[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 167 (Wednesday, August 27, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 50577-50582]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-19875]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0152]
RIN 0579-AC82


Importation of Grapes from Chile Under a Systems Approach

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 fresh table grapes from Chile to be imported into 
the continental United States under a systems approach. Currently, as a 
condition of entry, all table grapes from Chile must be fumigated with 
methyl bromide as a risk-mitigation measure for Brevipalpus chilensis. 
Under this proposal, we would allow a combination of risk-mitigation 
measures, or systems approach, to be employed in lieu of methyl bromide 
fumigation. The systems approach would provide an alternative to methyl 
bromide while continuing to provide protection against the introduction 
of quarantine pests into the United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
October 27, 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-2007-01 52 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-2007-0152, 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-2007-0152.
    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. Alex Belano, Assistant Branch 
Chief, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5333.

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.
    Currently, the importation of table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) from 
Chile into the United States is authorized under Sec.  319.56-4 of the 
regulations. Accordingly, Chilean table grapes are listed in the Plant 
Protection and Quarantine Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Import Manual, 
which may be viewed on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/
import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/fv.pdf, as a commodity 
approved for entry into the United States, subject to certain 
conditions.
    The regulations in 7 CFR part 305, ``Phytosanitary Treatments,'' 
specify the treatment schedules that must be used on certain 
commodities prior to their importation or entry into the United States. 
Currently, in Sec.  305.2 of these regulations, paragraph (i) 
identifies several different treatment schedules for use on table 
grapes from Chile as risk-mitigation measures for Brevipalpus chilensis 
mites and/or Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata, referred to 
below as Medfly), depending on the area of Chile from which the fruit 
originates. If the grapes originate from an area of Chile in which both 
pests are known to exist, the grapes must be treated with methyl 
bromide for B. chilensis followed by cold treatment for Medfly. If the 
table grapes originate from an area of Chile that the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has declared a pest-free area for 
Medfly in

[[Page 50578]]

