[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 25 (Wednesday, February 6, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 8435-8441]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02647]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2011-0060]
RIN 0579-AD59


Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit From Uruguay, Including Citrus 
Hybrids and Fortunella spp., Into the Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to allow the importation of several varieties of fresh 
citrus fruit, as well as Citrus hybrids and the Citrus-related genus 
Fortunella, from Uruguay into the continental United States. As a 
condition of entry, the fruit would have to be produced in accordance 
with a systems approach that would include requirements for importation 
in commercial consignments, pest monitoring and pest control practices, 
orchard sanitation and packinghouse procedures designed to exclude the 
quarantine pests, and treatment. The fruit would also be required to be

[[Page 8436]]

accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant 
protection organization of Uruguay with an additional declaration 
confirming that the fruit is free from all quarantine pests and has 
been produced in accordance with the systems approach. This action 
would allow for the importation of fresh citrus fruit, including Citrus 
hybrids and the Citrus-related genus Fortunella, from Uruguay while 
continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant 
pests into the United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 
8, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0060-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2011-0060, 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 2011-
0060 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) 799-7032 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Meredith C. Jones, Regulatory 
Coordination Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 156, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2289.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56-
1 through 319.56-57, 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 national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Uruguay has 
requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
amend the regulations to allow sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) 
Osbeck), lemons (C. limon (L.) Burm. f.), four species of mandarins (C. 
reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., 
and C. unshiu Marcow, Citrus hybrids, and two species of the Citrus-
related genus Fortunella (F. japonica Thunb. Swingle and F. margarita 
(Lour.) Swingle) to be imported into the continental United States. 
Hereafter we refer to these species as ``citrus fruit.'' As part of our 
evaluation of Uruguay's request, we prepared a pest risk assessment 
(PRA) and a risk management document (RMD). Copies of the PRA and RMD 
may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT or viewed 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).
    The PRA, titled ``Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit, including 
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), Lemon (C. limon (L.) Burm. 
f.), Mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex Tanaka, C. 
deliciosa Ten., C. unshiu Marcow.), Citrus Hybrids, and the Citrus-
Related Genus Fortunella (F. japonica (Thunb.) Swingle, F. margarita 
(Lour.) Swingle), from Uruguay into the Continental United States'' 
(Dec. 16, 2012), evaluates the risks associated with the importation of 
fresh citrus fruit into the continental United States from Uruguay.
    The PRA and supporting documents identified six pests of quarantine 
significance present in Uruguay that could be introduced into the 
United States through the importation of citrus fruit. These include 
two fruit flies, Anastrepha fraterculus (South American fruit fly) and 
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); two moths, Cryptoblabes 
gnidiella (the honeydew moth) and Gymnandrosoma aurantianum (citrus 
fruit borer); one fungus (Elsino[euml] australis, causal agent of sweet 
orange scab); and a pathogen (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, causal 
agent of citrus canker). In a previous revision of the PRA, citrus 
black spot (Guignardia citricarpa Kiely) was included as a quarantine 
pathogen likely to follow the pathway. However we have since determined 
that fresh or dried citrus fruit is not epidemiologically significant 
as a pathway for the introduction of citrus black spot because the 
combination of conditions required for disease transmission from 
harvested fruit is highly unlikely. Therefore, analysis of this 
pathogen was removed from the document.
    APHIS has determined that measures beyond standard port-of-arrival 
inspections are required to mitigate the risks posed by these plant 
pests. Therefore, we are proposing to allow the importation of citrus 
fruit from Uruguay into the continental United States only if it is 
produced under a systems approach. The systems approach would require 
the fruit to be imported only in commercial consignments; the Uruguayan 
NPPO to provide a workplan to APHIS that details the activities that 
the Uruguayan NPPO will, subject to APHIS' approval of the workplan, 
carry out to meet the proposed requirements; pest monitoring and pest 
control practices; orchard sanitation and packinghouse procedures 
designed to exclude the quarantine pests; and the fruit to be treated 
in accordance with 7 CFR part 305 and the Plant Protection and 
Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual.\1\ Consignments of citrus fruit from 
Uruguay would also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate with an additional declaration stating that the fruit in 
the consignment is free of all quarantine pests and has been produced 
in accordance with the requirements of the systems approach. We are 
proposing to add the systems approach to the regulations in a new Sec.  
319.56-58.
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    \1\ http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/treatment.pdf.
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Commercial Consignments

