[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 228 (Wednesday, November 28, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67227-67233]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-23126]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 28, 2007 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 67227]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 92, 93, 94, and 98

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0106]
RIN 0579-AC33


Importation of Live Swine, Swine Semen, Pork, and Pork Products 
From the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations governing the importation of 
animals and animal products to add the Czech Republic, Latvia, 
Lithuania, and Poland to the region of the European Union that we 
recognize as low risk for classical swine fever (CSF). We are also 
adding the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the list of 
regions we consider free from swine vesicular disease (SVD) and adding 
Latvia and Lithuania to the list of regions considered free from foot-
and-mouth disease (FMD) and rinderpest. These actions will relieve some 
restrictions on the importation into the United States of certain 
animals and animal products from those regions, while continuing to 
protect against the introduction of CSF, SVD, and FMD, and rinderpest 
into the United States.

DATES: Effective Date: December 13, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Kelly Rhodes, Regionalization and 
Evaluation Services, Import, Sanitary Trade Issues Team, National 
Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the 
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the 
importation of animals and animal products into the United States to 
guard against the introduction of animal diseases not currently present 
or prevalent in this country. The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 
(referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the 
importation of specified animals and animal products to prevent the 
introduction into the United States of various animal diseases, 
including classical swine fever (CSF), swine vesicular disease (SVD), 
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and rinderpest. These are dangerous and 
destructive communicable diseases of swine and/or ruminants.
    Sections 94.9 and 94.10 of the regulations list regions of the 
world that are declared free of or low-risk for CSF. The EU-15 \1\ is 
currently the only region considered low-risk for CSF; Sec. Sec.  94.24 
and 98.38 specify restrictions necessary to mitigate the risk of 
introducing CSF into the United States via pork, pork products, live 
swine, and swine semen from the EU-15.
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    \1\ A region consisting of the 15 Member States of the European 
Union (EU) that comprised the EU as of April 30, 2004 (the EU-15), 
that we recognized as a single region of low-risk for CSF in a final 
rule published in the Federal Register on May 19, 2006 (71 FR 29061-
29072, Docket No. 02-046-2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 94.12 of the regulations lists regions that are declared 
free of SVD. Section 94.13 of the regulations lists regions that have 
been determined to be free of SVD, but that are subject to certain 
restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships 
with SVD-affected regions.
    Section 94.1 of the regulations lists regions of the world that are 
declared free of rinderpest or free of both rinderpest and FMD. Section 
94.11 of the regulations lists regions that have been determined to be 
free of rinderpest and FMD, but that are subject to certain 
restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships 
with rinderpest-or FMD-affected regions.
    On February 12, 2007, we published in the Federal Register (72 FR 
6490-6499, Docket No. APHIS 2006-0106) a proposal \2\ to amend the 
regulations governing the importation of animals and animal products to 
add the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the region of 
the EU that we recognize as low-risk for CSF. In addition, we proposed 
to add the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the list of 
regions we consider free from SVD and to add Latvia and Lithuania to 
the list of regions considered free from FMD and rinderpest. We also 
proposed to make other miscellaneous changes to the regulations. These 
actions were intended to relieve some restrictions on the importation 
into the United States of certain animals and animal products from 
those regions, while continuing to protect against the introduction of 
CSF, SVD, FMD, and rinderpest into the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ To view the proposed rule and the comments we received, go 
to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2006-0106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
April 13, 2007. We received six comments by that date. They were from 
private citizens, a State animal health commission, industry groups, 
and Poland's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
    Three of the commenters expressed support for the proposal; 
however, one of those commenters stated that APHIS should recognize all 
current and future EU Member States as low-risk for CSF and other 
animal diseases. While we recognize that countries have to meet certain 
animal health criteria to qualify for EU membership, we continue to 
believe it is appropriate and reasonable for us to first prepare a risk 
assessment and share it with the public before we recognize such 
countries as being of low risk for an animal disease.
    One commenter expressed concern that, because CSF is present in the 
Czech Republic in wild boar, and surveillance for the disease is 
passive, swine imported into the United States from the Czech Republic 
present more than a negligible risk of introducing CSF.
    As stated in the risk assessment, studies show that virus levels in 
wild boar in the Czech Republic are very low and declining. There have 
been no CSF outbreaks in domestic swine in the Czech Republic since 
1997, which also indicates that the introduction of CSF from the wild 
boar population into the domestic swine population is a diminishing 
concern. In addition, the Czech Republic annually carries out both 
passive and active surveillance for

