[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 59 (Monday, March 30, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14093-14097]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-7013]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

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

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Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 59 / Monday, March 30, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 14093]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2008-0147]


Change in Disease Status of the Republic of Korea With Regard to 
Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Rinderpest

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations to add the Republic 
of Korea to the list of regions that are considered free of rinderpest 
and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). We are taking this action because we 
have conducted an evaluation and determined that the Republic of Korea 
is free of rinderpest and FMD. We are also proposing to add the 
Republic of Korea to the list of regions that are subject to certain 
import restrictions on meat and meat products because of their 
proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or FMD-affected 
countries. These actions would update the disease status of the 
Republic of Korea with regard to rinderpest and FMD while continuing to 
protect the United States from an introduction of those diseases by 
providing additional requirements for meat and other animal products 
imported into the United States from the Republic of Korea.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 
29, 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-2008-0147 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-2008-0147, 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-2008-0147.
    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: Dr. Julia Punderson, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services, National Center for 
Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the 
regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal 
products into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of 
various communicable diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth 
disease (FMD), African swine fever, classical swine fever, and swine 
vesicular disease. These are dangerous and destructive communicable 
diseases of ruminants and swine. Section 94.1 of the regulations lists 
regions of the world that are declared free of rinderpest or free of 
both rinderpest and FMD. Rinderpest or FMD is considered to exist in 
all other parts of the world not listed. Section 94.11 of the 
regulations lists regions of the world that have been determined to be 
free of rinderpest and FMD, but are subject to certain restrictions 
because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest 
or FMD-affected regions.
    On April 18, 2000, we published in the Federal Register an interim 
rule (65 FR 20713-20714, Docket No. 00-033-1) amending the regulations 
to remove the Republic of Korea (South Korea) from the list in Sec.  
94.1 of regions declared free of FMD and rinderpest because of a 
confirmed FMD diagnosis. That rule was effective retroactively to March 
20, 2000, which was the date when FMD was initially detected. The rule 
also removed the Republic of Korea from the list of countries listed in 
Sec.  94.11 that are declared to be free of these diseases, but that 
are subject to certain restrictions because of their proximity to or 
trading relationships with rinderpest or FMD-affected regions. As a 
result of the interim rule, the importation into the United States of 
any ruminant, or any fresh (chilled or frozen) meat of any ruminant 
that left the Republic of Korea on or after March 20, 2000, was 
prohibited or restricted.
    The last FMD outbreaks in the Republic of Korea in 2000 and 2002 
were limited in scope and rapidly controlled; no subsequent outbreaks 
have occurred since 2002. As for rinderpest, the Republic of Korea has 
not had an outbreak of the disease since 1931. In 2007, the Government 
of the Republic of Korea submitted information to APHIS to support an 
official request for recognition of its FMD-free status. In response, 
APHIS conducted a site visit to the Republic of Korea in March 2008 to 
substantiate information provided with the request and obtain evidence 
firsthand. We conducted a disease risk evaluation \1\ and concluded the 
Republic of Korea is free of FMD. We also concluded that the 
surveillance, prevention, and control measures implemented by the 
Republic of Korea are sufficient to minimize the likelihood of 
introducing FMD or rinderpest into the United States via imports of 
susceptible species or products from such species.
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    \1\ APHIS Evaluation of the Status of the Republic of Korea 
Regarding Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Rinderpest. Riverdale, MD: 
USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, October 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In light of our conclusions, we propose to add the Republic of 
Korea to the list in Sec.  94.1 of regions that have been declared free 
of FMD and rinderpest. We also propose to add the Republic of Korea to 
the list in Sec.  94.11 of regions that are declared to be free of 
these diseases, but that are subject to certain restrictions because of 
their proximity to or trading relationships

[[Page 14094]]

with rinderpest or FMD-affected regions.

