[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 182 (Thursday, September 19, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57467-57470]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22786]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 57467]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2011-0040]
RIN 0579-AD52


Importation of Mangoes From Australia 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 regulations concerning the importation of 
fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh mangoes from 
Australia into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, 
the mangoes would have to be produced in accordance with a systems 
approach employing a combination of mitigation measures for the fungus 
Cytosphaera mangiferae and would have to be inspected prior to 
exportation from Australia and found free of this disease. The mangoes 
would have to be imported in commercial consignments only and would 
have to be treated by irradiation to mitigate the risk of the mango 
seed weevil and fruit flies. The mangoes would also have to be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional 
declaration that the conditions for importation have been met. This 
action would allow the importation of mangoes from Australia while 
continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the 
United States.

DATES: Effective Date: October 21, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Inder P. S. Gadh, Senior Risk 
Manager-Treatments, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1236; (301) 851-2018.

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 Australia has 
requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
amend the regulations to allow fresh mangoes from Australia to be 
imported into the continental United States under a combination of 
mitigations to reduce the risk of introducing plant pests.
    On October 25, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 
65988-65991, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0040) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to 
allow the importation of fresh mangoes from Australia into the 
continental United States. We prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA), 
titled ``Importation of Fresh Fruit of Mango, Mangifera indica L., from 
Australia into the Continental United States: A Pathway-initiated Risk 
Analysis'' (June 2011). The PRA evaluated the risks associated with the 
importation of mangoes into the continental United States from 
Australia. Based on the information contained in the PRA, APHIS 
determined that measures beyond standard port-of-entry inspection are 
required to mitigate the risks posed by these quarantine pests. To 
recommend specific measures to mitigate those risks, we prepared a risk 
management document (RMD).
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, PRA, RMD, and the comments we 
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-
2011-0040.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the RMD, we proposed requirements for mangoes to be 
produced in accordance with a systems approach employing a combination 
of mitigation measures for the fungus Cytosphaera mangiferae and to be 
inspected prior to exportation from Australia and found free of this 
disease. We proposed to require the mangoes to be imported in 
commercial consignments only and to be treated by irradiation to 
mitigate the risk of the mango seed weevil and fruit flies. We also 
proposed to require the mangoes to be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate with an additional declaration that the conditions for 
importation have been met.
    We solicited comments concerning the PRA and RMD for 60 days ending 
December 27, 2011. We received three comments by that date. They were 
from a State department of agriculture, a group of State departments of 
agriculture, and the Government of Australia. The comments are 
discussed below.
    In order to mitigate the risks posed by C. mangiferae, which we 
consider to be of medium risk of introduction and dissemination within 
the continental United States, we proposed three options: (1) The 
mangoes be treated with a broad-spectrum post-harvest fungicidal dip, 
(2) the mangoes originate from an orchard that was inspected prior to 
the beginning of harvest during the growing season and the orchard was 
found free of C. mangiferae, or (3) the mangoes originate from an 
orchard that was treated with a broad-spectrum fungicide during the 
growing season and was inspected prior to harvest and the fruit was 
found free of C. mangiferae.
    One commenter was in support of these three mitigation options for 
C. mangiferae; however, the commenter stated that requiring 
packinghouse inspection to determine freedom from symptoms is 
unnecessary if one of the fungicide treatment options is administered.
    We consider the inspection at the packinghouse to be necessary to 
ensure that the fungicide treatments were effective. Conducting a final 
phytosanitary inspection to ensure freedom from pests is standard 
procedure for all import commodities. Overlapping mitigation measures 
such as treatment and inspection are characteristic of system 
approaches. APHIS requires the same mitigation options for C. 
mangiferae for mangoes imported from India and Pakistan, a policy that 
has resulted in no interceptions of the disease at U.S. ports of entry.
    One commenter suggested that the systems approach include both the 
use of a pre-harvest broad spectrum fungicide and the use of a broad-
spectrum post-harvest fungicidal dip to prevent the introduction of C.

[[Page 57468]]

