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Notice

Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Sweet Limes From Mexico Into the Continental United States

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of sweet limes from Mexico into the continental United States. Based on that analysis, we have concluded that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the pest risk. We are making the pest risk analysis available to the public for review and comment.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 9, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

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 (http://www.aphis.usda.gov).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. David Lamb, Import Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-0627.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under the regulations in ‘‘Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables’’ (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-50, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being introduced into and spread within the United States.

Section 319.56-4 contains a performance-based process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph (b) of that section. These measures are:

  • The fruits or vegetables are subject to inspection upon arrival in the United States and comply with all applicable provisions of § 319.56-3;
  • The fruits or vegetables are imported from a pest-free area in the country of origin that meets the requirements of § 319.56-5 for freedom from that pest and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating that the fruits or vegetables originated in a pest-free area in the country of origin;
  • The fruits or vegetables are treated in accordance with 7 CFR part 305;
  • The fruits or vegetables are inspected in the country of origin by an inspector or an official of the national plant protection organization of the exporting country, and have been found free of one or more specific quarantine pests identified by the risk analysis as likely to follow the import pathway; and/or
  • The fruits or vegetables are a commercial consignment.

APHIS received a request from the Government of Mexico to allow the importation of sweet limes (Citrus limetta) into the continental United States. Currently, sweet limes are not authorized for entry from Mexico, although related varieties of citrus with similar pest complexes are enterable under certain conditions. We completed a pest risk analysis to identify pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of importation and identify phytosanitary measures that could be applied to sweet limes to mitigate the pest risk. We have concluded that sweet limes can safely be imported into the continental United States from Mexico using one or more of the five designated phytosanitary measures listed in § 319.56-4(b). Therefore, in accordance with § 319.56-4(c), we are announcing the availability of our pest risk analysis for public review and comment. The analysis may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the analyses by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the analysis that you wish to review when requesting copies.

After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the import status of sweet limes from Mexico in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of the analysis and the Administrator’s determination of risk remain unchanged following our consideration of the comments, then we will begin issuing permits for the importation of sweet limes from Mexico into the continental United States subject to the requirements specified in the risk management document.

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 3rd day of June 2010.

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Kevin Shea

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2010-13934 Filed 6-9-10; 8:45 am]

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