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Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Fruits and Vegetables

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Extension of 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 an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of certain fruits and vegetables into the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 29, 2013.

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-2013-0001 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) 799-7039 before coming.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the importation of fruits and vegetables, contact Mr. Tony Román, Regulatory Policy Specialist, PHP, PPQ, 4700 River Road Unit133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2242. 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Importation of Fruits and Vegetables.

OMB Number: 0579-0316.

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

Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (PPA, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to restrict the importation, entry, or interstate movement of plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States or their dissemination within the United States. As authorized by the PPA, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates the importation of certain fruits and vegetables in accordance with the regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (319.56-1 through 319.5658).

Under these regulations, certain fruits and vegetables may be imported into the United States under specific conditions to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States. These conditions involve the use of information collection activities, including the issuance of phytosanitary certificates, trapping surveys, inspections by the exporting country, labeling of boxes, and recordkeeping. An additional information collection is the completion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), Application for Permit to Import Plants or Plant Products (PPQ Form 587).

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities 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 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 1.4963 hours per response.

Respondents: Importers and exporters of fruits and vegetables, and national plant protection organizations of exporting countries.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 2,959.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 28.18.

Estimated annual number of responses: 83,389.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 124,779 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 20th day of February 2013.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2013-04495 Filed 2-26-13; 8:45 am]

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