accordance with the provisions of Sec.  319.56-5 of the regulations, 
only the methyl bromide treatment is required.
    Under a systems approach, a set of phytosanitary conditions, at 
least two of which have an independent effect in mitigating the pest 
risk associated with the movement of commodities, is specified, whereby 
fruits and vegetables may be imported into the United States from 
countries that are not free of certain plant pests. In 2002, the 
Servicio Agricola y Ganadero, the national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Chile, proposed a systems approach to be used in 
lieu of the methyl bromide fumigation of table grapes for B. chilensis 
mites. The approach consisted of the registration of production sites 
with the NPPO, the certification of production sites by the NPPO as 
having a low prevalence of B. chilensis mites, joint inspection of 
samples from these production sites in Chile by the NPPO and APHIS, 
issuance of phytosanitary certificates, and inspection of a sample of 
the grapes at a port of entry. A similar approach is currently in use 
for clementines, mandarins, and tangerines from Chile, under our 
regulations in Sec.  319.56-38.
    During the 2002/2003 growing season, with the cooperation of APHIS, 
Chile's NPPO conducted a pilot program to determine whether the 
approach could be utilized as an effective mitigation measure against 
B. chilensis mites to prevent the introduction of that pest in grapes 
imported into the continental United States from Chile. The pilot 
program suggested that the approach proposed by Chile's NPPO could be 
used for this commodity.
    Therefore, in October 2006, APHIS received a request from the NPPO 
of Chile to allow the importation of Chilean table grapes into the 
continental United States under a systems approach substantively 
similar to the one that had been used during the pilot program. In 
response to this request, we evaluated the approach to determine 
whether it was sufficient to mitigate its target pest. While our 
evaluation was still underway, the Chilean NPPO conducted a second 
pilot program, again with APHIS' cooperation, during the 2006/2007 
growing season. This program again suggested that the approach proposed 
by the Chilean NPPO was efficacious.
    As a result of our evaluation, and based upon the findings of these 
pilot programs, we prepared a commodity import evaluation document 
(CIED) for Chilean table grapes prepared for export under a systems 
approach. Copies of the CIED 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 CIED, entitled ``Systems Approach for Grapes Vitis Vinifera L. 
Imported from Chile into the Continental United States,'' examines a 
systems approach substantively similar to the approach employed by 
Chile during the pilot programs and concludes that those phytosanitary 
measures would effectively remove B. chilensis mites from the 
importation pathway for Chilean table grapes. Based on the information 
contained in the CIED, we are proposing to amend the regulations to 
allow the importation of table grapes from Chile into the continental 
United States under a systems approach. The systems approach, which 
would be set out in a new Sec.  319.56-49, would comprise the following 
phytosanitary measures:
    Commercial consignment. Only commercial consignments of grapes 
would be eligible for importation.
    Production site registration. The production site where the fruit 
is grown would have to be registered with the NPPO of Chile. To 
register, the production site would have to provide Chile's NPPO with 
the following information: Grower, exporter, orchard, production site 
name (if this differs from the name of the orchard), region, township, 
province, locality, area planted to each variety, number of hectares/
variety, and approximate date of harvest. Registration would have to be 
renewed annually.
    Low prevalence production site certification. Between 1 and 30 days 
prior to harvest, random samples of fruit would have to be collected 
from each registered production site under the direction of Chile's 
NPPO. These samples would have to undergo a pest detection and 
evaluation method as follows: Each bunch of grapes, including fruit and 
rachis (spines), would have to be washed using a flushing method, 
placed in a 20 mesh sieve on top of a 200 mesh sieve, sprinkled with a 
liquid soap and water solution, washed with water at high pressure, and 
washed with water at low pressure. The process would then be repeated. 
The contents of the 200 mesh sieve would then be placed on a petri dish 
and analyzed for the presence of live B. chilensis mites. If a single 
live B. chilensis mite is found, the production site would not qualify 
for certification as a low prevalence production site and would be 
eligible to export fruit to the United States only if the fruit is 
fumigated with methyl bromide. Each production site would have only one 
opportunity per harvest season to qualify as a low prevalence 
production site, and certification of low prevalence would be valid for 
one harvest season only. The NPPO of Chile would present a list of 
certified production sites to APHIS.
    We have determined that low prevalence production site 
certification will identify problem production sites and prevent 
shipment of fruit with B. chilensis mites from these sites. This 
certification process has been tested in Chile and been found 
successful in identifying areas with high and low populations of mites.
    Post-harvest processing. After harvest, all damaged or diseased 
fruits would have to be culled at the packinghouse, and the remaining 
fruit would have to be packed into new, clean boxes, crates, or other 
packing containers approved by APHIS for fumigation with methyl 
bromide, should such fumigation become necessary.
    Phytosanitary inspection. The fruit would have to be inspected in 
Chile at an APHIS approved inspection site under the direction of APHIS 
inspectors in coordination with the NPPO of Chile after the post-
harvest processing. A biometric sample would have to be drawn and 
examined from each consignment. Fruit presented for inspection would 
have to be identified in the shipping documents accompanying each lot 
of fruit to specify the production site(s) in which the fruit was 
produced and the packing shed(s) in which the fruit was processed. This 
identification would have to be maintained until the fruit is released 
for entry into the United States. A biometric sample of boxes, crates, 
or other APHIS-approved packing containers from each consignment would 
have to be selected by the NPPO of Chile at a sampling rate that is 
sufficient to detect a 6 percent infestation rate with a 95 percent 
confidence level. Grapes and panicles from these boxes, crates, or 
other APHIS-approved packing containers would have to be visually 
inspected for quarantine pests, and a portion of the fruit would have 
to be washed with soapy water and the collected filtrate 
microscopically examined for B. chilensis. If a single live B. 
chilensis mite is found, the fruit would be eligible for importation 
into the United States only if it has been fumigated in Chile with 
methyl bromide under the supervision of APHIS personnel. When employed 
jointly, post-harvest processing, such as the culling of damaged fruit, 
and phytosanitary inspections, such as biometric sampling for B. 
chilensis mites, should remove

