[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 96 (Friday, May 16, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28372-28377]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-10920]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 96 / Friday, May 16, 2008 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 28372]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0144]
RIN 0579-AC76


Importation of Baby Squash and Baby Courgettes From Zambia

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to allow the importation into the continental United States 
of baby squash and baby courgettes from Zambia. As a condition of 
entry, both commodities would have to be produced in accordance with a 
systems approach that would include requirements for pest exclusion at 
the production site, fruit fly trapping inside and outside the 
production site, and pest-excluding packinghouse procedures. Both 
commodities would also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate with an additional declaration stating that the baby squash 
or baby courgettes have been produced in accordance with the proposed 
requirements. This action would allow for the importation of baby 
squash and baby courgettes from Zambia into the United States while 
continuing to provide protection against the introduction of quarantine 
pests.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 
15, 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-2007-0144 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-2007-0144, 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-2007-0144.
    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: Ms. Sharon Porsche, Import Specialist, 
Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-
8758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56 
through 319.56-47, 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.
    The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Zambia has 
requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
amend the regulations to allow baby squash and baby courgettes from 
Zambia to be imported into the United States. As part of our evaluation 
of Zambia's request, we prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) and a 
risk management document. Copies of the PRA and the risk management 
document may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site (see 
ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    The PRA, titled ``Importation of Baby Squash, Cucurbita maxima 
Duchesne, and Baby Courgettes, C. pepo L., from Zambia into the 
Continental United States'' (November 2007), evaluates the risks 
associated with the importation of baby squash and baby courgettes into 
the continental United States (the lower 48 States and Alaska) from 
Zambia. The terms baby squash and baby courgettes refer to immature 
squash and courgettes for consumption that are 20 to 25 millimeters 
(0.79 to 0.98 inches) in diameter and 90 to 100 millimeters (3.54 to 
3.94 inches) long.
    The PRA and supporting documents identified 10 pests of quarantine 
significance present in Zambia that could be introduced into the United 
States through the importation of baby squash or baby courgettes. These 
include three moths, Diaphania indica, Helicoverpa armigera, and 
Spodoptera littoralis, and a scale, Aulacaspis tubercularis. The 
remaining six quarantine pests are fruit flies: Dacus bivitattus, D. 
ciliatus, D. frontalis, D. lounsburyii, D. punctatifrons, and D. 
vertebratus.
    APHIS has determined that measures beyond standard port-of-entry 
inspection are required to mitigate the risks posed by these plant 
pests. Therefore, we are proposing to allow the importation of baby 
squash and baby courgettes from Zambia into the continental United 
States only if they are produced in accordance with a systems approach. 
The systems approach would require the baby squash and baby courgettes 
to be grown in approved greenhouses designed to exclude all 10 
quarantine pests, would require trapping inside and outside the 
greenhouse for the 6 Dacus spp. fruit flies, and would require 
packinghouse procedures designed to exclude all 10 quarantine pests. 
Only commercial consignments of baby squash and baby courgettes would 
be allowed to be imported from Zambia. Consignments of baby squash or 
baby courgettes from Zambia would also be required to be accompanied by 
a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the baby squash or baby courgettes had been produced in accordance with 
the proposed requirements.

[[Page 28373]]

    The mitigation measures in the proposed systems approach are 
discussed in greater detail below.

