Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.
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 regulations for the importation of fruits and vegetables.
We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 26, 2006.
You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://regulations.gov, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0154 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-2006-0154, 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-2006-0154.
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.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For information on regulations associated with the importation of fruits and vegetables, contact Ms. Donna L. West, Senior Import Specialist, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8758. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Title: Importation of Fruits and Vegetables.
OMB Number: 0579-0236.
Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.
Abstract: As authorized by the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) (PPA), the Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or restrict the importation, entry, exportation, or movement in interstate commerce of any plant, plant product, biological control organism, noxious weed, means of conveyance, or other article if the Secretary determines that the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent a plant pest or noxious weed from being introduced into or disseminated within the United States. This authority has been delegated to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which administers regulations to implement the PPA.
The regulations in Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables (7 CFR 319.56 through 319.56-8) authorize a number of fruits and vegetables to be imported into the United States, under specified conditions, from certain parts of the world. These fruits and vegetables include, among other commodities, African horned cucumber from Chile; Start Printed Page 62240cherimoya, soursop, custard apple, sugar apple, and atemoya from Grenada; coconut fruit with milk and husk from Mexico; pitaya from Mexico; melon and watermelon from certain countries in South America; watermelon, squash, cucumber, oriental melon, and grapes from the Republic of Korea.
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, help ensure that these commodities do not introduce exotic plant pests, such as fruit flies, into the United States.
The regulations require the use of certain information collection activities, including import permits, phytosanitary certificates, fruit fly monitoring records, and box labeling.
We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for an additional 3 years. After approval of the burden associated with this extension notice, OMB will combine it with another information collection, also titled “Importation of Fruits and Vegetables (number 0579-0128),” and the Department will retire number 0579-0236.
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 0.1320 hours per response.
Respondents: U.S. importers of fruits and vegetables and plant health officials of exporting countries.
Estimated annual number of respondents: 141.
Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 5.5319.
Estimated annual number of responses: 780.
Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 103 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.Start Signature
Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of October 2006.
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E6-17772 Filed 10-23-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P