[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 145 (Tuesday, July 29, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43974-43980]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17886]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 94

[Docket No. APHIS-2013-0061]
RIN 0579-AD96


Restrictions on the Importation of Fresh Pork and Pork Products 
From a Region in Mexico

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the 
importation of animals and animal products to define a low-risk 
classical swine fever region in Mexico from which we would allow the 
importation of fresh pork and pork products under certain conditions. 
Under this proposed rule, such pork and pork products would have to be 
derived from swine raised on farms meeting stringent sanitary and 
biosecurity requirements. We would also provide safeguards against 
commingling of the swine and the pork and pork products with animals 
and products that do not meet our proposed requirements. Establishments 
that slaughter the swine from which the pork or pork products are 
derived would have to allow periodic inspection and evaluation of their 
facilities, records, and operations by the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service. This proposed rule would relieve some restrictions 
on the importation of pork and pork products from Mexico while 
continuing to protect against the introduction of classical swine fever 
into the United States.

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-2013-0061.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2013-0061, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station

[[Page 43975]]

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-
0061 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: Dr. Chip Wells, Senior Staff 
Veterinarian, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3317.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the 
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the 
importation of animals and animal products into the United States to 
guard against the introduction of animal diseases not currently present 
or prevalent in this country. The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 
(referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the 
importation of specified animals and animal products to prevent the 
introduction into the United States of various animal diseases, 
including classical swine fever (CSF), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), 
swine vesicular disease (SVD), and rinderpest. These are dangerous and 
communicable diseases of ruminants and swine.
    APHIS currently recognizes nine Mexican States as free of CSF: Baja 
California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Quintana 
Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, and Yucatan. Because of the proximity of those 
nine States to CSF-affected regions and/or other risk factors, however, 
their pork and pork products may only be imported into the United 
States under the conditions specified in Sec.  94.32.
    In November 2007, the Government of Mexico submitted a request to 
APHIS seeking recognition of the States of Aguascalientes, Colima, 
Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoac[aacute]n, Quer[eacute]taro, San Luis 
Potos[iacute], and Zacatecas as CSF-free in order to allow for the 
export of fresh pork and pork products originating in those Mexican 
States to the United States. Collectively, those States are known as 
the Central Western Region (CWR). Mexico had declared those States free 
of CSF in July 2006 after conducting a CSF eradication campaign. In 
September 2008, the Government of Mexico expanded their request to 
include an APHIS evaluation of the State of Puebla, which Mexico had 
declared CSF-free in December 2006. In January 2009, after declaring 
that CSF had been eradicated in Mexico, the Government of Mexico 
expanded its request again to include all Mexican territory.
    In response to these requests, we have prepared a risk assessment 
that evaluates the risk of the spread of CSF to the U.S. swine 
population via the importation of pork and pork products from the CWR 
and the additional States included in Mexico's market access 
request.\1\ APHIS technical teams made two site visits to the CWR, the 
first in May 2008 and the second in April 2012. In December 2012, APHIS 
conducted a site visit to evaluate the remaining unrecognized States of 
