[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 85 (Friday, May 2, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24995-24997]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10039]


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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: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending 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 must be 
subject to a systems approach that includes requirements for 
establishment of pest-free places of production and the labeling of 
boxes prior to shipping. The cape gooseberry also must 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 allows for the importation of cape 
gooseberry from Colombia into the United States while continuing to 
provide protection against the introduction of plant pests.

DATES: Effective Date: June 2, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior 
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 319.56-66, 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.
    Prior to the effective date of this final rule, the regulations 
only allowed cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) to be imported into 
the United States from Colombia if the commodity was treated with cold 
treatment for Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata or Medfly).
    However, the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of 
Colombia requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) amend the regulations to allow commercial consignments of cape 
gooseberry 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.''
    Based on the evidence presented in the CIED, on August 16, 2013, we 
published in the Federal Register (78 FR 49972-49975, Docket No. APHIS-
2012-0038) a proposed rule \1\ to authorize the importation of cape 
gooseberry from Colombia into the United States without cold treatment, 
provided that the cape gooseberry were produced in accordance with a 
systems approach consisting of the following requirements: Production 
in pest-free areas of production in the Bogota Savannah or the 
neighboring municipalities above 2,200 meters of elevation in the 
Departments of Boyac[aacute] and Cundinamarca; importation in 
commercial consignments only; labeling of boxes; phytosanitary 
inspection; and issuance of a phytosanitary certificate.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, supporting documents, or the 
comments that we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0038.
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    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
October 15, 2013. We received two comments by that date. One, from a 
U.S. importer of cape gooseberry from Colombia, expressed support for 
the proposed rule. The other, from the NPPO of Colombia, requested 
several modifications to what it understood to be the provisions of the 
proposed rule. We discuss this latter comment below.

[[Page 24996]]

Comments Regarding Pest-Free Areas of Production

    As we mentioned above, in order for cape gooseberry to be imported 
into the United States from Colombia without cold treatment for Medfly, 
we proposed that the cape gooseberry would have to be produced in areas 
of Colombia that have been determined to be free from Medfly. In order 
to demonstrate such freedom, we proposed that the NPPO of Colombia 
would have to enter into a bilateral workplan with APHIS, and trap for 
Medfly according to the trapping requirements in that bilateral 
workplan.
    This proposed trapping requirement to demonstrate freedom from 
Medfly was recommended by the CIED that accompanied the proposed rule. 
The CIED also provided recommendations regarding the placement and 
servicing of Medfly traps to implement this proposed requirement. Among 
other recommendations, it suggested that Jackson traps, a type of 
Medfly trap, be placed at intervals of 1 trap per hectare.
    The NPPO of Colombia requested that this interval be 1 trap per 2 
hectares or fraction thereof. The NPPO provided information 
demonstrating that most cape gooseberry production sites in Colombia 
are a hectare or less, but that a significant minority of sites are 
slightly more than a hectare. The NPPO stated that requiring two traps 
in these latter production sites would be excessive in light of other 
surveillance activities for Medfly that it already routinely conducts.
    The CIED also recommended the use of McPhail or multilure Medfly 
traps and suggested that such traps be serviced every 7 days. The NPPO 
stated that it currently services McPhail traps at 14-day intervals, 
and requested that we allow such servicing intervals to continue if the 
proposed rule were finalized. The NPPO pointed out the International 
Atomic Energy Agency recommends servicing McPhail traps once every 7 to 
14 days.
    As we noted in the preamble to the proposed rule, the provisions of 
the proposed rule were based on the recommendations of the CIED. The 
CIED recommended trapping to demonstrate freedom from Medfly within 
cape gooseberry production areas in Colombia, and the proposed rule 
incorporated this recommendation as a proposed provision.
    The CIED also recommended one method of implementing this proposed 
trapping requirement. Out of recognition that there could be other 
methods of implementing the requirement, we did not propose to codify 
that method. Rather, we proposed to discuss the requirement within the 
context of developing a bilateral workplan with the NPPO of Colombia. 
Following the effective date of this final rule, we will engage the 
NPPO in such a discussion, and develop trapping procedures that are 
mutually agreed upon to demonstrate freedom from Medfly within a 
particular cape gooseberry production area.

Comments Regarding Post-Detection Measures

    In the proposed rule, we proposed that, if Medfly were captured in 
a pest-free area of Colombia, this would result in immediate 
cancellation of exports from cape gooseberry farms within 5 square 
kilometers of the detection site.
    The NPPO of Colombia pointed out that there has only been one 
detection of Medfly in the proposed pest-free area since 1993. The NPPO 
also stated that it is the general consensus of entomologists that cape 
gooseberry is not a preferred host for Medfly. For these reasons, the 
NPPO suggested that a 5 square kilometer prohibition on exports 
following a single Medfly detection was not commensurate with risk. 
Instead, they suggested a 0.5 square kilometer prohibition following 
such a detection.
    The generally accepted standard for eradication areas for Medfly is 
5 square kilometers. In order for us to deviate from that standard to 
the extent requested by the NPPO, there would have to be evidence 
suggesting that cape gooseberry is so atypical and inhospitable a host 
of Medfly that a 0.5 square kilometer eradication area surrounding an 
outbreak would be sufficient to detect all Medfly in the area 
surrounding the detection and preclude the further spread of the pest. 
Detection rates of Medfly at non-commercial cape gooseberry sites 
within the United States suggest that, while cape gooseberry is not a 
preferred host of Medfly, Medfly populations can establish on cape 
gooseberry. Thus we are making no change in response to this comment.
    In the proposed rule, we proposed that the prohibition on exports 
of cape gooseberry to the United States following a Medfly detection 
would continue until APHIS and the NPPO of Colombia agree that the risk 
has been mitigated. The CIED that accompanied the proposed rule 
suggested that the duration of this prohibition should be no less than 
three Medfly life cycles based on degree-day models.
    The NPPO of Colombia stated that they do not have field studies 
regarding degree-day models for Medfly, and suggested that any degree-
day models used to fulfill this regulatory requirement be based on 
peer-reviewed laboratory studies instead.
    As we stated in the proposed rule, the prohibition would remain in 
effect until APHIS and the NPPO of Colombia agree that the risk has 
been mitigated. Degree-day models regarding the life cycles of Medfly 
will factor into such a determination, but will not be the sole 
determinant. To that end, peer-reviewed laboratory studies regarding 
degree-day models for Medfly will be taken into consideration.

Miscellaneous

    In the proposed rule, we proposed to add the conditions governing 
the importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia as Sec.  319.56-60. In 
this final rule, they are added as Sec.  319.56-67.
    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 
change discussed in this document.

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 
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 amending 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 permits 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 will be importers, wholesalers, and other 
merchants who sell this fruit. While these industries are primarily 
comprised of small entities,

[[Page 24997]]

APHIS expects any impacts of the 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 will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule allows cape gooseberry to be imported into the 
United States from Colombia. State and local laws and regulations 
regarding cape gooseberry 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 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. 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 0579-0411, 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.


0
2. Section 319.56-67 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-67  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) Workplan. 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) Places of production. (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 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.  319.56-67.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 
0579-0411)

    Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of April 2014.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-10039 Filed 5-1-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P