[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 160 (Thursday, August 19, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51443-51449]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-19005]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket 04-058-1]


International Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard-Setting 
Activities

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with legislation implementing the results of the 
Uruguay Round of negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs 
and Trade, we are informing the public of international standard-
setting activities of the Office International des Epizooties, the 
Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, and the 
North American Plant Protection Organization, and we are soliciting 
public comment on the standards to be considered.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 04-058-1, 
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 
River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your 
comment refers to Docket No. 04-058-1.
     E-mail: Address your comment to 
regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must be contained in the body 
of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name 
and address in your message and ``Docket No. 04-058-1'' on the subject 
line.
     Agency Web Site: Go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/
cominst.html for a form you can use to submit an e-mail comment through 
the APHIS Web site.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of 
the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to 
help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

[[Page 51444]]

    Other Information: You may view APHIS documents published in the 
Federal Register and related information, including the names of groups 
and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, on the Internet at 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the topics 
covered in this notice, contact Mr. John Greifer, Director, Trade 
Support Team, International Services, APHIS, room 1132, South Building, 
14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250; (202) 
720-7677. For specific information regarding standard-setting 
activities of the Office International des Epizooties, contact Dr. 
Michael David, Chief, Sanitary International Standards Team, VS, APHIS, 
4700 River Road Unit 33, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8093. For 
specific information regarding the standard-setting activities of the 
International Plant Protection Convention or the North American Plant 
Protection Organization, contact Mr. Narcy Klag, Program Director, 
Phytosanitary Issues Management, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 140, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8469.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as the common 
international institutional framework for governing trade relations 
among its members in matters related to the Uruguay Round Agreements. 
The WTO is the successor organization to the General Agreement on 
Tariffs and Trade. U.S. membership in the WTO was approved by Congress 
when it enacted the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), 
which was signed into law by the President on December 8, 1994. The WTO 
Agreements, which established the WTO, entered into force with respect 
to the United States on January 1, 1995. The Uruguay Round Agreements 
Act amended title IV of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 
2531 et seq.). Section 491 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as 
amended (19 U.S.C. 2578), requires the President to designate an agency 
to be responsible for informing the public of the sanitary and 
phytosanitary (SPS) standard-setting activities of each international 
standard-setting organization. The designated agency must inform the 
public by publishing an annual notice in the Federal Register that 
provides the following information: (1) The SPS standards under 
consideration or planned for consideration by the international 
standard-setting organization; and (2) for each SPS standard specified, 
a description of the consideration or planned consideration of that 
standard, a statement of whether the United States is participating or 
plans to participate in the consideration of that standard, the agenda 
for U.S. participation, if any, and the agency responsible for 
representing the United States with respect to that standard.
     International standard'' is defined in 19 U.S.C. 2578b as any 
standard, guideline, or recommendation: (1) Adopted by the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission (Codex) regarding food safety; (2) developed 
under the auspices of the Office International des Epizooties (the 
World Organization for Animal Health, OIE) regarding animal health and 
zoonoses; (3) developed under the auspices of the Secretariat of the 
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in cooperation with 
the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) regarding 
plant health; or (4) established by or developed under any other 
international organization agreed to by the member countries of the 
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the member countries of 
the WTO. The President, pursuant to Proclamation No. 6780 of March 23, 
1995 (60 FR 15845), designated the Secretary of Agriculture as the 
official responsible for informing the public of the SPS standard-
setting activities of Codex, OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO. The United States 
Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service 
(FSIS) informs the public of Codex standard-setting activities and 
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) informs the 
public of OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO standard-setting activities.
    FSIS publishes an annual notice in the Federal Register to inform 
the public of SPS standard-setting activities for Codex. Codex was 
created in 1962 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and 
Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization. It is 
the major international organization for encouraging international 
trade in food and protecting the health and economic interests of 
consumers.
    APHIS is responsible for publishing an annual notice of OIE, IPPC, 
and NAPPO activities related to international standards for plant and 
animal health and representing the United States with respect to these 
standards. Following are descriptions of the OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO 
organizations and the standard-setting agenda for each of these 
organizations. We have described the agenda that each of these 
organizations will address at their annual general sessions, including 
standards that may be presented for adoption or consideration, as well 
as other initiatives that may be underway at the OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO.
    The agendas for these meetings are subject to change, and the draft 
standards identified in this notice may not be sufficiently developed 
and ready for adoption as indicated. Also, while it is the intent of 
the United States to support adoption of international standards and to 
participate actively and fully in their development, it should be 
recognized that the U.S. position on a specific draft standard will 
depend on the acceptability of the final draft. Given the dynamic and 
interactive nature of the standard-setting process, we encourage any 
persons who are interested in the most current details about a specific 
draft standard or the U.S. position on a particular standard-setting 
issue, or in providing comments on a specific standard that may be 
under development, to contact APHIS. Contact information is provided at 
the beginning of this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