Risk Evaluation

    Drawing on data submitted by the Government of the Republic of 
Korea and on observations from our site visit to the country, we have 
evaluated the animal health status of the Republic of Korea relative to 
FMD and rinderpest. Our evaluation was conducted according to the 11 
factors identified in Sec.  92.2, ``Application for recognition of the 
animal health status of a region,'' which are used to determine the 
level of risk associated with importing animals or animal products into 
the United States from a given region. A summary evaluation of each 
factor is discussed below.

Veterinary Authority and Infrastructure

    All regulations related to the control of FMD in the Republic of 
Korea are based on that country's Act on the Prevention of Contagious 
Animal Diseases. These regulations address disease control and 
preventive measures, including notification of suspicious cases, 
stamping-out, movement controls, disinfection, vaccination, 
surveillance, importation quarantine, disposal, and compensation. 
Governmental veterinary services responsible for implementing these 
measures consist of the Animal Health Division of the Republic of Korea 
Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MiFAFF), 
National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS), and 
Provincial Veterinary Services. NVRQS is an executive agency within 
MiFAFF tasked with the prevention and control of major animal diseases. 
NVRQS responsibilities include quarantine inspection of animals and 
animal products, livestock product safety, veterinary research, and 
epidemiological surveillance.
    Each of the Republic of Korea's nine provinces and seven 
metropolitan cities has its own animal health laboratory and veterinary 
service responsible for the prevention and control of major animal 
diseases within their region. They are also the primary diagnostic 
laboratories for animal diseases.
    Animal health officials in the Republic of Korea have the legal 
authority to enforce all pertinent regulations pertaining to FMD and 
maintain the necessary veterinary infrastructure to carry out effective 
FMD surveillance and control activities. Governmental veterinary 
authorities, industry and trade organizations, and non-profit groups 
work together closely and effectively to monitor livestock health. 
These efforts minimize the risk of FMD and rinderpest to livestock in 
the United States via importation of ruminants and ruminant products 
from the Republic of Korea.

Disease Status in the Region

    The Republic of Korea was free of FMD from 1934 until March 2000, 
when the disease was detected on a small dairy farm in Kyonggi 
Province. Control measures on the affected farm began immediately. 
Extensive disease surveillance was undertaken and by mid-April the full 
extent of the outbreak was confirmed on 11 additional farms. Two of 
these farms were also in Kyonggi Province, eight were in Chungnam 
Province, and one was in Chungbuk Province, 140 km southwest of the 
first infected farm.
    Protection zones with a radius of 10 km were set up around each 
infected farm. Within these zones, animal movements were restricted and 
livestock markets and artificial insemination were suspended. In 
addition, a 20-km surveillance zone was set up around the infected 
farms. In both protection and surveillance zones, veterinary 
authorities immediately implemented testing, vaccination, and 
surveillance. Epidemiologically linked farms outside the zones were 
also investigated and tested. All animals found to be infected were 
cattle, with no evidence of infection in pigs. Although the last 
infected herd was identified in April 2000, testing for FMD continued 
through July. In all, a total of 17,831 animals on 4,782 farms were 
tested during the outbreak. Both cattle and swine were vaccinated and 
all vaccinated animals were permanently marked and subject to 
additional testing and clinical examination.
    In May 2002, Korean veterinary authorities again confirmed the 
presence of FMD, this time on pig farms in Kyonggi and Chungbuk 
Provinces. Governmental veterinary authorities immediately implemented 
emergency animal disease control and eradication measures. FMD was 
found on 16 farms in May and June 2002. Two of these farms had mixed 
populations of animals, but infection could only be demonstrated in the 
swine. Control zones were immediately established around the infected 
farms, and an immediate stamping-out policy was implemented with 
movement controls, quarantine, and culling of affected animals. The 
last control zone was lifted in August 2002.
    In June 2002, the Republic of Korea invited an International 
Epidemiology Assessment Team consisting of members from Australia, New 
Zealand, and the United States to assess its FMD control measures. The 
team determined that stamping-out and movement restrictions were 
effective in containing the spread of disease, as was the use of pen-
side diagnostic tests for rapid detection of infected animals. They 
concluded that the capability for early diagnosis together with prompt 
stamping-out of infected farms significantly limited the number of FMD 
cases. No evidence exists of any species infected with FMD in the 
Republic of Korea.

