[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 132 (Wednesday, July 10, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41259-41265]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16548]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 132 / Wednesday, July 10, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 41259]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

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


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

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow 
the importation of several varieties of fresh citrus fruit, as well as 
Citrus hybrids and the Citrus-related genus Fortunella, from Uruguay 
into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, the fruit 
will have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that 
includes requirements for importation in commercial consignments, pest 
monitoring and pest control practices, grove sanitation and 
packinghouse procedures designed to exclude the quarantine pests, and 
treatment. The fruit also will have to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection 
organization of Uruguay with an additional declaration confirming that 
the fruit is free from all pests of quarantine concern and has been 
produced in accordance with the systems approach. These actions will 
allow for the importation of fresh citrus fruit, including Citrus 
hybrids and the Citrus-related genus Fortunella, from Uruguay while 
continuing to protect the United States against the introduction of 
plant pests.

DATES: Effective Date: August 9, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Meredith C. Jones, Senior 
Regulatory Coordination Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and 
Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; 
(301) 851-2289.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56-
1 through 319.56-58, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or 
restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and 
dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed 
within the United States.
    On February 6, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 
8435-8441, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0060) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to 
allow the importation of several species of fresh Citrus and Fortunella 
fruit \2\ (``citrus fruit'') from Uruguay into the continental United 
States. We also prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) \3\ that 
evaluated the risks associated with the importation of these species of 
fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay into the continental United States and 
identified six pests of quarantine significance in Uruguay that could 
be introduced into the United States through the importation of citrus 
fruit. These included two fruit flies, Anastrepha fraterculus (South 
American fruit fly) and Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly, or 
Medfly); two moths, Cryptoblabes gnidiella (the honeydew moth) and 
Gymnandrosoma aurantianum (citrus fruit borer); one fungus 
(Elsino[euml] australis, causal agent of sweet orange scab, or SOS); 
and a pathogen (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, or Xcc, causal agent of 
citrus canker).
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, supporting and related documents, 
including the economic analysis, and comments we received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0060-0001.
    \2\ Included are sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), 
lemons (C. limon (L.) Burm. f.), four species of mandarins (C. 
reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., 
and C. unshiu Marcow, Citrus hybrids), and two species of the 
Citrus-related genus Fortunella (F. japonica Thunb. Swingle and F. 
margarita (Lour.) Swingle).
    \3\ ``Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit, including Sweet Orange 
(Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), lemons (C. limon (L.) Burm. f.), four 
species of mandarins (C. reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex 
Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., and C. unshiu Marcow, Citrus hybrids, and 
two species of the Citrus-related genus Fortunella (F. japonica 
Thunb. Swingle and F. margarita (Lour.) Swingle), concerning the 
importation of fresh citrus from Uruguay into the Continental United 
States'' (Dec. 16, 2012). To view this document, see footnote 1.
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    In order to provide an appropriate level of phytosanitary 
protection against the pests of quarantine concern associated with the 
importation of fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay into the continental 
United States, we proposed requirements in a risk management document 
(RMD) for fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay to be produced in accordance 
with a systems approach that included the following requirements: Fruit 
must be imported only in commercial consignments; the Uruguayan 
national plant protection organization (NPPO) must provide a workplan 
to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that details 
the activities that the Uruguayan NPPO will, subject to APHIS' approval 
of the workplan, carry out to meet the proposed requirements; pest 
monitoring and control practices must be conducted; grove sanitation 
and packinghouse procedures must be designed to exclude quarantine 
pests; and the fruit must be treated in accordance with 7 CFR part 305 
and the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual.\4\ We 
also proposed to require consignments of citrus fruit from Uruguay to 
be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional 
declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment is free of all 
pests of quarantine concern and has been produced in accordance with 
the requirements of the systems approach.
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    \4\ http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/treatment.pdf.
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    We solicited comments on our proposal for 60 days ending April 8, 
2013. We received 55 comments by that date. They were from U.S. and 
Uruguayan fruit growers, packers, shippers, and importers/exporters; 
scientific, trade, and economic development organizations; two U.S. 
Senators; a State department of agriculture; an association of State 
departments of agriculture; a Uruguayan school of agronomy; U.S. port 
storage, drayage, and general logistics providers; municipal 
governments, and members of the public. Forty-three commenters 
supported the action we proposed. The

[[Page 41260]]

remaining comments are discussed below by topic.