OIE Standard-Setting Activities

    The OIE was established in Paris, France, in 1924 with the signing 
of an international agreement by 28 countries. It is currently composed 
of 167 member nations, each of which is represented by a delegate who, 
in most cases, is the chief veterinary officer of that country. The WTO 
has recognized the OIE as the international forum for setting animal 
health standards, reporting global animal disease events, and 
presenting guidelines and recommendations on sanitary measures relating 
to animal health.
    The OIE facilitates intergovernmental cooperation to prevent the 
spread of contagious diseases in animals by sharing scientific research 
among its members. The major functions of the OIE are to collect and 
disseminate information on the distribution and occurrence of animal 
diseases and to ensure that science-based standards govern 
international trade in animals and animal products. The OIE aims to 
achieve this through the development and revision of international 
standards for diagnostic tests, vaccines, and the safe international 
trade of animals and animal products.
    The OIE provides annual reports on the global distribution of 
animal diseases, recognizes the free status of member countries for 
certain diseases, categorizes animal diseases with respect

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to their international significance, publishes bulletins on global 
disease status, and provides animal disease control guidelines to 
member countries. Various OIE commissions and working groups undertake 
the development and preparation of draft standards, which are then 
circulated to member countries for consultation (review and comment). 
Draft standards are revised accordingly and then presented to the OIE 
General Session, which meets annually every May, for review and 
adoption. Adoption, as a general rule, is based on consensus of the OIE 
membership.
    The next OIE General Session is scheduled for May 21-28, 2005, in 
Paris, France. Currently, the Associate Administrator for APHIS is the 
official U.S. delegate to the OIE. The Associate Administrator intends 
to participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment on APHIS' 
position on any standard up for adoption. Information about current and 
past OIE draft Code chapters may be found on the Internet at http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ncie/oie/ or by contacting Dr. Michael David (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).

OIE Code Chapters Up for Adoption

    Existing Code chapters that may be revised and new chapters that 
may be drafted in preparation for the next General Session in 2005 
include the following:
1. Avian Influenza
    This chapter was recently redrafted, however it was not adopted. 
Country comments are being considered for a second draft that will be 
up for adoption in 2005.
2. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
    This chapter is continuously being updated as new and additional 
information becomes available. For the next General Session, the Code 
Commission will propose a three tier category under which countries are 
placed with respect to BSE.
3. Animal Welfare
    Various ad hoc groups will be continuing to draft chapters 
establishing international standards for the transportation of 
livestock. The chapters should be available for comment and review in 
the fall of 2004.

Code Commission Future Work Program

    During the next few years, the OIE Code Commission is expected to 
address the following issues or establish ad hoc groups of experts to 
update and/or develop standards for the following issues:
1. Traceability
    This would be a new OIE Code chapter which is intended to improve 
procedures for identifying animals and animal products and monitoring 
their movements.
2. Aujeszky's Disease
    This disease is also known as pseudorabies in the United States. 
The OIE will convene an ad hoc group to draft surveillance guidelines 
for the disease.
3. Appendix on Bluetongue Surveillance
    This would be a new OIE appendix which is intended to guide 
countries in the surveillance and monitoring of bluetongue.
4. Paratuberculosis
    This would represent a complete redrafting of a current OIE Code 
chapter that has been determined to be outdated. A draft should be 
available for review within 1 or 2 years.