    Paragraph (a) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58 would state that only 
commercial consignments of citrus fruit from Uruguay would be allowed 
to be imported into the continental United States. Produce grown 
commercially is less likely to be infested with plant pests than 
noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are more prone 
to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to overripe, could 
be of a variety with unknown susceptibility to pests, and is often 
grown with little or no pest control. Commercial consignments, as 
defined in Sec.  319.56-2, are consignments that an inspector 
identifies as having been imported for sale and distribution. Such 
identification is based on a variety of indicators, including, but not 
limited to: Quantity of produce, type of packing, identification of 
grower or packinghouse on the packaging, and documents consigning the 
fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or retailer.

General Requirements

    Paragraph (b) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58 would set out general 
requirements for

[[Page 8437]]

the Uruguayan NPPO and for growers and packers producing citrus fruit 
for export to the United States.
    The Uruguayan NPPO would be required to provide a workplan to APHIS 
that details the activities that the Uruguayan NPPO will, subject to 
APHIS' approval of the workplan, carry out to meet the proposed 
requirements. A bilateral workplan is an agreement between APHIS' PPQ 
program, officials of the NPPO of a foreign government, and, when 
necessary, foreign commercial entities that specifies in detail the 
phytosanitary measures that will comply with our regulations governing 
the import or export of a specific commodity. Bilateral workplans apply 
only to the signatory parties and establish detailed procedures and 
guidance for the day-to-day operations of specific import/export 
programs. Bilateral workplans also establish how specific phytosanitary 
issues are dealt with in the exporting country and make clear who is 
responsible for dealing with those issues. The implementation of a 
systems approach typically requires a bilateral workplan to be 
developed. APHIS would be directly involved with the Uruguayan NPPO in 
monitoring and auditing implementation of the systems approach.
    All places of production and packinghouses that participate in the 
export program would have to be registered with the Uruguayan NPPO. 
Places of production that are registered with the Uruguayan NPPO would 
be required to follow specific field guidelines, including field 
monitoring, treatments, trapping and sampling, and sanitation. 
Packinghouses that are registered with the Uruguayan NPPO would be 
required to have in place general sanitation procedures and programs 
for training packinghouse workers to cull fruit with evidence of pest 
damage, among other things. If issues should arise, registration would 
also allow for the traceback of a box of fruit to its place of 
production and packinghouse and would allow APHIS and the Uruguayan 
NPPO to determine what remedial actions are necessary.
    Citrus fruit would be required to be grown at places of production 
that meet the requirements for fruit and plant debris removal, orchard 
monitoring, and pest control described later in this document.
    In addition, the fruit would have to be packed for export to the 
United States in a packinghouse that meets the requirements for 
safeguarding, culling, identification, and treatment that are described 
later in this document. The place of production where the fruit was 
grown would also be required to remain identifiable when the fruit 
leaves the place of production, at the packinghouse, and throughout the 
export process. Maintaining the identity of the fruit would allow for 
the use of the traceback procedures described earlier.
    This paragraph would also require safeguarding to be maintained at 
all times during the movement of the fruit to the United States and to 
be intact upon arrival of the fruit in the United States. Maintaining 
safeguarding would prevent the fruit from being infested with insect 
pests during transit. The safeguarding requirements are discussed in 
greater detail later in this document under the heading ``Packinghouse 
Requirements.''

Monitoring and Oversight

    The systems approach we are proposing includes monitoring and 
oversight requirements in paragraph (c) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58 to 
ensure that the required phytosanitary measures are properly 
implemented throughout the process of growing and packing of citrus 
fruit for export to the United States. Oversight is important in 
ensuring that the requirements of the systems approach are implemented.
    This paragraph would require the Uruguayan NPPO to visit and 
inspect registered places of production monthly, starting at least 30 
days before harvest and continuing until the end of the shipping 
season, to verify that the growers are complying with the requirements 
for grove monitoring, pest control, and fruit and plant debris removal 
described later in this document. In addition to conducting fruit 
inspections at the packinghouses, the Uruguayan NPPO would also be 
required to monitor packinghouse operations to verify that the 
packinghouses are complying with the packinghouse requirements for 
safeguarding, culling, and treatment that are described later in this 
document.
    If the Uruguayan NPPO finds that a place of production or a 
packinghouse is not complying with the relevant requirements of the 
regulations, no fruit from the place of production or packinghouse 
would be eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the 
Uruguayan NPPO conduct an investigation and appropriate remedial 
actions have been implemented.

