[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 240 (Thursday, December 15, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74215-74235]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-24031]


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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.

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 240 / Thursday, December 15, 2005 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 74215]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 319, 330, and 340

[Docket No. 03-002-1]


Importation of Nursery Stock

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations on importing nursery 
stock to eliminate various restrictions on the importation of plants in 
vitro and kenaf seed; to establish programs for the importation of 
approved plants from the Canary Islands and from Israel; to require an 
additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate accompanying 
blueberry plants imported from Canada; to require that phytosanitary 
certificates include the genus and species names of the restricted 
articles they accompany; to change the phytosanitary certificate 
requirements for several restricted articles; to reduce the postentry 
quarantine growing period for Hydrangea spp. and for certain 
chrysanthemums; and to update the list of ports of entry and Federal 
plant inspection stations. We are also proposing several other changes 
to update and clarify the regulations and improve their effectiveness. 
These changes are necessary to relieve restrictions that appear 
unnecessary, update existing provisions, and make the regulations 
easier to understand and implement.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
February 13, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov and, in the ``Search for Open Regulations'' box, 
select ``Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service'' from the agency 
drop-down menu, then click on ``Submit.'' In the Docket ID column, 
select APHIS-2005-0081 to submit or view public comments and to view 
supporting and related materials available electronically. After the 
close of the comment period, the docket can be viewed using the 
``Advanced Search'' function in Regulations.gov.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 03-002-1, 
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 
River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your 
comment refers to Docket No. 03-002-1.
    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: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Arnold T. Tschanz, Senior Import 
Specialist, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 
River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-5306.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR part 319 prohibit or restrict the 
importation of certain plants and plant products into the United States 
to prevent the introduction of plant pests. The regulations contained 
in ``Subpart--Nursery Stock, Plants, Roots, Bulbs, Seeds, and Other 
Plant Products,'' Sec. Sec.  319.37 through 319.37-14 (referred to 
below as the regulations), restrict, among other things, the 
importation of living plants, plant parts, and seeds for propagation.
    We are proposing to make several amendments to the regulations. Our 
proposed amendments are discussed below by topic.

Definition of From

    The definition of from in Sec.  319.37-1 provides that an article 
is considered to be ``from'' any country or locality in which it was 
grown. (If an article has been grown in two or more countries or 
localities, APHIS inspectors consider that article to be ``from'' the 
country or locality from which the importation of that article poses 
the greatest pest risk when determining what, if any, restrictions 
apply to the importation of that article.) The current regulations also 
provide that an article imported into Canada from another country or 
locality shall be considered as being solely ``from'' Canada if it is 
imported into the United States directly from Canada after having been 
grown for at least 1 year in Canada; has never been grown in a country 
from which it would be a prohibited article or from which it would be 
subject to special foreign inspection, certification, treatment, or 
other requirements; was not grown in a country or locality from which 
it would be subject to postentry quarantine requirements, unless it was 
grown in Canada under postentry growing conditions equivalent to those 
specified for the article in Sec.  319.37-7; and was not imported into 
Canada in growing media.
    We have previously limited this exception to Canada because we 
believed that the pest risks associated with the importation of plants 
from Canada were better known to us than those associated with plants 
imported from other areas. However, articles from any area may be 
considered to be ``from'' that area if they were previously imported 
into the exporting area under conditions that are equivalent to those 
that we would require if the articles had been imported into the United 
States. From a phytosanitary perspective, if the articles met the 
conditions for importation into the United States when they were 
imported into the country from which they are subsequently exported, 
there is no reason to impose any conditions on their importation other 
than any that may apply to those articles exported from the exporting 
country. For the same reasons, the current definition of from may place 
an unnecessary burden on Canadian importers who wish to export imported 
plants to the United States; under the current definition, plants may 
only be considered to be ``from'' Canada if they have been grown there 
for a year,

[[Page 74216]]

regardless of the duration for which regulations in Sec.  319.37-7 
require the plants to be grown in postentry quarantine.
    Additionally, under Article 2 of the World Trade Organization 
Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures 
(the SPS Agreement), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) must not discriminate between countries where identical or 
similar conditions prevail when regulating the importation of plants 
and plant products. The definition of from provides an exception for 
restricted articles that originated in another country or locality but 
have been grown in accordance with postentry growing conditions 
equivalent to those specified for the articles in Canada, but it does 
not offer that exception for regulated articles exported from any other 
country.
    Therefore, we are proposing to amend the definition of from by 
providing that a plant would be considered from an exporting country or 
area when it was grown or propagated only in the exporting country or 
area, or when it was grown in the exporting country or area after it 
entered the exporting country or area from another country or area 
under conditions that are equivalent to those that would be required by 
the United States if the plant were imported into the United States 
directly from any of the countries or areas where the plant was grown 
prior to its entry into the exporting country or area. This change 
would provide exporters and importers with greater flexibility while 
continuing to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United 
States.

Definition of Inspector

    The current definition of inspector in Sec.  319.37-1 reads: ``Any 
employee of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs, Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or 
other person, authorized by the Deputy Administrator in accordance with 
law to enforce the provisions of the regulations in this subpart.'' 
This definition does not reflect the reassignment of certain 
responsibilities from APHIS to the Department of Homeland Security's 
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection by the Homeland Security Act of 
2002. Therefore, we are proposing to replace the current definition of 
inspector with a new definition that would read as follows: ``Any 
individual authorized by the Administrator of APHIS or the Commissioner 
of Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, to 
enforce the regulations in this part.''

Definition of Preclearance

    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-4(b), any restricted 
article may be sampled and inspected by an inspector under preclearance 
inspection arrangements in the country in which the article was grown 
and must undergo any treatment contained in 7 CFR part 305 that is 
ordered by the inspector. However, the current regulations in Sec.  
319.37-1 do not include a definition of preclearance, which makes the 
conditions under which sampling and inspection can take place in the 
country of origin somewhat ambiguous.
    Therefore, we are proposing to add a definition of preclearance to 
Sec.  319.37-1. The definition we are proposing to add is consistent 
with the definition of that term in the International Plant Protection 
Convention's (IPPC) 2002 Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms (International 
Standards for Phytosanitary Measures [ISPM] publication number 5).\1\ 
It would read: ``Phytosanitary certification and/or clearance in the 
country in which the articles were grown, performed by or under the 
regular supervision of APHIS.'' This change would clarify the existing 
regulations.
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    \1\ ISPMs may be viewed on the World Wide Web at https://
www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.jsp. Click on the ``Standards'' link on 
the home page to view the ISPMs.
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Plant Protection Act Definitions

    In a final rule published in the Federal Register on August 14, 
2000 (65 FR 49471-49472, Docket No. 00-063-1), the Secretary of 
Agriculture delegated to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) the authority to carry out title IV of the Agricultural Risk 
Protection Act of 2000, known as the Plant Protection Act (Title IV, 
Pub. L. 106-224, 114 Stat. 438, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.). In that final 
rule, we also stated our intent to make any other changes deemed 
necessary as a result of the enactment of that law. We are proposing 
here to amend several definitions and add several other definitions in 
Sec.  319.37-1 to make the definitions in the regulations consistent 
with those in the Plant Protection Act.
    The proposed changes to the definitions are described below:
     The current definition of person, which reads ``An 
individual, corporation, company, society, or association,'' would be 
revised to read: ``Any individual, partnership, corporation, 
association, joint venture, or other legal entity.''
     A new definition of plant would be added to read: ``Any 
plant (including any plant part) for or capable of propagation, 
including a tree, a tissue culture, a plantlet culture, pollen, a 
shrub, a vine, a cutting, a graft, a scion, a bud, a bulb, a root, and 
a seed.''
     The current definition of plant pest, which reads ``The 
egg, pupal, and larval stages as well as any other living stage of: Any 
insects, mites, nematodes, slugs, snails, protozoa, or other 
invertebrate animals, bacteria, fungi, other parasitic plants or 
reproductive parts thereof, viruses, or any organisms similar to or 
allied with any of the foregoing, or any infectious substances, which 
can directly or indirectly injure or cause disease or damage in any 
plants or parts thereof, or any processed, manufactured, or other 
products of plants,'' would be revised to read: ``Any living stage of 
any of the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause 
damage to, or cause disease in any plant or plant product: A protozoan, 
a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or 
viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article similar 
to or allied with any of these articles.''
     A new definition of the term State would be added to read: 
``Any of the several States of the United States, the Commonwealth of 
the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, or 
any other territory or possession of the United States.''
     Accordingly, the current definition of the term United 
States, which contains language similar to that in the proposed 
definition of State, would be revised to read, simply, ``All of the 
States.''
    In Sec.  319.37-7, paragraph (g) contains a definition of State 
that applies to that section. This definition is substantively 
identical to the definition proposed above, which would apply to 
Sec. Sec.  319.37-1 through 319.37-14. Accordingly, we are also 
proposing to remove Sec.  319.37-7(g).

Definitions of Restricted Article and Regulated Plant

    The Plant Protection Act definition of plant that we are proposing 
to add to the nursery stock regulations would include plants that are 
not regulated by the nursery stock regulations, such as nonvascular 
plants and noxious weeds. Accordingly, we would also add a new 
definition of regulated plant to list the plants regulated in the 
nursery stock regulations. We are also proposing to amend the 
definition of restricted article to refer to the proposed definition of

[[Page 74217]]

regulated plant and to correct editorial errors in the definition.
    The proposed definition of regulated plant would read: ``Any 
gymnosperm, angiosperm, fern, or fern ally. Gymnosperms include cycads, 
conifers, and gingko. Angiosperms include any flowering plant. Fern 
allies include club moss, horsetail, whisk fern, spike moss, and 
quillwort.'' This definition encompasses all the plants regulated by 
the nursery stock regulations.

    (Note: We published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for 
revising the nursery stock regulations on December 10, 2004. At a 
public meeting on May 25, 2005, that solicited comments regarding 
certain issues discussed in the advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking, we specifically solicited comments on whether we should 
expand the range of plants APHIS currently regulates in the nursery 
stock regulations to include non-vascular plants, such as green 
algae. We are continuing to consider the responses we received 
regarding this issue, but since we have not yet decided whether to 
regulate non-vascular plants, we are proposing a definition of 
regulated plant that includes only the plants APHIS currently 
regulates under the nursery stock regulations. If we eventually 
determine that it is necessary to regulate non-vascular plants, we 
will update the definition of regulated plant in a future 
rulemaking.)

    The definition of restricted article currently reads ``Any class of 
nursery stock or other class of plant, root, bulb, seed, or other plant 
product, for or capable of propagation, excluding any prohibited 
articles listed in Sec.  319.37-2 (a) or (b) of this subpart, excluding 
any articles subject to any restricted entry orders in 7 CFR part 321 
(i.e., potatoes), and excluding any articles regulated in 7 CFR 319.8 
through 319.24 or 319.41 through 319.74-7.'' We are proposing to amend 
this definition so that it specifically includes only regulated plants, 
as defined above. In addition, the reference to Sec.  319.74-7 in the 
current definition would be changed to Sec.  319.74-4, because the 
sections that had followed Sec.  319.74-4 were removed in a final rule 
effective and published in the Federal Register on September 25, 1997 
(62 FR 50229-50231, Docket No. 95-082-2). We would also delete the 
reference to 7 CFR part 321, as the restrictions on the importation of 
potatoes that had been located in 7 CFR part 321 were moved into the 
nursery stock regulations in a final rule published in the Federal 
Register on September 25, 1997 (62 FR 50237-50239, Docket No. 97-010-2) 
and effective on October 27, 1997. We would change the citation 
``319.24'' to read ``319.24-5,'' to indicate that all the sections in 
the corn diseases subpart are included in that range. Finally, we would 
indicate that articles regulated by the noxious weeds regulations in 7 
CFR part 360 are excluded from the definition, since they are regulated 
separately from nursery stock.
    Thus, the proposed definition of restricted article would read: 
``Any class of nursery stock or other regulated plant, root, bulb, 
seed, or other plant product, for or capable of propagation, excluding 
any prohibited articles listed in Sec.  319.37-2(a) or (b) of this 
subpart, and excluding any articles regulated in Sec. Sec.  319.8 
through 319.24-5 or 319.41 through 319.74-4 and any articles regulated 
under part 360 of this chapter.'' These changes would update the 
regulations and make them more consistent.

Rubus spp. From Europe

    We are proposing to add articles of Rubus spp. from Europe not 
meeting the conditions for importation in Sec.  319.37-5(f) to the list 
of prohibited articles found in the table in Sec.  319.37-2(a). In 
Sec.  319.37-5, paragraph (f) requires that Rubus spp. from Europe must 
be accompanied at the port of first arrival in the United States by a 
phytosanitary certificate containing an additional declaration that the 
articles have been found by the plant protection service of the country 
of origin to be free of Rubus stunt agent, based on visual examination 
and indexing of the parent stock. Rubus stunt agent affects the yield, 
vitality, and quality of plants of the genus Rubus, which include 
raspberry and blackberry. Although it is primarily transmitted along 
insect vectors, the disease can be transmitted through propagative 
material.
    If articles of Rubus spp. from Europe are not accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with the above additional declaration at the 
port of first arrival in the United States, they should be denied entry 
to prevent the possible introduction of this disease. However, nothing 
in the regulations as they now stand specifically prohibits the 
importation of Rubus spp. from Europe that are not accompanied by the 
phytosanitary certificate required in Sec.  319.37-5(f). To correct 
this oversight, we are proposing to add articles of Rubus spp. from 
Europe that do not meet the conditions for importation in Sec.  319.37-
5(f) of the regulations to the list of prohibited articles. Prohibiting 
imports of Rubus spp. from Europe that are not accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with the proper additional declaration would 
help to ensure that Rubus stunt agent is not introduced into the United 
States.

Plants In Vitro

    We are proposing to remove several restrictions on plants in vitro. 
The IPPC's 2002 Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms defines plants in vitro 
as ``plants in an aseptic medium in a closed container.'' Such plants 
are minimally exposed to plant diseases and pests that may exist in the 
area surrounding its nursery of origin. Plants in vitro have been found 
to pose an extremely low risk of introducing plant pests into the 
United States. We believe, therefore, that several restrictions 
currently in place on the importation of plants in vitro are now 
unnecessary. Thus:
     We are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-3(a)(5) of the 
regulations to exempt shipments of plants in vitro from the requirement 
that lots of 13 or more articles offered for importation into the 
United States must be accompanied by a written permit issued by a Plant 
Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) inspector. This exemption would not 
apply if importation of the plants is restricted or prohibited 
elsewhere in the nursery stock regulations.
     Because we are proposing to exempt shipments of plants in 
vitro from the permit requirement, the changes we are proposing to make 
to the current list of ports of entry in Sec.  319.37-14, discussed 
below under the heading ``Federal Plant Inspection Stations and Other 
Ports of Entry,'' would mean that plants in vitro could enter the 
United States at any port of entry authorized in 7 CFR part 330 for 
articles not required to be imported under a written permit.
     We are also proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-4(a) of the 
regulations to exempt plants in vitro from the requirement that 
restricted articles offered for importation into the United States be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin, 
unless their importation is restricted or prohibited elsewhere in the 
nursery stock regulations. These changes would make plants in vitro 
whose importation is not otherwise restricted or prohibited generally 
admissible into the United States.
    To accomplish these changes, we would add a definition of plants in 
vitro to the regulations in Sec.  319.37-1. The definition would be 
identical to the IPPC definition quoted above. We would also remove the 
reference in paragraph (a)(5) of Sec.  319.37-3 to ``sterile cultures 
of orchid plants,'' as these qualify as plants in vitro, and we would 
correct the paragraph to indicate that seeds and bulbs whose 
importation is otherwise prohibited or restricted by the

[[Page 74218]]

regulations are not exempt from the permit requirement.
    In a related matter, we are also proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-
8(c) of the regulations, which states: ``A restricted article growing 
solely in agar or in other transparent or translucent tissue culture 
medium may be imported established in such growing media.'' We are 
proposing to remove the requirement that the growing medium be 
transparent or translucent in order to allow the use of charcoal in the 
growing medium. Charcoal is commonly used by importers of plants in 
vitro as a detoxifying agent; if it is used as an additive in growing 
media, it will still be easy to determine whether the growing media 
meets the aseptic standard prescribed in the definition of plants in 
vitro, because any bacteria in the growing media would quickly 
reproduce and form a large mass. Therefore, we would revise this 
paragraph to simply read: ``Plants in vitro may be imported in their 
growing media.''
    Removing these restrictions would make plants in vitro generally 
admissible without restrictions, providing U.S. importers of plants in 
vitro with greater flexibility without increasing the risk of plant 
pest introduction into the United States.

Genus and Species Name on Phytosanitary Certificates

    The regulations in Sec.  319.37-4(a) currently require that any 
restricted article offered for importation into the United States be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection, with certain 
exceptions. We are proposing to additionally require that the 
phytosanitary certificate include the genus and species name of the 
restricted article that it accompanies.
    The IPPC's Guidelines for Phytosanitary Certificates (ISPM 
publication number 12) state that phytosanitary certificates ``should 
identify plants and plant products using accepted scientific names, at 
least to genus level but preferably to species level.'' Having the 
genus and species name available would allow inspectors to easily 
identify restricted articles presented for importation and thus better 
assess any risks that may be associated with their importation. It 
could also result in savings for importers, as eliminating the need for 
inspectors to make a species identification of restricted articles 
offered for importation could allow their shipments to be processed 
more quickly and rejected less frequently.
    For example, the regulations in Sec.  319.37-5(b) allow the 
importation of Prunus spp. that are immune to plum pox virus under 
different conditions than the importation of species that are not 
immune to the virus. When an article of Prunus spp. is inspected at the 
port of entry, it can be difficult to determine whether the article is 
from a species that is resistant to plum pox. As a result, inspectors 
often must spend significant amounts of time making that determination, 
which can cause a delay in releasing the article. If the inspector 
cannot make such a determination, the shipment of Prunus spp. must be 
rejected. Requiring that both the genus and species name be listed on 
the phytosanitary certificate offered for importation would eliminate 
both the burden that making a species determination imposes on 
inspectors and the costs that delayed or rejected shipments impose on 
importers.
    In addition, requiring that phytosanitary certificates include the 
genus and species names of the restricted articles that they are 
accompanying would allow APHIS to collect data from phytosanitary 
certificates about the number, size, and volume of imports of nursery 
stock into the United States. Currently, we lack such data, which can 
make it difficult to accurately assess the potential impact of any 
changes we may consider making to the nursery stock regulations. 
Collecting genus and species data from phytosanitary certificates could 
enable us to promulgate regulations that take into account the current 
importation of nursery stock more completely.

Phytosanitary Certificates for Bulbs From the Netherlands

    We are also proposing to amend paragraph Sec.  319.37-4(a) of the 
regulations to allow small individual shipments of bulbs from the 
Netherlands to enter with a special certificate related to a 
phytosanitary certificate. The special certificate would list a serial 
number that would refer to a phytosanitary certificate held by the 
national plant protection organization of the Netherlands. The special 
certificate would also list the scientific name of the bulb, the bulbs' 
country of origin, and an expiration date after which the special 
certificate could no longer be used in lieu of a phytosanitary 
certificate. The expiration date would be 4 weeks after the issuance of 
the phytosanitary certificate held by the national plant protection 
organization of the Netherlands.
    Commercial shipments of bulbs from the Netherlands must be 
precleared for entry into the United States by a PPQ inspector. In 
addition, under Sec.  319.37-5(a), all bulbs imported from the 
Netherlands must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an 
additional declaration that the bulbs offered for importation were 
grown on land that has been sampled and microscopically inspected by 
the plant protection organization of the Netherlands and found to be 
free from the potato cyst nematodes Globodera rostochiensis (Woll.) 
Behrens and G. pallida (Stone) Behrens within the past 12 months.
    The proposed special certificate would accompany small individual 
shipments of bulbs. Typically, these shipments are brought to the 
United States from the Netherlands by individuals carrying the bulbs in 
their luggage. These shipments are not precleared by APHIS, but must be 
cleared at the port of entry; the preclearance process and the 
clearance process at the port of entry involve the same steps and 
provide equivalent phytosanitary security. Currently, bulbs that come 
to the United States in that manner must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with the additional declaration described 
above; if they do not have the phytosanitary certificate, they are 
confiscated upon arrival in the United States.
    The special certificate we are proposing would be easier for 
individuals to obtain than a full phytosanitary certificate while 
providing the same assurance that the bulbs are free of golden nematode 
and potato cyst nematode. The clearance process at the port of entry 
would continue to serve as an additional mitigation against the risk of 
introduction of nematodes into the United States. Using this 
certificate, individuals would be able to import small shipments of 
bulbs from the Netherlands into the United States more easily without 
compromising phytosanitary safeguards.

Importation of Certain Seeds From Canada

    We are proposing to add a new paragraph (d) to Sec.  319.37-4 of 
the regulations to allow seed exported from Canada that meets certain 
conditions to be imported into the United States without a 
phytosanitary certificate.
    To be eligible for this exemption, Canadian exporters of seed would 
have to register with and participate in a seed export program that 
would be established by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 
CFIA would assign each exporter that registers with the program an 
establishment identification number. CFIA would provide a list of 
establishment identification numbers, along with the

[[Page 74219]]

names, locations, and telephone numbers of the establishments to which 
the identification numbers correspond, to APHIS before the start of the 
seed shipping season and regularly throughout the shipping season.
    Participants in the seed export program would be required by CFIA 
to demonstrate that shipments of seed can be traced back to their 
original seed lots and seed testing records; demonstrate that seed that 
does not meet U.S. standards is consistently separated from seed that 
does; implement quality assurance systems at the production facility, 
with a descriptive manual available for review by CFIA; submit to 
annual audits of the quality assurance system; and implement any other 
necessary safeguards.
    Certain documents would be required in lieu of a phytosanitary 
certificate for Canadian exporters participating in CFIA's seed export 
program.
     Each shipment of seed exported under this program would be 
accompanied by an export certification document. The information in 
this document would be provided by the seed exporter. This document 
would show, among other information, the scientific name of the seed, 
the common name of the seed, the country of origin, and the 
establishment identification number. The document would also contain 
all information required by 7 CFR part 361, ``Importation of Seed and 
Screenings Under the Federal Seed Act,'' including the lot number of 
the seed.
     Shipments of agricultural or vegetable seeds, as listed in 
the Federal Seed Act regulations in 7 CFR part 361, would be 
accompanied by a document agreed upon by CFIA and APHIS and provided by 
CFIA that would certify that the relevant requirements of the Federal 
Seed Act regulations had been met.
     Shipments of other seeds (i.e., seeds that are not 
agricultural or vegetable seeds) that are exported from Canada to the 
United States would be accompanied by a document agreed upon by CFIA 
and APHIS and provided by CFIA that would certify that the seed had 
been inspected for plant pests.
    Currently, exporters of Canadian seed must provide a phytosanitary 
certificate as required under the regulations in Sec.  319.37-4 and a 
different set of documents as required in 7 CFR part 361. The 
information requirements of the two parts overlap to some extent, which 
results in duplicative paperwork for exporters of Canadian seed. 
Because of this, Canada requested that we establish this seed 
importation program to streamline our requirements; we reviewed the 
risks associated with establishing such a program and found that they 
were similar to the risks associated with current importations if the 
program operated under the controls described above. Establishing this 
program would eliminate duplicative paperwork requirements while 
continuing to ensure that seeds imported from Canada do not introduce 
plant pests or noxious weeds into the United States.
    We are also proposing to remove all references to the ``Plant 
Protection Division of Agriculture Canada'' in Sec.  319.37-4 and 
replace them with references to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to 
update the regulations.
    At this time, we are not proposing to establish similar seed 
importation programs for seeds from countries other than Canada. If 
another country were to request that APHIS establish an importation 
program for seed from that country and provided data indicating that 
importing seed from that country under such a program would pose a risk 
equivalent to that associated with current importations of seed from 
that country, we would consider establishing such a program.

Blueberry Plants From Canada

    We are proposing to add a new paragraph Sec.  319.37-5(t) to the 
regulations to require that phytosanitary certificates that accompany 
Vaccinium corymbosum (blueberry) plants that are imported from Canada 
must contain an additional declaration stating that the plants are free 
of blueberry scorch carlavirus.
    Blueberry scorch carlavirus causes blueberry scorch disease, the 
primary symptom of which is blighting of both flowers and new 
vegetative growth at peak bloom. Blighted blossoms fail to produce 
fruit, and infected plants in general are less vigorous than healthy 
plants. Bushes, once infected, may show symptoms each year. Initially, 
only one or few branches may have blighted flowers and leaves, but 
after a few years the entire bush may show symptoms.
    We are proposing to require this additional declaration on the 
phytosanitary certificate accompanying V. corymbosum plants because 
virulent strains of blueberry scorch carlavirus have been found that 
only exist in Canada. This requirement would ensure that V. corymbosum 
plants imported from Canada are free of this dangerous virus while 
continuing to allow importation of plants that have been determined to 
be free of this virus.
    For the reasons described above in the discussion of prohibiting 
the entry of articles of Rubus spp. from Europe that lack the 
appropriate phytosanitary certificate, we are also proposing to add V. 
corymbosum plants from Canada that do not meet the requirements of 
proposed Sec.  319.37-5(t) to the list of prohibited articles in Sec.  
319.37-2(a).

Programs for Importation of Approved Plants From the Canary Islands and 
From Israel

    We are proposing to add new paragraphs (u) and (v) to Sec.  319.37-
5 to establish programs to govern the importation of approved plants 
from the Canary Islands of Spain and from Israel, respectively. These 
programs would require that growers employ several safeguards to ensure 
that pests present in the exporting countries are excluded from 
shipments of approved plants. In the case of the Canary Islands, the 
approved plants would be Pelargonium (geranium) spp., and the pests of 
concern are Helicoverpa armigera, the cotton bollworm; Chrysodeixis 
chalcites, the tomato looper; and Cornutiplusia circumflexa. In the 
case of Israel, all plants except bulbs, dormant perennials, plants in 
vitro, and seeds that are imported into the United States would be 
required to be imported under this program; the main pest of concern in 
Israel is Spodoptera littoralis, the Egyptian cotton leafworm, although 
other quarantine pests are found in Israel and must be excluded from 
shipments of plants imported under this program. We anticipate that 
most U.S. imports under these programs would be plant cuttings, which 
are included in the proposed definition of plant in this document.
    Under this proposal, the national plant protection organization of 
the country of origin, the growers in the country of origin, and APHIS 
would jointly implement the following safeguards to ensure that 
quarantine pests are not present in shipments of approved plants.
    The national plant protection organization of the plants' country 
of origin would have to issue a phytosanitary certificate of inspection 
that would accompany any approved plants from the country of origin. 
This certificate would have to contain additional declarations that the 
plants were produced in an approved production site, that the 
production site is operated by a grower participating in the export 
program for approved plants established by the relevant national plant 
protection organization, and that the plants were grown under 
conditions specified by APHIS to prevent infestation with the relevant 
quarantine pests.

[[Page 74220]]

    Growers in the programs would register with, and be approved by, 
the national plant protection organization of their country. Growers 
would be required to enter into a formal agreement wherein they agree 
to participate in and follow the export program for approved plants 
established by the national plant protection organization.
    Growers would be required to meet the following requirements with 
respect to their facilities and growing practices:
     Plants destined for export to the United States would have 
to be produced in a production site devoted solely to production of 
such plants.
     The production sites in which such plants are produced 
would have to be registered with the national plant protection 
organization. Such production sites would employ safeguards agreed on 
by APHIS and the national plant protection organization to ensure the 
exclusion of the relevant quarantine pest or pests. For Canary Islands 
production sites, these safeguards would include, but would not be 
limited to, prescribed mesh screen size (if the production site is a 
screenhouse) and automatically closing doors. For Israeli production 
sites, these safeguards would include, but not be limited to, insect-
proof screening over openings and double or airlock-type doors. Any 
rips or tears in any insect-proof screening would have to be repaired 
immediately.
     Each production site in which plants destined for export 
to the United States are grown would have to have at least 1 blacklight 
trap for one year following any of the following events: The 
construction of a production site; the entry of a production site into 
the approved plants export program; the replacement of the covering of 
the production site; or the detection and repair of a break or tear in 
the plastic or screening in the production site.
    APHIS inspectors and national plant protection organization 
inspectors would perform the inspections described below, along with 
any others they may deem necessary. The inspections that would be 
required for plants and production sites in the Canary Islands are 
somewhat different from those that would be required for plants and 
production sites in Israel.
    In the Canary Islands:
     The national plant protection organization of Spain would 
inspect the plants and the production site for pests during the growing 
season and during packing.
     Packing materials and shipping containers would be 
inspected and approved by APHIS to ensure that they do not introduce 
pests of concern to the plants.
     Either APHIS or the national plant protection organization 
of Spain would inspect the production site of approved plants destined 
for export to the United States to ensure that they meet standards of 
sanitation agreed upon by APHIS and the national plant protection 
organization of Spain.
     Inspectors from both APHIS and the national plant 
protection organization of Spain would have access to the production 
site as necessary to ensure that growers are employing the proper 
safeguards against infestation of H. armigera, C. chalcites, and C. 
circumflexa, and that those safeguards are correctly implemented.
     The national plant protection organization of Spain would 
provide APHIS with access to the list of registered and approved 
growers at least annually.
    In Israel:
     The national plant protection organization of Israel would 
inspect the plants and the production site weekly to ensure that no 
quarantine pests are present.
     Plants would be inspected to ensure that they are free of 
quarantine pests before being allowed into the production site.
     The national plant protection organization of Israel would 
inspect the plants to ensure that no quarantine pests are present prior 
to export.
     Packing materials and shipping containers would be 
inspected and approved by APHIS to ensure that they do not introduce 
pests of concern to the plants.
     Either APHIS or the national plant protection organization 
of Israel would inspect the production site of the approved plants 
destined for export to the United States to ensure that they meet 
standards of sanitation approved by APHIS.
     Inspectors from both APHIS and the national plant 
protection organization of Israel would have access to the production 
site as necessary to ensure that growers are employing the safeguards 
and procedures prescribed by the program and that those safeguards and 
procedures are correctly implemented.
     The national plant protection organization of Israel would 
provide APHIS with access to the list of registered and approved 
growers at least annually.
    Growers would become ineligible for participation in the export 
programs and their production sites would lose approved status upon 
slightly different occurrences for each country:
     Growers in the Canary Islands would lose eligibility if 
live C. circumflexa (or any other moth of the family Noctuidae) are 
found in a production site. Israeli growers would lose eligibility if 
live S. littoralis are found in a production site.
     Growers in the Canary Islands would lose eligibility if 
live C. circumflexa (or any other moth of the family Noctuidae) are 
found in a shipment of plants. An Israeli grower would lose eligibility 
if live S. littoralis are found at port inspection two times during the 
same shipping season in shipments from that grower.
     Growers in both the Canary Islands and Israel could lose 
eligibility if they violate the requirements of the export program 
established by their national plant protection organizations.
     A grower in either country could be reinstated, and the 
grower's production sites may regain approved status, by requesting 
reapproval and submitting a detailed report describing the corrective 
actions taken by the grower. The national plant protection organization 
and APHIS would have to concur in approving the report and the 
corrective actions.
    APHIS would have the option to terminate either program if there 
are repeated violations of procedural or phytosanitary requirements.
    The government of the country in which the approved plants are 
produced would also have to enter into a trust fund agreement with 
APHIS before each growing season. The government of the country in 
which the approved plants are produced or its designated representative 
would be required to pay in advance all estimated costs that APHIS 
would expect to incur through its involvement in overseeing the 
execution of the requirements of the certification programs described 
below. These costs would include administrative expenses incurred in 
conducting the services enumerated below and all salaries (including 
overtime and the Federal share of employee benefits), travel expenses 
(including per diem expenses), and other incidental expenses incurred 
by the inspectors in performing these services. (Specific provisions 
for making payments to these proposed trust funds may be found in the 
rule portion of this document.)
    For the reasons described above in the discussion of prohibiting 
the entry of articles of Rubus spp. from Europe that lack the 
appropriate phytosanitary certificate, we are also proposing to add 
approved plants from the Canary Islands and Israel that do not meet the 
requirements of proposed Sec.  319.37-5(u)

[[Page 74221]]

and proposed Sec.  319.37-5(v), respectively, to the list of prohibited 
items in Sec.  319.37-2(a).
    The safeguards employed in these programs, combined with the 
mandatory inspections of the plants at the port of first arrival in the 
United States, would ensure that approved plants could be safely 
imported into the United States from production sites in these 
locations.

Specific Treatment and Other Requirements

    We are proposing to reorganize the regulations in Sec.  319.37-6 so 
that the information in this section is presented in a table. Section 
319.37-6 now contains six paragraphs that are largely composed of the 
same text; the variations between paragraphs are found in the seeds and 
bulbs being treated, the countries or localities from which seeds and 
bulbs that must be treated originate, the pests for which the commodity 
must be treated, and the time at which the treatment must be performed. 
We believe that presenting this information in tabular form will 
improve the clarity and usability of the regulations.
    In addition, the regulations in Sec.  319.37-6 provide that certain 
seeds and bulbs from specific foreign regions must be treated for 
possible infestation with various plant pests in accordance with the 
applicable provisions of 7 CFR part 305 at the time of importation into 
the United States or at the time of arrival at the port of first 
arrival in the United States. However, the regulations in Sec.  319.37-
13(c) specify conditions under which treatments required under the 
regulations may be performed outside the United States. The current 
regulations in Sec.  319.37-6 do not reflect the fact that treatments 
of regulated articles may be administered outside the United States. 
Therefore, we are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-6 to indicate that 
treatment of regulated articles may be administered outside the United 
States. APHIS will retain the option to require treatment within the 
United States of regulated articles that were treated prior to 
importation.
    Finally, all the commodities listed in Sec.  319.37-6 are required 
to be treated either at ``the time of arrival at the port of first 
arrival in the United States'' or ``at the time of importation into the 
United States.'' These phrases are substantively equivalent. Rather 
than set this information out in the table and preserving the present 
wording of this requirement from each paragraph in this section, we are 
proposing to add a paragraph after the table that would indicate that 
any articles not treated outside the United States would have to be 
treated at the time of importation into the United States.

Kenaf Seed From Mexico

    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-6(a), seeds of 
Hibiscus spp. (Hibiscus, rose mallow) from any foreign country or 
locality, at the time of importation into the United States, must be 
treated for possible infestation with Pectinophora gossypiella 
(Saunders) (pink bollworm) in accordance with the applicable provisions 
of 7 CFR part 305.
    However, the movement of untreated kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) seed 
from Mexico into pink bollworm generally infested areas of the United 
States (listed under our domestic pink bollworm quarantine and 
regulations in Sec.  301.52-2a, and currently the States of Arizona, 
New Mexico, and Texas, and several counties in California) would pose 
little or no risk of increasing the area of pink bollworm infestation. 
Under our domestic pink bollworm quarantine regulations in Sec.  
301.52, these generally infested areas are quarantined to prevent the 
spread of pink bollworm, and Kenaf seed is a regulated article under 
Sec.  301.52(b) that may not be moved interstate from any quarantined 
State except under the conditions described in Sec.  301.52-3.
    Therefore, we are proposing to allow kenaf seed from Mexico to be 
imported into pink bollworm generally infested areas in the United 
States without treatment. Kenaf seed from Mexico that would be imported 
into pink bollworm generally infested areas would be subject to 
inspection, and, immediately upon release, would be subject to the 
domestic pink bollworm quarantine regulations in Sec. Sec.  301.52 
through 301.52-10, Subpart--Pink Bollworm. This change would harmonize 
the requirements of our regulations on foreign material that could 
spread pink bollworm with those of our domestic regulations, as 
required under the SPS Agreement, without increasing the likelihood 
that pink bollworm could spread to noninfested areas of the United 
States.
    Although kenaf seed may be imported into the United States from 
countries other than Mexico with the treatment currently referred to in 
Sec.  319.37-6(a), we are not proposing to allow importation of 
untreated kenaf seed into generally infested areas from countries other 
than Mexico. The available evidence indicates that pink bollworm is the 
only pest of concern for shipments of kenaf seed from Mexico; we do not 
have evidence that pink bollworm is the only pest of concern for 
shipments of kenaf seed from any other place. We would consider 
requests to allow shipments of untreated kenaf seed into generally 
infested areas from other countries if the available evidence indicated 
that pink bollworm was the only pest of concern for shipments of kenaf 
seed from those countries.

Postentry Quarantine Requirements for Hydrangea spp.

    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-7(a), Hydrangea spp. 
from Canada imported into the United States are not required to be 
grown under postentry quarantine conditions. However, under the current 
definition of from in Sec.  319.37-1, an article imported into Canada 
from another country or locality that is subject to postentry 
quarantine requirements is considered to be solely from Canada if it 
was grown in Canada under postentry growing conditions equivalent to 
those specified in Sec.  319.37-7 and meets certain other conditions. 
The term ``equivalent,'' as it is used here, refers not to the specific 
postentry quarantine conditions imposed but their effectiveness at 
reducing the risk of pest introduction.
    CFIA requires that Hydrangea spp. imported into Canada from another 
country or locality be grown in Canada under postentry growing 
conditions for 9 months. We do not currently recognize Canada's 9-month 
postentry growing period for Hydrangea spp. to be as effective at 
reducing pest risk as the postentry quarantine conditions specified in 
Sec.  319.37-7 that apply to the importation of Hydrangea spp. from all 
countries except Canada and Japan, because the regulations in that 
section specify that all plants required to be grown in postentry 
quarantine, including Hydrangea spp. from all countries except Canada 
and Japan, must be grown in postentry quarantine conditions for 2 years 
after the time of importation into the United States. Therefore, 
Hydrangea spp. from another country or locality that are grown in 
Canada are not considered to be from Canada and are subject to the 
postentry quarantine requirements in Sec.  319.37-7. (The proposed 
revision of the definition of from described above would not change 
this, as that definition would require that Hydrangea spp. be grown in 
conditions we recognize as equivalent to those conditions under which 
they would be grown if imported directly into the United States.)
    CFIA has recently requested that we add specific provisions for 
postentry quarantine growing agreements for plants of Hydrangea spp. to 
Sec.  319.37-7(d) that would effectively reduce the postentry 
quarantine period for

[[Page 74222]]

Hydrangea spp. from 2 years to 9 months. This request was reviewed by 
U.S. Department of Agriculture plant pathologists, with particular 
attention to the biology of the pest of concern, Aecidium hydrangeae-
paniculatea. Their review of the available scientific evidence found 
that 9 months is an adequate amount of time to allow detectable 
symptoms of the disease to express themselves if the disease is 
present, which is the purpose of postentry quarantine.
    Therefore, we are proposing to add a new provision in Sec.  319.37-
7(d)(7)(ii) that would require importers of Hydrangea spp. from all 
countries and localities except Canada and Japan who are operating 
under a postentry quarantine agreement to grow any article of Hydrangea 
spp. or increase therefrom for a period of 9 months after the 
importation of the plants. (Hydrangea spp. from Japan would continue to 
be prohibited from being imported or offered for entry into the United 
States under Sec.  319.37-2(a).) With this proposed change, Canada's 9-
month postentry growing period for Hydrangea spp. would be equivalent 
to the postentry growing conditions that would be specified in Sec.  
319.37-7; therefore, Hydrangea spp. from another country or locality 
that are grown in postentry quarantine in Canada would be considered to 
be from Canada and would not be required to be grown under postentry 
quarantine conditions after they are imported into the United States. 
(While the current definition of from indicates that a restricted 
article can be considered to be from Canada only after it is grown in 
Canada for 1 year, the proposed amendments of the definition of from, 
discussed earlier in this proposed rule, would eliminate that 
restriction, leaving the 9-month postentry quarantine period as the 
only restriction on the importation of Hydrangea spp. from Canada.)
    The proposed change would relieve a restriction on the importation 
of Hydrangea spp. into the United States that does not appear to be 
necessary.

Postentry Quarantine Requirements for Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema 
spp., Leucanthemella serotina, and Nipponanthemum nipponicum

    The regulations in Sec.  319.37-7(a) designate as restricted 
articles any articles of Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp., 
Leucanthemella serotina, and Nipponanthemum nipponicum that meet the 
conditions for importation in Sec.  319.37-5(c) and that are imported 
from any foreign locality except Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Canary 
Islands, Chile, Columbia, Europe, Republic of South Africa, Uruguay, 
Venezuela, and all countries, territories and possession of countries 
located in part or entirely between 90[deg] and 180[deg] East 
longitude. Articles designated as restricted articles in Sec.  319.37-
7(a) must be grown in postentry quarantine under the conditions 
described in paragraphs (c) and (d) of Sec.  319.37-7. Paragraph 
(d)(7)(ii) currently requires that any restricted articles of 
Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp., Leucanthemella serotina, and 
Nipponanthemum nipponicum be grown in postentry quarantine for a period 
of 6 months. We are proposing to reduce this postentry quarantine 
growing period to 2 months if the restricted articles are grown in 
accordance with the requirements of an APHIS-approved best management 
practices program.
    The pest of concern with regard to imported articles of 
Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp., Leucanthemella serotina, and 
Nipponanthemum nipponicum is chrysanthemum white rust (CWR). CWR is 
caused by Puccinia horiana Henn., a filamentous fungus and obligate 
parasite. CWR is not established in the United States and is a disease 
of quarantine significance. This disease has the potential to be 
extremely damaging to the commercial horticulture and florist 
industries if it becomes established in greenhouses within the United 
States. The postentry quarantine for articles of Chrysanthemum spp., 
Dendranthema spp., Leucanthemella serotina, and Nipponanthemum 
nipponicum is intended to allow symptoms of the disease, if it is 
present, to express themselves, so that any restricted articles that 
might be affected with CWR can be prevented from entering U.S. 
commerce.
    PPQ's Center for Plant Health Science and Technology has reviewed 
the available evidence regarding the time within which CWR will express 
symptoms. Although substantial evidence indicates that articles 
affected with CWR will express symptoms within 2 months, meaning that 2 
months would be an adequate postentry quarantine period for these 
articles, not all the available evidence confirms that. We are 
proposing to reduce the postentry quarantine period for restricted 
articles of Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp., Leucanthemella 
serotina, and Nipponanthemum nipponicum to 2 months only if the 
articles are grown in accordance with the requirements of an APHIS-
approved best management practices program.
    Best management practices programs for these articles would be 
designed to ensure that CWR, if it is present on these articles when 
they are imported into the United States, is not introduced to the 
wider environment. A best management program would include several 
basic elements, including:
     A code of conduct or documented standard operating 
procedures that include pest control practices, inspection and testing, 
and recordkeeping;
     Oversight and audits by a professional organization or a 
State agricultural organization to ensure compliance with the agreed-
upon code of conduct or standard operating procedures;
     Some form of Federal oversight; and
     Penalties and remedial action for noncompliance.
    We would evaluate best management programs for their effectiveness 
at ensuring that any CWR that might be present on these articles would 
not be introduced into the wider environment.
    This change would reduce the cost of postentry quarantine for 
importers of those restricted articles while continuing to protect 
against the introduction of CWR into the United States.

Plants in Growing Media From Certain Areas in Canada

    We are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-8(b) of the regulations to 
allow the importation of restricted articles in growing media from two 
areas in Canada from which such importation is currently prohibited if 
those articles are grown under certain conditions. Paragraph (b) of 
Sec.  319.37-8 allows the importation of restricted articles from 
Canada in any growing medium, except restricted articles from 
Newfoundland or from that portion of the Municipality of Central 
Saanich in the Province of British Columbia east of the West Saanich 
Road. Restricted articles from these areas may not enter in growing 
media because of the presence of potato cyst nematodes (G. 
rostochiensis and G. pallida) in those parts of Canada.
    We have determined that restricted articles that are grown in 
approved growing media and are isolated in such a manner as to prevent 
the restricted articles from being infested with potato cyst nematodes 
may be imported safely into the United States from these areas. 
Therefore, we are proposing to allow the importation of restricted 
articles in approved growing media from these areas in Canada if the 
phytosanitary certificate accompanying the articles

[[Page 74223]]

contains an additional declaration. (Production sites in the area of 
Canada where potato cyst nematodes are present are not eligible to 
participate in the Canadian greenhouse-grown plants program in Sec.  
319.37-4(c) due to the presence of the potato cyst nematodes, so all 
articles imported into the United States from these production sites 
are required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate under 
Sec.  319.37-4(a).) The additional declaration would have to state that 
the restricted articles were produced in a production site approved by 
the national plant protection organization of Canada as capable of 
isolating the plants from potato cyst nematode infestation and that the 
restricted articles were isolated from potato cyst nematode infestation 
throughout their production. Allowing the importation of restricted 
articles from these areas under the conditions described above would 
give importers flexibility while continuing to protect against the 
introduction of potato cyst nematodes into the United States.

Additions to the List of Approved Growing Media

    We are proposing to add unused clay pots and new wooden baskets to 
the list of growing media approved for epiphytic plants found in Sec.  
319.37-8(d). Such media are used by many nurseries. We are proposing 
these additions at the request of importers. We believe that unused 
clay pots and new wooden baskets would be as safe as the current 
approved growing media.

Federal Plant Inspection Stations and Other Ports of Entry

    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-14(a), restricted 
articles of nursery stock, plants, roots, bulbs, seeds, and other plant 
products that are not required to be imported under a written permit 
pursuant to Sec.  319.37-3(a)(1) through (a)(6) may be imported or 
offered for importation at any of the ports of entry listed in Sec.  
319.37-14(b) or at any Customs designated port of entry on the United 
States-Canada border. A complete list of Customs designated ports of 
entry can be found in 19 CFR part 101.
    Restricted articles of nursery stock, plants, roots, bulbs, seeds, 
and other plant products required to be imported under a written permit 
pursuant to Sec.  319.37-3(a)(1) through (a)(6) must be imported or 
offered for importation only at plant inspection stations, which are 
ports with special inspection and treatment facilities. Plant 
inspection stations are listed and designated by an asterisk in Sec.  
319.37-14(b). We are proposing to revise Sec.  319.37-14 and related 
regulations in 7 CFR part 330 to relieve unnecessary restrictions on 
the entry of regulated articles and to make the regulations easier to 
use.
    First, the list of ports of entry in Sec.  319.37-14(b) does not 
include all current plant inspection stations. We are therefore 
proposing to make the necessary updates to this list. This includes 
removing the entry for the plant inspection stations that were in 
Brownsville, TX, and Hoboken, NJ, and updating the addresses for some 
plant inspection stations.
    We are also proposing to add a new entry for a plant inspection 
station in New Jersey. In order to be designated as a plant inspection 
station, a building must have adequate space for inspection areas to be 
set up, laboratory facilities for pest and disease identification, 
provide easy access by shipments for inspection, and, in most cases, 
contain various treatment facilities. We have determined that the 
facility in Linden, NJ, satisfies the criteria for designation as a 
plant inspection station.
    Furthermore, it is not necessary to list ports of entry other than 
plant inspection stations in Sec.  319.37-14(b). APHIS can handle, 
either through direct staffing or through cooperation with the 
Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border 
Protection, imports of restricted articles that are not required to be 
imported with a permit at any Customs designated port of entry, though 
there may be exceptions in the future. Therefore, we are proposing to 
amend the regulations to indicate that restricted articles not required 
to be imported under a written permit pursuant to Sec.  319.37-3(a)(1) 
through (a)(6) may be imported or offered for importation at any 
Customs designated port of entry indicated in our regulations in 7 CFR 
330.104.
    Section 330.104 contains the general provisions for ports of entry 
that apply to 7 CFR chapter III. We are proposing to amend these 
provisions as well. Under Sec.  330.104, ports of entry for articles 
regulated under 7 CFR chapter III shall be selected by the Deputy 
Administrator from ports named in 19 CFR part 1.2 as ``ports of entry'' 
or 19 CFR part 6.13 as ``international airports.'' However, 19 CFR 
parts 1.2 and 6.13 have been removed and, as previously noted, the 
complete list of Customs designated ports of entry is now contained in 
19 CFR part 101.3(b)(1). Therefore, to update the regulations in Sec.  
330.104, we are proposing to remove all references to 19 CFR parts 1.2 
and 6.13 in 7 CFR chapter III and to add references to 19 CFR part 
101.3(b)(1) in their place.
    As mentioned above, though APHIS can currently handle imports of 
restricted articles that are not required to be imported with a permit 
at any Customs designated port of entry, there may be exceptions in the 
future. Therefore, we are also proposing to add to Sec.  330.104 a list 
of exceptions to the ports of entry in 19 CFR part 101.3(b)(1) that 
will indicate those ports of entry through which articles regulated 
under 7 CFR chapter III may not be imported. This list would be blank 
as of the publication of this proposed rule, but we would update the 
list as necessary.
    These changes would eliminate the need to list the ports of entry 
that are not plant inspection stations in Sec.  319.37-14. Therefore, 
we are proposing to remove those ports of entry that are not plant 
inspection stations from the list in that section. We would further 
amend Sec.  319.37-14 to list the remaining Federal plant inspection 
stations in the form of a table, for easier reference.
    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-14, any restricted 
article from Canada that is not required to be imported under a written 
permit pursuant to Sec.  319.37-3(a)(1) through (a)(6) may be imported 
at any port of entry listed in Sec.  319.37-14(b), or at any Customs 
designated port of entry on the United States-Canada border. However, 
for the reasons discussed above, we are proposing to allow restricted 
articles that are not required to be imported with a permit to be 
imported at any Customs designated port of entry with limited 
exceptions that would be listed in Sec.  330.104. Therefore, we are 
also proposing to remove the provisions in Sec.  319.37-14(b) regarding 
restricted articles from Canada, because they would no longer be 
necessary.
    The current regulations in Sec.  319.37-14 provide that any 
restricted article of nursery stock that is required to be imported 
under a written permit must be imported or offered for importation only 
at a plant inspection station. However, articles that are required to 
be imported under a written permit and that have been precleared or 
treated in the country of export have already fulfilled the necessary 
conditions for importation into the United States; because they have 
fulfilled these conditions, they do not need to pass through special 
inspection and treatment facilities at plant inspection stations, but 
rather can enter U.S. commerce freely after being released from the 
port of entry by an inspector. Therefore, we are proposing to add a 
provision in Sec.  319.37-14 stating that

[[Page 74224]]

restricted articles that are required to be imported under a written 
permit and that have been precleared or treated in the country of 
export may enter through any Customs designated port of entry, 
including any ports that might in the future be excepted in Sec.  
330.104, since it will be unnecessary to ensure that APHIS has a 
staffing presence in place at ports that receive these articles.
    To reflect the proposed changes to Sec.  319.37-14, we are also 
proposing to update references to the section that appear in 7 CFR 
parts 319, 322, and 340.

Editorial Changes

    We are proposing to replace certain country names in the 
regulations to reflect geopolitical changes. Specifically, we would 
replace references to Czechoslovakia with references to the Czech 
Republic and Slovakia; replace references to the Federal Republic of 
Germany and the German Democratic Republic with references to Germany; 
replace references to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with 
references to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, 
Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian 
Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan; and 
replace references to Yugoslavia with references to Croatia, Serbia and 
Montenegro, and Slovenia. These changes would update the regulations.
    The definition of bulbs in Sec.  319.37-1 refers to a single 
article. We are proposing to change the defined term to bulb so that 
the definition refers consistently to a single article.
    Paragraph (c)(2) of Sec.  319.37-2 contains a reference to the 
Plant Germplasm Quarantine Center, Building 320, Beltsville 
Agricultural Research Center East, Beltsville, MD 20705. This center 
has been renamed the National Plant Germplasm Inspection Station and is 
located in Building 580 of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. 
We are proposing to correct this address to update the regulations. To 
make the regulations in 7 CFR part 319 consistent, we would make the 
same update in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of Sec.  319.59-2 and 
paragraph (c)(2) of Sec.  319.75.
    Paragraph (a)(3) of Sec.  319.37-3 refers to ``Alium sativum spp.'' 
Alium sativum is the species name for this article; the ``spp.'' is 
incorrect, and we are proposing to remove it.
    Paragraph (a)(8) of Sec.  319.37-3 requires a permit for articles 
(except seeds) of Castanea spp. or Castanopsis spp. destined to 
California or Oregon. In a final rule published in the Federal Register 
on September 18, 1992 (57 FR 43134-43151) and effective October 19, 
1992, we added Castanea spp. to the list of prohibited articles in 
Sec.  319.37-2(a). However, we failed to update paragraph Sec.  319.37-
3(a)(8) at that time. Therefore, we are proposing to remove the 
reference to Castanea spp. in Sec.  319.37-3(a)(8).
    Paragraph (b) of Sec.  319.37-3 sets out the address to which 
applications for a permit to import regulated articles should be sent. 
In this address, the staff previously known as ``Port Operations'' is 
now known as ``Permits, Registrations, Imports and Manuals.'' We are 
proposing to update that address.

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.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is set out below, regarding the 
effects of this proposed rule on small entities. We do not currently 
have all the data necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the effects 
of this proposed rule on small entities. Therefore, we are inviting 
comments concerning potential economic effects. In particular, we are 
interested in determining the number and kind of small entities that 
may incur benefits or costs from implementation of this proposed rule.
    Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the 
Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to regulate the importation of 
plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction 
of plant pests and noxious weeds.
    We are proposing to amend the regulations on importing nursery 
stock to eliminate certain restrictions on the importation of plants in 
vitro, kenaf seed, and Hydrangea spp.; to establish programs for the 
importation of approved plants; to address recent changes in pest 
distributions; to change the phytosanitary certificate requirements for 
several restricted articles; and to update the list of ports of entry 
and Federal plant inspection stations. We are also proposing several 
other changes to update and clarify the regulations and improve their 
effectiveness. This proposal would relieve restrictions that appear 
unnecessary and would update the existing regulations and make them 
easier to understand and implement. The potential economic effects of 
the changes proposed in this document are discussed below, by topic.
    Several changes we are making, such as adding and changing 
definitions and reorganizing Sec.  319.37-14, are administrative in 
nature and are not expected to have any impact on any U.S. entities, 
whether small or large. This analysis examines the potential economic 
effects of changes that could potentially have economic effects.

Rubus spp. From Europe

    There are more than 400 species of Rubus in the temperate areas of 
the world. These are divided into subcategories that include 
dewberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Most species of Rubus grow 
as shrubs or trailing vines with thorny points. We are proposing to add 
Rubus spp. from Europe not meeting the conditions for importation in 
Sec.  319.37-5(f) to the list of prohibited articles in Sec.  319.37-
2(a). Rubus stunt agent (Phytoplasma) is a leafhopper-borne agent that 
causes damage to foliage and flowers. Rubus stunt agent has caused 
direct damage to European fruits through yield loss.\2\ This proposed 
amendment to Sec.  319.37-2 would have no effect on domestic producers 
and consumers, while safeguarding the multi-million dollar U.S. berry 
production industry (2002).\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Gordon S.C., et al. Progress towards Integrated Crop 
Management (ICM) for European Raspberry Production.
    \3\ National Agricultural Statistical Survey (NASS), Noncitrus 
Fruits and Nuts: Price and Value for the United States, 2000-2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plants In Vitro

    We are proposing to remove the requirement that lots of 13 or more 
items of plants in vitro may only be imported after issuance of a 
written permit by PPQ, unless their importation is prohibited or 
restricted elsewhere in the nursery stock regulations. This change 
would allow plants in vitro to enter at a greater number of ports. We 
are also proposing to remove the requirement for a phytosanitary 
certificate for imported plants in vitro, unless their importation is 
prohibited or restricted elsewhere in the nursery stock regulations. We 
are proposing these changes because the risk of plant pest introduction 
via plants in vitro is extremely low and these requirements are 
unnecessary. We have no reason to expect that making plants in vitro 
generally admissible through the proposed changes would have a 
significant effect on domestic producers and consumers. However, we 
invite the public to submit data on the possible effects of these 
proposed changes.

[[Page 74225]]

    We are also proposing to remove the requirement in Sec.  319.37-
8(c) that growing media imported along with a restricted article be 
transparent or translucent, thus allowing charcoal to be used in 
growing media for plants in vitro. Allowing the use of charcoal as an 
additive to growing media makes APHIS requirements up-to-date with the 
current industry standards. We have no reason to expect that allowing 
the use of charcoal in growing media for plants would have a 
significant effect on domestic producers and consumers. However, we 
invite the public to submit data on the possible effects of this 
proposed change.

Genus and Species Name on Phytosanitary Certificates

    We are proposing to require that the phytosanitary certificate that 
must accompany any restricted article presented for importation into 
the United States under Sec.  319.37-4(a) include the genus and species 
name of the restricted article that it accompanies. Although this 
information is not currently required to be given to APHIS, this 
information is already available for the vast majority of importers and 
exporters on the invoices that typically also accompany restricted 
articles presented for importation into the United States. For this 
reason, we believe that this proposed change would not have a 
significant impact on any entities, whether large or small.

Phytosanitary Certificates for Bulbs From the Netherlands

    We are proposing to allow bulbs from the Netherlands to enter the 
United States with a special certificate in lieu of a phytosanitary 
certificate. The special certificate would list special identification 
information for the shipment, including a serial number referring to 
the phytosanitary certificate on file in the Netherlands. The United 
States imported $145 million worth of bulbs and tubers from the 
Netherlands in 2001. This proposed change would expedite entry of bulbs 
and tubers from the Netherlands when they are carried in small amounts 
by individuals. We have no reason to expect that this change would have 
a significant effect on domestic producers and consumers of bulbs and 
tubers. However, we invite the public to submit data on the possible 
effects of this proposed change.

Importation of Certain Seeds From Canada

    We are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-4 to exempt certain Canadian 
seeds from the requirement for a phytosanitary certificate. Certain 
seeds from specific establishments in Canada would be able to enter the 
United States with proper identification and an alternative document in 
lieu of the required phytosanitary certificate. The alternative 
document would be an export certification label and a document agreed 
upon by APHIS and CFIA. This change would eliminate redundant paperwork 
requirements in the nursery stock regulations and the Federal Seed Act 
regulations in 7 CFR part 361.
    The United States imported $108 million worth of planting seeds 
from Canada in 2001 while exporting $134 million planting seeds to 
Canada. The United States exported $754 million worth of planting seeds 
worldwide in 2001.\4\ This amendment would allow the United States and 
Canada to trade seed more freely, benefitting both countries with 
negligible impacts to domestic producers and consumers of seeds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Foreign Agricultural Service, 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blueberry Plants From Canada

    We are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-5 to require that Vaccinium 
corymbosum plants from Canada be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate with an additional declaration stating they are free of 
blueberry scorch carlavirus. Blueberry production in the United States 
was worth $208 million in 2002.\5\ This additional declaration would 
help to safeguard U.S. producers from virulent strains of the virus 
that only exist in Canada while continuing to allow imports of 
blueberry plants from Canada. This proposed amendment would have a 
negligible impact on domestic producers and consumers of blueberry 
plants.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ NASS, Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts: Price and Value by Crop, 
US, 2000-2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Importation of Pelargonium Plants From the Canary Islands

    We are proposing to require that Pelargonium spp. plants from the 
Canary Islands be grown under certain conditions and accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate. A phytosanitary certificate with an 
additional declaration confirming that those growing conditions have 
been met for Pelargonium spp. plants would minimize risk that such 
organisms such as Helicoverpa armigera, Chrysodexixis chalcites and 
Cornutiplusia circumflexa might enter the United States. No export data 
are currently available for the Canary Islands regarding plant 
cuttings. We invite the public to submit data on the possible effects 
of this proposed change.

Importation of Approved Plants From Israel

    We are proposing to require that plants from Israel be grown under 
certain conditions and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate along 
with an additional declaration confirming that those growing conditions 
have been met. Plants from Israel run the risk of harboring plant pests 
such as Spodoptera littoralis and other pests which could be introduced 
to the United States. S. littoralis is associated with cotton 
production losses around the world. Without control measures, S. 
littoralis could inflict heavy damage to both the yield and quality of 
U.S. cotton production.
    Israel exported $1.9 million worth of plant cuttings to the United 
States in 2001, while the United States exported $11.7 million worth of 
cuttings to the world.\6\ This change would help to safeguard the $3.6 
billion worth of U.S. cotton production (2002).\7\ We have no reason to 
expect that this change would have a significant effect on importers of 
plants from Israel or on domestic cotton producers and consumers. 
However, we invite the public to submit data on the possible effects of 
this proposed change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ FAS., U.S. Trade Statistics, Israel and US, plant cuttings 
code  06021, 2001.
    \7\ USDA-NASS, U.S. cotton production value 2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Treatment of Regulated Articles

    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-4(b), any restricted 
article may be sampled and inspected by an inspector under preclearance 
inspection arrangements in the country in which the article was grown, 
and must undergo any treatment contained in 7 CFR part 305 that is 
ordered by the inspector. We are proposing to add a paragraph to Sec.  
319.37-6 that would explicitly indicate that treatment of regulated 
articles of nursery stock may be administered outside the United 
States. We believe that this changes would not have any significant 
impact on any U.S. entities, whether small or large.

Kenaf Seed From Mexico

    Under the current regulations in Sec.  319.37-6(a), seeds of 
Hibiscus spp. (Hibiscus, rose mallow) from any foreign country or 
locality, at the time of importation into the United States, must be 
treated for possible infestation with pink bollworm in accordance with 
the applicable provisions of 7 CFR part 305. We are proposing to 
provide an exception to the restriction for seeds of kenaf from Mexico 
that are imported into pink bollworm generally infested

[[Page 74226]]

areas in the United States. The States of Arizona, New Mexico, and 
Texas, and specific counties in California are pink bollworm generally 
infested areas. Under our proposed rule, shipments of untreated kenaf 
seed from Mexico would be authorized entry into those pink bollworm 
generally infested areas subject to inspection. Immediately upon 
release, those shipments would be subject to the domestic pink bollworm 
quarantine regulations in Sec. Sec.  301.52 through 301.52-10, Subpart-
Pink Bollworm.
    Allowing the importation of untreated kenaf seed from Mexico into 
pink bollworm generally infested areas may have economic effects on 
some U.S. entities; however, if effects occurred, they would be small, 
given that the United States imports mainly processed kenaf and very 
little seed and raw fiber.\8\ For example, on average between 1999 and 
2001, the United States imported 0.3 percent of world imports of raw 
(seeds are included) kenaf (table 1). U.S. demand for imported kenaf 
seed from Mexico is not expected to increase significantly as a result 
of the proposed change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ The primary focus of the kenaf development has been on the 
newsprint industry with its annual world production near the 30 
million tons level (Scott & Taylor, 1990). U.S. publishers and other 
users account for nearly half of the world's total consumption of 
the processed kenaf. Annual production of newsprint in the United 
States is approximately 5 million tons. Traditionally, imports of 
processed kenaf have accounted for about 60 percent of U.S. 
consumption and demand has steadily increased at about 2.5 percent 
annually.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kenaf is an annual herbaceous plant of the Malvaceae family, and 
its flowers are closely related to those of cotton, okra, and 
hollyhock. Latin America, including Mexico, produces about 5 percent of 
the world's kenaf seed and fiber (table 2). Kenaf seed can grow in many 
parts of the United States, but it generally needs a long, warm growing 
season to produce the necessary yield to make it a profitable crop. 
Such a climate can only be found in the southern United States. Primary 
production areas in the United States are Texas (lower Rio Grande 
Valley), Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. An estimated 
8,000 acres of kenaf was grown in the United States in 1997.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Economic Research Service, USDA, FLO-2002, May 2002. 
Floriculture and Nursery Crops. Situation and Outlook Yearbook.

    Table 1.--World Imports of Raw Kenaf Seeds & Fibers (Metric Tons)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Calendar year                1999         2000         2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
United States....................        2,400          800          500
Mexico...........................            0            0            0
Rest of the world................      330,300      288,200      272,200
World............................      332,700      289,000      272,700
------------------------------------------------------------------------


  Table 2.--World Production of Raw Kenaf Seeds & Fibers (Metric Tons)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Crop year               1999-2000    2000-2001    2001-2002
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Developed countries \1\..........        7,000        7,000        7,000
Latin America \2\................       25,400       24,100       12,500
Rest of the world................      427,100      388,300      409,800
World............................      459,500      419,400     440,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Developed countries include Europe, United States, Australia, New
  Zealand, Japan, and former Soviet Republics.
\2\ Latin America includes Mexico.
Source: Food & Agriculture Organization of the U.N., Commodities and
  Trade Division, Current Situation & Short Term Outlook for Hard
  Fibers, Kenaf, Jute, & Allied Fibers Statistics, December 2002.

    The number and size of the entities that might be affected by this 
proposed change is unknown. APHIS requests that the public provide 
information regarding the kind and the number of entities that might be 
affected.

Postentry Quarantine Requirements for Hydrangea spp.

    We are proposing to decrease the amount of time imported Hydrangea 
spp. must be grown in postentry quarantine conditions from 2 years to 9 
months. This proposed change could affect the volume of Hydrangea spp. 
imported into the United States because it would decrease the cost 
associated with growing Hydrangea spp. in postentry quarantine 
conditions after importation into the United States. With this change, 
Canada's 9-month postentry growing period for Hydrangea spp. would be 
equivalent to the postentry quarantine conditions specified in Sec.  
319.37-7. Hydrangea spp. from another country or locality that are 
imported into Canada and grown in accordance with Canadian postentry 
growing requirements would be considered to be from Canada and would no 
longer be required to be grown under postentry quarantine conditions 
for 2 years after the time of importation into the United States. 
Therefore, this change would relieve restrictions on the importation of 
Hydrangea spp. from Canada.
    Hydrangeas are summer-flowering shrubs which are usually shipped in 
the late fall through early winter, after they have received a cold 
storage treatment. There are nine main Hydrangea varieties in the 
world. Only two, Hydrangea arborescens and Hydrangea quercifolia, are 
native to the United States; the other seven are native to Asia.\10\ 
The popularity and production of hydrangeas have both been increasing 
in the past few years in the United States and so has demand for them. 
Thus, the shorter quarantine period for imported Hydrangea spp. would 
benefit the U.S. public. However, it is difficult to measure the size 
of any possible economic impact of this proposed change in postentry 
quarantine duration for imported hydrangeas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Hydrangeas: Arboresscens (U.S. native), Quercifolia (U.S. 
native), Aspera, Involucrata, Macrophylla Normalis, Macrophylla, 
Paniculata, Anomala, & Macrophylla Serrata.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The number and size of the entities that might be affected by this 
proposed change is unknown. APHIS requests that the public provide 
information regarding the kind and the number of entities that might be 
affected.

[[Page 74227]]

Postentry Quarantine Requirements for Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema 
spp., Leucanthemella serotina, and Nipponanthemum nipponicum

    We are proposing to decrease the amount of the time that certain 
imported chrysanthemums (i.e., Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp, 
Leucanthemella serotina, and Nipponanthemum nipponicum) must be grown 
in postentry quarantine conditions from 6 months to 2 months if the 
articles are grown in accordance with the requirements of an APHIS-
approved best management practices program. The proposed change would 
affect the volume of chrysanthemums imported into the United States 
because it would likely decrease the cost associated with growing them 
in postentry quarantine conditions after their importation. PPQ has 
determined that imported chrysanthemums that might be affected with 
chrysanthemum white rust (CWR) are likely to express symptoms of this 
disease if it is present within a 2-month postentry quarantine period; 
the extra safeguards required by a best management practices program 
act as an additional mitigation against the risk of articles with CWR 
introducing the disease into the wider environment. Articles identified 
as being affected with CWR can then be prevented from entering U.S. 
commerce.
    The economic effects of the proposed change are expected to be 
positive, if small, for U.S. importers of chrysanthemums and the U.S. 
public. The popularity of chrysanthemums in the United States has been 
increasing and so has demand for them. In 2003, the value of imported 
chrysanthemums was around $83.4 million, or 7 percent of the value of 
all imported flowers (i.e., fresh cut flowers and florist plants).\11\ 
In the same year, the wholesale value of the domestic sales of 
chrysanthemums reached $95 million.\12\ APHIS's efforts to prevent the 
introduction of CWR safeguard the $14 billion U.S. floriculture and 
nursery crop industries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ USDA, FAS, U.S. Trade Statistics, HS 10 Digit Imports 
0603107010, 0603107020, 0602903010.
    \12\ USDA, ERS, Floriculture and Nursery Crops Outlook, 
Electronic Outlook Report, FLO-1, September 12, 2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The shorter postentry quarantine period for imported chrysanthemums 
would benefit both U.S. importers and U.S. consumers. This proposed 
change would reduce the cost to the chrysanthemum importers, and those 
savings may be passed along to U.S. buyers of these flowers in the form 
of lower retail prices. However, the costs of implementing and 
maintaining an APHIS-approved best management practices program, as 
well as the benefits from the shorter quarantine period, are unknown. 
Therefore, it is difficult to measure the size of the economic impact 
of this proposed change in postentry quarantine duration for the 
chrysanthemums.
    The number and size of entities that might be affected by this 
proposed change is unknown. APHIS requests the public provide 
information regarding the kind and the number that might be affected.

Plants in Growing Media From Certain Areas in Canada

    We are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-8(b) allow importation of 
restricted plant articles from areas of Canada that are infested with 
potato cyst nematodes as long as they are grown in approved media and 
isolated from potato cyst nematodes. APHIS has determined that 
restricted articles from these areas that are grown in approved media 
can be isolated in such a manner as to prevent the introduction of 
potato cyst nematodes. These articles would be allowed to be imported 
if they are grown in approved media and are accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the facility in which they were produced is capable of isolating the 
plants from nematodes and that the plants were isolated from nematodes 
throughout their production. Allowing these restricted articles to 
enter under these conditions would increase the flexibility of imports 
while protecting the United States against potato cyst nematode 
infestation. We have no reason to expect that this change would have a 
significant effect on domestic producers and consumers of nursery 
stock. However, we invite the public to submit data on the possible 
effects of this proposed change.

Additions to the List of Approved Growing Media

    We are proposing to amend Sec.  319.37-8(d) to allow unused clay 
pots and new wooden baskets to be used as a growing media for epiphytic 
plants. No trade information is currently available for clay pots and 
wooden baskets. Planting epiphytic plants into new wooden baskets and 
unused clay pots is a standard nursery practice. Importers have 
requested that APHIS amend the regulations to allow them to import 
plants in wooden baskets and clay pots. Neither medium is believed to 
pose a pest risk. We have no reason to expect that this change would 
have a significant effect on domestic producers and consumers of 
nursery stock. However, we invite the public to submit data on the 
possible effects of this proposed change.

Federal Plant Inspection Stations and Other Ports of Entry

    We are proposing to add a plant inspection station in Linden, NJ, 
to the list of Federal plant inspection stations in Sec.  319.37-14. 
Adding this facility to the list of Federal plant inspection stations 
would make importation of nursery stock more convenient and possibly 
less costly for domestic sellers and consumers without reducing the 
effectiveness of the regulations.
    This proposed rule contains new information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements (see ``Paperwork Reduction Act'' below).

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

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. 03-002-1. 
Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 03-002-1, 
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 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.
    In this document, we are proposing to amend the regulations on 
importing nursery stock to eliminate various restrictions on the 
importation of plants in vitro and kenaf seed; to establish programs 
for the importation of approved plants from the Canary Islands and from 
Israel; to require an additional declaration on the phytosanitary 
certificate accompanying blueberry plants imported from Canada; to 
require

[[Page 74228]]

that phytosanitary certificates include the genus and species names of 
the restricted articles they accompany; to change the phytosanitary 
certificate requirements for several restricted articles; to reduce the 
postentry quarantine growing period for Hydrangea spp. and for certain 
chrysanthemums; and to update the list of ports of entry and Federal 
plant inspection stations. We are also proposing several other changes 
to update and clarify the regulations and improve their effectiveness. 
This proposal would relieve restrictions that appear unnecessary and 
would update the existing regulations and make them easier to 
understand and implement.
    These changes will necessitate the use of certain information 
collection activities, including the completion of phytosanitary 
certificates.
    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 0.2774 hours per response.
    Respondents: Importers of nursery stock and foreign officials.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 804.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 804.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 223 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.

Lists of Subjects

7 CFR Part 319

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

7 CFR Part 330

    Customs duties and inspection, Imports, Plant diseases and pests, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

7 CFR Part 340

    Administrative practice and procedure, Biotechnology, Genetic 
engineering, Imports, Packaging and containers, Plant diseases and 
pests, Transportation.
    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR parts 319, 330, and 340 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, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 
and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.


Sec.  319.28  [Amended]

    2. In Sec.  319.28, the introductory text of paragraph (b)(7) would 
be amended by removing the word ``listed'' and adding the word 
``identified'' in its place.
    3. Section 319.37-1 would be amended as follows:
    a. By removing the definition for bulbs.
    b. By adding new definitions, in alphabetical order, for bulb, 
plant, plants in vitro, preclearance, regulated plants, and State to 
read as set forth below.
    c. By revising the definitions for from, inspector, person, plant 
pest, restricted article, and United States to read as set forth below.


Sec.  319.37-1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Bulb. The portion of a plant commonly known as a bulb, bulbil, 
bulblet, corm, cormel, rhizome, tuber, or pip, and including fleshy 
roots or other underground fleshy growths, a unit of which produces an 
individual plant.
* * * * *
    From. An article is considered to be ``from'' an exporting country 
or area when it was grown or propagated only in the exporting country 
or area, or when it was grown in the exporting country or area after it 
entered the exporting country or area from another country or area 
under conditions that are equivalent to those that would be required by 
the United States if the plant were imported into the United States 
directly from any of the countries or areas where the plant was grown 
prior to its entry into the exporting country or area.
* * * * *
    Inspector. Any individual authorized by the Administrator of APHIS 
or the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Department of 
Homeland Security, to enforce the regulations in this part.
* * * * *
    Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, 
joint venture, or other legal entity.
* * * * *
    Plant. Any plant (including any plant part) for or capable of 
propagation, including a tree, a tissue culture, a plantlet culture, 
pollen, a shrub, a vine, a cutting, a graft, a scion, a bud, a bulb, a 
root, and a seed.
    Plant pest. Any living stage of any of the following that can 
directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any 
plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic 
plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or 
other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied with any of these 
articles.
    Plants in vitro. Plants in an aseptic medium in a closed container.
* * * * *
    Preclearance. Phytosanitary certification and/or clearance in the 
country in which the articles were grown, performed by or under the 
regular supervision of APHIS.
* * * * *
    Regulated plant. Any gymnosperm, angiosperm, fern, or fern ally. 
Gymnosperms include cycads, conifers, and gingko. Angiosperms include 
any

[[Page 74229]]

flowering plant. Fern allies include club moss, horsetail, whisk fern, 
spike moss, and quillwort.
    Restricted article. Any class of nursery stock or other regulated 
plant, root, bulb, seed, or other plant product, for or capable of 
propagation, excluding any prohibited articles listed in Sec.  319.37-
2(a) or (b) of this subpart, and excluding any articles regulated in 
Sec. Sec.  319.8 through 319.24 or 319.41 through 319.74-4 and any 
articles regulated in part 360 of this chapter.
* * * * *
    State. Any of the several States of the United States, the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the 
United States, or any other territory or possession of the United 
States.
* * * * *
    United States. All of the States.
    4. Section 319.37-2 would be amended as follows:
    a. In the table in paragraph (a), new entries for ``Pelargonium 
spp. plants not meeting the requirements for importation in Sec.  
319.37-5(u)'', ``Plants (except bulbs, dormant perennials, plants in 
vitro and seeds) not meeting the requirements for importation in Sec.  
319.37-5(v)'', ``Rubus spp. not meeting the conditions for importation 
in Sec.  319.37-5(f)'', and ``Vaccinium corymbosum plants not meeting 
the conditions for importation in Sec.  319.37-5(t)'' would be added, 
in alphabetical order, to read as set forth below.
    b. Paragraph (c)(2) would be amended by removing the words ``Plant 
Germplasm Quarantine Center, Building 320'' and adding the words 
``National Plant Germplasm Inspection Station, Building 580'' in their 
place; and by removing the words ``at a port of entry designated by an 
asterisk in Sec.  319.37-14(b)'' and adding the words ``through any 
Federal plant inspection station listed in Sec.  319.37-14'' in their 
place.


Sec.  319.37-2  Prohibited articles.

    (a) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Plant pests existing
 Prohibited article (includes     Foreign places    in the places named
  seeds only if  specifically       from which      and capable of being
          mentioned)                prohibited      transported with the
                                                     prohibited article
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
Pelargonium spp. plants not     Canary Islands     Helicoverpa armigera,
 meeting the conditions for      (Spain).           Chrysodeixis
 importation in Sec.   319.37-                      chalcites, and
 5(u).                                              Cornutiplusia
                                                    circumflexa.
 
                              * * * * * * *
Plants (except bulbs, dormant   Israel...........  Spodoptera littoralis
 herbaceous perennials, plants                      and other quarantine
 in vitro, and seeds) not                           pests.
 meeting the conditions for
 importation in Sec.   319.37-
 5(v).
 
                              * * * * * * *
Rubus spp. not meeting the      Europe...........  Rubus stunt agent.
 conditions for importation in
 Sec.   319.37-5(f).
 
                              * * * * * * *
Vaccinium corymbosum plants     Canada...........  Blueberry scorch
 not meeting the conditions                         carlavirus.
 for importation in Sec.
 319.37-5(t).
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    5. Section 319.37-3 would be amended as follows:
    a. In paragraph (a)(3), by removing the word ``spp.'' the first 
time it occurs.
    b. By revising paragraph (a)(5) to read as set forth below.
    c. In paragraph (a)(8), by removing the words ``Castanea spp. 
(chestnut) or''.
    d. In paragraph (b), in the introductory text of the paragraph and 
in footnote 4, by removing the words ``Port Operations'' and adding the 
words ``Permits, Registrations, Imports and Manuals'' in their place.


Sec.  319.37-3  Permits.

    (a) * * *
    (5) Lots of 13 or more articles (other than seeds, bulbs, or plants 
in vitro whose importation is not otherwise prohibited or restricted in 
this subpart) from any country except Canada;
* * * * *
    6. Section 319.37-4 would be amended as follows:
    a. By revising paragraph (a) to read as set forth below.
    b. By adding a new paragraph (d) to read as set forth below.


Sec.  319.37-4  Inspection, treatment, and phytosanitary certificates 
of inspection.

    (a) Phytosanitary certificates of inspection. Any restricted 
article offered for importation into the United States must be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection. The 
phytosanitary certificate must include the genus and species name of 
the restricted article that it accompanies. Phytosanitary certificates 
are not required for the following restricted articles:
    (1) Plants in vitro whose importation is not otherwise restricted 
or prohibited by this subpart.
    (2) Greenhouse-grown plants from Canada imported in accordance with 
paragraph (c) of this section. These plants must be accompanied by a 
certificate of inspection in the form of a label in accordance with 
paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section attached to each carton of the 
articles and to an airway bill, bill of lading, or delivery ticket 
accompanying the articles.
    (3) Seeds from Canada imported in accordance with paragraph (d) of 
this section. Each carton of seed must be labeled as required by 
(d)(2)(ii). Each shipment of seed must be accompanied by the documents 
in (d)(2)(iii) and (d)(2)(iv), as necessary.
    (4) Bulbs from the Netherlands accompanied by a special certificate 
that lists a serial number, the scientific name of the bulb, the 
country of its origin, and a date on which the special certificate 
expires. The serial number must refer to a phytosanitary certificate 
issued, held, and retrievable upon request by the national plant 
protection organization of the Netherlands. The expiration date must be 
4 weeks after the issuance of the phytosanitary certificate held by the 
national plant protection organization of the Netherlands. Shipments of 
bulbs from the Netherlands accompanied by this certificate may be 
imported into the

[[Page 74230]]

United States without preclearance by APHIS.
* * * * *
    (d) Certain seeds from Canada. Seeds imported from Canada may be 
imported without a phytosanitary certificate if the following 
conditions are met:
    (1) The Canadian Food Inspection Agency shall:
    (i) Establish and administer a seed export program under which 
Canadian exporters of seed may operate;
    (ii) Assign a unique identification number to each exporting 
establishment enrolled in and approved by the seed inspection program;
    (iii) Provide APHIS with a current list of the establishments 
participating in its seed export program and their names, locations, 
telephone numbers, and establishment identification numbers at the 
start of the shipping season, and provide regular updates to that list 
throughout the shipping season;
    (iv) Enter into an agreement with APHIS that specifies the 
documents that must accompany shipments of seeds under the seed export 
program:
    (A) Agricultural and vegetable seeds, as listed in the Federal Seed 
Act regulations in part 361 of this chapter, must be accompanied by a 
document certifying that the relevant provisions of the Federal Seed 
Act have been followed;
    (B) Other seeds must be accompanied by a document certifying that 
the seeds have been inspected.
    (2) Each seed exporter participating in the seed export program 
shall enter into an agreement with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency 
in which the exporter agrees to:
    (i) Practice any and all safeguards the Canadian Food Inspection 
Agency may prescribe in order to ensure that seed exported to the 
United States is free of plant pests and that seed that does not meet 
the requirements for exportation to the United States is separated from 
seed that does;
    (ii) Include an export certification document with each shipment 
indicating the common name of the seed, the country of origin of the 
seed, the establishment identification number assigned to the exporting 
establishment under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's seed export 
program, and the lot number in addition to all other information 
required to be present by Sec.  361.3 of this chapter.
    (iii) Include other shipping documents as required with each 
shipment:
    (A) Shipments of agricultural and vegetable seeds, as listed in the 
Federal Seed Act, must be accompanied by a document certifying that the 
relevant provisions of the Federal Seed Act regulations in part 361 of 
this chapter have been followed, as agreed upon by the Canadian Food 
Inspection Agency and APHIS;
    (B) Shipments of other seeds must be accompanied by a document 
certifying that the seeds have been inspected, as agreed upon by the 
Canadian Food Inspection Agency and APHIS.
    7. Section 319.37-5 would be amended as follows:
    a. In paragraph (a), by revising the country list at the end of the 
paragraph to read as set forth below.
    b. In paragraph (b)(1), by removing the words ``Federal Republic of 
Germany'' and replacing them with the word ``Germany''.
    c. In paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(1)(i), by removing the words 
``Federal Republic of Germany'' and replacing them with the word 
``Germany'' each time they appear.
    d. By adding new paragraphs (t), (u), and (v) to read as set forth 
below.


Sec.  319.37-5  Special foreign inspection and certification 
requirements.

    (a) * * *
    Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, 
Azores, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada (only that portion 
comprising Newfoundland and that portion of the Municipality of Central 
Saanich in the Province of British Columbia east of the West Saanich 
Road), Channel Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Crete, Croatia, 
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Faeroe Islands), Ecuador, 
Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, 
Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, 
Jersey, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Morocco, the 
Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, 
Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Serbia and 
Montenegro, South Africa, Spain (including Canary Islands), Slovakia, 
Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, 
Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.
* * * * *
    (t) For any Vaccinium corymbosum plants from Canada, the 
phytosanitary certificate of inspection required by Sec.  319.37-4 must 
contain an additional declaration that such article was found by the 
national plant protection organization of Canada to be free of 
blueberry scorch carlavirus.
    (u) Special foreign inspection and certification requirements for 
Pelargonium spp. plants from the Canary Islands. Pelargonium spp. 
plants from the Canary Islands may only be imported into the United 
States in accordance with the requirements of this section, to prevent 
the plant pests Helicoverpa armigera, Chrysodeixis chalcites, and 
Cornutiplusia circumflexa from entering the United States.
    (1) Phytosanitary certificate. The phytosanitary certificate of 
inspection required by Sec.  319.37-4 that accompanies Pelargonium spp. 
plants from the Canary Islands must contain additional declarations 
that the plants were produced in an approved Spanish (Canary Island) 
production site, that the production site is operated by a grower 
participating in the export program for Pelargonium spp. plants 
established by the national plant protection organization of Spain, and 
that the plants were grown under conditions specified by APHIS as 
described in this paragraph Sec.  319.37-5(u) to prevent infestation 
with Helicoverpa armigera, Chrysodeixis chalcites, and Cornutiplusia 
circumflexa.
    (2) Grower registration and agreement. Persons in the Canary 
Islands who produce Pelargonium spp. plants for export to the United 
States must:
    (i) Be registered and approved by the national plant protection 
organization of Spain; and
    (ii) Enter into an agreement with the national plant protection 
organization of Spain whereby the producer agrees to participate in and 
follow the export program for Pelargonium spp. plants established by 
the national plant protection organization of Spain.
    (3) Growing requirements. Growers in the Canary Islands who produce 
Pelargonium spp. plants for export to the United States must meet the 
following requirements for inclusion in the export program for 
Pelargonium spp. plants established by the national plant protection 
organization of Spain:
    (i) Pelargonium spp. plants destined for export to the United 
States must be produced in a production site devoted solely to 
production of such plants.
    (ii) The production sites in which such plants are produced must be 
registered with the national plant protection organization of Spain. 
Such production sites must employ safeguards agreed on by APHIS and the 
national plant protection organization of Spain, including, but not 
limited to, prescribed mesh screen size (if the production site is a 
screenhouse) and

[[Page 74231]]

automatically closing doors, to ensure the exclusion of H. armigera.
    (iii) Each production site in which plants destined for export to 
the United States are grown must have at least one blacklight trap for 
1 year following any of the following events:
    (A) The construction of the production site;
    (B) The entry of the production site into the approved plants 
export program;
    (C) The replacement of the covering of the production site; or
    (D) The detection and repair of a break or tear in the plastic or 
screening in the production site.
    (4) Inspections. Inspections undertaken in the export program for 
Pelargonium spp. plants established by the national plant protection 
organization of Spain will include, but may not be limited to, the 
following:
    (i) The national plant protection organization of Spain will 
inspect the plants and the production site during the growing season 
and during packing.
    (ii) Packing materials and shipping containers for the plants must 
be inspected and approved by APHIS to ensure that they do not introduce 
pests of concern to the plants.
    (iii) Either APHIS or the national plant protection organization of 
Spain will inspect the production site of the plants to ensure that 
they meet standards of sanitation agreed upon by APHIS and the national 
plant protection organization of Spain.
    (iv) Inspectors from both APHIS and the national plant protection 
organization of Spain will have access to the production site as 
necessary to ensure that growers are employing the proper safeguards 
against infestation of H. armigera, C. chalcites, and C. circumflexa 
and that those safeguards are correctly implemented.
    (v) The national plant protection organization of Spain will 
provide APHIS with access to the list of registered and approved 
growers at least annually.
    (5) Ineligibility for participation. (i) Growers will be ineligible 
for participation in the export program for Pelargonium spp. plants 
established by the national plant protection organization of Spain and 
their production sites will lose approved status if:
    (A) Live Cornutiplusia circumflexa (or any other moth of the family 
Noctuidae) are found in a production site;
    (B) Live Cornutiplusia circumflexa (or any other moth of the family 
Noctuidae) are found in a shipment of plants; or
    (C) Growers violate the requirements set out in this section and by 
the export program established by the national plant protection 
organization of Spain.
    (ii) A grower may be reinstated, and the grower's production sites 
may regain approved status, by requesting reapproval and submitting a 
detailed report describing the corrective actions taken by the grower. 
Reapproval will only be granted upon concurrence from the national 
plant protection organization of Spain and APHIS.
    (6) Termination. APHIS may terminate the entire program if there 
are repeated violations of procedural or biological requirements.
    (7) Trust fund. The government of Spain must enter into a trust 
fund agreement with APHIS before each growing season. The government of 
Spain or its designated representative is required to pay in advance 
all estimated costs that APHIS expects to incur through its involvement 
in overseeing the execution of paragraph (u) of this section. These 
costs will include administrative expenses incurred in conducting the 
services enumerated in paragraph (u) of this section and all salaries 
(including overtime and the Federal share of employee benefits), travel 
expenses (including per diem expenses), and other incidental expenses 
incurred by the inspectors in performing these services. The government 
of Spain or its designated representative is required to deposit a 
certified or cashier's check with APHIS for the amount of the costs 
estimated by APHIS. If the deposit is not sufficient to meet all costs 
incurred by APHIS, the agreement further requires the government of 
Spain or its designated representative to deposit with APHIS a 
certified or cashier's check for the amount of the remaining costs, as 
determined by APHIS, before the services will be completed. After a 
final audit at the conclusion of each shipping season, any overpayment 
of funds would be returned to the government of Spain or its designated 
representative or held on account until needed.
    (v) Special foreign inspection and certification requirements for 
plants from Israel. Plants from Israel, except bulbs, dormant 
perennials, plants in vitro, and seeds, may only be imported into the 
United States in accordance with the regulations in this section, to 
prevent Spodoptera littoralis and other quarantine pests found in 
Israel from entering the United States.
    (1) Phytosanitary certificate. The phytosanitary certificate of 
inspection required by Sec.  319.37-4 that accompanies plants from 
Israel at the time of arrival at the port of first arrival in the 
United States must contain additional declarations that the plants were 
produced in an approved Israeli production site, that the production 
site is operated by a grower participating in the export program for 
plants established by the national plant protection organization of 
Israel, and that the plants were grown under conditions specified by 
APHIS as described in this paragraph Sec.  319.37-5(v) to prevent 
infestation or contamination with Spodoptera littoralis or other 
quarantine pests.
    (2) Grower registration and agreement. Persons in Israel who 
produce plants for export to the United States must:
    (i) Be registered and approved by the national plant protection 
organization of Israel; and
    (ii) Enter into an agreement with the national plant protection 
organization of Israel whereby the producer agrees to participate in 
and follow the export program for plants established by the national 
plant protection organization of Israel.
    (3) Growing requirements. Growers in Israel who produce plants for 
export to the United States must meet the following requirements for 
inclusion in the export program for plants established by the national 
plant protection organization of Israel:
    (i) Plants destined for export to the United States must come from 
a production site devoted solely to production of such plants.
    (ii) The production sites in which such plants are produced must be 
registered with the national plant protection organization of Israel. 
These production sites must employ safeguards agreed on by APHIS and 
the national plant protection organization of Israel to prevent the 
entry of S. littoralis, including, but not limited to, insect-proof 
screening over openings and double or airlock-type doors. Any rips or 
tears in the insect-proof screening must be repaired immediately.
    (iii) Each production site in which plants destined for export to 
the United States are grown must have at least one blacklight trap for 
1 year following any of the following events:
    (A) The construction of the production site;
    (B) The entry of the production site into the approved plants 
export program;
    (C) The replacement of the covering of the production site; or
    (D) The detection and repair of a break or tear in the plastic or 
screening in the production site.
    (4) Inspections. Inspections undertaken in the export program for 
plants established by the national plant protection organization of 
Israel will

[[Page 74232]]

include, but may not be limited to, the following:
    (i) The national plant protection organization of Israel will 
inspect the plants and the production site weekly to ensure that no 
quarantine pests are present.
    (ii) Plants must be inspected to ensure that they are free of 
quarantine pests before being allowed into the screened area of the 
production site.
    (iii) The national plant protection organization of Israel will 
inspect the plants to ensure that no quarantine pests are present prior 
to export.
    (iv) Packing materials and shipping containers for the plants must 
be inspected and approved by APHIS to ensure that they do not introduce 
pests of concern to the plants.
    (v) Either APHIS or the national plant protection organization of 
Israel will inspect the production site of the plants to ensure that 
they meet standards of sanitation approved by APHIS.
    (vi) Inspectors from both APHIS and the national plant protection 
organization of Israel will have access to the production site as 
necessary to ensure that growers are employing the safeguards and 
procedures prescribed by the program and that those safeguards and 
procedures are correctly implemented.
    (vii) The national plant protection organization of Israel will 
provide APHIS with access to the list of registered and approved 
growers at least annually.
    (5) Ineligibility for participation. (i) Growers will be ineligible 
for participation in the export program for plants established by the 
national plant protection organization of Israel and their production 
sites will lose approved status if:
    (A) Live Spoeoptera littoralis are found in a production site;
    (B) Live Spoeoptera littoralis are found at port inspection two 
times during the shipping season in shipments from the same grower; or
    (C) Growers violate the requirements set out in this section and by 
the export program established by the national plant protection 
organization of Israel.
    (ii) A grower may be reinstated, and the grower's production sites 
may regain approved status, by requesting reapproval and submitting a 
detailed report describing the corrective actions taken by the grower. 
Reapproval will only be granted upon concurrence from the national 
plant protection organization of Israel and APHIS.
    (6) Termination. APHIS may terminate the entire program if there 
are repeated violations of procedural or biological requirements.
    (7) Trust fund. The government of Israel must enter into a trust 
fund agreement with APHIS before each growing season. The government of 
Israel or its designated representative is required to pay in advance 
all estimated costs that APHIS expects to incur through its involvement 
in overseeing the execution of paragraph (v) of this section. These 
costs will include administrative expenses incurred in conducting the 
services enumerated in paragraph (v) of this section and all salaries 
(including overtime and the Federal share of employee benefits), travel 
expenses (including per diem expenses), and other incidental expenses 
incurred by the inspectors in performing these services. The government 
of Israel or its designated representative is required to deposit a 
certified or cashier's check with APHIS for the amount of the costs 
estimated by APHIS. If the deposit is not sufficient to meet all costs 
incurred by APHIS, the agreement further requires the government of 
Israel or its designated representative to deposit with APHIS a 
certified or cashier's check for the amount of the remaining costs, as 
determined by APHIS, before the services will be completed. After a 
final audit at the conclusion of each shipping season, any overpayment 
of funds would be returned to the government of Israel or its 
designated representative or held on account until needed.
* * * * *
    8. Section 319.37-6 would be revised to read as follows.


Sec.  319.37-6  Specific treatment and other requirements.

    (a) The following seeds and bulbs may be imported into the United 
States from designated countries and localities only if they have been 
treated for the specified pests in accordance with part 305 of this 
chapter. Seeds and bulbs treated prior to importation outside the 
United States must be treated in accordance with Sec.  319.37-13(c). An 
inspector may require treatment within the United States of articles 
that have been treated prior to importation outside the United States 
if such treatment is determined to be necessary:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Pest(s) for
           Seed/bulb               Country/locality      which treatment
                                                           is required
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Allium sativum (garlic) bulbs.  Algeria, Armenia,       Brachycerus spp.
                                 Austria, Azerbaijan,    and Dyspessa
                                 Belarus, Croatia,       ulula (Bkh.).
                                 Czech Republic,
                                 Egypt, France,
                                 Georgia, Germany,
                                 Greece, Hungary,
                                 Iran, Israel, Italy,
                                 Kazakhstan,
                                 Kyrgyzstan, Republic
                                 of Moldova, Morocco,
                                 Portugal, Serbia and
                                 Montenegro, Slovakia,
                                 Slovenia, Republic of
                                 South Africa, Spain,
                                 Switzerland, Syria,
                                 Russian Federation,
                                 Tajikistan, Turkey,
                                 Turkmenistan,
                                 Ukraine, and
                                 Uzbekistan.
Castanea and Quercus seeds.     All except Canada and   Curculio elephas
                                 Mexico.                 (Cyllenhal), C.
                                                         nucum L., Cydia
                                                         (Laspeyresia)
                                                         splendana
                                                         Hubner, Pammene
                                                         fusciana L.
                                                         (Hemimene
                                                         juliana
                                                         (Curtis)) and
                                                         other insect
                                                         pests of
                                                         chestnut and
                                                         acorn.
Guizotia abyssinica (niger)     All (see paragraph (c)  Cuscuta spp.
 seeds.                          of this section).
Hibiscus spp. (hibiscus, rose   All except kenaf seed   Pectinophora
 mallow) seeds and Abelmoschus   (Hibiscus cannabinus)   gossypiella
 ssp. (okra) seeds.              from Mexico to be       (Saunders)
                                 imported into pink      (pink
                                 bollworm generally      bollworm).
                                 infested areas listed
                                 in Sec.   301.52-2a.
Lathyrus spp. (sweet pea,       All except North        Insects of the
 peavine) seeds, Lens spp.       America and Central     family
 (lentil) seeds, and Vicia       America.                Bruchidae.
 spp. (fava bean, vetch) seeds.

[[Page 74233]]

 
Rutaceae seeds................  Afghanistan, Andaman    Xanthomonas
                                 Islands, Argentina,     axonopodis, pv.
                                 Bangladesh, Brazil,     citri (citrus
                                 Caroline Islands,       canker).
                                 Comoro Islands, Fiji
                                 Islands, Home Island
                                 in Cocos, (Keeling)
                                 Islands, Hong Kong,
                                 India, Indonesia,
                                 Ivory Coast, Japan,
                                 Kampuchea, Korea,
                                 Madagascar, Malaysia,
                                 Mauritius,
                                 Mozambique, Myanmar,
                                 Nepal, Oman,
                                 Pakistan, Papua New
                                 Guinea, Paraguay,
                                 People's Republic of
                                 China, Philippines,
                                 Reunion Island,
                                 Rodriquez Islands,
                                 Ryukyu Islands, Saudi
                                 Arabia, Seychelles,
                                 Sri Lanka, Taiwan,
                                 Thailand, Thursday
                                 Island, United Arab
                                 Emirates, Uruguay,
                                 Vietnam, Yemen
                                 (Sanaa), and Zaire.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) Seeds and bulbs that are treated within the United States must 
be treated at the time of importation into the United States.
    (c) Seeds of Guizotia abyssinica (niger seed) that are treated 
prior to shipment to the United States at a facility that is approved 
by APHIS \8\ and that operates in compliance with a written agreement 
between the treatment facility owner and the plant protection service 
of the exporting country, in which the treatment facility owner agrees 
to comply with the provisions of this section and allow inspectors and 
representatives of the plant protection service of the exporting 
country access to the treatment facility as necessary to monitor 
compliance with the regulations. Treatments must be certified in 
accordance with the conditions described in Sec.  319.37-13(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Criteria for the approval of heat treatment facilities are 
contained in part 305 of this chapter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (d) Shipments of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) seed from Mexico that 
are imported into pink bollworm generally infested areas listed in 
Sec.  301.52-2a shall be subject to inspection, and shall immediately, 
upon release, be subject to the domestic pink bollworm quarantine 
regulations in Sec. Sec.  301.52 through 301.52-10, ``Subpart-Pink 
Bollworm,'' of this chapter.
    9. Section 319.37-7 would be amended as follows:
    a. In the table in paragraph (a)(3), by revising the entries for 
``Fragaria spp.'', ``Jasminum spp.'', and ``Sorbus spp.'' to read as 
set forth below.
    b. By revising paragraph (d)(7)(ii) to read as set forth below.
    c. By removing paragraph (g).


Sec.  319.37-7  Postentry quarantine.

    (a) * * *
    (3) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Restricted articles         Foreign country(ies) or locality(ies)
      (excluding seeds)                   from which imported
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
Fragaria spp. (strawberry)...  All except Armenia, Australia, Austria,
                                Azerbaijan, Belarus, Canada, Czech
                                Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia,
                                Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Latvia,
                                Lebanon, Lithuania, Kazakhstan,
                                Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, the
                                Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern
                                Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Russian
                                Federation, Slovakia, Switzerland,
                                Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and
                                Uzbekistan.
 
                              * * * * * * *
Jasminum spp. (jasmine)......  All except Canada, Belgium, Germany,
                                Great Britain, India, and the
                                Philippines.
 
                              * * * * * * *
Sorbus spp. (mountain ash)...  All except Canada, Czech Republic,
                                Denmark, Germany, and Slovakia.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (7) * * *
    (ii) To grow the article or increase therefrom, if an article of 
Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp, Leucanthemella serotina, and 
Nipponanthemum nipponicum, or Dianthus spp. (carnation, sweet-william), 
only in a greenhouse or other enclosed building, and to comply with the 
above conditions for a period of 2 months after importation for an 
article of Chrysanthemum spp., Dendranthema spp, Leucanthemella 
serotina, and Nipponanthemum nipponicum that is grown in accordance 
with an APHIS-approved best management practices program, for a period 
of 6 months after importation for an article of Chrysanthemum spp., 
Dendranthema spp, Leucanthemella serotina, and Nipponanthemum 
nipponicum that is not grown in accordance with an APHIS-approved best 
management practices program, for a period of 1 year after importation 
for an article of Dianthus spp. (carnation, sweet-william), and for a 
period of 9 months after importation for an article of Hydrangea spp.
* * * * *
    10. Section 319.37-8 would be amended as follows:
    a. By revising paragraph (b) to read as set forth below.
    b. In paragraph (c), by removing the words ``transparent or 
translucent''.
    c. In paragraph (d), by removing the words ``or coconut fiber'' and 
adding the words ``coconut fiber, unused clay pots, or new wooden 
baskets'' in their place.


Sec.  319.37-8  Growing media.

* * * * *
    (b)(1) A restricted article from Canada may be imported in any 
growing medium, except as restricted in paragraph (b)(2) of this 
section.
    (2) A restricted article from Newfoundland or from that portion of 
the Municipality of Central Saanich in

[[Page 74234]]

the Province of British Columbia east of the West Saanich Road may only 
be imported in an approved growing medium if the phytosanitary 
certificate accompanying it contains an additional declaration that the 
restricted article was produced in a production site approved by the 
national plant protection organization of Canada as capable of 
isolating the plants from infestation by potato cyst nematodes 
(Globodera rostochiensis (Woll.) Behrens and G. pallida) and that the 
restricted article was isolated from potato cyst nematode infestation 
throughout its production.
* * * * *


Sec.  319.37-10  [Amended]

    11. In Sec.  319.37-10, paragraph (b) introductory text would be 
amended by removing the word ``listed'' and adding the word 
``identified'' in its place.
    12. Section 319.37-14 would be revised to read as follows.


Sec.  319.37-14  Ports of entry.

    Any restricted article required to be imported under a written 
permit pursuant to Sec.  319.37-3(a)(1) through (6) of this subpart, if 
not precleared, may be imported or offered for importation only at a 
Federal plant inspection station listed below. Ports of entry through 
which restricted articles must pass before arriving at these Federal 
plant inspection stations are listed in the second column. Any other 
restricted article that is not required to be imported under a written 
permit pursuant to Sec.  319.37-3(a)(1) through (6) of this subpart may 
be imported or offered for importation at any Customs designated port 
of entry indicated in 19 CFR 101.3(b)(1). Exceptions may be listed in 
Sec.  330.104 of this chapter. Articles that are required to be 
imported under a written permit that are also precleared in the country 
of export are not required to enter at an inspection station and may 
enter through any Customs port of entry. Exceptions may be listed in 
Sec.  330.104 of this chapter.

                List of Federal Plant Inspection Stations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Federal plant
             State                Port of entry     inspection station.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arizona.......................  Nogales..........  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 9 North
                                                    Grand Avenue, Room
                                                    120, Nogales, AZ
                                                    85621.
California....................  Long Beach.......  Los Angeles
                                Los Angeles......   Inspection Station,
                                San Pedro........   11840 S. La Cienega
                                                    Blvd., Hawthorne, CA
                                                    90250.
                                San Diego........  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 9777 Via de
                                                    la Amistad, Room
                                                    140, San Diego, CA
                                                    92154.
                                Oakland..........  Plant Inspection
                                San Francisco....   Station, 389 Oyster
                                                    Point Blvd., Suite
                                                    2, South San
                                                    Francisco, CA 94080.
Florida.......................  Miami............  Plant Inspection
                                (Note: Restricted   Station, 3500 NW.
                                 articles may be    62nd Avenue, Miami,
                                 moved from Fort    FL 33122.
                                 Lauderdale to
                                 Miami under U.S.
                                 Customs bond).
                                Orlando..........  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 9317
                                                    Tradeport Drive,
                                                    Orlando, FL 32827.
Georgia.......................  Atlanta..........  Hartsfield Perishable
                                                    Complex, 1270
                                                    Woolman Place,
                                                    Atlanta, GA 30354.
Guam..........................  Agana............  P.O. Box 8769,
                                                    Tamuning, GU 96931.
Hawaii........................  Honolulu           Honolulu Inspection
                                 (Airport).         Station, Honolulu
                                                    International
                                                    Airport, 300 Rodgers
                                                    Blvd., 57,
                                                    Honolulu, HI 96819-
                                                    1897.
Louisiana.....................  New Orleans......  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 900 East
                                                    Airline Service Road
                                                    A, Kenner, LA 70063.
Maryland......................  Baltimore........  (Niger seed may be
                                                    imported into the
                                                    Port of Baltimore
                                                    and treated at a
                                                    local treatment
                                                    facility).
New Jersey....................  Elizabeth........  Frances Krim Memorial
                                New York            Inspection Station,
                                 (Maritime).        2500 Brunswick
                                Newark...........   Avenue, Building G,
                                                    Linden, NJ 07036.
New York......................  Jamaica (JFK)....  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 230-59
                                                    International
                                                    Airport Centers
                                                    Boulevard, Building
                                                    C, Suite 100, Room
                                                    109, Jamaica, NY
                                                    11413.
Puerto Rico...................  San Juan.........  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 150 Central
                                                    Sector, Building C-
                                                    2, Warehouse 3,
                                                    Carolina, PR 00979.
Texas.........................  Houston..........  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 19581 Lee
                                                    Road, Humble, TX
                                                    77338.
                                Los Indios.......  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, P.O. Drawer
                                                    Box 393, 100 Los
                                                    Indios Boulevard,
                                                    Los Indios, TX
                                                    78567.
Washington....................  Seattle..........  Plant Inspection
                                                    Station, 16215 Air
                                                    Cargo Road, Suite
                                                    112, Seattle, WA
                                                    98158-1301.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  319.59-2  [Amended]

    13. Section 319.59-2 would be amended as follows:
    a. In paragraph (b)(1), by removing the words ``Plant Germplasm 
Quarantine Center, Building 320'' and adding the words ``National Plant 
Germplasm Inspection Station, Building 580'' in their place; and by 
removing the words ``at any port of entry with an asterisk listed in 
Sec.  319.37-14(b)'' and adding the words ``through any Federal plant 
inspection station listed in Sec.  319.37-14'' in their place.
    b. In paragraph (b)(2), by removing the words ``Plant Germplasm 
Quarantine Center'' and adding the words ``National Plant Germplasm 
Inspection Station'' in their place.


Sec.  319.75  [Amended]

    14. In Sec.  319.75, paragraph (c)(2) would be amended by removing 
the words ``Plant Germplasm Quarantine Center, Building 320'' and 
adding the words ``National Plant Germplasm

[[Page 74235]]

Inspection Station, Building 580'' in their place; and by removing the 
words ``at a port of entry designated by an asterisk in Sec.  319.37-
14;'' and adding the words ``through any Federal plant inspection 
station listed in Sec.  319.37-14;'' in their place.


Sec.  319.75-8  [Amended]

    15. Sec.  319.75-8 would be amended by removing the word ``listed'' 
and adding the word ``identified'' in its place.

PART 330--FEDERAL PLANT PEST REGULATIONS; GENERAL; PLANT PESTS; 
SOIL, STONE, AND QUARRY PRODUCTS; GARBAGE

    16. The authority citation for part 330 would continue to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 
U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.
    17. Section 330.104 would be amended by revising all of the text 
after the first sentence to read as follows:


Sec.  330.104  Ports of entry.

     * * * The ports of entry shall be those named in 19 CFR 
101.3(b)(1), except as otherwise provided by administrative 
instructions or by permits issued in accordance with this part, and 
except those ports of entry listed below.

         List of Exceptions to Customs Designated Ports of Entry
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 State                            Port of entry
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Reserved].............................  [Reserved]
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 340--INTRODUCTION OF ORGANISMS AND PRODUCTS ALTERED OR 
PRODUCED THROUGH GENETIC ENGINEERING WHICH ARE PLANT PESTS OR WHICH 
THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE ARE PLANT PESTS

    18. The authority citation for part 340 would continue to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 
CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.


Sec.  340.4  [Amended]

    19. In Sec.  340.4, paragraph (f)(11)(i) would be amended by 
removing the words ``at a port of entry which is designated by an 
asterisk in 7 CFR 319.37-14(b);'' and adding the words ``through any 
Federal plant inspection station listed in Sec.  319.37-14 of this 
chapter;'' in their place.


Sec.  340.7  [Amended]

    20. In Sec.  340.7, paragraph (b) introductory text would be 
amended by removing the words ``at a port of entry designated by an 
asterisk in 7 CFR 319.37-14(b)'' and adding the words ``through any 
Federal plant inspection station listed in Sec.  319.37-14 of this 
chapter'' in their place.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 8th day of December 2005.
W. Ron DeHaven,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 05-24031 Filed 12-14-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P