General Comments

    Two commenters asked why APHIS is assuming the risk of introducing 
plant pests from Uruguay when sufficient fresh citrus fruit is already 
available in the United States.
    Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), we have the 
authority to prohibit or restrict the importation of plants and plant 
products only when necessary to prevent the introduction into or 
dissemination of plant pests or noxious weeds within the United States. 
We have determined that fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay may be safely 
imported into the continental United States under the conditions we are 
adding to the regulations.
    One commenter stated that the rule provided no specific information 
about how the proposed systems approach would be implemented and 
therefore opposed importation of fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay until 
its effectiveness could be validated. The commenter recommended that, 
in the future, APHIS engage key stakeholders in similar rulemakings 
much earlier in the process and provide them with more information.
    We are making no changes based on the comment. The systems approach 
requirements we proposed include practices that have effectively 
mitigated the risk of identical and similar citrus pests in other 
countries. We provided several occasions for stakeholders to provide 
input into this rulemaking, including sharing the draft pest risk 
assessment and holding teleconference meetings with key industry 
stakeholders in September 2010 and November 2011.
    Several commenters stated that shipments of fresh citrus fruit from 
Uruguay could pose a pest risk to Hawaii if imported into the 
continental United States and subsequently shipped from the mainland 
into Hawaii.
    We are making no changes in response to this comment. We proposed 
that fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay would only be eligible for 
importation into the continental United States, which excludes Hawaii. 
Our permitting process will allow us to effectively implement the 
distribution limitation, as it currently does for many other 
commodities that are not allowed to be imported into Hawaii.

Comments on the PRA

    One commenter stated that the PRA prepared for this rule dismisses 
Guignardia citricarpa, the causal agent of citrus black spot (CBS), as 
a disease of concern. The commenter also stated that a 2010 risk 
analysis, in which APHIS assessed citrus fruit as a pathway for the 
introduction of CBS,\5\ provides incomplete knowledge of how the 
disease develops and spreads. As support, the commenter cited 
detections of CBS in Florida beyond the original 2010 occurrence and 
the apparent ineffectiveness of mitigation efforts to prevent the 
disease's spread. The commenter stated that the latency of lesions on 
fruit moving from CBS-contaminated areas in Florida to processing 
facilities could be one reason for its continued spread, and concluded 
from this that applying the mitigations for fresh citrus fruit from 
Florida to fresh citrus fruit imported from Uruguay may not be 
adequate.
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    \5\ Risk assessment of Citrus spp. fruit as a pathway for the 
introduction of Guignardia citricarpa Kiely, the organism that 
causes Citrus Black Spot disease. United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), Center for Plant 
Health Science and Technology (CPHST), December 2010.
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    We noted in the proposed rule that a previous version of the PRA 
listed CBS as a quarantine pathogen present in Uruguay and likely to 
follow the pathway, but that we subsequently removed this pathogen from 
the list because, as we determined in the 2010 peer-reviewed risk 
analysis, fresh citrus fruit is not epidemiologically significant as a 
pathway for the introduction of CBS. Since the publication of the 2010 
risk analysis, we have found no research that challenges that 
conclusion.
    The risk analysis identified the importation and movement of 
propagative material and shipments containing leaves and plant debris 
from infected areas as the most likely means by which CBS is 
transmitted. However, because APHIS regulations restrict the 
importation and domestic movement of propagative material and leaves, 
it is unlikely that CBS would enter the United States via these 
articles in commercial shipments.
    The risk analysis also identified fruit as a possible means by 
which CBS could be spread, although for successful transmission of CBS 
from fruit with lesions to susceptible hosts, several events must 
occur: Infected fruit must arrive in an area with hosts available and 
conducive for infection and disease development; the host needs to be 
in a susceptible physiological stage for infection to occur; spores of 
the causal organism must be produced on the fruit; fruit with lesions 
containing the causal organism must be released from the lesions in a 
stage that can cause infection leading to disease; water contaminated 
with pycnidiospores must be brought into contact with susceptible host 
tissue in a susceptible stage for infection; and finally, specific 
weather conditions conducive for infection to occur must coincide with 
these events and persist for a sufficient period of time. The risk 
assessment determined the overall likelihood to be low that the 
pathogen would find a suitable host with susceptible tissue and incite 
disease even if infected fruit were to arrive in an area with available 
hosts and climatic conditions were favorable for disease development.
    With regard to the commenter's concern over detections of CBS 
beyond where it originally occurred in Florida, we have not determined 
the cause of these occurrences. They could be the result of the fungus 
spreading via wind or plant debris from the original infection site. 
They could also have escaped detection while delimiting the first 
infection, or from new infections arising independently of the first 
infection. Regardless of the cause of these infections, results from 
targeted CBS surveys and multi-pest surveys conducted by APHIS and the 
State of Florida as part of the Citrus Health Response Program indicate 
that current mitigations have slowed the spread of CBS in the affected 
areas. We maintain that the evidence and conclusions of the 2010 risk 
analysis with respect to transmission of CBS via the movement of fruit 
from infected areas are not invalidated by the occurrence of CBS in 
Florida, nor does its occurrence there change our understanding or 
management of CBS development or spread. For these reasons, we believe 
that it is extremely unlikely that the cause of CBS spread in Florida 
could be fruit moving from CBS-affected areas in that State to 
processing facilities.
    The same commenter also challenged our finding in the 2010 risk 
analysis that conditions required for conidia to survive on post-
harvest fruit and introduce CBS into domestic growing areas do not 
normally exist in California. The commenter stated that several coastal 
production areas in California maintain viable climates for the 
introduction and spread of CBS and noted that the North Carolina State 
University-APHIS Plant Pest Forecast System (NAPPFAST) indicates that, 
over a 10-year period, enough days had appropriate climatic conditions 
to allow CBS to be introduced. The commenter specifically questioned 
the statement in the CBS risk analysis that low rainfall in the western 
United States is not conducive to CBS development, noting that summer 
thunderstorms in southern California can provide an ideal

