Decision To Authorize the Importation of Fresh Pepper Fruit From Colombia Into the Continental United States, 15877-15878 [2021-06169]

Download as PDF 15877 Notices Federal Register Vol. 86, No. 56 Thursday, March 25, 2021 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 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2018–0025] Decision To Authorize the Importation of Fresh Pepper Fruit From Colombia Into the Continental United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia into the continental United States. Based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, which we made available to the public for review and comment, we have determined that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia. SUMMARY: The articles covered by this notice may be authorized for importation after March 25, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, Imports, Regulations, and Manuals PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737–1231; (301) 851–2352. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Background Under the regulations in ‘‘Subpart L— Fruits and Vegetables’’ (7 CFR 319.56– 1 through 319.56–12, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:08 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 the world to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests. Section 319.56–4 of the regulations contains a performance-based process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis (PRA), can be safely imported subject to one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph (b) of that section. Under the process, APHIS proposes to authorize the importation of a fruit or vegetable into the United States if, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, we determine that the measures can mitigate the plant pest risk associated with the importation of that fruit or vegetable. APHIS then publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of that fruit or vegetable. In accordance with that process, we published a notice 1 in the Federal Register (84 FR 20322–20323, Docket No. APHIS–2018–0025) on May 9, 2019, in which we announced the availability, for review and comment, of a pest risk assessment (PRA) that evaluated the risks associated with the importation of fresh pepper fruit (Capsicum spp., specifically the domesticated species Capsicum annuum L., C. baccatum L., C. chinense Jacq., C. frutescens L., and C. pubescens Ruiz & Pav.) from Colombia and a risk management document (RMD) prepared to identify phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the commodity to mitigate the pest risk. We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending July 8, 2019. We received two comments by that date. They were from a State department of agriculture and a private citizen. They are discussed below. One commenter voiced concerns regarding the mitigation methods proposed for three insect species, Anastrepha fraterculus, Ceratitis capitata, and Neoleucinodes elegantalis, that the PRA said could follow the pathway on peppers from Colombia. While our RMD stated that N. elegantalis leaves easily identifiable bore hole, the commenter believes the 1 To view the notice, PRA, risk management document, economic evaluation assessment, and the comments that we received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, and enter APHIS–2018–0025 in the Search field. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 N. elegantalis species of fruit fly may leave inconspicuous holes in the fruit’s leaves despite the determination that the holes are easily identifiable. In regards to the A. fraterculus and C. capitata species, the commenter believed, as internal fruit feeders, the pests could potentially infest a greenhouse and remain undetected. APHIS has determined the proposed risk mitigation procedures in the RMD and notice are sufficient for the aforementioned pests and will remove the pests from the pathway of Colombia peppers. We consider the mitigation of a pest-exclusionary structure to be an absolute barrier to all of the pests in conjunction with safeguards such as: Monthly visits and inspections to the production places, pest-exclusionary greenhouses and trapping programs at production places, and halting production if a greenhouse is infested. Furthermore, APHIS prohibits a greenhouse from exporting, if any fruit fly is detected, until the risk is mitigated (which we determine). Lastly, APHIS agrees with the commenter that internally feeding insects, such as Neolucinodes elegantalis, may leave inconspicuous holes or damage; however, it is unlikely that Neolucinodes elegantalis populations will become established inside of pestexclusionary structures. In the unlikely event they are, U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspections at the port of entry coupled with possible emergence during transit provide additional safeguards. Upon exiting a secure greenhouse, peppers must be safeguarded by intact, insect-proof mesh screens or plastic tarpaulins in transit to the packinghouse, while awaiting packing, and when they arrive into the continental United States; the consignment will be denied entry if those measures are not followed. The second comment was generally favorable toward our proposed decision but asked if peppers from the Dominican Republic could be authorized importation into the United States, as well, subject to a systems approach. However, APHIS already has authorized the importation of peppers from the Dominican Republic. The conditions for their importation are found in APHIS’ Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR) database at https://epermits.aphis.usda.gov/ manual/index.cfm?REGION_ID=214& E:\FR\FM\25MRN1.SGM 25MRN1 15878 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Notices NEW=1&ACTION=countrySumm CommPI. Lastly, in the initial notice, we did not specify that the peppers must be commercial consignments only. However, Colombia’s request was for commercially produced and shipped peppers, as reflected in pages 2 to 4 of the PRA; accordingly, we will only issues permits for commercial consignments. Therefore, in accordance with the regulations in § 319.56–4(c)(3)(iii), we are announcing our decision to authorize the importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia into the continental United States subject to the following phytosanitary measures, which will be listed in FAVIR, available at https://epermits.aphis.usda.gov/ manual: • The peppers must be grown in approved places of production registered with the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Colombia. • Pepper places of production must consist of pest-exclusionary structures. • The places of production must contain traps for the detection of Mediterranean fruit fly (C. capitata (Wiedemann)) and South American fruit fly (A. fraterculus (Wiedemann)) both within and around the structures. • The places of production must be inspected prior to harvest for N. elegantalis (Guene´e), a fruit boring moth; Copitarsia decolora (Guene´e), a moth; and Puccinia pampeana Speg., a pathogenic fungus that causes pepper and green pepper rust. • If any of these pests, or other quarantine pests, are found to be generally infesting or infecting the places of production, the NPPO of Colombia must immediately prohibit that production site from exporting peppers to the continental United States and notify APHIS of the action. The prohibition will remain in effect until the Colombian NPPO and APHIS agree that the risk has been mitigated. • The Colombian NPPO must maintain records of trap placement, checking of traps, and any quarantine pest captures. The Colombian NPPO must maintain an APHIS-approved quality control program to monitor or audit the trapping program. The trapping records must be maintained for APHIS review. • The peppers must be packed within 24 hours of harvest in a pestexclusionary packinghouse. • The peppers must be safeguarded by an insect-proof mesh screen or plastic tarpaulin while in transit to the packinghouse and while awaiting packing. The peppers must be packed in VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:08 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 insect-proof cartons or containers, or covered with insect-proof mesh or plastic tarpaulin, for transit into the continental United States. These safeguards must remain intact until arrival in the continental United States or the consignment will be denied entry into the continental United States. • During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting peppers to the continental United States, the packinghouse may only accept peppers from registered approved places of production. • Each consignment of peppers must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued by the Colombian NPPO stating that the fruit in the consignment has been produced in accordance with 7 CFR 319.56–4. Consignments must be packed in cartons that are labeled with the identity of the place of production. • Consignments of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia are subject to inspection at the port of entry in the continental United States. • Consignments are not for importation or distribution into or within Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. Territory. • Commercial consignments only. In addition to these specific measures, fresh peppers from Colombia will be subject to the general requirements listed in § 319.56–3 that are applicable to the importation of all fruits and vegetables. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the reporting and recordkeeping requirements included in this notice are covered under the Office of Management and Budget control number 0579–0049. The estimated annual burden on respondents is 644.10 hours, which will be added to 0579– 0049 in the next quarterly update. 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 notice, please contact Mr. Joseph Moxey, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851–2483. Congressional Review Act Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this action as not a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1633, 7701–7772, and 7781–7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of March 2021. Mark Davidson, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2021–06169 Filed 3–24–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2020–0104] Addition of India to the List of Regions Affected With African Swine Fever Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public that we have added India to the list of regions that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service considers to be affected with African swine fever (ASF). We have taken this action because of confirmation of ASF in India. DATES: India was added to the APHIS list of regions considered affected with ASF on May 13, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Ingrid Kotowski, Regionalization Evaluation Services, Veterinary Services, APHIS, 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606; (919) 855–7732; email: AskRegionalization@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of specified animals and animal products to prevent introduction into the United States of various animal diseases, including African swine fever (ASF). ASF is a highly contagious animal disease of wild and domestic swine. It can spread rapidly in swine populations with extremely high rates of morbidity and mortality. A list of regions where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist is maintained on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/ aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animaland-animal-product-importinformation/animal-health-status-ofregions/. This list is referenced in § 94.8(a)(2) of the regulations. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25MRN1.SGM 25MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 56 (Thursday, March 25, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15877-15878]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06169]


========================================================================
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. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / 
Notices

[[Page 15877]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2018-0025]


Decision To Authorize the Importation of Fresh Pepper Fruit From 
Colombia Into the Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the 
importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia into the continental 
United States. Based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, which we 
made available to the public for review and comment, we have determined 
that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures 
will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or 
disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh 
pepper fruit from Colombia.

