Importation of Fresh Persimmons From New Zealand Into the United States, 58870-58873 [2016-20508]

Download as PDF 58870 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Proposed Rules 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. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 Mr. David B. Lamb, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, IRM, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737–1231; (301) 851–2103. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [Docket No. APHIS–2015–0052] RIN 0579–AE26 Importation of Fresh Persimmons From New Zealand Into the United States Background Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We are proposing to amend the regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand into the United States. As a condition of entry, the persimmons would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would include requirements for orchard certification, orchard pest control, post harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, sampling, and treatment with either hot water or modified atmosphere treatment. The persimmons would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that they were produced under, and meet all the components of, the systems approach and were inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the proposed requirements. This action would allow the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the United States. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before October 25, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2015-0052. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2015–0052, 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-2015-0052 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 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Aug 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 The regulations in ‘‘Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables’’ (7 CFR 319.56–1 through 319.56–75, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States. The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of New Zealand has requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) amend the regulations to allow fresh persimmons (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) from New Zealand to be imported into the United States. As part of our evaluation of New Zealand’s request, we prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) and a risk management document (RMD). Copies of the PRA and the RMD may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov). The PRA, titled ‘‘Importation of Persimmon, Diospyros kaki Thunb., as Fresh Fruit from New Zealand into the Entire United States, Including Hawaii and U.S. Territories’’ (April 23, 2012) evaluates the risks associated with the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand into the United States. The RMD relies upon the findings of the PRA to determine the phytosanitary measures necessary to ensure the safe importation into the United States of fresh persimmons from New Zealand. The PRA identified nine pests of quarantine significance present in New Zealand that could be introduced into the United States through the importation of fresh persimmons: • The leafroller moths Cnephasia jactatana (Walker), Ctenopseustis herana (Felder and Rogenhofer), Ctenopseustis obliquana (Walker), Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), Planotortrix excessana (Walker), Sperchia intractana (Walker), Stathmopoda skelloni (Butler); and PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • The fungi Colletotrichum horii B. Weir & P.R. Johnst. and Cryptosporiopsis actinidiae P.R. Johnst., M.A. Manning & X. Meier. A quarantine pest is defined in § 319.56–2 of the regulations 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. Potential plant pest risks associated with the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand into the United States were determined by estimating the consequences and likelihood of introduction of quarantine pests into the United States and ranking the risk potential as high, medium, or low. The PRA determined that four of these nine pests—C. herana, C. obliquana, E. postvittana, and P. excessana—pose a high risk of following the pathway of persimmons from New Zealand into the United States and having negative effects on U.S. agriculture. The remaining pests— C. jactatana, C. horii, C. actinidiae, S. intractana, and S. skelloni—were rated as having a medium risk potential. Based on the conclusions of the PRA and the RMD, we have determined that measures beyond standard port of arrival inspection are required to mitigate the risks posed by these plant pests. Therefore, we are proposing to allow the importation of persimmons from New Zealand into the United States subject to a systems approach. The conditions in the systems approach that we are proposing are described below. These conditions would be added to the regulations in a new § 319.56–76. General Requirements Proposed paragraph (a) of § 319.56–76 would require the NPPO of New Zealand to provide an operational workplan to APHIS that details the activities that the NPPO would, subject to APHIS’ approval of the workplan, carry out to meet the requirements of proposed § 319.56–76. The operational workplan would have to include and describe in detail the quarantine pest survey intervals and other specific requirements in proposed § 319.56–76. An operational workplan is an agreement between APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine program, officials of the NPPO of a foreign government, and, when necessary, foreign commercial entities, that specifies in detail the phytosanitary measures that will be carried out to comply with our regulations governing the importation of a specific commodity. Operational workplans apply only to the signatory parties and E:\FR\FM\26AUP1.SGM 26AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS establish detailed procedures and guidance for the day-to-day operations of specific import/export programs. Operational workplans also establish how specific phytosanitary issues are dealt with in the exporting country and make clear who is responsible for dealing with those issues. The implementation of a systems approach typically requires an operational workplan to be developed. Proposed paragraph (b) of § 319.56–76 would require persimmons from New Zealand to be imported only in commercial consignments. Produce grown commercially is less likely to be infested with plant pests than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are more prone to infestations/infections 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. Place of Production Requirements Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed § 319.56– 76 would require that all places of production (orchards) participating in the persimmon export program be registered with and approved by the NPPO of New Zealand in accordance with the requirements of the operational workplan. Paragraph (c)(2) of proposed § 319.56– 76 would require the NPPO of New Zealand or its approved designee 1 to visit and inspect the places of production monthly beginning at blossom drop and continuing until the end of the shipping season and to apply appropriate pest controls in accordance with the operational workplan. APHIS may also monitor the places of production if necessary. If APHIS or the NPPO of New Zealand finds that a place of production is not complying with the requirements of the systems approach, no fruit from the place of production will be eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation 1 An approved designee is an entity with which the NPPO creates a formal agreement that allows that entity to certify that the appropriate procedures have been followed. The approved designee can be a contracted entity, a coalition of growers, or the growers themselves. