[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 225 (Tuesday, November 24, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61321-61328]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-28143]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0071]


International Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard-Setting 
Activities

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with legislation implementing the results of the 
Uruguay Round of negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs 
and Trade, we are informing the public of the international standard-
setting activities of the World Organization for Animal Health, the 
Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, and the 
North American Plant Protection Organization, and we are soliciting 
public comment on the standards to be considered.

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-2009-0071) 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-2009-0071, 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-2009-0071.
    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: For general information on the topics 
covered in this notice, contact Mr. John Greifer, Associate Deputy 
Administrator for SPS Management, International Services, APHIS, room 
1132, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250; (202) 720-7677.
    For specific information regarding standard-setting activities of 
the World Organization for Animal Health, contact Dr. Michael David, 
Director, Sanitary International Standards Team, National Center for 
Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 33, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1231; (301) 734-5324.
    For specific information regarding the standard-setting activities 
of the International Plant Protection Convention or the North American 
Plant Protection Organization, contact Ms. Julie E. Aliaga, Program 
Director, International Phytosanitary Standards, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 140, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-0763.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as the common 
international institutional framework for governing trade relations 
among its members in matters related to the Uruguay Round Agreements. 
The WTO is the successor organization to the General Agreement on 
Tariffs and Trade. U.S. membership in the WTO was approved by Congress 
when it enacted the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), 
which was

[[Page 61322]]

signed into law by the President on December 8, 1994. The WTO 
Agreements, which established the WTO, entered into force with respect 
to the United States on January 1, 1995. The Uruguay Round Agreements 
Act amended Title IV of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 
2531 et seq.). Section 491 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as 
amended (19 U.S.C. 2578), requires the President to designate an agency 
to be responsible for informing the public of the sanitary and 
phytosanitary (SPS) standard-setting activities of each international 
standard-setting organization. The designated agency must inform the 
public by publishing an annual notice in the Federal Register that 
provides the following information: (1) The SPS standards under 
consideration or planned for consideration by the international 
standard-setting organization; and (2) for each SPS standard specified, 
a description of the consideration or planned consideration of that 
standard, a statement of whether the United States is participating or 
plans to participate in the consideration of that standard, the agenda 
for U.S. participation, if any, and the agency responsible for 
representing the United States with respect to that standard.
    ``International standard'' is defined in 19 U.S.C. 2578b as any 
standard, guideline, or recommendation: (1) Adopted by the Codex 
Alimentarius Commission (Codex) regarding food safety; (2) developed 
under the auspices of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE, 
formerly known as the Office International des Epizooties) regarding 
animal health and zoonoses; (3) developed under the auspices of the 
Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in 
cooperation with the North American Plant Protection Organization 
(NAPPO) regarding plant health; or (4) established by or developed 
under any other international organization agreed to by the member 
countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the 
member countries of the WTO.
    The President, pursuant to Proclamation No. 6780 of March 23, 1995 
(60 FR 15845), designated the Secretary of Agriculture as the official 
responsible for informing the public of the SPS standard-setting 
activities of Codex, OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO. The United States Department 
of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 
informs the public of Codex standard-setting activities, and USDA's 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) informs the public 
of OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO standard-setting activities.
    FSIS publishes an annual notice in the Federal Register to inform 
the public of SPS standard-setting activities for Codex. Codex was 
created in 1962 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and 
Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization. It is 
the major international organization for encouraging international 
trade in food and protecting the health and economic interests of 
consumers.
    APHIS is responsible for publishing an annual notice of OIE, IPPC, 
and NAPPO activities related to international standards for plant and 
animal health and representing the United States with respect to these 
standards. Following are descriptions of the OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO 
organizations and the standard-setting agenda for each of these 
organizations. We have described the agenda that each of these 
organizations will address at their annual general sessions, including 
standards that may be presented for adoption or consideration, as well 
as other initiatives that may be underway at the OIE, IPPC, and NAPPO.
    The agendas for these meetings are subject to change, and the draft 
standards identified in this notice may not be sufficiently developed 
and ready for adoption as indicated. Also, while it is the intent of 
the United States to support adoption of international standards and to 
participate actively and fully in their development, it should be 
recognized that the U.S. position on a specific draft standard will 
depend on the acceptability of the final draft. Given the dynamic and 
interactive nature of the standard-setting process, we encourage any 
persons who are interested in the most current details about a specific 
draft standard or the U.S. position on a particular standard-setting 
issue, or in providing comments on a specific standard that may be 
under development, to contact APHIS. Contact information is provided at 
the beginning of this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