Mexico.
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    \1\ The risk assessment is available on the Regulations.gov Web 
site (see ADDRESSES above) or by contacting the person listed in 
this document under the heading FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
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    In our risk assessment, we identified three risk factors that could 
be associated with the importation into the United States of pork and 
pork products from the States included in Mexico's market request. The 
first of these is the serologic evidence, found in some Mexican States 
as recently as 2012, of exposure in swine to CSF virus. It has not been 
possible from the available data to determine whether this evidence of 
exposure results from infection or CSF vaccination. The second risk 
factor is the lack of uniformity in the quality of epidemiological 
investigations of CSF suspect cases in Mexico. The third is the 
existence of common land borders between some Mexican States and 
neighboring CSF-affected countries, raising concerns about the 
possibility that CSF could be reintroduced into Mexico from those 
neighboring countries. The risk assessment document discusses these 
three risk factors in detail.
    Because of the presence of these risk factors, we are unable, at 
this time, to recognize the Mexican States we evaluated as CSF-free. We 
did determine, however, that fresh pork and pork products imported from 
all of those States but one, Chiapas, would present a low risk of 
introducing CSF into the U.S. swine population, provided that certain 
conditions designed to mitigate that risk were met. We are therefore 
proposing to recognize a new APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region that 
would consist of all Mexican States except the nine States we currently 
recognize as CSF-free and the State of Chiapas, which we do not 
recognize as CSF-free. The nine States currently recognized as CSF-free 
would retain their CSF-free status and could continue to export live 
swine and pork and pork products to the United States, subject to the 
conditions in Sec.  94.32. We would not allow pork and pork products to 
be imported into the United States from Chiapas, however, because we 
have determined that such imports would present an unacceptably high 
risk of the spread of CSF to the U.S. swine population. We would also 
continue to prohibit the importation of live swine from the APHIS-
defined Mexican CSF region because imported live swine are associated 
with higher levels of CSF risk than imported pork and pork products. 
The conditions under which we would allow pork and pork products to be 
imported from the proposed APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region would be 
included in a proposed new Sec.  94.34 and are discussed in detail 
below.
    We would define the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region as being a 
single region of Mexico recognized by APHIS as low risk for classical 
swine fever. The proposed definition, which we would add to Sec.  94.0, 
would also direct the reader to the APHIS Web site, where the list 
would be maintained, and to the mailing address to which a member of 
the public could write to obtain a copy. The proposed definition would 
further provide that we would add an area to the region after 
conducting an evaluation of that area in accordance with our 
regionalization criteria in Sec.  92.2 and determining that the CSF 
risk profile for the area to be added is equivalent to that of the 
APHIS-defined CSF region as a whole.
    The introductory text of proposed Sec.  94.34 would state that 
fresh pork or pork products and ship stores, airplane meals, and 
baggage containing pork or pork products, other than those articles 
regulated under 9 CFR parts 95 or 96, may not be imported into the 
United States from the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region unless the 
requirements listed in the proposed new section are met, in addition to 
other applicable requirements of 9 CFR parts 93 and 327, the latter of 
which contains the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) 
regulations pertaining to imported products. These requirements are 
modeled on the existing CSF-related restrictions in Sec.  94.32 and are 
intended to prevent the introduction of CSF into the United States via 
the various pathways listed.