The Process

    These chapters are drafted (or revised) by either the Code 
Commission or by ad hoc groups composed of technical experts nominated 
by the Director General of the OIE by virtue of their subject-area 
expertise. Once a new chapter is drafted or an existing one revised, 
the chapter is distributed to member countries for review and comment. 
The OIE attempts to provide proposed chapters by early September to 
allow member countries sufficient time for comment. Comments are due by 
mid-November of the same year. The draft standard is revised by the OIE 
Code Commission on the basis of relevant scientific comments received 
from member countries.
    The United States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to review and, where 
appropriate, comment on all draft chapters and revisions once it 
receives them from the OIE. USDA/APHIS intends to distribute these 
drafts to the U.S. livestock and aquaculture industries, veterinary 
experts in various U.S. academic institutions, and other interested 
persons for review and comment. Additional information regarding these 
draft standards may be obtained by contacting Dr. Michael David (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).
    Generally, if a country has concerns with a particular draft 
standard, and supports those concerns with sound technical information, 
the pertinent OIE Code Commission will revise that standard accordingly 
and present the revised draft for adoption at the General Session in 
May. In the event that a country's concerns regarding a draft standard 
are not taken into account, that country may refuse to support the 
standard when it comes up for adoption at the General Session. However, 
each member country is obligated to review, comment, and make decisions 
regarding the adoption of standards strictly on their scientific 
merits.

Other OIE Topics

    Every year at the General Session, two technical items are 
presented. For the May 2005 General Session, the following technical 
items will be presented:
    1. The implication of genetic engineering for livestock and 
biotechnology products.
    2. Implementation of OIE standards in the framework of the SPS 
Agreement.
    The information in this notice includes all the information 
available to us on OIE standards currently under development or 
consideration. Information on OIE standards is available on the 
Internet at http://www.oie.int. Further, a formal agenda for the next 
General Session should be available to member countries by March 2005, 
and copies will be available to the public once the agenda is 
published. For the most current information on meeting times, working 
groups, and/or meeting agendas, including information on official U.S. 
participation in OIE activities, and U.S. positions on standards being 
considered, contact Dr. Michael David (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT above). Those wishing to provide comments on any areas of work 
under the OIE may do so at any time by responding to this notice (see 
ADDRESSES above) or by providing comments through Dr. Michael David.

IPPC Standard-Setting Activities

    The IPPC is a multilateral convention adopted in 1952 for the 
purpose of securing common and effective action to prevent the spread 
and introduction of pests of plants and plant products and to promote 
appropriate measures for their control. Under the IPPC, the 
understanding of plant protection has been, and continues to be, broad, 
encompassing the protection of both cultivated and noncultivated plants 
from direct or indirect injury by plant pests. Activities addressed by 
the IPPC include the development and establishment of international 
plant health standards, the harmonization of phytosanitary activities 
through emerging standards, the facilitation of