OIE Standard-Setting Activities

    The OIE was established in Paris, France, in 1924 with the signing 
of an international agreement by 28 countries. It is currently composed 
of 174 member nations, each of which is represented by a delegate who, 
in most cases, is the chief veterinary officer of that country. The WTO 
has recognized the OIE as the international forum for setting animal 
health standards, reporting global animal disease events, and 
presenting guidelines and recommendations on sanitary measures relating 
to animal health.
    The OIE facilitates intergovernmental cooperation to prevent the 
spread of contagious diseases in animals by sharing scientific research 
among its members. The major functions of the OIE are to collect and 
disseminate information on the distribution and occurrence of animal 
diseases and to ensure that science-based standards govern 
international trade in animals and animal products. The OIE aims to 
achieve these through the development and revision of international 
standards for diagnostic tests, vaccines, and the safe international 
trade of animals and animal products.
    The OIE provides annual reports on the global distribution of 
animal diseases, recognizes the free status of Member countries for 
certain diseases, categorizes animal diseases with respect to their 
international significance, publishes bulletins on global disease 
status, and provides animal disease control guidelines to Member 
countries. Various OIE commissions and working groups undertake the 
development and preparation of draft standards, which are then 
circulated to Member countries for consultation (review and comment). 
Draft standards are revised accordingly and are then presented to the 
OIE International Committee (all the Member countries) during the 
General Session, which meets annually every May, for review and 
adoption. Adoption, as a general rule, is based on consensus of the OIE 
membership.
    The next OIE General Session is scheduled for May 23-28, 2010, in 
Paris, France. Currently, the Deputy Administrator for APHIS' 
Veterinary Services program is the official U.S. Delegate to the OIE. 
The Deputy Administrator for APHIS' Veterinary Services program intends 
to participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment on APHIS' 
position on any standard up for adoption. Information about OIE draft 
Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Code chapters may be found on the 
Internet at (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/oie/) or 
by contacting Dr. Michael David (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
above).

OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapters and Appendices Adopted by 
the May 2009 General Session

    Over 50 Code chapters were amended and/or rewritten, or newly 
proposed and presented for adoption at the General Session. The 
following Code

[[Page 61323]]

chapters\1\ are of particular interest to the United States:
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    \1\NOTE: Proposed appendices and chapters not yet assigned by 
number have been designated an ``x'' as a temporary placeholder by 
the OIE.
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1. Glossary

    Several Code chapter definitions were modified, rewritten, or 
deleted. Modified or rewritten definitions include the definitions for 
``protection zone,'' ``early detection system,'' ``outbreak,'' 
``risk,'' ``risk communication,'' ``vaccination,'' and ``veterinary 
professional.''

2. Chapter 3.x.x, Vector surveillance

    This is a new chapter that is focused on the surveillance of 
disease agents transmitted by vectors.

3. Chapter 4.3, Zoning and compartmentalization, and Chapter 4.4, 
Application of compartmentalization

    The text in these chapters was modified for clarity in content. No 
substantive changes were made to these chapters.

4. Chapter 8.5, Foot and mouth disease

    The term ``buffer'' was removed and replaced with the term 
``protection.'' The text was further clarified that an outbreak of FMD 
within a ``protection zone'' would not affect the free status of a free 
zone or country as long as the outbreak is shown to be contained to 
that protection zone.

5. Chapter 10.4, Avian influenza

    Minor changes were made to this chapter, and it was modified for 
clarity.

6. Chapter 10.13, Newcastle disease

    The text in this chapter was modified for clarity.

7. Chapter 11.6, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    The text in this chapter was modified to remove the 30-month age 
limit restriction so that deboned skeletal muscle can be freely traded 
from all countries, regardless of BSE risk, and to allow countries to 
source bone vertebrae for gelatin production from cattle 30 months of 
age and younger from countries of either undetermined or controlled 
risk.

8. Chapter 11.7, Bovine tuberculosis

    A new chapter on bovine tuberculosis was adopted. It retains the 
definition of a ``herd,'' which provides a country another means to 
manage the disease in addition to the implementation of 
compartmentalization.

9. Chapter 11.8, Bovine tuberculosis in farmed Cervidae

    This is a new chapter that incorporates many of the recommendations 
found in the bovine tuberculosis chapter.

10. Chapter 14.9, Scrapie

    A new chapter was adopted and a few articles that address 
surveillance were left as ``under study.''

11. Chapter 15.3, Classical swine fever

    A new chapter was adopted.

OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapters and Appendices for Future 
Review

    Existing Terrestrial Animal Health Code chapters that may be 
further revised and new chapters that may be drafted in preparation for 
the next General Session in 2010 include the following:

1. Chapter 2.3.1, Bovine brucellosis

2. Chapter 7.x.x, The use of animals in research, testing, teaching

3. Chapter 8.1, Anthrax

4. Chapter 8.5, Foot and mouth disease

    Changes may include the concept of compartmentalization.

