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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Phytosanitary Export Certification

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.


Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.


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 issuance of phytosanitary certificates for plants or plant products being exported to foreign countries.


We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 3, 2020.


You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2019-0075 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 Start Printed Page 66149help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

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For information on the regulations for phytosanitary export certification for plants and plant products being exported to foreign countries, contact Mr. Christian Dellis, Export Specialist North America and U.S. Territories, PHP, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 131, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2154. For more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mr. Joseph Moxey, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

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Title: Phytosanitary Export Certification.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0052.

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

Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to certify as to the freedom of plants, plant products, or biological control organisms from plant pests or noxious weeds, or the exposure of plants, plant products, or biological control organisms to plant pests or noxious weeds, according to the phytosanitary or other requirements of the countries to which the plants, plant products, or biological control organisms may be exported.

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. 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.

The export certification regulations in 7 CFR part 353 describe the procedures for obtaining certification for plants and plant products offered for export or re-export. To request that we perform a phytosanitary inspection, an exporter must complete and submit an Application for Inspection and Certification of Plants and Plant Products for Export.

After assessing the condition of the plants or plant products intended for export (i.e., after conducting a phytosanitary inspection), an inspector (who may be an APHIS employee or a State or county plant regulatory official) will issue an internationally recognized phytosanitary certificate, a phytosanitary certificate for re-export, or an export certificate for processed plant products. These forms are critical to our ability to certify plants and plant products for export. Without them, we would be unable to conduct an export certification program.

In addition, APHIS requires information collection activities such as the recordkeeping, a memorandum of understanding for State inspectors, request for APHIS to negotiate with national plant protection organizations for industry-issued certificates or documentation, memorandum of understanding with industry for inspection and use of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM 15), and the application of an ISPM 15 mark.

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 reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.0074 hours per response.

Respondents: State, local, and county plant regulatory officials, U.S. growers, shippers, and exporters.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 9,101.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 6,155.3.

Estimated annual number of responses: 56,019,465.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 412,985 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 26th day of November 2019.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2019-26111 Filed 12-2-19; 8:45 am]