[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 120 (Friday, June 21, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37481-37495]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14638]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 37481]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 319, 322, and 360

[Docket No. APHIS-2011-0085]
RIN 0579-AD76


Consolidation of Permit Procedures; Denial and Revocation of 
Permits

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are proposing to consolidate the regulations concerning the 
issuance of permits for the importation and interstate movement of a 
wide variety of regulated plants, plant products, and other articles. 
We would also make corresponding changes to the regulations concerning 
permits for the importation and interstate movement of noxious weeds 
and the importation of honeybees and other beekeeping articles. We are 
also proposing to include new provisions in our regulations for the 
denial of a permit and the revocation of a permit once issued. These 
changes would make our permit procedures more transparent and easier to 
use, allow us to evaluate a permit application more quickly and 
thoroughly, and help us hold permittees accountable for complying with 
permit conditions.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
August 20, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0085-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2011-0085, 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-
0085 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 
Policy Specialist, Regulatory Compliance and Coordination, RPM, PPQ, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-
2114.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Plant Protection Act, as amended, (PPA, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) 
states that it is the responsibility of the Secretary of Agriculture to 
facilitate exports, imports, and interstate commerce of agricultural 
products and other commodities that pose a risk of harboring plant 
pests or noxious weeds in ways that will reduce the risk of 
dissemination of plant pests or noxious weeds that could constitute a 
threat to crops and other plants or plant products and burden 
interstate or foreign commerce. The Secretary may prohibit or restrict 
the importation, entry, exportation, or movement in interstate commerce 
of any plant, plant product, noxious weed, or article if the Secretary 
determines that the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent 
the introduction of a plant pest or noxious weed into the United States 
or the dissemination of a plant pest or noxious weed within the United 
States.
    To implement these prohibitions and restrictions, the PPA further 
provides that the Secretary may issue regulations, including those that 
require that a permit be obtained for plants, plant products, noxious 
weeds, or other regulated articles prior to their importation or 
movement in interstate commerce. The Secretary has delegated the 
authority provided by the PPA to the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Regulations issued under the 
authority of the PPA are administered and enforced by APHIS' Plant 
Protection and Quarantine program (PPQ).
    Requiring a written permit for the importation or interstate 
movement of plants, plant products, noxious weeds, or other regulated 
articles reduces the risk of the introduction or dissemination of a 
plant pest or noxious weed in the United States in several ways.
    A permit informs applicants of the requirements and conditions for 
importation or interstate movement of regulated articles that we have 
determined are necessary to mitigate the risk of introducing or 
disseminating a plant pest or noxious weed. Requiring a written permit 
also allows APHIS to hold permittees accountable for complying with 
permit conditions and to specify the plant products allowed into the 
United States or allowed to move interstate. A permit prescribes the 
binding conditions that the applicant for a permit, and the permittee, 
must adhere to under the permit and the pertinent regulations. The 
information contained in an application for a permit must also provide 
for clear and continuous accountability for the importation or 
movement.
    The regulations contained in 7 CFR part 319, Foreign Quarantine 
Notices, prohibit or restrict the importation into the United States of 
certain plants, roots, bulbs, seeds, or other plant products to prevent 
plant pests and noxious weeds from being introduced and spread within 
the United States. The restricted or prohibited plant products include 
plants for planting, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, foreign cotton 
and covers, sugarcane, citrus, corn and related plants, rice, wheat, 
logs and other unmanufactured wood articles, packing materials, and 
coffee.
    The regulations in 7 CFR part 322 prohibit or restrict the 
importation of honeybees and honeybee semen in order to prevent the 
introduction into the United States of diseases and parasites harmful 
to honeybees and of undesirable species.
    The regulations in 7 CFR part 360 restrict the importation and 
interstate movement of those plants that are designated as noxious 
weeds.
    Each of the parts listed above provides the requirements for 
permits that are necessary to comply with the regulations of that part. 
Those parts are not, however, always consistent in their requirements 
for obtaining a permit, the

[[Page 37482]]

basis upon which we may deny or revoke a permit, or how such a denial 
or revocation may be appealed.
    These inconsistencies have resulted in confusion for applicants for 
a permit concerning our permit procedures and difficulties for APHIS in 
providing the appropriate guidance concerning the regulations. 
Additionally, the lack of consistency in our permit procedures has 
resulted in difficulties with the enforcement of our regulations. There 
have been instances of applicants for a permit providing false or 
fraudulent information. In other instances, permittees have not 
complied with requirements for using a permit. Permittees must comply 
with all requirements in the applicable regulations and with all permit 
conditions contained in the permit, and with applicable administrative 
instructions. Administrative instructions are published guidance 
stating how to comply with the regulations with regard to a particular 
commodity or situation, and are incorporated into the regulations if 
they are of general applicability. See, for example, 7 CFR 319.24a, 
``Administrative instructions relating to entry of corn into Guam.''
    In order to reduce the risk of the introduction or dissemination of 
a plant pest or noxious weed into or within the United States, we 
intend to strengthen and harmonize the requirements for a permit for 
restricted plants, plant products, and other articles regulated under 
the PPA in parts 319, 322, and 360.
    Specifically, we are proposing to establish a new subpart in part 
319 entitled ``Permits: Application, Issuance, Denial, and 
Revocation,'' which would include Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5 and 
would serve as generally applicable requirements in part 319 for 
obtaining a permit to import or move interstate plants or plant 
products. The requirements contained in the new subpart would provide 
applicants for permits with more detailed information regarding the 
process for applying for a permit and indicate the type of information 
we would require in a permit application. We would also make consistent 
and clear the provisions for how we will approve, deny, or revoke a 
permit. We would also apply the new provisions, as appropriate, to 
parts 322 and 360.
    We anticipate that these changes to the regulations will make our 
permit procedures more transparent and easier to use, allow us to 
evaluate a permit application more quickly and thoroughly, and provide 
greater control and accountability for the permit process.
    These proposed changes, and the provisions of the proposed new 
subpart, are discussed in further detail directly below.

Definitions

    Section 319.7 would define terms we propose to use in the permit 
regulations. Some of the terms and definitions we are proposing for 
Sec.  319.7 are derived from the definitions of these terms in the PPA. 
We are proposing to use these definitions in order to ensure that the 
regulations are consistent with the PPA. Those definitions are listed 
below:
     Article. Any material or tangible objects that could 
harbor plant pests or noxious weeds.
     Enter, entry. To move into, or the act of movement into, 
the commerce of the United States.
     Import, importation. To move into, or the act of movement 
into, the territorial limits of the United States.
     Means of conveyance. Any personal property used for or 
intended for use for the movement of any other personal property.
     Move. To carry, enter, import, mail, ship, or transport; 
to aid, abet, cause, or induce the carrying, entering, importing, 
mailing, shipping, or transporting; to offer to carry, enter, import, 
mail, ship, or transport; to receive to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; to release into the environment; or to allow any of 
the activities described in this definition.
     Permit. A written authorization, including by electronic 
methods, to move plants, plant products, biological control organisms, 
plant pests, noxious weeds, or articles under conditions prescribed by 
the Administrator.
     Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, 
association, joint venture, or other legal entity.
     Plant. Any plant (including any plant part) for or capable 
of propagation, including a tree, a tissue culture, a plantlet culture, 
pollen, a shrub, a vine, a cutting, a graft, a scion, a bud, a bulb, a 
root, and a seed.
     Plant pest. Any living stage of any of the following that 
can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in 
any plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic 
plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or 
other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied with any of the 
foregoing.
     Plant product. Any flower, fruit, vegetable, root, bulb, 
seed, or other plant part that is not included in the definition of 
plant, or any manufactured or processed plant or plant part.
     State. Any of the several States of the United States, the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the 
United States, or any other territory or possession of the United 
States.
     United States. All of the States.
    Other definitions we are proposing for Sec.  319.7 are based on 
definitions in other parts of our regulations in 7 CFR chapter III. 
These definitions are listed below:
     Administrative instructions. Published documents related 
to the enforcement of 7 CFR part 319 and issued under authority thereof 
by the Administrator.
     Administrator. The Administrator of the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service, or any employee of the United States 
Department of Agriculture delegated to act in his or her stead.
     Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States 
Department of Agriculture.
     Consignment. A quantity of plants, plant products, and/or 
other articles being moved from one country to another authorized, when 
required, by a single permit. A consignment may be composed of one or 
more commodities or lots.
     Country of origin. The country where the plants, or plants 
from which the plant products are derived or were grown or where the 
non-plant articles were produced.
     Inspector. Any individual authorized by the Administrator 
of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or the Commissioner 
of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security, to enforce the regulations in part 319.
     Lot. All the regulated articles on a single means of 
conveyance that are derived from the same species of plant or are the 
same type of non-plant article and were subjected to the same 
treatments prior to importation, and that are consigned to the same 
person.
     Port of entry. A port at which a specified shipment or 
means of conveyance is accepted for entry, or admitted without entry 
into the United States for transit purposes.
     PPQ. The Plant Protection and Quarantine program, Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service.
     Regulated article. Any material or tangible object 
regulated by 7 CFR part 319 for entry into the United States or 
interstate movement.