5. Chapter 15.5, Swine vesicular disease

6. Chapter x.x.x, Communication

OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code Chapters and Appendices up for Adoption

    Aquatic Animal Health Code chapters and appendices that have been 
revised or that are new for adoption at the 2010 General Session 
include:

1. Chapter 1.3.1, General obligations and Chapter 1.3.2, Certification 
procedures

    Certification procedures will be submitted for comment later in 
2009.

2. Chapter x.x.x, Handling and disposal of carcasses and wastes of 
aquatic animals

    This newly proposed chapter is under further review by the OIE.

3. Chapter x.x.x, Infection with abalone herpes-like virus

    This new chapter may be proposed for adoption in 2010.

OIE Aquatic Animal Commission Future Work Program

    During the next few years, the OIE Aquatic Animal Commission may 
address the following issues or establish ad hoc groups of experts to 
update or develop standards for the following issues:
    1. International transport of aquatic animal disease agents and 
pathological materials.
    2. Guidelines for aquatic animal surveillance.

The Process

    The OIE Code chapters are drafted (or revised) by either the 
Terrestrial or Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission or by ad hoc 
groups composed of technical experts nominated by the Director General 
of the OIE by virtue of their subject-area expertise. Once a new 
chapter is drafted or an existing one is revised, the chapter is 
distributed to Member countries for review and comment. The OIE 
attempts to provide proposed chapters by late October to allow Member 
countries sufficient time for comment. Comments are due by late January 
of the following year. The draft standard is revised by the OIE Code 
Commission on the basis of relevant scientific comments received from 
Member countries.
    The United States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to review, and where 
appropriate, comment on all draft chapters and revisions once it 
receives them from the OIE. USDA/APHIS intends to distribute these 
drafts to the U.S. livestock and aquaculture industries, veterinary 
experts in various U.S. academic institutions, other State and Federal 
agencies, and other interested persons for review and comment. 
Additional information regarding these draft standards may be obtained 
by contacting Dr. Michael David (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
above).
    Generally, if a country has concerns with a particular draft 
standard, and supports those concerns with sound technical information, 
the pertinent OIE Code Commission will revise that standard accordingly 
and present the revised draft for adoption at the General Session in 
May. In the event that a country's concerns regarding a draft standard 
are not taken into account, that country may refuse to support the 
standard when it comes up for adoption at the General Session. However, 
each Member country is obligated to review and comment on proposed 
standards, and make decisions regarding the adoption of those 
standards, strictly on their scientific merits.

Other OIE Topics

    Every year at the General Session, at least one technical item is 
presented. For the May 2010 General Session, the following technical 
item will be presented:
    1. The critical contribution of veterinary activities to the global

[[Page 61324]]

security of food derived from terrestrial and aquatic animals.
    The information in this notice includes all the information 
available to us on OIE standards currently under development or 
consideration. Information on OIE standards is available on the 
Internet at (http://www.oie.int). Further, a formal agenda for the next 
General Session should be available to Member countries by March 2010, 
and copies will be available to the public once the agenda is 
published. For the most current information on meeting times, working 
groups, and/or meeting agendas, including information on official U.S. 
participation in OIE activities and U.S. positions on standards being 
considered, contact Dr. Michael David (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT above). Those wishing to provide comments on any areas of work 
under the OIE may do so at any time by responding to this notice (see 
ADDRESSES above) or by providing comments through Dr. Michael David.

