[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 168 (Thursday, August 28, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 50732-50738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-19871]


========================================================================
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.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 168 / Thursday, August 28, 2008 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 50732]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 305 and 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0115]
RIN 0579-AC83


Importation of Sweet Oranges and Grapefruit From Chile

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to allow the importation, under certain conditions, of 
sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile into the continental United 
States. Based on the evidence in a recent pest risk analysis, we 
believe these articles can be safely imported from all provinces of 
Chile, provided certain conditions are met. This action would provide 
for the importation of sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile into the 
continental United States while continuing to protect the United States 
against the introduction of plant pests.

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-2007-0115 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-2007-0115, 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-2007-0115.
    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, Import Specialist, 
Commodity Import Analysis and Operation Staff, 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-
1 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. The Government of the Republic of Chile 
has requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) amend the regulations to allow the importation into United 
States of sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile under certain 
conditions. Those conditions would be the same as those which currently 
apply to clementines, mandarins, and tangerines from Chile and can be 
found in Sec.  319.56-38 of the regulations.
    In 2006, APHIS received a request from the Government of Chile to 
allow the importation of sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) 
and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfad.) from Chile into the United 
States. In response to this request, we prepared a pest risk assessment 
to evaluate the pest risks associated with the importation of those two 
varieties of citrus from Chile into the continental United States. As 
noted in that document, we identified two quarantine pests, Ceratatis 
capitata, a fruit fly more commonly known as the Mediterranean fruit 
fly (Medfly), and Brevipalpus chilensis (Chilean false red mite), that 
could follow the pathway of commercial shipments of fresh sweet oranges 
and grapefruit. In addition to the pest risk assessment, we prepared a 
risk management document in which we identified several mitigations 
that could be used to address the risks posed by the two pests of 
concern. Those measures include cold treatment, methyl bromide 
fumigation, and an existing systems approach for other citrus varieties 
from Chile. Copies of the pest risk assessment and 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).
    Based on the conclusions in the pest risk assessment and the 
accompanying risk management document, we have determined that sweet 
oranges and grapefruit can be safely imported from all provinces of 
Chile, provided certain conditions are met. As stated previously in 
this document, those conditions would be the same as those which 
currently apply to clementines, mandarins, and tangerines from Chile, 
which have proven effective at eliminating pests associated with those 
commodities since 2004. Therefore, we are proposing to add sweet 
oranges and grapefruit to the list of fruit that can be imported under 
Sec.  319.56-38. The details of those requirements are discussed in the 
paragraphs below.

Permit

    We would require that a specific written permit be issued in 
accordance with Sec.  319.56-3 to import sweet oranges and grapefruit 
from Chile. Importers would be required to apply to APHIS' Plant 
Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program for a permit in advance of the 
proposed shipments, stating in the application the country or locality 
of origin of the fruits, the port of first arrival, the name and 
address of the importer in the United States, and the identity and 
quantity of the fruit. If APHIS approves the permit application, a 
permit would be issued specifying the conditions applicable to the 
importation of the fruit. In accordance with Sec.  319.56-3, a permit, 
once issued, could be amended or withdrawn by the Administrator at any 
time if it is determined that the importation of the fruit presents a 
risk.

[[Page 50733]]

Cold Treatment

    One of the two pests of concern identified in the pest risk 
assessment document is Medfly. To address the risk presented by this 
pest, we are proposing to require sweet oranges and grapefruit undergo 
cold treatment if the fruit is grown in areas of Chile where Medfly is 
known to occur, which include the province of Arica. Consignments of 
sweet oranges and grapefruit from these areas would require cold 
treatment in accordance with our phytosanitary treatments regulations 
in 7 CFR part 305 and would also have to be accompanied by 
documentation indicating that the cold treatment was initiated in 
Chile.

Importation Options

    The second pest of concern identified in the pest risk analysis, B. 
chilensis, is a mite that is not easily detected through visual 
inspection. To address the risk presented by this pest, we would 
require the use of one of two options, either the application of a 
systems approach or the use of fumigation. The systems approach would 
allow for the importation of the fruit without fumigation, which, in 
some instances, may be a more expensive option. These options are 
discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.

