[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 198 (Friday, October 13, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60461-60468]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-17025]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0109]


International Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard-Setting 
Activities

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov, select ``Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service'' from the agency drop-down menu, then click ``Submit.'' In the 
Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0109 to submit or view public 
comments and to view supporting and related materials available 
electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including 
instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing 
the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through 
the site's ``User Tips'' link.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-
2006-0109, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 
3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state 
that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0109.
    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

[[Page 60462]]

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: For general information on the topics 
covered in this notice, contact Mr. John Greifer, Director, SPS 
Management Team, International Services, APHIS, room 1132, South 
Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 
20250; (202) 720-7677.
    For specific information regarding standard-setting activities of 
the World Organization for Animal Health, contact Dr. Michael David, 
Director, Sanitary International Standards Team, National Center for 
Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 33, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1231; (301) 734-5324.
    For specific information regarding the standard-setting activities 
of the International Plant Protection Convention or the North American 
Plant Protection Organization, contact Ms. Julie E. Aliaga, Program 
Director, International Phytosanitary Standards, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-0763.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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

OIE Standard-Setting Activities

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

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    The OIE provides annual reports on the global distribution of 
animal diseases, recognizes the free status of member countries for 
certain diseases, categorizes animal diseases with respect to their 
international significance, publishes bulletins on global disease 
status, and provides animal disease control guidelines to member 
countries. Various OIE commissions and working groups undertake the 
development and preparation of draft standards, which are then 
circulated to member countries for consultation (review and comment). 
Draft standards are revised accordingly and are then presented to the 
OIE International Committee (all the Member countries) during the 
General Session, which meets annually every May, for review and 
adoption. Adoption, as a general rule, is based on consensus of the OIE 
membership.
    The next OIE General Session is scheduled for May 20-27, 2007, in 
Paris, France. Currently, the Administrator of APHIS is the official 
U.S. Delegate to the OIE. The Administrator of APHIS intends to 
participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment on APHIS' 
position on any standard up for adoption. Information about OIE draft 
Terrestrial Animal Health Code and Aquatic Animal Health Code chapters 
may be found on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ncie/oie/ or by contacting Dr. Michael David (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
above).

OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapters and Appendices Adopted

1. Chapter 2.7.12, Avian Influenza, and Appendix 3.9.8, Avian Influenza 
Surveillance

    Although few changes were made to the Terrestrial Animal Code 
Chapter on avian influenza in May 2006, those changes were nevertheless 
important. The significant changes include a clarification of the 
definition of ``poultry'' to ensure that it includes all 
``domesticated'' birds and making it very clear that any detection of 
highly pathogenic avian influenza needs to be immediately reported to 
OIE.

2. Appendix 3.6.5, Avian Influenza Virus Inactivation Guidelines

    These are new guidelines that provide time and temperature 
parameters for the inactivation of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

3. Chapter 2.2.10, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

    Language on compartmentalization was removed from this chapter 
because the Code Commission indicated that in the case of the FMD 
virus--a highly contagious agent that affects many species--applying 
the concept of compartmentalization would be difficult.

4. Chapter 2.5.4, Equine Infections Anemia; Chapter 2.5.6, Equine 
Piroplasmosis; Chapter 2.5.7, Equine Rhinopneumonitis

    These chapters were updated slightly to clarify existing language.

5. Chapter 1.3.5, Zoning and Compartmentalization

    This chapter was adopted in 2005 and no significant changes were 
made in 2006. However, to help explain the concept of 
compartmentalization, for 2007 the OIE will develop a practical guide 
on compartmentalization, using avian influenza as an example.

6. Chapter 2.3.13, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

    This chapter and the associated surveillance appendix continue to 
be modified as new information becomes available. For 2006, updates 
include the following: Removal of references to transmissible 
spongiform encephalopathies other than BSE; using the date of birth of 
an infected animal, rather than the date of report, as one of the 
criteria for determining risk classification; removing the requirement 
to follow up with the progeny of female cases; and allowing for acid 
demineralization for the manufacture of gelatin.

