[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 189 (Friday, September 30, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57206-57213]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-19574]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 189 / Friday, September 30, 2005 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 57206]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. 03-113-2]


Citrus From Peru

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to allow the importation, under certain conditions, of 
fresh commercial citrus fruit (grapefruit, limes, mandarin oranges or 
tangerines, sweet oranges, and tangelos) from approved areas of Peru 
into the United States. Based on the evidence in a recent pest risk 
analysis, we believe these articles can be safely imported from Peru, 
provided certain conditions are met. This action would provide for the 
importation of citrus from Peru into the United States while continuing 
to protect the United States against the introduction of plant pests.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
November 29, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/feddocket to submit or 
view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the 
official public docket, and to access those documents in the public 
docket that are available electronically. Once you have entered 
EDOCKET, click on the ``View Open APHIS Dockets'' link to locate this 
document.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 03-113-2, 
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. 03-113-2.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for locating this 
docket and submitting comments.
    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.
    Other Information: You may view APHIS documents published in the 
Federal Register and related information on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Tony Roman, Import Specialist, 
Commodity Import Analysis and Operation Staff, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56 
through 319.56-8, referred to below as the regulations), prohibit or 
restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and 
dissemination of plant pests. The Government of Peru has requested that 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) amend the 
regulations to allow the importation into the United States of 
grapefruit, limes, mandarin oranges or tangerines, sweet oranges, and 
tangelos.
    To evaluate the risks associated with the importation of citrus 
from Peru, we prepared a draft pest risk analysis entitled 
``Importation of Fresh Commercial Citrus Fruit: Grapefruit (Citrus x 
paradisi Macfad.); Lime (C. aurantiifolia [Christm.] Swingle); Mandarin 
Orange or Tangerine (C. reticulata Blanco); Sweet Orange (C. sinensis 
[L.] Osbeck); Tangelo (C. x tangelo J.W. Ingram & H.E. Moore) from Peru 
into the United States'' (October 2003).
    On January 12, 2004, we published a notice in the Federal Register 
(69 FR 1694-1695, Docket No. 03-113-1) in which we advised the public 
of the availability of the draft pest risk analysis. We solicited 
comments concerning those documents for 60 days ending March 12, 2004, 
and received 14 comments by that date. The comments were from Members 
of Congress, foreign importers, foreign citrus producers, foreign and 
domestic exporters and distributors, State departments of agriculture, 
and an agricultural trade service. The majority of the commenters 
agreed with the conclusions in the risk analysis and supported amending 
the regulations to allow commercial imports of citrus from Peru into 
the United States. Two of these commenters requested clarification on 
specific issues, while two other commenters opposed allowing commercial 
citrus imports from Peru into the United States. These comments are 
discussed below by topic.

Fruit Fly Trapping and Surveys

    Two commenters stated that our proposed rule should specify 
acceptable fruit fly population limits (flies/trap/day) in the 
registered citrus groves and how producers would respond if fruit fly 
populations exceed this limit. One of the commenters asked that we also 
include the levels of pest interceptions which would trigger rejection 
of fruit in packing facilities and noted that the pest risk analysis 
states only that these levels are determined by agreement. The 
commenter argued that we maintain these types of standards for other 
countries that export fruit to the United States.
    Under Peru's national fruit fly program, production sites are 
required to maintain prevalence levels of less than 0.01 flies per trap 
per day for all citrus species, except key limes. Production sites that 
exceed this level are removed from the program for the season and have 
to undergo immediate actions to control pests, which may include the 
use of bait sprays and the imposition of quarantines on production 
places and buffer areas. With regard to key limes, if just one larva is 
found in fruit in the production site, Peru prohibits shipments from 
the site for the remainder of the season and executes immediate pest 
control measures. Fruit is only allowed in packinghouses from