[[Page 67228]]

CSF in wild boar and domestic swine populations.
    Another commenter stated that although we proposed to list Latvia 
and Lithuania as free of FMD and rinderpest, we would subject imports 
of ruminant and swine meat products from those countries to additional 
restrictions, which indicates a risk exists of introducing FMD and 
rinderpest into the United States. The commenter stated that the risk 
analyses concluded that FMD and rinderpest could be introduced into 
Latvia and Lithuania through wildlife, clothing, or vehicles moving 
across the border from neighboring countries and then subsequently 
exported to the United States via ruminant or swine meat products.
    As noted by the commenter, we proposed to apply certain conditions 
on the importation of meat and other animal products derived from 
ruminants and swine from Latvia and Lithuania into the United States, 
due to the risk of introducing FMD into these countries from 
neighboring countries. The conditions, as detailed in the proposed 
rule, require that all meat and other animal products from ruminants or 
swine be certified as having been prepared in a slaughtering 
establishment that is approved by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection 
Service to export to the United States, and that all live animals 
slaughtered in an approved slaughtering establishment be born and 
raised in a region that APHIS considers free of FMD and rinderpest. In 
addition, commingling of live animals, meat, or other animal products 
for export with such commodities from regions that APHIS does not 
consider free of these diseases is prohibited. These conditions already 
apply to other countries, including other EU Member States, with risk 
profiles for FMD and rinderpest that are similar to those of Latvia and 
Lithuania. We have determined that these conditions will mitigate the 
risk of introducing FMD and rinderpest into the United States from 
these countries.
    One commenter also stated that, because some forms of SVD, CSF, and 
FMD are difficult to detect in live animals or in post-mortem 
examinations, veterinary inspection is ineffective in some instances.
    We agree with the commenter that veterinary inspection is unlikely 
to detect incubating or subclinical infection. Therefore, we do not 
consider veterinary inspection to be the primary mitigating factor in 
preventing introduction of CSF, SVD, and FMD into EU Member States. 
However, veterinary inspection is highly likely to detect clinically 
diseased animals and, in conjunction with other mitigation measures, 
creates a substantial barrier to the introduction of FMD, CSF, or SVD 
into EU Member States.
    Finally, one commenter expressed concern that, due to the less 
stringent sourcing requirements for swine and pork imports into the EU, 
infected animals could potentially come in contact with animals 
designated for export to the United States or could potentially be 
exported to the United States themselves.
    While we agree with the commenter that the European Commission (EC) 
legislation imposes less stringent restrictions on sourcing of imported 
live ruminants and swine, as well as ruminant and swine products, than 
do APHIS requirements, the potential for the introduction of CSF, SVD, 
or FMD into EU Member States is mitigated by several factors put in 
place by the EC. These include, but are not limited to, stringent 
audits of animal health conditions and slaughter/processing 
establishments in the exporting region; comprehensive import 
certification requirements (including certification that the exporting 
region is free of CSF, SVD, and FMD); veterinary inspection at the 
point of entry; and isolation and veterinary spot checks at the point 
of destination within the EU.

Miscellaneous

    We also proposed to revise the definition of European Union in 
Sec.  92.1 to update its list of EU Member States. Our proposed 
definition listed 25 Member States of the EU. This was incorrect, as 
there are actually 27 Member States of the EU. Therefore, we have 
updated the definition of European Union to add Romania and Bulgaria to 
the list of EU Member States.
    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 
change discussed in this document.