Approved Greenhouses

    Baby squash and baby courgettes would have to be grown in Zambia in 
insect-proof, pest-free greenhouses approved jointly by the Zambian 
NPPO and APHIS. The greenhouses would have to be equipped with double 
self-closing doors, to prevent inadvertent introduction of pests into 
the greenhouses. In addition, any vents or openings in the greenhouses 
(other than the double self-closing doors) would have to be covered 
with 1.6 mm screening in order to prevent the entry of pests into the 
greenhouse. The 1.6 mm screening size is adequate to exclude all 10 
quarantine pests of concern, as all of these pests are relatively 
large.
    We would require the greenhouses to be inspected periodically by 
the Zambian NPPO or its approved designee to ensure that sanitary 
procedures are employed to exclude plant pests and diseases and to 
verify that the screening is intact. (An approved designee is an entity 
with which the NPPO creates a formal agreement that allows that entity 
to certify that the appropriate procedures have been followed. The 
approved designee can be a contracted entity, a coalition of growers, 
or the growers themselves.)
    The greenhouses would also have to be inspected monthly for the 10 
quarantine pests of concern by the Zambian NPPO or its approved 
designee, beginning 2 months before harvest and continuing for the 
duration of the harvest. APHIS would have to be allowed to monitor or 
inspect the greenhouses during this period as well. If, during these 
inspections, any of the quarantine pests was found inside the 
greenhouse, the Zambian NPPO would immediately prohibit that greenhouse 
from exporting baby squash or baby courgettes to the United States and 
notify APHIS of the action. The prohibition would remain in effect 
until the Zambian NPPO and APHIS agree that the risk has been 
mitigated.

Trapping for Dacus spp. Fruit Flies

    Trapping for Dacus bivitattus, D. ciliatus, D. frontalis, D. 
lounsburyii, D. punctatifrons, and D. vertebratus (referred to below, 
collectively, as Dacus spp. fruit flies) would be required both inside 
and outside the greenhouse. Trapping would have to be conducted 
beginning 2 months before harvest and continue for the duration of the 
harvest.
    Inside the greenhouses, approved fruit fly traps with an approved 
protein bait would have to be placed inside the greenhouses at a 
density of four traps per hectare, with a minimum of at least two traps 
per greenhouse. The traps would have to be serviced at least once every 
7 days. If a Dacus spp. fruit fly was found in a trap inside the 
greenhouse, the Zambian NPPO would immediately prohibit that greenhouse 
from exporting baby squash or baby courgettes to the United States and 
notify APHIS of the action. The prohibition would remain in effect 
until the Zambian NPPO and APHIS agree that the risk has been 
mitigated.
    Outside the greenhouse, approved fruit fly traps with an approved 
protein bait would have to be placed inside a buffer area 500 meters 
wide around the greenhouse at a density of 1 trap per 10 hectares, with 
a total of at least 10 traps. At least one of these traps would have to 
be placed near the greenhouse. These traps would have to be serviced at 
least once every 7 days.
    In order to reduce the pest pressure of Dacus spp. fruit flies 
outside the greenhouse, no shade trees would be permitted within 10 
meters of the entry door of the greenhouse, and no fruit fly host 
plants would be permitted within 50 meters of the entry door of the 
greenhouse. In addition, while trapping is being conducted, no fruit 
fly host material (such as fruit) would be allowed to be brought into 
the greenhouse or to be discarded within 50 meters of the entry door of 
the greenhouse. Ground applications of an approved protein bait spray 
for the Dacus spp. fruit flies would have to be used on all shade trees 
and host plants within 200 meters surrounding the greenhouse every 6 to 
10 days starting at least 30 days before and during harvest.
    Dacus spp. fruit fly prevalence levels lower than 0.7 flies per 
trap per week (F/T/W) would have to be maintained outside the 
greenhouse for the duration of the trapping. If the F/T/W was 0.7 or 
greater outside the greenhouse, the Zambian NPPO would immediately 
prohibit that greenhouse from exporting baby squash or baby courgettes 
to the United States and notify APHIS of the action. The prohibition 
would remain in effect until the Zambian NPPO and APHIS agree that the 
risk has been mitigated.
    To ensure that the trapping is being properly conducted, the 
Zambian NPPO or its approved designee would have to maintain records of 
trap placement, trap servicing, and any Dacus spp. captures. The 
Zambian NPPO would also have to maintain an APHIS-approved quality 
control program to audit the trapping program. APHIS would have to be 
given access to review 1 year's worth of trapping data for any approved 
greenhouse upon request.

