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Proposed Rule

Revision of Fruits and Vegetables Import Regulations

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

We are reopening the comment period for our proposed rule to revise and reorganize the regulations pertaining to the importation of fruits and vegetables to consolidate requirements of general applicability and eliminate redundant requirements, update terms and remove outdated requirements and references, update the regulations that apply to importations into territories under U.S. administration, and make various editorial and nonsubstantive changes to regulations to make them easier to use. We also proposed to make substantive changes to the regulations, including: Establishing criteria within the regulations that, if met, would allow us to approve certain new fruits and vegetables for importation into the United States and to acknowledge pest-free areas in foreign countries more effectively and expeditiously; doing away with the practice of listing specific commodities that may be imported subject to certain types of phytosanitary measures; and providing for the issuance of special use permits for fruits and vegetables. The proposed changes are intended to simplify and expedite our processes for approving certain new imports and pest-free areas while continuing to allow for public participation in the processes. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on Docket No. APHIS-2005-0106 on or before August 25, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2005-0106 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-2005-0106, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2005-0106.

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: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Regarding the proposed commodity import request evaluation process, contact Mr. Matthew Rhoads, Planning, Analysis, and Regulatory Coordination, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 141, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8790.

Regarding import conditions for particular commodities, contact Ms. Donna L. West, Senior Import Specialist, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ-PRI, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8758.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On April 27, 2006, we published in the Federal Register (71 FR 25010-25057, Docket No. APHIS-2005-0106) a proposal to revise and reorganize the regulations pertaining to the importation of fruits and vegetables to consolidate requirements of general applicability and eliminate redundant requirements, update terms and remove outdated requirements and references, update the regulations that apply to importations into territories under U.S. administration, and make various editorial and nonsubstantive changes to regulations to make them easier to use. We also proposed to make substantive changes to the regulations, including: (1) Establishing criteria within the regulations that, if met, would allow us to approve certain new fruits and vegetables for importation into the United States and to acknowledge pest-free areas in foreign countries more effectively and expeditiously; (2) doing away with the practice of listing specific commodities that may be imported subject to certain types of phytosanitary measures; and (3) providing for the issuance of special use permits for fruits and vegetables. The proposed changes are intended to simplify and expedite our processes for approving certain new imports and pest-free areas while continuing to allow for public participation in the processes.

Comments on the proposed rule were required to be received on or before July 26, 2006. We are reopening the comment period for Docket No. APHIS-2005-0106 until August 25, 2006, an additional 30 days from the original close of the comment period. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments. We will also consider all comments received between July 27, 2006 (the day after the close of the original comment period) and the date of this notice.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 26th day of July 2006.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-12336 Filed 7-31-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P