[[Page 50579]]

any remaining fruit that contains B. chilensis mites.
    Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of grapes would have to 
be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of 
Chile that contains an additional declaration stating that the grapes 
in the consignment meet the conditions of Sec.  319.56-49. Requiring a 
phytosanitary certificate ensures that the NPPO has inspected the fruit 
and certified that it meets the conditions for export to the 
continental United States. If, as a result of the inspections specified 
by the systems approach, a single live B. chilensis mite is discovered 
in a consignment of grapes, that consignment would be eligible for 
importation into the United States only if it was fumigated with methyl 
bromide in accordance with the treatment schedules already specified in 
the regulations. The production site from which the fruit originated 
would lose its certification as a low prevalence production site for 
the remainder of that shipping season, and all subsequent consignments 
from the site during that season would have to be fumigated with methyl 
bromide in order to be eligible for importation into the continental 
United States.
    Because the systems approach is neither intended for nor effective 
in removing Medfly from the importation pathway for table grapes, 
grapes from an area of Chile not declared by APHIS to be free of Medfly 
would have to be cold treated according to schedule CT T107-a as a 
risk-mitigation measure for Medfly.
    We also recognize that some producers would not be able to or would 
not wish to use the systems approach as a means for access to the U.S. 
market. Therefore, as an alternative mitigation measure, producers 
would be able to continue to use fumigation with methyl bromide in 
Chile or at the port of first arrival to the United States. An APHIS 
inspector would monitor the fumigation and prescribe such safeguards as 
might be necessary for unloading, handling, and transportation prior to 
fumigation. The final release of the fruit for entry into the United 
States would be conditioned upon compliance with prescribed safeguards 
and required treatment.
    Finally, Sec.  319.56-6 of the regulations states that, if APHIS 
personnel need to be physically present in an exporting country or 
region to facilitate the exportation of fruits or vegetables and APHIS 
services are to be funded by the NPPO of the exporting country or a 
private export group, then the NPPO or the export group must enter into 
a trust fund agreement with APHIS. In accordance with this section, we 
are proposing to require a trust fund agreement for the importation of 
table grapes from Chile into the United States.
    Under the trust fund agreement, the NPPO of Chile or the private 
export group would have to pay in advance for all estimated costs that 
APHIS expects to incur in providing inspection services in Chile. These 
costs would include administrative expenses incurred in conducting the 
services and all salaries (including overtime and the Federal share of 
employee benefits), travel expenses (including per diem expenses), and 
other incidental expenses incurred by the inspectors in performing 
services. The agreement would have to require the NPPO of Chile or the 
private export group to deposit a certified or cashier's check with 
APHIS for the amount of those costs, as estimated by APHIS. The 
agreement would have to further specify that, if the deposit is 
insufficient to meet all costs incurred by APHIS, the NPPO of Chile or 
the private export group would deposit with APHIS, before the services 
would be completed, a certified or cashier's check for the amount of 
the remaining costs, as determined by APHIS. After a final audit at the 
conclusion of each shipping season, any overpayment of funds would be 
returned to the NPPO of the exporting country or region or a private 
export group, or held on account.
    Requiring the payment of costs in advance is necessary to help 
defray the costs to APHIS of providing inspection and treatment 
monitoring services in Chile.

