[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 251 (Tuesday, December 31, 2013)]
[Unknown Section]
[Pages 79636-79637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31146]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 319 and 340

[Docket No. APHIS-2008-0011]
RIN 0579-AD75


Restructuring of Regulations on the Importation of Plants for 
Planting

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: We are reopening the comment period for our proposed rule that 
would restructure the regulations governing the importation of plants 
for planting. We are requesting comments on our proposed framework for 
integrated pest risk management measures for plants for planting. We 
are especially interested in: The differences commenters perceive 
between International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 36 and 
the North American Plant Protection Organization's Regional Standard 
for Phytosanitary Measures No. 24, and reasons to prefer one over the 
other as a basis for such measures; and how to address the risk posed 
when plant brokers purchase and move plants for planting after they 
leave their place of production and before they are exported to the 
United States. This action will allow interested persons additional 
time to prepare and submit comments on these topics.

DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published April 25, 
2013 (78 FR 24634) is reopened. We will consider all comments that we 
receive on or before January 30, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2008-0011-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2008-0011, 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-2008-
0011 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

[[Page 79637]]

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. Heather Coady, Regulatory Policy 
Specialist, Plants for Planting Policy, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2076.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    On April 25, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 
24634-24663, Docket No. APHIS-2008-0011) a proposal that would 
restructure the regulations governing the importation of plants for 
planting in 7 CFR part 319.
    Comments on the proposed rule were required to be received on or 
before June 24, 2013. We reopened and extended the deadline for 
comments until September 10, 2013, in a document published in the 
Federal Register on July 12, 2013 (78 FR 41866-41867, Docket No. APHIS-
2008-0011).
    Among other changes, we proposed to establish a framework for the 
development of integrated pest risk management measures in the 
regulations. We did not propose to require any specific pest risk 
management measures; rather, we intended the proposed regulatory text 
to serve as a framework for their eventual development. We based the 
provisions for the integrated pest risk management measures on the 
North American Plant Protection Organization's Regional Standard for 
Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM) No. 24, which addresses trade in plants 
for planting. As we stated in the proposed rule, our framework for 
integrated pest risk management measures is also consistent with the 
International Plant Protection Convention's International Standard for 
Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 36, which addresses the same topic.
    One element of RSPM No. 24 that we included in the proposed 
framework was a requirement that persons trading in plants for planting 
intended for export without growing the plants (whom we referred to in 
the proposal as plant brokers) be approved by the national plant 
protection organization of the exporting country. In addition, we 
proposed to require plant brokers to ensure the traceability of export 
consignments to an approved place of production or production site, and 
to maintain the phytosanitary status of the plants in a manner 
equivalent to an approved place of production from purchase, storage, 
and transportation to the export destination. (The ``phytosanitary 
status'' refers to their freedom from exposure to the quarantine pests 
addressed by the integrated pest risk management measures.)
    We received several comments on our decision to base the proposed 
framework for integrated pest risk management measures on RSPM No. 24, 
rather than ISPM No. 36. Most of the commenters preferred that we base 
our measures on ISPM No. 36. Some commenters on the proposed rule 
stated that the two standards differed significantly and that the 
framework we proposed was not consistent with ISPM No. 36. We also 
received several comments on our proposed requirement for approval of 
plant brokers, with some commenters indicating that such a requirement 
would be unworkable and that there could be other means for ensuring 
that plants for planting that are intended for export retain their 
phytosanitary status after leaving the place of production. We are 
considering whether to revise the proposed framework to base it on ISPM 
No. 36 and what other means might be available to ensure that the 
phytosanitary status of plants for planting is maintained after they 
leave an approved place of production.
    We are reopening the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2008-0011 
for an additional 30 days. This action will allow interested persons 
additional time to prepare and submit comments. We are particularly 
interested in detailed comments on the issues discussed above; specific 
comments will help us to evaluate potential changes to the proposed 
rule. We will also consider all comments received between September 10, 
2013, and the date of this notice.

    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.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of December 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-31146 Filed 12-30-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P