[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 85 (Thursday, May 2, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 25623-25626]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10383]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0042]
RIN 0579-AD69


Importation of Fresh Beans, Shelled or in Pods, From Jordan 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 commercial shipments of fresh 
beans, shelled or in pods (French, green, snap, and string), from 
Jordan into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, the 
beans would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach 
that would include requirements for packing, washing, and processing. 
The beans would also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate attesting that all phytosanitary requirements have been met 
and that the consignment was inspected and found free of quarantine 
pests. This action would allow for the importation of fresh beans, 
shelled or in pods, from Jordan into the continental United States 
while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of 
plant pests.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 
1, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0042-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0042, 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-
0042 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: Mr. Marc Phillips, Senior Regulatory 
Coordination Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 156, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-
2114.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56-
1 through 319.56-58, 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.
    Currently, we do not allow the importation of fresh beans 
(Phaseolus vulgaris L.), shelled or in pods (French, green, snap, and 
string), from Jordan into the continental United States. The Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) received a request from the 
national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Jordan to allow such 
beans to be imported from Jordan into the continental United States 
(the lower 48 States, the District of Columbia, and Alaska). As part of 
our evaluation of Jordan's request, we prepared a pest risk assessment 
(PRA) and a risk management document. Copies of the PRA and the risk 
management document may be obtained from the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site 
(see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    The PRA, titled ``Importation of Fresh Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris 
L.), Shelled or in Pods, from Jordan into the Continental United 
States: A Qualitative, Pathway-Initiated Risk Assessment'' (February 
2011), evaluates the risks associated with the importation of fresh 
beans into the continental United States from Jordan. The risk 
management document lists the phytosanitary measures necessary to 
ensure the safe importation into the United States of fresh beans from 
Jordan.
    The PRA identifies seven quarantine pests that could be introduced 
into the United States in consignments of fresh beans from Jordan. A 
quarantine pest is defined in Sec.  319.56-2 as ``a pest of potential 
economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present 
there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially 
controlled.'' In the PRA, the likelihood and consequences of 
introducing these pests to the United States are considered. Five of 
the pests are considered to have high pest risk potentials, and two, 
medium pest risk potentials, as shown in the following chart:

[[Page 25624]]



                                            List of Quarantine Pests
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Pest risk
             Type                           Organism                         Taxonomy                potential
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arthropods....................  Chrysodeixis chalcites (Esper).  Lepidoptera: Noctuidae.........  High
                                Helicoverpa armigera             Lepidoptera: Noctuidae.........  High
                                 (H[uuml]bner).
                                Liriomyza huidobrensis           Diptera: Agromyzidae...........  High
                                 Blanchard.
                                Maconellicoccus hirsutus         Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae......  High
                                 (Green).
                                Spodoptera littoralis            Lepidoptera: Noctuidae.........  High
                                 (Boisduval).
                                Lampides boeticus Linnaeus.....  Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae........  Medium
Fungus........................  Phoma exigua var. diversispora   Ascomycete: Mitosporic fungi...  Medium
                                 (Bub[aacute]k) Boerema.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For pests with high pest risk potential, specific phytosanitary 
measures, in addition to standard port-of-entry inspections of the 
commodity being imported into the United States, are strongly 
recommended. Such additional measures may also be necessary for pests 
with medium pest risk potential.
    Based on the findings of our PRA and risk management document, we 
are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation of 
commercial shipments of fresh beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), shelled or 
in pods, from Jordan into the continental United States, subject to a 
systems approach.
    The systems approach would require that the commodity be packed in 
facilities that are registered with and approved by the NPPO of Jordan. 
Each shipping box would have to be marked with the identity of the 
packing facility so that shipments can be traced back to the facility 
in the event of the discovery of a pest.
    The beans would have to be washed in potable water, which will 
assist in removing any insects feeding on individual beans.
    We would require the beans to be inspected by the NPPO of Jordan 
and found to be free of the quarantine pests listed above before export 
to the United States. Chrysodeixis chalcites, Helicoverpa armigera, 
Lampides boeticus, and Spodoptera littoralis cause obvious feeding 
damage and frass on beans, allowing beans infested with these pests to 
be eliminated during packing. These four caterpillar pests are also 
relatively large in their adult forms and can easily be seen during 
inspection. The pink hibiscus mealy bug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, has 
a grayish-pink body covered with mealy white wax and white wax 
filaments projecting from the body, making the pest easily visible on 
infested beans. It also causes obvious damage. Liriomyza huidobrensis 
is a leafminer whose mines are easily seen on bean leaves and pods; 
therefore, beans with damage caused by this pest can be culled during 
packing.
    The remaining pest, the fungus Phoma exigua var. diversispora, also 
causes conspicuous damage to fresh beans in the form of grayish to 
brownish, concentric spots, 1-3 centimeters in diameter, which may 
later show concentric rings of small black pycnidia. Based on these 
conspicuous symptoms, Phoma exigua var. diversispora will be easy to 
recognize when beans are inspected by the NPPO of Jordan. The fungus 
may also infect seeds. Infected seed nearly always fail to germinate or 
result in post-emergence killing of the plants by the fungus. Since the 
intended use of the imported commodity is consumption and it will be 
exported in the form of fresh beans, immature seeds will have no 
germination capacity, which eliminates the seed transmission risk.
    To ensure that early instars of the four caterpillar pests referred 
to above are not present internally in the bean pods and missed during 
the visual inspection, each bean would have to either be cut into cut 
into chevrons or pieces that do not exceed 2 centimeters in length, or 
shredded or split the length of the bean pod in pieces not exceeding 8 
centimeters in length and 8.5 millimeters in diameter. Cutting or 
splitting the beans would allow for the detection of larvae of pests of 
the order Lepidoptera during inspection, while shredding would both 
expose and destroy any internal feeding insects.
    Only commercial consignments of fresh beans would be allowed to be 
imported from Jordan. 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 
packaging, identification of grower or packinghouse on the packaging, 
and documents consigning the fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or 
retailer.
    Consignments of fresh beans would also need to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by Jordan's NPPO attesting that the 
proposed requirements have been met and that the consignment was 
inspected and found free of quarantine pests.
    We would add these requirements to the regulations in a new Sec.  
319.56-59.