Systems Approach

    The first option being proposed by APHIS under which sweet oranges 
and grapefruit could be imported into the United States from Chile is 
preclearance of the commodities using a systems approach to ensure 
phytosanitary security. Under a systems approach, APHIS defines a set 
of phytosanitary procedures, at least two of which have an independent 
effect in mitigating pest risk associated with the movement of 
commodities, whereby fruits and vegetables may be imported into the 
United States from countries that are not free of certain plant pests. 
The systems approach in this case would consist of a series of 
complementary phytosanitary measures that include: Low prevalence 
production site certification, post-harvest processing, and 
phytosanitary inspection. Each of these measures is explained in detail 
in the following paragraphs. Once the fruit have passed through this 
series of pest mitigation measures, inspectors of the national plant 
protection organization (NPPO) of Chile would issue a phytosanitary 
certificate stating that the fruit has been inspected and found free of 
any evidence of plant pests. A phytosanitary certificate would have to 
accompany each consignment of sweet oranges or grapefruit offered for 
importation into the United States from Chile.

Low Prevalence Production Site Certification

    The pest risk management document outlines a series of 
phytosanitary measures whose implementation would mitigate the 
potential risk of introducing quarantine pests into the United States 
through the importation of sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile. In 
order to be eligible to participate in the systems approach, each 
production site would be required to implement the mitigation measures 
discussed in the pest risk management document. The first of these 
measures, low prevalence production site certification, would require 
each production site to register annually with the NPPO of Chile with 
information including: (1) Production site name, (2) grower, (3) 
municipality, (4) province, (5) region, (6) area planted to each 
species, (7) number of plants/hectares/species, and (8) approximate 
date of harvest. This information would be used to monitor the 
phytosanitary health of the production site and to track the origin of 
consignments. These production sites would then participate in a 
program of certification of low prevalence, which would be carried out 
by the NPPO of Chile. A random sample of fruit would be collected from 
each registered production site 1 to 30 days prior to harvest. The 
fruit from each sample would undergo a washing process that allows for 
the detection of mites. This same process has proven to be effective in 
the detection of B. chilensis in clementines, mandarins, and tangerines 
from Chile since 2004.\1\ The washing process involves placing the 
fruit and pedicels in sieves, sprinkling them with a liquid soap and 
water solution, washing them with water at high pressure, washing them 
with water at low pressure, and then repeating the process. Once the 
fruit has been washed thoroughly, all contents of the sieves, which 
collect everything that is washed off of the fruit, are put on a Petri 
dish and analyzed for the presence of mites.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See table 1 of the risk management document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Only production sites certified by the NPPO of Chile as low 
prevalence would be eligible to export under this systems approach. 
Under this systems approach, a random sample of fruit would be taken 
from each production site. In order to qualify as a low prevalence 
production site, a production site would be required to have no mites 
detected in the fruit sampled. Each production site would have only one 
opportunity per harvest season to qualify for the certification program 
since the verification process would occur before the beginning of each 
harvest season. Certification of low prevalence would be valid for one 
harvest season only. The same certification of low prevalence program 
is currently in use for clementines, mandarins, and tangerines imported 
into the United States from Chile.

Post-Harvest Processing

    Once the production site has been certified as a low prevalence 
production site, the fruit would be picked and would then undergo post-
harvest commercial processing. In the normal fruit packing process 
already in place in Chile for other commodities, fruit undergoes the 
following steps: (1) Washing, (2) rinsing in a chlorine bath with 
brushing using bristle rollers, (3) rinsing with a hot water shower 
with brushing using bristle rollers, (4) pre-drying at room 
temperature, (5) waxing, and (6) drying with hot air.