[[Page 57207]]

production places that are participating in the program. If fruit fly 
larvae are detected in a packinghouse, appropriate quarantine measures 
are immediately applied. We are confident that Peru's national fruit 
fly control program will continue to apply and enforce measures that 
ensure production sites maintain low prevalence levels. Because the 
Peruvian national fruit fly program is well established and operating 
in accordance with clearly defined criteria that APHIS considers to be 
effective, we believe it would be appropriate to simply require 
producer participation in the program without including in the 
regulations the specific information suggested by the commenters. The 
proposed regulations would provide that Peru's fruit fly program must 
be approved by APHIS, which would allow for APHIS to discontinue 
imports of Peruvian citrus if we determine that the program is no 
longer effective at mitigating the risk of introducing pests of concern 
into the United States.
    One commenter noted that the risk analysis makes no mention of 
safeguards to ensure that potentially infected materials are kept out 
of approved growing areas in Peru. The commenter stated that it was 
unclear as to whether surveys to verify freedom from targeted diseases 
would be ongoing in approved growing areas and requested that this be 
specifically stated in the proposed risk mitigation measures.
    As stated in our pest risk analysis, Peru was declared free of 
citrus canker (Xanthomonas aconopodis), sweet orange scab (Elsino 
australis), and citrus black spot (Guignardia citricarpa), diseases of 
quarantine significance to the United States, after 3 years of negative 
survey results from 1996-2000. After 2000, the focus of the disease 
surveys shifted from establishing the absence of citrus canker, sweet 
orange scab, and citrus black spot to monitoring Peru's freedom from 
the diseases. The pest risk analysis states that disease surveys are 
conducted year-round and monthly reports are provided to APHIS. The 
results of the surveys from 1996 to 2002 are summarized in the pest 
risk analysis. We consider all of Peru, not just the approved growing 
areas, to be free of citrus canker, sweet orange scab, and citrus black 
spot. To prevent the introduction of the citrus canker, sweet orange 
scab, and citrus black spot, Peru restricts citrus imports from 
countries where those diseases are known to occur.

Port of Entry Inspection

    One commenter took issue with the following statement in the pest 
risk analysis: ``Standard port of entry inspection to which all 
commodities are subjected can be expected to assure that sufficient 
phytosanitary security has been provided regarding this pest [i.e., 
Ecdytolopha aurantiana].'' The commenter stated that the standard 
inspection we refer to no longer exists with the assimilation of 
agricultural inspection into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 
The commenter stated that there was a need to develop a better means to 
characterize and assess the ability of port of entry inspection to 
provide effective risk management. A second commenter also stated that 
inspection at the port of entry was inadequate because many shipments 
are not inspected thoroughly or inspected at all, due to the level of 
funding for this program.
    We disagree with the commenters' contention that the quality of 
port inspections has suffered because they are now carried out by DHS. 
While DHS conducts a majority of inspections of agricultural 
commodities at the ports of first arrival, inspectors follow 
established and effective APHIS protocols regarding inspection rates 
and procedures. APHIS continues to work with DHS to ensure that the 
United States is protected against pests of concern that may be 
associated with agricultural imports.
    One commenter stated that larvae in citrus are difficult to detect, 
therefore, larvae would most likely not be found until the fruit had 
already entered into commerce. The commenter added that disease 
symptoms are not expressed until a plant or fruit nears maturity and 
that some diseases may not be detected in visual surveys.
    Under this proposed rule, citrus fruit from Peru would have to 
originate in production sites participating in Peru's national fruit 
fly program, be inspected prior to export, cold treated for fruit flies 
while en route to the United States, and inspected at the port of 
entry. Inspection at the port of entry would include fruit cutting, 
which is required by the regulations in Sec.  319.56-2d(b)(8) for each 
shipment of fruit cold treated for Medfly in order to monitor treatment 
effectiveness. Our experience with fruit cutting for clementines from 
Spain, as well as other cold treated fruit, has shown fruit cutting to 
be a very effective means of monitoring the effectiveness of cold 
treatment. As stated previously, Peru is considered to be free of the 
diseases of concern that were considered in the risk analysis-citrus 
canker, citrus black spot, and sweet orange scab. Peru's disease 
surveillance program, which monitors the country's growing areas for 
these diseases, has been in effect since 1996 and will be ongoing. With 
this program in place, we are confident that the detection of a disease 
outbreak would occur early, thus, precluding the introduction of 
diseases of concern into the United States.