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the exchange of official and scientific information among countries, 
and the furnishing of technical assistance to developing countries that 
are signatories to the IPPC.
    The IPPC is placed under the authority of the FAO, and the members 
of the Secretariat of the IPPC are appointed by the FAO. The IPPC is 
implemented by national plant protection organizations in cooperation 
with regional plant protection organizations, the Interim Commission on 
Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM), and the Secretariat of the IPPC. The 
United States plays a major role in all standard-setting activities 
under the IPPC and has representation on FAO's highest governing body, 
the FAO Conference.
    The United States became a contracting party to the IPPC in 1972 
and has been actively involved in furthering the work of the IPPC ever 
since. The IPPC was amended in 1979, and the amended version entered 
into force in 1991 after two-thirds of the contracting countries 
accepted the amendment. More recently, in 1997, contracting parties 
completed negotiations on further amendments that were approved by the 
FAO Conference and submitted to the parties for acceptance. This 1997 
amendment updated phytosanitary concepts and formalized the standard-
setting structure within the IPPC. The 1997 amended version of the IPPC 
will enter into force on the thirtieth day after two-thirds of the 
current contracting parties notify the Director General of FAO of their 
acceptance of the amendment. At this date, 56 of the required 85 member 
countries have deposited their official letters of acceptance. The U.S. 
Senate gave its advice and consent to acceptance of the newly revised 
IPPC on October 18, 2000. The President submitted the official letter 
of acceptance to the FAO Director General on October 4, 2001.
    The IPPC has been, and continues to be, administered at the 
national level by plant quarantine officials whose primary objective is 
to safeguard plant resources from injurious pests. In the United 
States, the national plant protection organization is APHIS' Plant 
Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program. The steps for developing a 
standard under the revised IPPC are described below.
    Step 1: Proposals for a new international standard for 
phytosanitary measures (ISPM) or for the review or revision of an 
existing ISPM are submitted to the Secretariat of the IPPC in the form 
of a discussion paper accompanied by a topic or draft standard. Drafts 
can be submitted by individual countries, but are more commonly 
submitted by regional plant protection organizations (RPPOs). 
Alternately, the Secretariat can propose a new standard or amendments 
to existing standards.
    Step 2: A summary of proposals is submitted by the Secretariat to 
the ICPM. The ICPM identifies the topics and priorities for standard 
setting from among the proposals submitted to the Secretariat and 
others that may be raised by the ICPM.
    Step 3: Specifications for the standards identified as priorities 
by the ICPM are drafted by the Secretariat. The draft specifications 
are submitted to the Standards Committee for approval/amendment and are 
subsequently made available to members and RPPOs for comment (60 days). 
Comments are submitted in writing to the Secretariat. Taking into 
account the comments, the Standards Committee finalizes the 
specifications.
    Step 4: The standard is drafted or revised in accordance with the 
specifications by a working group designated by the Standards 
Committee. The resulting draft standard is submitted to the Standards 
Committee for review.
    Step 5: Draft standards approved by the Standards Committee are 
distributed to members by the Secretariat and RPPOs for consultation 
(100 days). Comments are submitted in writing to the Secretariat. Where 
appropriate, the Standards Committee may establish open-ended 
discussion groups as forums for further comment. The Secretariat 
summarizes the comments and submits them to the Standards Committee.
    Step 6: Taking into account the comments, the Secretariat, in 
cooperation with the Standards Committee, revises the draft standard. 
The Standards Committee submits the final version to the ICPM for 
adoption.
    Step 7: The ISPM is established through formal adoption by the ICPM 
according to Rule X of the Rules of Procedure of the ICPM.
    Step 8: Review of the ISPM is completed by the specified date or 
such other date as may be agreed upon by the ICPM.
    Each member country is represented on the ICPM by a single 
delegate. Although experts and advisers may accompany the delegate to 
meetings of the ICPM, only the delegate (or an authorized alternate) 
may represent each member country in considering a standard up for 
approval. Parties involved in a vote by the ICPM are to make every 
effort to reach agreement on all matters by consensus. Only after all 
efforts to reach a consensus have been exhausted may a decision on a 
standard be passed by a vote of two-thirds of delegates present and 
voting.
    Technical experts from the United States have participated directly 
in working groups and indirectly as reviewers of all IPPC draft 
standards. In addition, documents and positions developed by APHIS and 
NAPPO have been sources of significant input for many of the standards 
adopted to date. This notice describes each of the IPPC standards 
currently under consideration or up for adoption. The full text of each 
standard will be available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.gov/ppq/
pim/standards/. Interested individuals may review the standards posted 
on this Web site and submit comments via the Web site.
    The next ICPM meeting is scheduled for April 4-April 8, 2005, at 
FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The Deputy Administrator for APHIS' 
PPQ program is the U.S. delegate to the ICPM. The Deputy Administrator 
intends to participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment 
on APHIS' position on any standards up for adoption. The provisional 
agenda for the Seventh Session of the Interim Commission on 
Phytosanitary Measures is as follows:

