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Notice

Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Strawberry Fruit From Egypt Into the Continental United States

Action

Notice Of Availability And Request For Comments.

Summary

We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation into the continental United States of fresh strawberry fruit from Egypt. Based on that analysis, we believe that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh strawberry fruit from Egypt. We are making the pest risk analysis available to the public for review and comment.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 15, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0009 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: Back to Top

Dr. Charisse Cleare, Project Coordinator, Regulations, Permits, and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 156, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2037.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Background Back to Top

Under the regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-54, 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 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.

APHIS received a request from the Government of Egypt to allow the importation of fresh strawberry (Fragaria spp.) fruit with calyx and short stalk from Egypt into the continental United States. Currently, fresh strawberry fruit is not authorized for entry from Egypt. We have completed a pest risk analysis for the purpose of evaluating the pest risks associated with the importation of fresh strawberry fruit into the continental United States. The analysis consists of a pest list identifying pests of quarantine significance that are present in Egypt and could follow the pathway of importation into the United States and a risk management document identifying phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the commodities to mitigate the pest risk.

We have concluded that fresh strawberry fruit can be safely imported into the continental United States from Egypt using one or more of the five designated phytosanitary measures listed in § 319.56-4(b). The requirements for shipments of fresh strawberry fruit from Egypt would be as follows:

  • The fresh strawberry fruit may be imported into the continental United States in commercial consignments only;
  • Each consignment of fresh strawberry fruit must be inspected by the national plant protection organization of Egypt and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that includes an additional declaration stating that the consignment was inspected and found free of Chrysodeixis chalcites, Eutetranychus orientalis, and Spodoptera littoralis; and
  • The fresh strawberry fruit is subject to inspection upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry.

Therefore, in accordance with § 319.56-4(c), we are announcing the availability of our pest risk analysis for public review and comment. The pest risk analysis may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the pest risk analysis by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the pest risk analysis you wish to review when requesting copies.

After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the import status of fresh strawberry fruit from Egypt in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of the analysis and the Administrator's determination of risk remain unchanged following our consideration of the comments, then we will authorize the importation of fresh strawberry fruit from Egypt into the continental United States subject to the requirements specified in the risk management document.

Authority: Back to Top

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.

Done in Washington, DC, this 9th day of April 2012.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-9062 Filed 4-13-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P

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