Packinghouse Procedures

    Baby squash and baby courgettes would have to be packed within 24 
hours of harvest in a pest-exclusionary packinghouse. No shade trees 
would be permitted within 10 meters of the entry door of the 
packinghouse, and no fruit fly host plants would be permitted within 50 
meters of the entry door of the packinghouse. In addition, during 
packing, no fruit fly host material other than the baby squash and baby 
courgettes would be allowed to be brought into the packinghouse, and no 
fruit fly host material would be allowed to be discarded within 50 
meters of the entry door of the packinghouse. The baby squash or baby 
courgettes would have to be safeguarded by a pest-proof screen or 
plastic tarpaulin while in transit to the packinghouse and while 
awaiting packing. The baby squash or baby courgettes would have to be 
packed in insect-proof cartons for shipment to the United States. These 
cartons would also have to be labeled with the identity of the 
greenhouse, to facilitate traceback if necessary. While packing the 
baby squash or baby courgettes for export to the United States, the 
packinghouse would only be allowed to accept baby squash and baby 
courgettes from approved greenhouses. These safeguards would have to 
remain intact until the arrival of the baby squash or baby courgettes 
in the United States. If the safeguards do not remain intact, the 
consignment would not be allowed to enter the United States. These 
safeguards would prevent baby squash and baby courgettes from being 
infested with plant pests in the interval between their departure from 
the approved greenhouses and their arrival in the United States.

Commercial Consignments

    Only commercial consignments of baby squash and baby courgettes 
from Zambia would be allowed to be imported into the United States. 
Produce grown commercially is less likely to be infested with plant 
pests than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are 
more prone to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to 
overripe, could be of a variety with unknown susceptibility to pests, 
and is often grown with little or no pest control. Commercial 
consignments, as defined in Sec.  319.56-2, are consignments that an 
inspector identifies as having been imported for sale and distribution. 
Such identification is based on a variety of

[[Page 28374]]

indicators, including, but not limited to: Quantity of produce, type of 
packaging, identification of grower or packinghouse on the packaging, 
and documents consigning the fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or 
retailer.

Phytosanitary Certificate and Labeling

    To reflect our proposed addition to the fruits and vegetables 
regulations of baby squash and baby courgettes from Zambia, we are 
proposing to add a new Sec.  319.56-48 governing the conditions of 
entry of baby squash and baby courgettes from Zambia into the 
continental United States. To certify that the baby squash and baby 
courgettes have been produced in accordance with the requirements we 
are proposing, we would require that each consignment of baby squash or 
baby courgettes be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of 
inspection issued by the Zambian NPPO with an additional declaration 
stating that the baby squash or baby courgettes were produced in 
accordance with Sec.  319.56-48.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed 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 analysis examines potential impacts for U.S. small entities 
from the proposed importation of baby squash and baby courgettes 
(zucchini) from Zambia into the United States. The analysis is set 
forth in terms of squash generally. As background, we provide a brief 
overview of squash production and trade by the United States. This is 
followed with an estimate of price and welfare effects of the rule 
based on assumed levels of squash imports from Zambia. Finally, we 
describe the expected impact on small entities.

U.S. Squash Production and Trade

    The United States is a major squash producer and importer.\1\ The 
United States produced 430,100 metric tons (MT) of squash valued at 
$229 million in 2006, while imports that year totaled 240,590 MT. 
Squash production occurs in many States. However, the top ten States 
(Georgia, Florida, California, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, North 
Carolina, Oregon, and New Jersey) accounted for 98 percent of total 
cash receipts in 2006.\2\
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    \1\ Squash can be classified depending on whether it is 
harvested as immature fruit (summer squash) or mature fruit (winter 
squash). Summer squash, such as zucchini (also known as courgette), 
pattypan, and yellow crookneck are harvested and consumed during the 
growing season, while the skin is still tender and the fruit 
relatively small. Winter squash such as butternut, hubbard, 
buttercup, ambercup, acorn, spaghetti squash, and pumpkin are 
harvested at maturity, generally the end of summer, cured to further 
harden the skin, and stored in a cool place for eating later. They 
generally require longer cooking time than summer squash.
    \2\ USDA/National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 
Vegetables 2006 Summary, January 2007.
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    As shown in table 1, U.S. squash production increased from 398,800 
MT in 2002 to 430,100 MT in 2006, an annual growth rate of about 1.6 
percent. Similarly, consumption increased from 605,970 MT to 665,730 
MT. During the same period, U.S. squash imports increased from 210,930 
MT in 2002 to 240,590 MT in 2006. Mexico accounted by far for the 
largest share of U.S. imports (95.6 percent), followed distantly by 
Costa Rica (1.6 percent), and Canada (1.1 percent). Other minor 
suppliers include Honduras, Panama, New Zealand, Guatemala, and 
Nicaragua. The United States was a net importer throughout this period, 
with average annual imports (over 234,000 MT) dwarfing exports (less 
than 4,300 MT). Imports from Zambia would be small compared to an 
already large import base.\3\
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    \3\ Reliable production data are not available for Zambia. 
Squash exported to the United States are to be grown in insect-
proof, pest-free greenhouses at approved production sites. These 
sites are in the process of being constructed. The Zambian 
Government expects to export around 400 MT of fresh squash to the 
United States annually. It is not clear whether some additional 
amount would be produced for export to other countries.