General Comments

    One commenter stated that registering groves was an inadequate 
mitigation measure because it was too difficult to monitor and enforce 
and because commingling of fruit from neighboring groves or adjacent 
areas was commonplace.
    If grove registration was to be the only mitigating measure 
employed, we could understand the commenter's misgivings. However, 
grove registration is only one of the mitigating measures that would be 
in place. Requiring groves to register with Peru's national plant 
protection organization (NPPO), the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad 
Agraria (SENASA), and participate in the national fruit fly program 
would allow SENASA and APHIS to monitor the pest situation in 
production sites which intend to ship to the United States and allow 
for an easy way to trace problems with a particular shipment. It would 
also ensure that citrus packers understand and follow specific 
safeguards when growing, harvesting, and packing fruit. We have no 
evidence to suggest that the commingling of fruit described by the 
commenter occurs in registered production sites.
    Another commenter stated that we should not rely on cold treatment 
alone, citing the interception of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly, 
Ceratitis capitata) in Spanish clementines in 2002/2003 as an example. 
The commenter took issue with the section of the pest risk analysis 
which examined historical performances of existing programs, stating 
that the analysis ignores the circumstances by which it became 
necessary to suspend the Spanish clementine program in the first place.
    The efficacy of cold treatment is scientifically based and would 
mitigate the risk of pest introduction. As a general rule, APHIS has 
required treatments for fruit flies to provide probit 9 mortality in 
cases where treatment is the only mitigation measure applied against 
the pest of concern. Probit 9 refers to a level or percentage of 
mortality of target pests (i.e., 99.9968 percent mortality or 32 
survivors out of a million) caused by a control measure. This is 
because the level of mortality represented by this benchmark is 
considered extremely high and

[[Page 57208]]

stringent, especially when the field infestation rates are low.\1\ 
Under this proposed rule, we would require a treatment schedule that we 
are confident will provide a level of quarantine security that is 
equivalent to probit 9, but we would also require that fruit be 
consistently at low rates of infestation by fruit flies in order to 
ensure that there is a very low probability that fruit flies could 
survive cold treatment and become established in the United States. 
Maintaining fruit fly traps and trapping records is a component of 
Peru's fruit fly program and would ensure that fruit fly prevalence 
levels remain low at participating groves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A detailed consideration of the shortcomings associated with 
any measure that uses a fixed expression of proportion of mortality 
(such as probit 9) may be found in: Landolt, P., D. Chambers, and V. 
Chew. 1984. ``Alternative to the use of prohit 9 mortality as a 
criterion for quarantine treatments of fruit fly infested fruit.'' 
J. Econ. Entomol. 77(2): 285-287.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter stated that the pest risk analysis does not address 
all pests or all possible negative consequences that may occur as a 
result of introducing Peruvian citrus to moderate climates where pests 
may become established. The commenter stated that because we 
geographically isolate areas in Peru where citrus may be exported, then 
we should also prohibit Peruvian citrus from entering areas in 
California where pests are more likely to become established.
    We identified all pests known to be associated with Peruvian 
citrus. Using available literature and pest interception records, we 
established which pests would most likely follow the pathway. Our risk 
analysis examined the likelihood of each pest becoming established in 
various parts of the United States based on the number and availability 
of suitable hosts and climates. This information was one component used 
to determine the overall pest risk potential and necessary mitigation 
measures. We believe that our proposed measures would effectively 
mitigate the risk of pest introduction into all areas of the United 
States. Further, we would only allow citrus exports from certain areas 
in Peru because those areas are part of the country's ongoing fruit fly 
and disease surveillance programs.
    One commenter stated that growers in Peru use spray treatments for 
citrus pests extensively, indicating a heavy reliance on chemicals. The 
commenter contended that this could in turn lead to the development of 
strains of pests that are resistant to certain chemicals.
    The risk analysis examined the use of pesticides for commercial 
citrus in Peru and concluded that the materials used are consistent 
with citrus pest control recommendations in the United States. With the 
exception of Medfly, none of the pests targeted in the typical spray 
schedule (see table 3 in the pest risk analysis) are pests of 
quarantine significance likely to follow the pathway of imported fruit.
    One commenter stated that having the rule apply only to commercial 
shipments appears to assume that there are fewer risks associated with 
these types of shipments. The commenter stated that commercial 
shipments actually increase the risk of pest introduction due to the 
large volumes of material being imported and the subsequent rapid 
distribution of the product throughout the United States and cited 
several examples including Medfly larvae in clementines from Spain 
(2002-2003) and Anastrepha spp. larvae in tangerines from Mexico 
(October 2003).
    Our experience indicates that there is actually a lower risk of 
pest introduction associated with commercial shipments of fruit. 
Commercial shipments are produced under more controlled conditions and 
are subject to some form of treatment and/or other mitigation measures 
as a condition of entry. Fruit that undergoes such measures is less 
likely to be a vehicle for plant pests than fruit carried into the 
United States by passengers, which is not subject to such mitigation 
procedures.

