[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 217 (Friday, November 7, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66200-66205]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26612]


========================================================================
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. 217 / Friday, November 7, 2008 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 66200]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 305 and 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0161]
RIN 0579-AC89


Importation of Longan From Taiwan

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are proposing to allow the importation of commercial 
shipments of fresh longan with stems from Taiwan into the United 
States. As a condition of entry, the longan would be subject to cold 
treatment and special port-of-arrival inspection procedures for certain 
quarantine pests. In addition, the fruit would have to be accompanied 
by a phytosanitary certificate stating that the fruit was inspected and 
found to be free of certain pests, and the individual cartons or boxes 
in which the longan are shipped would have to be stamped or printed 
with a statement prohibiting their importation into or distribution in 
the State of Florida. This action would allow for the importation of 
commercial shipments of fresh longan with stems from Taiwan into the 
United States 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 
January 6, 2009.

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-2007-0161 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-2007-0161, 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-2007-0161.
    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 140, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8758.

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 that are new to or not 
widely distributed within the United States.
    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has received 
a request from the Government of Taiwan to allow the importation of 
fresh longan, Dimocarpus longan, with stems from Taiwan into the United 
States. As part of our evaluation of Taiwan's request, we prepared a 
pest risk assessment (PRA) and a risk management document (RMD). Copies 
of the PRA and the RMD may be obtained from the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and may be viewed on the Internet on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above 
for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours 
of the reading room).
    The PRA, titled ``Evidence-Based, Pathway-Initiated Risk Assessment 
of the Importation of Fresh Longan, Dimocarpus longan Lour., from 
Taiwan into the United States'' (November 2007), evaluates the risks 
associated with the importation of longan from Taiwan. As noted in that 
document, we identified 26 pests of quarantine significance present in 
Taiwan that could be introduced into the United States via longan. Of 
these 26 pests, the PRA identified 5 as having high unmitigated pest 
risk potential: The melon fruit fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae), the 
oriental fruit fly (B. dorsalis), the yellow peach moth (Conogethes 
punctiferalis), the macadamia nut borer (Cryptophlebia ombrodelta), and 
the cashew leaf thrips (Rhipiphorothrips cruentatus). The remaining 21 
pests, which were identified as having medium unmitigated pest risk 
potential, were the litchi rust mite (Aceria litchii), the summer fruit 
tortrix moth (Adoxophyes orana), the litchi fruit borer (Conopomorpha 
sinensis), larvae of the dull cornelian butterfly (Deudorix epijarbas), 
4 mealybugs (Maconellicoccus hirsutus, Nipaecoccus viridis, Planococcus 
lilacinus, and P. minor), and 13 scale insects (Aulacaspis 
tubercularis, Ceroplastes rubens, Coccus discrepans, C. formicarii, C. 
viridis, Drepanococcus chiton, Fiorinia pinicola, Icerya seychellarum, 
Kerria lacca, K. greeni, Pseudaonidia trilobitiformis, Pulvinaria 
taiwana, and Thysanofiorinia nephelii).
    The risk management document considered the protections that would 
be afforded by compliance with the regulations, determined that they 
were appropriate to address the risks presented by some of the pests of 
concern, and suggested some additional mitigations to address the 
remaining identified risks. Based on those suggestions in the risk 
management document, we propose the following measures be applied to 
longan imported from Taiwan into the United States.

Commercial Consignments

    Only commercial consignments of longan would be allowed to be 
imported from Taiwan. This condition would reduce the likelihood that 
longan will introduce injurious plant pests into the continental 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

[[Page 66201]]

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 
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 With Additional Declaration

    Consignments of longan from Taiwan would also be required to be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection and pest 
freedom issued by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of 
Taiwan, with an additional declaration stating that the longan in the 
shipment had been inspected and found free of the yellow peach moth, 
macadamia nut borer, and cashew leaf thrips. This condition would 
require the NPPO of Taiwan to conduct phytosanitary inspections for all 
quarantine-significant pests.