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).
    The analysis examines the expected economic impact on U.S. small 
entities of our proposal to allow importation of fresh beans, shelled 
or in pods (French, green, snap, and string) from Jordan into the 
continental United States.
    The Small Business Administration's small-entity standard for U.S. 
farms that produce fresh beans is annual receipts of not more than 
$750,000. In 2007, the average market value of sales by the 15,654 U.S. 
farms that produced snap beans for the fresh market was about $25,400, 
well below the small-entity standard.
    Jordan expects to export 200 metric tons of fresh beans to the 
continental United States annually. This quantity is equivalent to less 
than one-tenth of 1 percent of U.S fresh snap bean production. While 
most entities that may be affected by the proposed rule are

[[Page 25625]]

small, the impact of the rule would be minor.
    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 would allow fresh beans, shelled or in pods, to 
be imported into the United States from Jordan. If this proposed rule 
is adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding fresh beans 
imported under this rule would be preempted while the fruit is in 
foreign commerce. Fresh beans 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.

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-
2012-0042. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2012-0042, 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.
    This proposed rule would amend the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to allow the importation of commercial shipments of fresh 
beans, shelled or in pods (French, green, snap, and string), from 
Jordan into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, the 
beans would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach 
that would include requirements for packing, washing, and processing. 
The beans would also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate attesting that all phytosanitary requirements have been met 
and that the consignment was inspected and found free of quarantine 
pests. Implementing this rulemaking would require packinghouse 
registration and shipping box labeling, as well as the completion of 
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 0.6 hours per response.
    Respondents: NPPO of Jordan and U.S. importers.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 6.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 4.17.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 25.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 15 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 E-Government 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.

0
2. A new Sec.  319.56-59 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-59  Fresh beans, shelled or in pods, from Jordan.

    Fresh beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), shelled or in pods (French, 
green, snap, and string), may be imported into the continental United 
States from Jordan only under the conditions described in this section. 
These conditions are designed to prevent the introduction of the 
following quarantine pests: Chrysodeixis chalcites, Helicoverpa 
arm[iacute]gera, Lampides boeticus Liriomyza huidobrensis, 
Maconellicoccus hirsutus, Phoma exigua var. diversispora, and 
Spodoptera littoralis.
    (a) Packinghouse requirements. The beans must be packed in packing 
facilities that are approved and registered with Jordan's national 
plant protection organization (NPPO). Each shipping box must be marked 
with the identity of the packing facility.
    (b) Post-harvest processing. The beans must be washed in potable 
water. Each bean pod must be either cut into chevrons or pieces that do 
not exceed 2 centimeters in length, or shredded or split the length of 
the bean pod. Split or shredded bean pod pieces may not exceed 8 
centimeters in length and 8.5 millimeters in diameter.
    (c) Commercial consignments. The beans must be imported as 
commercial consignments only.
    (d) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of fresh beans must 
be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by Jordan's NPPO 
attesting that the conditions of this section have been met and that 
the consignment has been inspected and

[[Page 25626]]

found free of the pests listed in this section.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 26th day of April 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-10383 Filed 5-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P