7. Chapter 1.3.4, Guidelines for the Evaluation of Veterinary Services

    These guidelines now refer to the ``Performance, Visions and 
Strategy (PVS)'' instrument. The PVS instrument is a tool that can help 
a country's veterinary services assess its weaknesses and strengths in 
various key areas, and brings in the participation of the private 
sector to help with these assessments.

OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapters Up for Adoption

    Existing Terrestrial Animal Health Code chapters that may be 
revised and new chapters that may be drafted in preparation for the 
next General Session in 2007 include the following:

1. Chapter 2.5.10, Equine Viral Arteritis

    This activity represents an ongoing complete redrafting of a 
current OIE Code chapter that has been determined to be outdated.

2. Chapter 2.5.14, African Horse Sickness

    This activity represents an ongoing complete redrafting of a 
current OIE Code chapter that has been determined to be outdated.

3. Chapter 2.5.8, Glanders

    This activity represents an ongoing complete redrafting of a 
current OIE Code chapter that has been determined to be outdated.

4. Chapter 2.3.1, Bovine Brucellosis

    This activity would represent a complete redrafting of a current 
OIE Code chapter that has been determined to be outdated.

5. Appendix 3.8.5, Factors to Consider in Conducting a BSE Risk 
Assessment

    These guidelines for consideration are proposed to ensure that 
Member countries consider all the known factors associated with the 
risk of BSE, and are consistent with existing language contained in the 
BSE Code Chapter.

6. Chapter 2.5.5, Equine Influenza

    This activity would represent a complete redrafting of a current 
OIE Code chapter that has been determined to be outdated.

7. Guidelines for Animal Identification and Traceability

    This activity would represent a new appendix that provides some 
general principles on animal identification and traceability.

8. Chapter 1.4.5, International Transfer of Animal Pathogens

    This activity would represent a complete redrafting of a current 
OIE Code chapter that has been determined to be outdated.

Code Commission Future Work Program

    During the next few years, the OIE Code Commission is expected to 
address the following issues or establish ad hoc groups of experts to 
update and/or develop standards for the following issues:

1. Companion Animal Welfare

    This would be a new chapter intended to provide guidelines for the 
control of stray dogs in urban settings.

2. Wildlife and Zoo Animal Welfare

    This would be a new chapter intended to provide guidelines on the 
harvesting or culling of zoological and wildlife animals.

3. Laboratory Animal Welfare

    This would be a new chapter intended to provide guidelines for the 
housing of laboratory animals, the use of animals in regulatory 
testing, and alternatives to animal use.

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4. Terrestrial Animal Welfare

    This would be a new chapter that would provide general guidelines 
for the housing and production of livestock and poultry. The intent is 
to develop first a generic chapter on housing and husbandry principles 
for livestock and poultry.

OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code Chapters and Appendices up for Adoption

    Existing Aquatic Animal Health Code chapters that may be revised 
and new chapters that have been drafted in preparation for the 2007 
General Session include the following:

1. Chapter 4.1.1, Taura Syndrome

    A revision of this chapter has been drafted and will be voted on at 
the 2007 General Session. The revisions were made to be consistent with 
the new fish and mollusk disease chapters that were adopted in 2005, 
which in turn were modeled after the Terrestrial Animal Health Code. 
Significant changes include a section on safe commodities and updated 
standards on declaration of freedom.

2. Chapter 4.1.2, White Spot Disease

    A revision of this chapter has been drafted and will be voted on at 
the 2007 General Session. The draft revisions were made to be 
consistent with the new fish and mollusk disease chapters that were 
adopted in 2005, which in turn were modeled after the Terrestrial 
Animal Health Code. Significant changes include a section on safe 
commodities and updated standards on declaration of freedom.