Phytosanitary Inspection

    As the final stage in the systems approach, once the fruit has been 
processed, each consignment, which would consist of one or more lots, 
of fruit intended for export to the United States would be subject to a 
phytosanitary inspection to verify the absence of B. chilensis and any 
visibly detectable pests. Phytosanitary inspection would be conducted 
at an APHIS-approved inspection site in Chile under the direction of 
APHIS in conjunction with the NPPO of Chile.
    Sweet oranges and grapefruit presented for preclearance inspection 
in Chile would be required to be identified in shipping documents 
accompanying each lot of fruit that identify the packing shed where 
they were processed and the production sites where they were produced; 
we would require that this identity be maintained until the sweet 
oranges or grapefruit were released for entry into the United States.
    A biometric sample of the boxes would be selected and the fruit 
from these boxes would be visually inspected for quarantine pests. A 
portion of the fruit would be washed and the collected filtrate would 
be microscopically examined for B. chilensis.
    If one live B. chilensis s mite were found during phytosanitary 
inspection, the entire consignment would have to be fumigated with 
methyl bromide in order for the fruit to be eligible for export to the 
United States. In addition, the production site of origin would be 
suspended from the low prevalence certification program for the 
remainder of the harvest season. During the term of its suspension, the 
production site

[[Page 50734]]

could export fruit to the United States only if the fruit were 
fumigated with methyl bromide, as outlined in the following section. A 
suspended production site would have the opportunity to reenter the low 
prevalence certification program prior to the next harvest season. As 
noted previously, all production sites would have to requalify for the 
program each year, regardless of their status at the end of the 
preceding season.
    If, during preclearance inspection in Chile, inspectors were to 
find evidence of any other plant pest for which an authorized treatment 
in 7 CFR part 305 is available, fruit in the consignment would remain 
eligible for export to the United States if the entire consignment were 
treated for the pest in Chile under APHIS supervision. However, if a 
quarantine pest were found for which no treatment authorized in 7 CFR 
part 305 is available, the entire consignment would not be eligible for 
export to the United States.
    Chile's NPPO would issue a phytosanitary certificate if no evidence 
of pests was found. The phytosanitary certificate would have to contain 
an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment 
meets the conditions of Sec.  319.56-38. Sweet oranges or grapefruit 
inspected in Chile would, like all imported fruits and vegetables, be 
subject to reinspection at the U.S. port of arrival as provided in 
Sec.  319.56-3 of the regulations.

Fumigation

    Not all exporters may be able to utilize the systems approach as a 
means for access to the U.S. market. As an alternative mitigation 
measure, we are proposing to provide for the use of an approved APHIS 
treatment for B. chilensis for sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile.
    The treatment would be fumigation with methyl bromide at normal 
atmospheric pressure in an APHIS-approved fumigation chamber or under a 
tarpaulin in accordance with the following schedule, which is listed in 
7 CFR part 305 as T104-a-1 and T101-n-2-1. These treatment schedules 
are approved for spider mites, which is the group encompassing B. 
chilensis. The required treatment period is 2 hours.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Dosage--pounds
                                                             of methyl
                  Temperature ([deg]F)                      bromide per
                                                           1,000 ft \3\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
80 or above.............................................         1 \1/2\
70-79 (inclusive).......................................               2
60-69 (inclusive).......................................         2 \1/2\
50-59 (inclusive).......................................               3
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    APHIS inspectors would monitor the fumigation and prescribe such 
safeguards as might be necessary for unloading, handling, and 
transportation preparatory to fumigation. The final release of the 
commodities for entry into the United States would be conditioned upon 
compliance with prescribed safeguards and required treatment. 
Consignments of sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile that had been 
fumigated would be subject to random inspection in Chile, as well as at 
the port of arrival in accordance with Sec.  319.56-3.

Trust Fund Agreement

    We are proposing to require that sweet oranges and grapefruit from 
Chile may be imported into the United States 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. 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.
    Section 319.56-6 of the regulations sets forth provisions for 
establishing trust fund agreements to cover costs incurred by APHIS 
when APHIS personnel must be physically present in an exporting country 
or region to facilitate exports. Trust fund agreements require the NPPO 
of an exporting country or the private export group to pay in advance 
of each shipping season all costs that APHIS estimates it would incur 
in providing inspection services and treatment monitoring in the 
exporting country during each shipping season. These costs would 
include administrative expenses and all other 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 these services. The NPPO of an 
exporting country or the private export group is required to deposit a 
certified or cashier's check with APHIS for the amount of these costs, 
as estimated by APHIS. If the deposit is not sufficient to meet all 
costs incurred by APHIS, the agreement requires the NPPO of the 
exporting country or the private export group to deposit a certified or 
cashier's check with APHIS for the amount of the remaining costs, as 
determined by APHIS, before APHIS would provide any more services 
related to the inspection and treatment of the fruit or vegetable. 
After a final audit at the conclusion of each shipping season, any 
overpayment of funds is returned to the NPPO of the exporting country 
or held on account until needed, at their option.

