[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 119 (Thursday, June 21, 2007)]
[Unknown Section]
[Pages 34163-34176]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-12023]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 305 and 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0040]
RIN 0579-AC10


Importation of Fruit From Thailand

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow 
the importation into the United States of litchi, longan, mango, 
mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand. As a condition of 
entry, these fruits must be grown in production areas that are 
registered with and monitored by the national plant protection 
organization of Thailand, treated with irradiation in Thailand, and 
subject to inspection. The fruits must also be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the fruit had been treated with irradiation in Thailand. In the case of 
litchi, the additional declaration must also state that the fruit had 
been inspected and found to be free of Peronophythora litchii, a fungal 
pest of litchi. Additionally, under this final rule, litchi and longan 
imported from Thailand may not be imported into or distributed to the 
State of Florida, due to the presence of litchi rust mite in Thailand. 
This action allows the importation of litchi, longan, mango, 
mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand into the United 
States while continuing to provide protection against the introduction 
of quarantine pests into the United States.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 23, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Alex Belano, Import Specialist, 
Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 140, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56 
through 319.56-8, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or 
restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and 
dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed 
within the United States.
    On July 26, 2006, we published in the Federal Register (71 FR 
42319-42326, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0040) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations to allow the importation into the United States of litchi, 
longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand. As a 
condition of entry, we proposed to require that these fruits be grown 
in production areas that are registered with and monitored by the 
national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Thailand and treated 
with irradiation in Thailand at a dose of 400 gray. The 400 gray dose 
is approved to treat all plant pests of the class Insecta except pupae 
and adults of the order Leipdoptera; we proposed to inspect for the 
Lepidopteran pests for which the irradiation treatment is not approved. 
We also proposed to require that the fruits be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the fruit had been treated with irradiation in Thailand. In the case of 
litchi, the additional declaration would also have had to state that 
the fruit had been inspected and found to be free of Peronophythora 
litchii, a fungal pest of litchi.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule and the comments we received, go 
to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ``Advanced Search'' tab, 
and select ``Docket Search.'' In the Docket ID field, enter APHIS-
2006-0040, 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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    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
September 25, 2006. We received 43 comments by that date, from 
producers, exporters, researchers, members of Congress, and 
representatives of State governments. They are discussed below by 
topic.
    Based on the comments we received, we are making one change to the 
regulations as they were proposed. In addition to the treatments and 
safeguards included in the proposed rule, this final rule prohibits the 
importation and distribution of litchi and longan from Thailand into 
the State of Florida. We are making this change based on comments 
regarding the risk associated with the litchi rust mite, Aceria litchi, 
which is present in Thailand and is a pest of litchi and longan. The 
comments on this topic are discussed in more detail below under the 
heading ``Pests Named by Commenters That Were Not Addressed in the Risk 
Management Document.''

General Comments

    Several commenters expressed general concern about the risk that 
importing litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan 
from Thailand could introduce plant pests into the United States. One 
commenter was concerned that the importation of these fruits from 
Thailand could introduce harmful plant pests into Florida. Two other 
commenters were concerned that the same thing could happen in Hawaii, 
which already struggles to control invasive species. One commenter 
suggested that the entire State of Hawaii be designated as a natural 
resource preserve.
    We believe that the mitigations included in this final rule are 
sufficient to mitigate the risk associated with the importation of 
these fruits, and thus will prevent the introduction of invasive 
species into the United States. In the case of litchi and longan, this 
final rule adds a safeguard to the proposed rule to ensure that litchi 
rust mite is not introduced to Florida.

[[Page 34164]]

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) does not 
have the statutory authority to designate areas as natural resource 
preserves.
    One commenter asked whether APHIS had considered preparing an 
environmental impact statement for the importation of the six tropical 
fruits from Thailand.
    We prepared an environmental assessment to support our proposed 
action; it was available for public review and comment along with the 
proposed rule. We received no comments specifically addressing the 
environmental assessment. We have prepared an environmental assessment 
and finding of no significant impact for this final rule; it can be 
accessed through Regulations.gov (see footnote 1).
    Our regulations in 9 CFR part 372 describe the procedures we use to 
fulfill our obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act. 
Section 372.5 describes the types of actions for which we would 
normally prepare an environmental impact statement and the types of 
actions for which we would normally prepare an environmental 
assessment. An action for which we would normally prepare an 
environmental assessment, as described in Sec.  372.5(b), ``may involve 
the agency as a whole or an entire program, but generally is related to 
a more discrete program component and is characterized by its limited 
scope (particular sites, species, or activities) and potential effect 
(impacting relatively few environmental values or systems). Individuals 
and systems that may be affected can be identified. Methodologies, 
strategies, and techniques employed to deal with the issues at hand are 
seldom new or untested. Alternative means of dealing with those issues 
are well established. Mitigation measures are generally available and 
have been successfully employed.'' We believe these statements are all 
consistent with the proposed action and the action taken in this final 
rule, which allows the importation of a limited number of fruits from 
one country, subject to mitigation measures that have been successfully 
employed elsewhere.
    One commenter addressed our characterization in the proposed rule 
of pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera as ``external feeders.'' 
This commenter stated that pupae of Lepidoptera do not feed, and that 
it would be more accurate to state that pupae and adults of the order 
Lepidoptera do not occur in fruit.
    We agree with this comment, and we will use this wording to discuss 
the issue as it arises elsewhere in this document. The comment does not 
affect the rule text that we proposed, and we are making no changes 
based on this comment in this final rule.

Requiring Production Areas To Be Registered With and Monitored by the 
NPPO of Thailand

    We proposed to require that all litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, 
pineapple, and rambutan imported from Thailand into the United States 
be grown in a production area that is registered with and monitored by 
the NPPO of Thailand.
    Six commenters stated that the proposed rule did not describe how 
this requirement would mitigate the risk associated with importing 
these fruits from Thailand into the United States. One commenter noted 
that the proposed rule stated that this requirement would result in 
fruit that had fewer pests and thus maximize the effectiveness of the 
irradiation treatment, but stated that we provided no supporting data 
on the relationship between the number of pests in a specific fruit and 
the ability of a specific dose of irradiation to neutralize those 
pests.
    We appreciate the opportunity to clarify our statement in the 
proposed rule. When we referred to reducing the number of plant pests 
in the fruit, our meaning was not that the requirement would reduce the 
number of species of plant pests found in the fruit, but rather that it 
would reduce the pest population found in the fruit.
    Based on published research, we expect the irradiation dose of 400 
gray to neutralize all plant pests of the class Insecta, except pupae 
and adults of the order Lepidoptera, that are exposed to the dose. 
(Pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera are not approved for 
treatment by the 400 gray dose because not enough research has been 
done to judge whether the dose will be effective on those insects.\2\ 
The 400 gray dose has been determined to provide at least a Probit 9 
level security based on tests performed on hundreds of thousands of 
individual plant pests. A treatment that achieves Probit 9 security is 
99.9968 percent effective against the treated plant pests--in other 
words, if 1 million plant pests are subjected to the treatment, and 32 
or fewer survive, the treatment is Probit 9 effective. However, if a 
shipment of fruit being treated is heavily infested with pests, the 
possibility of having some pests survive a treatment remains. Because 
fruit that is grown in production areas registered with and monitored 
by the NPPO of Thailand will be grown in accordance with best 
management practices, the density of pests in the production area will 
be reduced, which means that the pest population being treated will be 
smaller than it would otherwise be. Reducing the pest population in 
Thai fruit prior to the treatment provides an additional assurance that 
the 400 gray dose will neutralize the plant pests that are present in 
the fruit.
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    \2\ A detailed discussion of the evidence supporting this 
determination can be found in the proposed rule (70 FR 33857-33873, 
Docket No. 03-077-1, published in the Federal Register on June 10, 
2005) and final rule (71 FR 4451-4464, Docket No. 03-077-2, 
published in the Federal Register on January 27, 2006) that added 
the 400 gray dose to the regulations as a treatment option. These 
documents can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetailed&d=APHIS-2005-0052.
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    Three commenters requested that APHIS provide additional 
information regarding the best management practices that the Thai NPPO 
would require for registered production areas.
    The best management practices that would be required by the Thai 
NPPO for production areas growing these six tropical fruits for export 
would vary according to the pest population in the production area, the 
fruit being grown in the production area, and other factors. Rather 
than prescribe certain management practices for Thai producers, APHIS 
instead will include in the framework equivalency workplan a 
requirement that producers utilize appropriate pest management control 
measures to ensure low pest population levels (especially of fruit 
flies) and to comply with all horticultural standards required by the 
NPPO.
    The regulations for treatment of imported fruits and vegetables 
with irradiation in Sec.  305.31(f)(1) require that the plant 
protection service of a country from which articles are to be imported 
into the United States enter into a framework equivalency workplan. 
Among other things, this workplan specifies the type and amount of 
inspection, monitoring, or other activities that will be required in 
connection with allowing the importation of irradiated articles into 
the United States. The regulations in Sec.  305.31(f)(2) require that 
the foreign irradiation facility enter into a facility preclearance 
workplan. This workplan details the activities that APHIS and the 
foreign NPPO will carry out to verify the facility's compliance with 
the requirements of Sec.  301.34.\3\
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    \3\ We published a notice in the Federal Register providing 
background information on bilateral workplans in general on May 10, 
2006 (71 FR 27221-27224, Docket No. APHIS-2005-0085). That notice 
may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&d=APHIS-2005-0085-0001. Both the framework 
equivalency workplan and the facility preclearance workplan are 
bilateral workplans.