[[Page 37483]]

     Soil. The unconsolidated material from the earth's surface 
that consists of rock and mineral particles mixed with organic material 
and that supports or is capable of supporting biotic communities.
     Treatment. A procedure approved by the Administrator for 
neutralizing infestations or infections of plant pests or plant 
diseases, such as fumigation, application of chemicals or dry or moist 
heat, or processing, utilization, or storage.
    Other definitions we are proposing for Sec.  319.7 are new to the 
regulations or are slightly different or expanded from current 
definitions. These definitions are discussed below.
    To provide a clear framework for distinguishing the stages involved 
in issuing permits for the importation and interstate movement of 
regulated articles we would define two terms. These terms are applicant 
and permittee.
    We would define an applicant as a person at least 18 years of age 
who, on behalf of him or herself or another person, submits an 
application for a permit to import into the United States or move 
interstate a regulated article in accordance with part 319. A permittee 
would be defined as a person who on behalf of him or herself or another 
person, is legally the importer of an article, meets the requirements 
of Sec.  319.7-2(f), and is responsible for compliance with the 
conditions for the importation that is the subject of a permit issued 
in accordance with part 319. It is important that the permittee be the 
importer of the article because the act of importing an article 
contrary to the regulations is specifically identified as a violation 
of law.
    In Sec.  319.7-1, we would make consistent the information required 
in an application for a permit for the articles regulated by part 319. 
We would require applicants to state the intended use of the regulated 
article and we would define intended use as the purpose for the 
importation of the regulated article, to include, but not be limited 
to, consumption, propagation, or research purposes. We would also 
require that the proposed port of first arrival be provided, and we 
would define port of first arrival as the area, such as a seaport, 
airport, or land border, where a person or means of conveyance first 
arrives in the United States, and where inspection of regulated 
articles may be carried out by inspectors.
    We would clarify throughout part 319 that obtaining a permit does 
not guarantee permission to import a consignment of regulated articles, 
but that an inspector at the port may withhold permission pending a 
determination regarding whether remedial measures are necessary 
pursuant to the PPA with respect to the regulated article. We would 
also define oral authorization as verbal permission to import that may 
be granted by an inspector at the port of entry.

Applying for a Permit

    The regulations in proposed Sec.  319.7-1 would set out the 
specific information a permit application must contain, how we would 
handle a shipment that arrives at a port before the permittee has 
received the permit, and how we would provide for oral authorizations 
at the port of entry.
    Paragraph (a) would provide that a person who wishes to import 
regulated articles into the United States must apply for a permit, 
unless the regulated articles are not subject to a requirement that a 
permit be issued prior to a consignment's arrival. This standard would 
continue to allow importation of articles that the regulations 
currently allow to enter without being accompanied by a permit (e.g., 
most lots of 12 or fewer plants for planting under Sec.  319.37-3, 
certain log and lumber articles authorized entry under the general 
permit in Sec.  319.40-3, or fruits and vegetables from Canada entering 
under the general permit in Sec.  319.56-10).
    Proposed paragraph (a) would also set out the requirements for an 
applicant to obtain a permit. Under this paragraph, an applicant for a 
permit to import regulated articles into the United States in 
accordance with part 319 would have to be capable of acting in the 
capacity of the permittee, or must designate a permittee for the 
permit, should it be issued. The duties of a permittee are discussed 
later in this document.
    Section 424(c) of the PPA (7 U.S.C. 7734(c)) provides that, for the 
purposes of the PPA, the act, omission, or failure of any officer, 
agent, or person acting for or employed by another person within the 
scope of his or her employment or office shall be deemed also to be the 
act, omission, or failure of the other person. We would make this 
responsibility clear by building into the definition of applicant that 
the application may be for a permit on behalf of him or herself or 
another person to act as permittee. We would also require that the 
applicant be at least 18 years of age.
    Paragraph (b) would provide applicants with information regarding 
how to obtain and submit an application for a permit. It would state 
that permit applications must be submitted by the applicant in writing 
or electronically through one of the means listed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/permits/index.shtml in advance of the 
action(s) proposed on the permit application. That Web page would 
specify that persons may apply for a permit via the Internet through 
APHIS' secure site for online permit applications, and would provide a 
link to that portal. It would also provide that a person may submit a 
permit application by faxing the application to APHIS, and would 
specify the appropriate fax number. Additionally, it would state that 
an application may be obtained by calling PPQ at the number provided. 
Finally, it would provide that a person may submit a permit application 
by mailing it to APHIS at the address provided.
    Paragraph (c) would list the information that every permit 
application must contain, and paragraph (d) would list other 
information APHIS may require from some applicants depending on the 
specific nature of the articles in their shipments. Currently, in the 
various subparts of part 319, permit applications require certain 
information in all cases (nature and origin of the shipment, contact 
information for the applicant, etc.), but there is substantial 
variation in the description of requirements. Much of the variation is 
not significant but simply results from the fact that the various 
subparts were written at different times over a span of 50 years. In a 
few cases, the variation results from a need to have additional 
information to evaluate or control the risks associated with specific 
types of imports or pests. Table 1 below summarizes how the current 
subparts of part 319 address the information required for permit 
applications.

[[Page 37484]]



                                                                                   Table 1--Comparison of Information Required for Permit Applications
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                                                                                                                         Sec.   319.41 et seq.
    Sec.   319.8 et seq.          Sec.   319.24 et seq.        Sec.   319.37 et seq.        Sec.   319.40 et seq.       Subpart--Indian corn or       Sec.   319.55 et seq.        Sec.   319.56 et seq.        Sec.   319.75 et seq.
 Subpart--foreign cotton and     Subpart--corn diseases         Subpart--plants for       Subpart--logs, lumber, and     maize, broomcorn, and            Subpart--rice             Subpart--fruits and         Subpart--Khapra beetle
           covers                                                     planting               other wood articles             related plants                                              vegetables
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Name and address of   Name and address of   Name, address, and   Name and address     Name and address     Name and address     Name and address     Name, address, and
 the importer                  the exporter                  telephone number of the      of the applicant and, if     of the exporter              of the importer in the       of the importer in the       telephone number of the
 Country from which    Country and           importer                     the applicant's address is   Country and          United States to whom the    United States                importer.
 such material is to be        locality where grown          Approximate          not within the United        locality where grown         permit should be sent, if    Country or           Approximate
 imported                      Port of departure     quantity and kinds           States, of an agent in the   Port of arrival      other than the applicant     locality of origin of the    quantity and kinds of
 Kind of cotton or     Proposed port of      (botanical designations)     United States whom the       Name and address     Locality where the   fruits or vegetables         articles intended to be
 covers it is desired to       entry                         of articles intended to be   applicant names for          of the importer in the       desired material has been    Anticipated port     imported.
 import                        Name and address of   imported                     acceptance of service of     United States to whom the    grown                        of first arrival             Country or
 Approximate           the importer or of the        Country(ies) or      process                      permit should be sent        Port of arrival      Identity             locality of origin.
 quantity                      broker in the United States   locality(ies) where grown    Statement                                                                      (scientific name             Country(ies) or
 Proposed port of      to whom the permit should     Intended United      certifying the applicant                                                               preferred) and quantity of   locality(ies) where it is
 entry                         be sent                       States port of entry         as the importer of record                                                              the fruit or vegetable       intended to be off-loaded
                                                             Means of             Specific type of                                                                                            prior to arrival in the
                                                             transportation, e.g.,        regulated article to be                                                                                             United States.
                                                             mail, airmail, express,      imported, including the                                                                                             Intended U.S. port
                                                             air express, freight,        genus and species name of                                                                                           of entry.
                                                             airfreight, or baggage       the tree from which the                                                                                             Means of
                                                             Expected date of     regulated article was                                                                                               transportation.
                                                             arrival                      derived                                                                                                             Expected date of
                                                                                          Country, and                                                                                                arrival.
                                                                                          locality if known, where
                                                                                          the tree from which the
                                                                                          regulated article was
                                                                                          derived was harvested
                                                                                          Quantity of the
                                                                                          regulated article to be
                                                                                          imported
                                                                                          Description of any
                                                                                          processing, treatment or
                                                                                          handling to be performed
                                                                                          prior to importation,
                                                                                          including the location
                                                                                          where any processing or
                                                                                          treatment was or will be
                                                                                          performed and the names
                                                                                          and dosage of any
                                                                                          chemicals employed in
                                                                                          treatments
                                                                                          Description of any
                                                                                          processing, treatment, or
                                                                                          handling intended to be
                                                                                          performed following
                                                                                          importation, including the
                                                                                          location where any
                                                                                          processing or treatment
                                                                                          will be performed and the
                                                                                          names and dosage of any
                                                                                          chemicals employed in
                                                                                          treatments
                                                                                          Whether the
                                                                                          regulated article will or
                                                                                          will not be imported in a
                                                                                          sealed container or in a
                                                                                          hold
                                                                                          Means of
                                                                                          conveyance to be used
                                                                                          Intended port of
                                                                                          first arrival in the
                                                                                          United, and any subsequent
                                                                                          ports in the United States
                                                                                          at which regulated
                                                                                          articles may be unloaded
                                                                                          Destination and
                                                                                          general intended use of
                                                                                          the regulated article
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[[Page 37485]]

    Table 2 below describes the unified permit application information 
requirements that we are proposing to replace the varied requirements 
in table 1. It includes both specific information we would require for 
all permit applications and additional information that we may 
sometimes require based on the nature of the article imported pursuant 
to the requested permit.

