[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 136 (Wednesday, July 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41411-41413]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16638]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Parts 906 and 944

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0009; FV14-906-1 FIR]


Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas 
and Imported Oranges; Change in Size Requirements for Oranges

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

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[[Page 41412]]

SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final 
rule, without change, an interim rule that relaxed the minimum size 
prescribed for oranges under the marketing order for oranges and 
grapefruit grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas (order) and the 
orange import regulation. The interim rule relaxed the minimum size 
requirement for domestic and import shipments from 2\6/16\ inches to 
2\3/16\ inches in diameter. This rule provides additional oranges to 
meet market demand, helping to maximize fresh shipments.

DATES: Effective July 17, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, Marketing Specialist, 
or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field 
Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable 
Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 325-8793, or 
Email: Doris.Jamieson@ams.usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@ams.usda.gov.
    Small businesses may obtain information on complying with this and 
other marketing order and agreement regulations by viewing a guide at 
the following Web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide; or by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, 
Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, 
AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 
20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: 
Jeffrey.Smutny@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing 
Agreement and Order No. 906, as amended (7 CFR part 906), regulating 
the handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley in Texas, hereinafter referred to as the ``order.'' The order is 
effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the ``Act.''
    This rule is also issued under section 8e of the Act, which 
provides that whenever certain specified commodities, including 
oranges, are regulated under a Federal marketing order, imports of 
these commodities into the United States are prohibited unless they 
meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, or maturity 
requirements as those in effect for the domestically produced 
commodities.
    USDA is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Orders 
12866, 13563, and 13175.
    The handling of oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio 
Grande Valley in Texas is regulated by 7 CFR part 906. Prior to this 
change, the minimum size requirement for domestic shipments of oranges 
was 2\6/16\ inches. The Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee) 
believes there is a shortage of fruit available to supply the fresh 
fruit market, which the Texas citrus growers and handlers should fill. 
The Committee also recognized that consumers are now showing a 
preference for smaller-sized fruit. The Committee believes relaxing the 
requirements makes more fruit available to fill the market shortfall 
and provides smaller-sized fruit to meet consumer demand. Therefore, 
this rule continues in effect the rule that relaxed the minimum size 
requirement for domestic shipments from 2\6/16\ inches to 2\3/16\ 
inches in diameter.
    Imported oranges are subject to regulations specified in 7 CFR part 
944. Under those regulations, imported oranges must meet the same 
minimum size requirements as specified for domestic oranges under the 
order. Therefore, the minimum size requirement was also relaxed from 
2\6/16\ inches to 2\3/16\ inches in diameter for oranges imported into 
the United States.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on February 
28, 2014, and effective on March 1, 2014, (79 FR 11297, Doc. No. AMS-
FV-14-0009, FV14-906-1 IR), Sec. Sec.  906.365 and 944.312 were amended 
by changing the minimum diameter for oranges from 2\6/16\ inches (size 
138) to 2\3/16\ inches (size 163) in diameter. Section 906.340 was also 
revised by adding size 163 to the available pack sizes for oranges 
listed under Table I, and by adding language concerning pack and sizing 
requirements as appropriate.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 
has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. 
Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility 
analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf. Import regulations issued under 
the Act are based on those established under Federal marketing orders.
    There are 13 registered handlers of Texas citrus who are subject to 
regulation under the marketing order and approximately 150 producers of 
oranges in the regulated area. There are approximately 220 importers of 
oranges. Small agricultural service firms, which include handlers and 
importers, are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as 
those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000, and small 
agricultural producers are defined as those having annual receipts of 
less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    According to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service 
and the industry and Committee, the average f.o.b. price for Texas 
oranges during the 2012-13 season was $25.30 per box, and total fresh 
orange shipments were approximately 1.5 million boxes. Using the 
average f.o.b. price and shipment data, the majority of Texas orange 
handlers could be considered small businesses under SBA's definition. 
In addition, based on production data, grower prices, and the total 
number of Texas citrus growers, the average annual grower revenue is 
below $750,000. Information from the Foreign Agricultural Service, 
USDA, indicates that the dollar value of imported fresh oranges ranged 
from approximately $71.2 million in 2008 to $107.4 million in 2012. 
Using these values, most importers would have annual receipts of less 
than $7,000,000 for oranges. Thus, the majority of handlers, producers, 
and importers of oranges may be classified as small entities.
    Chile, South Africa, Mexico, and Australia are the major orange-
producing countries exporting oranges to the United States. In 2012, 
shipments of oranges imported into the United States totaled around 
119,000 metric tons. Of that amount, 51,510 metric tons were imported 
from Chile, 35,960 metric tons were imported from South Africa, 17,421 
metric tons were imported from Mexico, and 11,100 metric tons arrived 
from Australia.
    This rule continues in effect the action that relaxed the minimum 
size requirement for oranges grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in 
Texas and imported oranges. This rule relaxes the minimum size 
requirement for domestic and import shipments from 2\6/16\ inches (size 
138) to 2\3/16\ inches (size 163). This change makes additional fruit 
available for shipment to the fresh market, maximizes shipments, 
provides additional returns to handlers and growers, and responds to 
consumer demand for small-sized fruit. This rule amends the provisions 
of Sec. Sec.  906.340,

[[Page 41413]]

906.365, and 944.312. Authority for the change in the order's rules and 
regulations is provided in Sec.  906.40. The change in the import 
regulation is required under section 8e of the Act.
    This action is not expected to increase the costs associated with 
the order requirements or the orange import regulation. Rather, it is 
anticipated that this action will have a beneficial impact. Reducing 
the size requirement makes additional fruit available for shipment to 
the fresh market. The Committee believes that this provides additional 
fruit to fill a shortage in the fresh market and provides the 
opportunity to fulfill a growing consumer demand for smaller sized 
fruit. This action also provides an outlet for fruit that may otherwise 
go unharvested, maximizing fresh shipments and increasing returns to 
handlers and growers. The benefits of this rule are expected to be 
equally available to all fresh orange growers, handlers, and importers, 
regardless of their size.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
assigned OMB No. 0581-0189, Generic Fruit Crops. No changes in those 
requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any 
changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.
    This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large citrus handlers. As with all 
Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically 
reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry 
and public sector agencies. In addition, USDA has not identified any 
relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this 
rule.
    Further, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout 
the Texas citrus industry and all interested persons were invited to 
attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all 
Committee meetings, the December 11, 2013, meeting was a public meeting 
and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their 
views on this issue.
    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before April 29, 2014. No comments were received. Therefore, for the 
reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as 
a final rule, without change.
    To view the interim rule, go to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=AMS-FV-14-0009-0001.
    This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule 
concerning Executive Orders 12866, 12988, 13175, and 13563; the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35); and the E-Gov Act (44 
U.S.C. 101).
    In accordance with section 8e of the Act, the United States Trade 
Representative has concurred with the issuance of this final rule.
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, it is found 
that finalizing the interim rule, without change, as published in the 
Federal Register (79 FR 11297, February 28, 2014) will tend to 
effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects

7 CFR Part 906

    Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 944

    Avocados, Food grades and standards, Grapefruit, Grapes, Imports, 
Kiwifruit, Limes, Olives, Oranges.

PARTS 906 and 944--[AMENDED]

0
Accordingly, the interim rule that amended 7 CFR parts 906 and 944 and 
that was published at 79 FR 11297 on February 28, 2014, is adopted as 
final without change.

    Dated: July 10, 2014.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-16638 Filed 7-15-14; 8:45 am]
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