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Aug 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented. Packinghouse Requirements We are proposing several requirements for packinghouse activities, which would be contained in paragraph (d) of proposed § 319.56–76. Paragraph (d)(1) would require that all packinghouses participating in the persimmon export program be registered with and approved by the NPPO of New Zealand in accordance with the requirements of the operational workplan. Paragraph (d)(2) would require that, during the time that the packinghouse is in use for exporting persimmons to the United States, the packinghouse would only be allowed to accept persimmons from registered places of production and that the persimmons be segregated from other fruit. This requirement would prevent persimmons intended for export to the United States from being exposed to or mixed with persimmons or other fruit that are not produced according to the requirements of the systems approach. Paragraph (d)(3) would require that any diseased or insect-infested fruits and fruits with surface pests be culled either before or during packing and removed from the packinghouse. Culling would also include any damaged or deformed fruit. Fruit with broken or bruised skin or that is deformed is more susceptible to infestation by pests than undamaged fruit. Paragraph (d)(4) would state that final shipping containers would have to be marked to identify the place of production and packinghouse from which the consignment of fruit originated. Such registration and container marking would facilitate traceback of a consignment of persimmon fruit to the place of production in which it was grown and the packinghouse in which it was packed in the event that quarantine pests were discovered in the consignment at the port of first arrival into the United States. Paragraph (d)(5) would state that the NPPO of New Zealand must monitor packinghouse operations to verify that the packinghouses are complying with the requirements of the systems approach. If the NPPO of New Zealand finds that a packinghouse is not complying with the requirements of the systems approach, no persimmon fruit from the packinghouse will be eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation and both agree that the pest risk has been mitigated. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 58871 Phytosanitary Inspection Paragraph (e) of proposed § 319.56–76 would require that a biometric sample of persimmon fruit jointly agreed upon by APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand be inspected in the exporting country by the NPPO of New Zealand following post-harvest processing. The biometric sample would be visually inspected for signs of disease, and a portion of the fruit would be cut open to detect internally feeding pests. If quarantine pests are found during sampling, the consignment of fruit would be prohibited from export to the United States. Postharvest Treatment Paragraph (f) of proposed § 319.56–76 would require that all persimmons undergo postharvest treatment with either hot water or modified atmosphere treatment. Under the hot water treatment, the persimmons would have to be held for 20 minutes in hot water at 50 °C (122 °F). This treatment has been shown to provide 100 percent mortality of leafroller moth larvae. In addition, hot water treatment reduces populations of fungal pathogens such as C. horii and C. actinidiae on fruit. Under the modified atmosphere treatment, the persimmons would have to be packed in semi-permeable polymeric bags and stored at 0 °C for a minimum of 28 days. As the fruit respire within the modified atmosphere bag, oxygen is consumed and carbon dioxide is produced which causes mortality of any leafrollers present. Modified atmosphere cold storage has been used by New Zealand for all persimmons exported to Australia since 2007. Since this treatment was initiated, there have been no quarantine pests detected in New Zealand persimmons exported to Australia. Treatment with either the described hot water or modified atmosphere treatments, in conjunction with other safeguards that would be required by the regulations for persimmons from New Zealand, would reduce the likelihood that persimmons will introduce injurious plant pests into the United States. Phytosanitary Certificate To certify that the fresh persimmon fruit from New Zealand has been grown and packed in accordance with the requirements of proposed § 319.56–76, paragraph (g) would require each consignment of fruit to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of New Zealand, with an additional declaration stating that they were produced under and meet all the E:\FR\FM\26AUP1.SGM 26AUP1 58872 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Proposed Rules components of the systems approach and were inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the requirements. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD 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 amend the regulations to allow the importation of fresh persimmon fruit (Diospyros kaki) into the entire United States from New Zealand subject to a systems approach. Most U.S. persimmon production takes place in California, where the 2011 value of production totaled about $13.6 million. The most recent data on U.S. persimmon imports show a total value of about $3 million in 2014. The wholesale value of the persimmon fruit for which New Zealand has requested import access would be about $90,000 initially. The value of future imports is forecast to reach about $330,000, or about 2 percent of the U.S. persimmon market. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) small-entity standard for entities involved in fruit farming is $750,000 or less in annual receipts (NAICS 111339). It is probable that most or all U.S. persimmon producers are small businesses by the SBA standard. We expect any impact of the proposed rule for these entities would be minimal, given New Zealand’s expected small share of the U.S. persimmon market. 