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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Export Certification: Accreditation of Nongovernment Facilities

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Revision to and 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 a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with accrediting nongovernment facilities to perform services related to the export of plants or plant products.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 15, 2017.

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-2017-0042 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 accrediting nongovernment facilities to perform plant related export services, contact Dr. Robert Baca, Assistant Director, Permitting and Compliance Coordination, Compliance and Environmental Coordination Branch, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 150, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2292. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Export Certification: Accreditation of Nongovernment Facilities.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0130.

Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), among other things, provides export certification services to assure other countries that the plants and plant products they are receiving from the United States are free of plant pests specified by the receiving country. This activity is authorized by the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.).

The export certification regulations, which are contained in 7 CFR part 353, describe the procedures for obtaining certification for plants and plant products offered for export or reexport. Our regulations do not require that we engage in export certification activities; however, we perform this work as a service to exporters who are shipping plants or plant products to countries that require phytosanitary certification as a condition of entry.

After assessing the condition of the plants or plant products intended for export (i.e., after conducting a phytosanitary inspection), an inspector will issue an internationally recognized phytosanitary certificate, a phytosanitary certificate for reexport, or an export certificate for processed plant products. An important component of the certification process, when required, is laboratory testing of plant or plant product samples.

The regulations allow nongovernment facilities (such as commercial laboratories and private inspection services) to be accredited by APHIS to perform specific laboratory testing or phytosanitary inspections that could serve as the basis for issuing Federal phytosanitary certificates, phytosanitary certificates for reexport, or export certificates for processed plant products. The accreditation process requires the use of several information collection activities to ensure that nongovernment facilities applying for accreditation possess the necessary qualifications.

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 3.49 hours per response.

Respondents: U.S. growers, shippers, exporters, and State and local plant health regulatory authorities.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 8.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 7.13.

Estimated annual number of responses: 57.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 199 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, on June 12, 2017.

Michael C. Gregoire,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2017-12538 Filed 6-15-17; 8:45 am]

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