IPPC Standard-Setting Activities

    The IPPC is a multilateral convention adopted in 1952 for the 
purpose of securing common and effective action to prevent the spread 
and introduction of pests of plants and plant products and to promote 
appropriate measures for their control. Under the IPPC, the 
understanding of plant protection has been, and continues to be, broad, 
encompassing the protection of both cultivated and noncultivated plants 
from direct or indirect injury by plant pests. Activities addressed by 
the IPPC include the development and establishment of international 
plant health standards, the harmonization of phytosanitary activities 
through emerging standards, the facilitation of the exchange of 
official and scientific information among countries, and the furnishing 
of technical assistance to developing countries that are signatories to 
the IPPC.
    The IPPC is under the authority of the Food and Agriculture 
Organization (FAO), and the members of the Secretariat of the IPPC are 
appointed by the FAO. The IPPC is implemented by national plant 
protection organizations (NPPOs) in cooperation with regional plant 
protection organizations (RPPOs); the Commission on Phytosanitary 
Measures (formerly referred to as the International Commission on 
Phytosanitary Measures); and the Secretariat of the IPPC. The United 
States plays a major role in all standard-setting activities under the 
IPPC and has representation on FAO's highest governing body, the FAO 
Conference.
    The United States became a contracting party to the IPPC in 1972 
and has been actively involved in furthering the work of the IPPC ever 
since. The IPPC was amended in 1979, and the amended version entered 
into force in 1991 after two-thirds of the contracting countries 
accepted the amendment. More recently, in 1997, contracting parties 
completed negotiations on further amendments that were approved by the 
FAO Conference and submitted to the parties for acceptance. This 1997 
amendment updated phytosanitary concepts and formalized the standard-
setting structure within the IPPC. The 1997 amended version of the IPPC 
entered into force after two-thirds of the contracting parties notified 
the Director General of FAO of their acceptance of the amendment in 
October 2005. The U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to acceptance 
of the newly revised IPPC on October 18, 2000. The President submitted 
the official letter of acceptance to the FAO Director General on 
October 4, 2001.
    The IPPC has been, and continues to be, administered at the 
national level by plant quarantine officials whose primary objective is 
to safeguard plant resources from injurious pests. In the United 
States, the national plant protection organization is APHIS' Plant 
Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program. The steps for developing a 
standard under the IPPC are described below.
    Step 1: Proposals for a new international standard for 
phytosanitary measures (ISPM) or for the review or revision of an 
existing ISPM are submitted to the Secretariat of the IPPC in a 
standardized format on a 2-year cycle. Alternatively, the Secretariat 
can propose a new standard or amendments to existing standards.
    Step 2: After review by the Standards Committee and the Strategic 
Planning and Technical Assistance Working Group, a summary of proposals 
is submitted by the Secretariat to the CPM. The CPM identifies the 
topics and priorities for standard setting from among the proposals 
submitted to the Secretariat and others that may be raised by the CPM.
    Step 3: Specifications for the standards identified as priorities 
by the CPM are drafted by the Standards Committee. The draft 
specifications are subsequently made available to members and RPPOs for 
comment (60 days). Comments are submitted in writing to the 
Secretariat. Taking into account the comments, the Standards Committee 
finalizes the specifications.
    Step 4: The standard is drafted or revised in accordance with the 
specifications by a working group designated by the Standards 
Committee. The resulting draft standard is submitted to the Standards 
Committee for review.
    Step 5: Draft standards approved by the Standards Committee are 
distributed to members by the Secretariat and RPPOs for consultation 
(100 days). Comments are submitted in writing to the Secretariat. Where 
appropriate, the Standards Committee may establish open-ended 
discussion groups as forums for further comment. The Secretariat 
summarizes the comments and submits them to the Standards Committee.
    Step 6: Taking into account the comments, the Secretariat, in 
cooperation with the Standards Committee, revises the draft standard. 
The Standards Committee submits the final version to the CPM for 
adoption.
    Step 7: The ISPM is established through formal adoption by the CPM 
according to Rule X of the Rules of Procedure of the CPM.
    Step 8: Review of the ISPM is completed by the specified date or 
such other date as may be agreed upon by the CPM.
    Each member country is represented on the CPM by a single delegate. 
Although experts and advisors may accompany the delegate to meetings of 
the CPM, only the delegate (or an authorized alternate) may represent 
each member country in considering a standard up for approval. Parties 
involved in a vote by the CPM are to make every effort to reach 
agreement on all matters by consensus. Only after all efforts to reach 
a consensus have been exhausted may a decision on a standard be passed 
by a vote of two-thirds of delegates present and voting.
    Technical experts from the United States have participated directly 
in working groups and indirectly as reviewers of all IPPC draft 
standards. The United States also has a representative on the Standards 
Committee. In addition, documents and positions developed by APHIS and 
NAPPO have been sources of significant input for many of the standards 
adopted to date. This notice describes each of the IPPC standards 
currently under consideration or up for adoption. The full text of each 
standard will be available on the Internet at (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_exports/phyto_international_standards.shtml). Interested individuals may review the 
standards posted on this Web site and submit comments via the Web site.

[[Page 61325]]