3. Chapter 4.1.3, Yellowhead Disease

    A revision of this chapter has been drafted and will be voted on at 
the 2007 General Session. The draft revisions were made to be 
consistent with the new fish and mollusk disease chapters that were 
adopted in 2005, which in turn were modeled after the Terrestrial 
Animal Health Code. Significant changes include a section on safe 
commodities and updated standards on declaration of freedom.

4. Chapter 4.1.4, Tetrahedral Baculovirosis

    This chapter has been completely rewritten and is essentially new, 
and will be voted on at the 2007 General Session. It would provide 
guidelines related to this disease for the importation and surveillance 
of live susceptible animals and products.

5. Chapter 4.1.7, Crayfish Plaque

    This chapter has been completely rewritten and is essentially new, 
and will be voted on at the 2007 General Session. It would provide 
guidelines related to this disease for the importation and surveillance 
of live susceptible animals and products.

6. Chapter 4.1.10, Necrotizing Hepatopancreatitis

    This chapter has been completely rewritten and is essentially new, 
and will be voted on at the 2007 General Session. It would provide 
guidelines related to this disease for the importation and surveillance 
of live susceptible animals and products.

7. Guidelines for the Transport of Fish by Boat and Land

    These chapters will be voted on at the 2007 General Session. They 
would establish new standards for moving farmed fish to slaughter by 
either water or land transport systems. The chapters propose guidelines 
that would be implemented for the personnel and equipment involved in 
moving fish under these conditions, based on considerations for fish 
welfare as developed under other chapters.

8. Guidelines for the Humane Killing of Fish for Disease Control and 
Slaughter of Farmed Fish for Human Consumption

    These chapters will be voted on at the 2007 General Session. They 
would establish new standards for farmed fish that are slaughtered for 
various purposes, such as disease control or consumption. The chapters 
propose guidelines that would be implemented for the personnel, 
equipment and processing plants involved in moving fish under different 
circumstances, based on considerations for fish welfare as developed 
under other chapters.

9. Introduction to the OIE guidelines for the Welfare of Aquatic 
Animals

    This section will be voted on at the 2007 General Session. It would 
establish definitions for terms associated with farmed fish welfare 
based on a number of criteria, including sentience, pain perception, 
consciousness, and other parameters. The chapter also attempts to set 
standards for the personnel who deal with farmed fish.

Aquatic Animal Commission Future Work Program

    During the next few years, the OIE Aquatic Animal Commission is 
expected to address the following issues or establish ad hoc groups of 
experts to update and/or develop standards for the following issues:

1. Diseases of Amphibians

    This would be a new chapter intended to provide guidelines with 
regard to diseases of amphibians.

2. Aquatic Animal Feed

    An ad hoc group will be established to determine the risk of 
transmission of aquatic animal diseases through animal feed.

The Process

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

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Other OIE Topics

    Every year at the General Session, two technical items are 
presented.
    For the May 2007 General Session, the following technical items 
will be presented:
    1. The use of epidemiological models for the management of animal 
diseases.
    2. The role of reference laboratories and collaborating centers in 
providing permanent support for the objectives and mandates of the OIE.
    The information in this notice includes all the information 
available to us on OIE standards currently under development or 
consideration. Information on OIE standards is available on the 
Internet at http://www.oie.int. Further, a formal agenda for the next 
General Session should be available to member countries by March 2007, 
and copies will be available to the public once the agenda is 
published. For the most current information on meeting times, working 
groups, and/or meeting agendas, including information on official U.S. 
participation in OIE activities and U.S. positions on standards being 
considered, contact Dr. Michael David (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT above). Those wishing to provide comments on any areas of work 
under the OIE may do so at any time by responding to this notice (see 
ADDRESSES above) or by providing comments through Dr. Michael David.