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.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is set out below, regarding the 
potential effects of the proposed action on small entities. We do not 
currently have all the data necessary for a comprehensive analysis of 
the effects of this rule on small entities. Therefore, we are inviting 
comments concerning potential effects. In particular, we are interested 
in determining: (1) Whether allowing the importation of table grapes 
from Chile under a systems approach, instead of following fumigation 
with methyl bromide, will affect the cost to U.S. importers of Chilean 
table grapes; (2) the relative costs of the two means of treatment; and 
(3) whether applying the systems approach may influence the price of 
Chilean table grapes within the United States.
    Currently, table grapes may be imported from Chile subject to 
fumigation with methyl bromide, and, depending on the region in Chile 
from which the grapes originate, cold treatment.\1\ We are proposing to 
amend the regulations to allow the importation into the continental 
United States of fresh table grapes from Chile under a systems approach 
in lieu of treatment with methyl bromide.
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    \1\ Chile is divided into 15 administrative regions, of which 12 
have been designated by APHIS as Medfly-free, in accordance with the 
provisions of Sec.  319.56-5 of the regulations.
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    As part of this systems approach, we would require production site 
registration, low prevalence production site certification, post-
harvest processing, phytosanitary inspection, and issuance of 
phytosanitary certificates. This action would allow Chilean exporters 
to ship fresh table grapes to the continental United States under a 
process other than fumigation with methyl bromide, while continuing to 
provide protection against the introduction of quarantine pests into 
the United States.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to specifically 
consider the economic effects of their rules on small entities. The 
Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size criteria based 
on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 
determine which economic entities meet the definition of a small firm. 
The proposed rule may affect domestic producers of fresh grapes and 
wholesalers who import fresh table grapes. Businesses producing fresh 
grapes are classified in the North American Industry Classification 
System (NAICS) within the category of grape farming without making 
wine.
    The small business size standard for grape farming without making 
wine, as identified by the SBA based upon NAICS code 11 1332, is 
$750,000 or less in annual receipts.\2\ While the available data do not 
provide the number of U.S. grape-producing entities according to size 
distribution as it relates to annual receipts, it is reasonable to 
assume that the majority of the operations are considered small 
businesses by SBA standards. According to the 2002 Census of 
Agriculture, there were at least 23,856 grape farms in the United

[[Page 50580]]

States in 2002, and at least 937,200 acres of arable land on which 
grapes were grown (see table 1). It is estimated that approximately 93 
percent of these 23,856 grape farms had annual sales in 2002 of 
$500,000 or less, and are therefore considered to be small entities by 
SBA standards.
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    \2\ Based upon 2002 Census of Agriculture-State Data and the 
``Small Business Size Standards by NAICS Industry,'' Code of Federal 
Regulations, Title 13, Chapter I.

  Table 1--2006/2007 \1\ State-Level Production of Grapes for the Fresh
                       Market in the United States
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                                  Production (metric
              State                    tons) \2\        Number of acres
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California......................     703,975 (99.3%)       800,000 (86%)
Michigan........................                  91              14,200
Missouri........................                  64               1,300
New York........................               2,722              31,000
North Carolina..................                 163               1,300
Ohio............................                  91               2,200
Pennsylvania....................                 272              12,200
Texas...........................                  91               2,900
                                 ---------------------------------------
    Sum of the eight States.....     707,469 (99.8%)     866,400 (92.5%)
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Other States....................               1,561              70,800
United States...................             709,030             937,200
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\1\ Based upon 2002 Census of Agriculture-State Data and the ``Small
  Business Size Standards by NAICS Industry,'' Code of Federal
  Regulations, Title 13, Chapter I.
\2\ Quantities have been converted from short tons to metric tons using
  a conversion factor of 1 short ton = 0.9072 metric tons.

