[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 196 (Tuesday, October 12, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62455-62457]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-25570]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 12, 2010 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 62455]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2010-0022]
RIN 0579-AD14


Importation of Fresh Unshu Oranges From the Republic of Korea 
Into the Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations concerning the importation of 
citrus fruit to remove certain restrictions on the importation of Unshu 
oranges from the Republic of Korea that are no longer necessary. 
Specifically, we are removing requirements for the fruit to be grown in 
specified canker-free export areas and for joint inspection in the 
groves and packinghouses by the Government of the Republic of Korea and 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. We are also amending 
the regulations to clarify that surface sterilization of the fruit must 
be conducted in accordance with 7 CFR part 305 and to expand the area 
in the continental United States where Unshu oranges from the Republic 
of Korea may be distributed. Finally, we are requiring that each 
shipment be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate containing an 
additional declaration stating that the fruit was given the required 
surface sterilization and inspected and found free of Elsinoe 
australis. These changes will make the regulations concerning the 
importation of Unshu oranges from the Republic of Korea consistent with 
our domestic regulations concerning the interstate movement of citrus 
fruit from areas quarantined because of citrus canker.

DATES: Effective Date: November 12, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Meredith C. Jones, Regulatory 
Coordination Specialist, Regulations, Permits, and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS, 
4700 River Road Unit 156, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-7467.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR 319.28 govern the importation of citrus 
fruit into the United States. These regulations are intended to prevent 
the introduction of citrus canker, among other citrus diseases and 
pests, into the United States via the importation of citrus from 
affected foreign regions. Citrus canker is a disease that affects 
citrus and is caused by the infectious bacterium Xanthomonas citri 
subsp. citri.
    On June 8, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 32310-
32313, Docket No. APHIS-2010-0022) a proposal\1\ to amend the 
regulations concerning the importation of citrus fruit to remove 
certain restrictions on the importation of Unshu oranges from the 
Republic of Korea (South Korea) that were no longer necessary. 
Specifically, we proposed to remove requirements for the fruit to be 
grown in specified canker-free export areas and for joint inspection in 
the groves and packinghouses by the Government of the Republic of Korea 
and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. We also proposed to 
clarify that surface sterilization of the fruit must be conducted in 
accordance with 7 CFR part 305 and to expand the area in the 
continental United States where Unshu oranges from the Republic of 
Korea could be distributed. Finally, we proposed to require that each 
shipment be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate containing an 
additional declaration stating that the fruit was given the required 
surface sterilization and inspected and found free of Elsinoe 
australis, the fungus that is the causal agent of sweet orange scab. 
(In addition to citrus canker, sweet orange scab was identified by the 
pest risk analysis that provided the basis for the June 2010 proposed 
rule as a quarantine pest requiring specific mitigation measures in 
order to ensure the safe importation of Unshu oranges from South 
Korea.) These proposed changes were necessary to make the regulations 
concerning the importation of Unshu oranges from the Republic of Korea 
consistent with our domestic regulations concerning the interstate 
movement of citrus fruit from areas quarantined because of citrus 
canker.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule and the comments we received, go 
to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2010-0022.
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    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
August 9, 2010. We received two comments by that date. They were from 
members of the general public. Both commenters supported the proposed 
rule.
    One of the commenters, however, did ask if there had been testing 
conducted to determine whether the Unshu oranges were affected by 
Elsinoe australis.
    While Elsinoe australis infects many species of citrus, including 
sweet orange, mandarin orange, tangerine, lemon, and lime, at this 
time, we have no evidence that it attacks Unshu oranges. Pending 
definitive evidence that Unshu variety oranges are not affected by 
sweet orange scab, however, we will continue to apply measures to 
mitigate the risk that Elsinoe australis might follow the pathway of 
Unshu oranges from South Korea.
    The same commenter asked what regulations and sanitation guidelines 
have been put in place to prevent the entry of Elsinoe australis into 
the United States.
    As noted in the June 2010 proposed rule and the accompanying risk 
management document, risk management measures that will be employed for 
Unshu oranges imported into the United States from South Korea under 
this rulemaking include surface sterilization of the oranges prior to 
packing, registration of packinghouses with the national plant 
protection organization of South Korea, and the requirement that each 
shipment be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating that the 
fruit was given the required surface sterilization and was inspected 
and found free of Elsinoe australis. We consider visual inspection by 
the national plant protection organization of South Korea of Unshu 
oranges for symptoms of sweet orange scab prior to export to be an 
effective mitigation measure against the spread of that disease to the 
U.S. citrus crop because the symptoms can be