Effective Date

    This is a substantive rule that relieves restrictions and, pursuant 
to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, may be made effective less than 30 
days after publication in the Federal Register. This rule adds the 
Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the region of the EU 
that we recognize as low-risk for CSF. This rule also adds the Czech 
Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the list of regions we 
consider free from SVD and to add Latvia and Lithuania to the list of 
regions considered free from FMD and rinderpest and allows breeding 
swine, swine semen, and pork and pork products to be imported into the 
United States from these countries subject to certain conditions. We 
have determined that approximately 2 weeks are needed to ensure that 
APHIS and Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs and Border 
Protection, personnel at ports of entry receive official notice of this 
change in the regulations. Therefore, the Administrator of the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this rule 
should be effective 15 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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.
    We are amending the regulations governing the importation of 
animals and animal products to add the Czech Republic, Latvia, 
Lithuania, and Poland to the region of the European Union that we 
recognize as low-risk for CSF. We are also adding the Czech Republic, 
Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the list of regions we consider free 
from SVD and adding Latvia and Lithuania to the list of regions 
considered free from FMD and rinderpest.

The U.S. Swine Industry

    The U.S. swine industry plays an important role in the U.S. 
economy. Cash receipts from marketing meat animals were about $15 
billion in 2005 (the average between 2001 and 2005 was $12.4 
billion).\3\ Additionally, swine and related product exports generated 
over $2.1 billion in sales that year. Other agricultural and 
nonagricultural sectors are dependent on the swine industry for their 
economic activity. At present, international trade in U.S. livestock 
proceeds without CSF or SVD related restrictions. Maintaining such 
favorable conditions depends in part on continued aggressive efforts to 
prevent transmission of foreign diseases to U.S. swine.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ USDA/NASS, Meat Animal Production, Disposition, and Income: 
2005 Summary, April 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As shown in table 1, U.S. pork production increased from 7,764,000 
metric tons (MT) in 1996 to 9,392,000 MT in 2005, an annual growth rate 
of about 2.1 percent. Similarly, consumption increased from 7,619 MT to 
8,671 MT. During the same period, U.S. exports increased from 440,000 
MT to 1,207,000 MT, by far outpacing

[[Page 67229]]

imports. Net exports increased from 159,000 MT to 743,000 MT.

                                   Table 1.--U.S. Pork Production, Consumption, Price, Exports, and Imports, 1996-2005
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Production      Consumption                   Exports (1,000  Imports (1,000    Net exports
                          Year                              (1,000 MT)      (1,000 MT)     Price per MT         MT)             MT)         (1,000 MT)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1996....................................................           7,764           7,619           1,596             440             281             159
1997....................................................           7,835           7,631           1,562             473             288             185
1998....................................................           8,623           8,305           1,170             558             320             238
1999....................................................           8,758           8,594           1,178             582             375             207
2000....................................................           8,596           8,455           1,413             584             438             146
2001....................................................           8,691           8,389           1,473             707             431             276
2002....................................................           8,929           8,685           1,179             731             486             245
2003....................................................           9,056           8,816           1,298             779             538             241
2004....................................................           9,312           8,817           1,621             989             499             490
2005....................................................           9,392           8,671           1,562           1,207             464             743
5-year average (2001-2005)..............................           9,076           8,676           1,427             883             484             399
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Sources: USDA/FAS, PS&D Online, 1996-2005, http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/psdquery.aspx; prices, reported as $/100 pounds for yearly pork carcass
  cut-out values, are converted to dollars per metric ton, and are taken from Red Meat Yearbook (94006), http://usda.manlib.cornell.edu/ers/94006/
wholesaleprices.xls; net exports are calculated as the difference between exports and imports for each year.

The Swine Industry in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland

    The four countries (the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and 
Poland) together produced an average of 2.522 million MT of pig meat 
between 2001 and 2005. They are net importers of pork, which is the 
focus of this analysis. They had a 5-year (2001-2005) average level of 
pork exports of 130,030 MT and an average level of imports of 152,954 
MT, yielding an average net export of a negative 22,823 MT. The Czech 
Republic and Poland accounted for 95 percent of production and export 
of the above total.