    The next CPM meeting is scheduled for March 22-26, 2010, at FAO 
Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The Deputy Administrator for APHIS' PPQ 
program is the U.S. delegate to the CPM. The Deputy Administrator 
intends to participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment 
on APHIS' position on any standards up for adoption. The agenda for the 
Fifth Session of the Commission of Phytosanitary Measures is as 
follows:
    1. Opening of the session
    2. Adoption of the agenda
    3. Election of the Rapporteur
    4. Report by the CPM chairperson
    5. Report by the Secretariat
    6. Report of the technical consultation among RPPOs
    7. Report of observer organizations
    8. Goal 1: A robust international standard-setting and 
implementation program
    8.1 Report by the chairperson of the Standards Committee
    8.2 Adoption of international standards--under the regular process
    8.3 Adoption of international standards--under the special-track 
process
    8.4 IPPC standard-setting work program (with proposed adjustments)
    9. Goal 2: Information exchange systems appropriate to meet IPPC 
obligations
    9.1 Proposed work program for 2010
    10. Goal 3: Effective dispute settlement systems
    10.1 Report of the chairperson of the Subsidiary Body on Dispute 
Settlement
    11. Goal 4: Improved phytosanitary capacity of members
    12. Goal 5: Sustainable implementation of the IPPC
    12.1 Report of the fourth meeting of the Strategic Planning and 
Technical Assistance group
    12.2 IPPC/CPM activities
    12.2.1 State of membership to the IPPC
    12.2.2 Acceptance of documents in electronic format
    12.3 Update to the Business Plan 2008-2011
    12.4 Financial report and budget
    12.4.1 Financial report 2009
    12.4.2 Financial report 2009 for the Trust Fund for the IPPC
    12.4.3 CPM Operational Plan for 2010
    12.4.4 Budget 2010 for the Trust Fund for the IPPC
    12.5 Proposal for the adoption of CPM recommendations
    13. Goal 6: International promotion of the IPPC and cooperation 
with relevant regional and international organizations
    13.1 Report on the international promotion of the IPPC and 
cooperation with relevant regional and international organizations
    14. Goal 7: Review of the status of plant protection in the world
    15. Election of the Bureau
    16. Membership of CPM subsidiary bodies
    17. Calendar
    18. Other business
    19. Date and venue of the next meeting
    20. Adoption of the report

IPPC Standards Adopted at the CPM-4 Session in 2009

1. Amendments to ISPM No. 5 (Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms)

    A. The following new terms and definitions have been adopted to the 
Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms in ISPM No. 5:
     Incidence (of a pest): Proportion or number of units in 
which a pest is present in a sample, consignment, field or other 
defined population.
     Tolerance level (of a pest): Incidence of a pest specified 
as a threshold for action to control that pest or to prevent its spread 
or introduction.
     Phytosanitary security (of a consignment): Maintenance of 
the integrity of a consignment and prevention of its infestation and 
contamination by regulated pests, through the application of 
appropriate phytosanitary measures.
     Corrective action plan (in an area): Documented plan of 
phytosanitary actions to be implemented in an area officially delimited 
for phytosanitary purposes if a pest is detected or a specified pest 
level is exceeded or in the case of faulty implementation of officially 
established procedures.
    B. The following terms and definitions have been revised in the 
Glossary:
     Compliance procedure (for a consignment): Official 
procedure used to verify that a consignment complies with phytosanitary 
import requirements or phytosanitary measures related to transit.
     Intended use: Declared purpose for which plants, plant 
products, or other articles are imported, produced, or used.
     Reference specimen: Specimen from a population of a 
specific organism conserved and accessible for the purpose of 
identification, verification, or comparison.

2. Draft Appendix to ISPM No. 5: Terminology of the Convention on 
Biological Diversity (CBD) in Relation to the Glossary of Phytosanitary 
Terms

    Terms and definitions from the CBD are based on concepts different 
from those of the IPPC so similar terms are given distinctly different 
meanings. The CBD terms and definitions could not therefore be used 
directly in the IPPC Glossary. It was decided instead to present these 
terms and definitions in an Appendix to the Glossary, providing 
explanations of how they differ from IPPC terminology.
    The following CBD terms have been adopted to the Appendix to the 
IPPC Glossary:
     Alien species
     Introduction
     Invasive alien species
     Establishment
     Intentional introduction
     Unintentional introduction
     Risk analysis

3. Revision of ISPM No. 15 (Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in 
International Trade)

    ISPM No. 15 was adopted in 2002, and modifications to Annex 1 of 
ISPM No. 15 were adopted by CPM-1 in 2006. The Technical Panel on 
Forest Quarantine initiated the revision of the standard in 2006. Over 
440 comments were received after country consultation. The Standards 
Committee adjusted the draft and recommended it for adoption by the 
CPM.
    This standard describes phytosanitary measures that reduce the risk 
of introduction and spread of quarantine pests associated with the 
movement in international trade of wood packaging material made from 
raw wood. Wood packaging material covered by this standard includes 
dunnage but excludes wood packaging made from wood processed in such a 
way that it is free from pests (e.g., plywood).

4. ISPM No. 32 (Categorization of Commodities According to Their Pest 
Risk)

    This new standard provides criteria for NPPOs of importing 
countries on categorizing commodities according to their pest risk when 
considering import requirements. This categorization should help in 
identifying whether further risk analysis is required or not. 
Contaminating pests or storage pests that may become associated with 
the commodity after processing are not considered in this standard.