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 persimmons to be imported into the United States from New Zealand. If this proposed rule is adopted, State and local laws and regulations regarding persimmons 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 17:00 Aug 25, 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.), reporting and recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Please send comments on the Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs via email to oira_submissions@ omb.eop.gov, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS–2015–0052. Please send a copy of your comments to APHIS using one of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document. APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand into the United States. As a condition of entry, the persimmons would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would include requirements for orchard certification, orchard pest control, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, sampling, and treatment with either hot water or modified atmosphere treatment. The persimmons would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that they were produced under, and meet all the components of, the systems approach and were inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the proposed requirements. Implementing this rule will require information collection activities, such as an operational workplan, production site and packinghouse registration, container markings, production site inspections, investigations and remedial action, packinghouse monitoring, sampling, treatment records, 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: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (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 1.12 hours per response. Respondents: Growers, exporters, packinghouses, and the NPPO of New Zealand. Estimated annual number of respondents: 30. Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 10. Estimated annual number of responses: 301. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 339 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.) A copy of the information collection may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) Copies can also be obtained from Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851–2727. APHIS will respond to any ICR-related comments in the final rule. All comments will also become a matter of public record. 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. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information E:\FR\FM\26AUP1.SGM 26AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Proposed Rules 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 319.56–76 is added to read as follows: ■ mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS § 319.56–76 Zealand. Persimmons From New Fresh persimmons (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) may be imported into the United States only under the conditions described in this section. These conditions are designed to prevent the introduction of the quarantine pests Colletotrichum horii B. Weir & P.R. Johnst., Cnephasia jactatana (Walker), Cryptosporiopsis actinidiae P.R. Johnst., M.A. Manning & X. Meier, Ctenopseustis herana (Felder and Rogenhofer), Ctenopseustis obliquana (Walker), Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), Planotortrix excessana (Walker), Sperchia intractana (Walker), and Stathmopoda skelloni (Butler). (a) Operational workplan. The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of New Zealand must provide an operational workplan to APHIS that details the activities that the NPPO of New Zealand will, subject to APHIS’ approval of the workplan, carry out to meet the requirements of this section. The operational workplan must include and describe the quarantine pest survey intervals and other specific requirements as set forth in this section. (b) Commercial consignments. Persimmons from New Zealand may be imported in commercial consignments only. (c)(1) Place of production requirements. All places of production that participate in the export program must be approved by and registered with the New Zealand NPPO in accordance with the requirements of the operational workplan. (2) The NPPO of New Zealand or its approved designee must visit and inspect the places of production monthly beginning at blossom drop and continuing until the end of the shipping VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Aug 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 season for quarantine pests. Appropriate pest controls must be applied in accordance with the operational workplan. If the NPPO of New Zealand finds that a place of production is not complying with the requirements of this section, no fruit from the place of production will be eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented. (d)(1) Packinghouse requirements. All packinghouses that participate in the export program must be approved by and registered with the New Zealand NPPO in accordance with the requirements of the operational workplan. (2) During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting persimmons to the United States, the packinghouse may only accept persimmons from registered approved places of production and the fruit must be segregated from fruit intended for other markets. (3) All diseased or insect-infested fruit and fruit with surface pests must be culled either before or during packing and removed from the packinghouse. Culling must also include any damaged or deformed fruit. (4) Each shipping container must be marked to identify the place of production and packinghouse from which the consignment of fruit originated. (5) The NPPO of New Zealand must monitor packinghouse operations to verify that the packinghouses are complying with the requirements of the systems approach. If the NPPO of New Zealand finds that a packinghouse is not complying with the requirements of this section, no fruit from the packinghouse will be eligible for export to the United States until APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented. (e) Sampling. Inspectors from the NPPO of New Zealand must inspect a biometric sample of the fruit from each consignment at a rate jointly agreed upon by APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand. The inspectors must visually inspect for quarantine pests listed in the operational workplan required by paragraph (a) of this section and must cut fruit to inspect for quarantine pests that are internal feeders. If quarantine pests are detected in this inspection, the consignment will be prohibited entry into the United States. (f) Treatment. Each consignment of persimmons must be subjected to a postharvest treatment by either: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 58873 (1) Hot water treatment. The persimmons are held for 20 minutes in hot water at 50 °C (122 °F); or (2) Modified atmosphere treatment. The persimmons are packed in semipermeable polymeric bags and stored at 0 °C for a minimum of 28 days. (g) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of persimmons must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued by the New Zealand NPPO with an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment were grown, packed, and inspected and found to be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the requirements of the systems approach. Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of August 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2016–20508 Filed 8–25–16; 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; reopening of comment period. AGENCY: We are reopening the comment period for our proposed rule that would 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. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments. DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published on April 4, 2016 (81 FR 19063) is reopened. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before September 26, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2015-0051. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2015–0051, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26AUP1.SGM 26AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 166 (Friday, August 26, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 58870-58873]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-20508]