Cold Treatment

    We would require that the longan be subjected to cold treatment for 
melon fruit fly, oriental fruit fly, and litchi fruit borer using 
proposed APHIS treatment schedule T107-h, which would provide two 
options for conducting the cold treatment: An option in which the fruit 
is held at 33.8 [deg]F or below for 17 days, and an option in which the 
fruit is held at 34.5 [deg]F or below for 20 days.
    This condition, in conjunction with other safeguards that would be 
required for longan from Taiwan, would reduce the likelihood that 
longan would introduce injurious plant pests into the continental 
United States. The proposed cold treatment schedule, conducted in 
accordance with Sec.  305.15, has been determined to be an effective 
quarantine treatment for melon fruit fly, oriental fruit fly, and 
litchi fruit borer in longan.
    The schedule listed for cold treatment T107-h in Sec.  305.16 
currently provides three options for conducting the cold treatment: An 
option in which the fruit is held at 33.4 [deg]F or below for 13 days, 
an option in which the fruit is held at 33.8 [deg]F or below for 15 
days, and an option in which the fruit is held at 34.5 [deg]F or below 
for 18 days. However, a review \1\ by APHIS has determined that there 
is not adequate scientific justification to conclude that the pests for 
which T107-h is an approved treatment will be neutralized if the option 
of holding the fruit at 33.4 [deg]F or below for 13 days is used. 
Accordingly, we are proposing to remove this option from the cold 
treatment schedule in T107-h. Additionally, based on the 
recommendations in the review, we would extend by 2 days the treatment 
times required in the other options available for this cold treatment. 
Thus, the longan would have to be treated at 33.8 [deg]F for 17 days or 
34.5 [deg]F for 20 days. For the same reasons, we are also proposing to 
revise the schedule listed for cold treatment T107-j in Sec.  305.16 to 
replace the 13-day treatment option with a 15-day treatment option. 
However, we are not revising the 18-day treatment option for this 
schedule because T107-j is approved only for oriental fruit fly and the 
18-day treatment option has been shown to be effective at neutralizing 
that pest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A copy of the treatment evaluation document may be obtained 
from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and may 
be viewed on the Internet on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our 
reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Special Inspection Procedures

    Longan imported into the United States from Taiwan under this rule 
would be subject to special inspection procedures at the port of 
arrival for the quarantine pests yellow peach moth, macadamia nut 
borer, and cashew leaf thrips.
    Specifically, a random sample of fruit from each consignment would 
be inspected to detect any pest infestation. The sampling would be 
conducted at a higher rate than normal to help ensure detection of the 
high-risk pests. The relatively large size of the yellow peach moth and 
the macadamia nut borer would allow for detection of these pests on 
commodities. Fruit damage caused by the cashew leaf thrips would also 
be visible during inspection. Port-of-arrival inspection in accordance 
with the special inspection procedures is also the approved mitigation 
for the medium-risk pests identified in the PRA other than the litchi 
rust mite.

Limited Distribution

    Fresh longan from Taiwan would be prohibited from entering Florida. 
All individual cartons or boxes in which the longan were shipped must 
be stamped or marked with the following statement: ``Not for 
importation into or distribution within FL.''
    Longan shipments into the State of Florida would be prohibited due 
to the risk of introducing the litchi rust mite. This is consistent 
with other import programs in which shipments of litchis and longan are 
prohibited into Florida for the same pest. This condition would limit 
the risk of exotic pest establishment in areas of the United States 
where longan are grown.
    To reflect our proposed addition of fresh longan with stems from 
Taiwan to the list of fruits and vegetables whose importation into the 
United States is authorized, we would add an entry for longan from 
Taiwan to the table of commodities enterable from foreign localities in 
Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(i) of the phytosanitary treatments regulations, and 
we would designate proposed cold treatment schedule T107-h as an 
approved treatment for melon fruit fly, oriental fruit fly, and litchi 
fruit borer in longan from Taiwan. In addition, we would amend the 
table in Sec.  319.56-13(a) of the regulations to add an entry for 
longan under Taiwan, indicating in that entry that the longan would be 
prohibited from entering Florida, could be imported in commercial 
shipments only, and would have to be treated with an approved treatment 
listed in 7 CFR part 305. Finally, we would add a new paragraph to 
Sec.  319.56-13(b) to reflect the proposed requirement that each 
shipment of longan be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued 
by the NPPO of Taiwan with an additional declaration stating that the 
longan are free of yellow peach moth, macadamia nut borer, and cashew 
leaf thrips.