IPPC Standard-Setting Activities

    The IPPC is a multilateral convention adopted in 1952 for the 
purpose of securing common and effective action to prevent the spread 
and introduction of pests of plants and plant products and to promote 
appropriate measures for their control. Under the IPPC, the 
understanding of plant protection has been, and continues to be, broad, 
encompassing the protection of both cultivated and noncultivated plants 
from direct or indirect injury by plant pests. Activities addressed by 
the IPPC include the development and establishment of international 
plant health standards, the harmonization of phytosanitary activities 
through emerging standards, the facilitation of the exchange of 
official and scientific information among countries, and the furnishing 
of technical assistance to developing countries that are signatories to 
the IPPC.
    The IPPC is under the authority of the FAO, and the members of the 
Secretariat of the IPPC are appointed by the FAO. The IPPC is 
implemented by national plant protection organizations in cooperation 
with regional plant protection organizations, the Commission on 
Phytosanitary Measures ((CPM); formerly referred to as the 
International Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM)), and the 
Secretariat of the IPPC. The United States plays a major role in all 
standard-setting activities under the IPPC and has representation on 
FAO's highest governing body, the FAO Conference.
    The United States became a contracting party to the IPPC in 1972 
and has been actively involved in furthering the work of the IPPC ever 
since. The IPPC was amended in 1979, and the amended version entered 
into force in 1991 after two-thirds of the contracting countries 
accepted the amendment. More recently, in 1997, contracting parties 
completed negotiations on further amendments that were approved by the 
FAO Conference and submitted to the parties for acceptance. This 1997 
amendment updated phytosanitary concepts and formalized the standard-
setting structure within the IPPC. The 1997 amended version of the IPPC 
entered into force after two-thirds of the contracting parties notified 
the Director General of FAO of their acceptance of the amendment. The 
U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to acceptance of the newly 
revised IPPC on October 18, 2000. The President submitted the official 
letter of acceptance to the FAO Director General on October 4, 2001.
    The IPPC has been, and continues to be, administered at the 
national level by plant quarantine officials whose primary objective is 
to safeguard plant resources from injurious pests. In the United 
States, the national plant protection organization is APHIS' Plant 
Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program. The steps for developing a 
standard under the revised IPPC are described below.
    Step 1: Proposals for a new international standard for 
phytosanitary measures (ISPM) or for the review or revision of an 
existing ISPM are submitted to the Secretariat of the IPPC in a 
standardized format on a 2-year cycle. Alternatively, the Secretariat 
can propose a new standard or amendments to existing standards.
    Step 2: After review by the Standards Committee and the Strategic 
Planning and Technical Assistance Working Group, a summary of proposals 
is submitted by the Secretariat to the CPM. The CPM identifies the 
topics and priorities for standard setting from among the proposals 
submitted to the Secretariat and others that may be raised by the CPM.
    Step 3: Specifications for the standards identified as priorities 
by the CPM are drafted by the Secretariat. The draft specifications are 
submitted to the Standards Committee for approval/amendment and are 
subsequently made available to members and regional plant protection 
organizations (RPPOs) for comment (60 days). Comments are submitted in 
writing to the Secretariat. Taking into account the comments, the 
Standards Committee finalizes the specifications.
    Step 4: The standard is drafted or revised in accordance with the 
specifications by a working group designated by the Standards 
Committee. The resulting draft standard is submitted to the Standards 
Committee for review.
    Step 5: Draft standards approved by the Standards Committee are 
distributed to members by the Secretariat and RPPOs for consultation 
(100 days). Comments are submitted in writing to the Secretariat. Where 
appropriate, the Standards Committee may establish open-ended 
discussion groups as forums for further comment. The Secretariat 
summarizes the comments and submits them to the Standards Committee.
    Step 6: Taking into account the comments, the Secretariat, in 
cooperation with the Standards Committee, revises the draft standard. 
The Standards Committee submits the final version to the CPM for 
adoption.
    Step 7: The ISPM is established through formal adoption by the CPM 
according to Rule X of the Rules of Procedure of the CPM.
    Step 8: Review of the ISPM is completed by the specified date or 
such other date as may be agreed upon by the CPM.
    Each member country is represented on the CPM by a single delegate. 
Although experts and advisers may accompany the delegate to meetings of 
the CPM, only the delegate (or an authorized alternate) may represent 
each member country in considering a standard up for approval. Parties 
involved in a vote by the CPM are to make every effort to reach 
agreement on all matters by consensus. Only after all efforts to reach 
a consensus have been exhausted may a decision on a standard be passed 
by a vote of two-thirds of delegates present and voting.
    Technical experts from the United States have participated directly 
in working groups and indirectly as reviewers of all IPPC draft 
standards. The United States also has a representative on the Standards 
Committee. In addition, documents and positions developed by APHIS and 
NAPPO have been sources of significant input for many of the standards 
adopted to date. This notice describes each of the