[[Page 43976]]

    Proposed paragraph (a) of Sec.  94.34 would state that pork or pork 
products destined for export to the United States from the APHIS-
defined Mexican CSF region would have to be derived from swine raised 
on farms where CSF antigen exposure has not been detected. The pork or 
pork products would also have to be derived from swine herds that are 
tested annually for CSF antibodies with negative results, using a 
serological testing protocol that allows differentiation between CSF 
antibodies and cross-reactions with antibodies to other pestiviruses. 
Sample size would have to be adequate to detect 5 percent prevalence at 
a 95 percent confidence level, and samples from the herd could be 
collected at the slaughterhouse or the farm. Any sick pigs showing 
clinical signs consistent with CSF would have to be sampled and tested 
immediately on the farm for CSF antigen. In cases of CSF suspicion, any 
freshly dead pigs or pigs needing to be euthanized would have to be 
necropsied on the farm, and complete diagnostics for CSF would have to 
be performed at an official diagnostic laboratory in Mexico. These 
proposed requirements are intended to ensure that there are adequate 
testing, surveillance, and diagnostic measures in place at the farms 
containing the swine from which the pork and pork products are derived 
to ensure that those swine have not been infected with or exposed to 
the CSF virus.
    Proposed paragraph (b) of Sec.  94.34 addresses sanitary and 
biosecurity requirements for the farms that raise the swine from which 
the pork and pork products are derived. The Administrator would make a 
determination that the sanitary and biosecurity measures employed by a 
farm are adequate to prevent the spread of CSF provided that the 
requirements listed in proposed paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(9) were 
met.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(1) would state that the swine from which the 
pork or pork products are derived would have to be contained in a 
manner determined by the Administrator to be adequate to prevent 
exposure to other swine, wildlife, or swine products. Examples of 
acceptable means of containment would include perimeter fencing and 
gated driveways. This requirement would ensure that the swine would not 
be exposed to infection with the CSF virus through physical contact 
with animals or animal products that may be associated with a high 
level of CSF risk.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2) would state that all vehicles entering 
the farm or transporting swine to or from it would have to be cleaned 
and disinfected in a manner determined by the Administrator to be 
adequate to prevent the spread of CSF. Such cleaning and disinfecting 
would entail the removal of all visible organic matter, manure, dirt, 
debris, bedding, soil, and feed, the subsequent drying of all surfaces, 
and the use, as specified in the manufacturer's instructions, of a 
disinfecting agent that has been shown to deactivate the CSF virus. 
Vehicles can potentially transmit swine pathogens onto a farm when 
manure containing disease agents adheres to tires or the vehicle frame. 
Swine loaded into a contaminated vehicle for transport are also subject 
to exposure. The cleaning and disinfection requirements contained in 
this paragraph would ensure that the swine are protected against such 
exposure.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3) would state that personnel entering the 
farm would have to be limited to those necessary for farm operations. 
In addition, because clothing, boots, and other, similar articles 
contaminated with the manure of sick animals could be a source of 
pathogens, farm personnel would have to take measures to ensure that 
the clothing, boots, and other similar articles worn by the personnel 
entering the farm and by visitors are not contaminated. The farm would 
also have to maintain a written visitors log. The visitors log would 
aid in traceback in the event of a CSF outbreak on the farm.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(4) would state that the farm would be 
required to prohibit farm personnel from owning or working with other 
swine or working in swine slaughter facilities. This provision would 
prevent the swine from being exposed to the CSF virus via contact with 
farm personnel who work in environments that do not meet our 
biosecurity standards.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(5) would state that records of all animal 
movements into and out of the farm, including those of species other 
than swine, would have to be maintained on the farm for 3 years. The 
records would have to include the identification of the animals moved 
and the origin and destination for each movement. These proposed 
recordkeeping and record maintenance requirements would ensure that 
APHIS would be able to access all necessary information to conduct an 
effective traceback investigation in the event of a CSF outbreak on the 
farm or elsewhere in the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(6) would prohibit the feeding of swill to 
swine on the farm, thereby eliminating another possible source of 
exposure to the CSF virus.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(7) would require the farm to maintain a pest 
control program determined by the Administrator to be adequate to limit 
the exposure of swine to rodent contamination. Rodents can carry swine 
disease agents.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(8) would address replacement stock, i.e., 
breeding swine that are brought onto the farm containing the swine from 
which the pork or pork products are derived. Replacement stock would 
have to test negative for CSF prior to entering the farm and would have 
to be obtained only from herds of equivalent sanitary status to the 
herds from which the pork or pork products are derived. These proposed 
requirements would prevent swine already on the farm from being exposed 
to CSF by replacement stock.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(9) would require semen donor boars to test 
negative for CSF prior to being admitted to a semen collection center 
that supplies semen to the farm. The proposed requirement would prevent 
the spread of CSF onto the farm through artificial insemination.
    Proposed paragraph (b) of Sec.  94.34 does not prescribe a 
specific, detailed method or protocol for meeting the above-listed 
requirements. Producers in Mexico could potentially employ any of a 
number of methods, so long as they lead to the desired outcome, which 
is to prevent exposure of the U.S. swine population to CSF via imports 
of pork and pork products from the APHIS-defined low-risk region for 
CSF. To cite one example, the Biosecurity Guide for Pork Producers, 
published in the United States by the National Pork Board, includes 
sanitary and biosecurity standards that we would consider adequate to 
meet the requirements of paragraph (b). That document can be found on 
the Web at https://webadmin.pork.org/filelibrary/Biosecurity/final%20biosecurity%20book.pdf. Producers in Mexico may elect to use 
standards or guidelines other than those set out in that National Pork 
Board publication, provided that the Administrator determines that 
those alternatives also are adequate to prevent exposure of the U.S. 
swine population to CSF.
    Proposed paragraph (c) would require the pork or pork products to 
be derived from swine raised on farms that have not been 
epidemiologically linked to CSF outbreaks and have not been located in 
a restricted zone for CSF in the previous 12 months. Restricted zone 
for classical swine fever is currently defined in Sec.  94.0 as an 
area, delineated by the relevant competent veterinary

[[Page 43977]]