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[[Page 34165]]

    APHIS will ensure that these measures are being effectively 
employed through inspection of the fruit when it is treated in 
Thailand; if the number of pests found is above a certain tolerance, we 
will reject the fruit for treatment, meaning that it may not be 
exported to the United States.
    We are making no changes to the proposed rule in response to these 
comments.

Monitoring and Inspection

    In the proposed rule, we described the monitoring and inspection 
for the treatment of the six Thai fruits as follows:
    ``The regulations in Sec.  305.31 contain extensive requirements 
for performing irradiation treatment at a facility in a foreign 
country. These requirements include:
     The operator of the irradiation facility must sign a 
compliance agreement with the Administrator of APHIS and the NPPO of 
the exporting country.
     The facility must be certified by APHIS as capable of 
administering the treatment and separating treated and untreated 
articles.
     Treatments must be monitored by an inspector.
     A preclearance workplan must be entered into by APHIS and 
the NPPO of the exporting country. In the case of fruits imported from 
Thailand, this workplan would include provisions for inspection of 
articles, which APHIS would perform before or after the treatment.
     The operator of the irradiation facility must enter into a 
trust fund agreement with APHIS to pay for the costs of monitoring and 
preclearance.''
    Several commenters expressed confusion regarding whether an officer 
from APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program would be on 
site in Thailand to monitor irradiation treatment and inspect the 
treated fruit. One of the commenters noted that PPQ personnel monitor 
the irradiation treatment of fruits and vegetables moved interstate 
from Hawaii and that the NPPO of Japan has inspectors on site to 
monitor the irradiation treatment of Hawaiian papayas that are intended 
for export to Japan. The commenter urged APHIS to include a requirement 
in the rule that PPQ monitor irradiation treatment of fruits in 
Thailand that are intended for export to the United States, rather than 
addressing it in the compliance agreement. One commenter stated that 
irradiation treatment would be effective only if properly performed.
    We agree with the commenters that it is necessary to have a PPQ 
officer on site to monitor irradiation treatment of fruits intended for 
export to the United States. Under Sec.  305.31(f), irradiation 
treatment must be monitored by an inspector. Inspector is defined in 
Sec.  305.1 as any individual authorized by the Administrator or the 
Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security, to enforce the regulations in 7 CFR 305. Because this work 
would involve oversight in a foreign country, it would be conducted 
exclusively by APHIS employees. We include the details of how this 
requirement will be fulfilled in the facility preclearance work plan 
under paragraph (f)(2) of Sec.  305.31. We believe that the PPQ 
officer's supervision will be adequate to ensure that the irradiation 
treatment is properly performed, and thus effective.
    Because the regulations already require that an inspector monitor 
the irradiation treatment, we do not believe it is necessary to make 
any changes based on these comments.
    One commenter asked how APHIS would verify that the phytosanitary 
certification provided by the Thai NPPO is accurate. Another commenter 
expressed general concern that the production and treatment of these 
Thai fruits would not be effectively monitored by the Thai NPPO.
    As a signatory to the International Plant Protection Convention 
(IPPC),\4\ the Thai NPPO is obligated to provide accurate and complete 
phytosanitary certification and to fulfill its responsibilities under 
bilateral agreements with other NPPOs. We have reviewed the Thai NPPO's 
procedures and are confident in its ability to provide such 
certification, and we are also confident that the Thai NPPO can fulfill 
its responsibilities under the regulations and under a framework 
equivalency workplan. If we became aware of inaccuracies in the 
phytosanitary certification, or we determine that the requirements of 
the regulations and the workplan are not being complied with, we will 
take appropriate corrective action.
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    \4\ The text of the International Plant Protection Convention 
can be reviewed at http://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.jsp.
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    Several commenters also expressed the opinion that APHIS should 
inspect all fruit being exported from Thailand. Two commenters stated 
that the proposed rule indicated that APHIS inspectors will not be 
directly involved with supervising the required inspection program in 
Thailand.
    As stated earlier, the proposed rule indicated that all fruit that 
is treated and exported under these regulations will be inspected prior 
to export, before or after irradiation treatment. A PPQ inspector will 
supervise the treatment and inspection process under the bilateral 
workplan between APHIS and the Thai NPPO.
    The regulations in Sec.  319.56-6 provide that all imported fruits 
and vegetables shall be inspected, and shall be subject to such 
disinfection at the port of first arrival as may be required by an 
inspector. The pre-export inspection that will be conducted by APHIS 
personnel as part of preclearance activities in Thailand will serve to 
satisfy the inspection requirement. Section 319.56-6 also provides that 
any shipment of fruits and vegetables may be refused entry if the 
shipment is so infested with plant pests that an inspector determines 
that it cannot be cleaned or treated.
    Two commenters stated that inspection levels in general should be 
increased.
    For these six fruits from Thailand, inspections will be performed 
at levels specified in the workplan, according to a statistical plan 
designed to ensure phytosanitary security. Our successful use of such 
plans in the past indicates that they are effective.
    One commenter stated that APHIS does not have enough personnel to 
check all shipments of fruit.
    If we do not have personnel available to fulfill our inspection 
responsibilities, as they are detailed in the workplan, we will not 
allow fruit to be precleared and imported from Thailand.
    Two commenters stated that inspection in general is not an 
effective mitigation.
    We disagree with these commenters. Inspection can be an effective 
mitigation for pests that are found outside of the commodity, such as 
pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera, or for pathogens that cause 
easily visible symptoms when they infect a commodity. For other pests, 
treatments or other mitigation strategies are typically required, such 
as the 400 gray irradiation dose that we are requiring for the six 
fruits approved for export from Thailand to the United States.
    One commenter stated that because irradiation will not control 
pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera, these plant pests could be 
introduced into the United States via shipments of treated and 
inspected fruit. The commenter cited as examples the introduction of 
adult Lepidoptera via the holding bay of

[[Page 34166]]

a transport ship once the hatch doors are opened at the port of entry 
and the introduction of pupae through deposit onto soil during 
transportation of the fruit to importer facilities.
    As discussed earlier, fruit from Thailand exported to the United 
States under these regulations will be inspected prior to export in all 
cases for the presence of plant pests that are pupae or adults of the 
order Lepidoptera. In addition, under Sec.  305.31(g)(2)(i), all fruits 
and vegetables irradiated prior to arrival in the United States must 
either be packed in insect-proof packaging or stored in rooms that 
completely preclude access by fruit flies. (A room that fruit flies 
cannot enter will also exclude Lepidopteran pests, since Lepidopteran 
pests are typically much larger than fruit flies.) These requirements 
are designed to prevent reinfestation after commodities are treated 
with irradiation and subjected to any necessary inspection.