Potential Costs of Classical Swine Fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, and 
Foot and Mouth Disease

    CSF, also known as hog cholera or swine plague, is a highly 
contagious and often fatal disease of pigs. Young animals are more 
severely affected than older animals. Mortality rates may reach up to 
90 percent among young pigs. SVD is less severe and does not usually 
cause death. The overall cost of control and eradication depends on the 
mitigation methods used to control and eradicate the two diseases.
    Potential costs include disease control measures such as imposing 
quarantine measures and movement controls, indemnity payments, 
vaccination costs, surveillance, and laboratory testing. CSF was 
eradicated from the United States in 1976 at a cost of about $550 
million in 2006 dollars. Several EU countries experienced small- and 
large-scale CSF outbreaks between 1990 and 1997 and suffered heavy 
economic losses. One large outbreak cost producers $917.6 million, the 
national governments $296.9 million, and the EU $1,040.6 million in 
2006 dollars. The cost of a small-scale outbreak was $14 million, and 
the cost of the medium-scale outbreak was $268.8 million.\4\ The above 
costs are direct costs of disease outbreaks and do not include indirect 
costs such as losses caused by trade restrictions. Little information 
exists on the cost of control and eradication of SVD in a previously 
free region.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Saatkamp, H.W., P.B.M. Berentsen et al. ``Economic aspects 
of the control of classical swine fever outbreaks in the European 
Union,'' Vet Microbiology 73 (2000): 221-237; Stegeman, A., A. 
Elbers et al., ``The 1997-98 epidemic of classical swine fever in 
the Netherlands,'' Vet Microbiology, 73 (2000): 183-196.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FMD is a contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed 
animals. Cattle, pigs, sheep and goats are highly susceptible to FMD. 
Although the death rates are low, it has serious lasting negative 
effects on infected animals that survive the disease. It causes 
decreased milk production, decreased pregnancy rates, weight loss, and 
lameness. In addition to these losses, an FMD outbreak can lead to 
economic sanctions, including the loss of export markets. Any outbreak 
of FMD in the United States could result in a loss of billions of 
dollars for agriculture and related industries as indicated by the most 
recent FMD outbreak in the United Kingdom (UK). According to the World 
Organization for Animal Health (OIE), over 6 million cattle, sheep, 
swine, and goats were slaughtered to stop the spread of the disease and 
the epidemic is estimated to have cost the UK economy about $12.9 
billion.\5\
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    \5\ D. Thompson, P. Muriel, D. Russell, P. Osborne, A. Bromley, 
M. Rowland, S. Creigh-Tyte, and C. Brown, ``Economic losses of foot 
and mouth disease outbreak in the U.K,'' Rev. sci. tech. int. epiz., 
21 (2002): 675-687.
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Impact of Potential Pork Imports

    In this section, we estimate the impact of pork imports from the 
Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland on U.S. production, 
consumption, and prices using a net trade welfare model.\6\ The 
baseline data used are as shown in the last row of table 1. The demand 
and supply elasticities used are -0.86 and 1, respectively.\7\
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    \6\ The data used were obtained from Foreign Agricultural 
Service (FAS), Production, Supply and Distribution database (http://
www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/psdquery.aspx; USDA/ERS, Red Meat 
Yearbook (94006) (http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/ers//
wholesaleprices.xls); The Global Trade Atlas: Global Trade 
Information Services, Inc., country Edition, June 2006; and UN/FAO, 
FAO stat data (http://faostat.fao.org).
    \7\ John Sullivan, John Wainio, Vernon Roningen, A Database for 
Trade Liberalization Studies, AGES89-12, March 1989.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the four countries' combined average annual global exports 
of 130,130 MT (2001-2005), we model three potential levels of pork 
exports to the United States from the Czech Republic, Latvia, 
Lithuania, and Poland: (1) An amount proportional to the percentage of 
the EU-15's pork exports sent to the United States (1.87 percent); (2) 
an amount proportional to the percentage of Denmark's \8\ pork exports 
sent to the United States (3.99 percent); and (3) an amount equal to 10 
percent of the global pork exports by the four countries. Amounts of 
pork shipped to the United States under the three