IPPC Standards Up for Adoption in 2010

    It is expected that the following standards will be sufficiently 
developed to be considered by the CPM for adoption at its 2010 meeting. 
The United States, represented by the Deputy Administrator for APHIS' 
PPQ program, will participate in consideration of these standards. The 
U.S. position on each of these issues

[[Page 61326]]

will be developed prior to the CPM session and will be based on APHIS' 
analysis, information from other U.S. Government agencies, and relevant 
scientific information from interested stakeholders.

1. Pest-Free Potato (Solanum spp.) Micropropagative Material and 
Minitubers for International Trade

    This standard will provide guidance on the production, maintenance, 
and phytosanitary certification of pest-free potato (Solanum tuberosum 
and related tuber-forming spp.) micropropagative material and 
minitubers intended for international trade. This standard does not 
apply to field-grown propagative material of potato or to potatoes 
intended for consumption or processing.

2. Annex to ISPM No. 26 (Establishment of Pest Free Areas for Fruit 
Flies (Tephritidae))

    This Annex provides detailed information regarding trapping under 
different pest situations for different fruit fly species (Tephritidae) 
of economic importance. The information in this Annex can be used by 
NPPOs to aid them in developing fruit fly pest-free areas and fruit fly 
areas of low pest prevalence in line with guidance provided in other 
ISPMs. It describes the most widely used trapping systems including 
materials such as traps and attractants, trapping densities, surveying 
procedures, and procedures including evaluation, data recording, and 
analysis.

New Standard-Setting Initiatives, Including Those in Development

    A number of expert working group meetings or other technical 
consultations will take place during 2009 and 2010 on the topics listed 
below. These standard-setting initiatives are under development and may 
be considered for future adoption. APHIS intends to participate 
actively and fully in each of these working groups. The U.S. position 
on each of the topics to be addressed by these various working groups 
will be developed prior to these working group meetings and will be 
based on APHIS' technical analysis, information from other U.S. 
Government agencies, and relevant scientific information from 
interested stakeholders.

1. Revision of ISPM Nos. 7 (Export certification system) and 12 
(Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates)

    Existing ISPM Nos. 7 and 12 have been reviewed for amendment to 
provide specific guidance on their procedures, which cover technical, 
legal, administrative, and operational aspects, including export issues 
related to re-export and consignment in transit.

2. Design and operation of post-entry quarantine stations

    This standard describes general guidelines for the design and 
operation of post-entry quarantine stations that hold in quarantine 
consignments of plants that may be infested with quarantine pests.

3. Amendment to ISPM No. 5 (Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms)

    The Standards Committee, following recommendations by the Technical 
Panel for the Glossary, is proposing deletion of the term and 
definition of ``beneficial organism'' from ISPM No. 5. The current 
definition in the Glossary for the term ``beneficial organism'' is: 
``Any organism directly or indirectly advantageous to plants or plant 
products, including biological control agents (ISPM No. 3, 2005).''

4. Diagnostic Protocol on Thrips palmi (redraft)

    This diagnostic protocol, if adopted, will be incorporated as an 
Annex to ISPM No. 27 (Diagnostic Protocols for Regulated Pests). This 
Annex provides taxonomic information on Thrips palmi to allow for 
morphological and molecular assay identifications of this pest in the 
laboratory.

5. Cold treatments for Fruit Flies

    The following cold treatments (CT) for fruit flies, if adopted, 
will be annexed to ISPM No. 28 (Phytosanitary Treatments for Regulated 
Pests):
     CT of Citrus sinensis for Ceratitis capitata
     CT of Citrus reticulata x Citrus sinensis for Ceratitis 
capitata
     CT of Citrus sinensis for Bactrocera tryoni
     CT of Citrus reticulata x Citrus sinensis for Bactrocera 
tryoni
     CT of Citrus limon for Bactrocera tryoni
     CT of Citrus paradisi for Ceratitis capitata
     CT of Citrus reticulata cultivars and hybrids for 
Ceratitis capitata
     CT of Citrus limon for Ceratitis capitata
    For more detailed information on the above topics, which will be 
addressed by various working groups established by the CPM, contact Ms. 
Julie E. Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).
    APHIS posts draft standards on the Internet (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_exports/phyto_international_standards.shtml) as they become available and provides 
information on the due dates for comments. Additional information on 
IPPC standards is available on the IPPC Web site at (http://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.htm). For the most current information on 
official U.S. participation in IPPC activities, including U.S. 
positions on standards being considered, contact Ms. Julie E. Aliaga 
(see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above). Those wishing to provide 
comments on any of the areas of work being undertaken by the IPPC may 
do so at any time by responding to this notice (see ADDRESSES above) or 
by providing comments through Ms. Aliaga.

