[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 75 (Tuesday, April 21, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18161-18166]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-9100]


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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. 75 / Tuesday, April 21, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 18161]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2008-0050]
RIN 0579-AC95


Importation of Papaya From Colombia and Ecuador

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to allow, under certain conditions, the 
importation of commercial shipments of fresh papaya from Colombia and 
Ecuador into the continental United States. The conditions for the 
importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador include requirements 
for approved production locations; field sanitation; hot water 
treatment; procedures for packing and shipping the papayas; and fruit 
fly trapping in papaya production areas. This action would allow for 
the importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador while continuing 
to provide protection against the introduction of injurious plant pests 
into the continental United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 
22, 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-2008-0050 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-2008-0050, 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-2008-0050.
    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, Branch Chief, Risk 
Management and Plants for Planting Policy, 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 319.56-48, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or 
restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and 
dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed 
within the United States.
    The national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) of both 
Colombia and Ecuador have requested that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) amend the regulations to allow fresh papayas 
(Carica papaya L., cultivar Solo) to be imported from Colombia and 
Ecuador into the continental United States. In response to those 
requests, the Center for Phytosanitary Excellence in Bogot[aacute], 
Colombia, an APHIS-funded organization, prepared pest risk assessments 
(PRAs) for each country. After review of the PRAs and consultation with 
Colombia and Ecuador, APHIS prepared a risk management document that 
covers both countries. Copies of each PRA and the risk management 
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).
    The PRA prepared in response to Colombia's request, titled 
``Importation of Fresh Papaya (Carica papaya Linnaeus), cultivar Solo, 
into the Continental United States from Colombia'' (July 2008), 
evaluates the risks associated with the importation of papayas into the 
continental United States from Colombia. The PRA identified two pests 
of quarantine significance present in Colombia that could be introduced 
into the United States via fresh papayas: The South American fruit fly 
(Anastrepha fraterculus) and the Mediterranean fruit fly or Medfly 
(Ceratitis capitata).
    The PRA prepared in response to Ecuador's request, titled 
``Importation of Fresh Papaya Fruit, Carica papaya L., into the 
Continental United States from Ecuador'' (July 2008), evaluates the 
risks associated with the importation of papayas into the continental 
United States from Ecuador. The PRA identified three pests of 
quarantine significance present in Ecuador that could be introduced 
into the United States via fresh papayas: The South American fruit fly, 
the Medfly, and the fungal pest Phoma caricae-papayae.
    APHIS has determined that measures beyond standard port of arrival 
inspection are required to mitigate the risks posed by the plant pests 
associated with papayas from both countries. Therefore, we propose to 
require that the papayas be subjected to a systems approach to pest 
mitigation. This systems approach would require that the papayas be 
produced and packed in approved areas of Colombia and Ecuador, would 
require packing procedures designed to exclude quarantine pests, and 
would require fruit fly trapping, field sanitation, and hot water 
treatment to remove pests of concern from the pathway. Only commercial 
consignments of papayas would be allowed to be imported from Colombia 
and Ecuador. Consignments of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador would 
also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate 
issued by the NPPO of the exporting country stating that the papayas 
were grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the proposed 
requirements.

[[Page 18162]]

    The proposed systems approach to pest mitigation for the 
importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador has been used 
successfully to mitigate the risk associated with the importation of 
papayas from Central America and Brazil (Sec.  319.56-25). The risk 
management document for papayas from Colombia and Ecuador evaluated the 
effectiveness of these measures against the quarantine pests of concern 
and concluded that the provisions in Sec.  319.56-25, along with the 
general requirements for the importation of fruits and vegetables in 
the regulations, will be sufficient to prevent the introduction into 
the continental United States of injurious plant pests identified by 
the pest risk analyses. Therefore, we propose to amend Sec.  319.56-25 
to allow for the importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador. The 
mitigation measures for the proposed systems approach are outlined in 
greater detail below.

Commercial Consignments

    The importation of fresh papayas from Colombia and Ecuador would be 
limited to commercial consignments only.
    This condition would reduce the likelihood that papayas will 
introduce injurious plant pests into the continental United States. 
Commercial consignments are less likely to be infested with plant pests 
than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are more 
prone to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to overripe, 
may 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.
    We would place the ``commercial consignments only'' limitation in 
the introductory text of Sec.  319.56-25. Located there, that provision 
would apply to both the fresh papayas from Colombia and Ecuador that 
are the subject of this proposed rule and the currently authorized 
imports of fresh papayas from Central America and Brazil. The permit 
conditions applicable to papayas from Central America and Brazil 
already specify that they may be imported in commercial shipments only, 
so the addition of this provision to the regulations would serve simply 
to make the restriction more transparent.