Miscellaneous Changes

    As noted previously, the current regulations in Sec.  319.56-38 
provide for the importation of clementines, mandarins, and tangerines 
from Chile into the United States. As defined in Sec.  319.56-2, the 
term United States includes the 50 States, the District of Columbia, 
and all U.S. territories and possessions. However, the pest risk 
assessment we prepared for the rulemaking that established the 
regulations in current Sec.  319.56-38 was limited in scope to the 
continental United States and Hawaii. Therefore, to ensure that the 
regulations are consistent with the pest risk assessment's scope, we 
would amend the introductory text of Sec.  319.56-38 to specifically 
state that clementines, mandarins, and tangerines may be imported from 
Chile into the continental United States (including Alaska) and Hawaii 
only.
    The regulations in current Sec.  319.56-38 provide that if 
treatment is required, clementines, mandarins, and tangerines must be 
cold treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with part 
305. The table in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(i) identifies treatment schedules 
for fruits and vegetables from foreign localities for which there is an 
approved treatment. When we amended the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to provide for the importation of clementines, mandarins, 
and tangerines, we neglected to add an entry for those commodities to 
the table in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(i). To correct this error, we propose to 
amend the table in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(i) to include entries for 
clementines, mandarins, and tangerines from Chile and to specifically 
identify the cold treatment and methyl bromide fumigation treatment 
schedules that are approved for those commodities.

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.
    We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to 
allow the importation, under certain conditions, of sweet oranges and 
grapefruit from Chile into the continental United States. Sweet oranges 
and grapefruit would be imported under certain conditions that would 
address the risks associated with the Medfly and B. chilensis. 
Phytosanitary risks would be mitigated

[[Page 50735]]

using the same approach as is currently employed for the importation of 
clementines, mandarins, and tangerines from Chile, as set forth in 7 
CFR 319.56-38. Import requirements would include orchard control and 
registration, low prevalence orchard certification, harvest timing, 
post-harvest processing, phytosanitary inspections by both APHIS and 
the Chilean NPPO, and, if necessary, approved cold treatment and/or 
methyl bromide treatment in Chile or at the port of entry.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to evaluate the 
potential effects of their proposed and final rules on small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. 
Section 603 of the Act requires an agency to prepare and make available 
for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis 
describing the expected impact of a proposed rule on small entities, 
unless the head of the agency certifies that the rule will not, if 
promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities. This analysis is in support of certification.

Sweet Orange and Grapefruit Production

    The United States is a major producer of citrus fruits. Chile is 
not yet considered a major producer of citrus, especially when compared 
to its neighbors such as Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. The major 
world producers of fresh oranges are the United States, Brazil, Mexico, 
India, and China, while the major exporting countries include Spain, 
the United States, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Greece.\2\ 
Commercial production of sweet oranges and grapefruit in the 
continental United States is limited to Arizona, California, Florida, 
Louisiana, and Texas. Most of the production is located within Florida 
and California. California is the leading producer of oranges for the 
fresh market, major varieties of which include Valencia and navel. 
While Florida produces a larger total quantity of oranges, only 5 
percent of the State's orange crop is consumed as fresh fruit. Florida 
supplies the highest amount of fresh grapefruit, and 45 percent of the 
U.S. grapefruit crop is utilized as fresh fruit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ HS code 080510, fresh and dried oranges.