[[Page 62456]]

detected if present, and if the symptoms are not present, the Unshu 
oranges are unlikely to be a pathway for sweet orange scab.
    Finally, the same commenter asked what could be done to kill 
Elsinoe australis or prevent it from spreading if it were introduced 
into the United States.
    On August 23, 2010, we announced that sweet orange scab had been 
detected in citrus trees on residential properties in two Texas 
counties and one parish in Louisiana. We have established a technical 
working group of subject matter experts to discuss survey and control 
strategies in response to sweet orange scab. This group will recommend 
specific mitigation strategies. In countries where sweet orange scab 
has been endemic in production areas, producers have been able to 
control the pest and minimize its effects through properly timed 
fungicide applications. It is likely that such fungicide applications 
could be employed domestically as well.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without 
change.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final 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.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The 
analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available 
on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a 
link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    This rule removes certain restrictions on the importation of Unshu 
oranges from South Korea that are no longer necessary and expands the 
area in the continental United States where Unshus from South Korea may 
be distributed.
    The impact of Unshu orange imports from South Korea is expected to 
be minimal for U.S. domestic producers. The United States does not 
commercially produce Unshu oranges, and price differences suggest that 
they are not a close substitute for U.S.-grown mandarin varieties, such 
as tangerines. Effects of the rule in terms of product displacement may 
be borne by Japanese exporters, since Japan is currently the other 
major supplier of Unshu oranges to the United States.
    Even if all Unshu orange imports from South Korea were to directly 
replace a portion of U.S.-grown tangerine consumption, the effect on 
U.S. producers would be still insignificant. Under such a scenario, 
annual imports of Unshu oranges from South Korea of 2,000 metric tons 
(the upper limit of the projected range of imports, well surpassing the 
peak import volume of 1,611 metric tons recorded in 2002) will displace 
only 0.6 percent of fresh tangerines produced by U.S. operations in 
2008-2009. Even a small impact such as this for U.S. producers is 
highly unlikely.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule allows Unshu oranges to be imported into the United 
States from the Republic of Korea. State and local laws and regulations 
regarding Unshu oranges imported under this rule will be preempted 
while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh Unshu oranges are 
generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the consuming 
public, and 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. 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 final 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.

0
Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
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.


0
2. Section 319.28 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  319.28  Notice of quarantine.