DATES: The articles covered by this notice may be authorized for 
importation after March 25, 2021.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under the regulations in ``Subpart L--Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 
CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-12, referred to below as the regulations), 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United 
States Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation 
of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of 
the world to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests.
    Section 319.56-4 of the regulations contains a performance-based 
process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the 
findings of a pest risk analysis (PRA), can be safely imported subject 
to one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in 
paragraph (b) of that section. Under the process, APHIS proposes to 
authorize the importation of a fruit or vegetable into the United 
States if, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, we determine 
that the measures can mitigate the plant pest risk associated with the 
importation of that fruit or vegetable. APHIS then publishes a notice 
in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the pest risk 
analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of 
that fruit or vegetable.
    In accordance with that process, we published a notice \1\ in the 
Federal Register (84 FR 20322-20323, Docket No. APHIS-2018-0025) on May 
9, 2019, in which we announced the availability, for review and 
comment, of a pest risk assessment (PRA) that evaluated the risks 
associated with the importation of fresh pepper fruit (Capsicum spp., 
specifically the domesticated species Capsicum annuum L., C. baccatum 
L., C. chinense Jacq., C. frutescens L., and C. pubescens Ruiz & Pav.) 
from Colombia and a risk management document (RMD) prepared to identify 
phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the commodity to 
mitigate the pest risk.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the notice, PRA, risk management document, economic 
evaluation assessment, and the comments that we received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov, and enter APHIS-2018-0025 in the Search 
field.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending 
July 8, 2019. We received two comments by that date. They were from a 
State department of agriculture and a private citizen. They are 
discussed below.
    One commenter voiced concerns regarding the mitigation methods 
proposed for three insect species, Anastrepha fraterculus, Ceratitis 
capitata, and Neoleucinodes elegantalis, that the PRA said could follow 
the pathway on peppers from Colombia. While our RMD stated that N. 
elegantalis leaves easily identifiable bore hole, the commenter 
believes the N. elegantalis species of fruit fly may leave 
inconspicuous holes in the fruit's leaves despite the determination 
that the holes are easily identifiable. In regards to the A. 
fraterculus and C. capitata species, the commenter believed, as 
internal fruit feeders, the pests could potentially infest a greenhouse 
and remain undetected.
    APHIS has determined the proposed risk mitigation procedures in the 
RMD and notice are sufficient for the aforementioned pests and will 
remove the pests from the pathway of Colombia peppers. We consider the 
mitigation of a pest-exclusionary structure to be an absolute barrier 
to all of the pests in conjunction with safeguards such as: Monthly 
visits and inspections to the production places, pest-exclusionary 
greenhouses and trapping programs at production places, and halting 
production if a greenhouse is infested. Furthermore, APHIS prohibits a 
greenhouse from exporting, if any fruit fly is detected, until the risk 
is mitigated (which we determine). Lastly, APHIS agrees with the 
commenter that internally feeding insects, such as Neolucinodes 
elegantalis, may leave inconspicuous holes or damage; however, it is 
unlikely that Neolucinodes elegantalis populations will become 
established inside of pest-exclusionary structures. In the unlikely 
event they are, U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspections at the 
port of entry coupled with possible emergence during transit provide 
additional safeguards. Upon exiting a secure greenhouse, peppers must 
be safeguarded by intact, insect-proof mesh screens or plastic 
tarpaulins in transit to the packinghouse, while awaiting packing, and 
when they arrive into the continental United States; the consignment 
will be denied entry if those measures are not followed.
    The second comment was generally favorable toward our proposed 
decision but asked if peppers from the Dominican Republic could be 
authorized importation into the United States, as well, subject to a 
systems approach. However, APHIS already has authorized the importation 
of peppers from the Dominican Republic. The conditions for their 
importation are found in APHIS' Fruits and Vegetables Import 
Requirements (FAVIR) database at https://epermits.aphis.usda.gov/manual/index.cfm?REGION_ID=214&

