Importation of Fresh Cherimoya Fruit From Chile Into the United States, 19060-19063 [2016-07653]

Download as PDF 19060 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 64 Monday, April 4, 2016 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS–2015–0015] RIN 0579–AE13 Importation of Fresh Cherimoya Fruit From Chile Into the United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States, provided that fruit is produced in accordance with a systems approach, as an alternative to the currently required treatment. Commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit are currently authorized entry into all ports of the United States from Chile subject to a mandatory soapy water and wax treatment. The proposed systems approach would include requirements for production site registration, low pest prevalence area certification, postharvest processing, and fruit cutting and inspection at the packinghouse. The fruit would also be required to be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Chile with an additional declaration stating that the consignment was produced in accordance with the regulations. Fresh cherimoya fruit that does not meet the conditions of the systems approach would continue to be allowed to be imported into the United States subject to treatment. This action would allow for the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:23 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 3, 2016. DATES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2015-0015. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2015–0015, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www. regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= APHIS-2015-0015 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. ADDRESSES: Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, Imports, Regulations, and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737–1231; (301) 851–2352. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Background Under the regulations in ‘‘Subpart— Fruits and Vegetables’’ (7 CFR 319.56– 1 through 319.56–74, referred to below as the regulations or the fruits and vegetables regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 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 and spread within the United States. Pursuant to 7 CFR 319.56–4(a), fresh cherimoya (Annona cherimola) fruit from Chile may be imported into the United States provided the shipment has undergone a soapy water and wax treatment in accordance with the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual to mitigate against infestation by the false red mite (Brevipalpus chilensis), and is PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 accompanied by a permit and subjected to inspection and shipping procedures. The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Chile has requested that APHIS amend the regulations in order to allow fresh cherimoya fruit that has been produced in accordance with an approved systems approach to be imported into the continental United States as an alternative option to the currently approved treatment. As part of our evaluation of Chile’s request, we prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA), ‘‘Importation of Fresh Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) Fruit from Chile into the Continental United States, A Qualitative, PathwayInitiated Pest Risk Assessment’’ (May 2013), which evaluated the risk of permitting the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States. The PRA identifies the false red mite as the one quarantine pest that could be introduced into the United States in consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile. A quarantine pest is defined in § 319.56–2 as ‘‘a pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled.’’ In the PRA, the likelihood and consequences of introducing this pest to the United States are considered, and the false red mite is rated as having a medium pest risk potential. Pests receiving a rating within the medium range may necessitate specific phytosanitary measures in addition to standard port-of-entry inspection of the commodity being imported into the continental United States. We also prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) to determine what phytosanitary measures should be applied to mitigate the pest risk associated with the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States. Copies of the PRA and CIED may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). In the CIED, entitled, ‘‘Importation of Fresh Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) Fruit from Chile into the Continental United States using a E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Proposed Rules systems approach,’’ (December 2014), we determined that phytosanitary measures could be applied as a systems approach to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating the false red mite into the continental United States. Therefore, we are proposing to allow the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States if it is produced under a systems approach, which is described below. Alternatively, fresh cherimoya fruit that do not meet the conditions of the systems approach would still be allowed to be imported into the United States if the fruit is treated in Chile in accordance with the current requirements of the PPQ Treatment Manual. The fruit would also have to be imported in commercial consignments only and accompanied by documentation to validate foreign site preclearance inspection after the required treatment is completed. Based on the findings of the CIED and the PRA, we are proposing to add the systems approach to the regulations in a new § 319.56–75. registration numbers would allow traceback to the production site if pest problems were found on fruit shipped to the United States. Problem production sites could then be suspended until further mitigation measures were taken to address the pest populations. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Commercial Consignments Only commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile would be allowed to be imported into the continental United States. Produce grown commercially is less likely to be infested with plant pests than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are more prone to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to overripe, could be of a variety with unknown susceptibility to pests, and is often grown with little or no pest control. Commercial consignments, as defined in § 319.56–2, are consignments that an inspector identifies as having been imported for sale and distribution. Such identification is based on a variety of indicators, including, but not limited to: Quantity of produce, type of packing, identification of grower or packinghouse on the packaging, and documents consigning the fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or retailer. Low-Prevalence Production Site Certification Between 1 and 30 days prior to harvest, random samples of leaves would have to be collected from each registered production site under the direction of the NPPO of Chile. These samples would have to undergo a pest detection and evaluation method as follows: The leaves would have to be washed using a flushing method, placed in a 20-mesh sieve on top of a 200-mesh sieve, sprinkled with a liquid soap and water solution, washed with water at high pressure, and washed with water at low pressure. The process would then be repeated. The contents of the 200mesh sieve would then be placed on a petri dish and analyzed for the presence of live false red mites. If a single live false red mite were found, the production site would not qualify for certification as a low-prevalence production site and would only be eligible to export fruit to the continental United States if the fruit is subsequently