      Table 2--Proposed Permit Application Information Requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Additional information that may be
    Information for all permits       required  (proposed Sec.   319.7-
    (proposed Sec.   319.7-1(c))                    1(d))
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Legal name, address, and     Means of conveyance.
 contact information of the           Quantity of the regulated
 applicant and of the permittee, if   article.
 different from the applicant.        Estimated date of arrival.
 Specific type of regulated   Name, address, and contact
 article (common and scientific       information of any broker or
 names, if applicable).               subsequent custodian of the
 Country of origin.           regulated article.
 Intended use of the          Exporting country from
 regulated article.                   which the article is to be moved,
 Intended port of first       when not the country of origin.
 arrival.                             Any other information
 A description of any         determined to be necessary by the
 processing, treatment, or handling   Administrator to inform the
 of the regulated article to be       decision to issue the permit.
 performed prior to or following
 importation, including the
 location where any processing or
 treatment was or will be performed
 and the names and dosage of any
 chemical employed in treatments of
 the regulated article.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The information we are proposing to require for all applications 
would provide us with the means to contact and track applicants and 
evaluate, for most cases, the risk posed by the proposed importation. 
This evaluation takes into account the type of article (to consider 
what pests it may host) and the country of origin (to consider what 
pests are found there). The intended use of the article is also often 
relevant, for example, if it is intended for near-term consumption or 
processing destructive to pests. The intended port of arrival is 
important information both for workload planning and to consider 
whether any pests of concern could thrive or spread in that port's 
climate. Finally, the description of any processing, treatment, or 
handling of the article allows us to consider whether pests would be 
destroyed by such processes.
    The second column of table 2 lists information that APHIS may 
require before issuing specific permits to make a fully informed 
decision concerning the risks of disseminating plant pests or noxious 
weeds for a particular importation. This represents information that 
APHIS may sometimes require either to properly assess the risk 
associated with the proposed importation or information relevant to 
operational planning. For example, the identity of countries that the 
consignment is shipped through may be relevant to risk in cases where 
certain types of consignments can easily become infested with pests not 
present in the country of origin. In other cases the quantity of a 
regulated article is relevant when gauging whether treatment facilities 
at the port of arrival are of adequate size, and the estimated date of 
arrival is relevant when port facilities are scheduled for renovation 
or particularly busy periods. This type of additional information would 
be obtained from the applicant either through automatic prompts in the 
ePermits system triggered by applicant responses, or in cases where 
ePermits is not used, by APHIS contacting the applicant after receiving 
the application.
    Importantly, we propose to indicate in paragraph (d) of Sec.  
319.7-1 that APHIS may require from an applicant any other information 
determined necessary by the Administrator to inform the decision to 
issue the permit or to safely manage its entry at the port. Such 
information may sometimes be required from an applicant even after 
issuance of a permit, for example, when additional transportation 
requirements suddenly become necessary. These are situations where 
clearance of a consignment at the scheduled port of first arrival is 
impossible and the consignment is directed to move from the arrival 
port environs to another location for final disposition. In such cases, 
APHIS may need more information to assess the pest risk and decide 
whether safeguards are adequate and to contact the destination port 
about safeguards there while the off-loaded consignment is awaiting 
transshipment.
    Paragraph (e) of Sec.  319.7-1 would provide that an application 
for a permit to import regulated articles into the United States must 
be submitted at least 30 days prior to arrival of the article at the 
port of entry; however, if, through no fault of the permittee, a 
consignment should arrive at a U.S. port before a permit is received, 
we would provide that the consignment may be held, under suitable 
safeguards prescribed by the inspector, in custody at the risk and 
expense of the permittee pending issuance of a permit or authorization 
from APHIS for entry.
    We would also provide for oral authorizations in paragraph (e). As 
discussed above, an oral authorization would be defined as verbal 
permission to import that may be granted by an inspector at the port of 
entry. We are proposing that an oral authorization could be granted by 
an inspector at the port of entry for a shipment or a consignment, 
provided all applicable entry requirements are met, proof of 
application for a written permit is provided to the inspector, and PPQ 
verifies that the application for a written permit has been received 
and that PPQ intends to issue the permit.
    The oral authorization procedure would replace current provisions 
in part 319 of the regulations for oral permits. Some sections of part 
319 allow oral permits to be issued at the sole discretion of an 
inspector, without requiring prior submission of a permit application. 
While APHIS has operational practices in effect to track when oral 
permits are authorized and what they cover, there is no corresponding 
requirement for importers to keep track of when they receive oral 
permission and what it covers, which complicates compliance audits and 
enforcement actions. Due to these factors, we have determined that oral 
permits do not provide a reliable means of verifying that a permittee 
was aware of permitting conditions at the time he or she was issued the 
permit. Because the proposed oral authorization procedure includes a 
requirement that an application for a written permit must be underway 
before an oral authorization is issued, it would provide a link between 
oral authorizations and documentation. The

[[Page 37486]]

written application associated with the oral authorization also 
includes acknowledgment and acceptance of permit conditions that may be 
assigned by APHIS, which also strengthens the oral authorization system 
compared to the old oral permits system for articles subject to part 
319.

Issuance of Permits and Labels

    Section 319.7-2 would contain the provisions for the issuance of 
permits and labels. In paragraph (a) of this section, we would provide 
that, when we receive an application for a permit, we will issue a 
permit that prescribes the applicable conditions for importation if, 
after review of the application, the Administrator determines that the 
regulated article is eligible to be imported into the United States 
under those specific conditions. A copy of the permit would be provided 
to the permittee. The permit would only be valid for the time period 
indicated on the permit. In addition to listing the applicable 
conditions of entry, the permit would also specify the port of entry 
and, when needed, allowed ports of first arrival. (This may be needed, 
for example, for air parcel post deliveries that arrive in the United 
States and then move by surface transportation, usually by a bonded 
carrier, to another destination for entry. Such shipments must be 
cleared at a port of first arrival that has a U.S. Department of 
Agriculture plant inspection station.)
    Paragraph (b) would require that an applicant for a permit for the 
importation of regulated articles into the United States designate the 
person who will be named as the permittee upon the permit's issuance. 
As discussed above, the applicant and the permittee may be the same 
person.
    As noted above, the PPA provides that the act, omission, or failure 
of any officer, agent or person acting for or employed by another 
person within the scope of his or her employment or office shall be 
deemed also to be the act, omission, or failure of the other person. We 
would include this standard in paragraph (c) to make it clear that 
responsibility for violating a permit condition applies to the 
permittee and is not limited to just the person who commits the 
violation, if that person is acting as an agent for the applicant or 
permittee.
    Paragraph (d) would provide that failure to comply with all of the 
conditions specified in the permit or any applicable regulations or 
administrative instructions, or forging, counterfeiting, or defacing 
permits or shipping labels, may result in immediate revocation of 
relevant permits (i.e., the permit for which a condition was violated, 
or any valid permit that the permittee altered to extend its scope), 
denial of any future applications for permits, and other remedial 
actions ordered by an inspector and civil or criminal penalties for the 
permittee, as authorized by the PPA.
    Paragraph (e) would provide that the permittee remains responsible 
for the consignment regardless of any delegation to a subsequent 
custodian of the importation. Such subsequent custodians include 
entities such as brokers or transporters.
    Paragraph (f) would include requirements for the permittee. These 
requirements are necessary because we must be able to clearly identify 
and when necessary contact the person legally responsible for the 
importation or movement that is the subject of the permit. If the 
permittee is an individual, he or she would be required, during any 
periods when articles are being imported or moved interstate under the 
permit, to maintain and be physically present during normal business 
hours at an address within the United States specified on the permit.
    If the permittee is a corporation, institution, association or 
other legal entity, the legal entity would have to maintain an address 
or a business office in the United States with a designated individual 
for service of process.
    Proposed paragraph (f) would also require that the permittee serve 
as the contact for the purpose of communications associated with the 
movement of the regulated article for the duration of the permit, and 
ensure compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements and 
permit conditions associated with the movement of the regulated article 
for the duration of the permit. The permittee would also be required to 
provide written or electronic acknowledgment and acceptance of permit 
conditions and acknowledge that failure to comply with all of the 
conditions specified in the permit or any applicable regulations or 
administrative instructions, or forging, counterfeiting, or defacing 
permits or shipping labels, may result in immediate revocation of the 
permit, denial of any future applications for permits, and other 
remedial actions under the PPA. We would require that the permittee 
comply with all conditions of the permit for the entirety of its 
prescribed duration. The permittee would also be required to inform the 
PPQ Permit Unit of a change in contact information for the permittee 
within 10 business days of such change.
    Paragraph (g) would provide that the importation of regulated 
articles may only proceed, even if a permit is issued, if all 
applicable requirements of the permit or any other documents or 
instructions issued by APHIS are met. Such documents may include APHIS 
administrative instructions, compliance agreements, and preclearance 
documents. While APHIS tries to ensure that permittees are fully 
informed at the time of permit issuance as to exactly what APHIS 
requirements will apply to their shipments when they arrive, sometimes 
this is not possible. There are various reasons for this, ranging from 
the minor (a clerical or data entry error in the permit) to the 
substantial (new data demonstrating existence of a pest in an area or 
on a commodity where it was not previously known). To directly inform 
permittees, each permit contains a statement that all requirements are 
subject to change at any time during the duration of the permit, and 
refers permittees to PPQ Port Program Manuals at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/index.shtml for 
current import requirements for commodities. When it is possible and 
there is time to do so, APHIS will amend a permit and inform the 
permittee before shipments arrive that will be subject to new or 
revised requirements. When there is not time to do this or a large 
number of permits are affected and they all cannot be amended quickly, 
the new requirements are also publicized using methods such as press 
releases and the PPQ Stakeholder Registry. Also, when new pest or other 
information makes it necessary to prohibit commodities that were 
previously allowed entry, a Federal Order \1\ is usually issued and 
widely distributed by APHIS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A Federal Order is a document issued by APHIS, typically in 
response to an immediate need, when the Administrator of APHIS 
considers it necessary to take regulatory action to protect 
agriculture or prevent the entry and establishment into the United 
States of a pest or disease. Federal Orders are effective 
immediately under the regulatory authority provided by the Plant 
Protection Act, as amended, Section 412(a), 7 U.S.C. 7712(a). 
Federal Orders will remain in effect until they are revised by 
another Federal Order or by rulemaking, or are withdrawn.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    APHIS issues labels for consignments of some imported articles to 
expedite clearance of approved imports, e.g., we may issue labels to be 
applied to fruit packed under approved conditions at an approved 
packinghouse overseas. Paragraph (h) would add provisions for the 
labeling of regulated articles to be imported under a permit issued in 
accordance with part 319. It would state that labels with information 
about the shipment's nature, origin, movement

