[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 145 (Tuesday, July 29, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43972-43974]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17885]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2013-0085]
RIN 0579-AD87


Importation of Two Hybrids of Unshu Orange From the Republic of 
Korea Into the Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations concerning the 
importation of citrus fruit to allow the importation of commercial 
consignments of two Unshu orange hybrids from the Republic of Korea 
into the continental United States. These hybrids would be eligible for 
importation into the continental United States subject to the existing 
conditions for the importation of Unshu oranges from the Republic of 
Korea. We would also make one minor change to the existing regulations 
by adding an explicit statement that only commercial consignments of 
Unshu oranges would be eligible for importation into the continental 
United States. The proposed changes would remove the prohibition on the 
importation of Unshu orange hybrids that can safely enter the United 
States, provided that certain conditions are met, and would codify an 
existing requirement.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
September 29, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0085.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2013-0085, 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-2013-
0085 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: Mr. Marc Phillips, Senior Regulatory 
Coordination Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 156, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-
2114.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR 319.28 govern the importation of citrus 
fruit into the United States. These regulations are intended to prevent 
the introduction of citrus canker, among other citrus diseases and 
pests, into the United States via the importation of citrus from 
affected foreign regions. Citrus canker is a disease that affects 
citrus and is caused by the infectious bacterium Xanthomonas citri 
subsp. citri.
    On October 12, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 
62455-62457, Docket No. APHIS-2010-0022) a final rule \1\ amending the 
regulations concerning the importation of citrus fruit in Sec.  319.28 
to remove certain restrictions on the importation of Unshu oranges from 
the Republic of Korea (South Korea) that were no longer necessary. 
Specifically, we removed requirements for the fruit to be grown in 
specified canker-free export areas and for joint inspection in the 
groves and packinghouses by the Government of the Republic of Korea and 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). We also 
clarified that surface sterilization of the fruit must be conducted in 
accordance with 7 CFR part 305 and expanded the area in the continental 
United States where Unshu oranges from the Republic of Korea could be 
distributed. Finally, we required that each shipment be accompanied by 
a phytosanitary certificate containing an additional declaration 
stating that the fruit was given the required surface sterilization and 
inspected and found free of Elsinoe australis, the fungus that is the 
causal agent of sweet orange scab.
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    \1\ To view the rule, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2010-0022-0007.
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    Under the existing regulations, only one species of Unshu orange, 
Citrus reticulata Blanco var. unshu, Swingle [Citrus unshiu Marcovitch, 
Tanaka], is eligible for importation into the continental United States 
from the Republic of Korea. The 2010 rulemaking did not address that 
restriction.
    In 2011, however, the national plant protection organization (NPPO) 
of the Republic of Korea submitted to APHIS a request to allow exports 
to the continental United States of two Unshu, sweet, and mandarin 
orange hybrids: Shiranuhi [(C. reticulata ssp. unshiu x (C. x 
sinensis)) x C. reticulata] and Setoka [(C. reticulata ssp. unshiu x 
(C. x sinensis)) x C. reticulata] x C. reticulata]. In response to that 
request, we developed a pest risk analysis (PRA). Copies of the PRA may 
be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above 
for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).\2\ The PRA, titled 
``Importation of Two Fresh Fruit Hybrids of Unshu, Sweet, and Mandarin 
Oranges, Citrus spp., from Korea into the Continental United States'' 
(May 2013), identified two pests, Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri and 
Elsinoe australis (the causal agents of citrus canker and sweet orange 
scab, respectively), as quarantine pests associated with the two Unshu 
orange hybrids. Those are the same quarantine pests that an earlier PRA 
that supported the 2010 rulemaking identified as being associated with 
Unshu oranges imported from the Republic of Korea.
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    \2\ Instructions on accessing Regulations.gov and information on 
the location and hours of the reading room may be found at the 
beginning of this document under ADDRESSES. You may also request 
paper copies of the risk analysis by calling or writing the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
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    The May 2013 PRA and the earlier one each included a risk 
management document (RMD) outlining the conditions under which the 
commodities under consideration could safely be imported into the 
continental United States. The 2013 RMD determined the two Unshu orange 
hybrids, being subject to infestation by the same quarantine pests as 
Unshu oranges imported from the Republic of Korea, could safely be 
allowed entry to the United States under the same conditions. Those 
conditions include surface treatment of the fruit in accordance with 7 
CFR part 305 prior to packing, registration of the packinghouse in 
which the treatment is applied and the fruit is packed with the NPPO of 
South Korea, and certification that the fruit has been treated in 
accordance with the regulations and has been inspected and found to be 
free of sweet orange scab (Elsinoe australis).

[[Page 43973]]

    We are proposing to make one modification to the existing 
requirements by adding to Sec.  319.28(c) an explicit statement 
indicating that shipments of Unshu oranges and the two Unshu orange 
hybrids from the Republic of Korea would have to be commercial 
consignments in order to be eligible for U.S. entry. This change would 
codify our current practice. Commercial consignments 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 packing, 
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.