[[Page 58870]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2015-0052]
RIN 0579-AE26


Importation of Fresh Persimmons From New Zealand Into the United 
States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations concerning the 
importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh 
persimmons from New Zealand into the United States. As a condition of 
entry, the persimmons would have to be produced in accordance with a 
systems approach that would include requirements for orchard 
certification, orchard pest control, post harvest safeguards, fruit 
culling, traceback, sampling, and treatment with either hot water or 
modified atmosphere treatment. The persimmons would also have to be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional 
declaration stating that they were produced under, and meet all the 
components of, the systems approach and were inspected and found to be 
free of quarantine pests in accordance with the proposed requirements. 
This action would allow the importation of fresh persimmons from New 
Zealand while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant 
pests into the United States.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
October 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0052.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2015-0052, 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-
0052 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: Mr. David B. Lamb, Senior Regulatory 
Policy Specialist, IRM, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2103.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 
319.56-1 through 319.56-75, referred to below as the regulations) 
prohibit or restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the 
United States from certain parts of the world to prevent the 
introduction and dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not 
widely distributed within the United States.
    The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of New Zealand 
has requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) amend the regulations to allow fresh persimmons (Diospyros kaki 
Thunb.) from New Zealand to be imported into the United States. As part 
of our evaluation of New Zealand's request, we prepared a pest risk 
assessment (PRA) and a risk management document (RMD). Copies of the 
PRA and the RMD may be obtained from the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site 
(see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    The PRA, titled ``Importation of Persimmon, Diospyros kaki Thunb., 
as Fresh Fruit from New Zealand into the Entire United States, 
Including Hawaii and U.S. Territories'' (April 23, 2012) evaluates the 
risks associated with the importation of fresh persimmons from New 
Zealand into the United States. The RMD relies upon the findings of the 
PRA to determine the phytosanitary measures necessary to ensure the 
safe importation into the United States of fresh persimmons from New 
Zealand.
    The PRA identified nine pests of quarantine significance present in 
New Zealand that could be introduced into the United States through the 
importation of fresh persimmons:
     The leafroller moths Cnephasia jactatana (Walker), 
Ctenopseustis herana (Felder and Rogenhofer), Ctenopseustis obliquana 
(Walker), Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), Planotortrix excessana 
(Walker), Sperchia intractana (Walker), Stathmopoda skelloni (Butler); 
and
     The fungi Colletotrichum horii B. Weir & P.R. Johnst. and 
Cryptosporiopsis actinidiae P.R. Johnst., M.A. Manning & X. Meier.
    A quarantine pest is defined in Sec.  319.56-2 of the regulations 
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. Potential plant pest risks 
associated with the importation of fresh persimmons from New Zealand 
into the United States were determined by estimating the consequences 
and likelihood of introduction of quarantine pests into the United 
States and ranking the risk potential as high, medium, or low. The PRA 
determined that four of these nine pests--C. herana, C. obliquana, E. 
postvittana, and P. excessana--pose a high risk of following the 
pathway of persimmons from New Zealand into the United States and 
having negative effects on U.S. agriculture. The remaining pests--C. 
jactatana, C. horii, C. actinidiae, S. intractana, and S. skelloni--
were rated as having a medium risk potential.
    Based on the conclusions of the PRA and the RMD, we have determined 
that measures beyond standard port of arrival inspection are required 
to mitigate the risks posed by these plant pests. Therefore, we are 
proposing to allow the importation of persimmons from New Zealand into 
the United States subject to a systems approach. The conditions in the 
systems approach that we are proposing are described below. These 
conditions would be added to the regulations in a new Sec.  319.56-76.