Grove Monitoring and Pest Control

    Paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58 would specify that 
trapping for Mediterranean fruit fly and South American fruit fly must 
be conducted to demonstrate that the places of production have a low 
prevalence of those fruit flies.
    Specific trapping requirements would be included in the bilateral 
workplan and would be adjusted as necessary to ensure that trapping is 
effective. Consistent with the recommendations of the RMD, the 
bilateral workplan would initially require trapping in the places of 
production to monitor fruit fly populations to be conducted beginning 
at least 1 year before harvest begins and continue throughout the 
harvest. There would have to be at least two traps per square kilometer 
in all commercial production areas with at least two traps placed in 
each place of production. APHIS-approved traps baited with APHIS-
approved plugs would have to be used and serviced at least once every 2 
weeks. The personnel conducting trapping and pest surveys would have to 
be hired, trained, and supervised by the Uruguayan NPPO.
    During the trapping, when traps are serviced, if more than 0.7 
fruit flies are trapped per trap per day at a particular place of 
production, pesticide bait treatments would be required to be applied 
in order for the place of production to remain eligible to export 
fruit. The Uruguayan NPPO would have to keep records of fruit fly 
detections for each trap and make the records available to APHIS upon 
request. The records would have to be maintained for at least 1 year.

Orchard Sanitation

    Under paragraph (e) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58, places of 
production would have to be maintained free of fallen fruit and plant 
debris. Sanitation measures, such as removing and discarding fallen 
fruit, are essential components of good agricultural practices and are 
mainstays of commercial fruit production. These procedures would reduce 
the amount of material in the groves that could serve as potential 
disease inoculum for E. australis and X. citri subsp. citri or as host 
material for insect pests.
    Fruit that has fallen from citrus trees to the ground tends to be 
damaged and over-mature. Therefore, to provide further assurance that 
fruit harvested for export is not a potential host for fruit flies, 
fallen fruit would not be allowed to be included in field containers of 
fruit brought to the packinghouse to be packed for export.

Packinghouse Requirements

    We are proposing several requirements for packinghouse activities, 
which would be contained in paragraph (f) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58. 
The packinghouse would have to be equipped with double self-closing 
doors

[[Page 8438]]