Approved Production Areas

    The papayas would have to be grown and packed for shipment to the 
continental United States in an approved area by growers registered 
with the NPPO of the exporting country. In Colombia, these would be the 
Municipalities of La Uni[oacute]n, Roldanillo, Toro, and Zarzal in the 
Province of El Valle de Cauca. In Ecuador, these would be the Cantons 
of Balzar, El Triunfo, Gral. Antonio Elizalde, Milagro, Naranjal, and 
Santa Elena in the Province of Guayas, and the Canton of Santo Domingo 
in the Province of Pichincha.
    This condition would ensure that papayas intended for the 
continental United States are grown and packed in papaya production and 
packing areas of Colombia and Ecuador where fruit fly traps are 
maintained and where the other elements of the systems approach 
described below are in place. In addition, grower registration allows 
for traceback and removal from the export program of production sites 
with confirmed pest problems, and the papaya orchards would be 
monitored by the NPPO to ensure that pest and disease-excluding 
sanitary procedures are employed.

Harvesting Procedures

    Beginning at least 30 days before harvest begins and continuing 
through the completion of harvest, all trees in the area where the 
papayas are grown would have to be kept free of papayas that are one-
half or more ripe (more than one-quarter of shell surface yellow), and 
all culled and fallen fruit would have to be buried, destroyed, or 
removed from the farm at least twice a week.
    Although papayas are a potential host for Medfly and South American 
fruit fly, these fruit flies typically prefer ripe fruits as well as 
culled or fallen papayas. Therefore, requiring that only green papayas 
(less than half ripe) be present on the trees and that culled and 
fallen fruit be buried, destroyed, or removed from the farm would 
reduce the populations of Medfly and South American fruit fly in the 
fields where papayas intended for importation into the continental 
United States are grown.

Treatment

    The papayas would have to be held for 20 minutes in hot water at 48 
[deg]C (118.4 [deg]F). This treatment is currently used to treat 
papayas imported from Central America and Brazil for fruit flies under 
the existing regulations in Sec.  319.56-25. Hot water treatment 
mitigates the pest risk that could result if fruit flies lay eggs in 
papayas immediately before harvest. In addition, hot water treatment 
reduces populations of fungal pathogens such as P. caricae-papayae on 
fruit. This treatment, in conjunction with other safeguards that would 
be required by the regulations for papayas from Colombia and Ecuador, 
would reduce the likelihood that papayas will introduce injurious plant 
pests into the continental United States.

Packaging Procedures

    When packed, the papayas would have to be less than one-half ripe 
(shell surface no more than one-quarter yellow, surrounded by light 
green) and appear to be free of all injurious insect pests.
    This condition would reduce the risk of introduction of Medfly and 
South American fruit fly, as well as other injurious insect pests, into 
the continental United States. Papayas that are less than one-half ripe 
(green) are not preferred hosts for fruit flies. Requiring papayas to 
be less than one-half ripe when packed thus reduces the risk of their 
infestation with Medfly or South American fruit fly. In addition, 
requiring that the papayas appear to be free of all injurious plant 
pests would help ensure that fruits that are visibly infected with P. 
caricae-papayae are culled before packing.
    The papayas would have to be safeguarded from exposure to fruit 
flies from harvest to export, including being packaged to prevent 
access by fruit flies or other injurious insect pests during transit. 
The package containing the papayas would not be allowed to contain any 
other fruit, including papayas not qualified for importation into the 
continental United States. These conditions would ensure that papayas 
that have already been inspected and packaged for shipment to the 
continental United States are not at risk for fruit fly infestation.