authorities of the region in which the area is located, that surrounds 
and includes the location of an outbreak of CSF in domestic swine or 
detection of the disease in wild boar, and from which the movement of 
domestic swine is prohibited. Our proposed requirements in paragraph 
(c) would ensure that the swine from which the pork and pork products 
are derived would not be raised on farms where there would be a high 
risk of CSF exposure due to the presence of the disease on the farm or 
the proximity of the farm to another that may contain affected swine.
    Proposed paragraph (d) would require the pork or pork products 
derived from swine originating in the CSF low-risk region to have been 
raised on farms that were inspected within the previous year by 
Mexico's National Service of Health, Safety and Quality Agrofood and 
verified to be in compliance with the above conditions described in 
proposed paragraphs (a), (b), and (c). This requirement would provide 
APHIS with additional assurance that the testing, sanitary, and 
biosecurity standards for farms containing the swine from which the 
pork and pork products are to be derived are in fact being met by those 
farms.
    Proposed paragraph (e) contains additional requirements aimed at 
ensuring that the swine from which the pork and pork products are 
derived have not been exposed to CSF through commingling with other 
swine and that contamination does not occur at the slaughter plant. 
First, we would require the pork or pork products to be derived from 
swine that were born, raised, and have lived only in the United States 
or in a region we recognize as CSF-free or low-risk for CSF. Second, we 
would also require that such swine be slaughtered in such a region at a 
federally inspected slaughter plant that is under the direct 
supervision of a full-time salaried veterinarian of the national 
government of that region and that is eligible to have its products 
imported into the United States under the Federal Meat Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and the FSIS regulations in 9 CFR 327.2. Third, 
the slaughtering establishment would have to allow APHIS to 
periodically evaluate and inspect its facilities, records, and 
operations. That requirement would apply to any slaughtering 
establishment exporting pork or pork products to the United States in 
accordance with proposed Sec.  94.34, regardless of whether the 
establishment is located in a CSF-free or low-risk region. U.S. plants 
that slaughter swine and ship pork to Mexico for further processing 
before the pork returns to the United States would not be affected by 
these proposed requirements.
    Proposed paragraph (f) would provide additional protection against 
contamination through commingling by requiring the pork or pork 
products to be derived from swine that have not been commingled with 
swine originating from herds in the low-risk region that do not meet 
the sanitary standards contained in proposed Sec.  94.34.
    Proposed paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) provide safeguards against 
the exposure of the pork and pork products themselves to the CSF virus 
by means of commingling with contaminated products or affected swine. 
Proposed paragraph (g) would require that the pork or pork products not 
have contact with pork or pork products that have been in a region, 
other than the United States, that is not classified as CSF-free or 
low-risk for CSF. Proposed paragraph (h) would require the pork or pork 
products not to have had contact with pork or pork products derived 
from swine originating from herds in the low-risk region not reared 
under the sanitary standards contained in proposed Sec.  94.34. 
Proposed paragraph (i) would prohibit the transiting of the pork or 
pork products through a region, other than the United States, that we 
do not recognize as CSF-free or low-risk for CSF unless moved directly 
through the region to their destination in a sealed means of conveyance 
with the seal intact upon arrival at the point of destination.
    Proposed paragraph (j) would require that processed pork or pork 
products would have to be processed in a region classified as CSF-free 
or low-risk for CSF in a federally inspected processing plant that is 
under the direct supervision of a full-time salaried veterinary 
official of the national government of that region. As is the case with 
slaughtering establishments, any processing establishment that 
processes pork or pork products for export to the United States under 
proposed Sec.  94.34 would have to allow APHIS to periodically evaluate 
and inspect its facilities, records, and operations. These requirements 
would help to prevent the pork and pork products from possible exposure 
to the CSF virus during processing and would also allow APHIS to verify 
that the processing facility is meeting our standards.
    Proposed paragraph (k) would require the pork or pork products to 
be accompanied by a certificate issued by a full-time salaried 
veterinary officer of the Government of Mexico. Upon arrival of the 
pork or pork products in the United States, the certificate would have 
to be presented to an authorized inspector at the port of arrival. The 
certificate would have to identify the exporting region of the pork or 
pork products as being part of the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region as 
listed under Sec.  94.34 at the time the pork or pork products were in 
the region and would have to state that all applicable provisions of 
Sec.  94.34 have been met. Requiring this certification from the 
Government of Mexico would provide us with verification that that the 
pork and pork products are in fact being exported to the United States 
in accordance with our proposed requirements.

