[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 122 (Friday, June 25, 2010)]
[Pages 36347-36348]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-15455]



Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2010-0032]

Determination of Pest-Free Areas in Mendoza Province, Argentina; 
Request for Comments

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have received a request 
from the Government of Argentina to recognize additional areas as pest-
free areas for Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) in 
Argentina. After reviewing the documentation submitted in support of 
this request, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service has determined that these areas meet the criteria in 
our regulations for recognition as pest-free areas. We are making that 
determination, as well as an evaluation document we have prepared in 
connection with this action, available for review and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
August 24, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to (http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS 
-2010-0032) to submit or view comments and to view supporting and 
related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send one copy of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0032, Regulatory Analysis and 
Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, 
Riverdale, MD

[[Page 36348]]

20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room 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) 690-2817 before coming.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at (http://www.aphis.usda.gov).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Meredith C. Jones, Regulatory 
Coordination Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, APHIS, 
4700 River Road Unit 156, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-7467.

    Under the regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 
319.56-1 through 319.56-50, referred to below as the regulations), the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of 
fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the 
world to prevent plant pests from being introduced into and spread 
within the United States.
    Section 319.56-4 of the regulations contains a performance-based 
process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the 
findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one 
or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph 
(b) of that section. One of the designated phytosanitary measures is 
that the fruits or vegetables are imported from a pest-free area in the 
country of origin that meets the requirements of Sec.  319.56-5 for 
freedom from that pest and are accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate stating that the fruits or vegetables originated in a pest-
free area in the country of origin.
    Under the regulations in Sec.  319.56-5, APHIS requires that 
determinations of pest-free areas be made in accordance with the 
criteria for establishing freedom from pests found in International 
Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 4, ``Requirements For 
the Establishment of Pest Free Areas.'' The international standard was 
established by the International Plant Protection Convention of the 
United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and is incorporated 
by reference in our regulations in 7 CFR 300.5. In addition, APHIS must 
also approve the survey protocol used to determine and maintain pest-
free status, as well as protocols for actions to be performed upon 
detection of a pest. Pest-free areas are subject to audit by APHIS to 
verify their status.
    APHIS has received a request from the Government of Argentina to 
recognize an additional area of that country as being free of Ceratitis 
capitata, Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly).\1\ Specifically, the 
Government of Argentina asked that we recognize the Southern and 
Central Oases in the southern half of Mendoza Province as an area that 
is free of Medfly.

    \1\ A list of pest-free-areas currently recognized by APHIS can 
be found at (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/DesignatedPestFreeAreas.pdf).

    In accordance with our regulations and the criteria set out in ISPM 
No. 4, we have reviewed and approved the survey protocols and other 
information provided by Argentina relative to its system to establish 
freedom, phytosanitary measures to maintain freedom, and system for the 
verification of the maintenance of freedom. Because this action 
concerns the expansion of a currently recognized pest-free area in 
Argentina from which fruits and vegetables are authorized for 
importation into the United States, our review of the information 
presented by Argentina in support of its request is examined in a 
commodity import evaluation document (CIED) titled ``Recognition of 
additional Provinces as Medfly Pest-Free Areas (PFA) for Argentina.''
    The CIED may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our 
reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room). You may request paper copies of the CIED by calling or 
writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  319.56-5(c), we are announcing 
the Administrator's determination that the Southern and Central Oases 
in the southern half of Mendoza Province meet the criteria of Sec.  
319.56-5(a) and (b) with respect to freedom from Medfly. After 
reviewing the comments we receive on this notice, we will announce our 
decision regarding the status of this area with respect to their 
freedom from Medfly. If the Administrator's determination remains 
unchanged, we will amend the list of pest-free areas to list Southern 
and Central Oases of the Mendoza Province of Argentina as free of 
    Done in Washington, DC, this 21\st\ day of June 2010.

Kevin Shea
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-15455 Filed 6-24-10; 8:45 pm]