at the entrance to the packinghouse and at the interior entrance to the 
area where fruit is packed to prevent inadvertent introduction of pests 
into the packinghouse. In addition, any vents or openings in the 
packinghouse (other than the double self-closing doors) would have to 
be covered with screening 1.6 mm or smaller in order to prevent the 
entry of pests into the packinghouse. The 1.6 mm maximum screening size 
is adequate to exclude the insect pests of quarantine significance 
named earlier in this document.
    Citrus fruit would have to be packed within 24 hours of harvest in 
the pest-exclusionary packinghouse or stored in a degreening chamber in 
the pest-exclusionary packinghouse. The fruit would have to be 
safeguarded by an insect-proof mesh, screen, or plastic tarpaulin while 
in transit from the production site to the packinghouse and while 
awaiting packing. The citrus fruit would have to be packed for shipment 
to the continental United States in insect-proof cartons or containers, 
or covered with insect-proof screen or plastic tarpaulin. These 
safeguards would have to remain intact until the arrival of the fruit 
in the United States or the consignment would not be allowed to enter 
the United States.
    During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting citrus 
fruit to the United States, the packinghouse would only be able to 
accept fruit from registered places of production. This requirement 
would prevent citrus fruit intended for export to the United States 
from being exposed to or mixed with fruit that are not produced 
according to the requirements of the systems approach.
    Any symptomatic or damaged fruit would have to be removed from the 
commodity destined for export to the United States. This is a standard 
practice in packing commercial fruit that has been shown to effectively 
remove high proportions of fruit with visible pest damage or disease 
symptoms. In addition, all fruit for export would have to be 
practically free of leaves, twigs, and other plant parts, except for 
stems that are less than 1 inch long and attached to the fruit. Leaves, 
twigs, and other plant parts can serve as pathways for the introduction 
of diseases and should be excluded from consignments of citrus fruit 
from Uruguay.
    Citrus fruit would also have to be prepared for shipping using 
packinghouse procedures that include washing, brushing, surface 
disinfection in accordance with 7 CFR part 305 and the PPQ Treatment 
Manual, treatment with an APHIS-approved fungicide in accordance with 
labeled instructions, and waxing. These measures are equivalent to our 
domestic requirements in Sec.  301.75-7 for the interstate movement of 
citrus fruit from areas quarantined for X. citri subsp. citri and in 
the April 18, 2011, Federal Order \2\ (DA-2011-22) for the interstate 
movement of citrus fruit from areas quarantined for E. australis. While 
washing and brushing are unlikely to directly kill either E. australis 
or X. citri subsp. citri, washing fruits may help to remove any 
hitchhiking insects. In addition, surface disinfection, fungicide 
application, and waxing are intended to reduce the viability of X. 
citri subsp. citri and E. australis. In particular, surface 
disinfection with an approved disinfectant has been demonstrated to be 
effective in reducing the numbers of X. citri subsp. citri cells or 
similar bacteria. In a Federal Order issued on March 23, 2011 (DA-2011-
14), this procedure was approved for use against E. australis.
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    \2\ http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/citrus/downloads/sweet_orange/2011-22.pdf.
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Treatment

    Under paragraph (g)(1) of proposed Sec.  319.56-58, the fruit 
(excluding lemon fruit), would have to be treated in accordance with 7 
CFR part 305 with an approved treatment listed in the PPQ Treatment 
Manual for Mediterranean fruit fly and South American fruit fly. Such 
treatments may include, for Mediterranean fruit fly, methyl bromide 
fumigation using treatment schedule T101-w-1-2, cold treatment using 
treatment schedule T107-a, or methyl bromide fumigation followed by 
cold treatment using treatment schedule T108-a, and for South American 
fruit fly, methyl bromide fumigation using treatment schedule T101-j-2-
1, or cold treatment using treatment schedules T107-a-1 or T107-c. 
Quarantine treatments are effective in eliminating South American fruit 
fly and Mediterranean fruit fly from citrus fruits. These treatments 
have been used successfully to mitigate pest risk for importing 
different types of fruits from many countries and would also mitigate 
the pest risk from citrus fruit from Uruguay.
    APHIS has determined that lemons are not hosts for South American 
fruit fly and are a conditional nonhost for Mediterranean fruit fly, 
meaning that, while Mediterranean fruit fly generally does not infest 
lemons, it will do so under certain conditions. Green lemons are not 
hosts of Mediterranean fruit fly, but lemons' susceptibility to 
infestation increases as lemons mature and populations of Mediterranean 
fruit fly increase. The female Mediterranean fruit fly ovipositor 
normally cannot pierce through the rind of the lemon fruit to lay eggs 
in the toxin-free pulp; therefore, the eggs laid within the rind are 
killed by the toxic compounds. However, if the rind is thin or damaged, 
or existing oviposition puncture holes are present, females can exploit 
the damage or holes by ovipositing into them and the Mediterranean 
fruit fly eggs and larvae will be more likely to survive and develop. 
Additionally, high population pressure increases the likelihood that 
Mediterranean fruit fly will infest lemons; resistance of lemons to 
Mediterranean fruit fly infestation is causally linked to the chemical 
toxicity of the lemon rind and the thickness and toughness of the rind, 
but repeated oviposition by females into an existing oviposition 
puncture hole can overcome those barriers.
    Therefore, we are proposing in paragraph (g)(2) of proposed Sec.  
319.56-58 that lemon fruit would be eligible for importation without 
treatment and if harvested green and if the phytosanitary certificate 
accompanying the lemons contains an additional declaration stating that 
the lemons were harvested green between May 15 and August 31. During 
this period (the winter season in Uruguay), Mediterranean fruit fly 
populations in Uruguay are low. If harvested outside of this timeframe 
or if harvested yellow, the lemons would have to be treated with an 
approved treatment as stated above.