Risk Analysis

    We have not made any changes to the pest risk analysis in response 
to these comments. The pest risk analysis may be viewed on the EDOCKET 
Web site or in our reading room (Instructions for accessing EDOCKET and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document). You may 
also request copies of those documents from the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Based on the evidence in the pest risk analysis, we believe that 
grapefruit, limes, mandarin oranges or tangerines, sweet oranges, and 
tangelos can be safely imported from certain geographic locations in 
Peru, provided certain conditions are met. Therefore, we are proposing 
to add a new Sec.  319.56-2nn to the regulations to provide for the 
importation of commercial shipments of citrus from Peru. This proposed 
new section is explained in detail below.

Permit

    Under paragraph (a) of the proposed regulations, a specific written 
permit issued in accordance with Sec.  319.56-3 would be required to 
import grapefruit, limes, mandarin oranges or tangerines, sweet 
oranges, and tangelos from Peru. Importers would be required to apply 
to the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program for a permit in 
advance of the proposed shipments, stating in the application the 
country or locality of origin of the fruits, the port of first arrival, 
and the name and address of the importer in the United States to whom 
the permit should be sent. Upon receipt of the application and upon 
approval by an inspector, a permit would be issued specifying the 
conditions of entry, which will be discussed in the following 
paragraphs, and the port of entry. In accordance with Sec.  319.56-4, a 
permit, once issued, could be amended or withdrawn by the Administrator 
at any time if it is determined that the importation of the fruit 
presents an unacceptable risk of introducing quarantine pests into the 
United States.

Commercial Shipments

    Under paragraph (b) of the proposed regulations, we would specify 
that only commercial shipments of citrus would be eligible for 
importation into the United States. Commercial shipments of citrus 
fruit exported from Peru already follow specific post-harvest 
procedures which include dipping in a chlorine bath, running through 
roller brushes, treating with a fungicide, waxing, drying with hot air, 
visually inspecting 100 percent of the fruit to determine which are 
export quality, and packing by hand. We believe that with such 
practices in place, in addition to the following phytosanitary 
measures, the risk of pest introduction into the United States would be 
mitigated.

Approved Growing Areas

    Under paragraph (c) of the proposed regulations, we would require 
that imported fruit originate in one of the following approved citrus-
producing zones: Zone I, Piura; Zone II, Lambayeque; Zone III, Lima; 
Zone IV, Ica; and Zone V, Junin. Zones I through IV currently produce 
citrus and Peru has identified Zone V as a potential location for 
citrus production. This proposed limitation on the origin of the fruit 
would ensure that the fruit was produced in areas where citrus disease 
surveys and fruit fly monitoring occur.

Approved Production Sites

    Under paragraph (d) of the proposed regulations, all citrus 
production sites would have to be approved by and

[[Page 57209]]

registered with SENASA. Registered sites would be required to 
participate in Peru's national program for fruit fly control, which 
includes trapping, sampling, and other integrated pest management 
activities.

Fruit Fly Monitoring

    Paragraph (e) of the proposed regulations would provide that Peru's 
fruit fly management program must be approved by APHIS and must require 
that citrus producers allow APHIS inspectors access to all production 
areas in order to monitor compliance with the program. All areas where 
citrus is produced for export to the United States would have to be 
monitored for fruit flies beginning 6 weeks prior to the harvest season 
at a rate mutually agreed upon by APHIS and the NPPO of Peru. If fruit 
fly trapping levels exceed the thresholds established by APHIS and the 
NPPO of Peru, we would suspend exports from that production site until 
APHIS and the NPPO of Peru conclude that fruit fly populations have 
been reduced to an acceptable level. Fruit fly traps are monitored and 
serviced weekly, thus reinstatement to the program would be evaluated 
on a weekly basis. We would require that the NPPO of Peru or its 
designated representative keep records that document the fruit fly 
trapping and control activities in areas that produce citrus for export 
to the United States. We would also require that the NPPO of Peru 
maintain records of fruit fly trapping and control and make these 
records available to APHIS upon request. In addition, fruit fly 
trapping records are available on SENASA's Web site, which can be 
accessed by APHIS at any time.

