Importation of Fresh Mango Fruit From Vietnam Into the Continental United States, 56531-56536 [2017-25764]

Download as PDF 56531 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 228 Wednesday, November 29, 2017 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS–2016–0026] RIN 0579–AE25 Importation of Fresh Mango Fruit From Vietnam Into the Continental United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are amending the regulations to allow the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be subject to a systems approach that includes orchard or packinghouse requirements, irradiation treatment, and port of entry inspection. The fruit will also be required to be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Vietnam with an additional declaration stating that the consignment was inspected and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae. This action will allow for the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States. DATES: Effective December 29, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. ´ Tony Roman, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737– 1231; (301) 851–2242. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Nov 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 Background Under the regulations in ‘‘Subpart— Fruits and Vegetables’’ (7 CFR 319.56– 1 through 319.56–80, 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. On August 4, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 51381– 51383, Docket No. APHIS–2016–0026) a proposal 1 to amend the regulations by allowing for the importation of commercially produced fresh mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit from Vietnam into the continental United States. We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending October 3, 2016. We received 21 comments by that date. They were from producers, exporters, and representatives of State and foreign governments. Of these, four were fully supportive of the proposed action. The remaining 17 are discussed below by topic. General Comments One commenter asked why APHIS focused on the importation of fresh mango fruit instead of other fruits that cannot be grown in the United States. APHIS’s phytosanitary evaluation process only begins once a country has submitted a formal request for market access for a particular commodity. APHIS does not solicit such requests, nor do we control which countries submit requests. Two commenters argued that there is already an adequate fresh mango supply in the domestic market to meet existing demand. The commenters stated that importation of fresh mango fruit carries a risk of diminished market share for local producers and suggested that the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam not be allowed. Such prohibitions would be beyond the scope of APHIS’ statutory authority under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq., referred to below as the PPA). Under the PPA, APHIS may 1 To view the proposed rule, supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= APHIS-2016-0026. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 prohibit the importation of a fruit or vegetable into the United States only if we determine that the prohibition is necessary in order to prevent the introduction or dissemination of a plant pest or noxious weed within the United States. Additionally, as a signatory to the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), the United States has agreed that any prohibitions it places on the importation of fruits and vegetables will be based on scientific evidence related to phytosanitary measures and issues, and will not be maintained without sufficient scientific evidence. The blanket prohibitions requested by the commenters would not be in keeping with this agreement. Another commenter suggested that, given the transit time from Vietnam to the continental United States, the fresh mango fruit would have to be harvested in a very under ripe state in order to survive transit and would therefore prove unsuitable for the domestic market. While the quality of the fresh mango fruit and the timing of harvest are important factors in its marketability, we are solely concerned with plant health and phytosanitary risk. The timing of harvest solely for marketability reasons is outside the scope of this regulation. Another commenter suggested that APHIS consider the effect of imported pests, bacteria, and fungi on domestic producers. We considered these potential effects in the pest risk assessment (PRA) and laid out mitigations against phytosanitary impact in the risk management document (RMD) that accompanied the proposed rule. Comments on the Impetus for the Proposal One commenter stated that there is no reason to risk the accidental importation of pests associated with fresh mango fruit from Vietnam except for political gain. This action was predicated on several risk assessment documents that provide a scientific basis for potential importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. Without these risk assessment documents, which have withstood several reviews and public comment periods, APHIS would not have proposed this action. Political and E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1 56532 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / Rules and Regulations economic interests may stimulate consideration of the expansion of trade of agricultural commodities between countries, but all decision making concerning phytosanitary restrictions on trade must be science-based. APHIS stands behind the risk assessment documents that support this rule, and believes they are based on sound science. Two other commenters wanted to know why Vietnam would choose to export fresh mangos to the United States given that those fresh mangos would represent only 1 percent of the overall domestic supply. The commenters inquired about the benefits of adding another source of fresh mango fruit to the existing stock. APHIS’ phytosanitary evaluation process only begins once a country has submitted a formal request for market access for a particular commodity. APHIS does not solicit such requests, nor do we control which countries submit requests. APHIS does not solicit information regarding the motivations for such requests, we merely subject them to science-based evaluation. pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Comments on the Pest List The PRA identified 18 quarantine pests that could be introduced into the continental United States in consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. 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.’’ The pests listed in the PRA are: • Carambola fruit fly, Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock • Guava fruit fly, Bactrocera correcta (Bezzi) • Melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae Coquillett • Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel • Pumpkin fruit fly, Bactrocera tau Walker • Peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) • Yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis • Mango seed borer, Deanolis albizonalis • Old World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera • Pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus • The fungus Macrophoma mangiferae • Spherical mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis • Coffee mealybug, Planococcus lilacinus VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Nov 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 • Citriculus mealybug, Pseudococcus cryptus • Fruit tree mealybug, Rastrococcus invadens • Chili thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis • Mango pulp weevil, Sternochetus frigidus • Mango black spot, Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae One commenter said that the chance of a mutation occurring that allows for one or multiple species to become resistant to the chemical treatments applied to fresh mango fruit from Vietnam was of potential concern. The commenter argued that, given the size of the pest list, such a mutation might be overlooked, resulting in an introduction of that mutated pest into the United States. We believe that the standard suggested by the commenter would call for APHIS to postulate based on wholly unknowable risk factors. The PRA that accompanied the proposed rule provided a list of all pests of fresh mango fruit known to exist in Vietnam. This list was prepared using multiple data sources to ensure its completeness. For this same reason, we are confident it is accurate. If, however, a mutation of a pest is detected in Vietnam, APHIS will conduct further risk analysis in order to evaluate that pest to determine whether it is a quarantine pest, and whether it is likely to follow the importation pathway. If we determine that the pest is a quarantine pest and is likely to follow the pathway, we will work with the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Vietnam to adjust the pest list and related phytosanitary measures to prevent its introduction into the United States. Another commenter stated that Florida and Texas, two mango producing States, are already dealing with an emerging population of chili thrips. The commenter argued against the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam given the prevalence of the pest in that country. Given the findings of the PRA, we are confident that the systems approach required for fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will mitigate the risk posed by such fresh mango fruit to introduce these pests. A commenter suggested that chili thrips be removed from the pest list, because the pest does not have any developing stages associated with fresh mango fruit. As cited in the PRA, chili thrips only attacks immature fruit of its hosts, including fresh mango fruit.2 The 2 Yamaguchi, T. 2007. Seasonal prevalence of Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood and Selenothrips PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 commenter provided no evidence to support the claim that the pest does not have