Phytosanitary Certificate

    To certify that citrus fruit from Uruguay have been grown and 
packed in accordance with the requirements of proposed Sec.  319.56-58, 
proposed paragraph (h) would require each consignment of citrus fruit 
to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued 
by the Uruguayan NPPO bearing an additional declaration stating that 
the fruit in the consignment is free of all quarantine pests and has 
been produced in accordance with the requirements of the systems 
approach in proposed Sec.  319.56-58. The phytosanitary certificate and 
additional declaration are intended to raise the awareness of port-of-
entry inspectors of those requirements.

Miscellaneous Amendments to Subpart--Citrus Fruit Sec.  319.28

    The regulations in Sec.  319.28(a) prohibit the importation of 
citrus from Uruguay, as well as from eastern and southeastern Asia, 
Japan, Brazil, Paraguay, and other designated areas. However, 
paragraphs

[[Page 8439]]

(b) through (e) of Sec.  319.28 set out various exceptions to this 
prohibition. To allow the importation of citrus fruit from Uruguay 
under Sec.  319.56-58, we would add a new paragraph (d) to Sec.  319.28 
stating that the prohibition does not apply to citrus fruit from 
Uruguay that meets the requirements of proposed Sec.  319.56-58. To 
accommodate the addition of the new paragraph (d) in Sec.  319.28, we 
would redesignate current paragraphs (d) through (j) as paragraphs (e) 
through (k), respectively.
    Finally, in the note under the subpart heading ``Subpart--Citrus 
Fruit,'' we would remove the reference to Sec. Sec.  319.56 through 
319.56-8, because it is now outdated. We would replace it with a 
general reference to ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables.''

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 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is summarized below, regarding 
the economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities. 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).
    Based on the information we have, there is no reason to conclude 
that adoption of this proposed rule would result in any significant 
economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. However, we 
do not currently have all of the data necessary for a comprehensive 
analysis of the effects of this proposed rule on small entities. 
Therefore, we are inviting comments on potential effects. In 
particular, we are interested in determining the number and kind of 
small entities that may incur benefits or costs from the implementation 
of this proposed rule.
    U.S. entities that may be impacted by imports of fresh citrus from 
Uruguay are producers and packers of fresh oranges, lemons, tangerines, 
and mandarin varieties. Fresh oranges (including Navel, Valencia, 
Temple, and other varieties) are produced in California (87 percent), 
Florida (11 percent), and Texas (2 percent). Lemons are produced in 
California (97 percent) and Arizona (3 percent). Tangerines and 
mandarins (including tangelos and tangors) are produced in California 
(76 percent), Florida (23 percent), and Arizona (less than 1 percent). 
Louisiana commercially produces a variety of Satsuma that is mostly 
sold locally.
    Impacts of the proposed rule on U.S. entities would be dependent 
upon the quantity of fresh citrus imported from Uruguay and the 
substitutability of these fresh citrus varieties for U.S.-grown citrus 
varieties. Historically, Uruguay has produced less than 3 percent of 
total U.S. citrus production, including processed citrus, and total 
exports of fresh citrus from Uruguay to world markets have been 
equivalent to less than 3 percent of the combined U.S. production of 
fresh orange, lemon, tangerine, and mandarin varieties. We anticipate 
that exports directed to the U.S. domestic market would be a small 
fraction of Uruguay's total exports of these fresh citrus fruits based 
on availability and currently established export markets in Europe and 
Russia. Given the small quantity expected to be imported from Uruguay, 
it is very unlikely that there would be a significant impact on the 
U.S. markets for fresh oranges, lemons, tangerines, and mandarin 
varieties. Given the sizable amounts of fresh lemons and mandarins, for 
example, imported by the United States and the fact that the time of 
year that citrus is produced in Uruguay is the same as that for current 
South American sources, we expect that any product displacement that 
may occur because of the proposed rule would be largely borne by other 
foreign suppliers of fresh citrus.
    The majority of citrus producers and packinghouses are considered 
small entities. APHIS welcomes informed public comment in order to 
better determine the extent to which U.S. small entities may be 
affected by this proposed rule.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow citrus fruit to be imported into the 
continental United States from Uruguay. If this proposed rule is 
adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding citrus fruit 
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.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
importation of citrus fruit from Uruguay, we have prepared an 
environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was prepared in 
accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the 
Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations 
implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing 
Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room. (A link to 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.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2011-0060. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2011-0060, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, 
and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404-W, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is best 
assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of 
publication of this proposed rule.
    APHIS is proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations 
to allow, under certain conditions, the importation into the 
continental United States of commercial consignments of fresh citrus 
fruit from Uruguay. The conditions for the importation of citrus fruit 
from Uruguay include requirements for importation in commercial 
consignments, pest monitoring and pest control practices,

