[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 105 (Friday, June 1, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30468-30470]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-10641]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0104]


Classical Swine Fever Status of the Mexican State of Nayarit

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations for importing animals and 
animal products by adding the Mexican State of Nayarit to the list of 
regions considered free of classical swine fever (CSF). We are also 
adding Nayarit to the list of CSF-free regions whose exports of live 
swine, pork, and pork products to the United States must meet certain 
certification requirements to ensure their freedom from CSF. These 
actions relieve restrictions on the importation into the United States 
of pork, pork products, live swine, and swine semen from Nayarit while 
continuing to protect against the introduction of this disease into the 
United States.

DATES: Effective Date: June 18, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Chip Wells, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services-Import, National 
Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On January 31, 2007, we published in the Federal Register (72 FR 
4463-4467, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0104) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations for importing animals and animal products in 9 CFR part 94 
by adding the Mexican State of Nayarit to the list of regions 
considered free of classical swine fever (CSF) in Sec.  94.25, and 
adding Nayarit to the list of CSF-free regions in Sec. Sec.  94.9 and 
94.10 whose exports of live swine, pork, and pork products to the 
United States must meet certain certification requirements to ensure 
their freedom from CSF.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, go to  http://
www.regulations.gov, click on the ``Advanced Search'' tab, and 
select ``Docket Search.'' In the Docket ID field, enter APHIS-2006-
0104, then click ``Submit.'' Clicking on the Docket ID link in the 
search results page will produce a list of all documents in the 
docket.
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    On February 22, 2007, we published a document in the Federal 
Register (72 FR 7934, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0104) correcting two 
instances in the preamble of our proposed rule where we erroneously 
mentioned adding Nayarit to a list of CSF-affected regions, which we 
should have referred to as a list of CSF-free regions.
    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
April 2, 2007. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the 
reasons given in the proposed rule, we are adopting the proposed rule 
as a final rule, without change.

Effective Date

    This is a substantive rule that relieves restrictions and, pursuant 
to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, may be made effective less than 30 
days after publication in the Federal Register. This rule adds Nayarit 
to the lists of regions considered free of CSF and allows pork, pork 
products, live swine,\2\ and swine semen to be imported into the United 
States from Nayarit, subject to certain conditions. We have determined 
that approximately 2 weeks are needed to ensure that Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Department of Homeland Security, 
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, personnel at ports of entry 
receive official notice of this change in the regulations. Therefore, 
the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has 
determined that this rule should be effective 15 days after publication 
in the Federal Register.
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    \2\ APHIS considers all of Mexico to be affected by blue-eye 
disease of pigs, a disease which is not known to exist in the United 
States. APHIS has not evaluated Mexico, including the State of 
Nayarit, for blue-eye disease. As a result, APHIS denies permits for 
the importation of live swine and swine semen from all of Mexico, 
including Nayarit (9 CFR 93.504(a)(3)). CSF is the disease hazard 
evaluated in the risk analysis, which does not address blue-eye 
disease.
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Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this 
action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    This rule amends the regulations for importing animals and animal 
products by adding the Mexican State of Nayarit to the list of regions 
considered free of CSF. We are taking this action at the

[[Page 30469]]

request of the Mexican Government and the State of Nayarit and after 
conducting a risk evaluation that indicates that Nayarit is free of 
this disease. We are also adding Nayarit to a list of CSF-free regions 
whose exports of live swine, pork, and pork products to the United 
States must meet certain certification requirements to ensure their 
freedom from CSF. These actions relieve certain CSF-related 
restrictions on the importation into the United States of pork, pork 
products, live swine, and swine semen from Nayarit while continuing to 
protect against the introduction of this disease into the United 
States.
    This rule is likely to have a minimal effect on U.S. live swine 
markets, both in the short term and in the medium term. The hog 
inventory of Nayarit amounted to about four-tenths of 1 percent of U.S. 
hog and pig inventory in 2004.\3\ In 2004, there were 34 commercial 
swine farms in Nayarit with a population of 30,634 hogs and pigs. 
Another 18,650 hogs and pigs were reared in backyards, intended for 
consumption by the owners (table 1). Nayarit has never exported swine 
to the United States. This State--as is the case with Mexico as a 
whole--is a net importer of swine (table 2).
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    \3\ APHIS Risk Analysis on Importation of Classical Swine Fever 
(CSF) Virus from Nayarit, Mexico; Regional Evaluation Services, 
National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, USDA; and USDA, 
FAS, GAIN Report  MX6010, Mexico, Livestock and Products, 
Semiannual Report 2006.
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    In 2004, the State of Nayarit produced around 4,000 metric tons of 
pork, an amount equal to 0.35 percent of Mexico's production of pork 
(table 3). Slaughter/processing plants handling swine in Nayarit are 
not federally inspected (TIF) establishments. Only TIF plants are 
allowed to ship pork and pork products abroad or to CSF-free States in 
Mexico.