                                          Table 1--Production in United States of Fresh Oranges and Grapefruit
                                                                     [in short tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           2003/04                   2004/05                   2005/06                   2006/07
                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Orange     Grapefruit     Orange     Grapefruit     Orange     Grapefruit     Orange     Grapefruit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arizona.........................................       14,000        5,000       12,000        5,000        9,000        5,000        7,000        3,000
California......................................    1,669,000      171,000    1,845,000      181,000    1,650,000      178,000      986,000      117,000
Florida.........................................      445,000      708,000      333,000      315,000      329,000      294,000      290,000      466,000
Texas...........................................       50,000      137,000       52,000      125,000       54,000      128,000       63,000      138,000
                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................    2,178,000    1,021,000    2,242,000      626,000    2,042,000      603,000    1,346,000      724,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Fruit and Tree Nuts Situation and Outlook Yearbook, October 2007,
  combination of table C-21 Oranges: Utilization of production by State and table C-3 Grapefruit: Utilization of production by State. Note: Season
  begins in November for Arizona and California, and in October for Florida and Texas. Quantities for 2006/07 are totaled through October 2007 only.

    In 2006, Chile produced 156,000 short tons of fresh oranges on 
8,000 hectares.\3\ The Asociaci[oacute]n de Exportadores de Chile 
(ASOEX) states that there are no official figures for the production of 
grapefruit, as grapefruit is a relatively new species in Chile with a 
small growing area.\4\ APHIS estimates, based on the total Chilean 
citrus export volume, that approximately 5,000 short tons of grapefruit 
were produced in 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United 
Nations. FAOSTAT, FAO Statistics Production Division 2008, ProdStat, 
Crops. Originally reported as 142,000 metric tons. http://
faostat.fao.org/site/567/default.aspx.
    \4\ http://www.asoex.cl/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Imports and Exports

    In 2006, more than 97 percent of U.S. orange imports came from the 
countries of South Africa, Australia, and Mexico, while 99 percent of 
grapefruit imports (including pomelos, fresh or dried) came from the 
Bahamas and Israel. Table 2 shows the value and quantity of fresh 
oranges and grapefruit imported into the United States from 2003-2006.

                                               Table 2--U.S. Total Imports of Fresh Oranges and Grapefruit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Total value (in dollars)         Quantity in short tons            Value per short ton
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Oranges       Grapefruit        Oranges       Grapefruit        Oranges       Grapefruit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2003....................................................     $49,876,360      $1,851,185          59,955          22,828         $831.89          $81.09
2004....................................................      58,785,735       1,606,153          72,387          15,780          812.11          101.78
2005....................................................      68,502,310       1,403,260          76,122          15,816          899.90           88.73
2006....................................................      80,612,248       2,142,111          81,117          20,890          993.78          102.54
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Global Trade Atlas (2005-2008). Originally reported in kilograms.

    The United States is a major exporter of fresh or dried oranges. In 
the 2005-2006 season, the United States exported around 600,000 short 
tons of fresh oranges, while imports were around 80,000 short tons.\5\ 
Regarding grapefruit, around 300,000 short tons were exported and only 
20,000 short tons were imported.\6\ Clearly, the United

[[Page 50736]]

States is a large net exporter of both sweet oranges and grapefruit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Eighty-four percent of total exports were to Canada, Japan, 
South Korea, Hong Kong, and China.
    \6\ ERS, USDA. Fruit and Tree Nuts Situation and Outlook 
Yearbook/FTS-2007/October 2007. Table F-18--Fresh Oranges, Supply 
and Utilization. Pg. 150. Converted from million pounds using 1 
pound = 0.0005 short tons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chile's current citrus exports are to Japan, Spain, the 
Netherlands, and Canada. In the past 6 years, orange exports have 
dramatically increased, from 3,600 short tons to over 28,000 short 
tons, while grapefruit exports increased from 337 short tons to over 
4,300 short tons.\7\ Like the United States but on a smaller scale, 
Chile is a net exporter of sweet oranges and grapefruit. Its share of 
overseas citrus markets such as that of Japan continues to expand.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Global Trade Atlas (2005-2008). Originally reported in 
kilograms. 1 kg = 0.0011023 short tons.
    \8\ USDA. Foreign Agricultural Service. Situation and Outlook 
for Citrus. February 2006. pg. 6. http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/Hort_
Circular/2006/02-06/02-20-06%20Citrus%20Feature.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Expected U.S Imports of Sweet Oranges and Grapefruit From Chile