General Requirements

    Proposed paragraph (a) of Sec.  319.56-76 would require the NPPO of 
New Zealand to provide an operational workplan to APHIS that details 
the activities that the NPPO would, subject to APHIS' approval of the 
workplan, carry out to meet the requirements of proposed Sec.  319.56-
76. The operational workplan would have to include and describe in 
detail the quarantine pest survey intervals and other specific 
requirements in proposed Sec.  319.56-76.
    An operational workplan is an agreement between APHIS' Plant 
Protection and Quarantine program, officials of the NPPO of a foreign 
government, and, when necessary, foreign commercial entities, that 
specifies in detail the phytosanitary measures that will be carried out 
to comply with our regulations governing the importation of a specific 
commodity. Operational workplans apply only to the signatory parties 
and

[[Page 58871]]

establish detailed procedures and guidance for the day-to-day 
operations of specific import/export programs. Operational workplans 
also establish how specific phytosanitary issues are dealt with in the 
exporting country and make clear who is responsible for dealing with 
those issues. The implementation of a systems approach typically 
requires an operational workplan to be developed.
    Proposed paragraph (b) of Sec.  319.56-76 would require persimmons 
from New Zealand to be imported only in commercial consignments. 
Produce grown commercially is less likely to be infested with plant 
pests than noncommercial consignments. Noncommercial consignments are 
more prone to infestations/infections 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.

Place of Production Requirements

    Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed Sec.  319.56-76 would require that all 
places of production (orchards) participating in the persimmon export 
program be registered with and approved by the NPPO of New Zealand in 
accordance with the requirements of the operational workplan.
    Paragraph (c)(2) of proposed Sec.  319.56-76 would require the NPPO 
of New Zealand or its approved designee \1\ to visit and inspect the 
places of production monthly beginning at blossom drop and continuing 
until the end of the shipping season and to apply appropriate pest 
controls in accordance with the operational workplan. APHIS may also 
monitor the places of production if necessary. If APHIS or the NPPO of 
New Zealand finds that a place of production is not complying with the 
requirements of the systems approach, no fruit from the place of 
production will be eligible for export to the United States until APHIS 
and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation and appropriate 
remedial actions have been implemented.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ An approved designee is an entity with which the NPPO 
creates a formal agreement that allows that entity to certify that 
the appropriate procedures have been followed. The approved designee 
can be a contracted entity, a coalition of growers, or the growers 
themselves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Packinghouse Requirements

    We are proposing several requirements for packinghouse activities, 
which would be contained in paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  319.56-76. 
Paragraph (d)(1) would require that all packinghouses participating in 
the persimmon export program be registered with and approved by the 
NPPO of New Zealand in accordance with the requirements of the 
operational workplan.
    Paragraph (d)(2) would require that, during the time that the 
packinghouse is in use for exporting persimmons to the United States, 
the packinghouse would only be allowed to accept persimmons from 
registered places of production and that the persimmons be segregated 
from other fruit. This requirement would prevent persimmons intended 
for export to the United States from being exposed to or mixed with 
persimmons or other fruit that are not produced according to the 
requirements of the systems approach.
    Paragraph (d)(3) would require that any diseased or insect-infested 
fruits and fruits with surface pests be culled either before or during 
packing and removed from the packinghouse. Culling would also include 
any damaged or deformed fruit. Fruit with broken or bruised skin or 
that is deformed is more susceptible to infestation by pests than 
undamaged fruit.
    Paragraph (d)(4) would state that final shipping containers would 
have to be marked to identify the place of production and packinghouse 
from which the consignment of fruit originated. Such registration and 
container marking would facilitate traceback of a consignment of 
persimmon fruit to the place of production in which it was grown and 
the packinghouse in which it was packed in the event that quarantine 
pests were discovered in the consignment at the port of first arrival 
into the United States.
    Paragraph (d)(5) would state that the NPPO of New Zealand must 
monitor packinghouse operations to verify that the packinghouses are 
complying with the requirements of the systems approach. If the NPPO of 
New Zealand finds that a packinghouse is not complying with the 
requirements of the systems approach, no persimmon fruit from the 
packinghouse will be eligible for export to the United States until 
APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation and both 
agree that the pest risk has been mitigated.