[[Page 41261]]

environment for a short period of time for CBS to occur and become 
established there. The commenter added that if CBS were to be 
introduced into citrus production areas in the United States, it could 
not be effectively managed because the Environmental Protection Agency 
prohibits use of the necessary fungicides.
    Based on our analysis of data from NAPPFAST, we concluded in the 
CBS risk analysis that, unlike Florida, California has a climate 
generally unsuitable for CBS disease development. Moreover, ideal 
climatic conditions are only one of many factors necessary for CBS to 
be transmitted via the movement or importation of commercial shipments 
of fresh fruit. As we have noted above, several specific biological, 
environmental, and physiological conditions have to occur in 
conjunction with infected fruit coming into direct proximity to a 
susceptible host, a confluence of events unlikely to occur 
simultaneously, particularly in California.
    Finally, the same commenter stated that the role of conidia in 
survival and spread of CBS is poorly understood and that if asexual 
propagules such as conidia are being produced at high numbers, 
different environmental conditions may play a critical role in the 
survival of the organism. The commenter stated that these propagules 
should not be ignored as part of the disease cycle and that the CBS 
risk analysis did not consider the unknown.
    We disagree with the commenter. The disease lifecycle of CBS is 
well studied, and the literature informs our understanding of both the 
sexual and asexual forms of this fungus and the roles they play in 
disease spread, as described in the 2010 risk analysis. The number of 
conidia or asexual spores produced is mediated by the environment and 
host tissue, and the amount of inoculum associated with the fruit does 
not change our understanding of how the inoculum spreads from fruit 
imported for consumption to the natural environment and establishes 
itself. As we have noted above, disease occurrence requires several 
biological, environmental, and physiological conditions to occur at the 
precise time that an infected citrus fruit is placed in direct 
proximity to a susceptible host.
    We conclude that the combination of conditions necessary for 
introduction and spread of G. citricarpa via the regulated pathway of 
commercially produced fruit imported from Uruguay is unlikely to occur. 
For this reason, we conclude that citrus fruit is not epidemiologically 
significant as a pathway for the introduction of G. citricarpa.