* * * * *
    (b) Unshu oranges from Japan. The prohibition does not apply to 
Unshu oranges (Citrus reticulata Blanco var. unshu, Swingle [Citrus 
unshiu Marcovitch, Tanaka]), also known as Satsuma mandarin, grown in 
Japan and imported under permit into any area of the United States 
except for those areas specified in paragraph (b)(7) of this section: 
Provided, that each of the following safeguards is fully carried out:
    (1) The Unshu oranges must be grown and packed in isolated, canker-
free export areas established by the plant protection service of Japan. 
Only Unshu orange trees may be grown in these areas, which must be kept 
free of all citrus other than the propagative material of Unshu 
oranges. The export areas must be inspected and found free of citrus 
canker and prohibited plant material by qualified plant protection 
officers of both Japan and the United States. The export areas must be 
surrounded by 400-meter-wide buffer zones. The buffer zones must be 
kept free of all citrus other than the following 10 varieties: Buntan 
Hirado (Citrus grandis); Buntan Vietnam (C. grandis); Hassaku (C. 
hassaku); Hyuganatsu (C. tamurana); Kinkan (Fortunella spp. non 
Fortunella hindsii); Kiyomi tangor (hybrid); Orange Hyuga (C. 
tamurana); Ponkan (C. reticulata); Unshu (C. unshiu Marcovitch, Tanaka 
[Citrus reticulata Blanco var. unshu, Swingle]); and Yuzu (C. junos). 
The buffer zones must be inspected and found free of citrus canker and 
prohibited plant material by qualified plant protection officers of 
both Japan and the United States.
    (2) In Unshu orange export areas and buffer zones on Kyushu Island, 
Japan, trapping for the citrus fruit fly (Bactrocera tsuneonis) must be 
conducted as prescribed by the Japanese Government's Ministry of 
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries and the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture. If fruit flies are detected, then shipping will be 
suspended from the export area until negative trapping shows the 
problem has been resolved.
    (3) Inspection of the Unshu oranges shall be performed jointly by 
plant protection officers of Japan and the United States in the groves 
prior to and during harvest, and in the packinghouses during packing 
operations.
    (4) Before packing, such oranges shall be given a surface 
sterilization as

[[Page 62457]]

prescribed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    (5) To be eligible for importation into Arizona, California, 
Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, or Texas, each shipment of oranges grown on 
Honshu Island or Shikoku Island, Japan, must be fumigated with methyl 
bromide in accordance with part 305 of this chapter after harvest and 
prior to exportation to the United States. Fumigation will not be 
required for shipments of oranges grown on Honshu Island or Shikoku 
Island, Japan, that are to be imported into States other than Arizona, 
California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, or Texas.
    (6) The identity of the fruit shall be maintained in the following 
manner:
    (i) The individual boxes in which the oranges are shipped must be 
stamped or printed with a statement specifying the States into which 
the Unshu oranges may be imported, and from which they are prohibited 
removal under a Federal plant quarantine.
    (ii) Each shipment of oranges handled in accordance with these 
procedures shall be accompanied by a certificate of the plant 
protection service of Japan certifying that the fruit is apparently 
free of citrus canker disease.
    (7) The Unshu oranges may be imported into the United States only 
through a port of entry identified in Sec.  319.37-14 that is located 
in an area of the United States into which their importation is 
authorized. The following importation restrictions apply:
    (i) Unshu oranges from Honshu Island or Shikoku Island, Japan, that 
have been fumigated in accordance with part 305 of this chapter may be 
imported into any area of the United States except American Samoa, the 
Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    (ii) Unshu oranges from Honshu Island or Shikoku Island, Japan, and 
from Kyushu Island, Japan (Prefectures of Fukuoka, Kumanmoto, Nagasaki, 
and Saga only), that have not been fumigated in accordance with part 
305 of this chapter may be imported into any area of the United States 
except American Samoa, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, 
the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin 
Islands.
    (c) Unshu oranges from the Republic of Korea. The prohibition does 
not apply to Unshu oranges (Citrus reticulata Blanco var. unshu, 
Swingle [Citrus unshiu Marcovitch, Tanaka]), also known as Satsuma 
mandarin, grown on Cheju Island, Republic of Korea, and imported under 
permit into any area of the United States except for those specified in 
paragraph (c)(4) of this section, Provided, that each of the following 
safeguards is fully carried out:
    (1) Before packing, such oranges shall be given a surface 
sterilization in accordance with part 305 of this chapter.
    (2) The packinghouse in which the surface sterilization treatment 
is applied and the fruit is packed must be registered with the national 
plant protection organization of the Republic of Korea.
    (3) The Unshu oranges must be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of the 
Republic of Korea, which includes an additional declaration stating 
that the fruit was given a surface sterilization in accordance with 7 
CFR part 305 and was inspected and found free of Elsinoe australis.
    (4) The Unshu oranges may be imported into any area of the United 
States except American Samoa, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, 
Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 5th day of October 2010.

Gregory Parham,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-25570 Filed 10-8-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P