Phytosanitary Inspection

    Paragraph (e) of proposed Sec.  319.56-76 would require that a 
biometric sample of persimmon fruit jointly agreed upon by APHIS and 
the NPPO of New Zealand be inspected in the exporting country by the 
NPPO of New Zealand following post-harvest processing. The biometric 
sample would be visually inspected for signs of disease, and a portion 
of the fruit would be cut open to detect internally feeding pests. If 
quarantine pests are found during sampling, the consignment of fruit 
would be prohibited from export to the United States.

Postharvest Treatment

    Paragraph (f) of proposed Sec.  319.56-76 would require that all 
persimmons undergo postharvest treatment with either hot water or 
modified atmosphere treatment. Under the hot water treatment, the 
persimmons would have to be held for 20 minutes in hot water at 50 
[deg]C
    (122[emsp14][deg]F). This treatment has been shown to provide 100 
percent mortality of leafroller moth larvae. In addition, hot water 
treatment reduces populations of fungal pathogens such as C. horii and 
C. actinidiae on fruit.
    Under the modified atmosphere treatment, the persimmons would have 
to be packed in semi-permeable polymeric bags and stored at 0 [deg]C 
for a minimum of 28 days. As the fruit respire within the modified 
atmosphere bag, oxygen is consumed and carbon dioxide is produced which 
causes mortality of any leafrollers present. Modified atmosphere cold 
storage has been used by New Zealand for all persimmons exported to 
Australia since 2007. Since this treatment was initiated, there have 
been no quarantine pests detected in New Zealand persimmons exported to 
Australia. Treatment with either the described hot water or modified 
atmosphere treatments, in conjunction with other safeguards that would 
be required by the regulations for persimmons from New Zealand, would 
reduce the likelihood that persimmons will introduce injurious plant 
pests into the United States.

Phytosanitary Certificate

    To certify that the fresh persimmon fruit from New Zealand has been 
grown and packed in accordance with the requirements of proposed Sec.  
319.56-76, paragraph (g) would require each consignment of fruit to be 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of New 
Zealand, with an additional declaration stating that they were produced 
under and meet all the

[[Page 58872]]

components of the systems approach and were inspected and found to be 
free of quarantine pests in accordance with the requirements.

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 amend the regulations to allow the 
importation of fresh persimmon fruit (Diospyros kaki) into the entire 
United States from New Zealand subject to a systems approach. Most U.S. 
persimmon production takes place in California, where the 2011 value of 
production totaled about $13.6 million. The most recent data on U.S. 
persimmon imports show a total value of about $3 million in 2014. The 
wholesale value of the persimmon fruit for which New Zealand has 
requested import access would be about $90,000 initially. The value of 
future imports is forecast to reach about $330,000, or about 2 percent 
of the U.S. persimmon market.
    The Small Business Administration's (SBA) small-entity standard for 
entities involved in fruit farming is $750,000 or less in annual 
receipts (NAICS 111339). It is probable that most or all U.S. persimmon 
producers are small businesses by the SBA standard. We expect any 
impact of the proposed rule for these entities would be minimal, given 
New Zealand's expected small share of the U.S. persimmon market.
    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 persimmons to be imported into the 
United States from New Zealand. If this proposed rule is adopted, State 
and local laws and regulations regarding persimmons 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.), reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements included in this proposed rule have been submitted for 
approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Please send 
comments on the Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB's Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs via email to 
oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, 
Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket 
No. APHIS-2015-0052. Please send a copy of your comments to APHIS using 
one of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this 
document.
    APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of fresh persimmons 
from New Zealand into the United States. As a condition of entry, the 
persimmons would have to be produced in accordance with a systems 
approach that would include requirements for orchard certification, 
orchard pest control, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, 
traceback, sampling, and treatment with either hot water or modified 
atmosphere treatment. The persimmons would also have to be accompanied 
by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating 
that they were produced under, and meet all the components of, the 
systems approach and were inspected and found to be free of quarantine 
pests in accordance with the proposed requirements.
    Implementing this rule will require information collection 
activities, such as an operational workplan, production site and 
packinghouse registration, container markings, production site 
inspections, investigations and remedial action, packinghouse 
monitoring, sampling, treatment records, 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 1.12 hours per response.
    Respondents: Growers, exporters, packinghouses, and the NPPO of New 
Zealand.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 30.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 10.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 301.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 339 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.)
    A copy of the information collection may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (A link to 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning 
of this proposed rule.) Copies can also be obtained from Ms. Kimberly 
Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727. 
APHIS will respond to any ICR-related comments in the final rule. All 
comments will also become a matter of public record.

