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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection in support of regulations governing the importation of fruits and vegetables.

DATES:

We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments we receive that are postmarked, delivered, or e-mailed by February 4, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by postal mail/commercial delivery or by e-mail. If you use postal mail/commercial delivery, please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 01-097-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 01-097-1. If you use e-mail, address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in your message and “Docket No. 01-097-1” on the subject line.

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.

APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on regulations governing the importation of fruits and vegetables, contact Ms. Cynthia Stahl, Program Analyst, Port Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 60, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-5281. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Importation of Fruits and Vegetables.

OMB Number: 0579-0136.

Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for, among other things, the control and eradication of plant pests. The Plant Protection Act authorizes the Department to carry out this mission.

The Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for implementing the regulations that carry out the intent of the Act.

Under the regulations in 7 CFR 319.56 through 319.56-8, a number of fruits and vegetables may be imported into the United States, under specified conditions, from certain parts of the world. These fruits and vegetables include cole and mustard crops from Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Peru; rhubarb from Guatemala; parsley from Israel and Nicaragua; salicornia from Mexico; mint and rosemary from Nicaragua; Swiss chard from Peru; Belgian endive, chicory, and endive from Panama; pineapple from South Africa; cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and watermelon from Brazil and Venezuela; and peppers from Spain.

Before entering the United States, all of these fruits and vegetables are subject to inspection and disinfection at their port of first arrival to ensure that no plant pests are inadvertently brought into the United States. These precautions, along with other requirements, ensure that these items can be imported into the United States with minimal risk of introducing exotic plant pests such as fruit flies.

Allowing these fruits and vegetables to be imported requires the use of certain information collection activities, including the completion of import permits, phytosanitary inspection certificates, and fruit fly monitoring records.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 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, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.73227 hours per response.

Respondents: U.S. importers of fruits and vegetables and plant health officials of exporting countries.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 822.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 2.2311.

Estimated annual number of responses: 1,834.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,343 hours. (Due to Start Printed Page 63211averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of November 2001.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-30107 Filed 12-4-01; 8:45 am]

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