Grove Monitoring and Pest Control

    One commenter stated that the proposed systems approach requirement 
to monitor traps at 2-week intervals for A. fraterculus and C. capitata 
is inadequate. The commenter added that this interval is inconsistent 
with other systems approach methodologies required for these or similar 
pests.
    We disagree with the commenter that the trap monitoring intervals 
indicated in the proposed systems approach are inadequate or 
inconsistent with those used in other systems approaches to mitigate A. 
fraterculus, C. capitata, and similar pests. In accordance with North 
American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) standards,\6\ trap 
servicing and monitoring intervals are either 1 week or 2 weeks 
depending on the bait and type of trap used. Traps baited for C. 
capitata are normally monitored at 2-week intervals. Accordingly, we 
noted in the proposed rule that APHIS-approved fruit fly traps baited 
with APHIS-approved plugs would have to be used and serviced at least 
once every 2 weeks. If circumstances changed and more frequent 
monitoring were necessary, revised monitoring arrangements could be 
agreed to between APHIS and the NPPO of Uruguay and added to the 
bilateral workplan.
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    \6\ NAPPO Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, RSPM 
17: Guidelines for the Establishment, Maintenance and Verification 
of Fruit Fly Pest Free Areas in North America (October 18, 2010): 
http://www.nappo.org/en/data/files/download/PDF/RSPM17-Rev05-10-10-e.pdf.
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    Two commenters stated that the use of a minimum of two traps per 
square mile within citrus production areas in Uruguay is inadequate for 
detecting localized fruit fly infestations. Another commenter stated 
that two traps per square kilometer is inadequate and jeopardizes the 
integrity of the systems approach.
    We consider the trap density specified in the proposed systems 
approach to be adequate for pest detection. In the proposed rule, we 
stated that the systems approach would actually require at least two 
traps per square kilometer, not per square mile as stated by two 
commenters. We note that one square mile is equivalent to approximately 
2.5 square kilometers, so five traps per square mile would be roughly 
equivalent to two traps per square kilometer. This arrangement in the 
systems approach is consistent with the trap density of five Jackson 
traps per square mile recommended in the APHIS Mediterranean Fruit Fly 
Action Plan.\7\ Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency fruit 
fly trapping manual,\8\ a widely used international reference, 
specifies two to four traps per square kilometer, and the NAPPO 
standard on fruit fly trapping indicates that three traps per square 
mile (equivalent to fewer than two traps per kilometer) is adequate in 
commercial fruit production areas. If circumstances changed so that 
adjustments to trap density were necessary, such adjustments could be 
agreed to between APHIS and the NPPO of Uruguay and added to the 
bilateral workplan.
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    \7\ http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/domestic/downloads/medfly_action_plan.pdf.
    \8\ Trapping Guidelines for Area-Wide Fruit Fly Programmes 
(IAEA, Vienna, 2003): http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/TG-FFP_web.pdf.
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Orchard Sanitation

    A commenter stated that the proposed requirements for disposal of 
plant debris and fallen fruit in Uruguayan groves are not as stringent 
as our domestic requirements. To support this statement, the commenter 
referred to requirements in Federal Order No. DA-2012-30 that include 
specific requirements for disposal of bagged plant debris from an area 
in Texas quarantined for citrus greening.\9\
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    \9\ Issued August 9, 2012: http://nationalplantboard.org/docs/spro/spro_citrus_greening_2012_08_09.pdf.
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    The requirements in the Federal Order cited by the commenter 
pertain to a domestic quarantine intended to control an outbreak of 
citrus greening. Disposal of plant debris in an area where citrus 
greening is present can spread the disease if not done properly. The 
systems approach we proposed for importation of fresh citrus fruit from 
groves in Uruguay does not require identical sanitation measures for 
plant debris as those indicated in the Federal Order because citrus 
greening does not occur in Uruguay.
    The systems approach for citrus fruit from Uruguay does require 
that places of production in Uruguay be kept free of fallen fruit and 
plant debris, in order to reduce potential pest pressure in the 
orchards.