[[Page 37487]]

conditions, or other matters relevant to the permit may be issued to 
the importer for the importation of regulated articles and will 
indicate that the importation is authorized under the conditions 
specified in the permit. The quantity of labels will be sufficient for 
the importer to affix one to the outer packaging of each parcel. If 
APHIS has required and issued labels for an importation by either 
regulations in part 319 or specific permit conditions, importations 
without the required labels will be refused entry into the United 
States.
    Even if a permit has been issued for the importation of a regulated 
article, under the provisions of paragraph (i) the regulated article 
may be imported only if an inspector at the port of entry determines 
that, based on the findings of the inspection, no remedial measures 
pursuant to the PPA are necessary. Pursuant to the PPA, an inspector 
may hold, seize, quarantine, treat, apply other remedial measures to, 
destroy, or otherwise dispose of plants, plant pests, and other 
articles in accordance with sections 414, 421, and 434 of the PPA (7 
U.S.C. 7714, 7731, and 7754).
    Paragraph (j) of proposed Sec.  319.7-2 would provide that a permit 
application may be withdrawn at the request of the applicant prior to 
the issuance of the permit. A permit could be canceled after issuance 
at the request of the permittee under proposed paragraph (k), and 
paragraph (l) would provide that a permit may be amended if the 
Administrator finds after issuance that the permit was incomplete or 
contained factual errors.

Denial of Permits

    Section 319.7-3 would contain the regulations by which we could 
deny a permit to import regulated articles into the United States under 
this part.
    The Administrator may deny an application for a permit under the 
provisions of proposed paragraph (a). A denial, including the reason 
for the denial, would be provided in writing, including by electronic 
methods, to the applicant as promptly as circumstances permit. We would 
provide that the denial of a permit may be appealed in accordance with 
Sec.  319.7-5.
    Paragraph (b) would contain the conditions under which the 
Administrator may deny a permit to import regulated articles. These 
conditions would include risks posed both by the applicant and by the 
article.
    We propose to provide that a permit may be denied if APHIS 
determines that an applicant is not likely to abide by permit 
conditions. Factors that may lead to such a determination would 
include, but not be limited to, the following.
     The applicant, or another legal entity in which the 
applicant has a substantial interest, has not complied with any permit 
that was previously issued by APHIS;
     APHIS determines that issuing the permit would circumvent 
any order revoking or denying a permit under the Act;
     APHIS determines that the applicant has previously failed 
to comply with any APHIS regulation;
     The applicant has previously failed to comply with any 
Federal, State, or local law, regulation or instruction concerning 
plant health;
     The applicant has failed to comply with the laws or 
regulations of a national plant protection organization or equivalent 
body, as these pertain to plant health;
     The applicant has made false or fraudulent statements or 
provided false or fraudulent records to APHIS, or;
     The applicant has been convicted or has pled nolo 
contendere to any crime involving fraud, bribery, extortion, or any 
other crime involving a lack of integrity.
    The above factors represent reasons APHIS might determine, based on 
past actions and their relevance to the application under 
consideration, that an applicant cannot be trusted to abide by permit 
conditions. Additionally, we could also deny a permit if the 
application for a permit contains information that is found to be 
materially false, fraudulent, or deceptive. A permit could also be 
denied for the regulated article for which the permit is sought if, in 
APHIS' opinion, the action under the permit would present an 
unacceptable risk of introducing or disseminating a plant, or if the 
importation is adverse to the conduct of an eradication, suppression, 
control, or regulatory program of APHIS, or to applicable import 
regulations or any administrative instructions. A permit could be 
denied if the government of the State or Territory into which the 
article would be imported objects to the proposed importation and 
provides specific, detailed information that there is a risk it will 
result in the dissemination of a plant pest or noxious weed into the 
State, and APHIS concurs.

Withdrawal, Cancellation, and Revocation of Permits

    Section 319.7-4 would contain the regulations under which we may 
revoke a permit to import regulated articles into the United States 
that has already been issued under part 319. It would also contain 
procedures for applicants to withdraw their permit application, and for 
permittees to cancel their permits.
    Paragraph (a) would provide that an applicant may withdraw a permit 
application before issuance of a permit by sending a written request to 
APHIS. APHIS would then provide written notification to the applicant 
as promptly as circumstances allow regarding reception of the request 
and withdrawal of the application.
    Paragraph (b) would provide that that if a permittee wishes to 
cancel a permit after its issuance, he or she must provide the request 
in writing to APHIS. APHIS would then provide written notification to 
the applicant as promptly as circumstances allow regarding reception of 
the request and withdrawal of the application.
    Paragraph (c) would provide that the Administrator may revoke any 
outstanding permit to import regulated articles into the United States, 
and that a revocation, including the reason for the revocation, would 
be provided in writing, including by electronic methods, to the 
permittee as promptly as circumstances permit. The revocation of a 
permit could be appealed in accordance with proposed Sec.  319.7-5.
    Paragraph (d) would contain the conditions under which the 
Administrator may revoke a permit to import a regulated article. Under 
this paragraph, the Administrator could revoke a permit to import a 
regulated article if information is received subsequent to the issuance 
of the permit that would constitute cause for the denial of an 
application under proposed Sec.  319.7-3. A permit could also be 
revoked if the Administrator determines that the permittee has failed 
to maintain the safeguards or otherwise observe the conditions 
specified in the permit or in any applicable regulations or 
administrative instructions.
    Sections 414, 421, and 434 of the PPA (7 U.S.C. 7714, 7731, and 
7754) give the Secretary the authority to hold, seize, quarantine, 
treat, apply other remedial measures to, destroy, or otherwise dispose 
of plants, plant pests, and other articles moving into or through the 
United States, in order to prevent the dissemination of a plant pest or 
noxious weed, without cost to the Federal Government and in the manner 
the Secretary considers appropriate and is the least drastic action 
that is feasible and that would be adequate to prevent the 
dissemination of any plant pest or noxious weed new to or not known to 
be widely prevalent or distributed within and throughout the United 
States.
    In light of this authority granted by the PPA, paragraph (e) would 
contain

[[Page 37488]]

the actions that must be taken if a permit is revoked. It would provide 
that, upon revocation of a permit, the permittee must, without cost to 
the Federal Government and in the manner the Administrator considers 
appropriate, surrender all regulated articles covered by the revoked 
permit and any other affected plant material to an inspector; destroy 
all regulated articles covered by the revoked permit and any other 
affected plant material under the supervision of an inspector; or 
remove all regulated articles covered by the revoked permit and any 
other affected plant material from the United States.

Appeal of Denial or Revocation

    Proposed Sec.  319.7-5 would set out the procedure for appealing a 
denial or revocation of a permit to import regulated articles into the 
United States. As discussed above regarding proposed Sec.  319.7-4(a), 
all denials of an application for a permit, or revocations of an 
existing permit, will be provided in writing, including by electronic 
methods, as promptly as circumstances permit and will include the 
reasons for the denial or revocation.
    Paragraph (b) would provide that any person whose application for a 
permit has been denied or whose permit has been revoked may appeal the 
decision in writing to the Administrator within 10 business days from 
the date the communication of notification of the denial or revocation 
of the permit was received. The appeal should state all facts and 
reasons upon which the person is relying to show that the denial or 
revocation was incorrect.
    The Administrator would grant or deny the appeal in writing and 
will state in writing the reason for the decision.