Miscellaneous

    The proposed addition of the APHIS-defined low-risk CSF region in 
Mexico would necessitate some, mostly minor, changes to Sec. Sec.  94.9 
and 94.10, which contain, respectively, requirements for the 
importation of pork and pork products and live swine from regions where 
CSF exists, and Sec.  94.15, which pertains to the movement and 
handling of certain animal products and materials transiting the United 
States. In Sec.  94.9, paragraphs (b) and (c), respectively, refer to 
the APHIS-defined CSF low-risk region in the European Union. We would 
amend those two paragraphs so that they would refer to the newly 
defined CSF low-risk region in Mexico, as well as the one in the 
European Union. We would also amend Sec.  94.10(b) to add a reference 
to the APHIS-defined CSF low-risk region in Mexico. Current Sec.  
94.15(b) contains requirements for the transit through the United 
States of pork and pork products that originate in the nine Mexican 
States that we currently recognize as CSF-free but do not meet the 
requirements for entry contained in Sec.  94.32. Under this rulemaking, 
the same requirements would apply to pork and pork products that 
originate in the CSF low-risk region of Mexico and transit the United 
States. We would, therefore, amend the introductory text of Sec.  
94.15(b) and paragraph (b)(2) by removing the lists of the nine CSF-
free States from both paragraphs. The revised paragraphs would indicate 
that the requirements contained therein would apply to pork and pork 
products originating in any region of Mexico, except the State of 
Chiapas, that are transiting the United States. Pork and pork products 
from Chiapas would not be allowed to transit the United States due to 
the unacceptable risks associated with such shipments.
    Finally, we would also make some editorial changes to Sec.  
94.15(b)(1), updating the mailing address that may

[[Page 43978]]

be used to obtain a permit application and adding a Web address from 
which permit applications could be obtained electronically.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
The 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 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is summarized below, regarding 
the economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities. 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).
    Based on the information we have, there is no reason to conclude 
that adoption of this proposed rule would result in any significant 
economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. However, we 
do not currently have all of the data necessary for a comprehensive 
analysis of the effects of this proposed rule on small entities. 
Therefore, we are inviting comments on potential effects. In 
particular, we are interested in determining the number and kind of 
small entities that may incur benefits or costs from the implementation 
of this proposed rule.
    We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation 
of animals and animal products to define a low-risk classical swine 
fever region in Mexico, from which we would allow the importation of 
fresh pork and pork products under certain conditions.
    We do not have information on how the proposed rule may affect 
Mexico's capacity to produce pork and pork products considered free of 
CSF (as well as meet all other U.S. import requirements). Therefore, we 
are not able to estimate the extent to which the proposed rule may 
affect the volume of pork and pork products exported by Mexico to the 
United States.
    As a next-best approach for considering possible impacts of the 
rule, we can look at the relative significance of current levels of 
pork and pork product imports from Mexico. The annual value of U.S. 
production of pork and pork products for the 3 years from 2010 through 
2012 averaged nearly $15.86 billion. Over the same 3-year period, the 
value of U.S. exports of pork and pork products averaged about $4.35 
billion, and the average annual value of imports was about $0.96 
billion. Annual U.S. domestic supply of pork and pork products 
(production minus exports plus imports) for the 3 years had a total 
value of about $12.47 billion. The annual value of U.S. imports of pork 
and pork products from Mexico over the 3 years from 2010 through 2012 
averaged about $31 million, or less than 0.3 percent of U.S. domestic 
supply. Thus, even in the event that U.S. imports of pork and pork 
products from Mexico were to triple because of the proposed changes, 
they would still comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. market for 
these commodities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
importation of pork and pork products from the APHIS-defined CSF low-
risk region in Mexico, we have prepared an environmental assessment. 
The environmental assessment was prepared in accordance with: (1) The 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality 
for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-
1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) 
APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) In 
addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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-
2013-0061. 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 define a low-risk CSF region in Mexico 
from which we would allow the importation of fresh pork and pork 
products under certain conditions. The requirements contained in this 
proposed rule would entail the following information collection 
activities:
     Maintenance of a visitors log to ensure personnel entering 
farms are those necessary for farm operations.
     Maintenance of all records of all animal movements into 
and out of the farm, including those of species other than swine, for 3 
years.
     Certification from a full-time salaried veterinary officer 
of Mexico. Upon arrival of the pork or pork products in the United 
States, the certificate would have to be presented to an authorized 
inspector at the port of arrival. The certificate would have to 
identify the exporting region of the pork or pork products as being 
part of the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region at the time the pork or 
pork products were in the region and would have to state that all 
applicable provisions of Sec.  94.34 have been met.
     Use of the United States Veterinary Permit for Importation 
and Transportation of Controlled Materials and Organisms and Vectors 
(VS Form 16-3).
    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;

[[Page 43979]]

    (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 1 hour per response.
    Respondents: Exporters and full-time, salaried veterinary officers 
employed by the Government of Mexico.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 6.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 246.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 1,483.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,489 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 9 CFR Part 94

