[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 10, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11071-11072]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-5114]


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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. 75, No. 46 / Wednesday, March 10, 2010 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 11071]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0020]
RIN 0579-AD08


Removal of Varietal Restrictions on Apples from Japan

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations that allow the 
importation of Fuji variety apples from Japan to allow all varieties of 
Malus domestica apples into the United States under the same conditions 
as those for Fuji variety apples. We have determined that the risk of 
introducing insects and diseases through the pathway of all varieties 
of M. domestica fresh apples to be very low under the mitigation 
measures presently in place for Fuji apples. This action would allow 
all varieties of M. domestica apples from Japan to be imported into the 
United States while continuing to protect against the introduction of 
quarantine pests.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 
10, 2010.

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-2009-0020) 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-2009-0020, 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-2009-0020.
    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: Ms. Claudia Ferguson, M.S., Regulatory 
Policy Specialist, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1231; (301) 734-0754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56-
1 through 319.56-50, 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 regulations in Sec.  319.56-27 allow the importation of Fuji 
variety apples from Japan and the Republic of Korea if the apples are 
cold treated and then fumigated under the supervision of an Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspector for the peach fruit 
moth (Carposina niponensis), the yellow peach moth (Conogethes 
punctiferalis), and the fruit tree spider mite (Tetranychus 
viennensis), in accordance with 7 CFR part 305. The regulations also 
provide that the apples must be inspected upon completion of the cold 
treatment and fumigation, prior to export from Japan or the Republic of 
Korea, by an APHIS inspector and an inspector from the national plant 
protection organization (NPPO) of Japan or the Republic of Korea. The 
regulations also require the NPPO of the exporting country to enter 
into a trust fund agreement with APHIS in accordance with Sec.  319.56-
6 before APHIS will provide the services necessary for Fuji apples to 
be imported into the United States from Japan or the Republic of Korea.
    The Japanese NPPO has requested that APHIS amend the regulations in 
Sec.  319.56-27 to allow any variety of M. domestica apples to be 
imported into the United States under the conditions currently 
prescribed for Fuji variety apples. As part of our evaluation of 
Japan's request, we prepared a commodity import evaluation document 
(CIED, February 2009). The CIED documents our review of the data 
collected from 1994 to 2008 regarding pest interceptions of Fuji apples 
from Japan and our evaluation of any additional potential risks that 
might be associated with the importation of all varieties of M. 
domestica apples into the United States from Japan based on the 
collected data. Copies of the CIED may be obtained from the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The CIED may also 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).
    As noted in the CIED, no pests of concern have been reported from 
the preclearance program in Japan, and no quarantine pests on 
commercial cargo of Fuji apples have been intercepted, reported, or 
identified at U.S. ports of entry from 1994 to 2008. Treatment of the 
apples and inspection of packed fruit prior to export from Japan by an 
APHIS inspector and an inspector from the Japanese NPPO during 
preclearance program activities both reduce the probability that pests 
will follow the pathway of fresh apples.
    APHIS considers it highly unlikely that any other varieties of M. 
domestica apples would have a significantly different pest host status 
than Fuji variety apples given that the varieties are of the same 
species. The treatment and inspection required by the regulations have 
been effective in mitigating the pest risks at origin for Fuji variety 
apples. Consequently, APHIS has concluded that the risk of introducing 
insects and diseases through the pathway of all varieties of M. 
domestica fresh apples to be very low under the mitigation measures 
presently in place for Fuji apples.
    Based on the evidence presented in the CIED, we have determined 
that the measures currently in place for Fuji

[[Page 11072]]

apples are effective and appropriate to manage pest risks associated 
with all varieties of M. domestica apples from Japan. Therefore, we 
propose to amend the regulations to allow the entry of all varieties of 
M. domestica apples from approved areas in Japan to the United States 
under the provisions of Sec.  319.56-27.
    Specifically, we would revise the introductory text of Sec.  
319.56-27 to indicate that any variety of M. domestica apples may be 
imported from Japan under the conditions in Sec.  319.56-27. We would 
also remove specific references to Fuji variety apples in the section 
heading and the regulatory text and instead refer generally to apples. 
We would also revise the term ``national plant protection agency'' to 
read ``national plant protection organization,'' to make the 
regulations consistent with the International Glossary of Phytosanitary 
Terms (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 5).\1\
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    \1\ To view the glossary on the Internet, go to (http://www.ippc.int/IPP/En/default.jsp) and click on the ``Adopted ISPMs'' 
link under the ``Standards (ISPMs)'' heading.
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Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    For this proposed rule we have prepared an economic analysis. The 
economic analysis supports our conclusion that allowing imports of all 
varieties of M. domestica apples from Japan into the United States 
would have minimal economic impact on U.S. entities, large or small. 
Although the Fuji apple is the most common variety grown in Japan, it 
constituted only 0.1 percent of U.S. apple imports in 2008. Allowing 
entry of other M. domestica varieties is expected to change the 
quantity of apple imports from Japan only minimally. The wide price 
differential between apples grown in Japan and in the United States 
suggests that apples imported from Japan are not a close substitute for 
the principal U.S.-grown apple varieties. 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.
    The full economic analysis may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web 
site or in our reading room. (Instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning 
of this proposed rule.) In addition, copies may be obtained by calling 
or writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow all varieties of M. domestica apples 
to be imported into the United States from Japan. If this proposed rule 
is adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding all 
varieties of M. domestica apples 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

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

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:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

    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 319.56-27 is amended as follows:
    a. By revising the section heading and the introductory text to 
read as set forth below.
    b. In paragraphs (b) and (c), by removing the words ``Fuji 
variety'' each time they occur.
    c. In paragraphs (b) and (c), by removing the word ``agency'' each 
time it occurs and adding the word ``organization'' in its place.


Sec.  319.56-27  Apples from Japan and the Republic of Korea.

    Any variety of Malus domestica apples may be imported into the 
United States from Japan, and Fuji variety apples may be imported into 
the United States from the Republic of Korea, only in accordance with 
this section and all other applicable provisions of this subpart.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 4\th\ day of March 2010.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-5114 Filed 3-9-10: 12:46 pm]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-S