Changes to Other Subparts in Part 319

    As discussed above, we are proposing to establish the new subpart 
Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5 to contain and consolidate the 
generally applicable requirements in part 319 for obtaining a permit to 
import or move interstate plants or plant products.
    Other subparts in part 319 currently contain varying requirements 
relating to permits. We are proposing to remove those requirements from 
the regulations and amend all the subparts with current requirements to 
refer to the subpart we are proposing to add. This would ensure that 
common requirements apply to permits for importation of any article 
whose importation is regulated under part 319.
    In the paragraphs that follow, we discuss the changes we are 
proposing to the regulations contained in part 319 and cite the 
specific areas of the regulations we are proposing to change.
    The foreign quarantine notices of 7 CFR part 319 to which we 
propose changes are:
    Plants and plant products imported for experimental, therapeutic, 
or developmental purposes under Sec.  319.8. This section contains 
requirements for controlled import permits (CIP) that may be used to 
import an article whose importation is prohibited under part 319, or to 
import an article under conditions that differ from those prescribed in 
the relevant regulations in part 319. This section was recently 
promulgated in a final rule in the Federal Register on May 2, 2013 (78 
FR 25565-25572), and its provisions for denial and revocation of 
permits are substantially similar to those discussed in this rule 
above. We propose to revise the relevant paragraph (g) in Sec.  319.6, 
Denial and revocation of a CIP, to refer to the provisions of the 
proposed new subpart.
    Foreign cotton and covers regulated under Sec. Sec.  319.8 through 
319.8-26. In Sec.  319.8-1, we would amend the definition of permit to 
refer to the provisions of the proposed new subpart. We would remove 
specific language from Sec.  319.8-2(a) and (c) about the written or 
oral form of a permit application and the information it must contain 
and information regarding where a permit application may be submitted. 
This information, updated to be consistent with current APHIS 
procedures, would now be available in proposed Sec.  319.7-1. We would 
also remove Sec.  319.8-2(d), which describes what steps APHIS will 
take upon receipt of an application. This information, updated to be 
consistent with current APHIS procedures, would now be available in 
proposed Sec.  319.7-2. We would also remove paragraph (g), which 
describes how certain shipments that inadvertently arrive at a port in 
advance of the issuance of a permit may be held under safeguards 
pending issuance of the permit. Proposed Sec.  319.7-1(e) would replace 
this provision with updated language regarding safeguards at the port 
of entry and oral authorizations for entry. We would also add 
references in Sec. Sec.  319.8-1 and 319.8-2 to Sec. Sec.  319.7 
through 319.7-5 to aid readers in locating the newly consolidated 
information on permits.
    Indian corn or maize and related plants and their seeds regulated 
under Sec. Sec.  319.24 through 319.24-5 (the corn diseases subpart) 
and Sec. Sec.  319.41 through 319.46 (the Indian corn or maize, 
broomcorn, and related plants subpart). We would revise Sec.  319.24-1, 
which discusses the application for a permit, to add references to the 
proposed new subpart, and remove Sec. Sec.  319.24-2 and 319.24-4 as 
their provisions for the issuance of permits and the notification of 
arrival at the port would be covered in the new subpart. We would also 
remove language concerning the application for a permit in Sec.  
319.41-2 and instead refer to the proposed new subpart. In Sec.  
319.41-6, we would remove language concerning special mailing tags that 
are no longer used.
    Citrus fruit and nursery stock regulated under Sec.  319.28. We 
would remove paragraph (i), which deals with permit cancellation and 
appeals, and paragraph (j), which defines the term inspector. These 
provisions would be redundant if the proposed new subpart is adopted.
    Plants for planting regulated under Sec. Sec.  319.37 through 
319.37-14. In Sec.  319.37-3, we would add references to the new 
subpart that provides for permit procedures and remove language 
concerning permit applications and oral permits that is inconsistent 
with provisions of the proposed new subpart.
    Logs, lumber, and other unmanufactured wood articles regulated 
under Sec. Sec.  319.40-1 through 319.40-11. In Sec.  319.40-4, we 
would remove information about permit applications and add references 
to the new subpart that provides for permit applications and other 
procedures.
    Rice regulated under Sec. Sec.  319.55 through 319.55-7. In Sec.  
319.55-2, which provides for the process of applying for a permit to 
import rice products, we would add references to the new subpart that 
provides for permit procedures and remove information about permit 
applications that is inconsistent with the provisions of the proposed 
new subpart. We would remove Sec.  319.55-4 as it contains information 
about permit issuance, which is covered in the proposed new subpart. In 
Sec.  319.55-7, which provides for the process of importing rice 
products by mail, we would remove information about mailing tags that 
is covered in the proposed new subpart and add the requirement that a 
permit must be obtained for the importation and all conditions of the 
permit must be met.
    Fruits and vegetables regulated under Sec. Sec.  319.56-1 through 
319.56-58. In Sec.  319.56-3, we would remove several paragraphs that 
contain information about permit applications and issuance, oral 
permits, and the amendment, withdrawal or denial of permits and the 
appeal of these actions. We would replace this information with a 
reference to the proposed new subpart,

[[Page 37489]]

which would contain information about all these topics.
    Those articles restricted in order to prevent the entry of khapra 
beetle regulated under Sec. Sec.  319.75 through 319.75-9. Throughout 
these sections, we would change the term ``restricted article'' to 
``regulated article'' to be consistent with the rest of part 319 and 
new Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5. In Sec.  319.75-3, we would 
remove several paragraphs that that contain information about permit 
applications and issuance, and the withdrawal of permits and the appeal 
of a withdrawal, adding in their place references to the new subpart 
that provides for permit procedures.

Changes to Other Parts

    As discussed above, we are proposing to apply the new provisions, 
as appropriate, contained in the new subpart that provides for permit 
procedures in part 319 to parts 322 and 360. This would provide more 
consistency to our regulations concerning the process for applying for 
a permit, the type of information we would require in a permit 
application, and the provisions for approving, denying, or revoking a 
permit, and the process for appealing these actions.

Part 322--Bees, Beekeeping By-Products, and Beekeeping Equipment

    The regulations in 7 CFR part 322 prohibit or restrict the 
importation of honeybees and honeybee semen in order to prevent the 
introduction into the United States of diseases and parasites harmful 
to honeybees and of undesirable species.
    Section 322.13 regulates restricted organisms and states that they 
may be imported into the United States only by Federal, State, or 
university researchers. To this section we would add requirements that 
an importer must also be a person at least 18 years of age, and must be 
physically present during normal business hours at an address within 
the United States specified on the permit during any periods when 
articles are being imported or moved interstate under the permit. We 
would also remove language in Sec.  322.14 that provides that an 
applicant for a permit must be a resident, or sponsored by a resident, 
of the United States, as it would conflict with the proposed change.
    We would add to current Sec.  322.15(c), which sets out conditions 
for denial of a permit, three of the conditions under which we may deny 
a permit that are discussed above under Sec.  319.7-3. These provisions 
for the denial of a permit include:
     A permit may be denied to a person who has previously 
failed to comply with any APHIS regulation.
     A permit may be denied to a person who has previously 
failed to comply with any Federal, State, or local law, regulation, or 
instruction concerning the importation of prohibited or restricted 
foreign agricultural products may also be denied a permit.
     A permit may be denied if the application for a permit 
contains information that is found to be materially false, fraudulent, 
or deceptive.
    We would also replace the provisions of paragraph (e) of Sec.  
322.15 for the appeal of a denial or cancellation of a permit with the 
new requirements proposed in Sec.  319.7-5 and discussed above.

Part 360--Noxious Weed Regulations

    The regulations in 7 CFR part 360 prohibit or restrict the 
importation and interstate movement of those plants that are designated 
as noxious weeds, as defined by the PPA.
    Section 360.304 contains the conditions under which we may deny a 
permit to move a noxious weed. We would add two additional conditions 
for denial to this section that are similar to conditions for denial 
that we proposed to add in Sec.  319.7-3.
    We propose to provide that we may deny a permit if the application 
for a permit contains information that is found to be materially false, 
fraudulent, or deceptive. A permit may be denied to a person who has 
previously failed to comply with any APHIS regulation.
    We believe that these changes to the regulations will harmonize our 
permit procedures and make our permit procedures clearer and easier to 
use.

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.
    Entities that may be affected by the proposed rule are importers of 
lumber and plywood (North American Industry Classification System 
[NAICS] code 423310); importers of other miscellaneous durable goods, 
such as logs, timber and packing material (NAICS 423990); importers of 
drugs, druggists' supplies, herbs and weeds (NAICS 424210); importers 
of flowers, nursery stock, and florists' supplies (NAICS 424930), 
importers of fresh fruits and vegetables (NAICS 424480); importers of 
other grocery and related products, such as coffee (NAICS 424490); 
importers of grains and field beans (NAICS 424510); importers of other 
farm product raw material, such as raw cotton, sugarcane, honeybees and 
honeybee semen (NAICS 424590); and importers of farm supplies (NAICS 
424910). The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established 
guidelines for determining which establishments are to be considered 
small. Imports/export merchants, agents and brokers are identified 
within the broader wholesaling trade sector.
    A firm classified within any of these NAICS wholesale industry 
categories is considered small if it employs not more than 100 persons. 
Based on information from the 2007 Economic Census, as shown in table 
3, the majority of entities that comprise these industries have fewer 
than 100 employees.

                           Table 3--Prevalence of Small Entities in Certain Industries That May Be Affected by the Rule, 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                          Small-entity
                                                                                                        Number of         Number of      establishments
                                                                                      Number of      establishments    establishments    as a percentage
                 Industry wholesale merchants                     Number of all    establishments   with 100 or more   with fewer than    of those that
                                                                 establishments     that operated    employees that     100 employees     operated the
                                                                                  the  entire year    operated the      that operated      entire year
                                                                                                       entire year    the  entire year      (percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lumber, plywood, millwork, wood panel (NAICS 423310)..........             8,984             8,303             2,123             6,180                74
Other miscellaneous durable goods, construction material logs,            10,270             8,764               532             8,232                94
 timber, packing material (NAICS 423990)......................

[[Page 37490]]

 
Drugs, druggists' supplies, botanical drugs, herbs, weeds                  8,535             7,700             2,321             5,379                70
 (NAICS 424210)...............................................
Fresh fruits and vegetables (NAICS 424480)....................             5,074             4,437               230             4,207                95
Other grocery and related products, (coffee) (NAICS 424490)...            13,068            11,763             3,286             8,477                72
Grains and field beans (NAICS 424510).........................             4,851             4,680             1,238             3,442                74
Other farm product raw material (raw cotton, sugarcane,                      765               663                43               620                94
 honeybees, honeybee semen) (NAICS 424590)....................
Farm supplies (NAICS 424910)..................................             7,738             7,199                61             7,138                99
Flower, nursery stock, and florists' supplies (NAICS 424930)..             4,218             3,601                67             3,534                98
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While nearly all of the entities that may be affected by the 
proposed rule are small, none of the economic effects would be 
significant. The proposed rule would make the permit procedures more 
transparent and easier to use, enable APHIS to evaluate a permit 
application more quickly and thoroughly, and allow for more efficient 
control of the issuance of permits and entry of regulated articles.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no new information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects

7 CFR Part 319

    Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant 
diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

7 CFR Part 322

    Bees, Honey, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 360

    Imports, Plants (Agriculture), Quarantine, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Weeds.
    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR chapter III 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 and 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 
136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

0
2. Section 319.6 is amended by revising paragraph (g) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  319.6  Controlled import permits.