[[Page 67230]]

scenarios would be 2,433 MT, 5,192 MT, and 13,013 MT.
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    \8\ Exports from Denmark to the United States are used as an 
upper range estimate of possible exports from these countries. 
Denmark's pork industry is export oriented, and it is the second 
largest supplier of pork products to the United States, after 
Canada. Using the proportion of its global pork exports that are 
shipped to the United States as an estimate of possible imports from 
the four countries likely overstates potential shipments to the 
United States from these countries.

Table 2.--The Impact of Pork Imports From the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland on the United States
                                                     Economy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Import          Import          Import
                                                                    scenario 1      scenario 2      scenario 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Assumed pork imports, MT........................................       \1\ 2,433       \2\ 5,192      \3\ 13,013
Change in U.S. consumption, MT..................................           1,160           2,475           6,202
Change in U.S. production, MT...................................          -1,273          -2,717          -6,811
Change in wholesale price of pork, dollars per MT...............          -$0.22          -$0.47          -$1.19
Change in consumer welfare......................................      $1,924,230      $4,106,610     $10,294,830
Change in producer welfare......................................     -$1,817,020     -$3,877,160     -$9,715,120
Annual net benefit..............................................        $107,210        $229,450       $579,710
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Welfare and benefit are used interchangeably. The baseline data used is a 5-year annual average for
  production, consumption, price, exports and imports as reported in the last row of table 1. The demand and
  supply elasticities used are -0.86 and 1, respectively (John Sullivan, John Wainio, Vernon Roningen, A
  Database for Trade Liberalization Studies, AGES89-12, March 1989).
\1\ Calculated by multiplying the total global exports of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland,
  130,130 MT, by the proportion (1.87 percent) of EU-15's global export sent to the U.S. EU-15 countries
  including Denmark exported 50,742 MT to United States from their global exports of 2,719,698 MT.
\2\ Calculated by multiplying total global exports of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland by the
  proportion (3.99 percent) of Denmark exports sent to the United States, 43,037 MT out of 1,077,986 MT.
\3\ Calculated by multiplying total global exports of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland by 10
  percent.