Treatment

    To address the risk presented by the fruit flies Anastrepha 
fraterculus, A. obliqua, A. serpentina, and Medfly, paragraph (f) of 
the proposed regulations would require that all fruit be cold treated 
in accordance with the following schedule, which is listed in the 
regulations in 7 CFR part 305 as T107-a-1, or irradiated in accordance 
with part 305. The following treatment schedule is approved for 
Anastrepha spp. and Medfly.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Exposure
                         Temperature                            period
------------------------------------------------------------------------
34 [deg]F (1.11 [deg]C) or below............................          15
35 [deg]F (1.67 [deg]C) or below............................          17
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phytosanitary Inspection

    The remaining pest of concern is Ecdytolopha aurantiana, a pest 
more commonly known as the citrus fruit borer. To address the risk 
presented by this pest, paragraph (g) of the proposed regulations would 
require that consignments be inspected prior to export and accompanied 
by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating 
that the consignment has been inspected and found free of E. 
aurantiana.
    We believe that inspection and a phytosanitary certificate would 
effectively mitigate the risk of introducing E. aurantiana because 
evidence suggests that the adults do not travel long distances, 
decreasing the likelihood of their coming into contact with suitable 
hosts. In addition, E. aurantiana is easy to detect in visual 
inspections.

Fruit Cutting

    As noted previously, Sec.  319.56-2d(b)(8) of the regulations 
provides that at the port of first arrival, an inspector will sample 
and cut fruit from each shipment that has been cold treated for Medfly 
to monitor treatment effectiveness. Because citrus from Peru would be 
cold treated for Medfly as a condition of entry, the port of entry 
inspection would include fruit cutting. Therefore, under paragraph (h) 
of the proposed regulations, we would require that fruit be inspected, 
sampled, and cut to monitor for treatment effectiveness at the port of 
first arrival in accordance with Sec.  319.56-2d(b)(8). If a single 
live fruit fly in any stage of development or a single E. aurantiana is 
found, the shipment would be held until an investigation is completed 
and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented. If APHIS 
determines at any time that the prescribed cold treatment does not 
appear to be effective against fruit flies, APHIS may suspend the 
importation of fruit from the originating country and conduct an 
investigation into the cause of the deficiency.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
The rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of 
Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget.
    We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to 
allow the importation, under certain conditions, of fresh commercial 
citrus fruit (grapefruit, limes, mandarin oranges or tangerines, sweet 
oranges, and tangelos) from approved areas of Peru into the United 
States. Based on the evidence in a recent pest risk analysis, we 
believe these articles can be safely imported from Peru, provided 
certain conditions are met. This action would provide for the 
importation of citrus from Peru into the United States while continuing 
to protect the United States against the introduction of plant pests.
    Peru is not yet considered a major world producer of citrus, and 
its citrus industry is relatively small compared to neighboring 
countries like Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Oranges account for the 
greatest proportion of citrus production in Peru (271 million kg), 
followed by lemons and limes (238 million kg), tangerines, clementines, 
mandarins, and satsumas (132 million kg), and grapefruit and pomelos 
(30.5 million kg) (see table 1). Peru exported 11.3 million kg of 
citrus to more than 11 countries in 2003. Five exporters in four 
packinghouses account for 98 percent of the total exports.

               Table 1.--Citrus production in Peru (2000)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Area harvested      Production
                Crop                     (hectares)       (metric tons)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oranges.............................            23,353           270,673
Lemons and limes....................            23,363           238,179
Tangerine, clementine, mandarin, and             7,375           131,787
 satsuma............................
Grapefruit and pomelos..............             1,750           30,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: World Resources Institute (2002), cited in the pest risk
  analysis.

    The United States produced 16.4 million tons of citrus fruit in 
2003-04, valued at $2.35 billion. Citrus is produced in Florida, 
California, Arizona, and Texas. Florida accounts for 79 percent of U.S. 
citrus production and

[[Page 57210]]

58 percent of the value of production. California accounts for 18 
percent of production and 39 percent of the value of production, while 
Arizona and Texas together contribute 3 percent of production and 3 
percent of the value of production.
    Oranges represented 79 percent of the volume of individual citrus 
crops and 70 percent of the dollar value of domestic production in 
2003-04 (table 2). Grapefruit represented 13 percent, lemons 11 
percent, tangerines 5 percent, and tangelos and temples less than 1 
percent of the value of production. Tangerines are produced in Florida 
only. Estimates for K-early citrus and limes have been discontinued 
since 2002-03, and are therefore not available for 2003-04. However, in 
2001-02, these crops represented less than 0.1 percent of the dollar 
value of total citrus production in the United States. Clementines and 
mandarins are not produced in the United States in commercially 
significant quantities.