The Risk Management Document and Its Discussion in the Proposed Rule

    In the proposed rule, we stated the following about the risk 
management document that we prepared to support our proposed action:
    ``We have not prepared a comprehensive pest risk analysis for this 
proposed rule, as we normally do when determining whether to allow the 
importation of fruits or vegetables under the regulations. When we 
prepare a comprehensive pest risk analysis for a commodity, one part of 
the analysis examines in detail the likelihood that the plant pests for 
which the commodity could serve as a host would be introduced into the 
United States via the importation of that commodity, the likelihood 
that those pests would become established if they were introduced, and 
the damage that could result from their introduction or establishment. 
This helps us to determine which plant pests pose a risk that makes 
mitigation measures beyond port-of-entry inspection necessary. However, 
since irradiation at the 400 gray dose is approved to neutralize all 
plant pests of the class Insecta, except pupae and adults of the order 
Lepidoptera, we did not consider it necessary to undertake a detailed 
analysis of the risks posed by any plant pests that fall into the 
category, since the risks for all these pests would be mitigated 
through the irradiation treatment. For the plant pests that we 
identified that are not approved for treatment with the 400 gray dose, 
we have analyzed what specific mitigations may be necessary given the 
risks they pose and the likelihood that these risks would be 
effectively mitigated by inspection.''
    One commenter stated that the Thai NPPO provided APHIS with full 
pest risk analyses for each of the six fruits we proposed to allow to 
be imported from Thailand into the United States. This commenter stated 
that these pest risk assessments were the basis for discussions between 
the Thai NPPO and APHIS on proper mitigations for the pests associated 
with each of these six fruits. The commenter was concerned that, 
because we did not make these pest risk assessments or the 
comprehensive lists of plant pests associated with each of the six 
fruits available for public review and comment, the public could be 
misled regarding how APHIS determined which pests associated with these 
fruits are quarantine pests and thus required mitigation.
    Bearing out this commenter's concern, several commenters requested 
that APHIS complete a full pest risk assessment for each of the six 
fruits addressed in the proposed rule. Many of these commenters 
recommended that APHIS concentrate on pathogens, as the primary pest 
mitigation method we proposed to use for these fruits, irradiation 
treatment, is not approved to neutralize pathogens.
    It is correct that the Thai NPPO provided APHIS with pest risk 
assessments and pest lists for each of the six fruits addressed in the 
proposed rule. However, APHIS plant scientists reviewed the documents 
that were submitted by the Thai NPPO and used additional sources to 
develop independent pest lists. The lists of pests that were judged to 
be quarantine pests, however, did not change during the review process 
prior to the publication of the proposed rule, which allowed for 
productive discussions between the Thai NPPO and APHIS on mitigation 
measures for quarantine pests associated with each of the six fruits.
    By listing only the pests associated with these fruits that were 
judged to be quarantine pests in the risk management document, however, 
we appear to have caused confusion. Many commenters, for example, asked 
whether we had considered pests that we did not list in the risk 
management document; in fact, we had considered them and determined 
that they were not quarantine pests, meaning that we did not include 
them in the risk management document. (These comments are discussed 
later in this document under the heading ``Pests Named by Commenters 
That Were Not Addressed in the Risk Management Document.'') Therefore, 
in support of this final rule, we are making available on 
Regulations.gov (see footnote 1) not only the risk management document, 
with the updates discussed in this document, but also the pest lists we 
used when determining what quarantine pests are associated with each of 
the six fruits in question. We hope this will help to address these 
concerns.
    Three commenters addressed the statement in the risk management 
document that pineapples moved interstate from Hawaii are approved for 
irradiation treatment at a 250 gray dose. The commenters stated that 
the pineapple in production in Hawaii is the smooth Cayenne variety, 
which is not a host of the fruit flies present in Hawaii; therefore, 
smooth Cayenne pineapples have never been subject to quarantine 
treatment, including irradiation.
    The commenters are correct that the regulations allow smooth 
Cayenne pineapples to move interstate from Hawaii without treatment. 
However, for pineapples of varieties other than the smooth Cayenne that 
are moved interstate from Hawaii, the regulations in Sec.  305.34(a) 
provide for the use of irradiation treatment at a dose of 150 gray.\5\ 
Thus, the risk management document correctly referred to the existence 
of irradiation requirements for pineapples moved interstate from 
Hawaii, but did not completely describe the situation. We have amended 
the risk management document to clarify our discussion of this matter.
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    \5\ At the time the risk management document was written, the 
required dose for pineapples other than smooth Cayenne moved 
interstate from Hawaii was 250 gray. Since then, we published a 
final rule in the Federal Register on January 27, 2006 (Docket No. 
03-077-2, 71 FR 4451-4464) that lowered the required does to 150 
gray. We have updated the risk management document for this final 
rule to reflect this change.
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    One commenter stated that economic factors should be considered in 
risk assessments.
    Our risk assessments evaluate the risk associated with a quarantine 
pest in part by considering the economic impact of its introduction. We 
have carefully considered the risks posed by all the quarantine pests 
associated with the six Thai fruits addressed in the proposal. As 
mentioned earlier, based on the risk posed by A. litchi, this final 
rule prohibits litchi and longan from Thailand from being imported into 
or distributed to Florida based on the possible economic consequences 
of the introduction of that pest into litchi production areas in that 
State.
    Two commenters stated that, despite the apparent effectiveness of 
the mitigation measures described in the

[[Page 34167]]

risk management document, there was still some risk that quarantine 
pests could be introduced to the United States through the importation 
of Thai fruits due to failures in treatment or the execution of the 
treatment protocols. The commenters cited temporary faults in the 
irradiation equipment or procedures, human error, and intentional 
disregard of the treatment procedures with terroristic intent to 
introduce plant pests. The commenters stated that, when considering 
that large volumes of Thai fruit would be imported over an indefinite 
period of time, there was bound to be some failure in the system 
designed to prevent the introduction of plant pests. The commenters 
believed that such a risk was unacceptable and thus opposed finalizing 
the proposed rule.
    APHIS has authorized the importation of fruits from foreign 
localities under phytosanitary measures similar to those described in 
the proposed rule for many years. These measures have been proven to be 
effective at preventing the introduction of quarantine pests. When 
considering what phytosanitary measures are necessary to prevent the 
introduction of quarantine pests into the United States through the 
importation of a commodity whose importation is presently prohibited, 
we balance the necessity of preventing the introduction of quarantine 
pests with our obligation under the World Trade Organization Agreement 
on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measure to take the least restrictive 
measures necessary to ensure phytosanitary security. We believe the 
measures required by this final rule fulfill both of these objectives.
    One commenter stated that pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera 
are not likely to move in the pathway for fresh fruit exported from 
Thailand to the United States.
    We agree with this commenter. However, we believe it is necessary 
to inspect Thai fruits to ensure their freedom from these pests because 
of the potential for harm if a quarantine pest of the order Lepidoptera 
were to be introduced into the United States.
    One commenter objected to our statement that we are confident that 
inspection can detect pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera, which 
we made in the preamble of the proposed rule. This commenter stated 
that APHIS did not provide support for the assertion and that, given 
the proposal's implications for the agricultural and environmental 
health of the United States, such support was necessary.
    Our assertion that inspection can detect pupae and adults of the 
order Lepidoptera is based on decades of experience inspecting imported 
fruit for plant pests. The commenter did not provide any specific 
reasons to doubt the ability of our inspectors to detect such pests.

Pests Named by Commenters That Were Not Addressed in the Risk 
Management Document

    Several commenters expressed concern regarding pests that were not 
addressed in the risk management document. As discussed earlier, along 
with this final rule, we are providing the full pests lists we used 
when determining what quarantine pests are associated with each of the 
six fruits in question we proposed to import from Thailand, so that the 
public can see the full set of pests we considered. We will also 
address the specific pests about which commenters expressed concern.
    Several pests named by commenters are already present in the United 
States and thus are not considered quarantine pests. These pests are:
     Cylindrocladiella peruviana, a fungus;
     Longan witches' broom;
     Pineapple bacterial wilt;
     Pineapple heart rot;
     Bacterial leaf spot, caused by Erwinia mangifera; and
     Blossom malformation, caused by the fungus Fusarium 
subglutinans.
    Citing pineapple bacterial wilt and pineapple heart rot, two 
commenters asked us to develop a postentry pineapple risk management 
plan for pineapples imported into Hawaii from Thailand. Because both 
diseases are already present in Hawaii and are not under official 
control in that State, we do not believe it is necessary to develop a 
plan for action regarding the introduction of those diseases.
    Two genera, Deudorix (fruit borers) and Greeneria (fungi), were 
named by commenters as pests we did not consider. We do not consider 
pests that are not identified to the species level when developing risk 
documents. We did consider Deudorix epijarbas (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) 
as a quarantine pest of litchi and longan in the risk management 
document and in the proposed rule. Our review of the available 
scientific information did not identify any other species of the genus 
Deudorix or any species of the genus Greeneria that qualified as a 
quarantine pest.
    Commenters also mentioned ants as a class of pests that the risk 
management document did not address. Our review of the available 
scientific information did not identify any species of ants in Thailand 
that qualified as quarantine pests.
    Other pests cited by the commenters are discussed below.
    Aceria litchi, A. longana, A. dimocarpi. All three of these are 
mites, which the 400 gray irradiation dose is not approved to treat. A. 
longana and A. dimocarpi are not considered quarantine pests because 
they are not known to be associated with mature fruit. A. longana 
infests the leaves and inflorescences of the tree. A. dimocarpi is 
associated with young fruit, and typically causes premature fruit drop; 
since only mature fruit would be treated and exported from Thailand, it 
is unlikely that this pest would move to the United States.
    However, a review of the available literature confirms that A. 
litchi is considered to be associated with the fruit of litchi and 
longan.\6\ Additionally, APHIS considers A. litchi to be a quarantine 
pest. For this reason, our regulations generally prohibit the movement 
of litchi and longan into Florida from areas where A. litchi is 
present. For example, litchi and longan moved interstate from Hawaii to 
the mainland United States that are treated with irradiation in 
accordance with Sec.  305.34 may not be moved into or distributed in 
Florida under paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of that section. Litchi from China 
and India that are imported under Sec.  319.56-2x are also not allowed 
to be imported into or distributed in Florida.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The pest lists for litchi and longan that accompany this 
rule provide a full list of citations supporting this determination.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because A. litchi is not present in Florida and because we have 
consistently prohibited host movement into Florida from areas where 
that pest is present, this final rule prohibits the importation and 
distribution of litchi and longan from Thailand into the State of 
Florida.
    Citrus greening. The citrus greening disease is spread by specific 
insect vectors, all of which would be neutralized by irradiation at the 
400 gray dose.
    Cryptophlebia carpophaga. Synonymous with C. ombrodelta, which is 
considered a quarantine pest and was addressed in the risk management 
document and in the proposed rule.
    Cylindrocarpon tonkinense. Synonymous with C. lichenicola, which is 
the accepted name. A postharvest fungus. The commenter cited it as a 
pest of litchi from Thailand, but CABI reports it as only present in 
India, and as a pest of yams.
    Deanolis sublimbalis [Lepidoptera: Pyralidae], the mango seed 
borer. The name Deanolis sublimbalis is a synonym of Deanolis 
albizonalis. D.

