Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Wooden Handicrafts From China
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of wooden handicrafts from China.
Lacey Act Implementation Plan; Definitions for Exempt and Regulated Articles
We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule that established definitions for the terms common cultivar and common food crop and several related terms. The 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act expanded its protections to a broader range of plant species; extended its reach to encompass products, including timber, that derive from illegally harvested plants; and required that importers submit a declaration at the time of importation for certain plants and plant products. Common cultivars and common food crops are among the categorical exclusions to the provisions of the Act. The Act does not define the terms common cultivar and common food crop but instead gives authority to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior to define these terms by regulation. The interim final rule specifically requested comment on definitions of two related terms: Commercial scale and tree. This document responds to comments we received on those definitions.
Black Stem Rust; Additions of Rust-Resistant Species and Varieties
We are amending the black stem rust quarantine and regulations by adding nine varieties to the list of rust-resistant Berberis species and varieties. This action will allow for the interstate movement of these newly developed varieties without unnecessary restrictions.
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.
Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select Agent and Toxin List; Amendments to the Select Agent and Toxin Regulations
In accordance with the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002, we are proposing to amend and republish the list of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products. The Act requires the biennial review and republication of the list of select agents and toxins and the revision of the list as necessary. This action would implement the findings of the fourth biennial review of the list. In addition, we are proposing several amendments to the regulations, including the addition of provisions to address the inactivation of select agents, provisions addressing biocontainment and biosafety, and clarification of regulatory language concerning security, training, incident response, and records. These changes would increase the usability of the select agent regulations as well as provide for enhanced program oversight.
The Scotts Co. and Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Creeping Bentgrass Genetically Engineered for Resistance to Glyphosate
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has received a petition from the Scotts Company and Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status of creeping bentgrass designated as event ASR368, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. The petition has been submitted in accordance with our regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. We are making the Scotts Company and Monsanto Company petition available for review and comment to help us identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition.