[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 189 (Friday, September 29, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57383-57386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-16079]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 189 / Friday, September 29, 2006 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 57383]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. 00-073-3]
RIN 0579-AB76


Pine Shoot Beetle Host Material From Canada

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting as a final rule, with one change, an interim 
rule that amended the regulations by restricting the importation of 
pine shoot beetle host material into the United States from Canada. 
Under the regulations established by the interim rule, as amended by 
this document, pine nursery stock, as well as pine products that 
consist of pine bark or have pine bark attached, must meet certain 
requirements relating to documentation, treatment, handling, and 
utilization as a condition of importation into the United States from 
Canada. The interim rule was necessary to help prevent the introduction 
and spread of pine shoot beetle, a pest of pine trees, into noninfested 
areas of the United States.

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 29, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Fred Thomas, Import Specialist, 
PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 160, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 
734-8367.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR part 319, ``Foreign Quarantine Notices,'' 
prohibit or restrict the importation of certain plants and plant 
products into the United States to prevent the introduction of plant 
pests. ``Subpart--Nursery Stock, Plants, Roots, Bulbs, Seeds, and Other 
Plant Products'' (Sec. Sec.  319.37 through 319.37-14 and referred to 
below as the nursery stock regulations) covers the importation of 
living plants, plant parts, and seeds for propagation. ``Subpart--Logs, 
Lumber, and Other Unmanufactured Wood Articles'' (Sec. Sec.  319.40-1 
through 319.40-11 and referred to below as the wood regulations) covers 
the importation of logs, lumber, and other wood articles that are 
unprocessed or have received only primary processing. ``Subpart--Gypsy 
Moth Host Material from Canada'' (Sec. Sec.  319.77-1 through 319.77-5 
and referred to below as the gypsy moth regulations) covers the 
importation of gypsy moth host material into the United States from 
Canada. This material includes certain trees and shrubs, logs and 
pulpwood with bark attached, and outdoor household articles and mobile 
homes and their associated equipment.
    Pine shoot beetle (PSB, Tomicus piniperda) is a pest of pine trees. 
It can cause damage in weak and dying trees, where reproductive and 
immature stages of PSB occur, and in the new growth of healthy trees. 
During ``maturation feeding,'' young beetles tunnel into the center of 
pine shoots (usually in the current year's growth), causing stunted and 
distorted growth in host trees. PSB also acts as a vector of several 
diseases of pine trees. Adult PSB can fly at least 1 kilometer. In 
addition, infested trees and pine products are often transported long 
distances, which can result in the establishment of PSB populations far 
from the location of the original host tree. PSB can damage urban 
ornamental trees and can cause economic losses to the timber, Christmas 
tree, and nursery industries.
    In an interim rule effective and published in the Federal Register 
on October 20, 2004 (69 FR 61577-61589, Docket No. 00-073-2), we 
amended the nursery stock regulations, the wood regulations, and the 
gypsy moth regulations to restrict the importation of PSB host material 
into the United States from Canada. That action was necessary to help 
prevent the introduction and spread of PSB into noninfested areas of 
the United States.
    We solicited comments concerning the interim rule for 60 days 
ending December 20, 2004. We received two comments by that date, from 
the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and an exporter of Christmas 
products. These comments are discussed below.
    The CFIA stated that the interim rule was ambiguous about whether 
or not permits were required for pine Christmas trees, wreaths, and 
bough tips and questioned whether such permits were necessary, since 
such materials were likely to be destroyed by the end users before the 
flight season of PSB begins. They also questioned the need for written 
permits for other nonpropagative products, such as bark nuggets and 
wood chips, and suggested that there should not be a written permit 
requirement except in the case of articles consigned to a designated 
U.S. facility that operates under a compliance agreement.
    While we disagree that the interim rule was ambiguous, after 
reviewing Canada's PSB directive and our current domestic PSB 
regulations in 7 CFR part 301, we have decided to remove the 
requirement for an import permit for nonpropagative material except 
when the nonpropagative material is moving to a U.S. facility operating 
under a compliance agreement for specified handling or processing. 
Nonpropagative material moving to such facilities is not required to be 
accompanied by a certificate or a statement of origin and movement, 
while one of those documents is required for other regulated 
nonpropagative material. We will continue to require a certificate or a 
statement of origin and movement to accompany other shipments of 
regulated nonpropagative material imported into the United States.
    The exporter of Christmas products noted that the interim rule did 
not contain any restrictions on the movement of PSB host material 
produced in the United States. This commenter questioned why we were 
placing additional restrictions on Canadian-origin products when PSB 
exists in the United States as well.
    The United States and Canada both regulate the movement of PSB host 
material through domestic and import regulations. The intent of the 
interim rule was to harmonize our import requirements with Canada's 
import regulations and our own domestic movement regulations. The 
restrictions imposed by the interim rule, as

[[Page 57384]]

amended by this final rule, on the importation of PSB host material 
from Canada are entirely consistent with the restrictions that apply to 
the interstate movement of such articles within the United States, and 
with the restrictions that the Canadian Government has placed on the 
importation of PSB host material into Canada from the United States.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule, with the 
change discussed in this document.

Effective Date

    Pursuant to the administrative procedure provisions in 5 U.S.C. 
553, we find good cause for making this rule effective less than 30 
days after publication in the Federal Register. The interim rule 
adopted as final by this rule was effective on October 20, 2004. This 
rule revises the import restrictions on PSB host material that were 
established in the interim rule by removing the import permit 
requirement for regulated articles that are to be accompanied by a 
certificate or a certificate of movement and origin. Immediate action 
is necessary to amend the import restrictions in order to relieve 
restrictions that are not necessary. Therefore, the Administrator of 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this 
rule should be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. The rule 
has been determined to be significant for the purposes of Executive 
Order 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.
    This final rule follows an interim rule that amended the 
regulations by restricting the importation of PSB host material into 
the United States from Canada. Under the regulations established by the 
interim rule, as amended by this document, pine nursery stock, as well 
as pine products that consist of pine bark or have pine bark attached, 
must meet certain requirements relating to documentation, treatment, 
handling, and utilization as a condition of importation into the United 
States from Canada. The interim rule was necessary to help prevent the 
introduction and spread of PSB, a pest of pine trees, into noninfested 
areas of the United States.
    For this final rule, we have prepared an economic analysis, which 
is summarized below. The economic analysis provides a cost-benefit 
analysis as required by Executive Order 12866 and a regulatory 
flexibility analysis regarding the potential economic effects on small 
entities in accordance with sec. 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. 
Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site.\1\
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    \1\ To view the full economic analysis, go to  http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ``Advanced Search'' tab and select 
``Docket Search.'' In the Docket ID field, enter APHIS-2004-0015, 
click on ``Submit,'' then click on the Docket ID link in the search 
results page. The economic analysis will appear in the resulting 
list of documents.
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    In the interim rule, we stated that we did not have enough data for 
a comprehensive analysis of the economic effects of the interim rule on 
small entities. Therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we 
performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for the interim 
rule. We invited comments about the interim rule as it related to small 
entities and stated that we were interested in determining the number 
and kind of small entities that may incur benefits or costs from 
implementation of the interim rule. We did not receive any comments 
that were responsive to our request for additional economic 
information.
    The interim rule established regulations for the importation of PSB 
host material into the United States from Canada. The regulations cover 
pine nursery stock, cut pine Christmas trees, and other pine products 
that consist of pine bark or have pine bark attached. These products 
must meet certain documentation, treatment, handling, processing, or 
utilization requirements. The restrictions affecting the importation of 
PSB host material from Canada are necessary to prevent the spread of 
PSB into noninfested areas of the United States. The new regulations 
parallel in many respects Canadian restrictions on U.S. exports of PSB 
host material into Canada, and are equivalent to the restrictions 
placed on domestic movement from infested areas within the United 
States.
    More than 170 billion cubic feet of pine growing stock is present 
on timberland in noninfested areas of the United States. As hosts for 
PSB, ponderosa, loblolly, and red pines may be nearly as suitable as 
Scotch pine, the primary host.\2\ All three species are valuable 
commercial timber species that occur over wide geographical areas in 
the United States, primarily in non-PSB infested areas.
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    \2\ Pasek, J.E. ``Pine Shoot Beetle (Tomicus piniperda (L.)): 
Pest-Initiated Pest Risk Assessment for Likelihood and Consequences 
of Spread within the Continental United States.'' March 24, 2000 
(Revised). USDA/APHIS.
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    At the time of the last Census of Horticulture Specialties in 1998, 
there were more than 2,200 operations selling pine nursery plants in 
the United States. These operations had total sales of pine nursery 
plants of about $109 million in 1998. About 1,500 of these operations, 
with total sales of more than $90 million (83 percent of total sales) 
were located in noninfested areas of the United States. There were 
about 1,200 operations selling Scotch pine Christmas trees with sales 
of about $27 million in 1998. About 36 percent of these operations are 
in noninfested areas of the United States. There were also more than 
2,100 operations with sales of $48 million in 1998 selling Christmas 
trees that are not Scotch pine or Douglas, Fraser, or Noble fir, and 
include an unknown quantity of other types of Pinus species. About 64 
percent of these operations, accounting for more than half of the 
sales, were in noninfested areas of the United States.
    In 2004, U.S. exports of these products were valued at 
approximately $435 million. About 48 percent of these exports went to 
countries that currently list PSB as a quarantine pest or have specific 
treatment requirements for dealing with PSB.
    Given the vast forest resources of the United States and the high 
value of U.S. exports, in conjunction with the destructive potential of 
the PSB, it is likely that the further spread of that pest in the 
United States as a result of the unrestricted movement of PSB host 
material from infested areas of Canada would have a negative impact on 
the noninfested areas of the United States, and particularly on 
businesses and industry that rely on pine nursery stock or pine forest 
materials produced or grown in those areas.
    Should PSB spread into previously noninfested areas, it would 
likely result in control efforts by pine resource owners to mitigate 
damage to forest resources. Actions by State, local and Federal 
governments to prevent the further spread of infestation are also 
likely. In addition, because many U.S. exports of pine products go to 
countries that currently list PSB as a quarantine pest or have specific 
treatment requirements for dealing with PSB, maintaining these export 
markets after further spread would likely involve costs to growers.

Pine Nursery Stock

    The interim rule placed new restrictions on the importation of pine 
nursery stock from Canada into the United States. All pine nursery 
stock

[[Page 57385]]

from Canada must now be issued a written permit as a condition of 
importation into the United States. In addition, the phytosanitary 
certificate (PC) accompanying pine nursery stock will have to include 
specific information regarding the article's origin and destination, as 
well as provide additional declarations in certain situations.
    The overall effect of these requirements should be limited. There 
is no charge to obtain a written permit from APHIS, and the information 
required is not extensive. Because a PC is already required for nursery 
stock, the need for one under this rule should add no additional cost. 
The specific origin and destination information called for in this rule 
should be readily available. Despite potentially attractive treatment 
costs, the use of methyl bromide may be limited due to the potential 
damage it may cause to certain live plants and to the limited number of 
facilities where treatments could be performed.\3\ The inspection 
charge by the Canadian Government should range from less than 0.3 
percent of the value of the shipment to not more than 3.1 percent.\4\ 
In addition, any movement of pine nursery stock from PSB infested areas 
within Canada is already regulated by the Government of Canada. 
Canadian pine nursery stock producers already meeting these standards 
will incur no additional burden in providing the additional 
declarations for the PC. Therefore, the rule should have little effect 
on imports of pine nursery stock from Canada, and thus on U.S. 
marketers and consumers.
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    \3\ An Environmental Protection Agency estimate places the 
treatment of timber with methyl bromide at $1-3 per 1,000 board 
feet.
    \4\ Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Inspection of a load of 
pine nursery stock should cost no more than C$50. If the customs 
value of a shipment is less than C$1,600, the inspection charge is 
C$5. C$1,600 = $1,047.60; C$5 = $3.27, C$50 = $32.74.
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Cut Pine Christmas Trees

    Depending on the origin, destination, and timing of the shipment, 
the interim rule required some or all of the following for imports of 
cut pine Christmas trees from Canada: That the shipment be accompanied 
by a statement of origin and movement, a specific (written) permit from 
APHIS, a certificate issued by the National Government of Canada that 
indicates in the treatment section that the trees have been treated 
with methyl bromide to kill PSB, or were produced in a plantation that 
has a program to control or eradicate PSB, or were produced in an area 
where PSB is not considered to be present, or were 100 percent 
inspected and found to be free from PSB; and that the shipment be 
covered en route. The U.S. destination must also be clearly indicated 
on the shipment.
    The economic effects of these requirements should also be 
relatively small. A permit is only required for shipments moving to a 
U.S. facility operating under a compliance agreement. Few shipments of 
cut pine Christmas trees move to such facilities, but are rather 
imported for retail sale. There is no charge to obtain a permit from 
APHIS, and the information required for a written permit is not 
extensive. There is no cost to obtain the statement of origin and 
movement, and this document does not have to be signed by a public 
official. Covering shipments of cut pine Christmas trees that move 
between January and September should cause little burden. Very few 
shipments occur during this time frame, and the covering material can 
be a simple plastic canvas.
    We expect the impact of satisfying the certificate, treatment, and 
additional declaration requirements to be small. First, the cost of 
obtaining a certificate, treatment, or inspection should be low. The 
cost of a certificate for cut pine Christmas trees should be similar to 
the cost of a PC, due to the similarities in the information required 
and the source of the documents. The cost of the certificate should be 
less than 1 percent of the shipment value.\5\ The inspection fee should 
range from less than 0.3 percent to not more than 3.1 percent of the 
shipment value. As was previously discussed, the use of methyl bromide 
should be limited. In addition, movement of cut pine Christmas trees 
from PSB infested areas within Canada is already regulated by the 
Government of Canada. Finally, only those pine Christmas tree shipments 
from infested areas of Canada to noninfested areas of the United States 
will need a certificate, and Canadian exports of Christmas trees 
represent a small portion of the total U.S. supply (less than 2 
percent). Therefore, any change in imports of cut pine Christmas trees 
from Canada should be small and have little effect on U.S. marketers 
and consumers.
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    \5\ Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Inspection of a load of cut 
Christmas trees should cost no more than C$50. Currently, the 
Canadian charge for a PC is C$7, where the customs transaction value 
of that shipment is not more than C$1,600, and C$17, where that 
value is more than C$1,600. C$7 = $4.58; C$17 = U.S. $11.13; C$1,600 
= $1,047.60.
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Other Pine Products

    Depending on the origin, destination, and timing of the shipment, 
the interim rule required some or all of the following for imports of 
other pine products from Canada: The shipment be accompanied by a 
statement of origin and movement or a certificate issued by the 
National Government of Canada; be treated for PSB, or consigned under 
import permit to a designated U.S. facility that operates under a 
compliance agreement for specified handling or processing of the 
regulated articles or shipped from a Canadian facility operating under 
a compliance agreement with CFIA; and that the shipment be covered en 
route. The U.S. destination must also be clearly indicated on the 
shipment.
    The overall effect of these requirements should be limited for 
several reasons. First, the majority of U.S. imports of other pine 
forest products from Canada originate in noninfested Provinces. 
Therefore, in most cases, the only additional requirement in this rule 
is the requirement for a statement of origin and movement. A permit is 
only required for shipments moving to a U.S. facility operating under a 
compliance agreement. The statement of origin and movement is a 
document that shippers will generate themselves. There is no cost to 
obtain the document and it does not have to be signed by a public 
official.
    Second, the presence of alternative shipping arrangements should 
serve to limit the number of shippers required to obtain a certificate 
and have articles treated or pine bark ground. There may be some 
expense incurred by shippers in arranging for these alternatives. 
However, pine forest products with bark attached (e.g., saw logs, pulp 
wood, branches) and pine bark are regulated for PSB in Canada. Movement 
of those products from PSB infested areas within Canada is already 
regulated by the Government of Canada. Canadian pine forest product and 
pine bark producers already meeting these standards will incur no 
additional burden in providing the additional declarations for the 
certificate. Covering shipments of other pine products that move 
between January and September should cause little burden. The covering 
material can be as simple as a plastic canvas.
    Finally, even for imports from PSB-infested Canadian provinces, 
only those shipments destined for or moving through noninfested areas 
of the United States need to be accompanied by a certificate. While the 
precise portion of pine forest products and pine bark imported from the 
infested areas of Canada to noninfested areas of the United States is 
not known, pine imports from Canada represent a small portion of the 
overall U.S. supply. Therefore, any change in imports is

[[Page 57386]]

expected to have little effect on U.S. marketers and consumers.

Alternatives Considered

    This rule has been prompted by the need to restrict the importation 
of PSB host material into the United States from Canada in order to 
help prevent the introduction of PSB into noninfested areas of the 
United States. In assessing the need for this rule, we considered 
several alternatives to the chosen course of action. These alternatives 
are discussed in the ``Regulatory Flexibility'' section of the full 
economic analysis.
    In conclusion, we anticipate limited costs associated with this 
rule, which is parallel to Canadian restrictions imposed on U.S. 
exports of PSB host material. Some shippers and other importers will be 
subject to certain costs and other inconveniences in securing the 
proper documentation for importation of affected products. However, 
these costs and inconveniences should be limited where they are 
incurred. There is no charge to obtain a written permit from APHIS, and 
the information required is not extensive. Obtaining a PC or 
certificate should cost less than 1 percent of the shipment value. 
Inspection costs should range from under 0.3 percent to 3.1 percent of 
shipment value. Because the movement of pine nursery stock, cut pine 
Christmas trees, pine forest products with bark attached, and pine bark 
from PSB-infested areas within Canada is already regulated by the 
Government of Canada, Canadian producers already meeting these 
standards will incur no additional burden in providing the additional 
declarations for the PC or certificate. Hence, we expect little 
reduction in U.S. imports of Canadian products, with small effects on 
U.S. marketers and consumers. U.S. producers of nursery stock, 
Christmas trees, and pine products who are located in the United States 
may benefit slightly to the extent they can market their products at 
lower costs than Canadian imported products subject to PSB 
restrictions.
    We expect that gains from reducing the risk of further spread of 
PSB to outweigh the costs of this action. Implementation of this rule 
will enable APHIS to better prevent the movement of infested PSB host 
material from Canada into noninfested areas of the United States. This 
action is equivalent to what is being done domestically. Keeping areas 
in the United States free from PSB will result in avoided damages to 
forest resources. Growers will not have to expend funds to control PSB 
damage or to maintain PSB free status in relation to exports. Federal, 
State, and local governments will not have to expend funds to control 
the further spread of the pest. Entities located in noninfested areas 
and engaged in the movement of PSB host material will not have to deal 
with domestic movement controls, export restrictions, or inspection 
and/or treatment of the regulated articles before they can be moved as 
is the case in U.S. quarantined areas.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws 
and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no 
retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings 
before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains information collection requirements that 
differ from those in our October 2004 interim rule. Specifically, there 
has been a reduction of 24 hours in the burden associated with import 
permits for nonpropagative material that is moving to a destination 
other than a U.S. facility operating under a compliance agreement for 
specified handling or processing. In accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this information 
collection requirement has been approved by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0579-0257.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, 
APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

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

0
Accordingly, the interim rule amending 7 CFR part 319 that was 
published at 69 FR 61577-61589 on October 20, 2004, is adopted as a 
final rule with the following changes:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 319 continues 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.


0
2. In Sec.  319.40-3, paragraph (a)(1)(i) is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  319.40-3  General permits; articles that may be imported without 
a specific permit; articles that may be imported without either a 
general permit or an importer document.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) From Canada: Regulated articles, other than the following:
    (A) Regulated articles of the subfamilies Aurantioideae, Rutoideae, 
and Toddalioideae of the botanical family Rutaceae, and;
    (B) Regulated articles of pine (Pinus spp.) that are not completely 
free of bark from Provinces in Canada that are considered to be 
infested or partially infested with pine shoot beetle (Tomicus 
pinniperda), as determined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and 
that are moving to a United States facility operating under a 
compliance agreement for specified handling or processing under the 
provisions of Sec.  319.40-8.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 25th day of September 2006.
Bruce Knight,
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. E6-16079 Filed 9-28-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P