[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 154 (Friday, August 9, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 48628-48631]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19314]


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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. 154 / Friday, August 9, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 48628]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0014]
RIN 0579-AD68


Importation of Papayas From Peru

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to allow, under certain conditions, the 
importation of commercial consignments of fresh papayas from Peru into 
the continental United States. The conditions for the importation of 
papayas from Peru would include requirements for approved production 
locations; field sanitation; hot water treatment; procedures for 
packing and shipping the papayas; and fruit fly trapping in papaya 
production areas. This action would allow for the importation of 
papayas from Peru while continuing to provide protection against the 
introduction of quarantine pests into the continental United States.

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

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0014-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0014, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-
0014 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: Ms. Dorothy Wayson, Senior Regulatory 
Coordination Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-
2036.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56-
1 through 319.56-59, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or 
restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and 
dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed 
within the United States. The national plant protection organization 
(NPPO) of Peru has requested that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) amend the regulations to allow fresh papayas 
(Carica papaya) to be imported from Peru into the continental United 
States.
    As part of our evaluation of Peru's request, we have prepared a 
pest risk assessment (PRA), titled ``Importation of Fresh Papaya, 
Carica papaya, from Peru into the Continental United States'' (March 
2012). The PRA evaluates the risks associated with the importation of 
papaya into the continental United States from Peru. Copies of the PRA 
may be obtained by contacting the individual listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site (see 
ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    The PRA identified two pests of quarantine significance present in 
Peru that could be introduced into the United States through the 
importation of papaya: The Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis 
capitata Wiedemann, and the South American fruit fly, Anastrepha 
fraterculus (Wiedemann). Both of these pests were rated as posing a 
high risk.
    APHIS has determined that measures beyond standard port of arrival 
inspection are required to mitigate the risks posed by the plant pests 
associated with papayas from Peru. Therefore, we propose to require 
that the papayas be subjected to a systems approach to pest mitigation. 
This systems approach would require that the papayas be produced at 
places of production registered with the NPPO of Peru, would require 
packing procedures designed to exclude quarantine pests, and would 
require fruit fly trapping, field sanitation, and hot water treatment 
to remove pests of concern from the pathway. Only commercial 
consignments of papayas would be allowed to be imported from Peru. 
Consignments of papayas from Peru would also be required to be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Peru 
stating that the papayas were grown, packed, and shipped in accordance 
with the proposed requirements.
    The proposed systems approach to pest mitigation for the 
importation of papayas from Peru has been used successfully to mitigate 
the risk associated with the importation of papayas from Central 
America, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador (Sec.  319.56-25). The risk 
management document for papayas from Peru evaluated the effectiveness 
of these measures against the quarantine pests identified in the PRA 
and concluded that the provisions in Sec.  319.56-25, along with the 
general requirements for the importation of fruits and vegetables in 
the regulations, will be sufficient to prevent the introduction of 
those pests into the continental United States. Therefore, we propose 
to amend Sec.  319.56-25 to allow for the importation of papayas from 
Peru. The mitigation measures for the proposed systems approach are 
outlined in greater detail below.

Commercial Consignments

    The importation of fresh papayas from Peru would be limited to 
commercial consignments of papaya of cultivar Solo only.
    This condition would reduce the likelihood that papayas will 
introduce injurious plant pests into the continental United States. 
Commercial consignments are less likely to be infested with plant pests 
than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are more 
prone to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to overripe,

[[Page 48629]]

may be of a variety with unknown susceptibility to pests, and is often 
grown with little or no pest control. Commercial consignments, as 
defined in Sec.  319.56-2, are consignments that an inspector 
identifies as having been imported for sale and distribution. Such 
identification is based on a variety of indicators, including, but not 
limited to: Quantity of produce, type of packaging, identification of 
grower or packinghouse on the packaging, and documents consigning the 
fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or retailer.
    Papayas weighing 2 kilograms or less are considered ``Solo'' 
papayas. The limitation would ensure that the hot water dip treatment 
discussed later in this document is effective, as that treatment has 
not been tested on larger papayas.

Registered Growers

    The papayas would have to be grown by a grower registered with the 
NPPO of Peru and packed for shipment to the continental United States 
(including Alaska) in Peru. This condition would ensure that papayas 
intended for the continental United States are grown in places of 
production where fruit fly traps are maintained and where the other 
elements of the systems approach described below are in place. In 
addition, grower registration allows for traceback and removal from the 
export program of production sites with confirmed pest problems, and 
the papaya orchards would be monitored by the NPPO to ensure that pest 
and disease-excluding sanitary procedures are employed.

Harvesting Procedures

    Beginning at least 30 days before harvest begins and continuing 
through the completion of harvest, all trees in the area where the 
papayas are grown would have to be kept free of papayas that are one-
half or more ripe (more than one-quarter of shell surface yellow), and 
all culled and fallen fruit would have to be buried, destroyed, or 
removed from the farm at least twice a week.
    Although papayas are a potential host for Medfly and South American 
fruit fly, these fruit flies typically prefer ripe fruits as well as 
culled or fallen papayas. Therefore, requiring that only green papayas 
(less than half ripe) be present on the trees and that culled and 
fallen fruit be buried, destroyed, or removed from the farm would 
reduce the populations of Medfly and South American fruit fly in the 
fields where papayas intended for importation into the continental 
United States are grown.

Treatment

    The papayas would have to be held for 20 minutes in hot water at 48 
[deg]C (118.4 [deg]F). This treatment is currently used to treat 
papayas imported from Central America, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador 
for fruit flies under the existing regulations in Sec.  319.56-25. Hot 
water treatment mitigates the pest risk that could result if fruit 
flies lay eggs in papayas immediately before harvest. This treatment, 
in conjunction with other safeguards that would be required by the 
regulations for papayas from Peru, would reduce the likelihood that 
papayas will introduce Medfly and South American fruit fly into the 
continental United States.

