Importation of Fresh Apple and Pear Fruit Into the Continental United States From Certain Countries in the European Union
We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation of fresh apple and pear fruit from certain countries in the European Union into the continental United States, provided that the fruit is produced in accordance with a systems approach, as an alternative to importation under the current preclearance program. The proposed systems approach for fresh apple and pear fruit consists of production site and packinghouse registration, inspection of registered production sites twice a season, production site pest control and sanitation, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, sampling, cold treatment against Mediterranean fruit fly in countries where the pest is known to occur, a phytosanitary certificate, port of entry inspection, and importation as commercial consignments only. Fresh apple and pear fruit that does not meet the requirements in the systems approach would continue to be allowed to be imported into the United States subject to the conditions of the preclearance program. This action would provide an alternative for the importation of fresh apple and pear fruit from certain countries in the European Union while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States.
Exportation of Live Animals, Hatching Eggs, and Animal Germplasm From the United States
We are revising the regulations pertaining to the exportation of livestock from the United States. Among other things, we are removing most of the requirements for export health certifications, tests, and treatments from the regulations, and instead directing exporters to follow the requirements of the importing country regarding such processes and procedures. We are retaining only those export health certification, testing, and treatment requirements that we consider necessary to have assurances regarding the health and welfare of livestock exported from the United States. We also are allowing pre- export inspection of livestock to occur at facilities other than an export inspection facility associated with the port of embarkation, under certain circumstances, and replacing specific standards for export inspection facilities and ocean vessels with performance standards. These changes will provide exporters and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) with more flexibility in arranging for the export of livestock from the United States while continuing to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock. Additionally, if APHIS knows that an importing country requires an export health certificate endorsed by the competent veterinary authority of the United States for any animal other than livestock, including pets, or for any hatching eggs or animal germplasm, we are requiring that the animal, hatching eggs, or animal germplasm have such a health certificate to be eligible for export from the United States. This change will help ensure that all animals, hatching eggs, and animal germplasm exported from the United States meet the health requirements of the countries to which they are destined. Finally, we are making editorial amendments to the regulations to make them easier to understand and comply with.