[[Page 15878]]

NEW=1&ACTION=countrySummCommPI.
    Lastly, in the initial notice, we did not specify that the peppers 
must be commercial consignments only. However, Colombia's request was 
for commercially produced and shipped peppers, as reflected in pages 2 
to 4 of the PRA; accordingly, we will only issues permits for 
commercial consignments.
    Therefore, in accordance with the regulations in Sec.  319.56-
4(c)(3)(iii), we are announcing our decision to authorize the 
importation of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia into the continental 
United States subject to the following phytosanitary measures, which 
will be listed in FAVIR, available at https://epermits.aphis.usda.gov/manual:
     The peppers must be grown in approved places of production 
registered with the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of 
Colombia.
     Pepper places of production must consist of pest-
exclusionary structures.
     The places of production must contain traps for the 
detection of Mediterranean fruit fly (C. capitata (Wiedemann)) and 
South American fruit fly (A. fraterculus (Wiedemann)) both within and 
around the structures.
     The places of production must be inspected prior to 
harvest for N. elegantalis (Guen[eacute]e), a fruit boring moth; 
Copitarsia decolora (Guen[eacute]e), a moth; and Puccinia pampeana 
Speg., a pathogenic fungus that causes pepper and green pepper rust.
     If any of these pests, or other quarantine pests, are 
found to be generally infesting or infecting the places of production, 
the NPPO of Colombia must immediately prohibit that production site 
from exporting peppers to the continental United States and notify 
APHIS of the action. The prohibition will remain in effect until the 
Colombian NPPO and APHIS agree that the risk has been mitigated.
     The Colombian NPPO must maintain records of trap 
placement, checking of traps, and any quarantine pest captures. The 
Colombian NPPO must maintain an APHIS-approved quality control program 
to monitor or audit the trapping program. The trapping records must be 
maintained for APHIS review.
     The peppers must be packed within 24 hours of harvest in a 
pest-exclusionary packinghouse.
     The peppers must be safeguarded by an insect-proof mesh 
screen or plastic tarpaulin while in transit to the packinghouse and 
while awaiting packing. The peppers must be packed in insect-proof 
cartons or containers, or covered with insect-proof mesh or plastic 
tarpaulin, for transit into the continental United States. These 
safeguards must remain intact until arrival in the continental United 
States or the consignment will be denied entry into the continental 
United States.
     During the time the packinghouse is in use for exporting 
peppers to the continental United States, the packinghouse may only 
accept peppers from registered approved places of production.
     Each consignment of peppers must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate of inspection issued by the Colombian NPPO 
stating that the fruit in the consignment has been produced in 
accordance with 7 CFR 319.56-4. Consignments must be packed in cartons 
that are labeled with the identity of the place of production.
     Consignments of fresh pepper fruit from Colombia are 
subject to inspection at the port of entry in the continental United 
States.
     Consignments are not for importation or distribution into 
or within Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. Territory.
     Commercial consignments only.
    In addition to these specific measures, fresh peppers from Colombia 
will be subject to the general requirements listed in Sec.  319.56-3 
that are applicable to the importation of all fruits and vegetables.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), the reporting and recordkeeping requirements included in 
this notice are covered under the Office of Management and Budget 
control number 0579-0049. The estimated annual burden on respondents is 
644.10 hours, which will be added to 0579-0049 in the next quarterly 
update.

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 notice, please contact Mr. Joseph Moxey, 
APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483.

Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this action 
as not a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1633, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 
136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of March 2021.
Mark Davidson,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-06169 Filed 3-24-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P