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Rule

Change in Disease Status of Estonia With Regard to Rinderpest and Foot-and-Mouth Disease

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the regulations to add Estonia to the list of regions that are considered free of rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease. We are taking this action because we have determined that Estonia is free of rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease. We are also amending the regulations to add Estonia to the list of regions that are subject to certain import restrictions on meat and meat products because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or foot-and-mouth disease-affected countries. These actions update the disease status of Estonia with regard to rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease while continuing to protect the United States from an introduction of those diseases by providing additional requirements for any meat and meat products imported into the United States from Estonia.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

June 14, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Hatim Gubara, Staff Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services Staff, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5538.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal products into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of various diseases, including rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), African swine fever, hog cholera, and swine vesicular disease. These are dangerous and destructive communicable diseases of ruminants and swine. Section 94.1 of the regulations lists regions of the world that are declared free of rinderpest or free of both rinderpest and FMD. Rinderpest or FMD exists in all other parts of the world not listed. Section 94.11 of the regulations lists regions of the world that have been determined to be free of rinderpest and FMD, but that are subject to certain restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or FMD-affected regions.

On February 1, 2002, we published in the Federal Register (67 FR 4927-4930, Docket No. 01-041-1) a proposal to amend the regulations to add Estonia to the list in § 94.1(a) of regions that are considered free of rinderpest and FMD. In that document, we also proposed to add Estonia to the list in § 94.11(a) of regions declared free of rinderpest and FMD, but that are subject to certain import restrictions on meat and meat products because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest- or FMD-affected countries.

We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending April 2, 2002. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without change.

Effective Date

This is a substantive rule that relieves restrictions and, pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, may be made effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. This rule adds Estonia to the list of regions considered free of rinderpest and FMD. We have determined that approximately 2 weeks are needed to ensure that Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service personnel at ports of entry receive official notice of this change in the regulations. Therefore, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this rule should be effective 15 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

This rule adds Estonia to the list of regions that are considered free of rinderpest and FMD and to the list of regions subject to certain restrictions because of their proximity to or trading relationships with rinderpest-or FMD-affected countries. These actions update the disease status of Estonia with regard to rinderpest and FMD while continuing to protect the United States from an introduction of those diseases by providing additional requirements for any meat and meat products imported into the United States from Estonia.

We do not expect that this rule will have a significant economic impact on any entities, large or small, in the United States. Estonia does not produce sufficient quantities of ruminants or swine, or products of ruminants or swine, to significantly affect the U.S. market even if all of Estonia's production were exported to the United States.[1] For example, Estonia's production of beef and veal, mutton and lamb, and pigmeat (51,120 metric tons) was equivalent to less than 0.5 percent of those commodities produced in the United States in 2001. During the same period, Estonia's stock of live cattle, sheep, and pigs (585,200 head) was equivalent to less than 0.5 percent of comparable stock in the United States. Similarly, Estonia's milk production (690,000 metric tons) was less than 1 percent of the total production of milk in the United States in 2001.[2]

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the economic effects of their rules on small entities. Given the small amount of Estonia's production, domestic producers in the United States are unlikely to be affected in any measurable way. Other entities that might be affected are brokers, agents, Start Printed Page 37664and others in the United States who could become involved in any future importation and sale of ruminants or swine or products of ruminants or swine from Estonia. The number and size of those entities is unknown, but it is reasonable to assume that most of those entities would be small according to the standards set by the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, for the reasons discussed above, any economic impact on those entities, as well as any other affected entities in the United States, should be minimal.

Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

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Accordingly, we are amending

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PART 94—RINDERPEST, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, HOG CHOLERA, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS

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

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7711, 7712, 7713, 7714, 7751, and 7754; 19 U.S.C. 1306; 21 U.S.C. 111, 114a, 134a, 134b, 134c, 134f, 136, and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 4331 and 4332; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

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[Amended]
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2. In § 94.1, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by adding, in alphabetical order, the word “Estonia,”.

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[Amended]
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3. In 94.11, paragraph (a), the first sentence is amended by adding, in alphabetical order, the word “Estonia,”.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of May 2002.

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Footnotes

1.  Realistically, not all of Estonia's production would be exported to the United States. Some of Estonia's production will be consumed domestically and some will be exported to countries other than the United States.

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2.  Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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[FR Doc. 02-13529 Filed 5-29-02; 8:45 am]

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