              Table 1.--U.S. Squash Production, Consumption, Price, Exports and Imports, 2002-2006
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Production      Consumption
              Year                     (MT)            (MT)        Price per MT    Exports in MT   Imports in MT
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002............................         398,800         605,970            $882           3,770         210,930
2003............................         365,650         602,880           1,047           3,810         241,040
2004............................         401,330         637,650             992           4,090         240,410
2005............................         378,030         611,090           1,047           4,820         237,880
2006............................         430,100         665,730           1,157           4,960         240,590
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5-year average (2002-2006)..         394,780         624,670           1,025           4,290        234,170
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources: USDA/NASS, Vegetables 2006 Summary, January 2007; wholesale prices are from USDA/NASS, Fresh market
  vegetables prices and yield data, 2002-2006; trade data are from USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service, The Global
  Trade Atlas: Global Trade Information Services, Inc., Country Edition, August 2007.

Impact of Potential Fresh Squash Imports

    We estimate the impact of baby squash and baby courgettes imports 
from Zambia on U.S. production, consumption, and prices using a net 
trade welfare model. The data used were obtained from the Foreign 
Agricultural Service (FAS); The Global Trade Atlas: Global Trade 
Information Services, Inc., Country Edition, August 2007; and United 
Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization FAOstat data (http://
faostat.fao.org). The demand and supply elasticities used are -0.66 and 
0.12, respectively.\4\
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    \4\ Jaime E. Malaga, Gary W. Williams, and Stephen W. Fuller, 
``U.S.-Mexico fresh vegetable trade: The effects of trade 
liberalization and economic growth,'' Agricultural Economics, Vol. 
26 (October 2001): 45-55.
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    Our analysis is in terms of the overall squash industry of the 
United States. If data were available that would allow us to estimate 
the impact of the proposed rule only in terms of the markets for baby 
squash and baby courgettes, we would expect the effects to be somewhat 
larger than those reported here, but still insignificant.
    We model three levels of squash exports to the United States from 
Zambia: (1) 260 MT, average annual global exports of squash by Zambia 
(2004-2006); (2) 400 MT, the amount of squash that the Government of 
Zambia has projected would be exported to the United States; and (3) 
1,000 MT, a quantity that is 2two-and-a-half times

[[Page 28375]]

Zambia's projected exports to the United States.
    Table 2 presents the changes that we estimate would result from the 
proposed rule. These include annual changes in U.S. consumption, 
production, wholesale price, consumer welfare, producer welfare, and 
net welfare. The medium level of assumed squash exports to the United 
States of 400 MT (as projected by the Government of Zambia) would 
result in a decline of $0.89 per MT in the wholesale price of squash 
and a fall in U.S. production of 41 MT. Consumption would increase by 
359 MT. Producer welfare would decline by $347,180 and consumer welfare 
would increase by $558,240, yielding an annual net benefit of about 
$211,060. Other results are as shown in table 2 below.