[[Page 60466]]

IPPC standards currently under consideration or up for adoption. The 
full text of each standard will be available on the Internet at http://
www.aphis.gov/ppq/pim/standards/. Interested individuals may review the 
standards posted on this Web site and submit comments via the Web site.
    The next CPM meeting is scheduled for March 26-30, 2007, at FAO 
Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The Deputy Administrator for APHIS' PPQ 
program is the U.S. delegate to the CPM. The Deputy Administrator 
intends to participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment 
on APHIS' position on any standards up for adoption. The provisional 
agenda for the Second Session of the Interim Commission on 
Phytosanitary Measures is as follows:
    1. Opening of the session.
    2. Adoption of the agenda.
    3. Report by the chairperson.
    4. Report by the Secretariat.
    5. Standards up for adoption in 2007.
    6. Items arising from the First Session of the CPM (see section 
below entitled ``New Standard-Setting Initiatives, Including Those in 
Development'' for details).
    7. Work program for harmonization.
    8. Other business.
    9. Date and venue of the next meeting.
    10. Adoption of the report.

IPPC Standards Up for Adoption in 2007

    It is expected that the following standards will be sufficiently 
developed to be considered by the CPM for adoption at its 2007 meeting. 
The United States, represented by APHIS' Deputy Administrator for PPQ, 
will participate in the consideration of these standards. The U.S. 
position on each of these issues will be developed prior to the CPM 
session and will be based on APHIS' analysis, information from other 
U.S. Government agencies, and relevant scientific information from 
interested stakeholders. The standards that are most likely to be 
considered for adoption include:

1. Revision of ISPM No. 2, Pest Risk Analysis (PRA)

    This standard describes the basic concept of pest risk analysis 
within the framework of the IPPC. It introduces the three stages of 
pest risk analysis--initiation, pest risk assessment and pest risk 
management. The initiation stage is described in detail and a summary 
for the other stages is provided. Referral to other ISPMs is made 
regarding the pest risk assessment and pest risk management stages. 
Generic issues of information gathering, documentation, risk 
communication, uncertainty and consistency are introduced.
    The PRA process is initiated in Stage 1 with the identification of 
an organism, pest or pathway that may require phytosanitary measures, 
or as part of the review of existing phytosanitary measures. The first 
step is to determine or confirm whether the organism considered is a 
pest. The PRA area is defined. If no pests are identified, the analysis 
need not continue. The analysis of pests identified in Stage 1 
continues to Stages 2 and 3 using guidance provided in other standards.

2. Recognition of Pest-Free Areas and Areas of Low Pest Prevalence

    This standard provides guidance for the recognition process for 
pest-free areas (PFA) and areas of low pest prevalence (ALPP). It 
describes a procedure for the bilateral recognition of such areas. This 
standard does not include specified time lines for the recognition 
procedure.
    The importing contracting party remains responsible for determining 
what type of and how much information will be required in order to 
recognize a PFA or ALPP, depending on the type of area and its 
geography, the way the pest-free or low pest status of the area has 
been established, the contracting party's appropriate level of 
protection, and other factors for which technical justification exists.