Distribution Limitations

    Because the scope of the PRAs that were prepared for this proposed 
rule was limited to the continental United States, papayas from 
Colombia and Ecuador would not be authorized for importation or 
movement into Hawaii or any U.S. territories or possessions. We would 
implement this distribution limitation by denying permit applications 
for shipments to destinations outside the continental United States 
and, for consignments imported into the continental United States, by 
including as a condition of the permit a prohibition on moving the

[[Page 18163]]

papayas to Hawaii or any U.S. territory or possession.
    We note that the regulations in Sec.  319.56-25(f) state that 
papayas from Central America and Brazil must be shipped in individual 
cartons or boxes stamped or marked with the statement: ``Not for 
importation into or distribution within Hawaii.'' That distribution 
limitation was put in place because the papaya fruit fly (Toxotrypana 
curvicauda), which occurs in Central America and Brazil, does not occur 
in Hawaii, where the majority of U.S. commercial papaya production 
takes place.
    In developing this proposed rule, we considered using similar box 
marking requirements to communicate the distribution limitations for 
papayas from Colombia and Ecuador. However, as noted above, we 
concluded that the permitting process would allow us to effectively 
implement the distribution limitations. The same factors that led us to 
conclude that box marking would not be necessary for papayas from 
Colombia and Ecuador also led us to consider whether it was necessary 
to continue requiring box marking for papayas from Central America and 
Brazil. As a result of that consideration, we have concluded that the 
permitting process would also allow us to effectively implement the 
distribution limitations on papayas from Central America and Brazil. 
Therefore, we are proposing to remove the requirement in Sec.  319.56-
25(f) that papayas from Central America and Brazil be shipped in 
individual cartons or boxes stamped or marked with the statement: ``Not 
for importation into or distribution within Hawaii.''

Fruit Fly Trapping

    Beginning at least 1 year before harvest begins and continuing 
through the completion of harvest, fruit fly traps would have to be 
maintained in the field where the papayas were grown. Fifty percent of 
the traps would have to be of the McPhail type, and 50 percent of the 
traps of the Jackson type. The traps would have to be placed at the 
rate of 1 trap per hectare and checked for fruit flies at least once a 
week by plant health officials of the NPPO. The NPPO would have to keep 
records of the fruit fly finds for each trap, updating the records each 
time the traps are checked, and make the records available to APHIS 
upon request. The records would have to be maintained for at least 1 
year. This condition would ensure the earliest possible detection of 
increasing populations of fruit flies in and around fields where 
papayas are grown.
    If the average Jackson fruit fly trap catch is greater than seven 
Medflies per trap per week, measures would have to be taken to control 
the Medfly population in the production area. If the average Jackson 
trap catch exceeds 14 Medflies per trap per week, importations of 
papayas from that production area would be halted until the rate of 
capture drops to an average of 7 or fewer Medflies per trap per week.
    If the average McPhail trap catch is greater than seven South 
American fruit flies per trap per week, measures would have to be taken 
to control the South American fruit flies population in the production 
area. If the average McPhail trap catch exceeds 14 South American fruit 
flies per trap per week, importations of papayas from that production 
area would be halted until the rate of capture drops to an average of 7 
or fewer South American fruit flies per trap per week.
    These thresholds for Medfly and South American fruit fly trapping 
would help detect increasing populations of these fruit flies in 
growing areas; as such, this condition would help ensure that these 
fruit flies are not associated with imports of papayas into the 
continental United States.
    All activities would have to be conducted under the supervision and 
direction of plant health officials of the NPPO of the exporting 
country to help ensure that all activities required by the regulations 
are properly carried out. Currently, fruit fly trapping is not listed 
as an activity to which this requirement applies. Therefore, we are 
proposing to amend Sec.  319.56-25 to make it clear that this 
requirement applies to all activities, including fruit fly trapping.

Phytosanitary Certificate

    All shipments of papayas would have to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of the exporting country 
stating that the papayas were grown, packed, and shipped in accordance 
with the proposed requirements. This condition would help ensure that 
the provisions of the regulations have been met. In addition, as part 
of issuing the phytosanitary certificate, the NPPO would inspect the 
commodities and certify that they are free of quarantine pests.
    The existing regulations in Sec.  319.56-25(k), which we are 
proposing to redesignate as paragraph (j), provide that all 
consignments of papayas must be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate issued by the national Ministry of Agriculture. However, 
throughout the regulations we identify the official service responsible 
for discharging functions specified by the International Plant 
Protection Convention, including the issuance of phytosanitary 
certificates, as the NPPO of the exporting country, rather than the 
national Ministry of Agriculture. For clarity and consistency, we 
propose to amend Sec.  319.56-25(k) to refer to the NPPO.

Miscellaneous

    We would amend the regulations in Sec.  319.56-25 in order to 
clarify that the continental United States includes Alaska, rather than 
referring to Alaska as a separate entity.