Table 2.--Estimated Impact of Squash Imports From Zambia on the United States Economy for Three Import Scenarios
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Assumed annual squash imports, MT...............................         \1\ 260         \2\ 400       \3\ 1,000
Change in U.S. consumption, MT..................................             234             359             898
Change in U.S. production, MT...................................             -26             -41            -102
Change in wholesale price of squash, dollars per MT.............          -$0.58          -$0.89          -$2.22
Change in consumer welfare......................................        $362,820        $558,240      $1,396,210
Change in producer welfare......................................       -$225,670       -$347,180       -$867,890
Annual net benefit..............................................        $137,150        $211,060       $528,330
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Note: The baseline data used are 5-year annual averages for production, consumption, prices, exports and
  imports, as reported in the last row of table 1. The demand and supply elasticities used are -0.66 and 0.12,
  respectively (Jaime E. Malaga, Gary W. Williams, and Stephen W. Fuller, ``U.S.-Mexico fresh vegetable trade:
  the effects of trade liberalization and economic growth,'' Agricultural Economics, Vol. 26 (October 2001): 45-
  55).
\1\ Three-year (2004 to 2006) average total squash exports by Zambia.
\2\ Annual exports of fresh baby squash and baby courgettes to the United States, as projected by the Government
  of Zambia.
\3\ Two-and-a-half times the projected level of exports of baby squash and baby courgettes by Zambia to the
  United States.

    In all three scenarios, consumer welfare gains would outweigh 
producer welfare losses. Even in the third scenario, in which we assume 
imports would total two-and-a-half times the level projected by the 
Government of Zambia, the decline in producer welfare would represent 
only about two-tenths of 1 percent of cash receipts received from the 
sale of domestic squash products. The price decline in this third 
scenario also would be only about two-tenths of 1 percent. Thus, our 
analysis indicates that U.S. entities would be unlikely to be 
significantly affected by this proposed rule.

Impact on Small Entities

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established guidelines 
for determining which types of firms are considered to be small 
entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This proposal could 
affect U.S. producers of fresh vegetables (North American Industry 
Classification System 111219) and some importers of fresh squash. 
Vegetable-producing establishments are classified as small if their 
annual receipts are not more than $750,000.\5\ According to the 2002 
Census of Agriculture, there were 11,035 squash operations with 
production valued at $288 million. These facilities are considered to 
be small if their annual receipts are not more than $750,000. Over 98.6 
percent of these operations (10,883) are considered to be small while 
the rest (152) are considered large. Based on share of acreage (nearly 
60 percent of the total), the small operations had combined annual cash 
receipts of about $168 million and an average income of about $15,500, 
while the large operations had combined sales of about $120 million 
with an average income of about $787,900. As shown in table 3, the 
impact of potential squash 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 $47 or about 0.30 percent of average annual sales 
of small entities, when we assume 1,000 MT of squash are exported to 
the United States from Zambia (two-and-a-half times Zambia's projected 
annual exports).
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    \5\ SBA, Small business size standards matched to the North 
American Industry Classification System 2002, effective October, 
2007 (http://www.sba.gov/size/sizetable2002.html).

  Table 3.--Economic Impact of Potential Squash Imports From Zambia on
 U.S. Small Entities, Assuming Annual Exports of 1,000 MT to the United
                          States, 2006 Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total decline in producer welfare     -$867,890.
 \1\.
Decrease in welfare incurred by        -$506,850.
 small entities \2\.
Average decrease per acre, small       -$12.18.
 entities \3\.
Average decrease per small entity     -$46.50.
 \4\.
Average decrease as percentage of     -0.30 percent.
 average sales, small entities \5\.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ From table 2.
\2\ Change in producer welfare multiplied by 58.4 percent, the
  percentage of total acreage planted by producers with annual revenues
  of not more than $750,000, that is, small entities. We assume that the
  change in producer welfare would be proportional to acreage share.
\3\ Decrease in producer welfare for small entities divided by 41,619,
  the number of acres planted by small entities.
\4\ Average decrease per acre multiplied by 3.82, the average number of
  acres per small entity.
\5\ Average decrease per small entity divided by $15,500, the average
  annual revenue per small entity.

