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Notice

Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Fresh Pitahaya From Israel Into the Continental United States

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of availability.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with importation of fresh pitahaya fruit from Israel into the continental United States. Based on the analysis, we have determined that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh pitahaya from Israel. 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 June 29, 2015.

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-2015-0012 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:

Mr. Richard Schading, Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2045.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the regulations in “Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-71, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 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 or disseminated within the United States.

Section 319.56-4 contains a performance-based process for approving the importation of certain fruits and vegetables 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.

APHIS received a request from the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Israel to allow the importation of fresh pitahaya fruit into the continental United States. As part of our evaluation of Israel's request, we have prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) to identify pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of importation into the continental United States from Israel. Based on the PRA, a risk management document (RMD) was prepared to identify phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the pitahaya to mitigate the pest risk. We have concluded that fresh pitahaya fruit can be safely imported from Israel to the continental United States using one or more of the five designated phytosanitary measures listed in § 319.56-4(b). These measures are:

  • The pitahaya must be imported as commercial consignments only;
  • Each consignment of pitahaya must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Israel; and
  • Each consignment of pitahaya is subject to inspection upon arrival at the port of entry to the United States.

Therefore, in accordance with § 319.56-4(c), we are announcing the availability of our PRA and RMD for public review and comment. The documents may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the PRA and RMD by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the analysis you wish to review when requesting copies.

After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the import status of fresh pitahaya fruit from Israel in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of our analysis and the Administrator's determination of risk remain unchanged following our consideration of the comments, then we will authorize the importation of fresh pitahaya fruit from Israel into the continental United States subject to the requirements specified in the RMD.

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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 22nd day of April 2015.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2015-09834 Filed 4-27-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P