    Table 2 presents the changes resulting from the assumed U.S. pork 
imports from the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. These 
include annual changes in U.S. consumption, production, wholesale 
price, consumer welfare, producer welfare, and net welfare. Our medium 
level of pork imports of 5,192 MT (import scenario 2, assuming pork 
imports proportional to those received from Denmark) would result in a 
decline of $0.47 per metric ton in the wholesale price of pork and a 
fall in U.S. production of 2,717 MT. Consumption would increase by 
2,475 MT. Producer welfare would decline by $3.9 million and consumer 
welfare would increase by $4.1 million, yielding an annual net benefit 
of about $230,000.
    Import scenario 1 presents impacts assuming a more likely level of 
pork imports (proportional to those received from the EU-15). In this 
case, price would decrease by $0.22 per metric ton, production would 
decline by 1,273 MT, and consumption would increase by 1,160 MT. 
Consumer welfare would increase by $1.9 million and producer welfare 
would decline by $1.8 million. The annual net benefit would be about 
$107,000.
    Finally, import scenario 3 presents a case of expanded trade, with 
pork imports by the United States assumed to equal 10 percent of global 
exports by the four countries. The wholesale price of pork would 
decline by $1.19 per metric ton, production would decline by 6,811 MT, 
and consumption would increase by 6,202 MT. Consumer welfare would 
increase by $10.3 million, while producer welfare would decline by $9.7 
million. The annual net benefit would be about $580,000.
    In all cases consumer welfare gains would outweigh producer welfare 
losses. The decline in producer welfare, even in the last scenario, 
would represent less than one tenth of 1 percent of cash receipts 
received from the sale of domestic hogs and pork products.\9\ Thus, our 
analysis indicates that U.S. entities are unlikely to be significantly 
affected by this rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ $9.7 million divided by $12.4 billion equals 0.08 percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established guidelines 
for determining which types of firms are to be considered small under 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This rule could affect importers of 
live animals or animal products and swine operations with sales.
    Meat processing entities (NAICS 311612) and meat and meat product 
merchant wholesalers (NAICS 424470) may be affected by this rule. Under 
SBA standards, meat processing establishments with no more than 500 
employees and meat and meat product wholesalers with no more than 100 
employees are considered small. In 2002, there were 1,335 companies in 
the United States that processed and sold meat. More than 97 percent of 
these establishments are considered to be small entities and had 
average sales of $15.4 million, while large meat processors had average 
sales of $188 million. In 2002, there were 2,535 meat and meat product 
wholesalers in the United States. Of these establishments, 2,456 (97 
percent) employed not more than 100 employees and are, thus, considered 
small by SBA standards. Small wholesalers had average sales of $9.3 
million, while large entities had average sales of $131 million.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 Economic Census: Manufacturing--
Industries Series, Wholesale Trade--Subject Series and 
Transportation and Warehousing--Subject Series, issued August 2006; 
and SBA, Small Business Size Standards matched to North American 
Industry Classification System 2002, effective July 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other entities that could theoretically be affected include 
refrigerated long-distance trucking firms (NAICS 484230), freight 
forwarders (NAICS 488510), and deep sea freight transport companies 
(NAICS 483111). The SBA classifies trucking firms as small if their 
annual receipts are not more than $23.5 million; freight forwarding 
firms are small if their annual receipts are not more than $6.5 
million, and deep sea freight transport firms are small if they have 
not more than 500 workers. According to the 2002 Economic Census, there 
were 3,429 trucking firms, 3,827 freight forwarders, and 195 deep sea 
freight transport companies. Over 99 percent of trucking firms, 96 
percent freight forwarders, and 97 percent of deep sea freight 
transport firms are considered to be small. Thus, predominant numbers 
of meat processors, wholesale traders, and transport firms that could 
be affected by the rule are considered to be small by SBA standards. 
Average sales of even the smallest packers and wholesalers are large 
compared to the amount of pork expected to be imported from the four 
countries.
    U.S. swine and pork producers (NAICS 112210) might be potentially 
affected by this rule. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, 
there were 82,028 hog and pig operations with

[[Page 67231]]

sales of 184,997,686 hogs and pigs valued at $12.4 billion. These 
facilities are considered to be small if their annual receipts are not 
more than $750,000. Over 83 percent of these operations (or 68,083) are 
considered to be small and had sales of fewer than 2,000 hogs and pigs. 
Small operations had a total inventory of 16,297,158 (8.81 percent) 
with an average inventory of 237 hogs, while large operations (or 
13,945) had sales of 168,700,528 (91.19 percent) with an average 
inventory of 12,714 hogs. Based on inventory share, small operations 
had annual sales of $1.3 billion and an average income of about 
$19,400, while large operations had sales of $11 billion with an 
average income of about $834,000. As shown in table 3, the impact of 
potential pork imports on U.S. producers as a result of this rule would 
be small. The decrease in producer welfare per small entity is less 
than $133 or about 0.6 percent of average annual sales of small 
entities when we assume that 10 percent of combined global pork exports 
by the four countries would be sent to the United States.

 Table 3.--The Economic Impact of Potential Pork Imports From the Czech
Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland on U.S. Small Entities, Assuming
  10 Percent of Combined Global Pork Exports by the Four Countries Are
                 Sent to the United States, 2005 Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total decline in producer welfare \1\...................      $9,715,120
Decrease in welfare incurred by small entities \2\......        $855,902
Average decrease per head of inventory, small entities             $0.05
 \3\....................................................
Average decrease per small entity \4\...................            $124
Average decrease as percentage of average sales, small             0.6%
 entities \5\...........................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ From table 2. The change in producer welfare is negative indicating
  a decline.
\2\ Change in producer welfare multiplied by 8.81 percent from the above
  text. We assume that the change in producer welfare would be
  proportional to inventory share.
\3\ Decrease in producer welfare for small entities divided by
  16,297,158 (see text above).
\4\ Average decrease per head of inventory multiplied by 237 (see text
  above).
\5\ Average decrease per small entity divided by $19,400 (see text
  above).