Packaging Procedures

    When packed, the papayas would have to be less than one-half ripe 
(shell surface no more than one-quarter yellow, surrounded by light 
green) and appear to be free of all injurious insect pests.
    This condition would reduce the risk of introduction of Medfly and 
South American fruit fly into the continental United States. Papayas 
that are less than one-half ripe (green) are not preferred hosts for 
fruit flies. Requiring papayas to be less than one-half ripe when 
packed thus reduces the risk of their infestation with Medfly or South 
American fruit fly.
    The papayas would have to be safeguarded from exposure to fruit 
flies from harvest to export, including being packaged to prevent 
access by fruit flies or other injurious insect pests during transit. 
The package containing the papayas would not be allowed to contain any 
other fruit, including papayas not qualified for importation into the 
continental United States. These conditions would ensure that papayas 
that have already been inspected and packaged for shipment to the 
continental United States are not at risk for fruit fly infestation.

Fruit Fly Trapping

    Beginning at least 1 year before harvest begins and continuing 
through the completion of harvest, fruit fly traps would have to be 
maintained in the field where the papayas were grown. Fifty percent of 
the traps would have to be of the McPhail type, and 50 percent of the 
traps of the Jackson type. The traps would have to be placed at the 
rate of 1 trap per hectare and checked for fruit flies at least once a 
week by plant health officials of the NPPO. The NPPO would have to keep 
records of the fruit fly finds for each trap, updating the records each 
time the traps are checked, and make the records available to APHIS 
upon request. The records would have to be maintained for at least 1 
year. This condition would ensure the earliest possible detection of 
increasing populations of fruit flies in and around fields where 
papayas are grown.
    If the average Jackson fruit fly trap catch is greater than seven 
Medflies per trap per week, measures would have to be taken to control 
the Medfly population in the production area. If the average Jackson 
trap catch exceeds 14 Medflies per trap per week, importations of 
papayas from that production area would be halted until the rate of 
capture drops to an average of 7 or fewer Medflies per trap per week.
    If the average McPhail trap catch is greater than seven South 
American fruit flies per trap per week, measures would have to be taken 
to control the South American fruit flies population in the production 
area. If the average McPhail trap catch exceeds 14 South American fruit 
flies per trap per week, importations of papayas from that production 
area would be halted until the rate of capture drops to an average of 7 
or fewer South American fruit flies per trap per week.
    These thresholds for Medfly and South American fruit fly trapping 
would help detect increasing populations of these fruit flies in 
growing areas; as such, this condition would help ensure that these 
fruit flies are not associated with imports of papayas into the 
continental United States.
    All activities would have to be conducted under the supervision and 
direction of plant health officials of the NPPO of the exporting 
country to help ensure that all activities required by the regulations 
are properly carried out. This requirement is found in paragraph (h) of 
Sec.  319.56-25, which currently refers to the activities in paragraphs 
(a) through (h) of the section. Since paragraph (h) contains the 
supervision requirement, we are proposing to correct the reference to 
instead refer to supervision of the activities described in paragraphs 
(a) through (g) of Sec.  319.56-25.

Phytosanitary Certificate

    All shipments of papayas would have to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Peru stating that the 
papayas were grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the proposed 
requirements. This condition would help ensure that the provisions of 
the regulations have been met. In addition, as part of issuing the 
phytosanitary certificate, the NPPO would inspect the commodities and

[[Page 48630]]

certify that they are free of quarantine pests.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The 
analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available 
by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for 
instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    This proposed rule would allow the importation of fresh papaya 
fruit from Peru into the continental United States. Papaya is a 
relatively minor crop in the United States that is primarily grown in 
Hawaii, and to a lesser extent, in Florida. Very small acreages are 
found in Texas and California.
    Peru is expected to ship up to 36 metric tons of fresh papaya to 
the United States per year. This amount would be equivalent to less 
than 0.03 percent of net imports of fresh papaya by the United States 
in 2011. With U.S. net imports estimated to be at least eight times as 
large as U.S. fresh papaya production, any market effects of such a 
relatively negligible change in papaya imports are as likely to impact 
foreign suppliers as they are U.S. producers. In addition, effects for 
the majority of U.S. papaya producers, who are located in Hawaii, would 
be further muted by the proposed prohibition on entry of fresh papaya 
from Peru into that State.
    While most if not all U.S. papaya farms are small entities, we 
expect this proposed rule to have a very minor impact regardless of the 
size of operation.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2012-0014. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one 
of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this 
document, and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, Room 404-W, 14th 
Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to 
OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 
30 days of publication of this proposed rule.
    Allowing the importation of papayas into the continental United 
States from Peru will require grower registration, trapping records, 
and phytosanitary certificates.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 1.5 hours per response.
    Respondents: The NPPO of Peru and growers.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 51.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.9.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 101.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 154 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2908.

E-Government Act Compliance

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

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

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

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

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

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


Sec.  319.56-25  [Amended]

0
2. Section 319.56-25 is amended as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (b), by removing the words ``or Ecuador'' and adding 
the words ``, Ecuador, or Peru'' in their place.
0
b. In paragraph (g)(2), by adding the word ``Peru,'' after the word 
``Ecuador,''.
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c. In paragraph (h), by removing the citation ``(h)'' and adding the 
citation ``(g)'' in its place.


[[Page 48631]]


    Done in Washington, DC, this 5th day of August 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-19314 Filed 8-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P