treated with an APHIS-approved quarantine treatment in Chile. Each production site would have only one opportunity per season to qualify as a low-prevalence production site, and certification of low prevalence would be valid for one harvest season only. The NPPO of Chile would be required to present a list of certified production sites to APHIS. Production site low-prevalence certification would identify problem production sites and prevent the shipment of fruit with false red mites from such sites. This mite sampling method has been tested in Chile and found to be successful in identifying grape, citrus, baby kiwi, and pomegranate production areas with high and low populations of mites. Production Site Registration Under this proposed rule, the production site where the fruit is grown would be required to be registered with the NPPO of Chile. The official registration number of the production site would be marked on all field cartons and containers of harvested fresh cherimoya fruit. Production sites would be required to renew their registration annually. Registration of production sites with the NPPO of Chile and marking of field cartons or containers with the Post-Harvest Processing After harvest, all damaged or diseased fruits would have to be culled at the packinghouse, and the remaining fruit would have to be packed into new, clean boxes, crates, or other APHISapproved packing containers. Post-harvest processing procedures, such as culling damaged fruit and sampling for mites, would remove fruit that could contain pests from consignments being shipped to the United States. Culling is a standard procedure to remove fruit that may VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:23 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 19061 contain pests or otherwise be of poor quality. Phytosanitary Inspection The fruit would have to be inspected in Chile at an APHIS-approved inspection site under the direction of APHIS inspectors in coordination with the NPPO of Chile following any postharvest processing. In order to be eligible for shipment to the continental United States, the fruit in the consignment would have to pass inspection by meeting the following requirements: • Fruit presented for inspection would have to be identified in the shipping documents accompanying each lot of fruit to specify the production site(s) where the fruit was produced and the packing shed(s) where the fruit was processed. This identification would have to be maintained until the fruit is released for entry into the United States. • A biometric sample would have to be drawn from each consignment and examined for false red mite. If a single live false red mite were found during the inspection process, the certified low-prevalence production site where the fruit was grown would lose its certification for the remainder of the harvest season. Rejected consignments of fruit would still be eligible for export to all ports of the United States only after application of an APHIS-approved quarantine treatment in Chile as long as the fruit is imported in commercial consignments only and accompanied by documentation to validate foreign site preclearance inspection after the required treatment is completed. The proposed requirements for the identification in shipping documents of the fresh cherimoya fruit to their production sites and packing sheds would aid in traceback if pests were discovered. The proposed requirements for visual inspection and biometric sampling of the fruit would provide additional layers of protection against the possibility of fresh cherimoya fruit infested with quarantine pests being shipped from Chile to the United States. These methods have proved effective when employed to inspect consignments of citrus, baby kiwi, and pomegranates from Chile. Phytosanitary Certificate Each consignment of fruit would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Chile that contains an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was inspected and found free of false red mite based on field and packinghouse inspections and was E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 19062 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Proposed Rules grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the requirements of the regulations. Requiring a phytosanitary certificate would ensure that the NPPO of Chile has inspected the fruit and certified that the fruit meets the conditions in the section for export to the United States. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov). APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States under a systems approach, in response to a January 2013 request from Chile’s NPPO. This proposed rule provides the public with the opportunity to comment on APHIS’ PRA and CIED that are the basis for this action. Currently, commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya are allowed into all of the United States subject to mandatory soapy water and wax treatment for Brevipalpus chilensis. Over 80 percent of Chile’s cherimoya exports are to the United States. APHIS welcomes information regarding cherimoya production within the United States. Regardless of the number of U.S. producers or their size, any impact of this proposed rule would be minor because the volume of cherimoya imported from Chile is not expected to change significantly. Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Executive Order 12988 This proposed rule would allow fresh cherimoya fruit to be imported into the continental United States from Chile under a systems approach. If this proposed rule is adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding fresh cherimoya fruit imported under this rule would be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh fruits are generally imported for immediate VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:23 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 distribution and sale to the consuming public and would remain in foreign commerce until sold to the ultimate consumer. The question of when foreign commerce ceases in other cases must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If this proposed rule is adopted, no retroactive effect will be given to this rule, and this rule will not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Please send written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS–2015–0015. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document, and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404–W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States, provided that fruit is produced in accordance with a systems approach, as an alternative to the currently required treatment. Commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit are currently authorized entry into all ports of the United States from Chile subject to a mandatory soapy water and wax treatment. The proposed systems approach would include requirements for production site registration, low pest prevalence area certification, postharvest processing, and fruit cutting and inspection at the packinghouse. The fruit would also be required to be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Chile with an additional declaration stating that the consignment was produced in accordance with the regulations. Fresh cherimoya fruit that does not meet the conditions of the systems approach would continue to be allowed to be imported into the United States subject to treatment. This action would allow for the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Implementing this rule will require pre-clearance documentation, production site registration with lowprevalence level certification option, inspections, box markings, and phytosanitary certificates. We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of our agency’s functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, 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 information collection on those who are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.12407 hours per response. Respondents: Producers and importers of fresh cherimoya fruit and the NPPO of Chile. Estimated annual number of respondents: 16. Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 202.5. Estimated annual number of responses: 3,240. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 402 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.) Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851–2727. E-Government Act Compliance The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to compliance with the EGovernment Act to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Ms. E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Proposed Rules Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851– 2727. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319 Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rice, Vegetables. Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows: PART 319—FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES 1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows: ■ 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. 2. Section 319.56–75 is added to subpart Fruits and Vegetables to read as follows: ■ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 319.56–75 Fresh cherimoya from Chile. Fresh cherimoya (Annona cherimola) fruit must be imported into the United States under the conditions listed in paragraphs (a) and (b)(1) of this section. Fresh cherimoya fruit may also be imported into the continental United States from Chile under the conditions listed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. (a) Commercial consignments. The fresh cherimoya fruit may be imported in commercial consignments only. (b) The risks presented by Brevipalpus chilensis mites must be addressed in one of the following ways: (1) The fresh cherimoya fruit are subject to treatment and certification consisting of: (i) A soapy water and wax treatment. (ii) Each consignment of fresh cherimoya fruit must be accompanied by documentation to validate foreign site preclearance inspection after soapy water and wax treatment completed in Chile; or (2) The fresh cherimoya fruit are subject to a systems approach consisting of the following: (i) Production site registration. The production site where the fruit is grown must be registered with the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Chile. Harvested cherimoya must be placed in field cartons or containers that are marked to show the official registration number of the production site. Registration must be renewed annually. (ii) Low-prevalence production site certification. The fruit must originate from a low-prevalence production site to be imported under the conditions in this section. Between 1 and 30 days prior to harvest, random samples of VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:23 Apr 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 leaves must be collected from each registered production site under the direction of the NPPO of Chile. These samples must undergo a pest detection and evaluation method as follows: The leaves must be washed using a flushing method, placed in a 20-mesh sieve on top of a 200-mesh sieve, sprinkled with a liquid soap and water solution, washed with water at high pressure, and washed with water at low pressure. The process must then be repeated. The contents of the 200-mesh sieve must then be placed on a petri dish and analyzed for the presence of live B. chilensis mites. If a single live B. chilensis mite is found, the production site will not qualify for certification as a low-prevalence production site. Each production site may have only one opportunity per season to qualify as a low-prevalence production site, and certification of low prevalence will be valid for one harvest season only. The NPPO of Chile will present a list of certified production sites to APHIS. Fruit from those production sites that do not meet the requirements for certification as low-prevalence production sites may still be imported into the continental United States subject to treatment as listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. (iii) Post-harvest processing. After harvest, all damaged or diseased fruits must be culled at the packinghouse and remaining fruit must be packed into new, clean boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved packing containers. (iv) Phytosanitary inspection. Fruit must be inspected in Chile at an APHISapproved inspection site under the direction of APHIS inspectors in coordination with the NPPO of Chile following any post-harvest processing. A biometric sample must be drawn and examined from each consignment. Fresh cherimoya fruit can be shipped to the continental United States under the conditions of this section only if the consignment passes inspection. Any consignment that does not meet the requirements for inspection can still be imported into the continental United States subject to treatment as listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Inspection procedures are as follows: (A) Fruit presented for inspection must be identified in the shipping documents accompanying each lot of fruit to specify the production site or sites in which the fruit was produced and the packing shed or sheds in which the fruit was processed. This identification must be maintained until the fruit is released for entry into the United States. (B) A biometric sample of the boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 19063 packing containers from each consignment will be selected by the NPPO of Chile, and the fruit from these boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved packing containers will be visually inspected for quarantine pests. If a single live B. chilensis mite is found during the inspection process, the certified low-prevalence production site where the fruit was grown will lose its certification for the remainder of the harvest season. (v) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of fresh cherimoya fruit must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Chile that contains an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was inspected and found free of Brevipalpus chilensis and was grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the requirements of § 319.56–75(b)(2). Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of March 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2016–07653 Filed 4–1–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS–2015–0051] RIN 0579–AE20 Importation of Lemons From Chile Into the Continental United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to list lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.) from Chile as eligible for importation into the continental United States subject to a systems approach. Under this systems approach, the fruit would have to be grown in a place of production that is registered with the Government of Chile and certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis. The fruit would have to undergo pre-harvest sampling at the registered production site. Following post-harvest processing, the fruit would have to be inspected in Chile at an approved inspection site. Each consignment of fruit would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04APP1.SGM 04APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 64 (Monday, April 4, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 19060-19063]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07653]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 64 / Monday, April 4, 2016 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 19060]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2015-0015]
RIN 0579-AE13