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 allow, under certain conditions, the 
importation of commercial shipments of fresh papaya from Colombia and 
Ecuador into the continental United States. The conditions for the 
importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador include requirements 
for approved production locations; field sanitation; hot water 
treatment; procedures for packing and shipping the papayas; and fruit 
fly trapping in papaya production areas. This action would allow for 
the importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador while continuing 
to provide protection against the introduction of injurious plant pests 
into the continental United States.
    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 605 of the Act relieves an agency of the requirement to prepare 
and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis describing the expected impact of a proposed rule on small 
entities if 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.
    Businesses most likely to be affected by this rule would be U.S. 
papaya producers. Papaya production is classified under North American 
Industry Classification System (NAICS) 111339, other non-citrus fruit 
farming. The Small Business Administration (SBA) classifies papaya 
producers as small entities if they have annual sales of not more than 
$750,000. In the United States in 2002, the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture's (USDA)

[[Page 18164]]

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported that 95 
percent of enterprises engaged in fruit and tree nut farming (NAICS 
1113) made less than $500,000. Most, if not all, papaya producers in 
the United States are presumably small entities.
    Importers and wholesalers of papaya 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, 100 
or fewer employees), wholesalers and other grocery stores (NAICS 
445110, $23 million or less in annual receipts), warehouse clubs and 
superstores (NAICS 452910, $23 million or less in annual receipts), and 
fruit and vegetable markets (NAICS 445230, $6 million or less in annual 
receipts). Many of the entities that comprise these industries are 
small.
    There are three papaya-producing States, Florida, Hawaii, and 
Texas, with Hawaii having by far the largest number of producers 
(including bearing and nonbearing farms). In 2007, 178 Hawaiian farms 
with 2,135 acres, 1,395 of which were bearing acres, are reported to 
have grown papaya.\1\ Hawaii is the only State for which fresh utilized 
papaya production is reported by USDA's Economic Research Service 
(ERS). The latest update (October 2007) by ERS indicates that fresh 
utilized production was 13,000 short tons.\2\ Over the last 5 years, 
the amount of Hawaiian fresh papaya production has decreased 50 
percent.
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    \1\ USDA NASS, Hawaii Field Office. ``Papaya Acreage Survey 
Results.'' Sept. 18, 2007. http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/fruit/annpap.pdf
    \2\ USDA ERS, Fruit and Tree Nuts Situation and Outlook 
Yearbook. Susan Pollack and Agnes Perez. Tables A-4, B-23. Oct. 
2007. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/FTS/2007/Yearbook/FTS2007.pdf
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    Florida has a small commercial papaya industry,\3\ and the lower 
Rio Grande Valley in Texas also has only limited commercial plantings 
due to occasional freezing temperatures.\4\ The 2002 Census of 
Agriculture reported that Florida had 53 papaya-producing farms with a 
total of 156 acres and that Texas had 5 farms with a total of 6 
acres.\5\
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    \3\ University of Florida. IFAS Extension. J.H. Crane, Processor 
and Tropical Fruit Specialist. 2005. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/391-412.pdf
    \4\ Sauls, Julian W. Extension Horticulturist. Texas A & M, 
AgriLIFE Extension. Department of Horticultural Sciences. Retrieved 
6/9/08. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/papaya/papaya.html
    \5\ USDA NASS, 2002 Census of Agriculture, Table 36.
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    In contrast to the decline in domestic production, the quantity of 
fresh papayas imported since 1999 has almost doubled, as U.S. demand 
for papayas continues to increase. Imports as a percent of domestic 
fresh papaya consumption have risen from 80 percent in 2000 to over 94 