1. Opening of the session.
2. Adoption of the agenda.
3. Report by the chairperson.
4. Report by the Secretariat.
5. Standards up for adoption in 2005.
6. Items arising from the Sixth Session of the ICPM (see section below 
entitled ``New Standard Setting Initiatives'' for details).
7. Work program for harmonization.
8. Status of the 1997 revised IPPC.
9. Other business.
10. Date and venue of the next meeting.
11. Adoption of the report.

IPPC Standards Up for Adoption in 2005

    It is expected that the following standards will be sufficiently 
developed to be considered by the ICPM for adoption at its April 2005 
meeting. The United States, represented by APHIS' Deputy Administrator 
for PPQ, will participate in the consideration of these standards. The 
U.S. position on each of these issues will be developed prior to the 
ICPM session and will be based on APHIS' analysis, information from 
other U.S. Government agencies, and relevant scientific information 
from interested stakeholders. The standards that are most likely to be 
considered for adoption include:

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1. Amendments to ISPM No. 5 (Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms)
    This standard is intended to assist national plant protection 
organizations and others in the exchange of information and with the 
harmonization of vocabulary used in official communication and 
legislation pertaining to phytosanitary measures. ISPMs are subject to 
periodic review and amendment. The last time this standard was amended 
was 2002. The draft standard includes proposals to amend 11 
definitions, add 9 new definitions, and add clarification to 2 terms in 
the form of ``agreed interpretation statements.'' This draft standard 
was posted on APHIS' Web site on June 15, 2004, with comments due by 
September 10, 2004. Subsequently this draft will be prepared for ICPM 
approval at its 7th session in April 2005. The United States (i.e., 
USDA/APHIS) intends to support adoption of this draft standard.
2. Guidelines on the Concept of Equivalence of Phytosanitary Measures 
and Its Application in International Trade
    This standard describes the principles and requirements that apply 
to the concept of equivalence of phytosanitary measures. It also 
describes a procedure for equivalence determinations in international 
trade. Equivalence is one of the IPPC general principles. It generally 
applies to cases where phytosanitary measures already exist for a 
specific pest associated with trade in a specific commodity. 
Equivalence determinations are based on the specified pest risk and 
equivalence may apply to individual measures, a combination of 
measures, or integrated measures in a systems approach. This draft 
standard was posted on APHIS' Web site on June 15, 2004, with comments 
due by September 10, 2004. Subsequently this draft will be prepared for 
ICPM approval at its 7th session in April 2005. The United States 
(i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to support adoption of this draft standard.
3. Guidelines for Consignments in Transit
    This standard describes phytosanitary procedures that allow 
consignments of regulated articles to pass in transit through a country 
under procedures less restrictive than those for import and re-export 
while appropriately managing the phytosanitary risk. This standard 
provides guidance for countries in adhering to the IPPC, which states 
that ``Contracting parties may apply measures specified in this Article 
to consignments in transit through their territories only where such 
measures are technically justified and necessary to prevent the 
introduction and/or spread of pests.'' This draft standard was posted 
on APHIS' Web site on June 15, 2004, with comments due by September 10, 
2004. Subsequently this draft will be prepared for ICPM approval at its 
7th session in April 2005. The United States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends 
to support adoption of this draft standard.
4. Guidelines for Inspection of Consignments
    This standard describes the procedures for the inspection of 
consignments of plants, plant products, and other regulated articles at 
import and export. It is focused on the determination of compliance 
with phytosanitary requirements, based on visual examination for the 
detection of pests. Sampling procedures will be covered in a future 
standard. This draft standard was posted on APHIS' Web site on June 15, 
2004, with comments due by September 10, 2004. Subsequently this draft 
will be prepared for ICPM approval at its 7th session in April 2005. 
The United States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to support adoption of 
this draft standard.
5. Requirements for the Establishment, Maintenance, and Verification of 
Areas of Low Pest Prevalence
    This standard describes the requirements for the establishment, 
maintenance, verification, and use of areas of low pest prevalence for 
regulated pests. Once established, these areas may be used in 
conjunction with other phytosanitary measures as part of a systems 
approach. Such areas are recognized in the IPPC and are described as 
``an area, whether all of a country, or all or parts of several 
countries, as identified by the competent authorities, in which a 
specific pest occurs at low levels and which is subject to effective 
surveillance, control or eradication measures.'' This draft standard 
was posted on APHIS' Web site on June 15, 2004, with comments due by 
September 10, 2004. Subsequently this draft will be prepared for ICPM 
approval at its 7th session in April 2005. The United States (i.e., 
USDA/APHIS) intends to support adoption of this draft standard.
6. Guidelines for the Export, Shipment, Import, and Release of 
Biological Control Agents and Beneficial Organisms
    This standard provides guidelines for risk management related to 
the export, shipment import, and release of biological control agents 
and beneficial organisms. It lists the related responsibilities of 
contracting parties, national plant protection organizations, 
importers, and exporters. The standard addresses the importation of 
biological control agents capable of self-replication, as well as 
sterile insects, and beneficial organisms, and includes those packaged 
or formulated as commercial products (i.e., biopesticides). It covers 
import for purposes including research in quarantine facilities and 
release into the environment. The scope of this standard does not 
extend to cover living modified organisms (LMOs) or issues related to 
product registration. This draft standard was posted on APHIS' Web site 
on June 15, 2004, with comments due by September 10, 2004. Subsequently 
this draft will be prepared for ICPM approval at its 7th session in 
April 2005. The United States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to support 
adoption of this draft standard.