Importation of Fresh Cherimoya Fruit From Chile Into the United 
States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the 
importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental 
United States, provided that fruit is produced in accordance with a 
systems approach, as an alternative to the currently required 
treatment. Commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit are 
currently authorized entry into all ports of the United States from 
Chile subject to a mandatory soapy water and wax treatment. The 
proposed systems approach would include requirements for production 
site registration, low pest prevalence area certification, post-harvest 
processing, and fruit cutting and inspection at the packinghouse. The 
fruit would also be required to be imported in commercial consignments 
and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national 
plant protection organization of Chile with an additional declaration 
stating that the consignment was produced in accordance with the 
regulations. Fresh cherimoya fruit that does not meet the conditions of 
the systems approach would continue to be allowed to be imported into 
the United States subject to treatment. This action would allow for the 
importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile while continuing to 
provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the 
continental United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 
3, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0015.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2015-0015, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-
0015 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior 
Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, 
Imports, Regulations, and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 
133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2352.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under the regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 
319.56-1 through 319.56-74, referred to below as the regulations or the 
fruits and vegetables regulations), the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) 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 and spread within the 
United States.
    Pursuant to 7 CFR 319.56-4(a), fresh cherimoya (Annona cherimola) 
fruit from Chile may be imported into the United States provided the 
shipment has undergone a soapy water and wax treatment in accordance 
with the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual to 
mitigate against infestation by the false red mite (Brevipalpus 
chilensis), and is accompanied by a permit and subjected to inspection 
and shipping procedures.
    The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Chile has 
requested that APHIS amend the regulations in order to allow fresh 
cherimoya fruit that has been produced in accordance with an approved 
systems approach to be imported into the continental United States as 
an alternative option to the currently approved treatment.
    As part of our evaluation of Chile's request, we prepared a pest 
risk assessment (PRA), ``Importation of Fresh Cherimoya (Annona 
cherimola Mill.) Fruit from Chile into the Continental United States, A 
Qualitative, Pathway-Initiated Pest Risk Assessment'' (May 2013), which 
evaluated the risk of permitting the importation of fresh cherimoya 
fruit from Chile into the continental United States.
    The PRA identifies the false red mite as the one quarantine pest 
that could be introduced into the United States in consignments of 
fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile. A quarantine pest is defined in Sec.  
319.56-2 as ``a pest of potential economic importance to the area 
endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely 
distributed and being officially controlled.'' In the PRA, the 
likelihood and consequences of introducing this pest to the United 
States are considered, and the false red mite is rated as having a 
medium pest risk potential. Pests receiving a rating within the medium 
range may necessitate specific phytosanitary measures in addition to 
standard port-of-entry inspection of the commodity being imported into 
the continental United States.
    We also prepared a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) to 
determine what phytosanitary measures should be applied to mitigate the 
pest risk associated with the importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from 
Chile into the continental United States. Copies of the PRA and CIED 
may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above 
for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours 
of the reading room).
    In the CIED, entitled, ``Importation of Fresh Cherimoya (Annona 
cherimola Mill.) Fruit from Chile into the Continental United States 
using a