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. Kimberly 
Hardy, APHIS' Information

[[Page 58873]]

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 319.56-76 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-76  Persimmons From New Zealand.

    Fresh persimmons (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) may be imported into the 
United States only under the conditions described in this section. 
These conditions are designed to prevent the introduction of the 
quarantine pests Colletotrichum horii B. Weir & P.R. Johnst., Cnephasia 
jactatana (Walker), Cryptosporiopsis actinidiae P.R. Johnst., M.A. 
Manning & X. Meier, Ctenopseustis herana (Felder and Rogenhofer), 
Ctenopseustis obliquana (Walker), Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), 
Planotortrix excessana (Walker), Sperchia intractana (Walker), and 
Stathmopoda skelloni (Butler).
    (a) Operational workplan. The national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of New Zealand must provide an operational workplan 
to APHIS that details the activities that the NPPO of New Zealand will, 
subject to APHIS' approval of the workplan, carry out to meet the 
requirements of this section. The operational workplan must include and 
describe the quarantine pest survey intervals and other specific 
requirements as set forth in this section.
    (b) Commercial consignments. Persimmons from New Zealand may be 
imported in commercial consignments only.
    (c)(1) Place of production requirements. All places of production 
that participate in the export program must be approved by and 
registered with the New Zealand NPPO in accordance with the 
requirements of the operational workplan.
    (2) The NPPO of New Zealand or its approved designee must visit and 
inspect the places of production monthly beginning at blossom drop and 
continuing until the end of the shipping season for quarantine pests. 
Appropriate pest controls must be applied in accordance with the 
operational workplan. If the NPPO of New Zealand finds that a place of 
production is not complying with the requirements of this section, no 
fruit from the place of production will be eligible for export to the 
United States until APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an 
investigation and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented.
    (d)(1) Packinghouse requirements. All packinghouses that 
participate in the export program must be approved by and registered 
with the New Zealand NPPO in accordance with the requirements of the 
operational workplan.
    (2) During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting 
persimmons to the United States, the packinghouse may only accept 
persimmons from registered approved places of production and the fruit 
must be segregated from fruit intended for other markets.
    (3) All diseased or insect-infested fruit and fruit with surface 
pests must be culled either before or during packing and removed from 
the packinghouse. Culling must also include any damaged or deformed 
fruit.
    (4) Each shipping container must be marked to identify the place of 
production and packinghouse from which the consignment of fruit 
originated.
    (5) The NPPO of New Zealand must monitor packinghouse operations to 
verify that the packinghouses are complying with the requirements of 
the systems approach. If the NPPO of New Zealand finds that a 
packinghouse is not complying with the requirements of this section, no 
fruit from the packinghouse will be eligible for export to the United 
States until APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand conduct an investigation 
and appropriate remedial actions have been implemented.
    (e) Sampling. Inspectors from the NPPO of New Zealand must inspect 
a biometric sample of the fruit from each consignment at a rate jointly 
agreed upon by APHIS and the NPPO of New Zealand. The inspectors must 
visually inspect for quarantine pests listed in the operational 
workplan required by paragraph (a) of this section and must cut fruit 
to inspect for quarantine pests that are internal feeders. If 
quarantine pests are detected in this inspection, the consignment will 
be prohibited entry into the United States.
    (f) Treatment. Each consignment of persimmons must be subjected to 
a post-harvest treatment by either:
    (1) Hot water treatment. The persimmons are held for 20 minutes in 
hot water at 50 [deg]C (122[emsp14][deg]F); or
    (2) Modified atmosphere treatment. The persimmons are packed in 
semi-permeable polymeric bags and stored at 0 [deg]C for a minimum of 
28 days.
    (g) Phytosanitary certificate. Each consignment of persimmons must 
be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued by 
the New Zealand NPPO with an additional declaration stating that the 
fruit in the consignment were grown, packed, and inspected and found to 
be free of quarantine pests in accordance with the requirements of the 
systems approach.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of August 2016.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-20508 Filed 8-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P