Disease Status of Adjacent Regions and Separation Measures

    The Republic of Korea shares its northern border with the 
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). The two countries 
are separated by the 2.5 mile wide fenced and patrolled demilitarized 
zone (DMZ) that runs the full length of the border, making intentional 
or inadvertent entry of animals from North Korea unlikely. FMD must be 
considered to be endemic in North Korea, which has sporadically 
reported outbreaks to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as 
recently as 2007. No commerce in livestock takes place by land between 
the Republic of Korea and North Korea.
    Other close neighbors of the Republic of Korea are China and Japan. 
The Republic of Korea is separated from these countries by the Yellow 
Sea and the Sea of Japan. The last reported outbreak of FMD in Japan 
occurred in March and April 2000. China has reported FMD outbreaks to 
OIE on a nearly annual basis, but no evidence exists that FMD has been 
transported into the Republic of Korea from China or other surrounding 
regions since increased biosecurity and other disease control measures 
were instituted after the 2000 and 2002 outbreaks.

Disease Control Programs

    The Republic of Korea does not currently maintain an active disease 
control program as there is no evidence of FMD in the country and no 
outbreaks have occurred since 2002. However, the Republic of Korea has 
in place a comprehensive surveillance system with both active 
(seroepidemiologic) and passive (clinical) components. In addition to 
surveillance, the Korean Government has instituted animal movement 
controls, border inspection, disinfection, and emergency plans to 
prevent the incursion of FMD into the country.
    To promote reporting of possible disease outbreaks, the Republic of 
Korea has developed an indemnification

[[Page 14095]]

program encouraging farmers to report suspect cases and to deter 
movement of sick animals to slaughter or auction. The Republic of Korea 
also provides temporary subsistence funding as needed, and livestock 
cooperatives provide low interest loans and assistance with feed and 
management. An emergency hotline is available to encourage reporting of 
suspicious cases, as is a quarantine hotline to receive emergency 
reports from ports of entry. The Republic of Korea imposes sanctions to 
discourage delays in reporting suspect cases and provides rewards for 
third-person reporting of suspect cases as an incentive for early 
disease identification.
    The Republic of Korea also levies penalties for cases of negligence 
related to disease reporting. Penalties include imprisonment for 
veterinarians or farmers failing to report sick or dead animals, 
importation of prohibited items, or failure to submit goods to 
quarantine inspection. Livestock owners or transporters who violate 
rules related to disease reporting and prevention face imprisonment or 
fines. Fines can also be levied on any person who refuses, obstructs, 
or evades an epidemiological investigation, violates animal import 
requirements, or evades quarantine inspections of mailed goods.
    As part of its FMD disease prevention efforts, the Republic of 
Korea has also incorporated provisions governing garbage control and 
swill feeding. By law, swill or garbage is prohibited for use in animal 
feed. Because of the predominance of small farms, the Republic of 
Korea's training, education, and outreach efforts to increase awareness 
have targeted small-scale farmers. Disease education programs are 
organized through various agricultural cooperatives that provide 
contact and information for all farmers.
    The Republic of Korea has an effective system for detecting and 
investigating suspect FMD cases. Frequent monitoring of animal premises 
and movements permits effective surveillance and virus detection in 
various FMD-susceptible species, and incentive programs encourage 
reporting of suspected cases. These efforts effectively minimize the 
risk of exposing livestock in the United States to FMD through 
importation of Korean cattle, beef, and related products.

