[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 6 (Wednesday, January 9, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1826-1832]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00207]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0082]


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/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0082-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0082, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-
0082 or in our reading room, which 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) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the topics 
covered in this notice, contact Mrs. Jessica Mahalingappa, Acting 
Associate Deputy Administrator for SPS Management, International 
Services, APHIS, room 1132, USDA South Building, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; (202) 799-7121.
    For specific information regarding standard-setting activities of 
the World Organization for Animal Health, contact Dr. Michael David, 
Director, International Animal Health Standards Team, National Center 
for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 33, Riverdale, 
MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3302.
    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) 851-2032.

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

[[Page 1827]]

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 
signed into law 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 welfare, 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 178 Members, each of which is represented by a delegate who, in most 
cases, is the chief veterinary officer of that country or territory. 
The WTO has recognized the OIE as the international forum for setting 
animal health and welfare 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 Members 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 Members. 
Various OIE commissions and working groups undertake the development 
and preparation of draft standards, which are then circulated to 
Members for consultation (review and comment). Draft standards are 
revised accordingly and are then presented to the OIE World Assembly of 
Delegates (all the Members) 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 26-31, 2013, 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 and Aquatic Animal Health Code Chapters and Appendices 
Adopted by the May 2012 General Session

    Over 32 Code chapters were amended, rewritten, or newly proposed 
and

[[Page 1828]]

presented for adoption at the General Session. The following Code 
chapters are of particular interest to the United States:

1. Glossary
    The definition for the term ``infestation'' was added to the 
chapter.
2. Chapter 1.1, Notification of Diseases and Epidemiological 
Information
    The change in the text updates some of the terminology in this 
chapter.
3. Chapter 1.2, Criteria for listing diseases
    New criteria were adopted for listing notifiable diseases.
4. Chapter 1.4, Animal Health Surveillance
    Minor changes and some additional text for improved clarity were 
adopted.
5. Chapter 3.2, Evaluation of Veterinary Services
    Text in this chapter was modified for clarity and adopted.
6. Chapter 3.4, Veterinary Legislation
    This is a new Code chapter which was adopted with minor 
modifications to the text.
7. Chapter 4.6, Collection and Processing of Bovine, Small Ruminant and 
Porcine Semen
    This chapter was adopted with updated text to include new testing 
procedures.
8. Chapter 6.4, Biosecurity Procedures in Poultry Production
    Minor updates to this chapter were adopted.
9. Chapter 6.7, Harmonization of National Antimicrobial Resistance 
Surveillance and Monitoring Programs
    Text concerning specificity (prescriptiveness) was removed and made 
more accommodating of the local situation.
10. Chapter 6.8, Monitoring of the Quantities and Usage Patterns of 
Antimicrobial Agents Used in Food Producing Animals
    Changes were made in this chapter to improve clarity.
11. Chapter 7.1, Introduction to the recommendations for animal welfare
    General principles for animal welfare in livestock production 
systems were developed and adopted.
12. Chapter 7.9, Animal Welfare in Beef Cattle Production Systems
    This newly adopted code chapter is the first animal welfare chapter 
on production and housing of livestock.
13. Chapter 8.6, Aujesky's disease
    Additional clarity was made to the term ``captive wild pigs'' to 
clearly indicate that these are pigs which are ``under direct human 
supervision and control''.
14. Chapter 10.4, Notifiable Avian Influenza
    Text was added to the ``General Provisions'' section of this 
chapter to clarify a country's disease notification requirements.
15. Chapter 12.9, Equine viral arteritis
    An updated chapter on Equine viral arteritis was adopted.

    The following Aquatic Code chapters are of particular interest to 
the United States:
1. Chapter 6.4, Monitoring of the quantities and usage patterns of 
antimicrobial agents used in aquatic animals
    This is a new Code chapter adopted and supported by the United 
States.
2. Chapter 6.5, Development and harmonization of national antimicrobial 
resistance surveillance and monitoring programs for aquatic animals
    This is a new Code chapter.
3. Chapter 7.4, Killing of farmed fish for disease control purposes
    This is a new chapter.