3. Phytosanitary Treatments for Regulated Pests

    This standard would provide a list of treatments that are 
internationally recognized and intended for use by National Plant 
Protection Organizations (NPPOs) to meet their phytosanitary 
requirements. The treatments provide the minimum requirements to 
achieve treatment of a regulated pest at a stated efficacy. The scope 
of this standard does not include issues related to pesticide 
registration or other internal requirements for approval of treatment 
measures (e.g., irradiation).
    NPPOs and Regional Plant Protection Organizations (RPPOs) submit a 
treatment for inclusion in the ISPM on Phytosanitary Treatments by 
providing information on the treatment, pest(s) and commodity(ies) or 
regulated articles concerned. The submission should include efficacy 
data on the treatment under laboratory or controlled experimental 
conditions, and also under operations conditions.

4. Debarked and Bark-Free Wood

    This standard provides practical guidance to NPPOs on 
differentiating wood with bark, debarked wood, and bark-free wood, and 
how the removal of bark may reduce the risk of introduction and/or 
spread of quarantine pests associated with wood.
    It applies to wood and all products made from wood other than the 
following: Plywood, particle board, oriented strand board, veneer and 
other products made from wood that have been created using glue, heat, 
and pressure, or a combination thereof; sawdust; wood wool; wood 
shavings; and thin wood 6 mm in thickness or less.

5. Establishment of Area of Low Pest Prevalence for Fruit Flies 
(Tephritidae)

    This standard provides guidelines for the establishment and 
maintenance of areas of low pest prevalence for fruit flies of economic 
importance (including places and sites of production of low pest 
prevalence) for use as a risk mitigation measure to facilitate trade of 
fruits and vegetables.
    The decision to create a fruit fly area of low pest prevalence (FF-
ALPP) for export of a particular host of fruit fly is closely linked to 
trade opportunities and to economic and operational feasibility. Before 
establishing an FF-ALPP, the target fruit fly species shall be 
identified. FF-ALPPs are generally delimited by readily recognizable 
boundaries. Parameters used to determine the level of fruit fly 
prevalence in the FF-ALPP should be defined. The most widely used 
parameter is the number of flies per trap per day (FTD). If export from 
the FF-ALPP is intended, the specified level should be established in 
conjunction with the importing country.
    Before establishment of an FF-ALPP, surveillance aimed at assessing 
the presence and abundance of the target fruit fly species should be 
undertaken for a period determined by climatic characteristics of the 
area and as technically appropriate, but at least for 12 consecutive 
months. In order to be able to verify the fruit fly low pest 
prevalence, FF-ALPP status should be continuously checked after the FF-
ALPP status has been achieved, or, in the case of faulty procedures, 
only when those have been rectified.

6. Amendments to ISPM No.5 (Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms)

    The following amendments will be proposed to the glossary of 
phytosanitary terms in ISPM No. 5:
    1. The following terms and definitions will be proposed to be 
added:
     Phytosanitary security: Maintenance of the integrity of a 
consignment without loss or substitution, and prevention of its 
infestation, by the appropriate phytosanitary measures.

[[Page 60467]]

     Integrity (of a consignment): Composition of a consignment 
as described by its Phytosanitary Certificate or other document.
    2. The following terms and definitions will be proposed to be 
changed to read as follows:
     Buffer zone: An area surrounding or adjacent to an area 
officially delimited for phytosanitary purposes, subjected to control 
measures to minimize the risk of spread of a target pest in or out of 
the delimited area.
     Compliance procedure (for a consignment): Official 
procedure used to verify that a consignment complies with phytosanitary 
import requirements.
     Biological control: Pest control strategy making use of 
living natural enemies, antagonists, competitors, sterile insects or 
other biological control agents.
     Reference specimen(s) (of a biological control agent): 
Individual specimen(s) from a specific population conserved in a 
reference culture collection and, where possible, in a publicly 
available collection(s).

New Standard-Setting Initiatives, Including Those in Development

    A number of expert working group meetings or other technical 
consultations will take place during 2006 and 2007 on the topics listed 
below. These standard-setting initiatives were not completed before 
April 2006 and, therefore, will not be ready for adoption at the 2007 
CPM session. Nonetheless, APHIS intends to participate actively and 
fully in each of these working groups. The U.S. position on each of the 
topics to be addressed by these various working groups will be 
developed prior to these working group meetings and will be based on 
APHIS' technical analysis, information from other U.S. Government 
agencies, and relevant scientific information from interested 
stakeholders.