Packinghouse Procedures

    A commenter stated that the fruit handling requirements regarding 
crop diseases in the proposed systems approach are not as stringent as 
our domestic requirements. As an example, the commenter stated that 
safeguarding during transportation to the packinghouse in Uruguay only 
requires the fruit to be packed in insect-proof

[[Page 41262]]

cartons or containers, or covered with insect proof mesh or a plastic 
tarpaulin, while some States have developed detailed standards for 
cargo areas within transport vehicles.
    We are making no changes based on this comment. While the 
safeguarding requirements noted in the comment are actually intended to 
protect citrus fruit against fruit flies and not crop diseases, the 
safeguarding requirements proposed for citrus fruit grown in Uruguay 
are equivalent to those in the regulations for interstate movement of 
citrus from quarantined areas in the United States. They also include 
requirements that the fruit will have to be safeguarded by an insect-
proof mesh, screen, or plastic tarpaulin while in transit from the 
production site to the packinghouse and while awaiting packing. Our 
domestic citrus disease quarantine programs do not require any post-
harvest safeguarding enroute to the packinghouse.
    One commenter stated that, with regard to the proposed packinghouse 
requirement for washing, brushing, and surface disinfection of the 
citrus fruit in accordance with 7 CFR part 305, we provide no 
indication of whether these mitigations will rid fruit of citrus 
greening.
    We noted above that citrus greening does not occur in Uruguay; 
additionally, commercially shipped fruit free of leaves and other plant 
parts is not a pathway for the introduction of citrus greening.

Port-of-Entry Inspection

    Three commenters stated that APHIS port-of-entry inspections are 
insufficient to detect infestations of fruit flies in fruits and 
vegetables from countries with inadequate detection protocols and 
recommended that citrus fruit from Uruguay not be granted entry until 
the proposed systems approach can be validated or adjusted to address 
the accidental or incidental introduction of fruit flies.
    APHIS maintains adequate port-of-entry inspection capabilities as 
one of several mitigation measures to reduce the risk of introducing 
fruit flies and other plant pests into the United States. The 
mitigation measures in the systems approach for A. fraterculus and C. 
capitata, which include grove trapping, safeguarding of fruit while in 
transit and during packing, and treatment in accordance with 7 CFR part 
305, have been shown to effectively reduce the risks presented by these 
pests on citrus fruit and other commodities from other countries.
    With respect to detection protocols, beyond the measures required 
in the systems approach, the NPPO of Uruguay continually surveys for 
quarantine pests of concern for importing countries through pre-harvest 
inspection of export fruit. These pre-harvest surveys are conducted on 
100 percent of plants in all the places of production registered for 
export. We therefore consider the NPPO of Uruguay to have sufficient 
detection protocols, and we are confident that it will perform them in 
accordance with the systems approach produced by Uruguay and agreed to 
by APHIS.