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 2013 include the following:

     Chapter 6.9, Responsible and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial 
Agents in Veterinary Medicine.
     Chapter 6.10, Risk Analysis for Antimicrobial Resistance 
Arising from the Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animals.
     Chapter 7.5, Use of Animals in Research and Education
     Chapter 8.3, Bluetongue.
     Chapter 8.4, Infection with Echinococcus multilocularis.
     Chapter 8.12, Rinderpest.
     Chapter 8.13, Infection with Trichinella.
     Chapter 8.15, Vesicular stomatitis.
     Chapter 9.1, Infestation of honey bees with Acarapis 
woodi.
     Chapter 9.4, Infestation with Aethina.
     Chapter 9.5, Infestation of honey bees with Tropilaelaps 
spp.
     Chapter 9.6, Infestation of honey bees with Varroa spp.
     Chapter 11.2, Infection with Lumpy skin disease virus.
     Chapter 11.3, Infection with Brucella abortus,
     Chapter 11.X, Infection with Brucella melitensis.
     Chapter 11.X, Infection with Brucella suis.
     Chapter 14.8, Infection with Peste Des Petits Ruminants 
Virus.
     Chapter 15.2, Classical swine fever.
     Chapter X.X., Infection with Echinococcus granulosus.
     Chapter 7.X, Animal Welfare in Broiler Production Systems.
     Chapter 7.X Animal Welfare in Dairy Production Systems.

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 (CPM, 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

[[Page 1829]]

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, 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 and the CPM Bureau. 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://ocs.ippc.int/index.html#. Interested individuals may review the 
standards posted on this Web site and submit comments to 
Julie.E.Aliaga@aphis.usda.gov.
    The next CPM meeting is scheduled for April 8-12, 2013, 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.
    9. Goal 2: Information exchange systems appropriate to meet IPPC 
obligations.
    10. Goal 3: Effective dispute settlement systems.
    11. Goal 4: Improved phytosanitary capacity of members.
    12. Goal 5: Sustainable implementation of the IPPC.
    13. Goal 6: 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.
    It is expected that the following standards will be sufficiently 
developed to be considered by the CPM for adoption at its 2013 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 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.
     Revision of ISPM 11, Pest risk analysis for quarantine 
pests and Annex to ISPM 11, Pest risk analysis for plants as quarantine 
pests. The annex provides specific guidance for conducting pest risk 
analysis to determine if a plant is a pest of plants (cultivated or 
wild), whether it should be regulated, and to identify phytosanitary 
measures to reduce pest risk to an acceptable level. The international 
standard has been modified to harmonize concepts with its annex.
     Annex 1 to ISPM 15: Approved treatments associated with 
wood packaging material. The annex contains guidance for the use of 
approved treatments for wood packaging material, including heat 
treatments (conventional steam or dry kiln, and dielectric radiation) 
and methyl bromide.

New Standard-Setting Initiatives, Including Those in Development

    A number of expert working group meetings or other technical

[[Page 1830]]