New Standard-Setting Initiatives, Including Those in Development

    A number of expert working group meetings or other technical 
consultations will take place during 2004 and 2005 on the topics listed 
below. These standard-setting initiatives are not expected to be 
completed prior to April 2005 and, therefore, will not be ready for 
adoption at the 2005 ICPM session. Nonetheless, APHIS intends to 
participate actively and fully in each of these working groups. The 
U.S. position on each of the topics to be addressed by these various 
working groups will be developed prior to these working group meetings 
and will be based on APHIS' technical analysis, information from other 
U.S. Government agencies, and relevant scientific information from 
interested stakeholders.
1. Revision of ISPM No. 2 (Guidelines for Pest Risk Analysis)
    This standard was adopted in 1995 and is considered a foundation 
standard describing the basic framework for conducting a pest risk 
analysis. This was before the revision of the IPPC and also before many 
national plant protection organizations had experience with pest risk 
analysis. The subsequent revision of the IPPC and the rapid advancement 
of pest risk analysis in practice created the need for updating the 
guidance provided by ISPM No. 2. In particular, the standard provides 
no guidance in certain situations such as regulated non-quarantine 
pests, LMOs, or biological control agents, and it has certain key 
deficiencies such as not considering the feasibility of measures

[[Page 51448]]

in risk management. As a result, ICPM members agreed on the need to 
review, update, and make consistent the original concept standard with 
these more contemporary standards.
2. Efficacy of Phytosanitary Measures
    This standard will provide guidance for evaluating the efficacy of 
phytosanitary measures. This will be significant guidance as the IPPC 
begins to develop recommendations on acceptable phytosanitary measures 
for managing specific pests. A range of supplemental and specific 
standards could follow (e.g., hot water treatment for fruit flies).
3. Use of Integrated Measures in a Systems Approach for Pest Risk 
Management of Citrus Fruit for Citrus Canker
    This standard provides specific guidelines for citrus canker risk 
management to facilitate the trade of citrus fruit. At the Fourth 
Session of the ICPM, members agreed on the need to develop a standard 
to harmonize the approach used by countries in establishing systems 
approaches for export purposes.
4. Guidelines for Regulating Potato Micropropagation Material and 
Minitubers in International Trade
    This standard describes phytosanitary measures to reduce the risks 
of regulated pests being associated with potato micropropagation 
material and minitubers in international trade. Internationally, there 
are large numbers of pests associated with potato propagative material. 
Since potato minitubers and micropropagation material are intended for 
use in vegetative propagation, the risk of spreading pests is 
increased. Certain micropropagation processes can free propagative 
material from pests and therefore can be used as the basis for 
importing healthy material. Consequently, the export certification of 
such material is important and its basis may be harmonized.
5. Classification of Commodities by Phytosanitary Risk Related to Level 
of Processing and Intended Use
    This standard aims to facilitate trade and increase transparency. 
It is generally acknowledged that the level of processing and the 
intended use of commodities may result in different levels of pest and 
disease risk. This may result in differences in the application of 
phytosanitary measures, hence the need for harmonization.
6. Alternatives to Methyl Bromide
    This standard will address the need for an alternative to methyl 
bromide (MB). With restrictions on the use of MB and decreasing 
availability of MB, alternative strategies for dealing with quarantine 
pests need to be developed.
7. Guidelines on Sampling of Consignments
    This standard will provide guidelines for sampling for import, 
export, domestic movement, and transit of consignments. Sampling is an 
important component of inspection and a standard is needed to provide 
guidelines in order to adequately and consistently sample consignments 