    According to the NPPO of Chile, annual exports of sweet oranges and 
grapefruit to the United States from Chile would total around 110,000 
boxes: 93,500 boxes of oranges and 16,500 boxes of grapefruit. The 
boxes are 17 kilograms for sweet oranges and 15 kilograms for 
grapefruit, yielding approximately 1752.1 short tons of oranges and 
272.8 short tons of grapefruit, or about 2,000 short tons overall. This 
volume of imports from Chile would comprise a relatively minimal amount 
compared to total U.S. imports of about 100,000 short tons and domestic 
production of more than 2.6 million short tons (table 3). The expected 
imports from Chile would be equivalent to 2 percent of U.S. imports of 
oranges and grapefruit in 2006 and less than 0.1 percent of U.S. 
production.

   Table 3--Combined Quantities of U.S. Fresh Oranges and Grapefruit,
  Domestically Produced and Imported, and Expected Annual Imports From
                                  Chile
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Volume in
                                                              short tons
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Domestic production, 2006..................................    2,645,000
All imports, 2006..........................................      102,006
Expected annual imports from Chile.........................        2,025
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seasonal Production and Marketing of Oranges and Grapefruit

    Another aspect to consider regarding potential impacts of the 
proposed rule is the seasonal difference between the citrus industries 
in the United States and Chile. U.S imports of fresh fruit and 
vegetables have increased substantially since the 1990s.\9\ Southern 
hemisphere countries are dominant suppliers for off-season fresh fruit. 
Availability of domestically produced oranges and grapefruit peaks 
between October and January, gradually decreases from February to June, 
and is lowest between July and September.\10\ In contrast, citrus 
production in the southern hemisphere is between May and November. 
Imports from the southern hemisphere complement the U.S. production 
cycle and help to maintain year-round availability of fresh citrus. 
Allowing importation of oranges and grapefruit from Chile would expand 
U.S. consumers' access to fresh produce year round, while not directly 
competing with the production and shipment of domestically produced 
oranges and grapefruit intended for the fresh fruit market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ USDA, ERS. Increased U.S. Imports of Fresh Fruit and 
Vegetables. Sophia Huang and Kuo Huang. Sept. 2007.
    \10\ http://www.dneworld.com/FreshCitrus/CitrusAvailability/
tabid/157/Default.aspx. Chile data from Chilean Fresh Fruit. http://
www.chileanfreshfruit.com/citrus.shtml.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Small Entity Impact

    Businesses most likely to be affected by this rule would be orange 
and grapefruit producers, for which the Small Business Administration 
(SBA) small-entity standard is annual sales of not more than $750,000. 
Production of fresh oranges is classified under North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) code 111310, and grapefruit production is 
classified within NAICS code 111320, citrus (except orange) groves.\11\ 
In 2002, NASS reported that 1,272 out of 17,727 citrus farmers earned 
more than $500,000, indicating that at least 93 percent of U.S. citrus 
farmers are small entities. For California the statistics are similar, 
with 91 percent of citrus farmers earning under $500,000. These data 
substantiate that the majority of U.S fresh citrus producers are small 
entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Also includes lemon, lime, mandarin, tangelo, and 
tangerine.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some importers of sweet oranges and grapefruit could be affected by 
the proposed rule as well, as it would allow for increased imports 
during the off-peak domestic citrus season. These industries and their 
small-entity size standards are: Fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers 
(NAICS 424280, less than or equal to 100 employees), wholesalers and 
other grocery stores (NAICS 445110, less than or equal to $23 million 
in annual receipts), warehouse clubs and superstores (NAICS 452910, 
less than or equal to $23 million in annual receipts) and fruit and 
vegetable markets (NAICS 445230, less than or equal to $6 million in 
annual receipts). Most entities that comprise these industries are 
small. Given the relatively small quantity of sweet oranges and 
grapefruit expected to be imported from Chile, the rule would not have 
a significant impact on these types of industries.
    U.S. exports of sweet oranges and grapefruit far exceed U.S. 
imports. The expected level of imports of oranges and grapefruit from 
Chile would be equivalent to 2 percent of all U.S. imports in 2006 and 
less than 0.1 percent of U.S. production that year. Moreover, the 
imports from Chile would take place during the off-season for U.S. 
domestically produced citrus, and would therefore primarily compete 
with orange and grapefruit imports from other sources in the southern 
hemisphere. While U.S producers and importers of sweet oranges and 
grapefruit are predominantly small according to SBA guidelines, based 
on available information the proposed rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In addition, 
as stated previously, to ensure that the regulations are consistent 
with the pest risk assessment's scope, we would amend the introductory 
text of Sec.  319.56-38 to specifically state that clementines, 
mandarins, and tangerines may be imported from Chile into the 
continental United States (including Alaska) and Hawaii only. We do not 
have information regarding the potential impact to small U.S. entities 
outside of the continental United States and Hawaii as a result of this 
proposed change. APHIS welcomes public comment on the proposed rule's 
possible impacts.
    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 sweet oranges and grapefruit to be 
imported into the continental United States from Chile. If this 
proposed rule is adopted, State and local laws and regulations 
regarding sweet oranges and grapefruit imported under this rule would 
be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh sweet 
oranges and grapefruit 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-