    Because quantities of swine, swine semen, ruminants, and ruminant 
products imported from these countries, if such imports were to occur, 
are likely to be very small, effects of the rule with respect to these 
commodities are not included in the analysis.
    The amounts of pork shipped to the United States under the three 
scenarios discussed above would be 2,433 MT, 5,192 MT, and 13,013 MT. 
Even when the largest import quantity is assumed, the welfare effect 
for U.S. small-entity producers would be equivalent to less than 1 
percent of their average revenue.
    Predominant numbers of producers, meat processors, and wholesale 
traders are considered to be small entities. Other small entities that 
could theoretically be affected by the rule include refrigerated long-
distance trucking firms, freight forwarders, and deep sea freight 
transport companies. In all cases, any effects of this rule for these 
types of businesses are expected to be very minor.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

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

National Environmental Policy Act

    Environmental assessments and findings of no significant impact 
have been prepared for each country within this final rule. The 
environmental assessments provide the basis for the conclusion that the 
addition of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to the 
list of EU countries considered to be low-risk for CSF and to the list 
of regions recognized as free of SVD, but that are subject to certain 
import restrictions, and the addition of Latvia and Lithuania to the 
list of regions recognized as free of FMD and rinderpest, but that are 
subject to certain import restrictions, 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 assessments and findings of no significant impact 
were prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) 
regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing 
the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA 
regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA 
Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessments and findings of no significant impact 
may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site.\11\ Copies of the 
environmental assessments and findings 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2006-0106. The environmental 
assessments and findings of no significant impact will appear in the 
resulting list of documents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects

9 CFR Part 92

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Poultry and poultry products, 
Region, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

9 CFR Part 93

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Poultry and poultry products, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

9 CFR Part 94

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

9 CFR Part 98

    Animal diseases, Imports.


0
Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR parts 92, 93, 94, and 98 as follows:

PART 92--IMPORTATION OF ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS: PROCEDURES FOR 
REQUESTING RECOGNITION OF REGIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 92 continues to read as follows:


[[Page 67232]]


    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

0
2. In Sec.  92.1, the definition of European Union is revised to read 
as follows:


Sec.  92.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    European Union. The organization of Member States consisting of 
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, 
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, 
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, 
Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and 
the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and 
Northern Ireland).
* * * * *

PART 93--IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, 
AND CERTAIN ANIMAL, BIRD, AND POULTRY PRODUCTS; REQUIREMENTS FOR 
MEANS OF CONVEYANCE AND SHIPPING CONTAINERS

0
3. The authority citation for part 93 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


0
4. In Sec.  93.500, the definition of European Union-15 (EU-15) is 
removed and a definition of APHIS-defined EU CSF region is added, in 
alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  93.500  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined EU CSF region. The European Union Member States of 
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, 
Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the United 
Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Northern 
Ireland).
* * * * *


Sec.  93.505  [Amended]

0
5. In Sec.  93.505, paragraph (a), the words ``region consisting of the 
EU-15 for the purposes of classical swine fever'' are removed and the 
words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' are added in their place, and the 
note at the end of the paragraph is removed.

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

0
6. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 
U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


0
7. In Sec.  94.0, the definition of European Union-15 (EU-15) is 
removed and a definition of APHIS-defined EU CSF region is added, in 
alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  94.0  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined EU CSF region. The European Union Member States of 
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, 
Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the United 
Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Northern 
Ireland).
* * * * *


Sec.  94.1  [Amended]

0
8. In Sec.  94.1, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by adding the words 
``Latvia, Lithuania,'' immediately after the word ``Japan,''.