mangiferae, in addition to packinghouse and port of entry inspections.
    We have determined that requiring both treatments is unnecessary 
since C. mangiferae has not been found during inspections of mangoes 
imported from India and Pakistan under the same mitigation measures, 
which indicates that those measures are effective.
    One commenter requested the removal of all mitigation measures for 
Fusarium spp. associated with mango malformation disease (MMD). The 
commenter stated that MMD is not considered a quarantine pest by the 
United States with respect to mangoes imported from other countries. In 
addition, the commenter presented evidence that MMD has been 
successfully eradicated from Australia and that the sole pathogen 
associated with MMD in Australia is Fusarium mangiferae, which is 
already present in the United States. Furthermore, the commenter stated 
that studies indicate that commercially produced mangoes are not a 
pathway for the introduction of MMD.
    We consider MMD to be a quarantine pest for all countries; when 
susceptible commodities have been authorized for importation without 
MMD mitigations, we have administratively added requirements for MMD. 
However, based on the information provided by the commenter, we have 
determined that F. mangiferae is the sole causal agent associated with 
MMD in Australia and that it is absent from Australia due to 
Australia's successful official control efforts for MMD. In response, 
we have revised the PRA and the RMD to reflect Australia's freedom from 
causal agents associated with MMD, and this final rule omits the 
proposed mitigations for Fusarium spp. complex associated with MMD.
    The PRA identified Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae, Neoscytalidium 
novaehollandiae, Neofusicoccum mangiferae, and Pseudofusicoccum 
adansoniae as pathogens associated with mangoes. One commenter stated 
that there is no evidence that these pathogens are associated with 
mango fruit in natural environments; all work cited in the PRA as 
establishing these pathogens as pests of mangoes was under artificial 
conditions. The commenter noted the conditions proposed for Australian 
mangoes require that mangoes be imported to the continental United 
States in commercial consignments only, which would remove these 
pathogens from the pathway. In addition, the commenter stated that the 
PRA only mentions N. mangiferae in the introduction and presents no 
evidence that this species is associated with mango fruit. Therefore, 
the commenter requested that requirements related to these pathogens be 
removed from the rule.
    The PRA addressed N. mangiferae and included additional references 
that document the stem end rot (SER) of mango fruit caused by N. 
mangiferae known to occur in Australia. The pathogen also has been 
documented under many synonyms (Dothiorella mangiferae, Nattrassia 
mangiferae, and Fusicoccum mangiferum), which may account for the 
confusion about this species associated with mango fruit rot in 
Australia.
    The remaining species, L. pseudotheobromae, N. novaehollandiae, and 
P. adansoniae, are recently reported and appear to have limited 
distribution in Australia. These pathogens were isolated from stems and 
twigs of mango trees showing dieback and canker symptoms in orchards, 
were shown to infect fruit in artificial inoculations, and were not 
isolated from naturally infected mango fruit. However, a range of other 
related fungal species cause SER of mango, including Neofusicoccum 
parvum, Neofusicoccum mangiferae, Botryosphaeria dothidea, and 
Lasiodiplodia theobromae. These pathogens may become established in 
mango plants without expressing symptoms, but stress or ripening 
trigger disease development, expressed as SER, cankers, and mango 
decline. These newly reported pathogens of mango likely occupy a 
similar niche associated with mango in which the pathogens switch from 
quiescent to pathogenic in the plant tissue, and may affect a range of 
plant parts of their hosts. For this reason, these pathogens are 
considered to follow the pathway with mango fruit in trade. All of 
these details and corresponding references are included in the PRA. 
Therefore, we stand by our determination that the conditions we 
proposed to mitigate those pathogens are necessary.
    One commenter requested that we add two mitigation options for the 
mango seed weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae) for mangoes from specific 
areas of Australia. The commenter suggests that we accept area freedom 
from the mango seed weevil for Western Australia and pest free places 
of production for the mango seed weevil for the Katherine production 
area of the Northern Territory.
    With regard to the proposal for area freedom from the mango seed 
weevil from Western Australia, we appreciate the information that those 
areas are historically free of the mango seed weevil and that the 
States maintain controls on the import of mango fruit from areas of 
Australia that are not free of this pest. We will request additional 
information from the commenter, specifically references from scientific 
literature, information from Australian scientists, and/or State 
records, to establish that the States are historically free of the 
mango seed weevil. This additional information would allow us to 
determine whether to recognize Western Australia as free of the mango 
seed weevil through the process for recognition of pest-free areas 
described in Sec.  319.56-5.
    With regard to the commenter's request to allow mangoes from pest-
free places of production from the Katherine production area of the 
Northern Territory to be imported into the continental United States, 
we will evaluate Australia's program for establishing pest-free places 
of production. If we determine that the program is effective, we will 
publish our evaluation in the Federal Register and request public 
comment.
    One commenter presented evidence that visual inspection to detect 
scales on the smooth surface of mangoes is sufficient in detecting 
Ceroplastes rubens.
    The PRA published with the proposal gave C. rubens a High risk 
rating, which means that mitigation measures beyond visual inspection 
are strongly recommended. However, we have recently changed the rating 
criteria in our PRA guidelines for Climate-Host Interaction. 
Specifically, we no longer count C. rubens' survival in USDA Plant 
Hardiness Zone 11 towards the Climate-Host Interaction risk element 
rating because that zone comprises approximately 0.1 percent of the 
United States. Making this change in the PRA for Australian mangoes 
lowered the overall risk rating for C. rubens by one point, from High 
(27 points) to Medium (26 points). A Medium risk rating indicates that 
specific phytosanitary measures may be necessary for the pest unless 
inspection can serve as an effective mitigation.
    The soft scale C. rubens is a surface pest which is readily visible 
upon inspection, so no measures other than culling practices in 
Australia and inspection are necessary to remove this pest from the 
pathway. Therefore, we will not require irradiation treatment to 
mitigate C. rubens.
    We proposed to require mangoes to be treated by irradiation for 
plant pests of the class Insecta, except pupae and adults of the order 
Lepidoptera, in accordance with 7 CFR part 305. The prescribed 400-gray 
approved dose for this class of pests was necessary to neutralize C. 
rubens. Because we no