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.
    For this proposed rule, we have prepared an economic analysis. The 
analysis, which is set out below, provides a cost-benefit analysis, as 
required by Executive Order 12866, as well as an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis that considers the potential economic effects of 
this proposed rule on small entities, as required by the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Based on the information we have, there is no reason 
to conclude that adoption of this proposed rule would result in any 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. 
However, we do not currently have all of the data necessary for a 
comprehensive analysis of the effects of this proposed rule on small 
entities. Therefore, we are inviting comments on potential effects. In 
particular, we are

[[Page 66202]]

interested in determining the number and kind of small entities that 
may incur benefits or costs from the implementation of this proposed 
rule.

Reason for the Action

    APHIS is responding to a request from the Government of Taiwan to 
amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the commercial 
importation of longan with stems from Taiwan into the United States. 
Longan with stems would be imported under certain conditions that would 
address risks associated with several pests, including fruit flies. 
Phytosanitary risks would be mitigated using a systems approach. Import 
requirements would include requirements for cold treatment, limited 
distribution with box markings (to address the risk posed by the litchi 
rust mite), phytosanitary certification of inspection and pest freedom 
by the national plant protection organization of Taiwan, and special 
procedures for port-of-arrival inspection. As a signatory to the 
International Plant Protection Convention, the United States has agreed 
not to prescribe or adopt any phytosanitary measure concerning the 
importation of plants, plant products, and other regulated articles 
unless such measures are made necessary by phytosanitary considerations 
and are technically justified.

Objectives and Legal Basis for the Proposed Rule

    The objective of the proposed rule is to allow the importation of 
fresh longan with stems from Taiwan. Importation would be allowed on 
the condition that the fruit is subject to certain import conditions 
including prohibited distribution into Florida.
    Section 319.56 of Title 7, Chapter III of the Code of Federal 
Regulations sets phytosanitary requirements for the importation of 
fruits and vegetables into the United States. Section 305.2 of Title 7, 
Chapter III requires approved phytosanitary treatments. The Plant 
Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) is the statutory basis for parts 
305 and 319. It authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to implement 
programs and policies designed to prevent the introduction and spread 
of plant pests and diseases.

Description and Estimate of Small Entities Affected by the Proposed 
Rule

    As background to the discussion of possible effects for small 
entities, we first consider U.S. and world longan production and 
current imports by the United States. Production of longan in the 
United States has trended upward over the past few years. However, U.S. 
commercial production of longan is limited to Florida and Hawaii. As a 
rare fruit, longan accounts for a small percentage of the total value 
of tropical specialty fruit sales. Producers and importers that may be 
affected by this proposed rule are likely to be small, based on Small 
Business Administration (SBA) size standards as related to the North 
American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Further, longan from 
Taiwan would not be allowed into Florida, and therefore would not 
directly compete with U.S. producers for sales in that State.

Florida

    In 1996, 91 percent of Florida's longan production was located in 
Miami-Dade County, and the remaining acreage was located in neighboring 
counties.\2\ There are between 20 and 40 different longan cultivars 
world-wide, but 99 percent of the Floridian acreage is planted with the 
``Kohala'' cultivar.\3\ The harvest season can last from July to 
September, but mainly occurs in August.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ University of Florida, IFAS Extension, ``Florida Crop/Pest 
Management Profile: Lychee and Longan.'' Mark Mossler and O. Norman 
Nesheim. March 2002. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/PI/
PI05000.pdf.
    \3\ University of Florida, IFAS Extension. ``Longan Growing in 
the Florida Home Landscape.'' Jonathan Crane, Carlos Balerdi, Steven 
Sargent, Ian Maguire. pg. 1. Revised Sept. 2005. http://
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/MG/MG04900.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2002, the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, in 
combination with the University of Florida Institute of Food and 
Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), published an agricultural land study. 
This report states that, in 2001, crop acreage for longan in Miami-Dade 
County totaled 495 acres, including non-bearing acreage.\4\ Latest 
estimates are around 850 acres, including acreage that has been planted 
in Palm Beach County and Lee County.\5\ Revenue reports from 1998 show 
that 275 acres of the longan fruit crop sold at freight-on-board prices 
of $3.60 per pound yielding a total value of $8.9 million.\6\ Ninety-
five percent of the longan crop was sold outside Miami-Dade County. 
While the IFAS research does not report the destination of longan 
leaving the county, demand for the longan as a minor tropical fruit is 
rather small and geographically limited, with most of the crop sold on 
the local fresh market.\7\ We are unaware of large-scale commercial 
shipments of longan by Florida producers. Additionally, we note that 
the proposed rule would not allow the importation or distribution of 
commercial shipments of longan with stems from Taiwan into Florida.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, IFAS. Miami-
Dade Agricultural Land Retention Study. Summary and Recommendations 
Vol. 1 Table 13 ``Summary of Miami-Dade Tropical Fruit Acreage, 
1990-2001.'' p. 40. April 2002. http://www.agmarketing.ifas.ufl.edu/
dlfiles/Summary.pdf.
    \5\ Crane, Jonathan. Tropical Fruit Specialist at the University 
of Florida IFAS, personal communication, February 29, 2008.
    \6\ Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, IFAS. Miami-
Dade Agricultural Land Retention Study. Economic Issues Vol 3. p. 4. 
April 2002. http://www.agmarketing.ifas.ufl.edu/dlfiles/
DadeAgLandRetentionAppendixVolumeB.pdf.
    \7\ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 
Charles H. Bronson. Florida Agriculture Statistical Directory. pg. 
31. April 1, 2007. http://www.florida-agriculture.com/pubs/pubform/
pdf/Florida_Agricultural_Statistical_Directory.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hawaii