being inspected. The draft standard on guidelines for inspection of 
consignments only contains basic information on sampling. However, more 
information and guidance is required on the principles and statistical 
aspects of sampling.
    For more detailed information on the above topics, which will be 
addressed by various working groups established by the ICPM, contact 
Mr. Narcy Klag (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).
    APHIS posts draft standards on the Internet (http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/pim/standards/) as they become available and 
provides information when comments on standards are due. Additional 
information on IPPC standards is available on the FAO's Web site at 
http://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.htm. For the most current 
information on official U.S. participation in IPPC activities, 
including U.S. positions on standards being considered, contact Mr. 
Narcy Klag (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).
    Those wishing to provide comments on any of the areas of work being 
undertaken by the IPPC may do so at any time by responding to this 
notice (see ADDRESSES above) or by providing comments through Mr. Klag.

NAPPO Standard-Setting Activities

    NAPPO, a regional plant protection organization created in 1976 
under the IPPC, coordinates the efforts among Canada, the United 
States, and Mexico to protect their plant resources from the entry, 
establishment, and spread of harmful plant pests, while facilitating 
intra- and inter-regional trade. NAPPO conducts its business through 
panels and annual meetings held among the three member countries. The 
NAPPO Executive Committee charges individual panels with the 
responsibility for drawing up proposals for NAPPO positions, policies, 
and standards. These panels are made up of representatives from each 
member country who have scientific expertise related to the policy or 
standard being considered. Proposals drawn up by the individual panels 
are circulated for review to government and industry officials in 
Canada, Mexico, and the United States, who may suggest revisions. In 
the United States, draft standards are circulated to industry, States, 
and various government agencies for consideration and comment. The 
draft standards are posted on the Internet at http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/pim/standards/; interested persons may submit 
comments via that Web site. Once revisions are made, the proposal is 
sent to the NAPPO working group and the NAPPO standards panel for 
technical reviews and then to the Executive Committee for final 
approval, which is granted by consensus.
    The annual NAPPO meeting is scheduled for October 18-22, 2004, in 
Vancouver, Canada. The NAPPO Executive Committee meeting will take 
place on October 17, 2004, and a special session will be held on 
October 18, 2004, to solicit comment from industry groups so that 
suggestions can be incorporated into the NAPPO work plan for the 2005 
NAPPO year. The Deputy Administrator for PPQ is a member of the NAPPO 
Executive Committee. The Deputy Administrator intends to participate in 
the proceedings and will discuss or comment on APHIS' position on any 
standard up for adoption or any proposals to develop new standards.
    The work plan for 2004 was established after the October 2003 
Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The Deputy Administrator for PPQ 
participated in establishing this NAPPO work plan (see panel 
assignments below). Below is a summary of current panel assignments as 
they relate to the ongoing development of NAPPO standards. The United 
States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to participate actively and fully in 
the work of each of these panels. The U.S. position on each topic will 
be guided and informed by the best scientific information available on 
each of these topics. For each of the following panels, the United 
States will consider its position on any draft standard after it 
reviews a prepared draft. Information regarding the following NAPPO 
panel topics, assignments, activities, and updates on meeting times and 
locations may be obtained from the NAPPO homepage at http://
www.nappo.org or by contacting Mr. Narcy Klag (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT above).

