Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
APHIS documents published in the
The regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56 through 319.56-8, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed within the UnitedStates.
Section 319.56-2ee of the regulations sets out the conditions for importing Ya variety pears produced in approved growing areas in the Hebei and Shadong Provinces of the People's Republic of China. The safeguards specified in the regulations include growing the pears in registered orchards only, field inspections for pests during the growing season, applying pesticides to reduce the pest populations, bagging the pears on the trees, and inspecting the fruit after the harvest. In addition, the regulations require that the Ya pears undergo cold treatment for Oriental fruit fly in accordance with the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual, which is incorporated by reference at 7 CFR 300.1.
The Oriental fruit fly,
In March 2000, the People's Republic of China submitted fruit fly trapping data for 1997 through 1999 that showed no occurrence of Oriental fruit fly in Hebei Province. Further data have continued to indicate thatOriental fruit fly is not present in Hebei Province. (More information about these data may be obtained from the person listed under
As noted, Ya pears may also be imported from Shadong Province under the regulations in § 319.56-2ee. We would continue to require that Ya pears from Shadong Province be cold treated, as China has not offered evidence demonstrating that Oriental fruit fly is not present in ShadongProvince. If, in the future, China provides sufficient evidence to show that Oriental fruit fly is not present in Shadong Province, we would consider removing the cold treatment requirement for Ya pears produced in Shadong Province. Therefore, we propose to amend § 319.56-2ee (b) to indicate that only pears from Shadong Province would be required to undergo cold treatment before importation into the United States.
We also propose to amend § 319.56-2ee (c), which currently indicates that each shipment of pears must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture stating that the conditions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of § 319.56-2ee have been met. Because Ya
This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. The 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 proposed rule would remove the cold treatment requirement for Ya pears imported from Hebei Province in the People's Republic of China. This proposal is in response to data from the plant protection organization of the People's Republic of China indicating that Oriental fruit fly does not occur in Hebei Province and the fact that climatic conditions do not favor the establishment of Oriental fruit fly in Hebei Province.
The rapid growth in Ya pear imports by the United States from China is evident in Table 1. Imports increased from about 329,000 kilograms in 1998 to over 6.57 million kilograms in 2001. The estimated cost savings discussed in this analysis are based on the import quantity and value for 2001.
We expect that removing the cold treatment requirement for Ya pears imported from Hebei Province would reduce shipping costs. The magnitude of the reduction would depend on transport costs with and without the cold treatment requirement. While refrigeration costs would still be borne by importers in the absence of the cold treatment requirement, the costs required to maintain, monitor, and report cold treatment temperatures during transport would all be saved.
The cold treatment schedule for Ya pears from China, as specified in the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual, is T107-f. The number of days required for cold treatment en route under the schedule—10 to 14 days, depending on the treatment temperature—is less than the number of days it takes to ship Ya pears to the United States from China. No reduction in shipping time, and thus no associated cost savings, is expected to result from the proposed removal of the cold treatment requirement.
A recent analysis of cold treatment requirements for the Mediterranean fruit fly at U.S. ports, used here as a proxy for cold treatment costs en route, indicated a cost of 50 cents per day per pallet.
Assuming that boxing and pallet loading capacities are similar to those of domestic pears, a box of Ya pears would contain about 20 kilograms and a pallet would contain 49 boxes.
Ya pears are not produced in the United States, and Ya pears are not a substitute for domestically produced pears. Thus, this proposed rule is not expected to affect the U.S. domestic pear industry.
Under the criteria established by the Small Business Administration, fruit importers (North American Industry Classification System code 422480, “Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers”) must have 100 or fewer employees to be considered small entities. At least some U.S. importers of Ya pears from Hebei Province in China may be small entities, but the expected economic effect of no longer needing to meet cold treatment requirements is minor.
Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.
This proposed rule contains no new information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501
Bees, Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Honey, Imports, Logs, Nursery Stock, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rice, Vegetables.
Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows:
1. The authority citation for part 319 would be revised to read as follows:
7 U.S.C. 450, 7711-7714, 7718, 7731, 7732, and 7751-7754; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.
2. In § 319.56-2ee, paragraphs (b) and (c) would be revised to read as follows:
(c) Each shipment of pears must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture stating that the conditions of this section have been met.