1. Development of Annex 1 (Specific Approved Treatments) of ISPM No. 18

    ISPM No. 18 (Guidelines for the Use of Irradiation as a 
Phytosanitary Measure) provides technical guidance on the specific 
procedures for the application of ionizing radiation as a phytosanitary 
treatment for regulated pests and articles. The standard was adopted in 
2003 during the Fifth Session of the ICPM. The scope and purpose of 
ISPM No. 18 will remain unchanged. However, work done under this 
specification will initiate the development of irradiation 
phytosanitary treatments for specific applications that will be used in 
conjunction with this ISPM.

2. Revisions of ISPMs No. 7 and 12

    Currently there are two ISPMs dealing with export: ISPM No. 7 
(Export Certification System) and ISPM No. 12 (Guidelines for 
Phytosanitary Certificates). These also briefly describe the procedure 
to follow in case of re-export and transit. As international trade has 
expanded and means of conveyance have diversified, the need has arisen 
to provide clearer guidance on re-export and transit. In addition, 
concepts in these standards will be made consistent with other existing 
standards, such as ISPM No. 25 (Consignments in Transit). Existing 
ISPMs No. 7 and No. 12 will be reviewed for amendment to provide 
specific guidance on the procedures, which cover technical, legal, 
administrative and operational aspects, including export issues related 
to re-export and consignment in transit.
    For more detailed information on the above topics, which will be 
addressed by various working groups established by the CPM, contact Ms. 
Julie E. Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).
    APHIS posts draft standards on the Internet (http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/pim/standards/) as they become available and 
provides information on the due dates for comments. Additional 
information on IPPC standards is available on the FAO's Web site at 
http://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.htm. For the most current 
information on official U.S. participation in IPPC activities, 
including U.S. positions on standards being considered, contact Ms. 
Julie E. Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Those 
wishing to provide comments on any of the areas of work being 
undertaken by the IPPC may do so at any time by responding to this 
notice (see ADDRESSES above) or by providing comments through Ms. 
Aliaga.

NAPPO Standard-Setting Activities

    NAPPO, a regional plant protection organization created in 1976 
under the IPPC, coordinates the efforts among Canada, the United 
States, and Mexico to protect their plant resources from the entry, 
establishment, and spread of harmful plant pests, while facilitating 
intra- and inter-regional trade. NAPPO conducts its business through 
panels and annual meetings held among the three member countries. The 
NAPPO Executive Committee charges individual panels with the 
responsibility for drawing up proposals for NAPPO positions, policies, 
and standards. These panels are made up of representatives from each 
member country who have scientific expertise related to the policy or 
standard being considered. Proposals drawn up by the individual panels 
are circulated for review to Government and industry officials in 
Canada, Mexico, and the United States, who may suggest revisions. In 
the United States, draft standards are circulated to industry, States, 
and various Government agencies for consideration and comment. The 
draft standards are posted on the Internet at http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/pim/standards/; interested persons may submit 
comments via that Web site. Once revisions are made, the proposal is 
sent to the NAPPO working group and the NAPPO standards panel for 
technical reviews, and then to the Executive Committee for final 
approval, which is granted by consensus.
    The annual NAPPO meeting is scheduled for October 16-20, 2006, in 
Fort McDowell, Arizona. The NAPPO Executive Committee meeting will take 
place on October 15, 2006, and a special session will be held on 
October 16, 2006, to solicit comment from industry groups so that 
suggestions can be incorporated into the NAPPO work plan for the 2006 
NAPPO year. The Deputy Administrator for PPQ is a member of the NAPPO 
Executive Committee. The Deputy Administrator intends to participate in 
the proceedings and will discuss or comment on APHIS' position on any 
standard up for adoption or any proposals to develop new standards.
    The work plan for 2006 was established after the October 2005 
Annual Meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Deputy Administrator for 
PPQ participated in establishing this NAPPO work plan (see panel 
assignments below). Below is a summary of current panel assignments as 
they relate to the ongoing development of NAPPO standards. The United 
States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to participate actively and fully in 
the work of each of these panels. The U.S. position on each topic will 
be guided and informed by the best scientific information available on 
each of these topics. For each of the following panels, the United 
States will consider its position on any draft standard after it 
reviews a prepared draft. Information regarding the following NAPPO 
panel topics, assignments, activities, and updates on meeting times and 
locations may be obtained from the NAPPO homepage at http://
www.nappo.org or by contacting Ms. Julie E. Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT above).