[[Page 19061]]

systems approach,'' (December 2014), we determined that phytosanitary 
measures could be applied as a systems approach to mitigate the risks 
of introducing or disseminating the false red mite into the continental 
United States. Therefore, we are proposing to allow the importation of 
fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States if 
it is produced under a systems approach, which is described below. 
Alternatively, fresh cherimoya fruit that do not meet the conditions of 
the systems approach would still be allowed to be imported into the 
United States if the fruit is treated in Chile in accordance with the 
current requirements of the PPQ Treatment Manual. The fruit would also 
have to be imported in commercial consignments only and accompanied by 
documentation to validate foreign site preclearance inspection after 
the required treatment is completed.
    Based on the findings of the CIED and the PRA, we are proposing to 
add the systems approach to the regulations in a new Sec.  319.56-75.

Commercial Consignments

    Only commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile 
would be allowed to be imported into the continental United States. 
Produce grown commercially is less likely to be infested with plant 
pests than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are 
more prone to infestations because the commodity is often ripe to 
overripe, could be of a variety with unknown susceptibility to pests, 
and is often grown with little or no pest control. Commercial 
consignments, as defined in Sec.  319.56-2, are consignments that an 
inspector identifies as having been imported for sale and distribution. 
Such identification is based on a variety of indicators, including, but 
not limited to: Quantity of produce, type of packing, identification of 
grower or packinghouse on the packaging, and documents consigning the 
fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or retailer.

Production Site Registration

    Under this proposed rule, the production site where the fruit is 
grown would be required to be registered with the NPPO of Chile. The 
official registration number of the production site would be marked on 
all field cartons and containers of harvested fresh cherimoya fruit. 
Production sites would be required to renew their registration 
annually.
    Registration of production sites with the NPPO of Chile and marking 
of field cartons or containers with the registration numbers would 
allow traceback to the production site if pest problems were found on 
fruit shipped to the United States. Problem production sites could then 
be suspended until further mitigation measures were taken to address 
the pest populations.

Low-Prevalence Production Site Certification

    Between 1 and 30 days prior to harvest, random samples of leaves 
would have to be collected from each registered production site under 
the direction of the NPPO of Chile. These samples would have to undergo 
a pest detection and evaluation method as follows: The leaves would 
have to be washed using a flushing method, placed in a 20-mesh sieve on 
top of a 200-mesh sieve, sprinkled with a liquid soap and water 
solution, washed with water at high pressure, and washed with water at 
low pressure. The process would then be repeated. The contents of the 
200-mesh sieve would then be placed on a petri dish and analyzed for 
the presence of live false red mites. If a single live false red mite 
were found, the production site would not qualify for certification as 
a low-prevalence production site and would only be eligible to export 
fruit to the continental United States if the fruit is subsequently 
treated with an APHIS-approved quarantine treatment in Chile. Each 
production site would have only one opportunity per season to qualify 
as a low-prevalence production site, and certification of low 
prevalence would be valid for one harvest season only. The NPPO of 
Chile would be required to present a list of certified production sites 
to APHIS.
    Production site low-prevalence certification would identify problem 
production sites and prevent the shipment of fruit with false red mites 
from such sites. This mite sampling method has been tested in Chile and 
found to be successful in identifying grape, citrus, baby kiwi, and 
pomegranate production areas with high and low populations of mites.

Post-Harvest Processing

    After harvest, all damaged or diseased fruits would have to be 
culled at the packinghouse, and the remaining fruit would have to be 
packed into new, clean boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved packing 
containers.
    Post-harvest processing procedures, such as culling damaged fruit 
and sampling for mites, would remove fruit that could contain pests 
from consignments being shipped to the United States. Culling is a 
standard procedure to remove fruit that may contain pests or otherwise 
be of poor quality.