any developing stages associated with fresh mango fruit. Comments on the Systems Approach Based on the findings of the PRA, we determined that measures beyond standard port-of-entry inspection will be needed to mitigate the risks posed by the pests listed above. These measures were identified in the RMD and were used as the basis for the requirements of the systems approach. One commenter asked if there is a fund to compensate domestic producers for crop loss were the systems approach to fail. The commenter proposed that fresh mango fruit from Vietnam be subject to a hot water treatment as has been required for fresh mango fruit from other countries. The mitigations listed are proven effective in preventing the introduction of foreign pests into the United States and are the same or equivalent to those measures required for the importation of fresh mango fruit from other countries (e.g., India, Pakistan, and Australia). There is currently no fund to compensate farmers as a result of pest introduction. The same commenter stated that exporting countries may lie in their certifications of pest freedom. For the reasons explained in the proposed rule, the RMD, and this final rule, we consider the provisions of this final rule adequate to mitigate the risk associated with the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. The commenter did not provide any evidence suggesting that the mitigations are individually or collectively ineffective. Another commenter requested that fresh mango fruit from Vietnam not be allowed into the State of Florida given that the climate in that State is conducive to the establishment of the listed pests. We have determined, for the reasons described in the RMD that accompanied the proposed rule, that the measures specified in the RMD will effectively mitigate the risk associated with the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. The commenter did not provide any evidence suggesting that the mitigations are not effective. Therefore, we are not taking the action requested by the commenter. Fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be required to be imported into the rubrocinctus (Giard) on the flower buds, inflorescences, and fruits of mango (Mangifera indica) plants cultivated in greenhouses on AmamiOshima Island, Japan [Abstract]. Kyushu byogaichu kenkyukaiho 53:103–106. E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1 pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / Rules and Regulations continental United States in commercial consignments only. One commenter asked how APHIS will determine whether a given operation is commercial. The commenter wanted to know if a list of approved producers will be made available. An inspector will identify commercial consignments using such factors as: Quantity of produce, type of packaging, identification of grower or packinghouse on the packaging, and documents consigning the fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or retailer. The NPPO of the exporting country verifies and approves commercial growing areas and maintains the list of all approved growers in that country. Anyone wishing to request this list should contact the NPPO of Vietnam for access. Another commenter asked how we will ensure that non-commercial producers are not selling their fruit to commercial producers in order to skirt the requirements of the regulations. APHIS and the NPPO of Vietnam will jointly develop an operational workplan. The workplan will incorporate details of traceability, treatment, and preclearance activities, including any inspection of articles that APHIS may perform before or after treatment. Traceability and verification that the fresh mango fruit was grown commercially will serve to prevent the scenario envisioned by the commenter. Fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be required to be treated with a minimum absorbed irradiation dose of 400 gray in accordance with § 305.9 of the phytosanitary treatment regulations in 7 CFR part 305. This is the established generic dose for all insect pests except pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera and mango fruit pathogens. Consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will also have to meet all other relevant requirements in part 305, including monitoring of treatment by APHIS inspectors. A commenter stated that irradiation is designed for certain insect species and may not be an effective treatment for the many other tropical fruit and citrus pests such as mites, as well as various pathogens, found in Vietnam. We agree with the commenter, which is why the systems approach includes other phytosanitary procedures designed to provide protection from pests against which irradiation is not effective. Another commenter was particularly concerned about peach fruit fly and pumpkin fruit fly and the potential for those pests to damage and infest domestic crops if they were to be accidentally introduced. The commenter inquired whether the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Nov 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 required irradiation dose would kill all peach and pumpkin fruit flies. While no treatment can be guaranteed to be 100 percent effective, the absorbed dose of 400 gray has been shown to be effective in preventing insects from reproducing. Irradiation treatment does not kill insects but instead renders them sterile or incapable of completing development. One commenter stated that we should provide scientific evidence of how irradiation affects all the plant pests associated with fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. We would not include data on the ways in which a given phytosanitary treatment affects plant pests for which it is not an approved treatment. All the pests associated with fresh mango fruit from Vietnam are not meant to be mitigated by the listed irradiation treatment; instead the required treatment works in concert with the other aspects of the systems approach in order to provide phytosanitary security. For a complete discussion of the efficacy of irradiation on those plant pests for which it is an approved treatment, please refer to the proposed and final rules entitled ‘‘Treatments for Fruits and Vegetables’’ (70 FR 33857– 33873, Docket No. 03–077–1 and 71 FR 4451–4464, Docket No. 03–077–2). In order to mitigate the risks posed by Macrophoma mangiferae, we proposed three options: (1) The mangoes be treated with a broad-spectrum postharvest fungicidal dip, (2) the orchard of origin be inspected at a time prior to the beginning of harvest and be found free of Macrophoma mangiferae, or (3) fruit must originate from an orchard that was treated with a broad-spectrum fungicide during the growing season. One commenter wanted to know who will conduct orchard inspections. Inspections are performed by the NPPO of Vietnam or its designee. If necessary, based on noncompliance events or program audits conducted in accordance with APHIS’ policy, APHIS will provide qualified personnel to work cooperatively with the NPPO of Vietnam and all other program participants to review and evaluate operations in the field and packinghouses, quarantine pest management and control activities, and other safeguarding measures. Another commenter asked when the broad-spectrum fungicide will be required to be applied during the growing season. The commenter also wanted to know whether the fungicide or fungicides are safe to use in conjunction with fresh mango fruit. Fungicides are applied at the recommended rate deemed effective PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 56533 against the target pest, and, as stated in the proposed rule, may be applied at any time during the growing season but prior to harvest. Fungicide safety in relation to the growing environment is subject to oversight by Vietnam’s environmental authorities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and monitors the level of fungicide residues present on imported fruits and vegetables intended for human consumption. A commenter wanted to know how we will ensure that all necessary treatments are being applied prior to harvest and export. Our standard practice is to conduct site visits prior to the initiation of any import program. This is to ensure that all required mitigations are in place and the agreed upon operational workplan is being enforced. Subject matter experts inspect production sites and packinghouses and report their findings to APHIS. Furthermore, the operational workplan authorizes the regional APHIS International Services Director to conduct periodic audit visits of production sites. Another commenter inquired about the authorization process for inspectors in Vietnam, stating that we need to ensure that authorized inspectors have the relevant experience and a strong background in agriculture and food safety. All inspections will be performed by APHIS and the NPPO of Vietnam as part of the established preclearance program in Vietnam. The NPPO of Vietnam is responsible for recruiting, vetting, and training inspectors so that they possess the necessary skills to successfully perform their duties. Preclearance programs, including the program in Vietnam, are an important piece in our safeguarding strategy. Each consignment of fruit will have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Vietnam that contains an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was inspected and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae. A commenter argued that APHIS’s claim that inspection would mitigate the risks posed by Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae since symptoms of Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae are easily discernible to the naked eye was insufficient as some fruit might be asymptomatic. The commenter stated that testing may need to be done. Another commenter said that many of the listed pests are known to feed inside the fruit and have the potential to escape detection. The E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1 pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES 56534 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / Rules and Regulations commenter argued that these pests would be difficult to routinely detect by inspection alone either due to their feeding habits or life stages. A third commenter stated that, while the risks would be minimized, they would not be eliminated. We are confident that field inspection or treatment or packinghouse treatment and culling, in concert with the other requirements of the systems approach will be effective in mitigating phytosanitary risk. Any fruit that appeared asymptomatic, as posited by the commenters, would likely be in the early stages of infection. Given the transit time required to ship mangoes from Vietnam to the United States as well as mandatory port of entry inspections, it is likely that latent infection would be detected at this point in the importation process. Consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be subject to inspection at the port of entry. One commenter wanted to know if there is a defined set of requirements for halting the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam based on the results of these inspections. Consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be seized at the port of entry in the United States if they fail to meet the entry requirements set out in the regulations or if quarantine pests are found. Another commenter wanted to know the rate at which consignments will be inspected. All shipments are inspected at the first port of entry into the United States. Fruit sampling will be conducted either as part of the pre-clearance program in Vietnam or, for those shipments of fresh mango fruit that were not subject to the pre-clearance program, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Actual sampling rates vary. In a pre-clearance program, fruits must be sampled at a rate that produces a 95 percent confidence of detecting a 2 percent or greater pest population for external pests and a 95 percent confidence of detecting a 10 percent or greater pest population for internal feeders. In the case of fresh mango fruit that were not subject to the pre-clearance program in Vietnam the sampling rate will be set by CBP inspectors. Generally speaking the CBP sampling rate is 2 percent of fruit in each consignment but may vary depending on various factors such as surface abnormalities noted during visual inspection. A commenter questioned whether we should raise the costs and workload of inspectors at the ports by increasing their inspection duties. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Nov 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 APHIS has reviewed its resources and consulted with CBP and believes there is adequate coverage across the United States to ensure compliance with APHIS regulations, including the Vietnamese mango import program, as established by this rule. Comments on Irradiation Treatment Two commenters expressed concern regarding the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment, saying that the potential effects of irradiation on those who consume irradiated foods should be considered. One of the commenters was particularly worried about the effect of irradiation on the enzymes found in raw foods, arguing that the long-term effects of irradiated food consumption have yet to be studied. The commenter argued that irradiated foods should be labeled accordingly. While the impact of food on human health is regulated and monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, as such, these concerns are outside the scope of our authority, irradiated foods are wholesome and nutritious. Nutrient losses caused by irradiation are less than or about the same as losses caused by cooking and freezing. Public health agencies worldwide have evaluated the safety of food irradiation over the last 50 years and found it to be safe. In 37 countries, more than 40 food products are irradiated. In some European countries, irradiation has been in use for decades. In the United States, the FDA regulates food irradiation. In addition, food irradiation has received official endorsement from the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Comments on Additional Phytosanitary Measures One commenter suggested that all preharvest orchard inspections and all treatments be performed by APHIS inspectors in addition to the NPPO of Vietnam. APHIS will monitor and audit Vietnam’s implementation of the systems approach for the importation of fresh mango fruit into the continental United States. The same commenter said we should add a methyl bromide treatment requirement for an additional layer of phytosanitary protection against Macrophoma mangiferae, mango black spot, and lepidopteran pests. Another commenter suggested that we include vapor heat as a treatment option. Methyl bromide fumigation is not necessary. Neither methyl bromide nor vapor heat are approved treatments for fresh mango fruit. For the reasons PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 explained in the proposed rule, the PRA, the RMD, and this final rule, we consider the current provisions adequate to mitigate the risk associated with the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. A commenter asked if it would be possible to observe inspectors at the port of entry to monitor implementation of the requirements. The inspectors referenced by the commenter are trained agricultural specialists and we trust their knowledge and experience in phytosanitary inspections. Allowing outside parties to observe or participate in inspection work would potentially impede the inspectors’ ability to perform their duties in a thorough and efficient manner. Inspections are performed in restricted areas and no civilians are allowed entry. Comments on Vietnamese Oversight Some commenters expressed concerns that the NPPO of Vietnam would not be able to adequately implement the required systems approach. One commenter asked how APHIS would enforce production standards in order to provide phytosanitary protection. Another commenter stated that the integrated pest management program in Vietnam is in its early stages and most farmers overdose their crops due to inexperience. The commenter said that this practice demonstrates a lack of concern for water and soil quality and suggests that the NPPO will not hold Vietnamese produce to a sufficiently high standard. A third commenter requested further information on how we will ensure that our standards for a pest free consignment are made clear. APHIS personnel in Vietnam will take part in the preclearance program we have established and ensure that our required mitigation measures are enforced, including those relating to the application of fungicides in the field. In addition, as previously stated, APHIS will monitor and audit Vietnam’s implementation of the systems approach for the importation of fresh mango fruit into the continental United States. If we determine that the systems approach has not been fully implemented or maintained, we will take appropriate remedial action to ensure that the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam does not result in the dissemination of plant pests within the United States. One commenter voiced concern regarding potential transshipment of fresh mango fruit from neighboring countries. The commenter wanted to know how we will prevent fresh mango fruit from being shipped into Vietnam E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / Rules and Regulations and subsequently repackaged as a Vietnamese consignment. It is the responsibility of the NPPO of Vietnam to verify that production sites that grow articles for export and packinghouses that handle such articles are registered with the NPPO. Fresh mango fruit received and packed for export to the United States must be from approved orchards only and APHIS reserves the right to inspect packinghouses participating in the export program. Failure to adhere to program standards, including packaging transshipped fruits, may result in removal from the export program. pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Comments on Economic Factors One commenter asked if the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam would create economic benefits for special interests in either the United States or Vietnam. The commenter asked for assurance that the rule represents a good business deal for the United States. APHIS bases its decisionmaking process on evaluation and mitigation of phytosanitary risk and not on the economic and trade factors referenced by the commenter. Another commenter speculated that the work and resources required to allow for the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam would be better expended on a higher value commodity. Contrary to the commenter’s assertion, the mechanisms, systems, and personnel for importing fruits and vegetables already exist. The addition of another commodity to the list of allowable imports, particularly as import levels are expected to be low, will not unduly tax the existing system. A commenter observed that the economic analysis that accompanied the proposed rule stated that the expected importation level (3,000 metric tons [MT] annually) for fresh mango fruit from Vietnam was equal to the amount of fresh mango fruit produced domestically. The commenter questioned how the importation of an equal amount of fresh mango fruit to what is domestically grown represents a non-significant impact on U.S. mango producers. U.S. fresh mango fruit production levels are indeed low and are estimated at 3,000 MT annually. However, from 1997 to 2015, fresh mango fruit imports increased from 187,000 MT to 391,000 MT. While the quantity that is imported from Vietnam is equivalent to the quantity produced in the United States, these imports will simply help meet the growing demand for mangoes. Fresh mango fruit imports from Vietnam VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Nov 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 represent less than one percent of total fresh mango fruit imports. Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without change. Executive Orders 12866 and 13771 and Regulatory Flexibility Act This final 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. This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866. 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 on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. This rule is in response to a request from Vietnam to be allowed to export fresh mango fruit to the continental United States. The annual quantity that Vietnam expects to export to the United States, 3,000 MT, represents less than 1 percent of U.S. fresh mango fruit imports, which grew from 187,000 MT in 1997 to 391,000 MT in 2015. Primary sources are Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Guatemala. While mangoes are grown in Florida and Hawaii, with smaller quantities produced in California and Texas, U.S. annual production totals only about 3,000 MT. Most if not all U.S. mango farms and wholesalers are small entities. However, given the small quantity expected to be imported from Vietnam relative to current import levels, the rule will not have a significant impact on U.S. mango producers. While Vietnam’s mango season runs from February to September, encompassing that of the United States (Florida’s season is from May to September), U.S. importers may benefit marginally in having Vietnam as another source of fresh mangoes that will help meet the growing demand. Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Executive Order 12988 This final rule allows fresh mango fruit to be imported into the continental United States from Vietnam. State and PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 56535 local laws and regulations regarding fresh mango fruit imported under this rule will be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh fruits are generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the consuming public, and 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. 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 final rule, which were filed under 0579–0452, have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). When OMB notifies us of its decision, if approval is denied, we will publish a document in the Federal Register providing notice of what action we plan to take. E-Government Act Compliance The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to compliance with the E-Government 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 rule, please contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851–2483. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319 Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Honey, Imports, Nursery stock, Plant diseases and pests, Plants, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rice, Sugar, Vegetables. Accordingly, we are amending 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 and 7701–7772 and 7781–7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. ■ 2. Add § 319.56–81 to read as follows: § 319.56–81 Fresh mango from Vietnam. Fresh mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit may be imported into the E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1 56536 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / Rules and Regulations continental United States under the following conditions: (a) The fresh mango fruit may be imported in commercial consignments only. (b) The fresh mango fruit must be treated for plant pests of the class Insecta, except pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera, with irradiation in accordance with part 305 of this chapter. (c) The risks presented by Macrophoma mangiferae must be addressed in one of the following ways: (1) The fresh mango fruit are treated with a broad-spectrum post-harvest fungicidal dip; or (2) The orchard of origin is inspected prior to the beginning of harvest and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae; or (3) The fresh mango fruit must originate from an orchard that was treated with a broad-spectrum fungicide during the growing season. (d) Each consignment of fresh mango fruit must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Vietnam that contains an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was inspected and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae and has been produced in accordance with the requirements of the systems approach in this section. (e) The fruit is subject to inspection at the port of entry for all quarantine pests of concern. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0579–0452) Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of November 2017. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2017–25764 Filed 11–28–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P Federal Register document on October 14, 2016, except for a minor technical update to the policy statement on Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity, and an update and modification to the policy statement on Farm Credit System Building Association Management Operations Policies and Practices. DATES: November 29, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to Board, (703) 883–4009, TTY (703) 883–4056, aultmand@fca.gov; or Mary Alice Donner, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel, (703) 883– 4020, TTY (703) 883–4020, donnerm@ fca.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A list of the 18 FCA Board policy statements is set forth below. FCA Board policy statements may be viewed online at www.fca.gov/handbook.nsf. On August 24, 2017, the FCA Board updated FCA–PS–62 on, ‘‘Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity.’’ The policy was published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2017 (82 FR 41258). The policy had no changes other than a citation clarification. On July 27, 2017, the FCA Board updated FCA–PS–68 on, ‘‘Farm Credit System Building Association Management Operations Policies and Practices.’’ The updated policy increases the dollar amount on contracts the Farm Credit System Building Association is required to competitively bid, to reflect current economic conditions. It clarifies requirements for FCA Board approval of Farm Credit System Building Association contracts to reflect current FCA practices. The complete policy statement is published below. The FCA will continue to publish new or revised policy statements in their full text. FCA Board Policy Statements FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Chapter VI Farm Credit Administration Board Policy Statements Farm Credit Administration. Notification of policy statements and index. AGENCY: pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES ACTION: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA), as part of its annual public notification process, is publishing for notice an index of the 18 Board policy statements currently in existence. Most of the policy statements remain unchanged since our last SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Nov 28, 2017 Jkt 244001 FCA–PS–34 Disclosure of the Issuance and Termination of Enforcement Documents FCA–PS–37 Communications During Rulemaking FCA–PS–41 Alternative Means of Dispute Resolution FCA–PS–44 Travel FCA–PS–53 Examination Philosophy FCA–PS–59 Regulatory Philosophy FCA–PS–62 Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity FCA–PS–64 Rules for the Transaction of Business of the Farm Credit Administration Board FCA–PS–65 Release of Consolidated Reporting System Information PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 FCA–PS–67 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Agency Programs and Activities FCA–PS–68 FCS Building Association Management Operations Policies and Practices FCA–PS–71 Disaster Relief Efforts by Farm Credit Institutions FCA–PS–72 Financial Institution Rating System (FIRS) FCA–PS–77 Borrower Privacy FCA–PS–78 Official Names of Farm Credit Institutions FCA–PS–79 Consideration and Referral of Supervisory Strategies and Enforcement Actions FCA–PS–80 Cooperative Operating Philosophy—Serving the Members of Farm Credit System Institutions FCA–PS–81 Ethics, Independence, Arm’s-Length Role, Ex Parte Communications and Open Government Farm Credit System Building Association Management Operations Policies and Practices FCA–PS–68 Effective Date: 27–JUL–17. Effect on Previous Action: Amends NV–95–40, FCA–PS–68–7–JUL–95; amended by NV–11–15 (08–JUL–11), NV–17–19 (27–JUL–17). Source of Authority: Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (Act), and the FCS Building Association (FCSBA) Articles of Association and Bylaws. The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) Board Hereby Adopts the Following Policy Statement: The FCSBA was established to provide the facilities and related services for the FCA and its field offices. The FCSBA is owned by the banks of the Farm Credit System (banks) and is funded by assessments, rental income from commercial tenants, and other income. The original ownership interest of each bank was based on the bank’s assets as a percentage of total Farm Credit System (FCS) assets on June 30, 1981. The FCSBA owns and operates the FCA headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and holds the leases and provides certain services and furnishings for FCA field offices. The FCA Board has sole discretionary authority under section (1)5.16 of the Act to approve the plans and decisions for such building and facilities. In order to carry out this authority and to preserve the FCA’s arms-length relationship with the banks, the Articles of Association and Bylaws of the FCSBA grant the FCA Board the responsibility to oversee the affairs of the FCSBA. The purpose of this policy statement is to outline general parameters and E:\FR\FM\29NOR1.SGM 29NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 228 (Wednesday, November 29, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56531-56536]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-25764]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 