percent in 2006. U.S. fresh papaya imports for 2006 totaled around 
146,000 short tons, while U.S. papaya exports, excluding re-exports, 
totaled only 3,900 short tons.\6\ In other words, the United States 
imports almost 11 times the quantity of fresh papayas produced 
domestically.
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    \6\ Global Trade Atlas. Harmonized System code 080720, Papayas, 
Fresh.
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    Hawaiian papayas are available year round, but the peak season 
starts in early summer and continues into fall. Annual NASS reports 
show that the percentage of fresh papaya that stayed within the State 
increased from 50 percent in 2002 to 63 percent in 2006. Shipments of 
fresh papaya from Hawaii decreased from 10,600 short tons in 2002 to 
4,900 short tons in 2006 (37 percent).\7\ Preliminary estimates for 
2007 indicate a reversal in this pattern, with outshipment of 5,800 
short tons and 51 percent of the fresh papaya crop consumed within the 
State. The Hawaiian NASS Field Office does not report whether Hawaii's 
out-of-State sales remained within the United States or were exported. 
The proposed rule would only allow the importation of papaya from 
Colombia and Ecuador into the continental United States.
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    \7\ NASS. Hawaii Field Office. Statistics of Hawaii Agriculture 
2006. ``Papayas.'' http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/stats/t_of_c.htm
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mexico is the principal source of fresh papaya imports by the 
United States, while additional imports arrive from such countries as 
Belize, Brazil, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. ERS attributes the 
growing U.S. demand to increasing ethnic populations that are already 
familiar with papayas and are the main consumers of the fruit, as well 
as a growing appetite among other consumers for a new, health-
promoting, and convenient food.\8\
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    \8\ USDA ERS Fruit and Tree Nut Outlook. Agnes Perez and Susan 
Pollack. ``California to Produce More Strawberries in 2008, Peach, 
Nectarine, and Plum Production Adequate.'' May 29, 2008. p. 12 
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/fts/2008/05MAY/FTS332.pdf
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    U.S. producers of papayas must compete against less expensive 
imports. In 2006, for example, the price of papaya imports from Mexico 
was about 28 cents per pound, whereas the market price received for 
fresh papaya in Hawaii averaged over 41 cents per pound. As of April 
2008, the fresh papaya farm price in Hawaii was estimated at 51 cents 
per pound, while Mexico's price was 27 cents.\9\ We expect that papaya 
supplied by Colombia and Ecuador would largely compete against imports 
from Mexico and elsewhere. With the proposed rule, U.S. papaya 
producers could expect to face additional competition of less expensive 
fruit from foreign sources. Given that the U.S. market for fresh papaya 
is already dominated by imports, the addition of Colombia and Ecuador 
is unlikely to significantly affect sales by U.S. producers. Estimated 
papaya production in 2006 for Colombia was 151,000 short tons and for 
Ecuador, 47,000 short tons.\10\
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    \9\ Global Trade Atlas Navigator. United States Import 
Statistics, monthly data. Commodity Fresh Papaya Harmonized System 
code 080720. Retrieved 7/22/08. http://www.gtis.com/gta.
    \10\ Food and Agriculture Organization. FAOStat. Commodity 
``papayas'' converted from tonnes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At least some U.S. firms that import papaya could be expected to 
benefit from the additional sources of supply, although any such gains 
overall would be limited by the extent to which fresh papaya cultivar 
Solo imports from Colombia and Ecuador substitute for imports from 
other countries. Given the rapidly expanding demand for fresh papaya in 
the United States, substitution among foreign sources may be limited, 
depending upon price sensitivities.
    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 commercial shipments of fresh 
papayas from Colombia and Ecuador into the continental United States. 
If this proposed rule is adopted, State and local laws and regulations 
regarding papaya 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

