[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 204 (Friday, October 22, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65213-65214]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-26750]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 204 / Friday, October 22, 2010 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 65213]]



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: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending 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 
associated with allowing other varieties of M. domestica apples from 
Japan into the United States is the same as that posed by Fuji variety 
apples. This rule allows 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: Effective Date: October 22, 2010.

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.
    On March 10, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 
11071-11072, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0020) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations in Sec.  319.56-27 by allowing all varieties of Malus 
domestica apples into the United States from Japan under the same 
treatment and inspection conditions required for Fuji variety apples 
from Japan. We prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) 
as part of our evaluation of Japan's request to allow M. domestica 
varietal apples into the United States. Based on the evidence presented 
in the CIED, we determined that the measures currently in place for 
Fuji apples are adequate to manage pest risks associated with all 
varieties of M. domestica apples from Japan.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, the CIED, and the comments we 
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009-0020.
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    We solicited comments concerning the proposed rule for 60 days 
ending May 10, 2010. We received six comments by that date. They were 
from private citizens and from an association of horticultural 
producers. Four commenters supported the rule. The other two commenters 
opposed the proposal to allow the importation of all varieties of M. 
domestica apples into the United States from Japan.
    One commenter stated that allowing the importation of additional 
variety of apples from Japan would be unreasonable since Japan 
continues to restrict apples and cherries from the United States, 
requiring separate testing for treatment efficacy for each variety of 
those fruits without providing scientific evidence to justify their 
requirement. The commenter stated that the varietal testing 
requirements constitute a trade barrier and suggested that, if Japan is 
unwilling to allow additional varieties of apples and cherries to be 
exported from the United States, then we should not allow additional 
apple varieties to be imported from Japan.
    The second commenter asked why we thought the importation of 
additional varieties of apples from Japan was necessary. Specifically, 
the commenter wanted to know whether the demand for apples had 
increased enough to necessitate the importation of additional apple 
varieties from Japan, which could increase the potential for importing 
pests into the United States.
    We have evaluated the potential pest risk associated with the 
importations of additional apple varieties from Japan. Based on our 
evaluation, we have determined that the measures currently in place for 
Fuji apples are adequate to manage pest risks associated with all 
varieties of M. domestica apples from Japan. In any case, the 
mitigations currently in place for Fuji apples are sufficient to 
mitigate the risk of importing pests into the United States. Therefore, 
it is appropriate to grant Japan's request to allow the importation of 
additional apple varieties into the United States.
    Any increase in the quantity of apples from Japan because of 
importation of these other, scarcely grown M. domestica varieties is 
expected to be insignificant. We will continue to work with the NPPO of 
Japan to resolve technical barriers to exporting U.S. fruits.
    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.

Effective Date

    This is a substantive rule that relieves restrictions and, pursuant 
to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, may be made

[[Page 65214]]

effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
    Immediate implementation of this rule is necessary to provide 
relief to those persons who are adversely affected by restrictions we 
no longer find warranted. The shipping season for M. domestic apple 
varieties from Japan is in progress. Making this rule effective 
immediately will allow interested producers and others in the marketing 
chain to benefit during this year's shipping season. Therefore, the 
Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has 
determined that this rule should be effective upon publication in the 
Federal Register.

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.
    Allowing imports of all varieties of M. domestica apples from Japan 
into the United States is expected to 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 will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule allows all varieties of M. domestica apples to be 
imported into the United States from Japan. State and local laws and 
regulations regarding the importation of M. domestica apples under this 
rule will be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh 
fruits 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 319.56-27 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising the section heading and the introductory text to read as 
set forth below.
0
b. In paragraphs (b) and (c), by removing the words ``Fuji variety'' 
each time they occur.
0
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 18th day of October 2010.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-26750 Filed 10-21-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P