[[Page 34168]]

albizonalis is listed in the pest list for mango from Thailand. We 
determined that this quarantine pest would not follow the pathway of 
imported fruit. As D. albizonalis larvae feed within the mango, the 
damaged area softens and collapses. Common signs of damage by D. 
albizonalis are bursting at the fruit apex and longitudinal cracking of 
the fruit as it nears maturity. Because of the destructive and obvious 
nature of fruit injury, it is very unlikely that any infested fruit 
would be packed for export. Therefore, we determined that no mitigation 
beyond inspection is necessary to address the risk posed by this pest.
    Homodes bracteigutta (Walker) [Lepidoptera: Noctuidae]. This pest 
is on the pest list for longan from Thailand. We determined that this 
quarantine pest would not follow the pathway of imported fruit, because 
H. bracteigutta occurs externally to the fruit during all its life 
stages and thus is unlikely to remain on the fruit after processing. 
Therefore, we determined that no mitigation beyond inspection is 
necessary to address the risk posed by this pest.
    Pestalotiopsis flagisetulai. A fungus that occurs on mangosteen. We 
do not consider this fungus to be a quarantine pest. The pest causes 
rot in infected fruit during postharvest storage, meaning that infected 
fruit would be likely to be culled prior to shipment to the United 
States. If the disease were introduced into the United States, we would 
not expect its consequences to be significant. According to an 
Australian pest risk assessment, P. flagisetulai is a weak pathogen 
that only affects fruits that were bruised during harvest, causing 
storage rots.
    Phomopsis longanae. A pathogen causing stem-end rot on longan. This 
pest is reported in China, but not in Thailand.
    Tessaratoma papillosa (Drury) [Hemiptera: Pentatomidae], known as 
the litchi stink bug. This pest is on the pest list for litchi from 
Thailand. We determined that this quarantine pest would not follow the 
pathway of imported fruit, because T. papillosa is a large, active 
insect that attacks the fruit and is unlikely to remain with litchi 
after processing. Therefore, we determined that no mitigation beyond 
inspection is necessary to address the risk posed by this pest.
    Twig pathogens. One commenter recommended that twig and stem 
pathogens should be considered in the risk management document or 
addressed through an additional measure in the inspection process that 
would prohibit stem material from being shipped.
    The commenter did not cite any specific twig pathogens that we 
should have included in the risk management document. In general, our 
preclearance inspection is sufficient to detect disease symptoms on any 
twigs included with the fruit and to reject shipments in which diseased 
material is present.

Fungi

    For litchi and mango from Thailand, we identified one fungus each 
as being a quarantine pest. For litchi, the fungus was Peronophythora 
litchii. We stated the following about P. litchii in the proposed rule:
    ``This pest can cause litchi fruit to drop prematurely from their 
trees; fungicidal field treatments are typically applied to reduce 
premature fruit drop in commercial litchi production areas where P. 
litchii is present. To address the risk posed by this pest, we are 
proposing to require that litchi from Thailand be inspected and found 
to be free of P. litchii. We would also require that the phytosanitary 
certificate accompanying litchi from Thailand include an additional 
declaration to that effect.
    ``We believe that most litchi fruit that are infected with P. 
litchii would be culled prior to importation into the United States; 
trained harvesters, packinghouse personnel, and plant quarantine 
inspectors can easily detect the distinctive symptoms of the disease on 
fruit. Litchi that are infected with P. litchii but are not symptomatic 
may not be culled, but the likelihood that P. litchii would then be 
introduced into the United States via the few fruit that may escape 
detection is very low, because the spores are transmitted by water. 
This means that for P. litchii to be introduced into the United States 
via an infected litchi fruit, the fruit would have to be incompletely 
consumed and discarded in a place where the pest could be transmitted 
to a litchi production area through moving water. Additionally, there 
is no record of interception of this disease on litchi imported into 
the United States from other countries in regions where this pathogen 
is present. Therefore, we believe that the requirement that litchi from 
Thailand be inspected for P. litchii, along with the additional 
declaration that would be required on the phytosanitary certificate 
accompanying the fruit, would adequately mitigate the risk posed by 
this pest.''
    For mangos, the fungus we identified as a quarantine pest was 
Phomopsis mangiferae. We stated the following about P. mangiferae in 
the proposed rule:
    ``We believe that Phomopsis mangiferae is unlikely to be introduced 
into the United States via the importation of mangoes for consumption. 
The pest is specific to mangoes and is spread only via the seed of the 
mango. For the pest to spread, fungal spores from the seed must be 
dispersed at a time when susceptible tissue is available; thus, 
dispersal only occurs when infected seed is used in mango production. 
If infected fruit is consumed and the seed is discarded as waste, the 
infected fruit does not serve as a pathway for introduction. Discarded 
fruit could create a possible source of inoculum that could provide the 
means for introduction, but the likelihood that infected mangoes will 
reach these habitats is low because (1) the host range is limited to 
mango; (2) the portion of the total number of mango shipments from 
Thailand that is expected to be transported to mango-producing areas in 
California, Florida, Hawaii, or Texas is small; and (3) the likelihood 
of fruit being discarded in mango orchards at an appropriate time is 
likewise very low. For these reasons, we are not proposing any measures 
beyond inspection to mitigate the risk associated with this plant pest. 
This decision is consistent with the recommendations contained in pest 
risk analyses examining the importation of mangoes from Australia, 
India, and Pakistan, countries where Phomopsis mangiferae is also 
present.''
    One commenter stated that the proposed rule did not provide any 
quarantine mitigation for disease pathogens.
    As discussed above, we identified two disease pathogens as 
quarantine pests, and proposed mitigations for both of them. For P. 
litchii, the mitigation proposed was inspection with an additional 
declaration on the phytosanitary certificate accompanying litchi 
imported from Thailand stating that the litchi had been inspected and 
found to be free of P. litchii. For P. mangiferae, the mitigation 
proposed was inspection.
    We received several comments addressing P. litchii specifically.
    As noted above, for P. litchii to be introduced into the United 
States via an infected litchi fruit, the fruit would have to be 
incompletely consumed and discarded in a place where the pest could be 
transmitted to a litchi production area through moving water. Several 
commenters stated that, while this would be unlikely in States where 
litchi is not produced, the likelihood that incompletely consumed 
litchi fruit

[[Page 34169]]

