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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 associated with accrediting nongovernment facilities to perform services related to the export certification of plants or plant products.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 3, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/​feddocket to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once you have entered EDOCKET, click on the “View Open APHIS Dockets” link to locate this document.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 04-097-1, 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. 04-097-1.
  • 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. 04-097-1” on the subject line.
  • Agency Web Site: Go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​cominst.html for a form you can use to submit an e-mail comment through the APHIS Web site.

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information regarding the accreditation program, contact Mr. Michael Ward, Accreditation Program Manager, Phytosanitary Issues Management, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 140, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8262. 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: Accreditation of Nongovernment Facilities.

OMB Number: 0579-0130.

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

Abstract: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), among other things, provides export certification services to assure other countries that the plants and plant products they are receiving from the United States are free of plant pests specified by the receiving country. This activity is authorized by the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701-7772).

The export certification regulations, which are contained in 7 CFR part 353, describe the procedures for obtaining certification for plants and plant products offered for export or reexport. Our regulations do not require that we engage in export certification activities; however, we perform this work as a service to exporters who are shipping plants or plant products to countries that require phytosanitary certification as a condition of entry.

After assessing the condition of the plants or plant products intended for export (i.e., after conducting a phytosanitary inspection), an inspector will issue an internationally recognized phytosanitary certificate, a phytosanitary certificate for reexport, or an export certificate for processed plant products. Laboratory testing of plant or plant product samples is an important component of the certification process.

The regulations allow nongovernment facilities (such as commercial laboratories and private inspection services) to be accredited by APHIS to perform specific laboratory testing or phytosanitary inspections that could serve as the basis for issuing Federal phytosanitary certificates, phytosanitary certificates for reexport, or export certificates for processed plant products.

The accreditation process requires the use of several information collection activities to ensure that nongovernment facilities applying for accreditation possess the necessary qualifications.

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 collection of information, 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 collection of information 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 3.4482 hours per response. Start Printed Page 59180

Respondents: U.S. growers, shippers, and exporters; State and plant health protection authorities.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 15.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 5.8.

Estimated annual number of responses: 87.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 300 hours. (Due to averaging, 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 28th day of September, 2004.

Elizabeth E. Gaston,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E4-2474 Filed 10-1-04; 8:45 am]

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