will be calculated when DCA receives a petition to convert an unenclosed sidewalk café to an enclosed sidewalk café or an enclosed sidewalk café to an unenclosed sidewalk café.

• Provide that DCA may allow a business to continue paying consent fees in installments even after a business has failed to make timely payment of at least two installments.

• Amend the process for seeking a waiver when an object is placed on the sidewalk after an initial revocable consent and license have been granted.

• Add an exemption that would allow a sidewalk café to be maintained or operated on an elevation (i.e., platform) that is deemed a historic feature by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

• Amend insurance requirements, including: expand the list of companies from whom DCA may accept an insurance company rating, clarify that coverage for the City includes coverage for its officials and employees, add ISO Form CG 2012 as an acceptable standard for additional insured coverage, and clarify acceptable proof of insurance.

• Add a presumption that an unenclosed sidewalk café is being maintained or operated on the public sidewalk if the tables and chairs are located between the building line and the curb.

• Include plain language revisions throughout.

Additionally, working with the City’s rulemaking agencies, the Law Department, the Mayor’s Office of Operations, and the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget conducted a retrospective rules review of the City’s existing rules, identifying those rules that will be repealed or modified to reduce regulatory burdens, increase equity, support small business, and simplify and update content to help support public understanding and compliance. The proposed amendment of Rule 2-43 is responsive to this review.

Keywords:
Subject: 

.Amendment of Sidewalk Café Rules

Location: 
Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Carlos Ortiz; 212 436 0345; cortiz@dca.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

The Department of Consumer Affairs is proposing rules to amend Chapter 1 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to improve the Department’s ability to carry out its mission designated in the New York City Charter. The proposed rule changes include a mix of deregulation, additional and stricter enforcement, and clarifications. Specifically, these amendments:

  • Remove the list of specific license categories that must be fingerprinted.  The Administrative Code dictates whether an applicant must be fingerprinted.  Applicants are also provided notice of when fingerprints are required by Department license application materials and this list is often out of date and provides little benefit to applicants. (§ 1-01)
  • Specify that applicants may be fingerprinted at locations designated by the Department to make the rule consistent with current practices, which allow applicants more options to comply with the fingerprint requirements. (§ 1-01)
  • Allow the Department to deny applications and renewals, and suspend or revoke licenses, where the Department discovers that applicants made a false statement on a license application or falsified any documents submitted to the Department.  It is already a violation to make such false statements under Section 1-01.1.  This proposed amendment would provide applicants and licensees notice and an opportunity to be heard.  (§ 1-01.1)
  • Delete the reference to a “two-year term” for license terms in Section 1-02, which is unnecessary, update the name of laundry licenses based on recent changes to the Code, delete certain license categories that have been repealed, and add one license category (Towing Vehicles).  (§ 1-02)
  • Clarify that licensees only need to display the license sign given to them by the Department rather than the license and a separate complaint sign to make the rule consistent with current Department practices.  (§ 1-03)
  • Prohibit licensees from making any false representations to the Department or altering or falsifying Department documents or using a falsified document.  This amendment would also allow the Department to deny applications and renewals, and suspend or revoke licenses, if applicants or licensees violated this subdivision.  This proposed amendment would provide applications and licensees notice and an opportunity to be heard.  (§ 1-04)
  • Require that a licensee post its license number on electronic advertisements and solicitations, in addition to printed ones, as well as in email signature blocks.  (§ 1-05)
  • Clarify that the fee for lost licenses is waived if the Department receives within 30 days of the license or license plate being issued a certification from the licensee that such license or license plate was not received.  This amendment is to make the rule consistent with current Department practices.  (§ 1-10(c))
  • Repeal the rule requiring compliance with the Consumer Protection Law.  This rule is unnecessary because licensees must comply with the terms of the Consumer Protection Law absent this rule.  (repealed § 1-12)
  • Clarify that the Department may rely on any formal complaint, regardless of whether it has been resolved, or any response to such complaint in any subsequent Department action, including, but not limited to, decisions to deny, suspend, or revoke an application or license.  This rule already requires applicants to respond to formal complaints made.  This amendment assists public understanding that the information in such complaints and responses may be used by the Department.  (§ 1-13)
  • Amend and create the procedures governing the Department’s issuance of notices of hearing, interrogatories, requests for documents, and notices of deposition. These amendments would clarify the Department’s authority to serve requests for documents, interrogatories, and notices of deposition upon licensees and applicants, clarify what is proper service of notices of hearing, requests for documents, interrogatories and notices of deposition, and clarify the consequences of failing to respond to such notices and requests.  (§ 1-14). 
  • Clarify that a licensee must destroy a license rather than surrender it when such license has not been renewed. (§ 1-18)
  • Amend the rule relating to the presumption of unlicensed activity to make clear that the presumption applies from the date when a license previously held for use at the premises had expired, was suspended or revoked, or became void by operation of law, where applicable. (§ 1-19)
  • Clarify that section 1-20 does not alter the long-standing authority of the Department to act on an application or a license pursuant to any other authority of the Department.  Section 1-20 was promulgated pursuant to Local Law 47 of 2016, adding Section 1049-b to the New York City Charter, which explains that it does not “impair, diminish or otherwise affect any other authority granted to” the Department. (§ 1-20)
  • Update the penalty schedule for Chapter 1 violations in Section 6-11 to:
    • Provide a cure mechanism for the failure to contain license number in advertisements and other printed and electronic matter;
    • Provide penalties for altering or falsifying Department documents or providing or using falsified documents in violation of proposed Section 1-04;
    • Update entries to the penalty schedule based on edits made elsewhere in this proposed rule.