[[Page 50737]]

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.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
importation of sweet oranges and grapefruit from Chile, we have 
prepared an environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was 
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 assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) In 
addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Lists of Subjects

7 CFR Part 305

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

7 CFR Part 319

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

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR parts 305 and 319 as 
follows:

PART 305--PHYTOSANITARY TREATMENTS

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

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 
136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    2. In Sec.  305.2, the table in paragraph (h)(2)(i) is amended by 
adding, in alphabetical order, entries under Chile (all provinces 
except provinces of Region 1 or Chanaral Township of Region 3) and 
Chile (all provinces of Region 1 or Chanaral Township of Region 3), for 
clementines, grapefruit, mandarins, oranges, and tangerines to read as 
set forth below.


Sec.  305.2  Approved treatments.

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

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Location                       Commodity                   Pest              Treatment schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Chile (all provinces except provinces
 of Region 1 or Chanaral Township of
 Region 3).
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Clementines............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or MB T101-
                                                                                          n-2-1.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Grapefruit.............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or MB T101-
                                                                                          n-2-1.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Mandarins..............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or MB T101-
                                                                                          n-2-1.
                                       Oranges................  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or MB T101-
                                                                                          n-2-1.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Tangerines.............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or MB T101-
                                                                                          n-2-1.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Chile (all provinces of Region 1 or
 Chanaral Township of Region 3).
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Clementines............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or
                                                                Ceratitis capitata.....  MB T101-n-2-1.
                                                                                         CT T107-a.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Grapefruit.............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or
                                                                Ceratitis capitata.....  MB T101-n-2-1.
                                                                                         CT T107-a.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Mandarins..............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or
                                                                Ceratitis capitata.....  MB T101-n-2-1.
                                                                                         CT T107-a.

[[Page 50738]]

 
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Oranges................  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or
                                                                Ceratitis capitata.....  MB T101-n-2-1.
                                                                                         CT T107-a.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                       Tangerines.............  Brevipalpus chilensis..  MB T104-a-1 or
                                                                Ceratitis capitata.....  MB T101-n-2-1.
                                                                                         CT T107-a.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

    3. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 
and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    4. Section 319.56-38 is amended as follows:
    a. By revising the section heading and the introductory text to 
read as set forth below.
    b. In paragraph (e), by removing the words ``Clementines, 
mandarins, or tangerines'' and adding the words ``Clementines, 
grapefruit, mandarins, sweet oranges, or tangerines'' in their place.
    c. In paragraph (f), by removing the words ``Clementines, 
mandarins, or tangerines'' and adding the words ``Clementines, 
grapefruit, mandarins, sweet oranges, and tangerines'' in their place.


Sec.  319.56-38  Citrus from Chile.

    Clementines (Citrus reticulata Blanco var. Clementine), mandarins 
(Citrus reticulata Blanco), and tangerines (Citrus reticulata Blanco) 
may be imported into the continental United States and Hawaii from 
Chile and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfad.) and sweet oranges 
(Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) may be imported into the continental 
United States from Chile in accordance with this section and all other 
applicable provisions of this subpart.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of August 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-19871 Filed 8-27-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P