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Rule

Change in Disease Status of Israel Because of BSE

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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:

Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the regulations by adding Israel to the list of regions where bovine spongiform encephalopathy exists because the disease had been detected in a native-born animal in that region. The effect of the interim rule was a restriction on the importation of ruminants, meat, meat products, and certain other products of ruminants that had been in Israel. The interim rule was necessary to help prevent the introduction of bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the United States.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The interim rule became effective on June 4, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Gary Colgrove, Chief Staff Veterinarian, Sanitary Trade Issues Team, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in 9 CFR parts 93, 94, 95, and 96 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals, birds, poultry, meat, other animal products and byproducts, hay, and straw into the United States in order to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

In an interim rule effective June 4, 2002, and published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2002 (67 FR 47243-47244, Docket No. 02-072-1), we amended the regulations in § 94.18 (a)(1) by adding Israel to the list of regions where BSE exists due to the detection of BSE in a native-born animal in that region.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before September 16, 2002. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule.

This action also affirms the information contained in the interim rule concerning Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Further, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

This action affirms an interim rule that amended the regulations by adding Israel to the list of regions where BSE exists. The effect of the interim rule was a restriction on the importation of ruminants, meat, meat products, and certain other products of ruminants that had been in Israel. The interim rule was necessary to help prevent the introduction of BSE into the United States.

The following analysis addresses the economic effects of the interim rule on small entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The interim rule's restrictions on the importation of ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts from Israel are not expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities due to the fact that the restricted items are either not imported from Israel or are imported in very small amounts. There are three categories of imports that may be affected, but Israel's share of U.S. imports is small in each case.

The first category of affected imported commodities is “Meat and edible meat offal, salted in brine, dried or smoked; edible flours and meals of meat or meat offal.” Average total yearly imports of these products by the United States over the 3-year period 1999-2001 were valued at $24.6 million. Imports from Israel in 1999 were valued at $26,000. No imports of these products from Israel were reported for 2000 or 2001.

The second category of affected commodities is “Preparations of a kind used in animal feeding.” Average total yearly imports of these products, 1999-2001, were valued at $93.5 million. Imports from Israel had an average yearly value over this period of about $76,000.

The final category of affected commodities is “Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood.” Average yearly imports of these products, 1999-2001, were valued at $101.2 million. Imports from Israel had an average yearly value over this period of about $2.7 million.

It is apparent that Israel is a minor supplier to the United States of the ruminant products and byproducts affected by the BSE-related restrictions resulting from the interim rule. Therefore, we do not expect that the interim rule's restrictions on ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts from Israel will substantially affect any U.S. importers, large or small, of those commodities.

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.

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List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 94

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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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Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the interim rule that amended

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7711-7714, 7751, 7754, 8303, 8306, 8308, 8310, 8311, and 8315; 21 U.S.C 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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Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of October, 2002.

Bobby R. Acord,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-27812 Filed 10-31-02; 8:45 am]

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