We are proposing to amend our regulations governing the importations of fruits and vegetables by broadening our existing performance standard to provide for approval of all new fruits and vegetables for importation into the United States using a notice-based process. We are also proposing to remove the region- or commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements currently found in these regulations. Likewise, we are proposing an equivalent revision of the performance standard in our regulations governing the interstate movements of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii and the U.S. territories (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and the removal of commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements from those regulations. This proposal would allow for the approval of requests to authorize the importation or interstate movement of new fruits and vegetables in a manner that enables a more flexible and responsive regulatory approach to evolving pest situations in both the United States and exporting countries. It would not however, alter the science-based process in which the risk associated with importation or interstate movement of a given fruit or vegetable is evaluated or the manner in which risks associated with the importation or interstate movement of a fruit or vegetable are mitigated.
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