[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 159 (Friday, August 16, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 49972-49975]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19959]


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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. 159 / Friday, August 16, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 49972]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0038]
RIN 0579-AD79


Importation of Cape Gooseberry From Colombia Into the United 
States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables 
regulations to allow the importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia 
into the United States. As a condition of entry, cape gooseberry from 
Colombia would be subject to a systems approach that would include 
requirements for establishment of pest-free places of production and 
the labeling of boxes prior to shipping. The cape gooseberry would also 
have to be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection 
organization of Colombia certifying that the fruit has been produced in 
accordance with the systems approach. This action would allow for the 
importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia into the United States 
while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of 
plant pests.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
October 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0038-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0038, 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-
0038 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. Claudia Ferguson, Regulatory 
Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 
4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-2352.

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.
    Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) from Colombia is authorized 
for importation into the United States if the commodity is treated with 
a cold treatment for Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata or 
Medfly). The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Colombia 
has requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) amend the regulations to allow commercial consignments of cape 
gooseberry fruit from production sites recognized as free of Medfly in 
the Bogota Savannah and the neighboring municipalities above 2,200 
meters of elevation in the Departments of Boyac[aacute] and 
Cundinamarca without cold treatment.
    In response to the request of the NPPO of Colombia, we prepared a 
commodity import evaluation document (CIED) titled ``Recognition of 
cape gooseberry production sites that are free of Mediterranean fruit 
fly within a low prevalence area in Colombia Bogota Savannah and the 
neighboring municipalities above 2,200 meters in the Departments of 
Boyac[aacute] and Cundinamarca.'' The CIED may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above 
for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the 
location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies 
of the CIED by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Based on the evidence presented in the CIED, we have determined 
that cape gooseberry can be safely imported from Colombia into the 
United States without cold treatment if they are produced in accordance 
with a systems approach. We are proposing to add the systems approach 
outlined below to the regulations in a new Sec.  319.56-60 governing 
the importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia.

Proposed Systems Approach

General Requirements

    Paragraph (a) of proposed Sec.  319.56-60 would require the NPPO of 
Colombia to provide a bilateral workplan to APHIS that details the 
activities the NPPO will carry out to meet the requirements of the 
systems approach, subject to APHIS' approval of the workplan. APHIS 
would be directly involved with the NPPO in monitoring and auditing 
implementation of the systems approach. A bilateral workplan is an 
agreement between APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine program, 
officials of the NPPO of a foreign government, and, when necessary, 
foreign commercial entities that specifies in detail the phytosanitary 
measures that will be carried out to comply with our regulations 
regarding a specific commodity. Bilateral workplans apply only to the 
signatory parties and establish detailed procedures and guidance for 
the day-to-day operations of specific import/export programs. Bilateral 
workplans also establish how specific phytosanitary issues are dealt 
with in the exporting country and make clear who is responsible for 
dealing with those issues. The implementation of a systems approach 
typically requires a bilateral workplan to be developed.

Places of Production Requirements

    Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed Sec.  319.56-60 would specify that all 
places of production be registered with the NPPO of Colombia. Under 
paragraph (b)(2) of proposed Sec.  319.56-60, all places of production 
would have to be located

[[Page 49973]]

within the C. capitata low prevalence area of the Bogota Savannah and 
the neighboring municipalities above 2,200 meters in the Departments of 
Boyac[aacute] and Cundinamarca. APHIS has reviewed and approved the 
methods used by the NPPO of Colombia to survey for low pest prevalence 
and to recognize specific places of production as free of Medfly in the 
specified areas. Pest-free places of production within certified low 
pest prevalence areas have been effectively used in the past as an 
element of a systems approach to allow fruits to be safely imported 
into the United States, and we believe this measure can be successfully 
applied to the importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia.

Mitigation Measures for Medfly

    Only one fruit fly has been trapped in the low prevalence area in 
Bogota Savannah and the neighboring municipalities above 2,200 meters 
since 1993. Therefore, we propose using trapping to monitor the places 
of production within the low prevalence area described above as an 
element of the systems approach to mitigate the risk posed by Medfly.
    In paragraph (c)(1) of proposed Sec.  319.56-60, we would require 
the NPPO of Colombia to place fruit fly traps at intervals specified in 
the bilateral work plan to demonstrate place of production freedom from 
Medfly. The NPPO of Colombia would have to keep records of fruit fly 
detections for each trap and make the records available to APHIS upon 
request.
    Paragraph (c)(2) would specify that the trapping of any Medfly 
would have to be reported to APHIS immediately. Capture of C. capitata 
would result in immediate cancellation of exports from farms within 5 
square kilometers (km\2\) of the detection site. An additional 50 traps 
would have to be placed in the 5 km\2\ area surrounding the detection 
site. If a second detection is made within that 5 km\2\ area within 30 
days of the first, eradication using a bait spray agreed upon by APHIS 
and the NPPO of Colombia would have to be initiated in the detection 
area and treatment would have to continue for at least 2 months. 
Exports could resume from the detection area when APHIS and the NPPO of 
Colombia agree the risk has been mitigated. These requirements would 
ensure that production sites are monitored, that no fruit is shipped 
from sites where Medfly has been detected, and that the presence of 
Medfly is addressed quickly and definitively.

Post-Harvest Procedures

    Under paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  319.56-60, the cape 
gooseberries would have to be packed in boxes marked with the identity 
of the originating farm. This measure would allow shipments of the 
fruit to be traced back to the farm in the event of the discovery of a 
pest. The boxes containing cape gooseberries would have to be packed in 
sealed and closed containers before being shipped in order to prevent 
harvested fruit from being infested by quarantine pests.