[[Page 57469]]

longer consider irradiation for C. rubens to be necessary, however, we 
are instead requiring mangoes to be treated by irradiation for the 
mango seed weevil and for fruit flies of the family Tephritidae in 
accordance with 7 CFR part 305. The approved dose for the mango seed 
weevil, as indicated in the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 
Treatment Manual,\2\ is 300 gray. However, if we recognize pest-free 
areas or pest-free places of production for the mango seed weevil, we 
would reduce the required dose to 150 gray, which is the approved dose 
indicated in the PPQ Treatment Manual for fruit flies of the family 
Tephritidae.
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    \2\ The PPQ Treatment Manual may be viewed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/treatment.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One commenter supported the irradiation of mangoes for inspected 
pests; however, the commenter requested that irradiation of these 
commodities be conducted prior to importation into the United States to 
eliminate the possible risk of pest escape prior to treatment.
    As described in the proposed rule, we are requiring mangoes from 
Australia to be treated with irradiation to neutralize all plant pests 
of the class Insecta, except pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera. 
In part 305, Sec.  305.9 specifies the requirements for the irradiation 
of imported commodities. These requirements provide effective 
safeguards for articles irradiated either prior to or after arrival in 
the United States.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the 
changes discussed in this document.

    Note:  In our October 2011 proposed rule, we proposed to add the 
conditions governing the importation of mangoes from Australia as 
Sec.  319.56-54. In this final rule, those conditions are added as 
Sec.  319.56-60.

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.
    The United States produces approximately 3,000 metric tons per 
year, about one-hundredth of 1 percent of world production. U.S. mango 
production is concentrated in the States of Florida, Hawaii, 
California, and Texas and produced primarily for local markets. While 
U.S. mango production is limited, the United States is the world's 
leading importer of fresh mangoes, receiving 33 percent of imports 
worldwide.
    Mango imports from Australia are expected to total about 1,200 
metric tons per year. This represents approximately 0.5 percent of 
total U.S. mango imports. The imports from Australia will likely help 
meet growing demand in all States. While most if not all U.S. mango 
farms and mango importers are small entities, it is unlikely that 
additional mango imports of 1,200 metric tons will cause a noteworthy 
decrease in mango prices or otherwise substantially affect the market, 
especially given the expanding U.S. demand for this fruit. Moreover, 
the Australian mango season, mid-September to mid-April, is the 
opposite of that in the United States; the fresh mangoes imported from 
Australia will not compete directly with those produced domestically.
    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 mangoes to be imported into the continental 
United States from Australia. State and local laws and regulations 
regarding mangoes 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

    The information collection burden associated with the proposed rule 
was preapproved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB 
control number 0579-0391. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995, APHIS will submit (or has submitted) an Information Collection 
Request for extension of this approval. Any new information collection 
requirements are not effective until approval by OMB.

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.


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


Sec.  319.56-60  Mangoes from Australia.

    Mangoes (Mangifera indica) may be imported into the continental 
United States from Australia only under the following conditions:
    (a) The mangoes may be imported in commercial consignments only.
    (b) The mangoes must be treated by irradiation for the mango seed 
weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae) and fruit flies of the family 
Tephritidae in accordance with part 305 of this chapter.
    (c) The risks presented by Cytosphaera mangiferae must be addressed 
in one of the following ways:
    (1) The mangoes are treated with a broad-spectrum post-harvest 
fungicidal dip;
    (2) The mangoes originate from an orchard that was inspected prior 
to the beginning of harvest during the growing season and the orchard 
was found free of C. mangiferae; or
    (3) The mangoes originate from an orchard that was treated with a 
broad-spectrum fungicide during the growing season and was inspected 
prior to

[[Page 57470]]

harvest and the mangoes are found free of C. mangiferae.
    (d) Prior to export from Australia, the mangoes must be inspected 
by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Australia and 
found free of Cytosphaera mangiferae, Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae, 
Neofusicoccum mangiferae, Neoscytalidium novaehollandiae, 
Pseudofusicoccum adansoniae, Phomopsis mangiferae, and Xanthomomas 
campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae.
    (e)(1) Each consignment of fruit must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Australia with 
additional declarations that:
    (i) The mangoes were subjected to one of the pre- or post-harvest 
mitigation options described in paragraph (c) of this section, and
    (ii) The mangoes were inspected prior to export from Australia and 
found free of C. mangiferae, L. pseudotheobromae, N. mangiferae, N. 
novaehollandiae, P. adansoniae, P. mangiferae, and X. campestris pv. 
mangiferaeindicae.
    (2) If the fruit is treated with irradiation outside the United 
States, each consignment of fruit must be inspected jointly by APHIS 
and the NPPO of Australia, and be accompanied by the phytosanitary 
certificate certifying that the fruit was treated with irradiation in 
accordance with part 305 of this chapter.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0391)

    Done in Washington, DC, this 13th day of September 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-22786 Filed 9-18-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P