would be discarded in a yard or other area with a litchi tree in a 
litchi production area is not insignificant. Given the significant 
annual rainfalls in Hawaii, some commenters stated, the skin or seed of 
an infected fruit could affect a growing area through direct water 
transmission. Additionally, backyard litchi trees would also provide a 
vector for transmission of the fungus to commercial litchi orchards.
    Another commenter stated that, as a means of determining freedom 
from P. litchii, inspection may be problematic. Visual inspection will 
identify advanced infections, but may not reveal recent infections, 
which can be asymptomatic. In addition, the commenter stated, the 
fungus will remain in a suspended state during transit in cool 
temperatures, allowing fungal growth to resume once litchi are 
imported. The commenter cited a risk analysis prepared by the 
Australian government regarding P. litchii that stated that the 
probability of distribution into Australia of P. litchii through fruit 
imported from Thailand was high: ``The pathogen is likely to survive 
storage and transportation, even at cool dry temperatures, and is 
unlikely to progress to visual decay before distribution.''
    Several of the commenters specifically argued that the litchi 
imported from Thailand should be prohibited from importation or 
distribution into Hawaii and other litchi-producing States to prevent a 
possible introduction of P. litchii.
    We understand the commenters' concerns and have carefully 
considered them in developing this final rule. We continue to believe 
that the requirement that the phytosanitary certificate accompanying 
litchi imported from Thailand into the United States contain an 
additional declaration stating that the litchi had been inspected and 
found to be free of P. litchii is an adequate mitigation for the risk 
posed by P. litchii.
    Several considerations lead us to this conclusion. One is that our 
prediction in the risk management document that it is unlikely that P. 
litchii would be introduced into the United States has largely been 
borne out in practice in other circumstances. The regulations in Sec.  
319.56-2x presently allow the importation of litchi from two other 
countries in which P. litchii is present, China and India, when the 
litchi are treated in accordance with 7 CFR 305. (No treatment is 
available for P. litchii; the treatments are applied to neutralize 
other plant pests that are present in those countries.) There is no 
special inspection requirement to mitigate the risk posed by P. litchii 
in the regulations for litchi from China and India, although all fruits 
entering the United States are inspected for quarantine pests.
    During the period 2003 through 2006, we received no shipments of 
litchi from India, but 550 shipments of litchi from China. There were 
no interceptions of P. litchii on these fruit, and no introductions of 
P. litchii in the United States have been reported.
    While the Australian risk analysis identified the probability of 
distribution of P. litchii as high, it identified the probability of 
entry of the fungus as moderate, which is consistent with requiring 
inspection and an additional declaration on the phytosanitary 
certificate that certifies freedom from the pest.
    Along with the information in the proposed rule, we believe that 
this information indicates that the mitigation against P. litchii in 
the proposed rule was adequate. We are making no changes to the 
proposed rule in response to these comments.
    Two commenters stated that the host range of P. litchii was not 
adequately represented in the risk management document. One stated that 
the CABI Abstracts indicate that in nature, the disease is confined to 
litchi, although in laboratory conditions, tomatoes, papayas, and 
loofah may also be infected. This commenter, however, also stated that 
P. litchii has also been reported on longan in China (Hoi, H.H., J.Y. 
Lu and L.Y. Gong. 1984. Observation on asexual reproduction by 
Peronophythora litchii. Mycologia 76:745-747) and on Christmas berry 
tree, a commonly occurring invasive species in Hawaii. The other 
commenter stated that P. litchii has also been found on tomato and 
papaya, without the other references.
    We typically discount reports of host status based on a species' 
role as a laboratory or experimental host when completing risk 
assessments, as there is no clear evidence that the plants would ever 
be infected with the disease in nature; the CABI citation confirms 
this. The fact that longan is not listed as a host in the CABI 
citation, over 20 years after the publication of the Chinese report, 
argues against placing restrictions on the importation of longan from 
Thailand based on the Chinese report. Additionally, the commenter did 
not provide a reference to establish Christmas berry tree as a host of 
P. litchii, and we have been unable to find such a reference. We are 
making no changes to the proposed rule in response to these comments.
    The proposed rule stated that fungicidal field treatments are 
typically applied to reduce premature fruit drop in commercial litchi 
production areas where P. litchii is present. One commenter stated that 
this disease control method may result in a higher possibility of 
disease introduction on fruits. The commenter stated that very few 
fungicides are therapeutic and kill the pathogen once infection is 
established. If the results of field fungicide treatments are designed 
to ``reduce fruit drop,'' then there will be potentially higher 
infection rates among the fruits that remain on the tree and harbor 
latent, non-fatal infections.
    Two other commenters also referred to this statement, noting that 
no mention is made of what pesticides would be used and whether they 
are legally registered for use in the United States. As the commenters 
noted, imported fruit that has been sprayed with pesticides not legally 
registered for use on those specific crops in the United States may not 
be imported into the United States.
    Another commenter noted that the proposed rule stated that we 
believe that most litchi fruit that are infected with P. litchii would 
be culled prior to importation into the United States; trained 
harvesters, packinghouse personnel, and plant quarantine inspectors can 
easily detect the distinctive symptoms of the disease on fruit. The 
commenter stated that APHIS should have more than a belief that this 
will happen. The commenter also stated that all fruit, not most fruit, 
infected with this fungus should be culled before litchi are shipped 
from Thailand to the United States. The commenter also questioned 
whether the training these workers receive is adequate to perform the 
task of culling infected fruit.
    We appreciate these commenters' concerns. We would like to take 
this opportunity to clarify that we are not requiring any fungicidal 
treatment to be applied to litchi imported from Thailand. The statement 
in the proposed rule and the risk management document simply described 
the typical response of litchi producers to P. litchii infection in a 
production area. Similarly, the culling described in the proposed rule 
is part of a characterization of the probability of introduction; 
exporters would routinely cull litchi intended for export in order to 
ensure that the fruit is marketable. We are not making culling a 
required phytosanitary measure. The mitigation we are requiring for P. 
litchii is inspection and phytosanitary certification of freedom from 
the disease. If a shipment of litchi was

[[Page 34170]]

found to be infested with P. litchii, the Thai NPPO would not issue a 
phytosanitary certificate for those litchi, and they would be 
ineligible for export to the United States. As discussed earlier, we 
believe that inspection and certification for freedom from the disease 
is adequate to address the risk posed by P. litchii.
    The workplan agreed to by the Thai NPPO and APHIS will contain 
specific provisions requiring compliance with these and all other 
regulations that apply to the export of these fruits to the United 
States.
    Finally, harvesters and packinghouse personnel can be trained to 
look for symptoms of pathogens such as P. litchii; this process would 
be included in our bilateral workplan with Thailand.
    One commenter stated that the fungus should not be characterized as 
Peronophythora litchii but rather as Phytophthora litchii. In this 
context, the commenter stated that over the last several years, the 
plant protection community has become aware of several new species of 
Phytophthora that have most likely been introduced into the United 
States on plant material imported from Asia. Although these 
introductions were probably directly associated with the importations 
of plant propagative materials, the commenter was very concerned given 
the ability of some Phytophthora species to hybridize with other 
species. Therefore, the commenter expressed concern about allowing the 
importation of a known host (litchi) from a known infested area with 
nothing more than a visual inspection. The commenter doubted that a 
thorough host range study has been completed for P. litchii. The 
commenter stated that the increasing number of new Phytophthora species 
moving from Asia to the Western Hemisphere needs to be curtailed and 
that APHIS should place a higher emphasis on phytosanitary security 
with regard to this genus.
    While some sources have reclassified Peronophythora litchii as 
Phytophthora litchii, there has not been a consensus judgment in that 
regard. As mentioned earlier, CABI continues to refer to the pest as 
Peronophythora litchii, and several other references list the fungus 
under that name as well. We are making no changes to the proposed rule 
in response to this comment.
    Were the fungus to be classified under Phytophthora rather than 
Peronophythora, we would still rely on the scientific evidence 
available to assess the risk it poses, and we believe the biology of P. 
litchii is sufficiently well characterized in the literature for us to 
do that.
    Two commenters specifically addressed P. mangiferae. Referring to 
our statement that the portion of the total number of mango shipments 
from Thailand that is expected to be transported to mango-producing 
areas in California, Florida, Hawaii, or Texas is small, the commenter 
cited U.S. census data indicating that the Asian American population of 
the United States is 4 percent. In Hawaii, Asian Americans make up 42 
percent of the population, in Florida 2 percent, in California 12 
percent, in Texas 3 percent, and Puerto Rico 0.2 percent; all told, the 
Asian American population represents over 12.4 million Americans. The 
commenter stated that these statistics clearly demonstrate that there 
will be demand for mangoes from Thailand. The commenter additionally 
stated that such demand indicates that P. mangiferae would be dispersed 
by seed in the urban or agricultural areas of Florida, Hawaii, 
California, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
    Another commenter objected to our use of conditional terms, such as 
our statement that mangos exhibiting symptoms of P. mangiferae ``are 
likely to be detected at harvest and during packing and inspection'' 
and our statement that, if infected mangos are imported into the United 
States, the number of mangoes that would be shipped to mango production 
areas in California, Florida, Hawaii, and Texas is expected to be 
small.
    Our assessment of P. mangiferae as posing a risk for which 
inspection is a suitable mitigation was not based on the idea that 
there would be no demand in the United States for mangoes imported from 
Thailand. Rather, our assessment was based on the means by which P. 
mangiferae must be disseminated in order for it to spread. Discarded 
fruit imported for consumption could create a possible source of 
inoculum that could provide the means for introduction, but the 
likelihood that infected mangoes will reach these habitats is low 
because (1) the host range is limited to mango; (2) the portion of the 
total number of mango shipments from Thailand that is expected to be 
transported to mango-producing areas, specifically, in the four named 
States is small; and (3) the likelihood of fruit being discarded in 
mango orchards at an appropriate time is likewise very low. All these 
factors, combined, led us to determine that the probability of 
introduction of P. mangiferae is low. The commenter did not state any 
reasons for disputing our analysis of the probability of occurrence for 
each of the specific stages of the pathway for introduction.
    Regarding the second commenter's comments, those statements in the 
proposed rule were part of an analysis of the probability of 
introduction of P. mangiferae, not a set of mitigations that we are 
requiring. Our conclusion that the probability of introduction for P. 
mangiferae is low led us to propose no mitigations beyond inspection 
against its introduction.

