[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 29, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 81942-81943]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32770]


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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. 249 / Wednesday, December 29, 2010 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 81942]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2010-0036]
RIN 0579-AD27


Importation of Clementines From Spain; Amendment to Inspection 
Provisions

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the 
importation of clementines from Spain by removing from the regulations 
the number of clementines per consignment intended for export to the 
United States that are required to be sampled by inspectors of the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). In place of this 
number, we propose to state in the regulations that the number to be 
sampled will be determined by APHIS. By removing from the regulations 
the number of clementines per consignment from Spain to be sampled, 
APHIS would have the flexibility to respond to changing risk levels 
while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of 
quarantine pests.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
February 28, 2011.

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-2010-0036 to submit or view comments and 
to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send one copy of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0036, 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-2010-0036.
    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. William Wesela, Assistant Director 
of Preclearance Programs, Quarantine Policy, Analysis, and Support, 
PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 
734-5718.

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 
spread of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed within 
the United States.
    The regulations in Sec.  319.56-34 list specific requirements for 
the importation into the United States of clementines from Spain. 
Clementines may only be imported if the Government of Spain or its 
designated representative enters into a trust fund agreement with the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) before each shipping 
season. To minimize the risk of plant pests being introduced into the 
United States, the regulations also require that growers who produce 
clementines in Spain for export to the United States be registered with 
the Government of Spain, and that they agree to follow the requirements 
of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata, or Medfly) 
management program administered by the Government of Spain.
    Clementines from Spain must be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate stating that the fruit meets the conditions of the Medfly 
management program and the regulations. Clementines from Spain must 
also be cut and inspected (i.e., sampled) before undergoing cold 
treatment in accordance with the regulations, and be sampled at the 
port of entry.
    Specifically, with respect to pre-treatment sampling, paragraph (f) 
of Sec.  319.56-34 states that APHIS inspectors will cut and inspect 
200 fruit randomly selected from throughout each consignment prior to 
cold treatment. The purpose of this inspection is to look for live 
Medflies in any stage of development that may be present. If a single 
Medfly is found, the entire consignment of clementines is rejected. If 
a single Medfly is found in any two lots from the same orchard during 
the same shipping season, that orchard is removed from the export 
program for the remainder of the shipping season.
    A cutting and inspection level of 200 fruit per consignment has 
generally provided APHIS inspectors with the ability to detect for 
Medfly if they are present at even low levels of infestation. However, 
in the past year, inspectors from the Department of Homeland Security's 
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection have repeatedly discovered high 
levels of dead larvae in clementine consignments arriving in the United 
States from Spain. Under the current regulations, APHIS inspectors are 
unable to adjust the number of fruit sampled prior to cold treatment 
without an agreement from the national plant protection organization of 
Spain to sample at a rate higher than we have specified in the 
regulations. However, when conditions indicate a higher risk of Medfly, 
our experience indicates that adjusting the sampling rate would detect 
pests that might otherwise go undetected prior to treatment.
    We propose to remove the requirement in paragraph (f) of Sec.  
319.56-34 that exactly 200 fruit be sampled before treatment and 
instead state that the number of fruit to be sampled will be determined 
by APHIS. The actual sampling level would be included in the bilateral 
workplan agreed to by APHIS and the Government of Spain, which 
describes in detail how the regulations are implemented operationally. 
This change would give

[[Page 81943]]

APHIS the flexibility to adjust the sample without going through the 
rulemaking process, and would be more in line with agreements that we 
have with other countries exporting fruit to the United States. APHIS 
would be able to increase the number of fruit sampled if the risk of 
Medfly larvae in consignments of fruit is determined to have increased, 
and lower the number if environmental, climatic, or other factors 
indicate a lower risk.

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.
    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 
by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for 
instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    A consignment of clementines consists of one or more lots 
containing no more than a combined total of 200,000 boxes of 
clementines that are presented to an inspector for pre-treatment 
inspection. Under the current regulations that allow for sampling of 
200 clementines, the percentage of sampled clementines ranges from 0.02 
percent to 0.1 percent per consignment inspected. Even if inspection 
amounts were increased two or three times when there is a higher pest 
risk (or reduced when there is a lower pest risk), the percentage of 
clementines sampled would remain negligible.
    While this rule would help reduce the risk of pest introduction, we 
are unable to quantify the economic impact of decreasing the 
probability of introducing Medfly into the United States. Medfly 
introductions can be very costly to producers and to the Federal and 
State Governments. The mean cost of eradicating six Medfly outbreaks in 
2007 was $13.54 million.
    This rule would not have a significant economic effect on producers 
of clementines or other U.S. entities, regardless of their size or 
resources. As described, an increase or decrease in the number of fruit 
sampled due to pest risk level changes would have a negligible effect 
on the number of clementines imported from Spain.
    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 has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required 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. In Sec.  319.56-34, paragraph (f) is amended as follows:
    a. In the paragraph heading, by removing the words ``; rates of 
inspection''.
    b. By removing the words ``200 fruit'' and adding in their place 
the words ``a sample of clementines determined by APHIS''.

    Done in Washington, DC on December 22, 2010.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-32770 Filed 12-28-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P