    The United States currently ranks fifth in the world's production 
of grapes, behind China, Turkey, Italy, and Chile. However, U.S. 
production of grapes for fresh consumption increased by less than 1 
percent on average over the last 17 years. Currently, only one-tenth of 
all grapes produced in the United States are consumed as table grapes, 
with the remainder utilized by the processing sector. U.S. fresh market 
grape production has averaged a little over 790,000 metric tons 
annually from the 2000/2001 growing season to the 2006/2007 season, 
generating an average of over $600 million at the farm level annually.
    With respect to the consumption of fresh grapes, the United States 
currently ranks third worldwide, following China and Turkey. U.S. 
domestic consumption of fresh grapes from 2000/2001 to 2006/2007 was 
approximately 907 metric tons per year, on average. During that period, 
per capita U.S. consumption of fresh grapes averaged 6.2 pounds per 
year. This level of consumption made fresh grapes the fourth-most 
consumed fruit within the United States during that time period.
    The United States became a net importer of fresh table grapes in 
the mid-1980s and has remained so since that time. The disparity 
between imports and exports has widened in recent years. For example, 
in 2006, the United States exported 290,089 metric tons of fresh table 
grapes, and imported 603,218 metric tons. Accordingly, the United 
States has increasingly relied on imported table grapes to fulfill 
domestic demand. During the 1980s, imports accounted on average for 28 
percent of fresh grapes available for domestic consumption. Between the 
2000/2001 and 2006/2007 growing seasons, this share rose to more than 
50 percent.
    Domestically produced fresh grapes are usually shipped to the U.S. 
market between the months of May and November. During the U.S. off-
season (December through April), domestically produced supplies are 
supplemented by imports. Chile is the primary exporter of fresh table 
grapes to the United States, accounting for approximately 75 percent of 
total U.S. imports of this commodity. The presence of imported grapes 
within the domestic market during the U.S. off-season allows for year-
round availability of the product and promotes domestic consumption.
    Most grape production in Chile takes place during U.S. winter 
months, when there is little or no fresh grape production within the 
United States with which to compete. In addition, we do not expect that 
the proposed rule would affect the processing grape industry in the 
United States because of the separate markets for table grapes and 
processing grapes.
    The alternative to this proposed rule was to make no changes to the 
regulations. After consideration, we rejected this alternative, insofar 
as we evaluated the proposed systems approach and determined it to be 
effective in removing B. chilensis mites from the importation pathway 
for Chilean table grapes.
    This proposed rule contains various recordkeeping and reporting 
requirements. These requirements are described in this document under 
the heading ``Paperwork Reduction Act.''

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow table grapes to be imported from 
Chile under a systems approach. If this proposed rule is adopted, State 
and local laws and regulations regarding table grapes imported under 
this rule would be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. 
Fresh fruits 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 the 
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 from 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-
2007-0152. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2007-0152, 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

[[Page 50581]]

and Independence Ave 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.
    The regulations in ``Subpart-Fruit and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56 
through 319.56-47, referred to 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. Currently, the importation of table grapes 
(Vitis vinfera L.) from Chile into the United States is authorized 
under Sec.  319.56-4 of the regulations.
    APHIS is proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations 
to allow fresh table grapes from Chile to be imported into the 
continental United States under a systems approach. Currently, as a 
condition of entry, all table grapes from Chile must be fumigated with 
methyl bromide as a risk mitigation measure for Brevipalpus chilensis.
    Under this proposal, APHIS would allow a combination of risk-
mitigation measures, or systems approach, to be employed in lieu of 
methyl bromide fumigation. The systems approach would provide an 
alternative to methyl bromide while continuing to provide protection 
against the introduction of quarantine pests into the United States.
    Allowing the importation of grapes into the United States from 
Chile will require information collection activities such as production 
site registration, phytosanitary certificates, and phytosanitary 
inspection.
    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 0.5614754 hours per response.
    Respondents: Growers of grapes, NPPOs.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 54.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 81.3333.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 4,392.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 2,466 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 the 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, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 
U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    2. A new Sec.  319.56-49 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-49  Grapes from Chile.