NAPPO Standard-Setting Activities

    NAPPO, a regional plant protection organization created in 1976 
under the IPPC, coordinates the efforts among Canada, the United 
States, and Mexico to protect their plant resources from the entry, 
establishment, and spread of harmful plant pests, while facilitating 
intra- and inter-regional trade. NAPPO conducts its business through 
panels and annual meetings held among the three member countries. The 
NAPPO Executive Committee charges individual panels with the 
responsibility for drawing up proposals for NAPPO positions, policies, 
and standards. These panels are made up of representatives from each 
member country who have scientific expertise related to the policy or 
standard being considered. Proposals drawn up by the individual panels 
are circulated for review to Government and industry officials in 
Canada, the United States, and Mexico, who may suggest revisions. In 
the United States, draft standards are circulated to industry, States, 
and various government agencies for consideration and comment. The 
draft standards are posted on the Internet at (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_exports/phyto_international_standards.shtml). Once revisions are made, the proposal 
is sent to the NAPPO Working Group and the NAPPO Standards Panel for 
technical reviews, and then to the Executive Committee for final 
approval, which is granted by consensus.
    The annual NAPPO meeting is scheduled for October 19-23, 2009, in 
Chicago, IL, USA. The NAPPO Executive Committee meeting will take place 
on October 19, 2009, and a session will be held on October 20, 2009, to 
solicit comments from industry groups so that suggestions can be 
incorporated into the NAPPO workplan for the 2010 NAPPO year. The 
Associate Deputy Administrator for PPQ is a member of the NAPPO 
Executive Committee. The Associate Deputy Administrator intends

[[Page 61327]]

to participate in the proceedings and will discuss or comment on APHIS' 
position on any standard up for adoption or any proposals to develop 
new standards.
    The work plan for 2009 was established after the October 2008 
Annual Meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Associate Deputy 
Administrator for PPQ participated in establishing this NAPPO work plan 
(see panel assignments below). Below is a summary of current panel 
assignments as they relate to the ongoing development of NAPPO 
standards. The United States (i.e., USDA/APHIS) intends to participate 
actively and fully in the work of each of these panels. The U.S. 
position on each topic will be guided and informed by the best 
scientific information available on each of these topics. For each of 
the following panels, the United States will consider its position on 
any draft standard after it reviews a prepared draft. Information 
regarding the following NAPPO panel topics, assignments, activities, 
and updates on meeting times and locations may be obtained from the 
NAPPO homepage at (http://www.nappo.org) or by contacting Ms. Julie E. 
Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above).

1. Accreditation Panel

    The panel revised RSPM No. 9 (The Accreditation of Laboratories for 
Phytosanitary Testing) and developed a regional phytosanitary standard 
on authorization to perform other phytosanitary procedures (e.g., 
inspection, testing, and treatments) entitled RSPM No. 28 (Guidelines 
for Authorization).

2. Biological Control Panel

    The panel is developing an Annex to RSPM No. 26 to describe the 
certification process for non-Apis pollinators, including an approved 
list of non-Apis pollinators in NAPPO countries. It is preparing a 
discussion paper on the risk associated with the importation and 
movements of honeybee-collected pollen, risk assessment, management 
measures, and research needs.

3. Biotechnology Panel

    The panel has organized a symposium for the 2009 NAPPO Annual 
Meeting event. The topic of the symposium is ``Living Modified 
Organisms and Plant Health.'' The panel is considering a proposal to 
determine whether it is appropriate to revise RSPM No. 14 (Importation 
and Release into the Environment of Transgenic Plants in NAPPO Member 
Countries) at this time, with particular focus on pest risk analysis of 
transgenic crops and the implications for importation of products with 
different intended uses.

4. Citrus Panel

    The panel convened a NAPPO workshop on citrus quarantine pests, 
including citrus leprosis, citrus variegated chlorosis, and citrus 
greening (Huanglongbing), in July 2009, and invited the participation 
of regional and international experts to exchange the latest research 
and regulatory information. The panel has developed a diagnostic 
protocol for Huanglongbing.

5. Electronic Phytosanitary Certification Panel

    The panel organized an international workshop to share information 
on e-certification initiatives in different countries and regions of 
the world. It continues the harmonization of systems development 
towards a functioning e-certification capability for use among NAPPO 
countries.

6. Forestry Panel

    The panel has completed a NAPPO standard on preventing the entry of 
Asian gypsy moth into North America, RSPM No. 33 (Guidelines for 
Regulating the Movement of Ships and Cargo from Areas Infested with the 
Asian Gypsy Moth). It has drafted a discussion paper assessing the risk 
associated with imported wooden handicraft items and possible risk 
management measures. The panel reviewed the risk and risk management 
options for wood products imported into NAPPO countries and has drafted 
a standard on the import of Christmas trees.

