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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Fresh Peppers From Ecuador Into the United States

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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 the regulations for the importation of fresh peppers from Ecuador into the continental United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 8, 2019.

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-2018-0083 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the regulations related to the importation of fresh peppers from Ecuador into the United States, contact Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior Regulatory Policy Coordinator, Plant Protection and Quarantine, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 40, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-2352. For 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: Importation of Fresh Peppers From Ecuador Into the United States.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0437.

Type of Request: Revision to and 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 regulates the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world as provided in 7 CFR 319.56, “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables”.

In accordance with the regulations, fresh peppers from Ecuador may be imported into the continental United States under certain conditions to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States. These conditions require the use of certain information collection activities, including development of an operational workplan and a quality control plan; production site and packinghouse registrations; production site and insect trap inspections and recordkeeping; box labeling; notices of arrival to ports; responses to emergency action notifications, and permit applications. Also, each consignment of peppers must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Ecuador containing an additional declaration stating the peppers were produced and prepared for export in accordance with the regulations. These actions allow the importation of fresh peppers from Ecuador while continuing to protect the United States against the introduction of plant pests.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, 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 burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.01 hours per response.

Respondents: NPPO of Ecuador, import brokers, commercial producers, and packinghouses.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 803.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 253.

Estimated annual number of responses: 202,928.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 2,117 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 3rd day of December 2018.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2018-26638 Filed 12-7-18; 8:45 am]

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