Economic Considerations

    One commenter asked how much it will cost to implement the systems 
approach measures and who will pay for them.
    The costs for implementing the systems approach will be borne by 
citrus producers in Uruguay and the NPPO of Uruguay. Section 319.56-6 
of the regulations sets forth provisions for establishing trust fund 
agreements with NPPOs to cover costs incurred by APHIS when APHIS 
personnel must be physically present in an exporting country or region 
to facilitate exports. Costs will depend on the services required. The 
systems approach may require APHIS personnel to monitor treatments if 
they are conducted in Uruguay. Port-of-entry inspections conducted by 
APHIS or U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff are typically 
supported by user fees.
    Another commenter stated that APHIS has argued in previous import 
proposals that domestic production would be unaffected because the 
majority of domestic tonnage is harvested in the fall, winter, and 
spring months and would be unaffected by so-called ``counter-seasonal'' 
imports. The commenter stated that this argument is invalid due to the 
year-round marketing of citrus harvested domestically.
    We made no mention of counter-seasonal effects in the initial 
economic analysis for this rule, or in the final economic analysis.
    Uruguay did not provide APHIS with projections of the quantities of 
fresh citrus varieties it expects to export to the United States under 
this rule. Our basis for estimating quantities that may be exported is 
Uruguay's recent history of exports to other countries, assuming that 
some percentage of those exports will be diverted to the newly opened 
U.S. market. In the longer term, there may also be an overall increase 
in Uruguay's fresh citrus exports to all countries, including the 
United States, depending on costs and profitability.
    Uruguay's citrus exports are equivalent to a small fraction of U.S. 
citrus production. Imports from Uruguay will compete against U.S. 
imports from other countries as well as domestic production. Most 
likely, there will be some relatively small net increase in the U.S. 
supply of fresh citrus varieties, as well as some displacement of the 
quantity of citrus imported from other countries and produced 
domestically. The economic analysis does consider possible changes in 
net supply; the potential impact of the rule on U.S. producers is 
described in greater detail in the economic analysis supporting the 
rule.
    The same commenter disagreed with our statement in the economic 
analysis that ``any product displacement that may occur because of the 
proposed rule would be largely borne by other foreign suppliers of 
fresh citrus.'' The commenter stated that because foreign suppliers 
will not abandon their market share when Uruguayan citrus fruit is 
imported into the United States, citrus supply will exceed demand, 
prices will fall, and domestic producers will suffer greater economic 
losses due to higher production cost requirements.
    We acknowledge that the statement in the economic analysis for the 
proposed rule may have overstated possible reductions in market share 
(product displacement) for current foreign suppliers of fresh citrus to 
the United States. U.S. producers may also lose some portion of their 
market shares. However, product displacement that may occur as a result 
of fresh citrus imports from Uruguay can be expected to be borne in 
proportion to domestic and foreign suppliers' existing market shares 
because all suppliers, foreign and domestic, are price-takers. In 
addition, non-price factors may ultimately determine a consumer's 
preference for foreign or domestically grown fresh citrus. We do not 
have information to determine whether foreign or domestic fruit is more 
likely to be displaced by imports from Uruguay, so we take the position 
that product displacement would be proportional to market share.
    Product displacement, if any, will vary by citrus variety and will 
be moderated by expanding U.S. demand. During the same period, per 
capita consumption of fresh orange, mandarin, and lemon varieties 
increased by an average of 0.21 percent, 3.42 percent, and 5.25 
percent, respectively. The entry of fresh citrus from a new source may 
displace citrus production in the United States, as well as fresh 
citrus imports from foreign sources like Mexico, Chile, Spain, and 
others. However, a sizeable displacement of fresh citrus from any 
source with an

[[Page 41263]]

existing market share is unlikely given the increase in domestic 
consumption.
    The same commenter disagreed with our determination that adoption 
of the rule would not result in any significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    We find it unlikely that the rule will have a significant economic 
impact on U.S. fresh citrus markets, given Uruguay's recent history of 
citrus production and exports. While Uruguay ranks in the top 20 to 25 
of the world's exporters of fresh citrus, Uruguay accounted for 1 
percent or less of fresh citrus exports by variety. Total citrus 
production in Uruguay in 2011 was 270,367 metric tons, which is less 
than 3 percent of U.S. production. Uruguay's total fresh orange and 
lemon exports in 2011 were 66,007 and 13,885 metric tons, respectively, 
which is less than 3.2 percent of U.S. production and 1 percent of 
total world exports of those same fresh varieties. Uruguay exported 
37,542 metric tons of fresh mandarin varieties in 2011, which is 
approximately 8 percent of U.S. production and less than 1 percent of 
total world exports of fresh tangerine varieties. Only a fraction of 
Uruguay's fresh citrus exports are likely to be diverted from 
established markets to the United States, particularly in the near 
term, given the advantages of maintaining and expanding its existing 
market linkages. Given these considerations, we do not anticipate a 
significant economic impact associated with fresh citrus from Uruguay.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without 
change.