Vaccination Status of the Region

    Vaccination for FMD has not been practiced in the Republic of Korea 
since August 2000. During the 2002 FMD outbreak, which affected 
primarily swine, NVRQS decided not to vaccinate. The International 
Epidemiology Assessment Team reviewed this decision and concluded that, 
under the circumstances of the outbreak, vaccination would not have 
been advantageous. The time required to achieve immunity with 
vaccination in pigs takes several weeks and it was considered that many 
farms would already have been infected when the disease was first 
recognized; a program of emergency vaccination would have masked the 
presence of the virus and delayed eradication efforts.
    The Republic of Korea's current policy of not vaccinating for FMD 
is scientifically sound and can help speed the identification of 
clinical signs if an FMD outbreak occurs again. The Republic of Korea 
has strong disincentives for non-reporting of suspected cases, 
maintains a generous indemnity program, and enforces supporting animal 
health regulations, making it likely that clinical signs of FMD would 
be reported promptly.
    The Republic of Korea does not produce FMD vaccines but actively 
maintains a vaccine reserve, with plans for implementing emergency 
vaccinations if needed.

Animal Movement Controls and Biosecurity

    Border controls are administered by the NVRQS and Customs, 
Immigration and Quarantine. Livestock and livestock products may enter 
the country legally at officially designated airports and maritime 
ports where they are inspected by animal quarantine officers. 
Importation of cloven-hoofed live animals, their meat, meat products, 
or milk from countries or via areas affected with FMD is prohibited. 
Importation of live cloven-hoofed animals from FMD-free countries 
requires prior notification and submission of a health certificate, and 
all are inspected and quarantined for a minimum of 15 days in the 
quarantine facilities of the NVRQS. Importation of genetic material 
requires certification from the exporting country that the material 
originated from countries without FMD or rinderpest and that these 
diseases have not been reported in the exporting country. Other 
movement requirements include the treatment of international garbage 
prior to incineration by a licensed company and the treatment of 
imported hay for feed or bedding.
    Inspection of non-commercial items is focused on passengers, cargo, 
and mail arriving from regions or countries considered to be high-risk. 
Detector dogs are used to inspect cargo and mail at major international 
ports; confiscated items are bagged, disinfected, and incinerated. At 
ports of entry, disinfecting foot mats are placed at passenger 
disembarkation gates, and electronic message boards and posters with 
information on FMD in several languages are set up at passenger gates 
and at customs.
    Movement of animals within the Republic of Korea primarily takes 
place through local livestock cooperatives. The Agricultural 
Cooperatives Act calls for these cooperatives to work closely with 
local veterinary authorities to monitor movements of animals and 
products. A national animal identification database, piloted by the 
national veterinary authorities, focuses on improved recordkeeping for 
small farms and will address movement control of animals from these 
farms. Farmers are required to keep track of all transactions of 
livestock sales and purchases, certificates of testing, and vaccination 
history for program diseases prior to movement. Movement certificates 
are required for all trade and are issued by the provincial veterinary 
services.

Livestock Demographics and Marketing Practices

    The Republic of Korea produces less than 50 percent of the beef it 
consumes; in 2006, total beef consumption was 331,000 tons, of which 
179,000 tons were imported. The country's cattle population is 
approximately 2.6 million. Low-density cattle production is predominant 
in the Republic of Korea, with more than 80 percent of farmers owning 
fewer than 10 animals. Other farmed FMD-susceptible species are found 
in very small numbers.
    Beef cattle raised in the Republic of Korea consist primarily of 
traditional Korean native cattle, or Hanwoo, with a current national 
herd of around 2 million head. The most likely product to be exported 
to the United States would be specialized product, specifically the 
Hanwoo beef produced from Korean native cattle. Biosecurity measures 
and controls at Korean beef production facilities are effective in 
preventing FMD outbreaks, and commercial cattle operations do not 
constitute a significant risk for introducing FMD into the United 
States.

