National Organic Program: Notice of Interim Instruction, Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Imports, 49311-49312 [2017-23093]

Download as PDF 49311 Notices Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 205 Wednesday, October 25, 2017 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS–NOP–17–0043; NOP–17–07] National Organic Program: Notice of Interim Instruction, Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Imports Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability of interim instruction with request for comments. AGENCY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the availability of an interim instruction document intended for use by USDAaccredited organic certifying agents (certifiers). The interim instruction is entitled as follows: Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Imports (NOP 4013). This interim instruction explains the USDA organic regulations’ current requirements for certifiers engaged in the oversight of organic products imported into the United States. It also recommends best practices that certifiers may use in order to comply with the existing regulations. AMS invites organic handlers, certifying agents, importers, consumers, and other interested parties to submit comments on the interim instruction. Specifically, comments should address the parts of the instruction that recommend best practices that certifiers may use to ensure compliance with the USDA organic regulations. This document is not intended to request comments on the existing USDA organic regulations found at 7 CFR part 205. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before December 26, 2017. ADDRESSES: Submit written requests for hard copies of this interim instruction to Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Standards Division Director, National Organic Program (NOP), USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2646— So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:06 Oct 24, 2017 Jkt 244001 20250–0268. See the SUPPLEMENTARY section for electronic access to the draft guidance document. You may submit comments on this interim instruction by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Standards Division Director, National Organic Program, USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2646—So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250–0268. Instructions: Written comments responding to this request should be identified with the document number AMS–NOP–17–0043; NOP–17–07. You should clearly indicate your position and the reasons supporting your position. If you are suggesting changes to the draft instruction document, you should include recommended language changes, as appropriate, along with any relevant supporting documentation. AMS is specifically requesting that stakeholders comment and quantify any impacts that the instruction will have on certified operations. USDA intends to make available all comments, including names and addresses when provided, regardless of submission procedure used, on www.regulations.gov and at USDA, AMS, NOP, Room 2646—South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official Federal holidays). Persons wanting to visit the USDA South building to view comments from the public to this notice are requested to make an appointment by calling (202) 720–3252. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Standards Division Director, National Organic Program (NOP), USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2646— So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250–0268; Telephone: (202) 720– 3252; Fax: (202) 260–9151; Email: NOP.Guidance@ams.usda.gov; or visit the NOP Web site at: www.ams.usda.gov/nop. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: INFORMATION I. Background The interim instruction announced via this notice explains the current regulatory requirements for organic PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 certification and documentation needed to import organic products into the United States, and certifiers’ responsibilities in reviewing or issuing import related documents. The instruction also recommends best practices that certifiers may use in order to comply with existing regulatory requirements. The USDA AMS National Organic Program (NOP) facilitates international trade of organic products by authorizing certifiers around the world to certify farms and businesses to the USDA organic regulations and by establishing trade arrangements with foreign countries. Foreign operations are subject to the same requirements as domestic operations, and organic products verified to be in compliance with these regulations or arrangements can be imported for sale into the United States. The interim instruction is available from AMS on its Web site at http:// www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/ organic. When finalized, the final instruction will be available in ‘‘The Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and Certified Operations’’. This Handbook provides those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations. The current edition of the Program Handbook is available online at http://www.ams.usda.gov/rulesregulations/organic/handbook. II. Significance of Guidance This interim instruction is being issued in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget Bulletin on Agency Good Guidance Practices (GGPs) (January 25, 2007, 72 FR 3432–3440). The purpose of GGPs is to ensure that program guidance documents are developed with adequate public participation, are readily available to the public, and are not applied as binding requirements. The interim instruction represents AMS’ efforts to clarify and strengthen compliance with existing regulations on these topics. It does not create or confer any rights for, or on, any person and does not operate to create additional regulatory requirements that legally bind AMS or the public. Guidance documents are intended to provide a uniform method for achieving compliance with the USDA organic regulations, thereby reducing the E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1 49312 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 25, 2017 / Notices burden on certified organic operations to develop their own methods and simplifying audits and inspections. Alternative approaches that can demonstrate compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501–6522), and its implementing regulations are also acceptable. III. Electronic Access Persons with access to Internet may obtain the interim instruction at either AMS’ Web site at http:// www.ams.usda.gov/nop or http:// www.regulations.gov. Requests for hard copies of the interim instruction can be obtained by submitting a written request to the person listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501–6522. Dated: October 19, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2017–23093 Filed 10–24–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meetings. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee (Committee) will meet in El Dorado Hills, California. Attendees may also listen via webinar and conference call. The Committee operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Additional information relating to the Committee, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Committee’s Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ planningrule/committee. DATES: The meetings will be held inperson and streamed via webinar/ conference call on the following dates and times: • Tuesday, November 7, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST • Wednesday, November 8, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST • Thursday, November 9, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:06 Oct 24, 2017 Jkt 244001 meetings prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 4360 Town Center Boulevard, El Dorado Hills, California 95762. For anyone who would like to attend via webinar and/or conference call, please visit the Web site listed above or contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service Washington Office—Yates Building, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1104, Washington, DC 20250–1104. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Crystal Merica, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 202–205–3562, or by email at ckmerica@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this meeting is to provide: 1. Continued deliberations on formulating advice for the Secretary, 2. Discussion of Committee work group findings, 3. Hearing public comments, and 4. Administrative tasks. This meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral comments of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral comment should submit a request in writing by November 3, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee’s staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Crystal Merica, USDA Forest Service, Ecosystem Management Coordination, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1104, Washington, DC 20250–1104, or by email at ckmerica@fs.fed.us. The agenda and summary of the meeting will be posted on the Committee’s Web site within 21 days of the meeting. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. Dated: October 16, 2017. Christopher French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2017–23130 Filed 10–24–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee To Prepare for Its Public Meeting on Voting Rights U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Indiana Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday November 1, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. EST for the purpose of approving a project proposal and preparing for its public meeting on voting rights issues in the state. DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. EST. Public Call Information: Dial: 877– 397–0292, Conference ID: 2237390. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at mwojnaroski@usccr.gov or 312–353– 8311. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following tollfree call-in number: 877–397–0292, conference ID: 2237390. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over landSUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25OCN1.SGM 25OCN1

