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Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Lacey Act Declaration Requirement; Plants and Plant Products

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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 required by the Lacey Act for the importation of certain plants and plant products.


We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 6, 2009.


You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

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

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For information on the Lacey Act declaration requirement, contact Mr. Alex Belano, Assistant Branch Chief, 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) 851-2908.

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Title: Lacey Act Declaration Requirement; Plants and Plant Products.

OMB Number: 0579-0349.

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

Abstract: The Food, Conversation, and Energy Act of 2008, effective May 22, 2008, amended the Lacey Act (the Act) by expanding its protection to a broader range of plants and plant products (Section 8204, Prevention of Illegal Logging Practices). The Lacey Act, as amended, makes it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any plant, with some limited exceptions, taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of the laws of the United States, a State, an Indian tribe, or any foreign law that protects plants. The 2008 amendment to the Act also makes it unlawful to make or submit any false record, account or label for, or any false identification of, any plant covered by the Act.

In addition, beginning December 15, 2008, section 3 of the Act makes it unlawful to import certain plants and plant products without an import declaration, The declaration must contain, among other things, the scientific name of the plant, value of the importation, quantity of the plant, and name of the country from which the plant was harvested.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is part of an interagency group working to implement the new provisions. That group includes representatives from APHIS, U.S. Forest Service, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Council on Environmental Quality, and Department of Commerce.

In a notice published in the Federal Register on October 8, 2008 (73 FR 58925-58927), APHIS stated that it was seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collect information that the Lacey Act requires importers to include in the declaration and that is not already being collected for other purposes, as well as approval of a paper form that may be used for declarations. APHIS received emergency approval from OMB that allowed us to make the form available to importers and brokers who wish to voluntarily submit the declaration beginning December 15. The form, PPQ Form 505 (Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form), is available at​plant_​health/​lacey_​act/​downloads/​declarationform.pdf.

We are asking OMB to approve our use of this information collection activity 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 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 1.5 hours per response.Start Printed Page 260

Respondents: Importers of certain plants and plant products.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 279,398.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 12.

Estimated annual number of responses: 3,352,776.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 5,029,164 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 23rd day of December 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-31369 Filed 1-2-09; 8:45 am]