    Animal diseases, Imports, Livestock, Meat and meat products, Milk, 
Poultry and poultry products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR part 94 as follows:

PART 94--RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, NEWCASTLE DISEASE, 
HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, CLASSICAL 
SWINE FEVER, SWINE VESICULAR DISEASE, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM 
ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 94 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 
21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

0
2. Section 94.0 is amended by adding a definition of APHIS-defined 
Mexican CSF region in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  94.0  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region. A single region of Mexico 
recognized by APHIS as low risk for classical swine fever.
    (1) A list of areas included in the region is maintained on the 
APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_disease_status.shtml. Copies of the list will also be 
available via postal mail, fax, or email upon request to Regional 
Evaluation Services, National Import Export Services, Veterinary 
Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road 
Unit 38, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.
    (2) APHIS will add an area to the region after it conducts an 
evaluation of the area to be added in accordance with Sec.  92.2 of 
this subchapter and finds that the risk profile for the area is 
equivalent with respect to classical swine fever to the risk profile 
for the region it is joining.
* * * * *
0
3. Section 94.9 is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising paragraph (b); and
0
b. In paragraph (c) introductory text, by adding the words ``and Sec.  
94.34 for the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region'' after the words 
``APHIS-defined European CSF region''.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  94.9  Pork and pork products from regions where classical swine 
fever exists.

* * * * *
    (b) The APHIS-defined European and Mexican CSF regions are regions 
of low risk for CSF.
* * * * *
0
4. Section 94.10 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  94.10  Swine from regions where classical swine fever exists.

* * * * *
    (b) The APHIS-defined European and Mexican CSF regions are regions 
of low-risk for CSF.
* * * * *
0
5. Section 94.15 is amended by revising paragraph (b) introductory text 
and paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) to read as follows:


Sec.  94.15  Animal products and materials; movement and handling.

* * * * *
    (b) Pork and pork products from all regions of Mexico, except the 
State of Chiapas, that are not eligible for entry into the United 
States in accordance with this part may transit the United States via 
land border ports for immediate export if the following conditions are 
met:
    (1) The person desiring to move the pork and pork products through 
the United States obtains a United States Veterinary Permit for 
Importation and Transportation of Controlled Materials and Organisms 
and Vectors (VS Form 16-3). (An application for the permit may be 
obtained from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 
Veterinary Services, National Import Export Services, 4700 River Road 
Unit 38, Riverdale, Maryland 20737-1231 or on our Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_import/animal_imports.shtml.)
    (2) The pork or pork products are packaged at a Tipo 
Inspecci[oacute]n Federal plant in any region of Mexico, except the 
State of Chiapas, in leakproof containers and sealed with serially 
numbered seals of the Government of Mexico, and the containers remain 
sealed during the entire time they are in transit across Mexico and the 
United States.
* * * * *
0
6. Section 94.34 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  94.34  Restrictions on the importation of fresh pork and pork 
products from the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region.

    Fresh pork or pork products and ship stores, airplane meals, and 
baggage containing pork or pork products, other than those articles 
regulated under part 95 or part 96 of this subchapter, may not be 
imported into the United States from the APHIS-defined Mexican CSF 
region unless the requirements in this section, in addition to other 
applicable requirements of part 93 of this subchapter and part 327 of 
this title, are met.

[[Page 43980]]