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[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 205 (Wednesday, October 25, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49311-49312]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-23093]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

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


Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 25, 2017 / 
Notices

[[Page 49311]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

[Doc. No. AMS-NOP-17-0043; NOP-17-07]


National Organic Program: Notice of Interim Instruction, 
Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Imports

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability of interim instruction with request for 
comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing the 
availability of an interim instruction document intended for use by 
USDA-accredited organic certifying agents (certifiers). The interim 
instruction is entitled as follows: Maintaining the Integrity of 
Organic Imports (NOP 4013). This interim instruction explains the USDA 
organic regulations' current requirements for certifiers engaged in the 
oversight of organic products imported into the United States. It also 
recommends best practices that certifiers may use in order to comply 
with the existing regulations. AMS invites organic handlers, certifying 
agents, importers, consumers, and other interested parties to submit 
comments on the interim instruction. Specifically, comments should 
address the parts of the instruction that recommend best practices that 
certifiers may use to ensure compliance with the USDA organic 
regulations. This document is not intended to request comments on the 
existing USDA organic regulations found at 7 CFR part 205.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before December 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Submit written requests for hard copies of this interim 
instruction to Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Standards Division Director, 
National Organic Program (NOP), USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. 
SW., Room 2646--So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268. See the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft 
guidance document.
    You may submit comments on this interim instruction by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Standards Division Director, 
National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., 
Room 2646--So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268.
    Instructions: Written comments responding to this request should be 
identified with the document number AMS-NOP-17-0043; NOP-17-07. You 
should clearly indicate your position and the reasons supporting your 
position. If you are suggesting changes to the draft instruction 
document, you should include recommended language changes, as 
appropriate, along with any relevant supporting documentation. AMS is 
specifically requesting that stakeholders comment and quantify any 
impacts that the instruction will have on certified operations.
    USDA intends to make available all comments, including names and 
addresses when provided, regardless of submission procedure used, on 
www.regulations.gov and at USDA, AMS, NOP, Room 2646--South Building, 
1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to noon and 
from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official Federal 
holidays). Persons wanting to visit the USDA South building to view 
comments from the public to this notice are requested to make an 
appointment by calling (202) 720-3252.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Standards 
Division Director, National Organic Program (NOP), USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Room 2646--So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 
20250-0268; Telephone: (202) 720-3252; Fax: (202) 260-9151; Email: 
[email protected]; or visit the NOP Web site at: 
www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The interim instruction announced via this notice explains the 
current regulatory requirements for organic certification and 
documentation needed to import organic products into the United States, 
and certifiers' responsibilities in reviewing or issuing import related 
documents. The instruction also recommends best practices that 
certifiers may use in order to comply with existing regulatory 
requirements.
    The USDA AMS National Organic Program (NOP) facilitates 
international trade of organic products by authorizing certifiers 
around the world to certify farms and businesses to the USDA organic 
regulations and by establishing trade arrangements with foreign 
countries. Foreign operations are subject to the same requirements as 
domestic operations, and organic products verified to be in compliance 
with these regulations or arrangements can be imported for sale into 
the United States.
    The interim instruction is available from AMS on its Web site at 
http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic. When finalized, the 
final instruction will be available in ``The Program Handbook: Guidance 
and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and Certified 
Operations''. This Handbook provides those who own, manage, or certify 
organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them 
in complying with the USDA organic regulations. The current edition of 
the Program Handbook is available online at http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic/handbook.

II. Significance of Guidance

    This interim instruction is being issued in accordance with the 
Office of Management and Budget Bulletin on Agency Good Guidance 
Practices (GGPs) (January 25, 2007, 72 FR 3432-3440).
    The purpose of GGPs is to ensure that program guidance documents 
are developed with adequate public participation, are readily available 
to the public, and are not applied as binding requirements. The interim 
instruction represents AMS' efforts to clarify and strengthen 
compliance with existing regulations on these topics. It does not 
create or confer any rights for, or on, any person and does not operate 
to create additional regulatory requirements that legally bind AMS or 
the public. Guidance documents are intended to provide a uniform method 
for achieving compliance with the USDA organic regulations, thereby 
reducing the

[[Page 49312]]

burden on certified organic operations to develop their own methods and 
simplifying audits and inspections. Alternative approaches that can 
demonstrate compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522), and its implementing regulations are also 
acceptable.

III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to Internet may obtain the interim instruction 
at either AMS' Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop or http://www.regulations.gov. Requests for hard copies of the interim 
instruction can be obtained by submitting a written request to the 
person listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501-6522.

    Dated: October 19, 2017.
Bruce Summers,
Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-23093 Filed 10-24-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P