    In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural 
Statistics Service (NASS), in cooperation with the Hawaiian Department 
of Agriculture, reported that there were 65 farms in Hawaii that grew 
longan. It is possible that these farms grew more than one type of 
fruit. These Hawaiian farms had a total of 155 acres of longan, 75 of 
which were harvested. There is no commercial production for canned, 
dried, or processed longan, as 99 percent of the fruit is sold fresh. 
Utilized production totaled 190,000 pounds, which was valued at 
$657,000. Utilized production reported by NASS may be understated by as 
much as one-fourth because some growers did not participate in the NASS 
surveys.\8\ A 2007 report shows that the value of sales for longan 
produced in Hawaii has steadily increased from $147,000 in 2002 to 
$657,000 in 2006. Longan is now the second most important tropical 
specialty fruit after mango.\9\ The total value of sales of tropical 
specialty fruits in Hawaii equaled $2.6 million in 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Love, Ken. West Hawaii Director for the Hawaii Tropical 
Growers Association, personal communication, April 15, 2008.
    \9\ National Agricultural Statistics Service, Department of 
Agriculture State of Hawaii. ``Hawaii Tropical Specialty Fruits.'' 
Sept. 4, 2007. http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/fruit/tropfrt.pdf. 
Includes atemoya, breadfruit, caimito, canistel, cherimoya, durian, 
jaboticaba, jackfruit, langsat, longan, loquat, litchi, mango, 
mangosteen, persimmon, poha, rambutan, rollina, sapodilla, soursop, 
starfruit, and white sapote.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to the distribution of Hawaiian longan, it is estimated 
that about 40 percent is irradiated and moved to the mainland for sale 
in metropolitan areas such as Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA. The 
remaining longan is sold within the State at resort hotels, at farmers' 
markets, or in Honolulu's Chinatown.\10\ Hawaii's production and sales 
are a small but

[[Page 66203]]

growing part of the fresh longan industry in the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Love, Ken. West Hawaii Director for the Hawaii Tropical 
Growers Association, personal communication, April 15, 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Taiwan and Other Foreign Production and Exports