[[Page 8440]]

orchard sanitation and packinghouse procedures. The citrus fruit would 
also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate 
issued by the NPPO of Uruguay with an additional declaration confirming 
that the fruit had been produced in accordance with the proposed 
requirements. This action would allow for the importation of citrus 
fruit from Uruguay while continuing to provide protection against the 
introduction of injurious plant pests into the United States.
    Implementing this rule will require the use of information 
collection activities, including completion of a bilateral workplan, 
registering of production sites, labeling, inspections and 
recordkeeping, and phytosanitary certificates.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 0.36109 hours per response.
    Respondents: Citrus producers, packers, importers, and the NPPO of 
Uruguay.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 16.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 127.562.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 2,041.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 737 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2908.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the EGovernment Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste 
Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

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

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.

Subpart--Citrus Fruit [Amended]

0
2. In Subpart--Citrus Fruit, in the note below the subpart heading, 
remove the words ``fruit and vegetable quarantine No. 56 (Sec. Sec.  
319.56 to 319.56-8)'' and add the words ``Subpart--Fruits and 
Vegetables of this part'' in their place.
0
3. Section 319.28 is amended as follows:
0
a. By redesignating paragraphs (d) through (j) as paragraphs (e) 
through (k), respectively, and adding a new paragraph (d).
0
b. By revising newly redesignated paragraph (g).
    The addition and revision read as follows:


Sec.  319.28  Notice of quarantine.

* * * * *
    (d) The prohibition does not apply to sweet oranges (Citrus 
sinensis (L.) Osbeck), lemons (C. limon (L.) Burm. f.), mandarins (C. 
reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., 
and C. unshiu Marcow), Citrus hybrids, Fortunella. japonica (Thunb.) 
Swingle, and F. margarita (Lour.) Swingle, from Uruguay that meet the 
requirements of 7 CFR 319.56-58.
* * * * *
    (g) Importations allowed under paragraphs (b) through (e) of this 
section shall be subject to the permit and other requirements under the 
regulations in Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables of this part.
* * * * *
0
4. A new Sec.  319.56-58 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-58  Fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay.

    Sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), lemons (C. limon (L.) 
Burm. f.), mandarins (C. reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex 
Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., and C. unshiu Marcow), Citrus hybrids, 
Fortunella japonica (Thunb.) Swingle, and F. margarita (Lour.) Swingle 
may be imported into the continental United States from Uruguay only 
under the conditions described in this section. These species are 
referred to collectively in this section as ``citrus fruit.'' These 
conditions are designed to prevent the introduction of the following 
quarantine pests: Anastrepha fraterculus, Ceratitis capitata, 
Cryptoblabes gnidiella, Elsino[euml] australis, Gymnandrosoma 
aurantianum, and Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.
    (a) Commercial consignments. Citrus fruit from Uruguay may be 
imported in commercial consignments only.
    (b) General requirements. (1) The national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Uruguay must provide a workplan to APHIS that 
details the activities that the Uruguayan NPPO will, subject to APHIS' 
approval of the workplan, carry out to meet the requirements of this 
section. APHIS will be directly involved with the Uruguayan NPPO in 
monitoring and auditing implementation of the systems approach.
    (2) All places of production and packinghouses that participate in 
the export program must be registered with the Uruguayan NPPO.
    (3) The fruit must be grown at places of production that meet the 
requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.
    (4) The fruit must be packed for export to the United States in a 
packinghouse that meets the requirements of paragraph (f) of this 
section. The place of production where the lemons were grown must 
remain identifiable when the fruit leaves the grove, at the 
packinghouse, and throughout the export process. Boxes containing 
citrus fruit must be marked with the identity and origin of the fruit. 
Safeguarding in accordance with paragraph (f)(3) of this section must 
be maintained at all times during the