* * * * *
    (g) Denial, withdrawal, cancellation, or revocation of permit. The 
Administrator may deny a permit application in accordance with Sec.  
319.7-3, and a permit may be withdrawn, canceled, or revoked in 
accordance with Sec.  319.7-4.
    (1) Action upon revocation of permit. Upon revocation of a permit, 
the permittee must surrender, destroy, or remove all regulated plant 
material covered by the permit in accordance with Sec.  319.7-4(e).
    (2) Appeal of denial or revocation. Any person whose application 
for a permit has been denied or whose permit has been revoked may 
appeal the denial or revocation in accordance with Sec.  319.7-5.
* * * * *
0
3. A subpart, consisting of Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5, is added 
to read as follows:
Subpart--Permits: Application, Issuance, Denial, and Revocation
Sec.
319.7 Definitions.
319.7-1 Applying for a permit.
319.7-2 Issuance of permits and labels.
319.7-3 Denial of permits.
319.7-4 Withdrawal, cancellation, and revocation of permits.
319.7-5 Appeal of denial or revocation.

Subpart--Permits: Application, Issuance, Denial, and Revocation


Sec.  319.7  Definitions.

    Administrative instructions. Published documents related to the 
enforcement of this part and issued under authority of the Plant 
Protection Act, as amended, by the Administrator.
    Administrator. The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service or any employee of the United States Department of 
Agriculture delegated to act in his or her stead.
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of 
Agriculture.
    Applicant. A person at least 18 years of age who, on behalf of him 
or herself or another person, submits an application for a permit to 
import into the United States or move interstate a regulated article in 
accordance with this part.
    Approved. Approved by the Administrator of the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service.
    Article. Any material or tangible objects that could harbor plant 
pests or noxious weeds.
    Consignment. A quantity of plants, plant products, and/or other 
articles

[[Page 37491]]

being moved from one country to another authorized when required, by a 
single permit. A consignment may be composed of one or more commodities 
or lots.
    Country of origin. The country where the plants, or plants from 
which the plant products are derived or were grown or where the non-
plant articles were produced.
    Enter, entry. To move into, or the act of movement into, the 
commerce of the United States.
    Import, importation. To move into, or the act of movement into, the 
territorial limits of the United States.
    Inspector. Any individual authorized by the Administrator of the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or the Commissioner of the 
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security, to enforce the regulations in this part.
    Intended use. The purpose for the importation of the regulated 
article, including, but not limited to, consumption, propagation, or 
research purposes.
    Lot. All the regulated articles on a single means of conveyance 
that are derived from the same species of plant or are the same type of 
non-plant article and were subjected to the same treatments prior to 
importation, and that are consigned to the same person.
    Means of conveyance. Any personal property used for or intended for 
use for the movement of any other personal property.
    Move. To carry, enter, import, mail, ship, or transport; to aid, 
abet, cause, or induce the carrying, entering, importing, mailing, 
shipping, or transporting; to offer to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; to receive to carry, enter, import, mail, ship, or 
transport; to release into the environment; or to allow any of the 
activities described in this definition.
    Oral authorization. Verbal permission to import that may be granted 
by an inspector at the port of entry.
    Permit. A written authorization, including by electronic methods, 
to move plants, plant products, biological control organisms, plant 
pests, noxious weeds, or articles under conditions prescribed by the 
Administrator.
    Permittee. The person who, on behalf of self or another person, is 
legally the importer of an article, meets the requirements of Sec.  
319.7-2(f), and is responsible for compliance with the conditions for 
the importation that is the subject of a permit issued in accordance 
with part 319.
    Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, 
joint venture, or other legal entity.
    Plant. Any plant (including any plant part) for or capable of 
propagation, including a tree, a tissue culture, a plantlet culture, 
pollen, a shrub, a vine, a cutting, a graft, a scion, a bud, a bulb, a 
root, and a seed.
    Plant pest. Any living stage of any of the following that can 
directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any 
plant or plant product: A protozoan; a nonhuman animal; a parasitic 
plant; a bacterium; a fungus; a virus or viroid; an infectious agent or 
other pathogen; or any article similar to or allied with any of the 
foregoing enumerated articles.
    Plant product. Any flower, fruit, vegetable, root, bulb, seed, or 
other plant part that is not included in the definition of plant, or 
any manufactured or processed plant or plant part.
    Port of entry. A port at which a specified shipment or means of 
conveyance is accepted for entry or admitted without entry into the 
United States for transit purposes.
    Port of first arrival. The area (such as a seaport, airport, or 
land border) where a person or means of conveyance first arrives in the 
United States, and where inspection of regulated articles may be 
carried out by inspectors.
    PPQ. The Plant Protection and Quarantine Program, Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of 
Agriculture, delegated responsibility for enforcing provisions of the 
Plant Protection Act and related legislation, quarantines and 
regulations.
    Regulated article. Any material or tangible object regulated by 
this part for entry into the United States or interstate movement.
    Soil. The unconsolidated material from the earth's surface that 
consists of rock and mineral particles mixed with organic material and 
that supports or is capable of supporting biotic communities.
    State. Any of the several States of the United States, the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the 
United States, or any other territory or possession of the United 
States.
    Treatment. A procedure approved by the Administrator for 
neutralizing infestations or infections of plant pests or diseases, 
such as fumigation, application of chemicals or dry or moist heat, or 
processing, utilization, or storage.
    United States. All of the States.


Sec.  319.7-1  Applying for a permit.

    (a) Persons who wish to import regulated articles into the United 
States must apply for a permit, unless the regulated articles are not 
subject to a requirement under this part that a permit be issued prior 
to a consignment's arrival. An applicant for a permit to import 
regulated articles into the United States in accordance with this part 
must be:
    (1) Capable of acting in the capacity of the permittee in 
accordance with Sec.  319.7-2(e), or must designate a permittee who is 
so capable should the permit be issued;
    (2) Applying for a permit on behalf of self or on behalf of another 
person as permittee; and
    (3) At least 18 years of age.
    (b) Permit applications must be submitted by the applicant in 
writing or electronically through one of the means listed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/permits/index.shtml in advance of the 
action(s) proposed on the permit application.
    (c) The application for a permit must contain the following 
information:
    (1) Legal name, address, and contact information of the applicant, 
and of the permittee if different from the applicant;
    (2) Specific type of regulated article (common and scientific 
names, if applicable);
    (3) Country of origin;
    (4) Intended use of the regulated article;
    (5) Intended port of first arrival; and
    (6) A description of any processing, treatment, or handling of the 
regulated article to be performed prior to or following importation, 
including the location where any processing or treatment was or will be 
performed and the names and dosage of any chemical employed in 
treatments of the regulated article.
    (d) The application for a permit may also require the following 
information:
    (1) Means of conveyance;
    (2) Quantity of the regulated article;
    (3) Estimated date of arrival;
    (4) Name, address, and contact information of any broker or 
subsequent custodian of the regulated article;
    (5) Exporting country from which the article is to be moved, when 
not the country of origin; and
    (6) Any other information determined to be necessary by APHIS to 
inform the decision to issue the permit.
    (e) Application for a permit to import regulated articles into the 
United States must be submitted at least 30 days prior to arrival of 
the article at the port of entry.
    (1) If, through no fault of the importer, a consignment of 
regulated articles

[[Page 37492]]

subject to a requirement under this part that a permit be issued prior 
to a consignment's arrival arrives at a U.S. port before a permit is 
received, the consignment may be held, under suitable safeguards 
prescribed by the inspector, in custody at the risk and expense of the 
importer pending issuance of a permit or authorization from APHIS.
    (2) An oral authorization may be granted by an inspector at the 
port of entry for a consignment, provided that:
    (i) All applicable entry requirements are met;
    (ii) Proof of application for a written permit is provided to the 
inspector; and
    (iii) PPQ verifies that the application for a written permit has 
been received and that PPQ intends to issue the permit.


Sec.  319.7-2  Issuance of permits and labels.