consultations will take place during 2013 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. Establishment and maintenance of fruit fly quarantine areas 
within pest free areas in the event of an outbreak detection. This 
draft is proposed as an Annex to ISPM 26, Establishment of pest free 
areas for fruit flies (Tephritidae). It will provide guidance on the 
establishment and maintenance of regulated areas within pest free areas 
(PFA) when fruit fly outbreaks are detected. It will provide guidance 
on phytosanitary measures which are intended to protect other 
production areas and, as far as possible, will allow for the 
continuation of fruit and vegetable production, movement and handling, 
treatment, and shipping when some or all of the components of the 
export process are located in the regulated areas within the PFA.
    2. Determination of host status of fruits and vegetables to fruit 
fly (Tephritidae) infestation. This standard will provide guidelines 
for the determination of the host status of fruits and vegetables to 
fruit fly infestation. It describes three categories of host status for 
fruit flies: natural host, non-natural host, and non-host. It includes 
methodologies for surveillance under natural field conditions and 
trials under semi-natural field conditions that should be used to 
ascertain the host status of fruits and vegetables to fruit fly 
infestation where the knowledge of host status is uncertain or 
disputed.
    3. Appendix to ISPM 12: Electronic certification, information on 
standard XML schemes and exchange mechanisms. This appendix contains 
information and guidance to NPPOs to use the World Wide Web Consortium 
(WC3) Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the standardized language for 
exchange of electronic certificate data between NPPOs.
    4. Annex to ISPM 27: Diagnostic Protocol for Tilletia indica. This 
diagnostic protocol contains pest information, taxonomy, detection, 
examination of seeds, extraction of teliospores, morphological 
identification, germination, molecular identification, and a list of 
references.
    5. Annex to ISPM 27: Diagnostic Protocol for Guignardia citricarpa. 
This diagnostic protocol contains pest information, taxonomy, symptoms, 
identification procedures, isolation and culture, morphology, molecular 
assays, and a list of references.
    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.nappo.org/en/. 
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 was held October 16 to 18, 2012, in 
Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The NAPPO Executive Committee 
meeting took place on October 15, 2012. The Deputy Administrator for 
PPQ is a member of the NAPPO Executive Committee. The Deputy 
Administrator participated in the proceedings to discuss or comment on 
APHIS' position on any standard up for adoption or any proposals to 
develop new standards.
    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 will perform an audit of the U.S. NPPO's adherence to 
Regional Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM) 9, ``Authorization 
of laboratories for phytosanitary testing'' and review the audit 
training program with a view to establishing a harmonized approach for 
NAPPO countries.
2. Biological Control Panel
    The panel has revised RSPM 26, ``Certification of commercial 
arthropod biological control agents moving into NAPPO member 
countries,'' reviewed the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the 
evaluation of risk of imported bee pollen and royal jelly on plant 
health through the use of pollinators, and will determine research 
needs and recommend mitigation measures.
3. Citrus Panel
    The panel continues exchanging information on the situation of 
citrus quarantine pests among NAPPO member countries, OIRSA, and other 
Caribbean countries. The panel is revising and updating the appendices 
for RSPM 16, ``Importation of Citrus

[[Page 1831]]