[[Page 60468]]

1. Accreditation Panel

    The panel will develop an audit protocol for reviewing compliance 
with the NAPPO laboratory accreditation standard (RSPM No. 9). It will 
then use this protocol to audit the programs in the three NAPPO 
countries starting with the United States. It will review and update 
the current NAPPO laboratory accreditation standard (RSPM No. 9).

2. Biological Control Panel

    This panel will complete the Taxonomic Resources Position Paper, 
develop guidelines for the movement of commercial shipments of 
arthropod biological control agents among NAPPO member countries, and 
exchange information on biological control programs in the NAPPO 
countries.

3. Biotechnology Panel

    This panel will continue to develop a NAPPO standard for the 
importation of transgenic plants into NAPPO member countries. The 
standard review of products of biotechnology focuses on the assessment 
of the potential for the new trait to increase the risk the plant could 
pose to other plants in agriculture or the broader environment. The 
final fourth module, importation for uses other than propagation, will 
be developed.

4. Citrus Panel

    The panel will update the pest lists in the Citrus Standard, based 
on new pest information.

5. Electronic Phytosanitary Certification Panel

    This panel will develop guidelines for the electronic transmission 
of phytosanitary certificates.

6. Forestry Panel

    This panel will coordinate the implementation of ISPM 15 
(Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International 
Trade) by NAPPO member countries.

7. Fruit Panel

    The panel will coordinate with other appropriate panels to start 
the development of a standard for the use of genetically modified fruit 
flies in North America.

8. Grapevine Panel

    The panel will provide direction and support to the Technical 
Advisory Group to include insects and nematodes in the NAPPO standard 
for grapevines (RSPM No. 15). It will participate in the development of 
the NAPPO standard on plants for planting.

9. Potato Panel

    The panel will develop an appendix to RSPM No. 3 on nematode 
identification and update appendix 5 based on the latest molecular 
information for potato virus YN (PVYn).

10. Propagative Material Panel

    The panel will complete the standard on plants for planting.

11. Standards Panel

    The panel will continue to provide updates on standards for the 
NAPPO newsletter, coordinate the review of new and amended NAPPO 
standards and ensure that comments received during the country 
consultation phase are incorporated as appropriate, organize conference 
calls and prepare NAPPO discussion documents for possible use at the 
IPPC, and promote implementation of recently adopted standards.
    The PPQ Deputy Administrator, as the official U.S. delegate to 
NAPPO, intends to participate in the adoption of these regional plant 
health standards, including the work described above, once they are 
completed and ready for such consideration.
    The information in this notice includes all the information 
available to us on NAPPO standards currently under development or 
consideration. For updates on meeting times and for information on the 
working panels that may become available following publication of this 
notice, check the NAPPO Web site on the Internet at http://
www.nappo.org or contact Ms. Julie E. Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT above). Information on official U.S. participation 
in NAPPO activities, including U.S. positions on standards being 
considered, may also be obtained from Ms. Aliaga. Those wishing to 
provide comments on any of the topics being addressed by any of the 
NAPPO panels may do so at any time by responding to this notice (see 
ADDRESSES above) or by transmitting comments through Ms. Aliaga.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 10th day of October 2006.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-17025 Filed 10-12-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P