Phytosanitary Inspection

    The fruit would have to be inspected in Chile at an APHIS-approved 
inspection site under the direction of APHIS inspectors in coordination 
with the NPPO of Chile following any post-harvest processing. In order 
to be eligible for shipment to the continental United States, the fruit 
in the consignment would have to pass inspection by meeting the 
following requirements:
     Fruit presented for inspection would have to be identified 
in the shipping documents accompanying each lot of fruit to specify the 
production site(s) where the fruit was produced and the packing shed(s) 
where the fruit was processed. This identification would have to be 
maintained until the fruit is released for entry into the United 
States.
     A biometric sample would have to be drawn from each 
consignment and examined for false red mite. If a single live false red 
mite were found during the inspection process, the certified low-
prevalence production site where the fruit was grown would lose its 
certification for the remainder of the harvest season. Rejected 
consignments of fruit would still be eligible for export to all ports 
of the United States only after application of an APHIS-approved 
quarantine treatment in Chile as long as the fruit is imported in 
commercial consignments only and accompanied by documentation to 
validate foreign site preclearance inspection after the required 
treatment is completed.
    The proposed requirements for the identification in shipping 
documents of the fresh cherimoya fruit to their production sites and 
packing sheds would aid in traceback if pests were discovered. The 
proposed requirements for visual inspection and biometric sampling of 
the fruit would provide additional layers of protection against the 
possibility of fresh cherimoya fruit infested with quarantine pests 
being shipped from Chile to the United States. These methods have 
proved effective when employed to inspect consignments of citrus, baby 
kiwi, and pomegranates from Chile.

Phytosanitary Certificate

    Each consignment of fruit would have to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Chile that contains an 
additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was 
inspected and found free of false red mite based on field and 
packinghouse inspections and was

[[Page 19062]]

grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the requirements of the 
regulations.
    Requiring a phytosanitary certificate would ensure that the NPPO of 
Chile has inspected the fruit and certified that the fruit meets the 
conditions in the section for export to the United States.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The 
analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available 
by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for 
instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of fresh cherimoya 
fruit from Chile into the continental United States under a systems 
approach, in response to a January 2013 request from Chile's NPPO. This 
proposed rule provides the public with the opportunity to comment on 
APHIS' PRA and CIED that are the basis for this action. Currently, 
commercial consignments of fresh cherimoya are allowed into all of the 
United States subject to mandatory soapy water and wax treatment for 
Brevipalpus chilensis.
    Over 80 percent of Chile's cherimoya exports are to the United 
States. APHIS welcomes information regarding cherimoya production 
within the United States. Regardless of the number of U.S. producers or 
their size, any impact of this proposed rule would be minor because the 
volume of cherimoya imported from Chile is not expected to change 
significantly.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule would allow fresh cherimoya fruit to be imported 
into the continental United States from Chile under a systems approach. 
If this proposed rule is adopted, State and local laws and regulations 
regarding fresh cherimoya fruit imported under this rule would be 
preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh fruits are 
generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the consuming 
public and would remain in foreign commerce until sold to the ultimate 
consumer. The question of when foreign commerce ceases in other cases 
must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If this proposed rule is 
adopted, no retroactive effect will be given to this rule, and this 
rule will not require administrative proceedings before parties may 
file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2015-0015. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one 
of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this 
document, and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404-W, 14th 
Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.
    We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation 
of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile into the continental United States, 
provided that fruit is produced in accordance with a systems approach, 
as an alternative to the currently required treatment. Commercial 
consignments of fresh cherimoya fruit are currently authorized entry 
into all ports of the United States from Chile subject to a mandatory 
soapy water and wax treatment.
    The proposed systems approach would include requirements for 
production site registration, low pest prevalence area certification, 
post-harvest processing, and fruit cutting and inspection at the 
packinghouse. The fruit would also be required to be imported in 
commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate 
issued by the NPPO of Chile with an additional declaration stating that 
the consignment was produced in accordance with the regulations. Fresh 
cherimoya fruit that does not meet the conditions of the systems 
approach would continue to be allowed to be imported into the United 
States subject to treatment. This action would allow for the 
importation of fresh cherimoya fruit from Chile while continuing to 
provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the 
continental United States.
    Implementing this rule will require pre-clearance documentation, 
production site registration with low-prevalence level certification 
option, inspections, box markings, and phytosanitary certificates.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, 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 information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 0.12407 hours per response.
    Respondents: Producers and importers of fresh cherimoya fruit and 
the NPPO of Chile.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 16.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 202.5.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 3,240.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 402 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.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Ms. 
Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2727.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the EGovernment Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Ms.