    (a) The pork or pork products must be derived from swine raised on 
farms where CSF antigen exposure has not been detected. Fresh pork or 
pork products destined for export to the United States must be derived 
from swine herds that are tested annually for CSF antibodies with 
negative results, using a serological testing protocol that allows 
differentiation between CSF antibodies and cross-reactions with 
antibodies to other pestiviruses. Sample size must be adequate to 
detect 5 percent prevalence at a 95 percent confidence level, and 
samples from the herd may be collected at the slaughterhouse or the 
farm. Any sick pigs showing clinical signs consistent with CSF must be 
sampled and tested immediately on the farm for CSF antigen. In cases of 
CSF suspicion, any freshly dead pigs or pigs needing to be euthanized 
must be necropsied on the farm, and complete diagnostics for CSF must 
be performed at an official diagnostic laboratory in Mexico.
    (b) The pork or pork products must be derived from swine raised on 
farms operating under sanitary and biosecurity measures determined by 
the Administrator to be adequate to prevent exposure of the swine 
population to CSF virus. All of the following conditions must be met:
    (1) The swine from which the pork or pork products are derived must 
be contained in a manner determined by the Administrator to be adequate 
to prevent exposure to other swine, wildlife, or swine products. Such 
containment measures may include, but are not limited to, perimeter 
fencing and gated driveways.
    (2) All vehicles entering the farm or transporting swine must be 
cleaned and disinfected in a manner determined by the Administrator to 
be adequate to prevent the spread of CSF by means of contamination of 
the vehicles with CSF virus. All visible organic matter, manure, dirt, 
debris, bedding, soil, and feed must be removed, and all surfaces 
dried. Disinfection must be conducted, in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions, utilizing an agent that has been shown to 
deactivate the CSF virus.
    (3) Personnel entering the farm must be limited to those necessary 
for farm operations, and farm personnel must take measures to ensure 
that personnel entering the farm and visitors avoid exposing swine on 
the farm to clothing, boots, and other similar articles contaminated 
with the CSF virus. A written visitors log must be maintained.
    (4) The farm must prohibit farm personnel from owning or working 
with other swine and from working in swine slaughter facilities.
    (5) Records of all animal movements into and out of the farm, 
including those of species other than swine, must be maintained on the 
farm for a period of 3 years. The records must include the 
identification of the animals moved and the origin and destination for 
each movement.
    (6) The feeding of swill to swine on the farm is prohibited.
    (7) A pest control program determined by the Administrator to be 
adequate to limit exposure of swine to rodent contamination is 
maintained on the farm.
    (8) Replacement stock must:
    (i) Test negative for CSF prior to being admitted to the farm; and
    (ii) Be obtained only from herds of equivalent sanitary status to 
the herds from which the pork or pork products are derived.
    (9) Semen donor boars must test negative for CSF prior to being 
admitted to a semen collection center in Mexico that supplies semen to 
the farm.
    (c) The pork or pork products were derived from swine raised on 
farms that have not been epidemiologically linked to CSF outbreaks and 
have not been located in a restricted zone for CSF in the previous 12 
months.
    (d) The pork or pork products derived from swine originating in the 
CSF low-risk region were raised on farms that were inspected within the 
previous year by Mexico's National Service of Health, Safety and 
Quality Agrofood (SENASICA) and verified to be in compliance with the 
above conditions described in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this 
section.
    (e) The pork or pork products were derived from swine that were 
born, raised, and have lived only in the United States or in a region 
classified as CSF-free or low-risk for CSF, and were slaughtered in 
such a region at a federally inspected slaughter plant that is under 
the direct supervision of a full-time salaried veterinarian of the 
national government of that region and that is eligible to have its 
products imported into the United States under the Federal Meat 
Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and the regulations in Sec.  
327.2 of this title. Any slaughtering establishment exporting pork or 
pork products under the provisions of this section must allow APHIS to 
periodically evaluate and inspect its facilities, records, and 
operations.
    (f) The pork or pork products were derived from swine that have not 
been commingled with swine originating from herds in the CSF low-risk 
region that do not meet the sanitary standards contained in this 
section.
    (g) The pork or pork products have not been in contact with pork or 
pork products that have been in a region, other than the United States, 
that is not classified as CSF-free or low-risk for CSF.
    (h) The pork or pork products have not been in contact with pork or 
pork products derived from swine originating from herds in the CSF low-
risk region that were not reared under the sanitary standards contained 
in this section.
    (i) The pork or pork products have not transited through a region, 
other than the United States, that is not classified as CSF-free or 
low-risk for CSF unless moved directly through the region to their 
destination in a sealed means of conveyance with the seal intact upon 
arrival at the point of destination.
    (j) If processed, the pork or pork products were processed in a 
region classified as CSF-free or low-risk for CSF in a federally 
inspected processing plant that is under the direct supervision of a 
full-time salaried veterinary official of the national government of 
that region. Any processing establishment that processes pork or pork 
products for export to the United States under the provisions of this 
section must allow APHIS to periodically evaluate and inspect its 
facilities, records, and operations.
    (k) The pork or pork products must be accompanied by a 
certification issued by a full-time salaried veterinary officer of the 
Government of Mexico. Upon arrival of the pork or pork products in the 
United States, the certification must be presented to an authorized 
inspector at the port of arrival. The certification must identify the 
exporting region of the pork or pork products as being part of the 
APHIS-defined Mexican CSF region at the time the pork or pork products 
were in the region and must state that the applicable provisions of 
this section have been met.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of July 2014.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-17886 Filed 7-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P