[[Page 51449]]

1. Accreditation Panel
    The panel will develop an audit protocol for reviewing compliance 
with the NAPPO laboratory accreditation standard (RSPM No. 9). They 
will then use this protocol to audit the programs in the three NAPPO 
countries starting with the United States. They will review and update 
the current NAPPO laboratory accreditation standard (RSPM No. 9).
2. Biological Control Panel
    This panel will finalize the NAPPO standard on biological control 
containment facilities.
3. Biotechnology Panel
    This panel will continue to develop a NAPPO standard for the review 
of products of biotechnology that focuses on the assessment of the 
potential to present a plant pest risk. The final module, importation 
for uses other than propagation, will be developed.
4. Citrus Panel
    The panel will revise the NAPPO standard ``Guidelines for the 
Importation of Citrus Propagative Material into a NAPPO Member 
Country'' (RSPM No. 16) to include additional pests.
5. Fruit Panel
    The panel will finalize the amendments to the plum pox virus 
standard (RSPM No. 18), and will prepare a new standard entitled 
``Guidelines for the International Movement of Pome and Stone Fruit 
Trees into a NAPPO Member Country.''
6. Grapevine Panel
    The panel will provide direction and support to the Technical 
Advisory Group to include insects and nematodes in the NAPPO standard 
for grapevines (RSPM No. 15).
7. Potato Panel
    The panel will develop an appendix to RSPM No. 3 on nematode 
identification and update appendix 5 based on the latest molecular 
information for PVYn.
8. Propagative Material Panel
    The panel will review and revise the ``Concept Paper on Propagative 
Material'' and begin the development of a NAPPO standard on the 
importation of plants for planting into NAPPO member countries.
9. Standards Panel
    The panel will continue to provide updates on standards for the 
NAPPO newsletter, coordinate the review of new and amended NAPPO 
standards and ensure that comments received during the country 
consultation phase are incorporated as appropriate, organize conference 
calls and prepare NAPPO discussion documents for possible use at the 
IPPC, and promote implementation of recently adopted standards.
    The PPQ Deputy Administrator, as the official U.S. delegate to 
NAPPO, intends to participate in the adoption of these regional plant 
health standards, including the work described above, once they are 
completed and ready for such consideration.
    The information in this notice includes all the information 
available to us on NAPPO standards currently under development or 
consideration. For updates on meeting times and for information on the 
working panels that may become available following publication of this 
notice, check the NAPPO Web site on the Internet at http://
www.nappo.org or contact Mr. Narcy Klag (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT above). Information on official U.S. participation in NAPPO 
activities, including U.S. positions on standards being considered, may 
also be obtained from Mr. Klag.
    Those wishing to provide comments on any of the topics being 
addressed by any of the NAPPO panels may do so at any time by 
responding to this notice (see ADDRESSES above) or by transmitting 
comments through Mr. Klag.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 13th day of August 2004.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 04-19005 Filed 8-18-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P