 Table 2.--Citrus Production in the United States: Acreage, Production, Utilization, and Value by Crop (2003-04)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Utilization of production
                                      Bearing       Production             (1,000 tons)              Value of
              Crop                    acreage      (1,000 tons)  --------------------------------   production
                                      (acres)                          Fresh         Processed      ($1,000) 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oranges.........................         761,400          12,930           2,179          10,751       1,645,856
Grapefruit......................         114,800           2,152           1,006           1,146         296,777
Lemons..........................          59,800             798             540             258         269,753
Tangelos........................           8,000              45              25              20           9,871
Tangerines 2....................          36,200             435             317             118         125,301
Temples.........................           3,400              63              15              48           4,806
K-Early Citrus (2001-02) 3......             200               1             N/A               1             113
Limes (2001-02) 3...............             800               7               6               1           1,732
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA (September 2004) (http://www.usda.gov/nass).
\1\ Packinghouse-door equivalents.
\2\ Published estimates include Florida only. Estimates for 2003-04 include Fallglo, Sunburst, and Honey
  varieties only.
\3\ Estimates for K-early citrus and limes have been discontinued since 2001-02 and are therefore not available
  for 2003-04.

    U.S. domestic shipments peak between October and January, gradually 
decrease from February to June, and are at the lowest between July and 
September. In contrast, the shipping season for the Peruvian citrus 
crops proposed for import into the United States are expected to extend 
from February to September, which is outside the peak shipment season 
for domestically produced oranges. For Peruvian oranges specifically, 
imports into the United States are mainly expected from June to 
September, when domestic orange shipments are at their lowest. Thus, 
the importation of Peruvian citrus fruits is not expected to compete 
with the production and shipment of U.S. domestically produced oranges 
intended for fresh utilization. Instead, imports of Peruvian citrus 
would provide U.S. consumers and importers with access to citrus fruit 
during periods when supply from domestic production is low, thus, 
increasing the availability of fresh citrus fruit throughout the year.
    U.S. imports of citrus fruits from northern hemisphere countries 
are also lower during this period. For example, Spain accounts for 25.5 
percent of U.S. imports of citrus fruits (table 3). Citrus fruits from 
Spain are primarily imported into the United States from mid-September 
to mid-March. Thus, Peruvian shipments between February and September 
would increase the availability of citrus fruits during the season when 
supply from both domestic production and imports from northern 
hemisphere countries such as Spain, and other countries listed in table 
3, are low. Therefore, U.S. consumers and importers would benefit and 
potential negative impacts on U.S. citrus producers are expected to be 
minimal.
    In 2004, the United States imported 478.4 million kg of citrus 
valued at $307.2 million. The major countries from which citrus fruit 
were imported included Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and 
Chile. Lemons and limes, mandarins, and oranges were the major products 
imported, and accounted for 48 percent, 32 percent, and 19 percent of 
the value of imports, respectively.

                                 Table 3.--U.S. Imports of Citrus Fruits (2004)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Value  (U.S.                    Major countries from which citrus
                 Commodity                     dollars in       Quantity      is imported,  and percent share of
                                                millions)     (million kg)             import value \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lemons and limes...........................           146.5           321.1  Mexico (88%), Chile (7.6%), Spain
                                                                              (2%).
Mandarins..................................            99.0            77.3  Spain (76.2%), South Africa
                                                                              (12.6%), Australia (6.4%), Mexico
                                                                              (2.2%), Morocco (1.4%).
Oranges....................................            58.8            65.7  South Africa (45.2%), Australia
                                                                              (42.8%), Mexico (9.1%), Dominican
                                                                              Republic (1.2%).
Grapefruit.................................             1.6            13.8  Bahamas (68.6%), Mexico (26.0%),
                                                                              Canada (2.9%), Israel (2.4%).
Other citrus fruit \2\.....................             1.3             0.6  Jamaica (68.0%), Israel (25.1%),
                                                                              Italy (3.7%), Vietnam (1.2%),
                                                                              Morocco (1.2%).
                                            --------------------------------
    Total citrus fruits....................           307.2           478.4  Mexico (44.5%), Spain (25.5%),
                                                                              South Africa (12.9%), Australia
                                                                              (10.3%), and Chile (3.6%).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: World Trade Atlas (2005) (http://www.gtis.com).
\1\ Only countries accounting for more than 1 percent of the value of imports are included in table 3.