    Note:  In our February 2013 proposed rule, we proposed to add 
the conditions governing the importation of citrus from Uruguay as 
Sec.  319.56-58. In this final rule, those conditions are added as 
Sec.  319.56-59.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the 
purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed 
by the Office of Management and Budget.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The 
analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available 
on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a 
link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    APHIS responded to a request from the NPPO of Uruguay for USDA 
authorization to allow the importation of specified fresh citrus 
varieties into the continental United States. U.S. entities that may be 
impacted by imports of fresh citrus from Uruguay are producers and 
packers of fresh oranges, lemons, tangerines, and mandarin varieties. 
Fresh oranges (including Navel, Valencia, Temple and other varieties) 
are produced in California (87 percent), Florida (11 percent), and 
Texas (2 percent). Lemons are produced in California (97 percent) and 
Arizona (3 percent). Tangerines and mandarins (including tangelos and 
tangors) are produced in California (76 percent), Florida (23 percent), 
and Arizona (less than 1 percent). Louisiana commercially produces a 
variety of Satsuma that is mostly sold locally.
    Impacts of this rule on U.S. entities will be dependent upon the 
quantity of fresh citrus imported from Uruguay and the substitutability 
of these fresh citrus varieties for U.S.-grown citrus varieties. 
Historically, Uruguay has produced less than 3 percent of total U.S. 
citrus production, including processed citrus. Uruguay's total fresh 
orange and lemon exports in 2011 were 66,007 and 13,885 metric tons, 
respectively, which is less than 3.2 percent of U.S. production of 
those same fresh varieties. Uruguay exported 37,542 metric tons of 
fresh mandarin varieties in 2011, which is approximately 8 percent of 
U.S. production of fresh tangerine varieties. We anticipate that 
exports directed to the U.S. domestic market would be a small fraction 
of Uruguay's total exports of these fresh citrus fruits based on 
availability and currently established export markets in Europe and 
Russia. Given the small quantity expected to be imported from Uruguay, 
it is very unlikely that there will be a significant impact on the U.S. 
markets for fresh oranges, lemons, tangerines and mandarin varieties. 
Given the sizable amounts of fresh lemons and mandarins, for example, 
imported by the United States and the fact that the time of year that 
citrus is produced in Uruguay is the same as that for current South 
American sources, we expect that any product displacement that may 
occur because of this rule will be largely borne by other foreign 
suppliers of fresh citrus.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule allows fresh citrus fruit to be imported into the 
continental United States from Uruguay. State and local laws and 
regulations regarding fresh citrus imported under this rule will be 
preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh fruits are 
generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the consuming 
public, and remain in foreign commerce until sold to the ultimate 
consumer. The question of when foreign commerce ceases in other cases 
must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. No retroactive effect will 
be given to this rule, and this rule will not require administrative 
proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this 
rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this final rule, which were 
filed under 0579-0401, have been submitted for approval to the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB). When OMB notifies us of its decision, 
if approval is denied, we will publish a document in the Federal 
Register providing notice of what action we plan to take.

E-Government Act Compliance

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

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

    Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant 
diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rice, Vegetables.
    Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 
and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.


[[Page 41264]]



Subpart--Citrus Fruit [Amended]

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


Sec.  319.28  Notice of quarantine.

* * * * *
    (d) The prohibition does not apply to sweet oranges (Citrus 
sinensis (L.) Osbeck), lemons (C. limon (L.) Burm. f.), mandarins (C. 
reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., 
and C. unshiu Marcow), Citrus hybrids, Fortunella japonica (Thunb.) 
Swingle, and F. margarita (Lour.) Swingle, from Uruguay that meet the 
requirements of 7 CFR 319.56-59.
* * * * *
    (g) Importations allowed under paragraphs (b) through (e) of this 
section shall be subject to the permit and other requirements under the 
regulations in Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables of this part.
* * * * *

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


Sec.  319.56-59  Fresh citrus fruit from Uruguay.

    Sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), lemons (C. limon (L.) 
Burm. f.), mandarins (C. reticulata Blanco, C. clementina Hort. ex 
Tanaka, C. deliciosa Ten., and C. unshiu Marcow), Citrus hybrids, 
Fortunella japonica (Thunb.) Swingle, and F. margarita (Lour.) Swingle 
may be imported into the continental United States from Uruguay only 
under the conditions described in this section. These species are 
referred to collectively in this section as ``citrus fruit.'' These 
conditions are designed to prevent the introduction of the following 
quarantine pests: Anastrepha fraterculus, Ceratitis capitata, 
Cryptoblabes gnidiella, Elsino[euml] australis, Gymnandrosoma 
aurantianum, and Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.
    (a) Commercial consignments. Citrus fruit from Uruguay may be 
imported in commercial consignments only.
    (b) General requirements. (1) The national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Uruguay must provide a bilateral workplan to 
APHIS that details the activities that the Uruguayan NPPO will, subject 
to APHIS' approval of the workplan, carry out to meet the requirements 
of this section. APHIS will be directly involved with the Uruguayan 
NPPO in monitoring and auditing implementation of the systems approach.
    (2) All places of production and packinghouses that participate in 
the export program must be registered with the Uruguayan NPPO.
    (3) The fruit must be grown at places of production that meet the 
requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.
    (4) The fruit must be packed for export to the United States in a 
packinghouse that meets the requirements of paragraph (f) of this 
section. The place of production where the fruit was grown must remain 
identifiable when the fruit leaves the grove, at the packinghouse, and 
throughout the export process. Boxes containing fruit must be marked 
with the identity and origin of the fruit. Safeguarding in accordance 
with paragraph (f)(3) of this section must be maintained at all times 
during the movement of the fruit to the United States and must be 
intact upon arrival of the fruit in the United States.
    (c) Monitoring and oversight. (1) The Uruguayan NPPO must visit and 
inspect registered places of production monthly, starting at least 30 
days before harvest and continuing until the end of the shipping 
season, to verify that the growers are complying with the requirements 
of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.
    (2) In addition to conducting fruit inspections at the 
packinghouses, the Uruguayan NPPO must monitor packinghouse operations 
to verify that the packinghouses are complying with the requirements of 
paragraph (f) of this section.
    (3) If the Uruguayan NPPO finds that a place of production or 
packinghouse is not complying with the relevant requirements of this 
section, no fruit from the place of production or packinghouse will be 
eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the Uruguayan 
NPPO conduct an investigation and appropriate remedial actions have 
been implemented.
    (d) Grove monitoring and pest control. Trapping must be conducted 
in the places of production to demonstrate that the places of 
production have a low prevalence of A. fraterculus and C. capitata. If 
the prevalence rises above levels specified in the bilateral workplan, 
remedial measures must be implemented. The Uruguayan NPPO must keep 
records of fruit fly detections for each trap and make the records 
available to APHIS upon request. The records must be maintained for at 
least 1 year.
    (e) Orchard sanitation. Places of production must be maintained 
free of fallen fruit and plant debris. Fallen fruit may not be included 
in field containers of fruit brought to the packinghouse to be packed 
for export.
    (f) Packinghouse procedures. (1) The packinghouse must be equipped 
with double self-closing doors at the entrance to the packinghouse and 
at the interior entrance to the area where fruit is packed.
    (2) Any vents or openings (other than the double self-closing 
doors) must be covered with 1.6 mm or smaller screening in order to 
prevent the entry of pests into the packinghouse.
    (3) Fruit must be packed within 24 hours of harvest in a pest-
exclusionary packinghouse or stored in a degreening chamber in a pest-
exclusionary packinghouse. The fruit must be safeguarded by an insect-
proof screen or plastic tarpaulin while in transit to the packinghouse 
and while awaiting packing. Fruit must be packed in insect-proof 
cartons or containers, or covered with insect-proof mesh or a plastic 
tarpaulin, for transport to the United States. These safeguards must 
remain intact until the arrival of the fruit in the continental United 
States or the consignment will not be allowed to enter the United 
States.
    (4) During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting citrus 
fruit to the continental United States, the packinghouse may only 
accept fruit from registered places of production.
    (5) Culling must be performed in the packinghouse to remove any 
symptomatic or damaged fruit. Fruit must be practically free of leaves, 
twigs, and other plant parts, except for stems that are less than 1 
inch long and attached to the fruit.
    (6) Fruit must be washed, brushed, surface disinfected in 
accordance with part 305 of this chapter, treated with an APHIS-
approved fungicide in accordance with labeled instructions, and waxed.
    (g) Treatment. (1) Citrus fruit other than lemons may be imported 
into the continental United States only if it is treated in accordance 
with part 305 of this chapter for A. fraterculus and C. capitata.
    (2)(i) Lemons may be shipped without a treatment if harvested green 
and if the phytosanitary certificate accompanying the lemons contains 
an additional declaration stating that the lemons were

[[Page 41265]]

harvested green between May 15 and August 31.
    (ii) If the lemons are harvested between September 1 and May 14, or 
if the fruit is harvested yellow, the lemons must be treated in 
accordance with part 305 of this chapter for C. capitata.
    (h) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of citrus fruit 
must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued 
by the Uruguayan NPPO stating that the fruit in the consignment is free 
of all pests of quarantine concern and has been produced in accordance 
with the requirements of the systems approach in 7 CFR 319.56-59.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0401)


    Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of June, 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-16548 Filed 7-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P