    (a) Upon receipt of an application, a permit indicating the 
applicable conditions for importation will be issued by APHIS if, after 
review of the application, the regulated articles are, at the 
discretion of the Administrator, deemed eligible by the Administrator 
to be imported into the United States under the conditions specified in 
the permit. A permit will be issued specifying the applicable 
conditions of entry and the port of entry, and a copy will be provided 
to the permittee. The permit will only be valid for the time period 
indicated on the permit.
    (b) The applicant for a permit for the importation of regulated 
articles into the United States must designate the person who will be 
named as the permittee upon the permit's issuance. The applicant and 
the permittee may be the same person.
    (c) The act, omission, or failure of the permittee as an officer, 
agent, or person acting for or employed by any other person within the 
scope of his or her employment or office will be deemed also to be the 
act, omission, or failure of the other person.
    (d) Failure to comply with all of the conditions specified in the 
permit or any applicable regulations or administrative instructions, or 
forging, counterfeiting, or defacing permits or shipping labels, may 
result in immediate revocation of the permit, denial of any future 
permits, and civil or criminal penalties for the permittee.
    (e) The permittee will remain responsible for the consignment 
regardless of any delegation to a subsequent custodian of the 
importation.
    (f) A permittee must:
    (1) If an individual, have and maintain an address in the United 
States that is specified on the permit and be physically present during 
normal business hours at that address during any periods when articles 
are being imported or moved interstate under the permit; or
    (2) If another legal entity, maintain an address or business office 
in the United States with a designated individual for service of 
process; and
    (3) Serve as the contact for the purpose of communications 
associated with the movement of the regulated article for the duration 
of the permit. The PPQ Permit Unit must be informed of a change in 
contact information for the permittee within 10 business days of such 
change;
    (4) Ensure compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements 
and permit conditions associated with the movement of the regulated 
article for the duration of the permit;
    (5) Provide written or electronic acknowledgment and acceptance of 
permit conditions when APHIS requests such acknowledgment;
    (6) Serve as the primary contact for communication with APHIS 
regarding the permit;
    (7) Acknowledge in writing that in accordance with Section 8313 of 
the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the actions, 
omissions, or failures of any agent of the permittee may be deemed the 
actions, omissions, or failures of a permittee as well; and that 
failure to comply with all of the conditions specified in the permit or 
any applicable regulations or administrative instructions, or forging, 
counterfeiting, or defacing permits or shipping labels, may result in 
immediate revocation of the permit, denial of any future permits, and 
civil or criminal penalties for the permittee; and
    (8) Maintain all conditions of the permit for the entirety of its 
prescribed duration.
    (g) The regulated article may be imported only if all applicable 
requirements of the permit issued for the importation of the regulated 
article or any other documents or instructions issued by APHIS are met.
    (h) In accordance with the regulations in this part, labels may be 
issued to the permittee for the importation of regulated articles. Such 
labels may contain information about the shipment's nature, origin, 
movement conditions or other matters relevant to the permit and will 
indicate that the importation is authorized under the conditions 
specified in the permit.
    (1) If issued, the quantity of labels will be sufficient for the 
permittee to attach one to each parcel. Labels must be affixed to the 
outer packaging of the parcel.
    (2) Importations without such required labels will be refused entry 
into the United States, unless a label is not required and not issued 
for the importation.
    (i) Even if a permit has been issued for the importation of a 
regulated article, the regulated article may be imported only if an 
inspector at the port of entry determines that no remedial measures 
pursuant to the Plant Protection Act are necessary to mitigate or 
address any plant pest or noxious weed risks.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ An inspector may hold, seize, quarantine, treat, apply other 
remedial measures to, destroy, or otherwise dispose of plants, plant 
pests, and other articles in accordance with sections 414, 421, and 
434 of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714, 7731, and 7754).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (j) A permit application may be withdrawn at the request of the 
applicant prior to the issuance of the permit.
    (k) A permit may be canceled after issuance at the request of the 
permittee.
    (l) A permit may be amended if APHIS finds that the permit is 
incomplete or contains factual errors.


Sec.  319.7-3  Denial of permits.

    (a) APHIS may deny an application for a permit to import a 
regulated article into the United States. A denial, including the 
reason for the denial, will be provided in writing, including by 
electronic methods, to the applicant as promptly as circumstances 
permit. The denial of a permit may be appealed in accordance with Sec.  
319.7-5.
    (b) APHIS may deny an application for a permit to import a 
regulated article:
    (1) If APHIS determines that the applicant is not likely to abide 
by permit conditions. Factors that may lead to such a determination 
include, but are not limited to, the following:
    (i) The applicant, or a partnership, firm, corporation, or other 
legal entity in which the applicant has a substantial interest, 
financial or otherwise, has not complied with any permit that was 
previously issued by APHIS;
    (ii) APHIS determines that issuing the permit would circumvent any 
order revoking or denying a permit under the Plant Protection Act.
    (iii) APHIS determines that the applicant has previously failed to 
comply with any APHIS regulation
    (iv) APHIS determines that the applicant has previously failed to 
comply with any Federal, State, or local law, regulation or instruction 
concerning the importation of prohibited or restricted foreign 
agricultural products;

[[Page 37493]]

    (v) APHIS determines that the applicant has failed to comply with 
the laws or regulations of a national plant protection organization or 
equivalent body, as these pertain to plant health;
    (vi) APHIS determines that the applicant has made false or 
fraudulent statements or provided false or fraudulent records to APHIS, 
or;
    (vii) The applicant has been convicted or has pled nolo contendere 
to any crime involving fraud, bribery, extortion, or any other crime 
involving a lack of integrity.
    (2) If the application for a permit contains information that is 
found to be materially false, fraudulent, deceptive, or 
misrepresentative;
    (3) If APHIS concludes that the actions proposed under the permit 
would present an unacceptable risk to plants and plant products because 
of the introduction or dissemination of a plant pest, biological 
control organism, or noxious weed within the United States;
    (4) If the importation is adverse to the conduct of an eradication, 
suppression, control, or regulatory program of APHIS;
    (5) If the importation is adverse to applicable import regulations 
or any administrative instructions or measures; or
    (6) If the State executive official, or a State plant protection 
official authorized to do so, objects to the movement in writing and 
provides specific, detailed information that there is a risk the 
movement will result in the dissemination of a plant pest or noxious 
weed into the State, and APHIS determines that such plant pest risk 
cannot be adequately addressed or mitigated.


Sec.  319.7-4  Withdrawal, cancellation, and revocation of permits.

    (a) Withdrawal of an application. If the applicant wishes to 
withdraw a permit application before issuance of a permit, he or she 
must provide the request in writing to APHIS. APHIS will provide 
written notification to the applicant as promptly as circumstances 
allow regarding reception of the request and withdrawal of the 
application.
    (b) Cancellation of permit by permittee. If a permittee wishes to 
cancel a permit after its issuance, he or she must provide the request 
in writing to APHIS. APHIS will provide written notification to the 
applicant as promptly as circumstances allow regarding reception of the 
request and withdrawal of the application.
    (c) Revocation of permit by APHIS. APHIS may revoke any outstanding 
permit to import regulated articles into the United States. A 
revocation, including the reason for the revocation, will be provided 
in writing, including by electronic methods, to the permittee as 
promptly as circumstances permit. The revocation of a permit may be 
appealed in accordance with Sec.  319.7-5.
    (d) APHIS may revoke a permit to import a regulated article if:
    (1) Information is received subsequent to the issuance of the 
permit of circumstances that APHIS determines would constitute cause 
for the denial of an application under Sec.  319.7-3; or
    (2) APHIS determines that the permittee has failed to maintain the 
safeguards or otherwise observe the conditions specified in the permit 
or in any applicable regulations or administrative instructions.
    (e) Upon revocation of a permit, the permittee must, without cost 
to the Federal Government and in the manner and method APHIS considers 
appropriate, either:
    (1) Surrender all regulated articles covered by the revoked permit 
and any other affected plant material to an inspector;
    (2) Destroy, under the supervision of an inspector, all regulated 
articles covered by the revoked permit and any other affected plant 
material; or
    (3) Remove all regulated articles covered by the revoked permit and 
any other affected plant material from the United States.


Sec.  319.7-5  Appeal of denial or revocation.

    (a) All denials of an application for a permit, or revocations of 
an existing permit, will be provided in writing, including by 
electronic methods, as promptly as circumstances permit and will 
include the reasons for the denial or revocation.
    (b) Any person whose application for a permit has been denied or 
whose permit has been revoked may appeal the decision in writing to 
APHIS within 10 business days from the date the communication of 
notification of the denial or revocation of the permit was received. 
The appeal must state all facts and reasons upon which the person is 
relying to show that the denial or revocation was incorrect.
    (c) APHIS will grant or deny the appeal in writing and will state 
in writing the reason for the decision. The denial or revocation will 
remain in effect during the resolution of the appeal.


Sec.  319.8-1  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  319.8-1, the definition of permit is amended by adding the 
words ``and in Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5'' before the period.


Sec.  319.8-2  [Amended]

0
5. Section 319.8-2 is amended as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), by removing, in the third sentence, the words 
``stating the name and address of the importer, the country from which 
such material is to be imported, and the kind of cotton or covers it is 
desired to import'' and footnote 1, and adding the words ``for a permit 
in accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5'' in their place.
0
b. By redesignating footnote 2 as footnote 1.
0
c. By removing paragraphs (c) and (d) and redesignating paragraphs (e) 
and (f) as paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively.
0
d. In newly redesignated paragraph (d), in the first sentence, by 
removing the words ``with all requirements set forth therein and such 
additional requirements in this subpart as are in terms applicable 
thereto'' and adding the words ``with all of the conditions specified 
in the permit and any applicable regulations or administrative 
instructions of this part'' in their place, and by removing the second 
and third sentences.
0
e. By removing paragraph (g) and redesignating paragraph (h) as 
paragraph (e).


Sec.  319.8-8  [Amended]

0
6. Section 319.8-8 is amended by redesignating footnote 3 as footnote 
2.


Sec.  319.8-11  [Amended]

0
7. Section 319.8-11 is amended by redesignating footnote 4 as footnote 
3.


Sec.  319.8-17  [Amended]

0
8. Section 319.8-17 is amended by redesignating footnote 5 as footnote 
4.
0
9. Section 319.24-1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.24-1  Application for permits for importation of corn.

    Persons contemplating the importation of corn into the United 
States shall obtain a permit in accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 
through 319.7-5.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0049)


Sec.  319.24-2  [Removed and Reserved]

0
10. Section 319.24-2 is removed and reserved.


Sec.  319.24-4  [Removed and Reserved]

0
11. Section 319.24-4 is removed and reserved.


Sec.  319.28  [Amended]

0
12. Section 319.28 is amended by removing paragraphs (i) and (j).
0
13. Section 319.37-3 is amended as follows:

[[Page 37494]]

0
a. In paragraph (a) introductory text, by adding the words ``in 
accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5'' after the word 
``Programs''.
0
b. By removing and reserving paragraph (b) and removing footnote 4.
0
c. By redesignating footnote 5 as footnote 4.
0
d. By revising paragraph (d).
0
e. By removing paragraphs (e) and (f) and redesignating paragraphs (g) 
and (h) as paragraphs (e) and (f), respectively.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  319.37-3  Permits.