[[Page 57211]]

 
\2\ Includes various fresh and dried citrus fruits, such as kumquats, citrons, bergamots, and Tahitian, Persian,
  and other limes of the Citrus latifolia variety.

    Peruvian exporters estimated that exports of citrus to the United 
States would total 5,100 metric tons (5.1 million kg) a year. 
Tangerines/mandarins and tangelos are expected to comprise 69 percent 
of these exports (table 4). The estimated volume of 5.1 million kg of 
U.S. citrus imports from Peru would comprise a relatively minimal 
amount, compared to current U.S. citrus imports of 478.4 million kg, 
and U.S. domestic citrus production of 16.42 billion kg.

   Table 4.--Estimated Annual Volume of Peruvian Citrus Exports to the
                            United States \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Number of  40-foot
            Commodity                 Metric tons          shipping
                                                         containers 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tangerine/mandarin..............               2,000                 100
Tangelo.........................               1,500                  75
Key Lime........................                 600                  30
Clementine......................                 500                  25
Washington navel orange.........                 300                  15
Grapefruit......................                 200                  10
                                 ---------------------
    Total.......................               5,100                255
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources: Carbonell Torres, 2003, and Cargo Systems, 2001, cited in the
  pest risk analysis.
\1\ Volumes were estimated for the year 2004.
\2\ A conversion factor of 20 metric tons per 40-foot shipping container
  is used.

Impact on Small Entities

    According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, there were 17,727 
citrus farms in the United States in 2002. The U.S. Small Business 
Administration defines a small citrus producer as one with annual gross 
revenues no greater than $ 750,000. The USDA's National Agricultural 
Statistics Service reported that 3.8 percent of U.S. fruit and tree nut 
producers accounted for 95.1 percent of sales in 1982, 4.2 percent of 
fruit and tree nut producers accounted for 96.2 percent of sales in 
1987, and 4.6 percent of fruit and tree nut producers accounted for 
96.7 percent of sales in 1992. These data indicate that the majority of 
U.S. citrus producers are small entities.
    The economic analysis suggests that Peruvian imports would not 
significantly compete with domestic citrus production because the 
imports would be shipped largely during the off-season for U.S. 
production of these fruits. Although the Peruvian imports are expected 
to overlap with some domestic orange shipments such as Valencia 
oranges, the volume to be imported would be expected to be a small 
percentage of the total U.S. orange shipments during the importing 
months. Thus, given the difference in marketing seasons and the 
relatively small volume of citrus imports from Peru, the proposed rule 
would not likely adversely impact domestic citrus producers, large or 
small.
    The proposed rule would likely benefit importers of citrus fruits. 
The number of importers that can be classified as small is not known. 
However, the rule would likely benefit, rather than adversely impact, 
small entities in these industries, which include: Fresh fruit and 
vegetable wholesalers with no more than 100 employees, NAICS 422480; 
wholesalers and other grocery stores with annual gross revenues no 
greater than $23 million, NAICS 445110; warehouse clubs and superstores 
with annual gross revenues no greater than $23 million, NAICS 452910; 
and fruit and vegetable markets with gross revenues no greater than $6 
million, NAICS 445230.
    Consumers would also likely benefit through the increased 
availability of fresh citrus fruit during the months when shipments 
from domestic sources, and imports from Northern Hemisphere countries 
such as Spain, and other countries listed in table 3, are low.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow grapefruit, limes, mandarin oranges 
or tangerines, sweet oranges, and tangelos to be imported into the 
United States from Peru. If this proposed rule is adopted, State and 
local laws and regulations regarding grapefruit, limes, mandarin 
oranges or tangerines, sweet oranges, and tangelos imported under this 
rule would be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh 
fruits are generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to 
the consuming public and would remain in foreign commerce until sold to 
the ultimate consumer. The question of when foreign commerce ceases in 
other cases must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If this proposed 
rule is adopted, no retroactive effect will be given to this rule, and 
this rule will not require administrative proceedings before parties 
may file suit in court challenging this rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
importation of commercial citrus from Peru, we have prepared an 
environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was prepared in 
accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the 
Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations 
implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing 
Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the EDOCKET Web site 
or in our reading room. (Instructions for accessing EDOCKET and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule). In 
addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

[[Page 57212]]