[[Page 8441]]

movement of the citrus fruit to the United States and must be intact 
upon arrival of the citrus fruit in the United States.
    (c) Monitoring and oversight. (1) The Uruguayan NPPO must visit and 
inspect registered places of production monthly, starting at least 30 
days before harvest and continuing until the end of the shipping 
season, to verify that the growers are complying with the requirements 
of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.
    (2) In addition to conducting fruit inspections at the 
packinghouses, the Uruguayan NPPO must monitor packinghouse operations 
to verify that the packinghouses are complying with the requirements of 
paragraph (f) of this section.
    (3) If the Uruguayan NPPO finds that a place of production or 
packinghouse is not complying with the relevant requirements of this 
section, no fruit from the place of production or packinghouse will be 
eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the Uruguayan 
NPPO conduct an investigation and appropriate remedial actions have 
been implemented.
    (d) Grove monitoring and pest control. Trapping must be conducted 
in the places of production to demonstrate that the places of 
production have a low prevalence of A. fraterculus and C. capitata. If 
the prevalence rises above levels specified in the bilateral workplan, 
remedial measures must be implemented. The Uruguayan NPPO must keep 
records of fruit fly detections for each trap and make the records 
available to APHIS upon request. The records must be maintained for at 
least 1 year.
    (e) Orchard sanitation. Places of production must be maintained 
free of fallen fruit and plant debris. Fallen fruit may not be included 
in field containers of fruit brought to the packinghouse to be packed 
for export.
    (f) Packinghouse procedures. (1) The packinghouse must be equipped 
with double self-closing doors at the entrance to the packinghouse and 
at the interior entrance to the area where fruit is packed.
    (2) Any vents or openings (other than the double self-closing 
doors) must be covered with 1.6 mm or smaller screening in order to 
prevent the entry of pests into the packinghouse.
    (3) Fruit must be packed within 24 hours of harvest in a pest-
exclusionary packinghouse or stored in a degreening chamber in a pest-
exclusionary packinghouse. The fruit must be safeguarded by an insect-
proof screen or plastic tarpaulin while in transit to the packinghouse 
and while awaiting packing. Fruit must be packed in insect-proof 
cartons or containers, or covered with insect-proof mesh or a plastic 
tarpaulin, for transport to the United States. These safeguards must 
remain intact until the arrival of the fruit in the continental United 
States or the consignment will not be allowed to enter the United 
States.
    (4) During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting citrus 
fruit to the continental United States, the packinghouse may only 
accept fruit from registered places of production.
    (5) Culling must be performed in the packinghouse to remove any 
symptomatic or damaged fruit. Fruit must be practically free of leaves, 
twigs, and other plant parts, except for stems that are less than 1 
inch long and attached to the fruit.
    (6) Fruit must be washed, brushed, surface disinfected in 
accordance with part 305 of this chapter, treated with an APHIS-
approved fungicide in accordance with labeled instructions, and waxed.
    (g) Treatment. (1) Citrus fruit other than lemons may be imported 
into the continental United States only if it is treated in accordance 
with part 305 of this chapter for A. fraterculus and C. capitata.
    (2)(i) Lemons may be shipped without a treatment if harvested green 
and if the phytosanitary certificate accompanying the lemons contains 
an additional declaration stating that the lemons were harvested green 
between May 15 and August 31.
    (ii) If the lemons are harvested between September 1 and May 14, or 
if the fruit is harvested yellow, the lemons must be treated in 
accordance with part 305 of this chapter for C. capitata.
    (h) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of citrus fruit 
must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued 
by the Uruguayan NPPO stating that the fruit in the consignment is free 
of all quarantine insects and has been produced in accordance with the 
requirements of the systems approach in 7 CFR 319.56-58.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 31st day of January 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-02647 Filed 2-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P