    Taiwan is a major producer of longan.\11\ In 2002, Taiwan produced 
over 242 million pounds of longan, on over 29,000 acres.\12\ Most of 
the fresh longan is domestically consumed. A small amount of longan is 
exported to other countries, including the United States, as dried, 
preserved, canned, or fresh. The main cultivar in Taiwan is the 
``Fengko.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ All Asian production and export numbers are converted from 
hectares and metric tons. 1 MT = 2,204.64 lbs; 1 ha = 2.471 acres.
    \12\ Yen, C.R. ``Longan Production in Taiwan.'' ACTA Agriculture 
Vol. Jan. 2005, No. 665, p. 61-66.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thailand and China are the frontrunners in longan production and 
trade. In 2003, Thailand produced around 875 million pounds of longan 
on over 1.9 million acres.\13\ Of Thailand's total longan exports, 
about 70 percent is shipped fresh to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, 
and China.\14\ China has an even larger longan industry. In 2000, China 
produced 1.3 million pounds on 1.1 million acres.\15\ APHIS regulations 
allow both Thailand and China to export fresh longan fruit with stems 
into the United States, excluding Florida, under certain conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Office of Agricultural Economics. Agricultural Statistics 
of Thailand 2003. Fruit Trees, Table 72: Longan. http://
www.oae.go.th/statistic/yearbook/2003/indexe.html.
    \14\ Anupunt, P. Lychee and Longan Production in Thailand. Acta 
Horticulture Vol. Jan. 2005. p. 52-59.
    \15\ Huang, H.B and X. Huang. Lychee and Longan Production in 
China. Acta Horticulture Vol. Jan. 2005. p. 27-36.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Taiwan may be currently exporting prepared or preserved longan to 
the United States, but available statistics combine data for litchi and 
longan; disaggregation of the data is not possible. Foreign 
Agricultural Service data, for example, show that in 2007, U.S. imports 
of prepared or preserved litchi/longan from Taiwan totaled 19,600 
pounds and were valued at $45,000 (Harmonized Schedule code 
2008993500). Thailand and China export much larger volumes of prepared 
or preserved litchi/longan to the United States: 7.4 million pounds and 
2.4 million pounds, respectively, in 2007, with a combined value of 
$5.1 million (equaling 97 percent of U.S. litchi/longan imports). The 
percentage share of these litchi/longan imports that were only longan 
is unknown. Furthermore, quantities of fresh longan with stems imported 
from China and Thailand are also not known.
    The Taiwanese Government estimates that fresh longan exports to the 
United States would total around 397,000 pounds.\16\ Because of data 
aggregation, we are unable to more fully assess the relative size of 
projected fresh longan imports from Taiwan, or compare them to the 
quantities of fresh longan either imported from Thailand and China or 
produced domestically. We welcome information that would allow us to 
better understand the U.S. fresh longan market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Estimates from Taiwan is 180 MT equivalent to 1 MT = 
2,204.64 lbs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Impact on Small Entities

    Entities affected by this proposed rule are likely to be small, 
based on SBA size standards as related to NAICS. Businesses most likely 
to be affected by this rule would be longan producers, for which the 
SBA small-entity standard is annual sales of not more than $750,000. 
Production of longan is classified under NAICS code 111339 (Other Non-
Citrus Fruit Farming). In 2006, NASS reported that there were 65 farms 
in Hawaii that grew longan, and this number has not changed since 
2003.\17\ The Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida lists 25 members 
that sell longan from their farms.\18\ A University of Florida 
publication from 2004 also lists four nurseries selling longan 
plants.\19\ The 2002 Census of Agriculture shows that approximately 95 
percent of fruit and nut tree farmers (NAICS 1113) in the United States 
had sales that year of under $500,000. It is reasonable to assume that 
most, if not all, longan producers in the United States are small 
entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ National Agricultural Statistics Service, Department of 
Agriculture State of Hawaii. ``Hawaii Tropical Specialty Fruits.'' 
Sept 4, 2007. http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/fruit/tropfrt.pdf.
    \18\ Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida. Buy Fruit and 
Trees--TFGSF Directory of Members. 2007. http://
www.tropicalfruitgrowers.com/buy.htm#longan.
    \19\ University of Florida. IFAS Extension. ``Nursery List for 
Tropical Fruit Trees.'' Andrew Rose and Jeanne Ethridge. pg. 21, 
Table 44. Revised Oct. 2004. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/CN/
CN00800.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some importers of longan could be affected by the proposed rule as 
well. These industries and their small-entity size standards are: Fresh 
fruit and vegetable wholesalers (NAICS 424480, not more than 100 
employees), wholesalers and other grocery stores (NAICS 445110, not 
more than $23 million in annual receipts), warehouse clubs and 
superstores (NAICS 452910, not more than $23 million in annual 
receipts) and fruit and vegetable markets (NAICS 445230, not more than 
$6 million in annual receipts). As with producers, it is likely that 
affected longan importers would be predominantly small entities.
    Fresh longan fruit with stems is currently admissible from other 
countries besides China and Thailand, including the Bahamas, Bermuda, 
Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. Allowing Taiwan to export fresh 
longan with stems to the United States is not expected to have any 
significant effect on APHIS program operations, since longan is 
currently imported from these various other regions subject to similar 
conditions.
    In sum, the quantity of fresh longan with stems projected to be 
exported from Taiwan to the United States is probably small compared to 
current import levels from other countries. However, because trade data 
for prepared or preserved fruit combine longan with litchi, actual 
prepared or preserved longan quantities imported by the United States 
are not known. Moreover, the market for fresh longan is distinct from 
the market for prepared or preserved longan, and trade data on fresh 
longan imports are not available. It is likely that imports from Taiwan 
would at least partially substitute for imports from countries such as 
China and Thailand. Longan from Taiwan would not be allowed into 
Florida, and therefore would not directly compete with U.S. producers 
for sales in that State.
    U.S. producers of longan are predominantly small entities and 
operate primarily in Hawaii and southern Florida; there are relatively 
few producers, and the number of harvested acres is relatively small. 
Some domestic import firms may benefit from any additional trade that 
results from the proposed rule. We welcome information that would 
enable us to better understand potential effects of this proposed rule 
on U.S. small entities.

Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small 
Entities

    The proposed rule would not result in U.S. entities being subject 
to reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements other 
than, for importers, the records normally required of brokerage firms 
and other import businesses. Phytosanitary certification and 
fulfillment of related import conditions would be the responsibility of 
the exporting party and are discussed below under the heading 
``Paperwork Reduction Act.''

[[Page 66204]]

Alternatives

    APHIS does not expect the proposed rule to result in significant 
economic impacts for small entities, and therefore has not set forth 
alternatives that would aim at minimizing any such impacts.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow commercial shipments of fresh longan 
with stems from Taiwan into the United States. If this proposed rule is 
adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding longan 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 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-
2007-0161. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2007-0161, 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.
    The United States Department of Agriculture is responsible for 
preventing plant pests and noxious weeds from entering the United 
States, preventing the spread of plant disease not widely distributed 
in the United States, and eradicating imported pest and noxious weeds 
when eradication is feasible.
    Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the 
Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to carry out operations or 
measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard 
the spread of plant pests new to the United States or not known to be 
widely distributed throughout the United States.
    The regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' 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.
    APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of commercial shipments 
of fresh longan with stems from Taiwan into the United States. As a 
condition of entry, the longan would be subject to cold treatment and 
special port-of-arrival inspection procedures for certain quarantined 
pests. In addition, the fruit would have to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate stating that the fruit was inspected and 
found to be free of certain pests, and the individual cartons or boxes 
in which the longan are shipped would have to be stamped or printed 
with a statement prohibiting their importation into or distribution in 
the State of Florida.
    Implementing this proposed rule will require respondents to 
complete documents such as a phytosanitary certificate, recordkeeping, 
inspection, and the stamping of boxes.
    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 0.0018 hours per response.
    Respondents: NPPOs, importers of longan.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 12,004.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.0012.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 12,018.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 22 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

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, under Taiwan, a new entry for longan to 
read as follows:


Sec.  305.2  Approved treatments.

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

[[Page 66205]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Location                      Commodity                    Pest               Treatment schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Taiwan
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                     Longan................  Bactrocera dorsalis, B.      CT T107-h.
                                                              cucurbitae, Conopomorpha
                                                              sinensis.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  305.16, the table is amended by revising the entries 
for treatment schedules T107-h and T107-j to read as follows:



Sec.  305.16  Cold treatment schedules.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Temperature
      Treatment schedule           ([deg]F)          Exposure period
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
T107-h.......................  33.8 or below..  17 days.
                               34.5 or below..   20 days.
T107-j.......................  33.8 or below..  15 days.
                               34.5 or below..  18 days.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

    4. 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.

    5. Section 319.56-13 is amended as follows:
    a. In paragraph (a), the table is amended by adding, in 
alphabetical order, under Taiwan, a new entry for longan to read as set 
forth below.
    b. By adding a new paragraph (b)(5)(xvii) to read as set forth 
below.


Sec.  319.56-13  Fruits and vegetables allowed importation subject to 
specified conditions.

    (a) * * *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  Additional
   Country/locality of origin         Common name       Botanical name       Plant part(s)       requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Taiwan
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                  Longan............  Dimocarpus longan.  Fruit and stems...  (b)(2)(v), (b)(3),
                                                                                               (b)(5)(xv),
                                                                                               (b)(5)(xvii).
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (xvii) Must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by 
the national plant protection organization of the exporting country of 
origin with an additional declaration stating that the fruit is free of 
Conogethes punctiferalis, Cryptophlebia ombrodelta, and 
Rhipiphorothrips cruentatus.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 3rd day of November 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-26612 Filed 11-6-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P