Labeling

    Three commenters stated that each fruit imported from Thailand 
should be required to have a label stating its country of origin and 
that irradiation was used as a treatment on the fruit. Two of these 
commenters also stated that the fruit should be required to be kept in 
its original containers. One of the commenters stated that, without a 
labeling requirement, consumers would be unable to distinguish Thai 
pineapples from Hawaiian pineapples, the latter of which the commenter 
believed to be of higher quality.
    Our regulations in Sec.  305.31(g)(2)(iii) require that the 
packaging for all fruits and vegetables irradiated prior to arrival in 
the United States be labeled with treatment lot numbers, packing and 
treatment facility identification and location, and dates of packing 
and treatment. If pallets of fruits or vegetables are broken apart into 
smaller units prior to or during entry into the United States, each 
individual carton must have the required label information.
    Labeling requirements indicating that the fruits have been treated 
with irradiation do not fall under APHIS' authority, as they do not 
help to mitigate the pest risk associated with fruit imported from 
Thailand. However, the Food and Drug Administration requires in 21 CFR 
179.26 that, ``for irradiated foods not in package form, the required 
logo and phrase `Treated with radiation' or `Treated by irradiation' be 
displayed to the purchaser with either (i) the labeling of the bulk 
container plainly in view or (ii) a counter sign, card, or other 
appropriate device bearing the information that the product has been 
treated with radiation. As an alternative, each item of food may be 
individually labeled. In either case, the information must be 
prominently and conspicuously displayed to purchasers. The labeling 
requirement applies only to a food that has been irradiated, not to a 
food that merely contains an irradiated ingredient but that has not 
itself been irradiated.''
    The bilateral workplan we agree to with the Thai NPPO will contain 
provisions ensuring compliance with these and other requirements of 
both APHIS and other Federal agencies that

[[Page 34171]]

relate to irradiation and importation of food in general.

Comparable Regulations on the Interstate Movement of Hawaiian Fruits

    Several commenters expressed concern that we proposed to allow the 
importation of mangosteen from Thailand into the United States while 
that fruit is prohibited from moving interstate from Hawaii to the rest 
of the United States. The commenters stated that Hawaiian farmers have 
waited over 6 years for a pest risk analysis to be completed regarding 
the interstate movement of mangosteen from Hawaii. These commenters 
stated their belief that Hawaii should be given preference over foreign 
countries, given the infrastructure available to support interstate 
movement with treatment, Hawaii's status as a producer of fruit for 
niche markets, and Hawaii's status as a State.
    We process requests for movement of fruits both from Hawaii and 
from foreign countries as expeditiously as possible. We are developing 
a proposed rule that would allow the interstate movement of mangosteen, 
as well as other fruits, from Hawaii to the mainland United States. We 
also plan to implement a notice-based process for approving commodities 
for interstate movement from Hawaii, similar to the process recently 
proposed for foreign commodities. However, it is critically important 
that we take whatever time is necessary to develop treatment protocols 
that will safeguard American plant resources from pest invasion and 
that are acceptable to producers and shippers of fruits and vegetables 
moved interstate.
    With regard to the five fruits other than mangosteen that were 
included in the July 2006 proposal, we note that the regulations 
governing the movement of these fruits from Hawaii are substantially 
less restrictive than the requirements we proposed for their 
importation from Thailand. The commodities moved interstate from Hawaii 
may be irradiated at lower doses, and do not have to be grown in a 
registered production area. In addition, some steps necessary to allow 
importation of commodities from foreign countries, such as the 
development of a bilateral workplan, are not necessary when allowing 
movement of commodities within the United States, which can expedite 
the approval process for those commodities.
    One commenter asked whether Hawaii should have the option to 
regulate the importation of agricultural commodities into Hawaii based 
on the risk of introduction of agricultural pests, superseding APHIS' 
regulations. The commenter was concerned that APHIS might become 
overwhelmed and ineffective as time goes on.
    As noted in the proposed rule and in this final rule under the 
heading ``Executive Order 12988,'' ``State and local laws and 
regulations regarding litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and 
rambutan imported under this rule will be preempted while the fruit is 
in foreign commerce.'' We are confident that we will be able to 
effectively enforce the requirements of this rule.

Economic Issues

    Many of the comments we received addressed economic issues, and 
specifically the economic analysis included in the proposed rule.
    Several commenters were concerned that the importation of litchi, 
longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand would 
have adverse economic effects on domestic producers of those fruits. 
The comments we received focused on adverse effects on producers in the 
States of Florida and Hawaii.
    Several commenters stated that most of Florida's production of the 
six fruits in the proposal is moved interstate and is not consumed 
locally. Two commenters stated that estimates of the value of 
commercial production in Florida of litchi, longan, and mango are over 
$25 million a year. Two commenters stated that imports of tropical 
fruits from Mexico have had a devastating effect on domestic grower 
prices in Florida over the past 5 to 6 years.
    Other commenters stated that the majority of Hawaiian production of 
litchi and the vast majority of Hawaiian production of longan and 
rambutan is moved interstate to the U.S. mainland. One commenter stated 
that in 2005, 600,000 pounds of rambutan were treated for interstate 
movement from Hawaii, and the commenter assumed that the production for 
the local market exceeded that amount. Two commenters stated that 
Hawaii has been increasing production of the six fruits named in the 
proposed rule from year to year, increasing planted acreage as well.
    These commenters also stated that the volume of production has 
allowed for expansion from the traditional market segment for these 
fruits, ethnic grocery stores, to gourmet grocery stores; the 
commenters expected that eventually, production of these fruits would 
reach mainstream grocery stores and produce markets on the U.S. 
mainland. Many of these commenters also noted that the effects they 
cited would likely affect small entities. Two commenters specifically 
cited litchi as being vulnerable to foreign competition, stating that 
litchi from Taiwan had flooded the Hawaiian litchi market in the fall 
of 2006 and crowded out Hawaiian production. Another commenter asked 
APHIS to consider a detailed economic study on the economic impacts 
that the proposed changes may have on Hawaiian businesses. One 
commenter stated generally that APHIS should support local agriculture 
and oppose the practice of shipping fruits over long distances.
    Our discussion of the markets for which domestic tropical fruit is 
produced may not have been clear in the proposed rule. Specifically, 
our reference to production for the local market needs to be clarified. 
As the commenters stated, these fruits are destined primarily for 
specialty stores--ethnic grocery stores and gourmet grocery stores. 
They have not been produced in commercial quantities for widespread 
distribution to mainstream grocery stores. We have amended the economic 
analysis in this final rule to reflect this.
    As a signatory to the IPPC, the United States has agreed not to 
prescribe or adopt phytosanitary measures concerning the importation of 
plants, plant products, and other regulated articles unless such 
measures are made necessary by phytosanitary considerations and are 
technically justified. Protecting domestic tropical fruit producers 
from foreign competition does not constitute a technical justification. 
We believe that the mitigations in this final rule will adequately 
address the risk posed by the importation of these six tropical fruits 
from Thailand.
    The commenters who questioned the data we used in preparing the 
economic analysis in the proposed rule did not provide any citations of 
their own. Some of the data supplied by the commenters appear to be 
incorrect; for example, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 
data indicate that 600,000 pounds is more rambutan than was produced 
for the processed and fresh market combined in 2005. Nevertheless, we 
have undertaken to find additional data and have updated the economic 
analysis where appropriate. However, the conclusions of the economic 
analysis have not changed.
    The economic analysis in the proposed rule stated that ``Hawaii's 
production of pineapples for the fresh market has remained relatively 
stable over the last two decades.'' Two

[[Page 34172]]

commenters questioned this statement. One stated that fresh pineapple 
production in Hawaii declined by 18 percent from 2003 to 2005. Another 
stated that, according to NASS data, from 2001 to 2005, annual 
pineapple production in Hawaii fell from 323,000 to 212,000 tons, value 
dropped from $96 million to $79 million, and acreage fell from 20,100 
to 14,000. These commenters also mentioned that Del Monte-Hawaii 
recently closed its Hawaiian pineapple production operation because 
foreign producers could provide pineapples at lower cost.
    With regard to the first comment, our statement in the proposed 
rule was that production has remained relatively stable over the last 
two decades; we did not focus on the short term, as the commenter did. 
The decline of 18 percent in Hawaiian fresh pineapple production over 
the years from 2003 to 2005, when compared with the 54 percent decline 
in the production of pineapples for the processing market over the same 
time period, is not large. However, we have expanded our discussion of 
this issue in the economic analysis below to improve clarity.
    The data the second commenter cited, from http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/fruit/pine.htm, match the data cited in the proposed rule. Hawaii 
produced 323,000 tons of pineapples in 2001 for both the fresh and 
processed markets, rather than just the fresh market, which was the 
production referred to in the economic analysis in the proposed rule. 
The other numbers cited by the commenter also include pineapple 
production for both the fresh and processed market. We acknowledged in 
our economic analysis in the proposed rule that Hawaiian pineapple 
production for the processed market has declined to nearly 19 percent 
of what it was 20 years ago.
    The Del Monte decision predated the publication of the proposed 
rule.
    One commenter stated that stiff anti-dumping penalties have been 
imposed on shippers of Thai canned pineapple that is exported to the 
United States.
    APHIS does not play any role in investigating or enforcing 
compliance with international trade laws.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the 
changes discussed in this document.