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


Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 56531]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2016-0026]
RIN 0579-AE25


Importation of Fresh Mango Fruit From Vietnam Into the 
Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations to allow the importation of 
fresh mango fruit from Vietnam into the continental United States. As a 
condition of entry, fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be subject to a 
systems approach that includes orchard or packinghouse requirements, 
irradiation treatment, and port of entry inspection. The fruit will 
also be required to be imported in commercial consignments and 
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant 
protection organization of Vietnam with an additional declaration 
stating that the consignment was inspected and found free of Macrophoma 
mangiferae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae. This 
action will allow for the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam 
while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of 
plant pests into the continental United States.

DATES: Effective December 29, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Tony Rom[aacute]n, Senior 
Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, 
PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 
851-2242.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under the regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 
319.56-1 through 319.56-80, 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.
    On August 4, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 
51381-51383, Docket No. APHIS-2016-0026) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations by allowing for the importation of commercially produced 
fresh mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit from Vietnam into the 
continental United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the proposed rule, supporting documents, and the 
comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0026.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
October 3, 2016. We received 21 comments by that date. They were from 
producers, exporters, and representatives of State and foreign 
governments. Of these, four were fully supportive of the proposed 
action. The remaining 17 are discussed below by topic.

General Comments

    One commenter asked why APHIS focused on the importation of fresh 
mango fruit instead of other fruits that cannot be grown in the United 
States.
    APHIS's phytosanitary evaluation process only begins once a country 
has submitted a formal request for market access for a particular 
commodity. APHIS does not solicit such requests, nor do we control 
which countries submit requests.
    Two commenters argued that there is already an adequate fresh mango 
supply in the domestic market to meet existing demand. The commenters 
stated that importation of fresh mango fruit carries a risk of 
diminished market share for local producers and suggested that the 
importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam not be allowed.
    Such prohibitions would be beyond the scope of APHIS' statutory 
authority under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq., 
referred to below as the PPA). Under the PPA, APHIS may prohibit the 
importation of a fruit or vegetable into the United States only if we 
determine that the prohibition is necessary in order to prevent the 
introduction or dissemination of a plant pest or noxious weed within 
the United States.
    Additionally, as a signatory to the World Trade Organization's 
Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), the 
United States has agreed that any prohibitions it places on the 
importation of fruits and vegetables will be based on scientific 
evidence related to phytosanitary measures and issues, and will not be 
maintained without sufficient scientific evidence. The blanket 
prohibitions requested by the commenters would not be in keeping with 
this agreement.
    Another commenter suggested that, given the transit time from 
Vietnam to the continental United States, the fresh mango fruit would 
have to be harvested in a very under ripe state in order to survive 
transit and would therefore prove unsuitable for the domestic market.
    While the quality of the fresh mango fruit and the timing of 
harvest are important factors in its marketability, we are solely 
concerned with plant health and phytosanitary risk. The timing of 
harvest solely for marketability reasons is outside the scope of this 
regulation.
    Another commenter suggested that APHIS consider the effect of 
imported pests, bacteria, and fungi on domestic producers.
    We considered these potential effects in the pest risk assessment 
(PRA) and laid out mitigations against phytosanitary impact in the risk 
management document (RMD) that accompanied the proposed rule.

Comments on the Impetus for the Proposal

    One commenter stated that there is no reason to risk the accidental 
importation of pests associated with fresh mango fruit from Vietnam 
except for political gain.
    This action was predicated on several risk assessment documents 
that provide a scientific basis for potential importation of fresh 
mango fruit from Vietnam. Without these risk assessment documents, 
which have withstood several reviews and public comment periods, APHIS 
would not have proposed this action. Political and

[[Page 56532]]

economic interests may stimulate consideration of the expansion of 
trade of agricultural commodities between countries, but all decision 
making concerning phytosanitary restrictions on trade must be science-
based. APHIS stands behind the risk assessment documents that support 
this rule, and believes they are based on sound science.
    Two other commenters wanted to know why Vietnam would choose to 
export fresh mangos to the United States given that those fresh mangos 
would represent only 1 percent of the overall domestic supply. The 
commenters inquired about the benefits of adding another source of 
fresh mango fruit to the existing stock.
    APHIS' phytosanitary evaluation process only begins once a country 
has submitted a formal request for market access for a particular 
commodity. APHIS does not solicit such requests, nor do we control 
which countries submit requests. APHIS does not solicit information 
regarding the motivations for such requests, we merely subject them to 
science-based evaluation.

Comments on the Pest List

    The PRA identified 18 quarantine pests that could be introduced 
into the continental United States in consignments of fresh mango fruit 
from Vietnam. 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.'' The pests listed in the PRA are:

 Carambola fruit fly, Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock
 Guava fruit fly, Bactrocera correcta (Bezzi)
 Melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae Coquillett
 Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel
 Pumpkin fruit fly, Bactrocera tau Walker
 Peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata (Saunders)
 Yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis
 Mango seed borer, Deanolis albizonalis
 Old World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera
 Pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus
 The fungus Macrophoma mangiferae
 Spherical mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis
 Coffee mealybug, Planococcus lilacinus
 Citriculus mealybug, Pseudococcus cryptus
 Fruit tree mealybug, Rastrococcus invadens
 Chili thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis
 Mango pulp weevil, Sternochetus frigidus
 Mango black spot, Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae

    One commenter said that the chance of a mutation occurring that 
allows for one or multiple species to become resistant to the chemical 
treatments applied to fresh mango fruit from Vietnam was of potential 
concern. The commenter argued that, given the size of the pest list, 
such a mutation might be overlooked, resulting in an introduction of 
that mutated pest into the United States.
    We believe that the standard suggested by the commenter would call 
for APHIS to postulate based on wholly unknowable risk factors. The PRA 
that accompanied the proposed rule provided a list of all pests of 
fresh mango fruit known to exist in Vietnam. This list was prepared 
using multiple data sources to ensure its completeness. For this same 
reason, we are confident it is accurate. If, however, a mutation of a 
pest is detected in Vietnam, APHIS will conduct further risk analysis 
in order to evaluate that pest to determine whether it is a quarantine 
pest, and whether it is likely to follow the importation pathway. If we 
determine that the pest is a quarantine pest and is likely to follow 
the pathway, we will work with the national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Vietnam to adjust the pest list and related 
phytosanitary measures to prevent its introduction into the United 
States.
    Another commenter stated that Florida and Texas, two mango 
producing States, are already dealing with an emerging population of 
chili thrips. The commenter argued against the importation of fresh 
mango fruit from Vietnam given the prevalence of the pest in that 
country.
    Given the findings of the PRA, we are confident that the systems 
approach required for fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will mitigate the 
risk posed by such fresh mango fruit to introduce these pests.
    A commenter suggested that chili thrips be removed from the pest 
list, because the pest does not have any developing stages associated 
with fresh mango fruit.
    As cited in the PRA, chili thrips only attacks immature fruit of 
its hosts, including fresh mango fruit.\2\ The commenter provided no 
evidence to support the claim that the pest does not have any 
developing stages associated with fresh mango fruit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Yamaguchi, T. 2007. Seasonal prevalence of Scirtothrips 
dorsalis Hood and Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard) on the flower 
buds, inflorescences, and fruits of mango (Mangifera indica) plants 
cultivated in greenhouses on Amami-Oshima Island, Japan [Abstract]. 
Kyushu byogaichu kenkyukaiho 53:103-106.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments on the Systems Approach

    Based on the findings of the PRA, we determined that measures 
beyond standard port-of-entry inspection will be needed to mitigate the 
risks posed by the pests listed above. These measures were identified 
in the RMD and were used as the basis for the requirements of the 
systems approach.
    One commenter asked if there is a fund to compensate domestic 
producers for crop loss were the systems approach to fail. The 
commenter proposed that fresh mango fruit from Vietnam be subject to a 
hot water treatment as has been required for fresh mango fruit from 
other countries.
    The mitigations listed are proven effective in preventing the 
introduction of foreign pests into the United States and are the same 
or equivalent to those measures required for the importation of fresh 
mango fruit from other countries (e.g., India, Pakistan, and 
Australia). There is currently no fund to compensate farmers as a 
result of pest introduction.
    The same commenter stated that exporting countries may lie in their 
certifications of pest freedom.
    For the reasons explained in the proposed rule, the RMD, and this 
final rule, we consider the provisions of this final rule adequate to 
mitigate the risk associated with the importation of fresh mango fruit 
from Vietnam. The commenter did not provide any evidence suggesting 
that the mitigations are individually or collectively ineffective.
    Another commenter requested that fresh mango fruit from Vietnam not 
be allowed into the State of Florida given that the climate in that 
State is conducive to the establishment of the listed pests.
    We have determined, for the reasons described in the RMD that 
accompanied the proposed rule, that the measures specified in the RMD 
will effectively mitigate the risk associated with the importation of 
fresh mango fruit from Vietnam. The commenter did not provide any 
evidence suggesting that the mitigations are not effective. Therefore, 
we are not taking the action requested by the commenter.
    Fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be required to be imported into 
the

[[Page 56533]]

continental United States in commercial consignments only. One 
commenter asked how APHIS will determine whether a given operation is 
commercial. The commenter wanted to know if a list of approved 
producers will be made available.
    An inspector will identify commercial consignments using such 
factors as: Quantity of produce, type of packaging, identification of 
grower or packinghouse on the packaging, and documents consigning the 
fruits or vegetables to a wholesaler or retailer. The NPPO of the 
exporting country verifies and approves commercial growing areas and 
maintains the list of all approved growers in that country. Anyone 
wishing to request this list should contact the NPPO of Vietnam for 
access.
    Another commenter asked how we will ensure that non-commercial 
producers are not selling their fruit to commercial producers in order 
to skirt the requirements of the regulations.
    APHIS and the NPPO of Vietnam will jointly develop an operational 
workplan. The workplan will incorporate details of traceability, 
treatment, and preclearance activities, including any inspection of 
articles that APHIS may perform before or after treatment. Traceability 
and verification that the fresh mango fruit was grown commercially will 
serve to prevent the scenario envisioned by the commenter.
    Fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be required to be treated with 
a minimum absorbed irradiation dose of 400 gray in accordance with 
Sec.  305.9 of the phytosanitary treatment regulations in 7 CFR part 
305. This is the established generic dose for all insect pests except 
pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera and mango fruit pathogens. 
Consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will also have to meet 
all other relevant requirements in part 305, including monitoring of 
treatment by APHIS inspectors.
    A commenter stated that irradiation is designed for certain insect 
species and may not be an effective treatment for the many other 
tropical fruit and citrus pests such as mites, as well as various 
pathogens, found in Vietnam.
    We agree with the commenter, which is why the systems approach 
includes other phytosanitary procedures designed to provide protection 
from pests against which irradiation is not effective.
    Another commenter was particularly concerned about peach fruit fly 
and pumpkin fruit fly and the potential for those pests to damage and 
infest domestic crops if they were to be accidentally introduced. The 
commenter inquired whether the required irradiation dose would kill all 
peach and pumpkin fruit flies.
    While no treatment can be guaranteed to be 100 percent effective, 
the absorbed dose of 400 gray has been shown to be effective in 
preventing insects from reproducing. Irradiation treatment does not 
kill insects but instead renders them sterile or incapable of 
completing development.
    One commenter stated that we should provide scientific evidence of 
how irradiation affects all the plant pests associated with fresh mango 
fruit from Vietnam.
    We would not include data on the ways in which a given 
phytosanitary treatment affects plant pests for which it is not an 
approved treatment. All the pests associated with fresh mango fruit 
from Vietnam are not meant to be mitigated by the listed irradiation 
treatment; instead the required treatment works in concert with the 
other aspects of the systems approach in order to provide phytosanitary 
security. For a complete discussion of the efficacy of irradiation on 
those plant pests for which it is an approved treatment, please refer 
to the proposed and final rules entitled ``Treatments for Fruits and 
Vegetables'' (70 FR 33857-33873, Docket No. 03-077-1 and 71 FR 4451-
4464, Docket No. 03-077-2).
    In order to mitigate the risks posed by Macrophoma mangiferae, we 
proposed three options: (1) The mangoes be treated with a broad-
spectrum post-harvest fungicidal dip, (2) the orchard of origin be 
inspected at a time prior to the beginning of harvest and be found free 
of Macrophoma mangiferae, or (3) fruit must originate from an orchard 
that was treated with a broad-spectrum fungicide during the growing 
season.
    One commenter wanted to know who will conduct orchard inspections.
    Inspections are performed by the NPPO of Vietnam or its designee. 
If necessary, based on noncompliance events or program audits conducted 
in accordance with APHIS' policy, APHIS will provide qualified 
personnel to work cooperatively with the NPPO of Vietnam and all other 
program participants to review and evaluate operations in the field and 
packinghouses, quarantine pest management and control activities, and 
other safeguarding measures.
    Another commenter asked when the broad-spectrum fungicide will be 
required to be applied during the growing season. The commenter also 
wanted to know whether the fungicide or fungicides are safe to use in 
conjunction with fresh mango fruit.
    Fungicides are applied at the recommended rate deemed effective 
against the target pest, and, as stated in the proposed rule, may be 
applied at any time during the growing season but prior to harvest. 
Fungicide safety in relation to the growing environment is subject to 
oversight by Vietnam's environmental authorities. The U.S. Food and 
Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and monitors the level of fungicide 
residues present on imported fruits and vegetables intended for human 
consumption.
    A commenter wanted to know how we will ensure that all necessary 
treatments are being applied prior to harvest and export.
    Our standard practice is to conduct site visits prior to the 
initiation of any import program. This is to ensure that all required 
mitigations are in place and the agreed upon operational workplan is 
being enforced. Subject matter experts inspect production sites and 
packinghouses and report their findings to APHIS. Furthermore, the 
operational workplan authorizes the regional APHIS International 
Services Director to conduct periodic audit visits of production sites.
    Another commenter inquired about the authorization process for 
inspectors in Vietnam, stating that we need to ensure that authorized 
inspectors have the relevant experience and a strong background in 
agriculture and food safety.
    All inspections will be performed by APHIS and the NPPO of Vietnam 
as part of the established preclearance program in Vietnam. The NPPO of 
Vietnam is responsible for recruiting, vetting, and training inspectors 
so that they possess the necessary skills to successfully perform their 
duties. Preclearance programs, including the program in Vietnam, are an 
important piece in our safeguarding strategy.
    Each consignment of fruit will have to be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Vietnam that contains 
an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was 
inspected and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae and Xanthomonas 
campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae. A commenter argued that APHIS's claim 
that inspection would mitigate the risks posed by Xanthomonas 
campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae since symptoms of Xanthomonas 
campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae are easily discernible to the naked 
eye was insufficient as some fruit might be asymptomatic. The commenter 
stated that testing may need to be done. Another commenter said that 
many of the listed pests are known to feed inside the fruit and have 
the potential to escape detection. The