[[Page 19063]]

Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
851-2727.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

    Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant 
diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows:

    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.

0
2. Section 319.56-75 is added to subpart Fruits and Vegetables to read 
as follows:


Sec.  319.56-75  Fresh cherimoya from Chile.

    Fresh cherimoya (Annona cherimola) fruit must be imported into the 
United States under the conditions listed in paragraphs (a) and (b)(1) 
of this section. Fresh cherimoya fruit may also be imported into the 
continental United States from Chile under the conditions listed in 
paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (a) Commercial consignments. The fresh cherimoya fruit may be 
imported in commercial consignments only.
    (b) The risks presented by Brevipalpus chilensis mites must be 
addressed in one of the following ways:
    (1) The fresh cherimoya fruit are subject to treatment and 
certification consisting of:
    (i) A soapy water and wax treatment.
    (ii) Each consignment of fresh cherimoya fruit must be accompanied 
by documentation to validate foreign site preclearance inspection after 
soapy water and wax treatment completed in Chile; or
    (2) The fresh cherimoya fruit are subject to a systems approach 
consisting of the following:
    (i) Production site registration. The production site where the 
fruit is grown must be registered with the national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Chile. Harvested cherimoya must be placed in 
field cartons or containers that are marked to show the official 
registration number of the production site. Registration must be 
renewed annually.
    (ii) Low-prevalence production site certification. The fruit must 
originate from a low-prevalence production site to be imported under 
the conditions in this section. Between 1 and 30 days prior to harvest, 
random samples of leaves must be collected from each registered 
production site under the direction of the NPPO of Chile. These samples 
must undergo a pest detection and evaluation method as follows: The 
leaves must be washed using a flushing method, placed in a 20-mesh 
sieve on top of a 200-mesh sieve, sprinkled with a liquid soap and 
water solution, washed with water at high pressure, and washed with 
water at low pressure. The process must then be repeated. The contents 
of the 200-mesh sieve must then be placed on a petri dish and analyzed 
for the presence of live B. chilensis mites. If a single live B. 
chilensis mite is found, the production site will not qualify for 
certification as a low-prevalence production site. Each production site 
may have only one opportunity per season to qualify as a low-prevalence 
production site, and certification of low prevalence will be valid for 
one harvest season only. The NPPO of Chile will present a list of 
certified production sites to APHIS. Fruit from those production sites 
that do not meet the requirements for certification as low-prevalence 
production sites may still be imported into the continental United 
States subject to treatment as listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this 
section.
    (iii) Post-harvest processing. After harvest, all damaged or 
diseased fruits must be culled at the packinghouse and remaining fruit 
must be packed into new, clean boxes, crates, or other APHIS-approved 
packing containers.
    (iv) Phytosanitary inspection. Fruit must be inspected in Chile at 
an APHIS-approved inspection site under the direction of APHIS 
inspectors in coordination with the NPPO of Chile following any post-
harvest processing. A biometric sample must be drawn and examined from 
each consignment. Fresh cherimoya fruit can be shipped to the 
continental United States under the conditions of this section only if 
the consignment passes inspection. Any consignment that does not meet 
the requirements for inspection can still be imported into the 
continental United States subject to treatment as listed in paragraph 
(b)(1) of this section. Inspection procedures are as follows:
    (A) Fruit presented for inspection must be identified in the 
shipping documents accompanying each lot of fruit to specify the 
production site or sites in which the fruit was produced and the 
packing shed or sheds in which the fruit was processed. This 
identification must be maintained until the fruit is released for entry 
into the United States.
    (B) A biometric sample of the boxes, crates, or other APHIS-
approved packing containers from each consignment will be selected by 
the NPPO of Chile, and the fruit from these boxes, crates, or other 
APHIS-approved packing containers will be visually inspected for 
quarantine pests. If a single live B. chilensis mite is found during 
the inspection process, the certified low-prevalence production site 
where the fruit was grown will lose its certification for the remainder 
of the harvest season.
    (v) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of fresh cherimoya 
fruit must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the 
NPPO of Chile that contains an additional declaration stating that the 
fruit in the consignment was inspected and found free of Brevipalpus 
chilensis and was grown, packed, and shipped in accordance with the 
requirements of Sec.  319.56-75(b)(2).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of March 2016.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-07653 Filed 4-1-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P