 Table 1.--Live Hogs in Nayarit, 2000-2004, and Mexico as a Whole, 2004
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Hogs in      Hogs in
             Nayarit                commercial    backyard     All hogs
                                      farms      operations
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2000.............................       10,809       30,006       40,815
2001.............................       36,799       29,587       66,386
2002.............................       34,279       30,890       65,169
2003.............................       36,665       25,010       61,675
2004.............................       30,634       18,650       49,284
                                  --------------------------------------
Mexico (2004)....................     26,208,000 (pig crop + beginning
                                       stocks) in both commercial and
                                           backyard operations.
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Source: SAGARPA; APHIS Risk Analysis on Importation of Classical Swine
  Fever (CSF) Virus from Nayarit, Mexico; Regional Evaluation Services,
  National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, USDA; and
  Regionalization Evaluation Services (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ncie/
reg-request.html), April 2006.

    This rulemaking is also unlikely to have a significant effect on 
U.S. pork and pork products markets because, as with live swine, the 
United States is unlikely to import large amounts of these commodities 
from Nayarit. The United States is a net exporter of pork, while 
Mexico, as indicated below in tables 2 and 3, is a net importer. In 
2004, Mexico exported 36,000 metric tons of pork, averaging only around 
3.2 percent of total Mexican pork production.

 Table 2.--U.S. and Mexican Trade With the World of Live Swine and Pork,
                                  2004
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                                                          Net trade with
          Commodity              Exports      Imports       the world
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Live Swine (head):
    Mexican swine............            0      189,867  189,867 (net
                                                          imports).*
    U.S. swine...............      174,010    8,505,518  8,331,508 (net
                                                          imports).
Pork (metric tons):
    Mexican pork.............       36,476       86,102  49,626 (net
                                                          imports).
    U.S. pork................      747,357      469,442  277,916 (net
                                                          exports).
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* Net imports = Imports minus exports; Net exports = Exports minus
  imports.
Source: USDA, FAS, UN Trade Statistics, 6-digit data.


                          Table 3.--Swine Production (Head) and Pork Production (Metric Tons) in United States and Mexico, 2004
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              United States                                               Mexico                                Nayarit, MX
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                        Swine                                Pork                Swine               Pork                Swine               Pork
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
60,000,000..........................................          9,302,759          15,350,000           1,150,000              49,000              4,080
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Source: USDA, FAS, GAIN Report  MX6010, Mexico, Livestock and Products, Semiannual Report 2006.

Economic Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the 
economic impact of their rules on small entities. The domestic entities 
most likely to be affected by declaring the Mexican State of Nayarit 
free of CSF are pork producers.
    According to the 2002 Agricultural Census, there were about 66,036 
hog

[[Page 30470]]

and pig farms in the United States in that year, of which 93 percent 
received $750,000 or less in annual revenues. Agricultural operations 
with $750,000 or less in annual receipts are considered small entities, 
according to the Small Business Administration size criteria.
    We do not expect that U.S. hog producers, U.S. exporters of live 
hogs, or U.S. exporters of pork and pork products, small or otherwise, 
will be affected significantly by this rule. This is because, for the 
reasons discussed above, the amount of live swine, pork, and other pork 
products imported into the United States from the Mexican State of 
Nayarit is likely to be small.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

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.

National Environmental Policy Act

    An environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
have been prepared for this final rule. The environmental assessment 
provides a basis for the conclusion that adding the Mexican State of 
Nayarit to the list of regions considered free of CSF, and to the list 
of CSF-free regions whose exports of live swine, pork, and pork 
products to the United States must meet certain certification 
requirements to ensure their freedom from CSF, will not have a 
significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Based on 
the finding of no significant impact, the Administrator of the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that an 
environmental impact statement need not be prepared.
    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
were prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) 
regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing 
the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA 
regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA 
Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site.\4\ Copies of the 
environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact are also 
available for public inspection at USDA, room 1141, South Building, 
14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between 8 
a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons 
wishing to inspect copies are requested to call ahead on (202) 690-2817 
to facilitate entry into the reading room. In addition, copies may be 
obtained by writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.
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    \4\ Go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ``Advanced 
Search'' tab and select ``Docket Search.'' In the Docket ID field, 
enter APHIS-2006-0104, click ``Submit,'' then click on the Docket ID 
link in the search results page. The environmental assessment and 
finding of no significant impact will appear in the resulting list 
of documents.
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Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no new information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, 
Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.


0
Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR part 94 as follows:

PART 94--RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL 
PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, CLASSICAL 
SWINE FEVER, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND 
RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 94 continues 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 371.4.


Sec.  94.9  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  94.9, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word 
``Nayarit,'' after the word ``Chihuahua,''.


Sec.  94.10  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  94.10, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word 
``Nayarit,'' after the word ``Chihuahua,''.


Sec.  94.25  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  94.25, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word 
``Nayarit,'' after the word ``Chihuahua,''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 25th day of May 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-10641 Filed 5-31-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P