[[Page 56534]]

commenter argued that these pests would be difficult to routinely 
detect by inspection alone either due to their feeding habits or life 
stages. A third commenter stated that, while the risks would be 
minimized, they would not be eliminated.
    We are confident that field inspection or treatment or packinghouse 
treatment and culling, in concert with the other requirements of the 
systems approach will be effective in mitigating phytosanitary risk. 
Any fruit that appeared asymptomatic, as posited by the commenters, 
would likely be in the early stages of infection. Given the transit 
time required to ship mangoes from Vietnam to the United States as well 
as mandatory port of entry inspections, it is likely that latent 
infection would be detected at this point in the importation process.
    Consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be subject to 
inspection at the port of entry. One commenter wanted to know if there 
is a defined set of requirements for halting the importation of fresh 
mango fruit from Vietnam based on the results of these inspections.
    Consignments of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam will be seized at 
the port of entry in the United States if they fail to meet the entry 
requirements set out in the regulations or if quarantine pests are 
found.
    Another commenter wanted to know the rate at which consignments 
will be inspected.
    All shipments are inspected at the first port of entry into the 
United States. Fruit sampling will be conducted either as part of the 
pre-clearance program in Vietnam or, for those shipments of fresh mango 
fruit that were not subject to the pre-clearance program, by U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Actual sampling rates vary. In a 
pre-clearance program, fruits must be sampled at a rate that produces a 
95 percent confidence of detecting a 2 percent or greater pest 
population for external pests and a 95 percent confidence of detecting 
a 10 percent or greater pest population for internal feeders. In the 
case of fresh mango fruit that were not subject to the pre-clearance 
program in Vietnam the sampling rate will be set by CBP inspectors. 
Generally speaking the CBP sampling rate is 2 percent of fruit in each 
consignment but may vary depending on various factors such as surface 
abnormalities noted during visual inspection.
    A commenter questioned whether we should raise the costs and 
workload of inspectors at the ports by increasing their inspection 
duties.
    APHIS has reviewed its resources and consulted with CBP and 
believes there is adequate coverage across the United States to ensure 
compliance with APHIS regulations, including the Vietnamese mango 
import program, as established by this rule.

Comments on Irradiation Treatment

    Two commenters expressed concern regarding the use of irradiation 
as a phytosanitary treatment, saying that the potential effects of 
irradiation on those who consume irradiated foods should be considered. 
One of the commenters was particularly worried about the effect of 
irradiation on the enzymes found in raw foods, arguing that the long-
term effects of irradiated food consumption have yet to be studied. The 
commenter argued that irradiated foods should be labeled accordingly.
    While the impact of food on human health is regulated and monitored 
by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, as such, these concerns 
are outside the scope of our authority, irradiated foods are wholesome 
and nutritious. Nutrient losses caused by irradiation are less than or 
about the same as losses caused by cooking and freezing.
    Public health agencies worldwide have evaluated the safety of food 
irradiation over the last 50 years and found it to be safe. In 37 
countries, more than 40 food products are irradiated. In some European 
countries, irradiation has been in use for decades. In the United 
States, the FDA regulates food irradiation. In addition, food 
irradiation has received official endorsement from the American Medical 
Association, the World Health Organization, and the International 
Atomic Energy Agency.

Comments on Additional Phytosanitary Measures

    One commenter suggested that all pre-harvest orchard inspections 
and all treatments be performed by APHIS inspectors in addition to the 
NPPO of Vietnam.
    APHIS will monitor and audit Vietnam's implementation of the 
systems approach for the importation of fresh mango fruit into the 
continental United States.
    The same commenter said we should add a methyl bromide treatment 
requirement for an additional layer of phytosanitary protection against 
Macrophoma mangiferae, mango black spot, and lepidopteran pests. 
Another commenter suggested that we include vapor heat as a treatment 
option.
    Methyl bromide fumigation is not necessary. Neither methyl bromide 
nor vapor heat are approved treatments for fresh mango fruit. For the 
reasons explained in the proposed rule, the PRA, the RMD, and this 
final rule, we consider the current provisions adequate to mitigate the 
risk associated with the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam.
    A commenter asked if it would be possible to observe inspectors at 
the port of entry to monitor implementation of the requirements.
    The inspectors referenced by the commenter are trained agricultural 
specialists and we trust their knowledge and experience in 
phytosanitary inspections. Allowing outside parties to observe or 
participate in inspection work would potentially impede the inspectors' 
ability to perform their duties in a thorough and efficient manner. 
Inspections are performed in restricted areas and no civilians are 
allowed entry.