Some of the amendments to this rule were identified as part of a comprehensive rules review initiative undertaken by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations.  Working with the City’s rulemaking agencies, the Law Department, and OMB, the Office of Operations conducted a retrospective rules review of the City’s existing rules, identifying those rules that will be repealed or modified to reduce regulatory burdens, increase equity, support small businesses, and simplify and update content to help support public understanding and compliance.

Sections 1043, 1049-b, 2203(c), 2203(f) and 2203(h)(1) of the New York City Charter and Section 20-104(b) of the New York City Administrative Code, and Section 3 of Local Law 47 of 2016, authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make these proposed rules.

Keywords:
Subject: 

.Amendment of License Enforcement Rules

Location: 
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Casey Adams, 212-436-0095, cadams@dca.nyc.gov

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, June 3, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA” or “Department”) is proposing to add new rules relating to auctioneers and auction houses to subchapter M of chapter 2 of title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York.

First, the Department is proposing to add a new rule to clarify that auction houses must receive an auction house license to engage in the business of auctioneering.  Section 20-278 of the New York City Administrative Code states that it is “unlawful for any person to engage in the business of auctioneer without a license therefor.”  “Person” is defined broadly in the Administrative Code to include both businesses and individuals.  See NYC Admin. Code § 20-102.  Auction houses, which are businesses that conduct auctions and employ auctioneers, are required to be licensed under this provision.  Accordingly, the Department has long issued two separate licenses: one for auctioneers and one for auction houses.  Many sections of the Department’s rules already reference licensed auction houses separate from auctioneers.  See 6 R.C.N.Y § 2-121(f); 6 R.C.N.Y. § 2-123(c)(1), (c)(2).  This proposed rule clarifies the requirements of the Administrative Code and longstanding Department practice that auction houses must be licensed.  It also clarifies that an auction house must use only licensed auctioneers to conduct auctions. 

Second, the Department is proposing to add a new rule to require that auctioneers must notify a winning bidder within seven days of the auction if the auctioneer opts to cancel the sale of the lot or reoffer and resell the lot.  Currently, many auctioneers and auction houses have significant discretion under their own auction terms and conditions to cancel sales at any time because of potential errors or disputes related to bidding.  Such cancelations create significant confusion for buyers.  To prevent abuse and ensure finality with respect to auction sales, the proposed rule establishes a deadline by which an auctioneer or auction house must identify an error or dispute and notify the successful buyer of their decision to cancel the sale or reoffer and resell the lot.

Sections 1043 and 2203(f) of the New York City Charter and Sections 20-104(b) and 20-278 of the New York City Administrative Code authorize the Department to make these proposed rules.

Keywords:
Subject: 

.Amendment of Rules Governing Auctioneers and Auction Houses

Location: 
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Casey Adams, 212-436-0095, cadams@dca.nyc.gov

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Notice of Adoption

Notice of Adoption to promulgate a new rule to implement Local Laws 142 and 143 of 2018, which require that bail bond agents make certain disclosures. 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs by Sections 1043 and 2203(f) of the New York City Charter, and Sections 20-104(b) and 20-833 of the New York City Administrative Code, and in accordance with the requirements of Section 1043 of the New York City Charter, that the Department adds Sections 5-272, 5-273, and 6-71 to Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York.

This rule was originally proposed and published on December 19, 2018. A public hearing was held on January 18, 2019.  This rule was proposed and published again on February 27, 2019, and a second public hearing was held on March 29, 2019.

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

The Department of Consumer Affairs is adding new rules to implement Local Laws 142 and 143 of 2018, which require that bail bond agents make certain disclosures.  Local Law 142 requires bail bond agents to post a sign containing certain fee information at the location where transactions are executed.  Local Law 143, among other things, requires bail bond agents to provide a consumer bill of rights to prospective customers.  Specifically, these new rules:

  • clarify the size and font requirements for the informational sign required by section 20-831(b) of the Administrative Code;
  • clarify the size and font requirements for the informational flyer that must be given to consumers as required by section 20-831(c) of the Administrative Code;
  • create the consumer bill of rights required by section 20-831(a) and (c) of the Administrative Code; and
  • create the bail bond fees sign as required by section 20-832 of the Administrative Code.

Finally, these rules add a penalty schedule to chapter 6 of title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York for violations of the Code and Rules relating to bail bond agents. 

 

Effective Date: 
Sat, 05/11/2019

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

Section 5-66(b)(6) of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York (“6 RCNY”) requires tax preparers who use the word “accountant” in any advertisement to have a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) or Public Accountant (“PA”) present on the business premises. Section 5-66(c) requires tax preparers who advertise their services to post information regarding how they compute their fees and to post certain disclosures.

DCA is proposing amendments to its rules to address complaints received from non-CPA or non-PA tax preparers, regarding the inability of such tax preparers to refer to themselves as accountants in advertisements.  The proposed amendments also address complaints received from tax preparers regarding their inability to comply with price list sign requirements when conducting business at a consumer’s home or business.  These proposed rules would amend Subchapter A of Chapter 5 of 6 RCNY to update the procedures that tax preparers who advertise their services must follow and update the requirements for posting of a price list. Specifically, these proposed rules:

  • Allow tax preparers to call themselves accountants in any advertisement even if a CPA or PA is not present at their place of business as long as they immediately follow the word “accountant” with a conspicuous and prominent disclaimer that the tax preparer is not a CPA or PA.
  • Requires a tax preparer who conducts business at a consumer’s home or business to provide such consumer with a hard copy of the tax preparer’s price list rather than post signs wherever payment is made.

Sections1043 and 2203(f) of the NeYorCitCharter and Section 20-702 of the New York City Administrative Code authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make these proposed rules.

Keywords:
Subject: 

.Amendment of Rules Governing Tax Preparers

Location: 
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Casey Adams, 212-436-0095, cadams@dca.nyc.gov

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