7. Fruit Panel

    This panel has reviewed RSPM No. 17 (Guidelines for the 
Establishment, Maintenance, and Verification of Fruit Fly Free Areas in 
North America). They have established a technical advisory group to the 
panel to develop a discussion paper that summarizes the distribution of 
Rhagoletis spp. in the NAPPO region, their potential for establishment, 
their host range, and other pertinent characteristics. The panel 
completed a new draft standard, Guidelines for the Development of 
Phytosanitary Treatment Protocols for Arthropod Pests of Fresh Fruits 
and Vegetables. This draft will be circulated by panel members for 
internal consideration by the NAPPO member countries. The final draft 
will be submitted for country consultation.

8. Fruit Tree and Grapevine Panel

    This panel, created by the merger of two existing panels, has 
combined RSPM No. 25 (Guidelines for International Movement of Pome and 
Stone Fruit Trees into a NAPPO Member Country) and RSPM No. 15 
(Guidelines for the Importation of Grapevines into a NAPPO Member 
Country) into one standard and is working on the Annexes to RSPM No. 
25. The panel is developing a diagnostic protocol for the detection of 
plum pox virus by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and is developing a 
treatment protocol for methyl bromide fumigation of fruit trees to 
contain the oriental fruit moth. The panel continues to provide 
technical assistance to the National Clean Plant Network.

9. Grains Panel

    The panel has finished reviewing RSPM No. 21 (Harmonized Procedure 
for Morphologically Distinguishing Teliospores of Karnal Bunt, Ryegrass 
Bunt and Rice Bunt) and continues to work on the review of RSPM No. 13 
(Guidelines to Establish, Maintain and Verify Karnal Bunt Pest Free 
Areas in North America).

10. Invasive Species Panel

    The panel's technical advisory group continues to review comments 
on RSPM No. 31(Pathways Risk Analysis). It has completed a position 
paper describing NAPPO's role in invasive alien species, including the 
documentation of relevant Federal legislative authority for the 
regulation of aquatic plants in North America. The panel completed a 
discussion paper on RSPM No. 32 (Pest Risk Assessment for Plants for 
Planting as Quarantine Pests).

11. Pest Risk Analysis Panel

    This panel has developed a NAPPO Pest Risk Analysis template and 
supported the Forestry Panel in drafting RSPM No. 33. It has also 
assisted the Invasive Species Technical Advisory Group in completing 
RSPM No. 31.

12. Phytosanitary Alert System (PAS) Panel

    The panel continues to post timely pest alerts on the NAPPO Web 
site and is refining the official pest reporting process and content. 
The panel conducted outreach, including the completion of a PAS 
brochure and a survey of PAS subscribers.

13. Plants for Planting

    The panel continues to work on solutions for the implementation of 
RSPM No. 24 (Integrated Pest Risk Management Measures for the

[[Page 61328]]

Importation of Plants for Planting in NAPPO Member Countries). It 
collaborated with the Accreditation Panel to finalize RSPM No. 28 
(Guidelines for Authorization).

14. Potato Panel

    This panel continues to revise RSPM No. 3 (Requirements for the 
Importation of Potatoes into a NAPPO Member Country), including the 
Annexes.

15. Seeds Panel

    This newly reconstituted panel has developed a discussion paper 
addressing problems related to the re-export of seeds and has developed 
procedures to facilitate their re-export in the Americas, in 
collaboration with the North American seed industry, the Seed 
Association of the Americas, and Comit[eacute] de Sanidad Vegetal del 
Cono Sur.

16. Standards Panel

    The panel coordinated the review of new and amended NAPPO standards 
and implementation plans; exchanged and discussed comments on draft 
ISPMs within NAPPO and with other RPPOs to build consensus on draft 
ISPMs and other IPPC-related issues, as appropriate; reviewed draft 
RSPMs prepared by panels and made recommendations on their suitability 
for adoption by the Executive Committee; and reviewed NAPPO position 
papers and policy documents to verify current relevance.
    The PPQ Associate Deputy Administrator, as the official U.S. 
delegate to NAPPO, intends to participate in the adoption of these 
regional plant health standards, including the work described above, 
once they are completed and ready for such consideration.
    The information in this notice contains all the information 
available to us on NAPPO standards currently under development or 
consideration. For updates on meeting times and for information on the 
working panels that may become available following publication of this 
notice, go to the NAPPO Web site on the Internet at (http://www.nappo.org) or contact Ms. Julie Aliaga (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT above). Information on official U.S. participation in NAPPO 
activities, including U.S. positions on standards being considered, may 
also be obtained from Ms. Aliaga. Those wishing to provide comments on 
any of the topics being addressed by any of the NAPPO panels may do so 
at any time by responding to this notice (see ADDRESSES above) or by 
transmitting comments through Ms. Aliaga.


    Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of November 2009.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E9-28143 Filed 11-23-09: 8:17 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-S