Comments on Vietnamese Oversight

    Some commenters expressed concerns that the NPPO of Vietnam would 
not be able to adequately implement the required systems approach. One 
commenter asked how APHIS would enforce production standards in order 
to provide phytosanitary protection. Another commenter stated that the 
integrated pest management program in Vietnam is in its early stages 
and most farmers overdose their crops due to inexperience. The 
commenter said that this practice demonstrates a lack of concern for 
water and soil quality and suggests that the NPPO will not hold 
Vietnamese produce to a sufficiently high standard. A third commenter 
requested further information on how we will ensure that our standards 
for a pest free consignment are made clear.
    APHIS personnel in Vietnam will take part in the preclearance 
program we have established and ensure that our required mitigation 
measures are enforced, including those relating to the application of 
fungicides in the field. In addition, as previously stated, APHIS will 
monitor and audit Vietnam's implementation of the systems approach for 
the importation of fresh mango fruit into the continental United 
States. If we determine that the systems approach has not been fully 
implemented or maintained, we will take appropriate remedial action to 
ensure that the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam does not 
result in the dissemination of plant pests within the United States.
    One commenter voiced concern regarding potential transshipment of 
fresh mango fruit from neighboring countries. The commenter wanted to 
know how we will prevent fresh mango fruit from being shipped into 
Vietnam

[[Page 56535]]

and subsequently repackaged as a Vietnamese consignment.
    It is the responsibility of the NPPO of Vietnam to verify that 
production sites that grow articles for export and packinghouses that 
handle such articles are registered with the NPPO. Fresh mango fruit 
received and packed for export to the United States must be from 
approved orchards only and APHIS reserves the right to inspect 
packinghouses participating in the export program. Failure to adhere to 
program standards, including packaging transshipped fruits, may result 
in removal from the export program.

Comments on Economic Factors

    One commenter asked if the importation of fresh mango fruit from 
Vietnam would create economic benefits for special interests in either 
the United States or Vietnam. The commenter asked for assurance that 
the rule represents a good business deal for the United States.
    APHIS bases its decisionmaking process on evaluation and mitigation 
of phytosanitary risk and not on the economic and trade factors 
referenced by the commenter.
    Another commenter speculated that the work and resources required 
to allow for the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam would be 
better expended on a higher value commodity.
    Contrary to the commenter's assertion, the mechanisms, systems, and 
personnel for importing fruits and vegetables already exist. The 
addition of another commodity to the list of allowable imports, 
particularly as import levels are expected to be low, will not unduly 
tax the existing system.
    A commenter observed that the economic analysis that accompanied 
the proposed rule stated that the expected importation level (3,000 
metric tons [MT] annually) for fresh mango fruit from Vietnam was equal 
to the amount of fresh mango fruit produced domestically. The commenter 
questioned how the importation of an equal amount of fresh mango fruit 
to what is domestically grown represents a non-significant impact on 
U.S. mango producers.
    U.S. fresh mango fruit production levels are indeed low and are 
estimated at 3,000 MT annually. However, from 1997 to 2015, fresh mango 
fruit imports increased from 187,000 MT to 391,000 MT. While the 
quantity that is imported from Vietnam is equivalent to the quantity 
produced in the United States, these imports will simply help meet the 
growing demand for mangoes. Fresh mango fruit imports from Vietnam 
represent less than one percent of total fresh mango fruit imports.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without 
change.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13771 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final 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. This rule is not an Executive 
Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant 
under Executive Order 12866.
    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 
on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a 
link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    This rule is in response to a request from Vietnam to be allowed to 
export fresh mango fruit to the continental United States. The annual 
quantity that Vietnam expects to export to the United States, 3,000 MT, 
represents less than 1 percent of U.S. fresh mango fruit imports, which 
grew from 187,000 MT in 1997 to 391,000 MT in 2015. Primary sources are 
Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Guatemala. While mangoes are grown 
in Florida and Hawaii, with smaller quantities produced in California 
and Texas, U.S. annual production totals only about 3,000 MT.
    Most if not all U.S. mango farms and wholesalers are small 
entities. However, given the small quantity expected to be imported 
from Vietnam relative to current import levels, the rule will not have 
a significant impact on U.S. mango producers. While Vietnam's mango 
season runs from February to September, encompassing that of the United 
States (Florida's season is from May to September), U.S. importers may 
benefit marginally in having Vietnam as another source of fresh mangoes 
that will help meet the growing demand.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule allows fresh mango fruit to be imported into the 
continental United States from Vietnam. State and local laws and 
regulations regarding fresh mango fruit imported under this rule will 
be preempted while the fruit is in foreign commerce. Fresh fruits are 
generally imported for immediate distribution and sale to the consuming 
public, and 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. 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 final rule, which were 
filed under 0579-0452, have been submitted for approval to the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB). When OMB notifies us of its decision, 
if approval is denied, we will publish a document in the Federal 
Register providing notice of what action we plan to take.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the E-Government 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 rule, please contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, 
APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

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

    Accordingly, we are amending 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 and 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 
136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.


0
2. Add Sec.  319.56-81 to read as follows:


Sec.  319.56-81   Fresh mango from Vietnam.

    Fresh mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit may be imported into the

[[Page 56536]]

continental United States under the following conditions:
    (a) The fresh mango fruit may be imported in commercial 
consignments only.
    (b) The fresh mango fruit must be treated for plant pests of the 
class Insecta, except pupae and adults of the order Lepidoptera, with 
irradiation in accordance with part 305 of this chapter.
    (c) The risks presented by Macrophoma mangiferae must be addressed 
in one of the following ways:
    (1) The fresh mango fruit are treated with a broad-spectrum post-
harvest fungicidal dip; or
    (2) The orchard of origin is inspected prior to the beginning of 
harvest and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae; or
    (3) The fresh mango fruit must originate from an orchard that was 
treated with a broad-spectrum fungicide during the growing season.
    (d) Each consignment of fresh mango fruit must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Vietnam that contains 
an additional declaration stating that the fruit in the consignment was 
inspected and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae and Xanthomonas 
campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae and has been produced in accordance 
with the requirements of the systems approach in this section.
    (e) The fruit is subject to inspection at the port of entry for all 
quarantine pests of concern.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0452)


    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of November 2017.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-25764 Filed 11-28-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P