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).
    We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation 
into the continental United States, under certain conditions, of 
commercial consignments of two Unshu, sweet, and Mandarin orange 
hybrids.
    Easy-peel, sweet, juicy, seedless mandarin varieties, including 
Unshu oranges, are gaining popularity in the United States. The United 
States does not commercially produce Unshu oranges, but does produce 
various similar mandarin varieties. U.S. production of these mandarin 
varieties doubled in 6 years, from 225,000 metric tons (MT) in 2007, to 
almost 500,000 MT in 2012. Production values of mandarin varieties more 
than doubled, from $141 million in 2007 to $336 million in 2012. In 
general, harvesting and marketing activities are most active between 
January 1 and March 31 in California and between November 15 and March 
15 in Florida. U.S. imports of mandarin varieties averaged about 
142,000 MT per year, valued at $178 million, between 2010 and 2012, 
with Chile, Spain, Peru, and Morocco the main sources. Net imports 
(imports minus exports) averaged about 100,000 MT per year.
    The Republic of Korea and Japan are the principal exporters of 
Unshu oranges to the United States. In Korea, almost all Unshu oranges 
are produced on the southern island of Cheju. Over 99 percent of 
Korea's Unshu oranges are consumed domestically, and only about 0.6 
percent of Korea's Unshu oranges, totaling 3,611 MT valued at $4.8 
million, were exported in 2012. The United Kingdom was the main 
destination of Korean Unshu oranges; the United States was the fourth 
largest importer of Korean Unshu oranges in 2012, totaling 743 MT. In 
the United States, these imported Unshu oranges were typically sold at 
a premium in ethnic specialty stores.
    The PRA for this proposed rule assumes the upper range of annual 
Unshu orange imports from Korea to the United States to be about 2,000 
MT. Prior to administrative suspension of Unshu orange imports from 
Korea to the United States in 2003, imports of Unshu oranges from Korea 
to the United States averaged about 650 MT annually between 1995 and 
2002. Following the removal of the import suspension in 2010, imports 
of Unshu oranges from Korea totaled 412 MT in 2011 (valued at $0.5 
million) and 743 MT in 2012 (valued at $0.9 million). Given these 
import levels and Korea's limited supply capacity and relatively stable 
domestic demand, Korea's projected exports of 2,000 MT may be high. 
Even if imports from Korea were to reach 2,000 MT, the Korean Unshu 
orange share of the U.S. market for mandarin varieties is expected to 
remain negligible (about 1.4 percent of U.S. imports and 0.3 percent of 
U.S. domestic supply of all mandarin varieties based on the U.S. 
production and trade data for 2010-2012). In addition, given the fact 
that fresh Unshu orange imports by the United States are predominantly 
supplied by Japan and Korea, we expect any product displacement would 
be largely borne by Japanese Unshu orange imports.
    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 two Unshu orange hybrids to be 
imported into the continental United States from the Republic of Korea. 
If this proposed rule is adopted, State and local laws and regulations 
regarding the Unshu orange hybrids imported under this rule would be 
preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh Unshu orange 
hybrids 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 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-
2013-0085. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one 
of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this 
document, 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.
    This proposed rule would allow the importation of commercial 
consignments of two Unshu orange hybrids from the Republic of Korea 
into the continental United States, subject to the conditions governing 
the importation of Unshu oranges from the Republic of Korea.
    Under this rulemaking, packinghouses in which the required surface 
sterilization treatment is applied and the fruit is packed would have 
to be registered with the NPPO of the Republic of Korea. In addition, 
the NPPO of the Republic of Korea would issue the phytosanitary 
certificate that would have to accompany each shipment.

[[Page 43974]]

    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 0.5588 hours per response.
    Respondents: Importers of Unshu oranges and the NPPO of the 
Republic of Korea.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 4.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 8.5.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 34.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 19 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 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 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 are proposing 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. Section 319.28 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  319.28  Notice of quarantine.

* * * * *
    (c) Unshu oranges from the Republic of Korea. The prohibition does 
not apply to Unshu oranges (Citrus reticulata Blanco var. unshu, 
Swingle [Citrus unshiu Marcovitch, Tanaka]), also known as Satsuma 
mandarin, or the Unshu, sweet, and mandarin orange hybrids Shiranuhi 
[(C. reticulata ssp. unshiu x (C. x sinensis)) x C. reticulata] and 
Setoka [(C. reticulata ssp. unshiu x (C. x sinensis)) x C. reticulata] 
x C. reticulata] grown on Cheju Island, Republic of Korea, and imported 
under permit into any area of the United States except for those 
specified in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, Provided, that each of 
the following safeguards is fully carried out:
    (1) Before packing, the fruit shall be given a surface 
sterilization in accordance with part 305 of this chapter.
    (2) The packinghouse in which the surface sterilization treatment 
is applied and the fruit is packed must be registered with the national 
plant protection organization of the Republic of Korea.
    (3) The fruit must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate 
issued by the national plant protection organization of the Republic of 
Korea, which includes an additional declaration stating that the fruit 
was given a surface sterilization in accordance with 7 CFR part 305 and 
was inspected and found free of Elsinoe australis.
    (4) The fruit may be imported into any area of the United States 
except American Samoa, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto 
Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    (5) The fruit must be imported in commercial consignments only.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of July 2014.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-17885 Filed 7-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P