propagative material into a NAPPO member country''. The panel will 
recommend measures for the establishment and maintenance of area wide 
management programs for Huanglongbing (HLB) and its vector.
4. Electronic Phytosanitary Certification Panel
    The panel continues participating in the international development 
of electronic certification towards a functioning regional and global 
e-certification capability; reviewing the consolidated IPPC XML Schema 
and ISPM 12 mapping currently being developed by the IPPC; harmonizing 
ISPM 12 code list for botanical names, treatments, additional 
declarations and product descriptions; and advancing discussions of 
methods for the transfer, security measures, and the validation of 
electronic certification.
5. Forestry Panel
    The panel completed the standard for regulating the movement of 
wooden articles intended for indoor and outdoor use (``Importation of 
certain wooden and bamboo commodities into a NAPPO member country''); 
completed the drafting of a standard on the movement of Christmas trees 
within the NAPPO region; is working on a discussion paper regarding the 
applicability of the current standards for heat treatment for wood 
products considering that certain pests such as the emerald ash borer 
(EAB) have demonstrated a tolerance to treatments; has reviewed and 
drafted a discussion paper reporting on the risks associated with fungi 
moving on wood commodities; and directed a TAG to report advances on 
additional research for the application of biological control of the 
EAB. The panel is working on a document summarizing current approaches 
used within North America to manage pests of firewood.
6. Fruit Panel
    The panel has developed recommendations for technically justified 
phytosanitary measures to mitigate the risk of introduction of Lobesia 
botrana into NAPPO countries, including measures to deal with a 
possible outbreak; has provided oversight to a TAG to compile and 
analyze the available scientific information on appropriate 
phytosanitary measures against Drosophila suzukii, evaluating and 
determining which measures are appropriate for application by NAPPO 
countries; and is completing the TAG documents on Rhagoletis and 
Tetranychus trapping.
7. Grains Panel
    The panel contributed to the organization (agenda and speakers) of 
the IPPC workshop on the international movement of grain, in Vancouver, 
Canada, in December 2011. Taking into account discussions at the IPPC 
workshop, the panel identified relevant phytosanitary issues and 
evaluated the need for a NAPPO standard on the movement of grain.
8. Invasive Species Panel
    The panel finalized a pathway risk analysis standard with support 
from the Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) panel; collaborated with the PRA 
panel to review the scientific literature on climate change and 
completed the discussion paper on its pertinence to the PRA process; 
and identified the most important invasive plant species threats to 
North America, which were presented at the NAPPO Annual Meeting 
symposium in October 2012.
9. Pest Risk Analysis Panel
    The panel completed the discussion paper on the potential for 
climate change to affect the ability of pests to spread and establish 
in new areas, including the implications for the current PRA process, 
with assistance from the Invasive Species panel; reviewed and addressed 
comments on the NAPPO Pest Risk Analysis standard (RSPM 31); completed 
a discussion paper summarizing the risk associated with the movement of 
wooden articles intended for indoor and outdoor use; and completed the 
development of the PRA format including risk-ranking guidelines.
10. Phytosanitary Alert System (PAS) Panel
    The panel prepared guidelines for the development of pest alerts 
and a checklist of alert sources to ensure all available sources are 
being utilized but not duplicated; coordinated outreach with other 
related Web sites and linked them to the PAS Web site; conducted 
outreach activities for possible collaboration between NAPPO, OIRSA, 
and other NPPOs in Central America on pest alerts; and posted new pest 
reports and alerts to the NAPPO PAS Web site.
11. Plants for Planting
    The panel reviewed the need to maintain RSPM 24, ``Integrated pest 
risk management measures for the importation of plants for planting 
into NAPPO member countries'' after the IPPC standard on the same 
subject was adopted; completed the pest list annexes for RSPM 35, 
``Guidelines for the Movement of Stone and Pome Fruit Trees and 
Grapevines into a NAPPO Member Country;'' and organized the Plants for 
Planting Symposium for the 2012 Annual Meeting, focusing on regulatory 
strategies for the nursery industry (including greenhouses).
12. Potato Panel
    The panel developed a NAPPO discussion paper on the efficacy of 
potato sprout inhibitors, gathered the most recent information potato 
virus Y and identified the strains of concern to the NAPPO region based 
on biological and economic factors, and completed the review of RSPM 3, 
``Requirements for the importation of potatoes.'' The panel 
investigated the potential phytosanitary issues related to zebra chip.
13. Seeds Panel
    The panel is working to complete the NAPPO regional standard on 
seed movement, an appendix on pathogens considered to be seedborne and 
seed-transmitted pests, and the annexes covering phytosanitary import 
requirements, recommended seed testing and diagnostic methods for most 
important seed pests, and recommended seed treatments for quarantine 
seed pests. The panel continues to support efforts in the development 
of an international standard for seed.
14. Standards Panel
    The panel coordinated the review of new and amended NAPPO 
standards, diagnostic and treatment protocols, and implementation 
plans; provided updates on NAPPO standards and ISPMs for the NAPPO 
Newsletter; maintained the NAPPO Glossary; and is developing a 
regulatory response upon detection of new pests in NAPPO to avoid 
bilateral irritants.
15. Tuta absoluta Technical Advisory Group
    This TAG has developed a surveillance protocol for the tomato leaf 
miner, Tuta absoluta for NAPPO countries which includes a system for 
early detection, trapping criteria, a system for delimiting surveys, 
and recommended phytosanitary measures when detections are made.
    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

[[Page 1832]]

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 2nd day of January, 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-00207 Filed 1-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P