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. 03-113-2. 
Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 03-113-2, 
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 
River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, and (2) Clearance 
Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404-W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is best assured of having 
its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication of 
this proposed rule.
    Under this proposed rule, we would add provisions for the 
importation of citrus from Peru. The proposed measures would require 
the production site where the fruit is grown to be registered for 
export with the NPPO of Peru and the producer to have signed an 
agreement with the NPPO of Peru whereby the producer agrees to 
participate in and follow the fruit fly management program established 
by the NPPO of Peru.
    The NPPO of Peru or its designated representative would also have 
to keep records that document the fruit fly trapping and control 
activities in areas that produce citrus for export to the United 
States. All trapping and control records kept by the NPPO of Peru or 
its designated representative would have to be made available to APHIS 
upon request.
    In addition, the proposed rule would require each shipment of fruit 
to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of 
Peru stating that the fruit has been inspected and found free of 
Ecdytolopha aurantiana.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 27.7727 hours per response.
    Respondents: Citrus growers/grove registrants, Peru's NPPO.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 20.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 5.5.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 110.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 3,055 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
734-7477.

Government Paperwork Elimination Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), which 
requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the 
option of submitting information or transacting business electronically 
to the maximum extent possible. For information pertinent to GPEA 
compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste 
Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

    Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant 
diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

    Accordingly, 7 CFR part 319 would be amended as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

    1. The authority citation for part 319 would continue to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450 and 7701-7772; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 
CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    2. A new Sec.  319.56-2nn would be added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-2nn  Conditions governing the importation of citrus from 
Peru.

    Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), limes (C. aurantiifolia), mandarins 
or tangerines (C. reticulata), sweet oranges (C. sinensis), and 
tangelos (Citrus tangelo) may be imported into the United States from 
Peru under the following conditions:
    (a) The fruit must be accompanied by a specific written permit 
issued in accordance with Sec.  319.56-3.
    (b) The fruit may be imported in commercial shipments only.
    (c) Approved growing areas. The fruit must be grown in one of the 
following approved citrus-producing zones: Zone I, Piura; Zone II, 
Lambayeque; Zone III, Lima; Zone IV, Ica; and Zone V, Junin.
    (d) Grower registration and agreement. The production site where 
the fruit is grown must be registered for export with the national 
plant protection organization (NPPO) of Peru, and the producer must 
have signed an agreement with the NPPO of Peru whereby the producer 
agrees to participate in and follow the fruit fly management program 
established by the NPPO of Peru.
    (e) Management program for fruit flies; monitoring. The NPPO of 
Peru's fruit fly management program must be approved by APHIS, and must 
require that participating citrus producers allow APHIS inspectors 
access to production areas in order to monitor compliance with the 
fruit fly management program. The fruit fly management program must 
also provide for the following:
    (1) Trapping and control. In areas where citrus is produced for 
export to the United States, traps must be placed in fruit fly host 
plants at least 6 weeks prior to harvest at a rate mutually agreed upon 
by APHIS and the NPPO of Peru. If fruit fly trapping levels at a 
production site exceed the thresholds established by APHIS and the NPPO 
of Peru, exports from that production site will be suspended until 
APHIS and the NPPO of Peru conclude that fruit fly population levels 
have been reduced to an acceptable limit. Fruit fly traps are monitored 
weekly; therefore, reinstatements of production sites will be evaluated 
on a weekly basis.
    (2) Records. The NPPO of Peru or its designated representative must 
keep records that document the fruit fly trapping and control 
activities in areas that produce citrus for export to the United 
States. All trapping and control

[[Page 57213]]

records kept by the NPPO of Peru or its designated representative must 
be made available to APHIS upon request.
    (f) Cold treatment. The fruit must be cold treated for Anastrepha 
fraterculus, A. obliqua, A. serpentina, and Ceratitis capitata 
(Mediterranean fruit fly) in accordance with part 305 of this chapter.
    (g) Phytosanitary inspection. Each consignment of fruit must be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Peru 
stating that the fruit has been inspected and found free of Ecdytolopha 
aurantiana.
    (h) Port of first arrival sampling. Citrus fruits imported from 
Peru are subject to inspection by an inspector at the port of first 
arrival into the United States in accordance with Sec.  319.56-
2d(b)(8). At the port of first arrival, an inspector will sample and 
cut citrus fruits from each shipment to detect pest infestation. If a 
single live fruit fly in any stage of development or a single E. 
aurantiana is found, the shipment will be held until an investigation 
is completed and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 27th day of September 2005.
W. Ron DeHaven,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 05-19574 Filed 9-29-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-U