Importation of Hass Avocados From Colombia
We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, Hass avocados from Colombia would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would include requirements for importation in commercial consignments; registration and monitoring of places of production and packinghouses; pest-free places of production; grove sanitation, monitoring, and pest control practices; lot identification; and inspection for quarantine pests by the Colombian national plant protection organization. Additionally, avocados from Colombia would be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the avocados have been produced in accordance with the proposed requirements. This action would allow for the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests.
Importation of Orchids in Growing Media From Taiwan
We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation of plants for planting to add orchid plants of the genus Dendrobium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported into the United States in an approved growing medium, subject to specified growing, inspection, and certification requirements. We are taking this action in response to a request from the Taiwanese Government and after determining that the plants could be imported, under certain conditions, without resulting in the introduction into, or the dissemination within, the United States of a plant pest or noxious weed.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.75 to $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled under the marketing order. The Committee, which is composed of growers and handlers, locally administers the order which regulates the handling of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon apricot handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Amendment to the Designation of North Dakota Grain Inspection
North Dakota Grain Inspection Service, Inc.'s (North Dakota) geographical territory is amended to include the area previously designated to Columbus Grain Inspection, Inc. (Columbus). North Dakota purchased Columbus effective July 11, 2016, and met the requirements specified in the agency's General Regulations. The designation of North Dakota is from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020.
Amendment to the Designation of Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection
Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection, Inc.'s (Mid-Iowa) geographical territory is amended to include the area previously designated to John R. McCrea Agency, Inc. (McCrea). Mid-Iowa purchased McCrea effective September 1, 2016, and met the requirements specified in GIPSA's General Regulations. The designation of Mid-Iowa is from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2020.