[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 4 (Monday, January 7, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1043-1044]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-25661]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 4 / Monday, January 7, 2008 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 1043]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0142]


Addition of Armenia to the List of Regions Where African Swine 
Fever Exists

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of 
animals and animal products by adding Armenia to the list of regions 
where African swine fever exists. We are taking this action because 
outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed in various 
locations in the northern portion of Armenia. This action will restrict 
the importation of pork and pork products into the United States from 
Armenia and is necessary to prevent the introduction of African swine 
fever into the United States.

DATES: This interim rule is effective January 7, 2008. However, we are 
imposing this restriction retroactively to August 29, 2007, which is 
the date that the presence of ASF in Armenia was confirmed. We will 
consider all comments that we receive on or before March 7, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail
&d=APHIS-2007-0142 to submit or view comments and to view supporting 
and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0142, Regulatory Analysis and 
Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to 
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0142.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of 
the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to 
help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Javier Vargas, Animal Scientist, 
Regionalization Evaluation Services Staff, National Center for Import 
and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1231; (301) 734-0756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the 
regulations) govern the importation of specified animals and animal 
products to prevent the introduction into the United States of various 
animal diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine 
spongiform encephalopathy, swine vesicular disease, classical swine 
fever, and African swine fever (ASF). These are dangerous and 
destructive diseases of ruminants and swine.
    Section 94.8 of the regulations lists regions of the world where 
ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist and imposes restrictions 
on the importation of pork and pork products into the United States 
from those regions.
    On August 29, 2007, Armenia reported to the World Organization for 
Animal Health six outbreaks of ASF in various areas in the northern 
part of the country. The source of the outbreaks is unknown. Therefore, 
in order to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United States, we 
are amending the regulations by adding Armenia to the list of regions 
in Sec.  94.8 where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist. As a 
result of this action, the importation into the United States of pork 
and pork products from Armenia will be restricted. We are imposing this 
restriction retroactively to August 29, 2007, which is the date that 
the presence of ASF in Armenia was confirmed.

Emergency Action

    This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the 
introduction of ASF into the United States. Under these circumstances, 
the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for 
public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is 
good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule effective less than 
30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
    We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for 
this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, 
we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document 
will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments 
we are making to the rule.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This interim rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    This interim rule amends the regulations by adding Armenia to the 
list of regions in which ASF exists. This action is necessary on an 
emergency basis to prevent the introduction of ASF into the United 
States.
    The rule will restrict the importation of pork and pork products 
from Armenia. While the United States imported approximately $2.1 
million of agricultural products from Armenia between 2002 and 2006, 
these were largely horticultural products, wine and wine products, and 
fruit and vegetable products. Pork and pork products are not currently 
imported from Armenia into the United States. Therefore, it is unlikely 
that this interim rule will have any substantial effects on trade, or 
on large or small businesses.
    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.

[[Page 1044]]

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and 
regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has retroactive 
effect to August 29, 2007; and (3) does not require administrative 
proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this 
rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

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

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

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

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

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


Sec.  94.8  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  94.8, the introductory text is amended by adding the word 
``Armenia,'' after the word ``Africa,''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 27th day of December 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-25661 Filed 1-4-08; 8:45 am]
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