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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Proposes to Make Permitting Regulations for Plants and Plant Products Easier to Follow

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Tanya Espinosa, (301) 851-4092

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is advising the public of a proposal to consolidate regulations for a wide variety of regulated plant and plant products listed throughout the import quarantine regulations and inviting public comment. 

This proposal will consolidate regulations concerning the importation of plant and plant products that are currently listed in the import quarantine regulations into one section, 7CFR 319-7.  Requirements for applying for a permit for a plant or plant product, as well as how permits are approved, denied and revoked will also be listed for clarification and transparency.  This will harmonize the permit process and make permitting regulations easier for Stakeholders to follow.

The proposed rule states uses for discretionary authority that APHIS has always had and exercised under the Plant Protection Act.  This allows for the consideration of applicant’s compliance history before issuing permits and to consider State requests to limit movement of articles.

This proposal will require that all individuals who hold permits have and maintain a U.S. residence.  If a corporation, institution, association or other legal entity holds a permit, they must designate an individual for service of process and maintain an address or business office in the United States. This will help with compliance with U.S. regulations and enforcement actions when necessary. 

This proposal is published in today’s Federal Register.  Consideration will be given to comments received on or before August 13, 2013.  Please send your postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0085, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.  If you wish to submit a comment using the Internet go to the Federal eRulemaking portal here.

Comments are posted on the website and may also be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.

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