* * * * *
    (d) Any permit that has been issued may be revoked by an inspector 
or APHIS in accordance with Sec.  319.7-4.
* * * * *


Sec.  319.37-5  [Amended]

0
14. Section 319.37-5 is amended by redesignating footnote 6 as footnote 
5.


Sec.  319.37-6  [Amended]

0
15. Section 319.37-6 is amended by redesignating footnote 7 as footnote 
6.


Sec.  319.37-7  [Amended]

0
16. Section 319.37-7 is amended by redesignating footnote 8 as footnote 
7.


Sec.  319.37-8  [Amended]

0
17. Section 319.37-8 is amended by redesignating footnotes 9, 10, and 
11 as footnotes 8, 9, and 10, respectively.


Sec.  319.37-13  [Amended]

0
18. Section 319.37-13 is amended by redesignating footnote 12 as 
footnote 11.


Sec.  319.40-4  [Amended]

0
19. Section 319.40-4 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising paragraph (a).
0
b. By removing paragraphs (b)(3), (c), and (d).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  319.40-4  Application for a permit to import regulated articles; 
issuance and withdrawal of permits.

    (a) Application procedure. A written application for a permit must 
be obtained and submitted in accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 
319.7-5.
* * * * *


Sec.  319.40-5  [Amended]

0
20. Section 319.40-5 is amended by redesignating footnote 3 as footnote 
1.


Sec.  319.40-9  [Amended]

0
21. Section 319.40-5 is amended by redesignating footnotes 4 and 5 as 
footnotes 2 and 3, respectively.


Sec.  319.40-10  [Amended]

0
22. Section 319.40-10 is amended by redesignating footnote 6 as 
footnote 4.
0
23. Section 319.41-2 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.41-2  Application for permits.

    Persons contemplating the importation of any of the articles 
specified in Sec.  319.41-1(b) shall first make application to the 
Plant Protection and Quarantine Program for a permit in accordance with 
Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0049)

0
24. Section 319.41-6 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.41-6  Importations by mail.

    In addition to entries by freight or express provided for in Sec.  
319.41-5, importations are permitted by mail of mature corn on the cob 
from the countries specified in Sec.  319.41-1(b)(2), and clean shelled 
corn and clean seed of the other plants covered by Sec.  319.41, 
provided that a permit has been issued for the importation in 
accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5 and all conditions of 
the permit are met.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0049)

0
25. Section 319.55-2 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.55-2  Application for permit.

    Application for a permit to import seed or paddy rice from Mexico 
or rice straw or rice hulls from any country may be made to the Plant 
Protection and Quarantine Programs in accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 
through 319.7-5.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0049)


Sec.  319.55-4  [Removed and Reserved]

0
26. Section 319.55-4 is removed and reserved.
0
27. Section 319.55-7 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.55-7  Importations by mail.

    Importations of seed or paddy rice, rice straw, and rice hulls from 
all foreign countries and localities may be made by mail or cargo, 
provided that a permit has been issued for the importation in 
accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5 and all conditions of 
the permit are met.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0049)

0
28. Section 319.56-3 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising paragraph (b)(2).
0
b. By removing paragraphs (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(5), and (b)(6).
0
c. In paragraph (c)(1), by removing the words ``under paragraph (b) of 
this section'' and adding in their place the words ``in accordance with 
this section and with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5''.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  319.56-3  General requirements for all imported fruits and 
vegetables.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Persons contemplating the importation of any fruits or 
vegetables under this subpart must apply for a permit in accordance 
with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-5.
* * * * *
0
29. Section 319.75 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising the section heading.
0
b. In paragraphs (a) and (c), by removing the word ``restricted'' each 
time it appears and adding the word ``regulated'' in its place.


Sec.  319.75  Restrictions on importation of regulated articles; 
disposal of articles refused importation.

* * * * *


Sec.  319.75-1  [Amended]

0
30. In Sec.  319.75-1, the definition of phytosanitary certificate of 
inspection is amended by removing the word ``restricted'' each time it 
appears and adding the word ``regulated'' in its place.
0
31. Section 319.75-2 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising the section heading.
0
b. In paragraph (a) introductory text, by removing the word 
``restricted'' each time it appears and adding the word ``regulated'' 
in its place.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  319.75-2  Regulated articles.\1\

* * * * *

\1\ The importation of regulated articles may be subject to 
prohibitions or restrictions under other provisions of 7 CFR part 319. 
For example, fresh whole chilies (Capsicum spp.) and fresh whole red 
peppers (Capsicum spp.) from Pakistan are prohibited from being 
imported into the United States under the provisions of Subpart--Fruits 
and Vegetables of this part.
* * * * *
0
32. Section 319.75-3 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.75-3  Permits.

    A restricted article may be imported only after issuance of a 
written permit or oral authorization by the Plant Protection and 
Quarantine Programs in accordance with Sec. Sec.  319.7 through 319.7-
5.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0049)

[[Page 37495]]

Sec.  319.75-4  [Amended]

0
33. Section 319.75-4 is amended by removing the word ``restricted'' and 
adding the word ``regulated'' in its place.


Sec.  319.75-5  [Amended]

0
34. In Sec.  319.75-5, paragraphs (a) and (b) are amended by removing 
the word ``restricted'' each time it appears in and adding the word 
``regulated'' in its place.


Sec.  319.75-6  [Amended]

0
35. Section 319.75-6 is amended by removing the word ``restricted'' and 
adding the word ``regulated'' in its place.


Sec.  319.75-7  [Amended]

0
36. In Sec.  319.75-7, footnote 3 is redesignated as footnote 4.


Sec.  319.75-8  [Amended]

0
37. Section 319.75-8 is amended by removing the word ``restricted'' 
both times it appears and adding the word ``regulated'' in its place.


Sec.  319.75-9  [Amended]

0
38. In Sec.  319.75-9, paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) are amended by 
removing the word ``restricted'' each time it appears in and adding the 
word ``regulated'' in its place.

PART 322--BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT

0
39. The authority citation for part 322 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 281; 7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 
CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

0
40. In Sec.  322.13, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  322.13  General requirements; restricted organisms.

* * * * *
    (b) Persons importing restricted organisms into the United States 
must be and Federal, State, or university researchers; be at least 18 
years of age; and be physically present during normal business hours at 
an address within the United States specified on the permit during any 
periods when articles are being imported or moved interstate under the 
permit. All such importations must be for research or experimental 
purposes and in accordance with this part.


Sec.  322.14  [Amended]

0
41. In Sec.  322.14, paragraph (a)(1) is amended by removing the second 
and third sentences.
0
42. Section 322.15 is amended by revising the section heading, adding 
paragraph (c)(5), and revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  322.15  APHIS review of permit applications; denial or revocation 
of permits.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) APHIS may also deny a permit to import restricted organisms:
    (i) To a person who has previously failed to comply with any APHIS 
regulation, except:
    (A) A permit revoked in an investigation concerning that failure 
has been reinstated on appeal, at the discretion of APHIS; or
    (B) All measures ordered by APHIS to correct the failure, including 
but not limited to, payment of penalties or restitution, have been 
complied with to the satisfaction of APHIS.
    (ii) To a person who has previously failed to comply with any 
international or Federal regulation or instruction concerning the 
importation of prohibited or restricted foreign agricultural products; 
or
    (iii) If the application for a permit contains information that is 
found to be materially false, fraudulent, deceptive, or 
misrepresentative.
* * * * *
    (e) Appealing the denial of permit applications or revocation of 
permits. If your permit application has been denied or your permit has 
been revoked, APHIS will inform you in writing, including by electronic 
methods, as promptly as circumstances permit and will include the 
reasons for the denial or revocation. You may appeal the decision by 
writing to APHIS within 10 business days from the date you received the 
communication notifying you of the denial or revocation of the permit. 
Your appeal must state all facts and reasons upon which you are relying 
to show that your permit application was wrongfully denied or your 
permit was wrongfully revoked. APHIS will grant or deny the appeal in 
writing and will state in writing the reason for the decision. The 
denial or revocation will remain in effect during the resolution of the 
appeal.
* * * * *

PART 360--NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS

0
43. The authority citation for part 360 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, 
and 371.3.

0
44. Section 360.304 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising the section heading.
0
b. In paragraph (a)(5), by removing the period at the end of the 
sentence and adding the word ``; or'' in its place.
0
c. By adding paragraphs (a)(6) and (7).
0
d. In paragraph (b), introductory text, by removing the word ``cancel'' 
and adding the word ``revoke'' in its place.
0
e. In paragraph (c), by removing the word ``canceled'' each time it 
appears and adding the word ``revoked'' in its place, and by removing 
the word ``cancellation'' and adding the word ``revocation'' in its 
place.
    The revision and additions read as follows:


Sec.  360.304  Denial of an application for a permit to move a noxious 
weed; revocation of a permit to move a noxious weed.

    (a) * * *
    (6) The application for the permit contains information that is 
found to be materially false, fraudulent, or deceptive.
    (7) APHIS may deny a permit to a person who has previously failed 
to comply with any APHIS regulation.
* * * * *
0
45. Section 360.305 is amended by revising the section heading and by 
removing the word ``canceled'' each time it appears and adding the word 
``revoked'' in its place.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  360.305  Disposal of noxious weeds when permits are revoked.

* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 14th day of June 2013.
Kevin Shea,
 Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-14638 Filed 6-20-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P