    Note: In our July 2006 proposed rule, we proposed to add the 
conditions governing the importation of litchi, longan, mango, 
mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand as Sec.  319.56-
2ss. In this final rule, those conditions are added as Sec.  319.56-
2uu.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. The rule 
has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive 
Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.
    This final rule amends the fruits and vegetables regulations to 
allow the importation into the United States of litchi, longan, mango, 
mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand. As a condition of 
entry, these fruits must be grown in production areas that are 
registered with and monitored by the national plant protection 
organization of Thailand, treated with irradiation in Thailand at a 
dose of 400 gray, and subject to inspection. The fruits must also be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional 
declaration stating that the fruit had been treated with irradiation in 
Thailand. In the case of litchi, the additional declaration must also 
state that the fruit had been inspected and found to be free of 
Peronophythora litchii, a fungal pest of litchi. Additionally, under 
this final rule, litchi and longan imported from Thailand may not be 
imported into or distributed to the State of Florida, due to the 
presence of the litchi rust mite in Thailand. This action allows the 
importation of litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and 
rambutan from Thailand into the United States while continuing to 
provide protection against the introduction of quarantine pests into 
the United States.
    This rule is not expected to have any significant effect on APHIS 
program operations since the relevant commodities are currently allowed 
importation into the United States from various other regions subject 
to different treatments. Current regulations already set out a course 
of action if, on inspection at the port of arrival, any actionable pest 
or pathogen is found and identified. The use of irradiation as a pest 
mitigation measure reduces the Agency's dependence on other mitigations 
such as methyl bromide fumigation. The final rule prohibits the 
distribution of litchi and longan from Thailand into Florida due to the 
litchi rust mite, A. litchi.

U.S. Production and Imports

    Historically, the United States has not produced the fruits covered 
in this final rule in any quantity, with the exception of mangoes and 
pineapples. Mangoes were produced in some quantity in Florida, but 
production has not been recorded since 1997. Mangoes are still produced 
in southern Florida along with approximately two dozen other minor 
tropical fruits. However, these fruits, including litchi, longan, and 
mango, are primarily destined for the local fresh market, according to 
a report produced by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer 
Services.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 
Florida Agriculture Statistical Directory 2006. Online publication: 
http://www.florida-agriculture.com/pubs/pubform/pdf/Florida_Agricultural_Statistical_Directory.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A record of the production of most of these fruits is kept by the 
Hawaii Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. 
The ``Hawaii Tropical Specialty Fruits'' report published by this 
office shows that Hawaii produces all of the fruits covered by the 
final rule; however, mangosteen production is included in the category 
``Other'' to avoid disclosure of individual operations. Production and 
price data for the Hawaiian fruit may be found in table 1. With the 
exception of pineapple, production figures account for both the 
processing and fresh markets. Disaggregated data are not available. As 
evidenced in the table, production of longan, litchi, mango, and 
rambutan has trended upward over the past few years. This seems to 
indicate a growth in the specialty tropical fruit industry in Hawaii.
    Although Hawaii's production of pineapples for the fresh market has 
remained relatively stable over the last two decades, production 
intended for the processed market is merely 19 percent of what it was 
20 years ago. More recently, production of pineapple for the fresh 
market has trended slightly downward. From 2000 to 2005, fresh market 
production declined by 13 percent. Production of pineapples for the 
processing market fell 54 percent over the same period. Production of 
longan, litchi, mango, and rambutan is a fraction of pineapple 
production in Hawaii and is directed to specialty markets.

[[Page 34173]]



                                                    Table 1.--Production and Farm Prices of Tropical Fruit Produced in Hawaii, 2000-2005 \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Longan                    Litchi                     Mango                   Rambutan                Pineapple\3\
                                                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Year                                Production   Farm price   Production   Farm price   Production   Farm price   Production   Farm price   Production   Farm price
                                                                 (1,000 lb)   ($ per lb)   (1,000 lb)   ($ per lb)   (1,000 lb)   ($ per lb)   (1,000 lb)   ($ per lb)   (1,000 lb)   ($ per lb)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2000..........................................................           24         4.02        (\2\)        (\2\)          207         0.93          220         2.98          244         0.29
2001..........................................................           37         3.05        (\2\)        (\2\)          242         0.86          205         3.01          220         0.31
2002..........................................................           46         3.20           77         2.64          377         0.92          257         3.01          234         0.31
2003..........................................................          114         3.33           88         2.84          481         0.86          306         2.73          260         0.30
2004..........................................................          121         3.41          102         2.42          391         0.92          278         2.60          208         0.32
2005..........................................................          142         3.09          111         2.61          530         1.11          400         2.51          212        0.30
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Mangosteen production is included in a residual category to avoid disclosure of individual operations.
\2\ Data not shown separately to avoid disclosure of individual operations.
\3\ Pineapple data includes only production destined for the fresh market. Production is not apportioned to the processing and fresh markets for the other commodities.
Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Hawaii Field Office, ``Hawaii Tropical Specialty Fruits,'' August 8, 2006.

    Based on available data, imports of mangoes and pineapples far 
exceed domestic production (table 2). Furthermore, it appears that 
imports do not compete with domestic production. In the case of 
litchis, longans, mangoes, mangosteens, and rambutans, it appears that 
domestic production is sold mainly in specialty markets. Pineapples, on 
the other hand, seem more widely distributed, but their production has 
remained fairly consistent over the years with fluctuations in 
production in a consistent range despite increased imports from abroad. 
This information indicates very little correlation between domestic 
production and foreign imports. Movements of pineapple processing 
facilities to countries in South America have occurred due to the lower 
costs of production in these countries rather than increasing imports 
in the United States.

                      Table 2.--U.S. Imports of Mango, Mangosteen, and Pineapple, 2000-2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Mango       Mangosteen\1\     Pineapple
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     1,000 lb
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2000............................................................         528,868              40     \2\ 711,292
2001............................................................         541,329             226     \2\ 715,651
2002............................................................     \3\ 587,048             137         894,446
2003............................................................         613,816             136       1,050,855
2004............................................................         609,237             104       1,126,672
2005............................................................      \3\515,058              52      1,273,401
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Statistics include guavas and mangosteens. Source: Global Trade Atlas.
\2\ Includes fresh and frozen. Source: Economic Research Service (ERS) Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook.
\3\ Statistics include guavas and mangos. Source: ERS Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook.

Thailand's Production and Exports

    Thailand is the leading producer of pineapple in the world. Much of 
their production is geared toward international markets, although the 
majority of this is not fresh production. Over the last 5 years, only 
0.27 percent of the country's fresh production has been exported, as 
seen in table 3. Additionally, Thailand produces a significant amount 
of mangoes. However, as is the case with pineapples, only a small 
proportion--0.82 percent--of mango production is exported for the fresh 
market.

                                         Table 3.--Thai Production and Exports of Mango and Pineapple, 2000-2004
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                               Mango                                         Pineapple
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            Exports as                                      Exports as
                                                            Production        Exports      percentage of    Production        Exports      percentage of
                                                                                            production                                      production
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   (metric tons)                                   (metric tons)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2000....................................................       1,633,479           8,755            0.54       2,248,375           4,995            0.22
2001....................................................       1,700,000          10,829            0.64       2,078,286           6,471            0.31
2002....................................................       1,700,000           8,736            0.51       1,738,833           4,561            0.26
2003....................................................       1,700,000           8,098            0.48       1,899,424           4,874            0.26
2004....................................................       1,700,000          33,097            1.95       1,997,000           5,736            0.29
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: FAOSTAT data, 2006.

    Thailand also produces longans, litchis, mangosteens, and 
rambutans. Production data for each of these comes from Thailand's 
Office of Agriculture Economics (OAE). Table 4 shows that production of 
rambutan far exceeded that of longan and mangosteen. Farm prices, on 
the other hand, were much higher for longan and mangosteen. In economic 
terms, this result is not surprising since higher levels of supply 
foster lower prices. Production and price data on litchis were not 
available.

[[Page 34174]]



                                   Table 4.--Thai Production and Price of Longan, Mangosteen, and Rambutan, 2000-2004
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Longan                        Mangosteen                       Rambutan
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Production    Farm price  ($    Production    Farm price  ($    Production    Farm price  ($
                                                           (metric tons)      per kg)      (metric tons)      per kg)      (metric tons)      per kg)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1999....................................................         163,900            0.76         160,800            0.66         601,000            0.41
2000....................................................         417,300            0.65         168,200            0.60         618,000            0.33
2001....................................................         250,100            0.63         197,200            0.51         617,000            0.25
2002....................................................         420,300            0.28         244,900            0.44         619,000            0.15
2003....................................................         396,700            0.38         203,800            0.65         651,000            0.19
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: OAE, 2006.