Disease Surveillance Capability

    The Republic of Korea conducts extensive active and passive disease 
surveillance of livestock. Active surveillance incorporates statistical 
and purposive (targeted) sampling; passive surveillance includes 
reporting and followup of suspect cases. Intensive followup of 
suspicious samples is conducted in conjunction with

[[Page 14096]]

confirmatory testing, quarantine, and other necessary controls.
    Following the 2000 FMD outbreak, the Republic of Korea expanded its 
active surveillance program. As part of this effort, clinical 
surveillance teams were organized to make periodic farm visits and 
examine all livestock on the premises. The Republic of Korea also 
conducts serological surveillance, which includes collecting 
statistically selected samples as well as samples from targeted 
populations. The active surveillance system also involves 
slaughterhouse and breeding farm surveillance and the use of a pen-side 
test for rapid detection of FMD-infected animals during an outbreak. 
Passive surveillance is done for all clinical suspects reported by 
farmers, veterinarians, or other animal health officials. All reports 
are investigated by the provincial veterinary services, and samples are 
collected for any suspicious cases.

Diagnostic Laboratory Capability

    The Republic of Korea maintains a central national laboratory and 
laboratories in each province as part of the National FMD surveillance 
program. The Republic of Korea has the diagnostic capabilities to 
adequately test samples for the presence of the FMD virus with adequate 
quality control activities, laboratory equipment, and sufficient 
staffing.

Emergency Response Capability

    The Republic of Korea has emergency response plans in place for 
controlling FMD should an outbreak of the disease occur. FMD emergency 
control guidelines describe standard operating procedures to be used 
during an FMD emergency. Contingency exercises are held annually to 
evaluate staff performance and update procedures as needed. In the 
event of an FMD outbreak, several governmental agencies are tasked with 
implementing a coordinated emergency response that includes 
epidemiological investigations, vaccine distribution, disinfection, 
movement restrictions, stamping-out operations, and public awareness 
and guidance.
    The above findings are detailed in the evaluation document that may 
be obtained by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. The document may also be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for 
accessing Regulations.gov). It explains the factors that have led us to 
conclude that the Republic of Korea is free of rinderpest and FMD. It 
also establishes that the Republic of Korea has adequate veterinary 
infrastructures in place to prevent, control, and manage FMD and 
rinderpest outbreaks. Therefore, we are proposing to recognize the 
Republic of Korea as free of rinderpest and FMD and add the country to 
the list in Sec.  94.1(a)(2) of regions that are considered free of 
rinderpest and FMD.
    This proposed action would also relieve certain restrictions due to 
FMD and rinderpest on the importation into the United States of certain 
live animals and animal products from the Republic of Korea. However, 
because the Republic of Korea imports meat from regions that APHIS does 
not consider to be FMD free and from regions where FMD status has not 
been reviewed, the importation of meat and other products from 
ruminants into the United States from the Republic of Korea would 
continue to be subject to certain restrictions. For this reason, we are 
proposing to add the Republic of Korea to the list in Sec.  94.11(a) of 
regions declared free of rinderpest and FMD but that are subject to 
special restrictions on the importation of their meat and other animal 
products into the United States. The regions listed in Sec.  94.11(a) 
are subject to these special restrictions because they: (1) Supplement 
their national meat supply by importing fresh (chilled or frozen) meat 
of ruminants or swine from regions that are designated in Sec.  94.1(a) 
as regions where rinderpest or FMD exists, (2) have a common land 
border with regions where rinderpest or FMD exists, or (3) import 
ruminants or swine from regions where rinderpest or FMD exists under 
conditions less restrictive than would be acceptable for importation 
into the United States.
    Under Sec.  94.11, meat and other animal products of ruminants and 
swine, including ship stores, airplane meals, and baggage containing 
these meat or animal products, may not be imported into the United 
States except in accordance with Sec.  94.11 and the applicable 
requirements of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service at 9 CFR 
chapter III.
    Section 94.11 generally requires that the meat and other animal 
products of ruminants and swine be: (1) Prepared in an inspected 
establishment that is eligible to have its products imported into the 
United States under the Federal Meat Inspection Act; and (2) 
accompanied by an additional certificate, issued by a full-time 
salaried veterinary official of the national government of the 
exporting region, assuring that the meat or other animal products have 
not been commingled with or exposed to meat or other animal products 
originating in, imported from, transported through, or that have 
otherwise been in a region where rinderpest or FMD exists.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    When an agency issues a rulemaking proposal, the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) requires the agency to prepare and make available 
for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that will 
describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities. In lieu of 
preparing a regulatory flexibility analysis, section 605 of the RFA 
allows an agency to certify that the proposed rulemaking will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The following is a factual basis for certification of this 
rule.
    The proposed rule would amend the regulations to add the Republic 
of Korea to the list of regions considered to be free of rinderpest and 
FMD. The proposed action, which was requested by the Republic of Korea, 
follows a risk assessment conducted by APHIS concluding that the 
Republic of Korea is free of both diseases and has the veterinary 
infrastructure in place to detect and effectively eradicate the 
diseases if necessary. The effect of the rule would be to remove 
certain rinderpest and FMD-related prohibitions and restrictions on the 
importation into the United States of ruminants, or fresh (chilled or 
frozen) meat or other products of ruminants, from the Republic of 
Korea. APHIS imposes such restrictions because an FMD or rinderpest 
outbreak in the United States has the potential for severe economic 
consequences. Even though imports of swine and swine products would be 
allowed under APHIS' regulations related to FMD and rinderpest, those 
commodities would not be eligible for import from the Republic of 
Korea, due to USDA regulations designed to prevent the introduction of 
diseases other than FMD and rinderpest.\2\
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    \2\ APHIS' risk evaluation states that the animal health status 
of swine for diseases other than FMD has not been evaluated. In the 
absence of a favorable evaluation, live swine and swine-derived 
products will not be eligible to be imported from the Republic of 
Korea, even with the proposed changes in effect.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We do not anticipate that changing the FMD and rinderpest status of 
the Republic of Korea would have a significant economic impact on a

