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Notice

Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Fresh (Frozen or Chilled) Pork or Pork Products Into the United States

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ACTION:

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 approval of an information collection associated with regulations for the importation of fresh (frozen or chilled) pork or pork products into the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0127 or in our reading room, which 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the importation of hams into the United States, contact Dr. Dawn Hunter, Staff Veterinarian, Technical Trade Services—Products, NCIE, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-6245. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Title: Importation of Fresh (Frozen or Chilled) Pork or Pork Products Into the United States.

OMB Number: 0579-xxxx.

Type of Request: Approval of an information collection.

Abstract: Under the authority of the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates the importation of certain animal and poultry products and byproducts to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases of livestock and poultry into the United States. These regulations are found at 9 CFR parts 94, 95, 96, and 122.

The regulations require a number of information collection activities to prevent the introduction of livestock and poultry diseases and pests via the importation of animal and poultry products and byproducts, including fresh (frozen or chilled) pork and pork products, into the United States. For fresh pork and pork products, these include certification of the pork or pork products by foreign national governments; application of seals; if a seal is broken, information on where and why; requests for approval of defrost facilities and for hearings regarding denial or termination of approval; applications for importing small amounts of pork or pork products for analysis, testing, or examination; cooperative service (trust fund) agreements; notifications to Federal inspectors of the arrival in the United States of pork or pork products from foreign regions; and recordkeeping.

These activities are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 0579-0015, which also covers information collection activities for a variety of other animal and poultry products imported into the United States. We are proposing to separate the commodities previously approved under OMB control number 0579-0015 into individual collections to better reflect the commodities' specific collection activities and account for the information APHIS collects. Once approved by OMB, only information collection activities associated with the importation of nonfood animal and poultry products and byproducts will be under OMB control number 0579-0015. Information collection activities for fresh pork or pork products and other commodities now covered under OMB control number 0579-0015 will receive new numbers when approved.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of the information collection activities related to importation of fresh (frozen or chilled) pork or pork products for 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 84.96126418 hours per response.

Respondents: Foreign national governments; shippers' crews; inspectors; defrost facility operators; processing facility operators; laboratories, museums, and States; and meat processing facility operators.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 93.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 66.344086.

Estimated annual number of responses: 6,170.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 524,211 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.

Done in Washington, DC, this 21st day of February 2012.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-4560 Filed 2-24-12; 8:45 am]

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