    Again, table 3 considers a level of importation that is 2\1/2\ 
times the projected imports of baby squash and baby courgettes; at 
expected levels of importation, the expected economic impacts would be 
even smaller. In addition, this analysis assumes that gains to Zambian 
exporters do not come at the expense of any exporting countries; if any 
displacement occurs, the impact of the proposed rule would be reduced 
further.

[[Page 28376]]

    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow baby squash and baby courgettes to 
be imported into the United States from Zambia. If this proposed rule 
is adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding baby squash 
and baby courgettes imported under this rule would be preempted while 
the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh baby squash and baby courgettes 
are generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the 
consuming public and would 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. If this proposed 
rule is adopted, 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.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2007-0144. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2007-0144, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, 
and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, Room 404-W, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is 
best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 
days of publication of this proposed rule.
    In this document, we are proposing to allow the importation from 
Zambia of baby squash and baby courgettes that have been produced 
subject to a systems approach. Baby squash and baby courgettes imported 
subject to this systems approach would be required to be accompanied by 
a phytosanitary certificate stating that they were produced in 
accordance with the proposed regulations. Under the systems approach, 
records of fruit fly trapping would have to be maintained, and boxes of 
fruit would have to be labeled with the greenhouse from which they 
originated.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 0.2244 hours per response.
    Respondents: Importers.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 17.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 14.4118.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 245.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 55 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2908.

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 proposed rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste 
Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

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

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

    1. 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.

    2. A new Sec.  319.56-48 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-48  Conditions governing the entry of baby squash and baby 
courgettes from Zambia.

    Baby squash (Curcurbita maxima Duchesne) and baby courgettes (C. 
pepo. L.) measuring 10 to 25 millimeters (0.39 to 0.98 inches) in 
diameter and 60 to 105 millimeters (2.36 to 4.13 inches) in length may 
be imported into the continental United States from Zambia only under 
the conditions described in this section. These conditions are designed 
to prevent the introduction of the following quarantine pests: 
Aulacaspis tubercularis, Dacus bivitattus, Dacus ciliatus, Dacus 
frontalis, Dacus lounsburyii, Dacus punctatifrons, Dacus vertebratus, 
Diaphania indica, Helicoverpa armigera, and Spodoptera littoralis.
    (a) Approved greenhouses. The baby squash and baby courgettes must 
be grown in Zambia in insect-proof, pest-free greenhouses approved 
jointly by the Zambian national plant protection organization (NPPO) 
and APHIS.
    (1) The greenhouses must be equipped with double self-closing 
doors.
    (2) Any vents or openings in the greenhouses (other than the double 
self-closing doors) must be covered with 1.6 mm screening in order to 
prevent the entry of pests into the greenhouse.
    (3) The greenhouses must be inspected periodically by the Zambian 
NPPO or its approved designee to ensure that sanitary procedures are 
employed to exclude plant pests and diseases and to verify that the 
screening is intact.
    (4) The greenhouses also must be inspected monthly for the 
quarantine pests listed in the introductory text of this section by the 
Zambian NPPO or its approved designee, beginning 2 months before 
harvest and continuing for the duration of the harvest. APHIS must be 
allowed to inspect or monitor the

[[Page 28377]]