[[Page 14097]]

substantial number of U.S. entities, large or small, because the volume 
of currently prohibited/restricted animals and animal products imported 
into the United States from the Republic of Korea is likely to be very 
small relative to overall U.S. supply of those commodities (production 
and net imports from all foreign sources). There are several reasons 
for this. First, the volume of U.S. imports from the Republic of Korea 
prior to March 20, 2000, when that country was considered to be free of 
FMD and rinderpest, was negligible.\3\ During the 3-year period from 
1997 to 1999, the United States did not import any reportable amounts 
of ruminants or fresh (chilled or frozen) meat or other products of 
ruminants from the Republic of Korea, other than 1.3 metric tons of 
dairy products in 1998.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Effective March 20, 2000, APHIS removed the Republic of 
Korea from the list of regions considered to be free of both 
rinderpest and FMD.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, the Republic of Korea produces less beef, milk, and pork 
than it consumes, and is therefore a net importer of these commodities. 
Given this fact, there would not be a significant volume of exports of 
those commodities to the United States.
    Finally, APHIS' staff expects that Hanwoo beef, a premium-priced 
specialty meat produced from Korean native cattle, is likely to be the 
Republic of Korea's primary export to the United States if the proposed 
rule becomes effective. Because of its premium price, the market for 
Hanwoo beef would be limited; it is likely to be sold to a niche 
market, such as Korean restaurants in the United States.
    Importers, brokers, and others that would import Hanwoo beef, and 
restaurants that would serve that product, are the U.S. entities most 
likely to be affected by the rule. They stand to benefit from the 
increased business activity. The number of these entities is unknown 
but it is likely to be very small, given the expected limited market 
for Hanwoo beef in the United States. The size of these entities is 
also unknown, although it is reasonable to assume that, as with U.S. 
businesses in general, most are small under the standards of the U.S. 
Small Business Administration. The proposed action should have no 
noticeable effect on U.S. beef producers, given the expected limited 
demand for Hanwoo beef.
    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 has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, 
Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
    Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR part 94 as follows:

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

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

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


Sec.  94.1  [Amended]

    2. In Sec.  94.1, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by adding the words 
``Republic of Korea,'' after the word ``Japan,''.


Sec.  94.11  [Amended]

    3. In Sec.  94.11, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the words 
``Republic of Korea,'' after the word ``Japan,''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 25th day of March 2009.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E9-7013 Filed 3-27-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P