    According to a press release of the Thai Minister of Agriculture 
and Cooperatives posted on the Web site of the National Bureau of 
Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards in Thailand, that country is 
capable of producing approximately 5 million metric tons (MT) of the 
fruits covered in the final rule. This production may be divided as 
follows: 80,000 MT of litchi (lychee), 200,000 MT of mangosteen, 
500,000 MT of rambutan, 500,000 to 700,000 MT of longan, 1.8 million MT 
of mango, and 2 million MT of pineapple. Given the production data 
reported by the OAE, these production values seem reasonable. However, 
only a fraction of this is likely to be exported given historical 
export data, as well as the fact that the existing irradiation facility 
will not be able to accommodate these estimated volumes of fruit. Since 
a new facility will not be constructed until regulations are in place, 
it is not likely that Thailand will be able to treat and ship volumes 
of this magnitude in the immediate future.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the 
economic impact of rule changes on small businesses, organizations, and 
governmental jurisdictions. Section 604 of the Act requires agencies to 
prepare and make available to the public a final regulatory flexibility 
analysis (FRFA) describing any changes made to the rule as a result of 
comments received and the steps the agency has taken to minimize any 
significant economic impacts on small entities. Section 604(a) of the 
Act specifies the content of a FRFA. In this section, we address these 
FRFA requirements.

Summary of Significant Issues Raised During Comment Period

    The majority of the comments received concerned the potential 
market losses of domestic producers that would result from the 
implementation of this rule. As a signatory to the IPPC, the United 
States has agreed not to prescribe or adopt phytosanitary measures 
concerning the importation of plants, plant products, and other 
regulated articles unless such measures are made necessary by 
phytosanitary considerations and are technically justified. Therefore, 
no changes were made to the rule in response to these comments. Several 
comments concerned the availability of domestically produced fruit. 
APHIS only has data on production and farm prices for the fruit in 
question and was not able to obtain any information on its 
distribution. However, other comments pointed to the fact that 
domestically grown fruit is mainly distributed to ethnic grocery stores 
and produce markets. This would indicate that domestically produced 
fruit serves specialty markets rather than mainstream retail markets. 
As no other data were supplied to APHIS as proof of wider distribution, 
no changes were made to the economic analysis.
    A detailed discussion of comments on the economic analysis is 
available earlier in this document.

Description and Estimated Number of Small Entities Regulated

    The final rule may affect domestic producers of the six tropical 
fruits, as well as firms that import these commodities. It is likely 
that the entities affected are small according to SBA guidelines. A 
discussion of these impacts follows.
    Affected U.S. tropical fruit producers are expected to be small 
based on 2002 Census of Agriculture data and SBA guidelines for 
entities in the farm category Other Noncitrus Fruit Farming (NAICS 
111339). The SBA classifies producers in this farm category with total 
annual sales of not more than $750,000 as small entities. APHIS does 
not have information on the size distribution of the relevant 
producers, but according to 2002 Census data, there were a total of 
2,128,892 farms in the United States in 2002. Of this number, 
approximately 97 percent had annual sales in 2002 of less than 
$500,000, which is well below the SBA's small entity threshold of 
$750,000 for commodity farms. This indicates that the majority of farms 
are considered small by SBA standards, and it is reasonable to assume 
that most of the 623 mango and 34 pineapple farms that may be affected 
by this rule also qualify as small. In the case of fresh fruit and 
vegetable wholesalers, establishments in NAICS 424480 with not more 
than 100 employees are considered small by SBA standards. In 2002, 
there were a total of 5,397 fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale trade 
firms in the United States. Of these firms, 4,644 firms operated for 
the entire year. Of those firms that were in operation the entire year, 
4,436 or 95.5 percent employed fewer than 100 employees and were, 
therefore, considered small by SBA standards. Thus, domestic producers 
and importers that may be affected by the rule are predominantly small 
entities.
    Based on the data available to APHIS, it does not appear that 
domestic production of litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, 
and rambutan markedly competes with imports of these fruits. Domestic 
production is generally destined for specialty markets, such as ethnic 
grocery stores and local produce markets. Distribution of these fruits 
does not appear to be mainstream. Thus, the imports from Thailand are 
unlikely to substantially affect these markets. Additionally, imports 
from Thailand are not likely to significantly increase the overall 
level of imports. It is more reasonable to assume that they will at 
least partially substitute for imports from other countries like 
Mexico, depending on relative prices.
    Domestic import firms may benefit from more open trade with 
Thailand, with more import opportunities available to them because of 
the additional source of these tropical specialty fruits. In any case, 
it is not likely that the effects of importing litchi, longan, mango, 
mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand will have large 
repercussions for either domestic producers or importers of these 
tropical fruits.

[[Page 34175]]

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule allows litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, 
pineapple, and rambutan to be imported into the United States from 
Thailand. State and local laws and regulations regarding litchi, 
longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan imported under this 
rule will be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh 
fruits are generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to 
the consuming public, and remain in foreign commerce until sold to the 
ultimate consumer. The question of when foreign commerce ceases in 
other cases must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. No retroactive 
effect will be given to this rule, and this rule will not require 
administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court 
challenging this rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    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 the importation of litchi, 
longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan from Thailand under 
the conditions specified in this rule 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 1500-1508), (3) USDA 
regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA 
Implementing Procedures (7 CFR 372).
    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site.\8\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ``Advanced 
Search'' tab and select ``Docket Search.'' In the docket ID field, 
enter APHIS-2006-0040, ``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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), the information collection or recordkeeping requirements 
included in this rule have been approved by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0579-0308.

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.

Lists of Subjects

7 CFR Part 305

    Irradiation, Phytosanitary treatment, Plant diseases and pests, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 319

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

0
Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR parts 305 and 319 as follows:

PART 305--PHYTOSANITARY TREATMENTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 305 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 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.  305.2, the table in paragraph (h)(2)(i) is amended by 
adding, under Thailand, new entries for litchi, longan, mango, 
mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan to read as follows:


Sec.  305.2  Approved treatments.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) * * *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Location                          Commodity                      Pest            Treatment schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Thailand
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                  Litchi..........................  Plant pests of the     IR.
                                                                     class Insecta except
                                                                     pupae and adults of
                                                                     the order
                                                                     Lepidoptera.
                                  Longan..........................  Plant pests of the     IR.
                                                                     class Insecta except
                                                                     pupae and adults of
                                                                     the order
                                                                     Lepidoptera.
                                  Mango...........................  Plant pests of the     IR.
                                                                     class Insecta except
                                                                     pupae and adults of
                                                                     the order
                                                                     Lepidoptera.
                                  Mangosteen......................  Plant pests of the     IR.
                                                                     class Insecta except
                                                                     pupae and adults of
                                                                     the order
                                                                     Lepidoptera.
                                  Pineapple.......................  Plant pests of the     IR.
                                                                     class Insecta except
                                                                     pupae and adults of
                                                                     the order
                                                                     Lepidoptera.
                                  Rambutan........................  Plant pests of the     IR.
                                                                     class Insecta except
                                                                     pupae and adults of
                                                                     the order
                                                                     Lepidoptera.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 34176]]

* * * * *

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
3. 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
4. A new Sec.  319.56-2uu is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-2uu  Administrative instructions: Conditions governing the 
entry of certain fruits from Thailand.

    Litchi (Litchi chinensis), longan (Dimocarpus longan), mango 
(Mangifera indica), mangosteen (Garcinia mangoestana L.), pineapple 
(Ananas comosus) and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) may be imported 
into the United States from Thailand only under the following 
conditions:
    (a) Growing conditions. Litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, 
pineapple, and rambutan must be grown in a production area that is 
registered with and monitored by the national plant protection 
organization of Thailand.
    (b) Treatment. Litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and 
rambutan must be treated for plant pests of the class Insecta, except 
pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera, with irradiation in 
accordance with Sec.  305.31 of this chapter. Treatment must be 
conducted in Thailand prior to importation of the fruits into the 
United States.
    (c) Phytosanitary certificates. (1) Litchi must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the litchi were treated with irradiation as described in paragraph (b) 
of this section and that the litchi have been inspected and found to be 
free of Peronophythora litchi.
    (2) Longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, and rambutan must be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional 
declaration stating that the longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple, or 
rambutan were treated with irradiation as described in paragraph (b) of 
this section.
    (d) Labeling. In addition to meeting the labeling requirements in 
Sec.  305.31, cartons in which litchi and longan are packed must be 
stamped ``Not for importation into or distribution in FL.''

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0308)

    Done in Washington, DC this 15th day of June 2007.
W. Ron DeHaven,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-12023 Filed 6-20-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P