    Table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) may be imported into United States 
from Chile only under the following conditions:
    (a) The fruit must be imported in commercial consignments and 
accompanied by a permit issued in accordance with Sec.  319.56-3(b).
    (b) If the fruit is produced in an area of Chile where 
Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) is known to occur, the 
fruit must be cold treated in accordance with part 305 of this chapter. 
Fruit for which cold treatment is required must be accompanied by 
documentation indicating that the cold treatment was initiated in Chile 
(a PPQ Form 203 or its equivalent may be used for this purpose).
    (c) The fruit must either be produced and shipped under the systems 
approach described in paragraph (d) of this section or fumigated in 
accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.
    (d) Systems approach. The fruit may be imported without fumigation 
for Brevipalpus chilensis into the continental United States (Alaska 
and the lower 48 States) if it meets the following conditions:
    (1) Production site registration. The production site where the 
fruit is grown must be registered with the national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Chile. To register, the production site must 
provide Chile's NPPO with the following information: Grower, exporter, 
orchard, production site name (if this differs from the name of the 
orchard), region, township, province, locality, area planted to each 
variety, number of hectares/variety, and approximate date of harvest. 
Registration must be renewed annually.
    (2) Low prevalence production site certification. Between 1 and 30 
days prior to harvest, random samples of fruit must be collected from 
each registered production site under the direction of Chile's NPPO. 
These samples must undergo a pest detection and evaluation method as 
follows: Each bunch of grapes, including fruit and rachis (spines), 
must be washed using a flushing method, placed in a 20 mesh sieve on 
top of a 200 mesh sieve, sprinkled with a liquid soap and water 
solution, washed with water at high pressure, and washed with water at 
low pressure. The process must then be repeated. The contents of the 
200 mesh sieve must then be placed on a petri dish and analyzed for the 
presence of live B. chilensis mites. If a single live B. chilensis mite 
is found, the production site will not qualify for certification as a 
low prevalence production site and will be eligible to export fruit to 
the United States only if the fruit is fumigated in accordance with 
paragraph (e) of this section. Each production site may have only one 
opportunity per harvest season to qualify as a low prevalence 
production site, and certification of low prevalence will be valid for 
one harvest season only. The

[[Page 50582]]

NPPO of Chile will present a list of certified production sites to 
APHIS.
    (3) Post-harvest processing. After harvest, all damaged or diseased 
fruits must be culled at the packinghouse, and the remaining fruit must 
be packed into new, clean boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved 
packing containers for fumigation with methyl bromide in accordance 
with paragraph (e) of this section, should such fumigation become 
necessary.
    (4) Phytosanitary inspection. The fruit must be inspected in Chile 
at an APHIS-approved inspection site under the direction of APHIS 
inspectors in coordination with the NPPO of Chile after the post-
harvest processing. A biometric sample must be drawn and examined from 
each consignment. Grapes in any consignment may be shipped to the 
continental United States only if the consignment passes inspection as 
follows:
    (i) Fruit presented for inspection must be identified in the 
shipping documents accompanying each lot of fruit to specify the 
production site(s) in which the fruit was produced and the packing 
shed(s) in which the fruit was processed. This identification must be 
maintained until the fruit is released for entry into the United 
States.
    (ii) A biometric sample of boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved 
packing containers from each consignment will be selected and the fruit 
from these boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved packing containers 
will be visually inspected for quarantine pests, and a portion of the 
fruit will be washed with soapy water and the collected filtrate will 
be microscopically examined for B. chilensis. If a single live B. 
chilensis mite is found, the fruit will be eligible for importation 
into the United States only if it has been fumigated in Chile in 
accordance with paragraph (e) of this section. The production site will 
be suspended from the low prevalence certification program and all 
subsequent lots of fruit from the production site of origin will be 
required to be fumigated in order to be eligible for entry into the 
United States for the remainder of the shipping season.
    (5) Phytosanitary certificates. Each consignment of grapes must be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Chile 
that contains an additional declaration stating that the grapes in the 
consignment meet the conditions of Sec.  319.56-49.
    (e) Approved fumigation. Grapes that do not meet the conditions of 
paragraph (d) of this section may be imported into the United States if 
the fruit is fumigated either in Chile or at the port of first arrival 
to the United States with methyl bromide for B. chilensis in accordance 
with part 305 of this chapter. An APHIS inspector will monitor the 
fumigation of the fruit and will prescribe such safeguards as may be 
necessary for unloading, handling, and transportation prior to 
fumigation. The final release of the fruit for entry into the United 
States will be conditioned upon compliance with prescribed safeguards 
and required treatments.
    (f) Trust fund agreement. Grapes may be imported into the United 
States under this section only if the NPPO of Chile or a private export 
group has entered into a trust fund agreement with APHIS in accordance 
with Sec.  319.56-6.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of August 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-19875 Filed 8-26-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P