greenhouses during this period as well. If, during these inspections, 
any of the quarantine pests listed in the introductory text of this 
section is found inside the greenhouse, the Zambian NPPO will 
immediately prohibit that greenhouse from exporting baby squash or baby 
courgettes to the United States and notify APHIS of the action. The 
prohibition will remain in effect until the Zambian NPPO and APHIS 
agree that the risk has been mitigated.
    (b) Trapping for Dacus spp. fruit flies. Trapping for Dacus 
bivitattus, Dacus ciliatus, Dacus frontalis, Dacus lounsburyii, Dacus 
punctatifrons, and Dacus vertebratus (referred to in paragraph (b) of 
this section, collectively, as Dacus spp. fruit flies) is required both 
inside and outside the greenhouse. Trapping must be conducted beginning 
2 months before harvest and continue for the duration of the harvest.
    (1) Inside the greenhouse. Approved fruit fly traps with an 
approved protein bait must be placed inside the greenhouses at a 
density of four traps per hectare, with a minimum of at least two traps 
per greenhouse. The traps must be serviced at least once every 7 days. 
If a Dacus spp. fruit fly is found in a trap inside the greenhouse, the 
Zambian NPPO will immediately prohibit that greenhouse from exporting 
baby squash or baby courgettes to the United States and notify APHIS of 
the action. The prohibition will remain in effect until the Zambian 
NPPO and APHIS agree that the risk has been mitigated.
    (2) Outside the greenhouse. (i) Approved fruit fly traps with an 
approved protein bait must be placed inside a buffer area 500 meters 
wide around the greenhouse at a density of 1 trap per 10 hectares, with 
a total of at least 10 traps. At least one of these traps must be 
placed near the greenhouse. These traps must be serviced at least once 
every 7 days.
    (ii) No shade trees are permitted within 10 meters of the entry 
door of the greenhouse, and no fruit fly host plants are permitted 
within 50 meters of the entry door of the greenhouse. While trapping is 
being conducted, no fruit fly host material (such as fruit) may be 
brought into the greenhouse or be discarded within 50 meters of the 
entry door of the greenhouse. Ground applications of an approved 
protein bait spray for the Dacus spp. fruit flies must be used on all 
shade trees and host plants within 200 meters surrounding the 
greenhouse every 6 to 10 days starting at least 30 days before and 
during harvest.
    (iii) Dacus spp. fruit fly prevalence levels lower than 0.7 flies 
per trap per week (F/T/W) must be maintained outside the greenhouse for 
the duration of the trapping. If the F/T/W is 0.7 or greater outside 
the greenhouse, the Zambian NPPO will immediately prohibit that 
greenhouse from exporting baby squash or baby courgettes to the United 
States and notify APHIS of the action. The prohibition will remain in 
effect until the Zambian NPPO and APHIS agree that the risk has been 
mitigated.
    (3) Records and monitoring. The Zambian NPPO or its approved 
designee must maintain records of trap placement, trap servicing, and 
any Dacus spp. captures. The Zambian NPPO must maintain an APHIS-
approved quality control program to audit the trapping program. APHIS 
must be given access to review 1 year's worth of trapping data for any 
approved greenhouse upon request.
    (c) Packinghouse procedures. Baby squash and baby courgettes must 
be packed within 24 hours of harvest in a pest-exclusionary 
packinghouse. No shade trees are permitted within 10 meters of the 
entry door of the packinghouse, and no fruit fly host plants are 
permitted within 50 meters of the entry door of the packinghouse. In 
addition, during packing, no fruit fly host material other than the 
baby squash and baby courgettes may be brought into the packinghouse, 
and no fruit fly host material may be discarded within 50 meters of the 
entry door of the packinghouse. The baby squash or baby courgettes must 
be safeguarded by a pest-proof screen or plastic tarpaulin while in 
transit to the packinghouse and while awaiting packing. The baby squash 
or baby courgettes must be packed in insect-proof cartons for shipment 
to the United States. These cartons must be labeled with the identity 
of the greenhouse. While packing the baby squash or baby courgettes for 
export to the United States, the packinghouse may only accept baby 
squash or baby courgettes from approved greenhouses. These safeguards 
must remain intact until the arrival of the baby squash or baby 
courgettes in the United States. If the safeguards do not remain 
intact, the consignment will not be allowed to enter the United States.
    (d) Commercial consignments. Baby squash and baby courgettes from 
Zambia may be imported in commercial consignments only.
    (e) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of baby squash and 
baby courgettes must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of 
inspection issued by the Zambian NPPO with an additional declaration 
reading as follows: ``These baby squash or baby courgettes were 
produced in accordance with 7 CFR 319.56-48.''

    Done in Washington, DC, this 7th day of May 2008.
Cindy J. Smith,
 Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-10920 Filed 5-15-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P