Phytosanitary Inspection

    Paragraph (e) would state that, after the commodity is packed, the 
NPPO of Colombia must visually inspect a biometric sample of cape 
gooseberry at a rate jointly approved by APHIS and the NPPO of Colombia 
and cut open the fruit to detect C. capitata. External and internal 
inspection of a sample would ensure that pests at various life stages 
are detected.

Commercial Consignments

    Paragraph (f) would state that only commercial consignments of cape 
gooseberry would be allowed to be imported. 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. Produce grown 
commercially is less likely to be infested with plant pests than 
noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are more prone 
to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to overripe, could 
be of a variety with unknown susceptibility to pests, and is often 
grown with little or no pest control.

Phytosanitary Certificate

    Paragraph (g) would set out the requirement for a phytosanitary 
certificate. Each consignment of fruit would have to be accompanied by 
a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Colombia, providing 
an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was 
produced in accordance with the requirements in proposed Sec.  319.56-
60. This requirement would provide for the Colombian NPPO's 
confirmation that the provisions of the regulations have been met.

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).
    APHIS is proposing to amend the current regulations to allow the 
entry of fresh cape gooseberry from Colombia under a systems approach. 
Since 2003, Colombia has been allowed to export fresh cape gooseberry 
to the United States under a cold treatment protocol to prevent the 
entry of Medfly. The systems approach would permit cape gooseberry 
imports without cold treatment from production sites recognized as free 
of Medfly. In 2011, only about 0.2 percent (14 metric tons) of 
Colombia's fresh cape gooseberry exports were shipped to the United 
States, valued at about $90,300.
    The United States does not produce cape gooseberry commercially. 
Small entities that may benefit from increased imports of fresh cape 
gooseberry from Colombia would be importers, wholesalers, and other 
merchants who sell this fruit. While these industries are primarily 
comprised of small entities, APHIS expects any impacts of the proposed 
rule for these businesses to be minor.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow cape gooseberry to be imported into 
the United States from Colombia. If this proposed rule is adopted, 
State and local laws and regulations regarding cape gooseberry 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

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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-
2012-0038. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2012-0038, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, 
and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404-W, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is best 
assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of 
publication of this proposed rule.
    APHIS is proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations 
to allow the importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia into the 
United States. As a condition of entry, cape gooseberry from Colombia 
would be subject to a systems approach that will require information 
collection activities including a bilateral workplan, registration of 
places of production, box marking, trapping and records, and a 
phytosanitary certificate.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 0.1651 hours per response.
    Respondents: NPPO of Colombia, producers, and exporters.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 427.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 11.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 4,626.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 767 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2908.

E-Government Act Compliance

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

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

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

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

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

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

0
2. A new Sec.  319.56-60 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-60  Cape gooseberry from Colombia.

    Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) may be imported into the 
United States from Colombia in accordance with the conditions described 
in this section. These conditions are designed to prevent the 
introduction of Ceratitis capitata.
    (a) General requirements. The national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Colombia must provide a bilateral workplan to 
APHIS that details the activities that the NPPO will, subject to APHIS' 
approval, carry out to meet the requirements of this section. APHIS 
will be directly involved with the NPPO in the monitoring and auditing 
implementation of the systems approach.
    (b) Place of production requirements. (1) All places of production 
must be registered with the NPPO of Colombia.
    (2) All places of production must be located within the C. capitata 
low prevalence area of the Bogota Savannah and the neighboring 
municipalities above 2,200 meters in the Departments of Boyac[aacute] 
and Cundinamarca.
    (c) Mitigation measures for C. capitata. (1) Trapping for C. 
capitata must be conducted in the places of production in accordance 
with the bilateral workplan to demonstrate that those places are free 
of C. capitata. Specific trapping requirements must be included in the 
bilateral workplan. The NPPO of Colombia must keep records of fruit fly 
detections for each trap and make the records available to APHIS upon 
request.
    (2) All fruit flies trapped must be reported to APHIS immediately. 
Capture of C. capitata will result in immediate cancellation of exports 
from farms within 5 square kilometers of the detection site. An 
additional 50 traps must be placed in the 5 square kilometer area 
surrounding the detection site. If a second detection is made within 
the detection areas within 30 days of a previous capture, eradication 
using a bait spray agreed upon by APHIS and the NPPO of Colombia must 
be initiated in the detection area. Treatment must continue for at 
least 2 months. Exports may resume from the detection area when APHIS 
and the NPPO of Colombia agree the risk has been mitigated.
    (d) Post-harvest procedures. The cape gooseberry must be packed in 
boxes marked with the identity of the originating farm. The boxes must 
be packed in sealed and closed containers before being shipped.
    (e) Phytosanitary inspection. After packing, the NPPO of Colombia 
must visually inspect a biometric sample of cape gooseberry at a rate 
jointly approved by APHIS and the NPPO of Colombia, and cut open the 
sampled fruit to detect C. capitata.
    (f) Commercial consignments. The cape gooseberry must be imported 
in commercial consignments only.
    (g) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of cape gooseberry 
must be accompanied by a phytosanitary

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certificate issued by the NPPO of Colombia containing an additional 
declaration stating that the fruit originated from a place of 
production free of C. capitata within the low prevalence area of Bogota 
Savannah and the neighboring municipalities above 2,200 meters of 
elevation in the Departments of Boyac[aacute] and Cundinamarca and was 
produced in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  319.56-60.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of August 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-19959 Filed 8-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P