Sec.  94.1a  [Removed]

0
9. Section 94.1a is removed.


Sec.  94.9  [Amended]

0
10. In Sec.  94.9, paragraphs (b) and (c), the words ``EU-15'' are 
removed and the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' added in their 
place.


Sec.  94.10  [Amended]

0
11. In Sec.  94.10, paragraphs (b) and (c), the words ``EU-15'' are 
removed and the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region `` added in their 
place.


Sec.  94.11  [Amended]

0
12. In Sec.  94.11, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the words 
``Latvia, Lithuania,'' immediately after the word ``Japan,''.

0
13. In Sec.  94.12, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  94.12  Pork and pork products from regions where swine vesicular 
disease exists.

    (a) Swine vesicular disease is considered to exist in all regions 
of the world except Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, 
Canada, Central American countries, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, 
Dominican Republic, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, 
Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the 
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of 
Ireland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trust Territories of the 
Pacific, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, 
and Northern Ireland), Yugoslavia, and the Regions in Italy of Friuli, 
Liguria, Marche, and Valle d'Aosta.
* * * * *

0
14. In Sec.  94.13, in the introductory text of the section, the first 
sentence is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  94.13  Restrictions on importation of pork or pork products from 
specified regions.

    Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, the Czech Republic, 
Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the 
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, 
the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and 
Northern Ireland), Yugoslavia, and the Regions in Italy of Friuli, 
Liguria, Marche, and Valle d'Aosta are declared free of swine vesicular 
disease in Sec.  94.12(a) of this part. * * *
* * * * *


Sec.  94.24  [Amended]

0
15. Section 94.24 is amended as follows:
0
a. In the section heading, by removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding 
the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place.
0
b. In paragraph (a), introductory text, and paragraph (a)(1)(i), by 
removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding the words ``APHIS-defined EU 
CSF region'' in their place.
0
c. In paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii), by removing the words 
``the EU-15'' and adding the words ``the APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' 
in their place and by removing the words ``an EU-15'' and adding the 
word ``the'' in their place.
0
d. In paragraph (a)(5), by removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding the 
words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place.
0
e. In paragraph (b), introductory text, and paragraph (b)(2)(i), by 
removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding the words ``APHIS-defined EU 
CSF region'' in their place.
0
f. In paragraph (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii), by removing the words ``the 
EU-15''

[[Page 67233]]

and adding the words ``the APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place 
and by removing the words ``an EU-15'' and adding the word ``the'' in 
their place.
0
g. In paragraph (b)(6), by removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding the 
words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place.

PART 98--IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMAL EMBRYOS AND ANIMAL SEMEN

0
16. The authority citation for part 98 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1622 and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


0
17. In Sec.  98.30, the definition of European Union-15 (EU-15) is 
removed and a definition of APHIS-defined EU CSF region is added, in 
alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  98.30  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined EU CSF region. The European Union Member States of 
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, 
Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the United 
Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Northern 
Ireland).
* * * * *


Sec.  98.38  [Amended]

0
18. Section 98.38 is amended as follows:
0
a. In the section heading, by removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding 
the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place.
0
b. In the introductory text of the section, paragraph (a), and 
paragraph (b)(1), by removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding the words 
``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place.
0
c. In paragraph (b)(2), by removing the words ``the EU-15'' and adding 
the words ``the APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place and by 
removing the words ``an EU-15'' and adding the word ``the'' in their 
place.
0
d. In paragraph (b)(3), by removing the words ``EU-15 established'' and 
adding the words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region established'' in their 
place and by removing the words ``EU-15'' immediately before the word 
``Member''.
0
e. In paragraph (f), by removing the words ``Office International des 
Epizooties'' and the parentheses surrounding the words ``World 
Organization for Animal Health''.
0
f. In paragraph (i), by removing the words ``EU-15'' and adding the 
words ``APHIS-defined EU CSF region'' in their place.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of November 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-23126 Filed 11-27-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P