[[Page 18165]]

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-2008-0050. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket 
No. APHIS-2008-0050, 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.
    APHIS is proposing to allow, under certain conditions, the 
importation of commercial shipments of fresh papaya from Colombia and 
Ecuador into the continental United States. The conditions for the 
importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador include requirements 
for approved production locations; field sanitation; hot water 
treatment; procedures for packing and shipping the papayas; and fruit 
fly trapping in papaya production areas. This action would allow for 
the importation of papayas from Colombia and Ecuador while continuing 
to provide protection against the introduction of injurious plant pests 
into the continental United States.
    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 0.5 hours per response.
    Respondents: National Plant Protection Organizations of Colombia 
and Ecuador and importers of papaya.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 3.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 100.666.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 302.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 151 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2908.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste 
Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

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

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows:
    1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as 
follows:

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

    2. Section 319.56-25 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-25  Papayas from Central America and South America.

    Commercial consignments of the Solo type of papaya may be imported 
into the United States only in accordance with this section and all 
other applicable provisions of this subpart.
    (a) The papayas were grown and packed for shipment to the 
continental United States (including Alaska), Puerto Rico, and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands in one of the following locations:
    (1) Brazil: State of Espirito Santo; all areas in the State of 
Bahia that are between the Jequitinhonha River and the border with the 
State of Espirito Santo and all areas in the State of Rio Grande del 
Norte that contain the following municipalities: Touros, Pureza, Rio do 
Fogo, Barra de Maxaranguape, Taipu, Ceara Mirim, Extremoz, Ielmon 
Marinho, Sao Goncalo do Amarante, Natal, Maciaba, Parnamirim, Veracruz, 
Sao Jose de Mipibu, Nizia Floresta, Monte Aletre, Areas, Senador 
Georgino Avelino, Espirito Santo, Goianinha, Tibau do Sul, Vila Flor, 
and Canguaretama e Baia Formosa.
    (2) Costa Rica: Provinces of Guanacaste, Puntarenas, San Jose.
    (3) El Salvador: Departments of La Libertad, La Paz, and San 
Vicente.
    (4) Guatemala: Departments of Escuintla, Retalhuleu, Santa Rosa, 
and Suchitepequez.
    (5) Honduras: Departments of Comayagua, Cortes, and Santa Barbara.
    (6) Nicaragua: Departments of Carazo, Granada, Leon, Managua, 
Masaya, and Rivas.
    (7) Panama: Provinces of Cocle, Herrera, and Los Santos; Districts 
of Aleanje, David, and Dolega in the Province of Chiriqui; and all 
areas in the Province of Panama that are west of the Panama Canal; or
    (b) The papayas were grown by a grower registered with the national 
plant protection organization (NPPO) of the exporting country and 
packed for shipment to the continental United States (including Alaska) 
in one of the following locations:
    (1) Colombia: Municipalities of La Union, Roldanillo, Toro, and 
Zarzal in the Province of El Valle de Cauca.
    (2) Ecuador: Cantons of Balzar, El Triunfo, Gral. Antonio Elizalde, 
Milagro, Naranjal, and Santa Elena in the Province of Guayas, and the 
Canton of Santo Domingo in the Province of Pichincha.
    (c) Beginning at least 30 days before harvest began and continuing 
through the completion of harvest, all trees in the field where the 
papayas were grown were kept free of papayas that were one-half or more 
ripe (more than one-fourth of the shell surface yellow), and all culled 
and fallen fruits were buried, destroyed, or removed from the farm at 
least twice a week.
    (d) The papayas were held for 20 minutes in hot water at 48 [deg]C 
(118.4 [deg]F).
    (e) When packed, the papayas were less than one-half ripe (the 
shell surface was no more than one-fourth yellow, surrounded by light 
green), and appeared to be free of all injurious insect pests.
    (f) The papayas were safeguarded from exposure to fruit flies from 
harvest to export, including being packaged so as to prevent access by 
fruit flies and

[[Page 18166]]

other injurious insect pests. The package containing the papayas does 
not contain any other fruit, including papayas not qualified for 
importation into the United States.
    (g) Beginning at least 1 year before harvest begins and continuing 
through the completion of harvest, fruit fly traps were maintained in 
the field where the papayas were grown. The traps were placed at a rate 
of 1 trap per hectare and were checked for fruit flies at least once 
weekly by plant health officials of the NPPO. Fifty percent of the 
traps were of the McPhail type and 50 percent of the traps were of the 
Jackson type. The NPPO kept records of fruit fly finds for each trap, 
updated the records each time the traps were checked, and made the 
records available to APHIS inspectors upon request. The records were 
maintained for at least 1 year.
    (1) If the average Jackson fruit fly trap catch was greater than 
seven Mediterranean fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata) (Medfly) per trap 
per week, measures were taken to control the Medfly population in the 
production area. If the average Jackson fruit fly trap catch exceeds 14 
Medflies per trap per week, importations of papayas from that 
production area must be halted until the rate of capture drops to an 
average of 7 or fewer Medflies per trap per week.
    (2) In Colombia, Ecuador, or the State of Espirito Santo, Brazil, 
if the average McPhail trap catch was greater than seven South American 
fruit flies (Anastrepha fraterculus) per trap per week, measures were 
taken to control the South American fruit fly population in the 
production area. If the average McPhail fruit fly trap catch exceeds 14 
South American fruit flies per trap per week, importations of papayas 
from that production area must be halted until the rate of capture 
drops to an average of 7 or fewer South American fruit flies per trap 
per week.
    (h) All activities described in paragraphs (a) through (h) of this 
section were carried out under the supervision and direction of plant 
health officials of the NPPO.
    (i) All consignments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate issued by the NPPO of the exporting country stating that 
the papayas were grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the 
provisions of this section.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0128)
    Done in Washington, DC, this 15th day of April 2009.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E9-9100 Filed 4-20-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P