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Regulatory Administrative Process

After completion of the risk analysis process, APHIS initiates the regulatory administrative process. This process begins when we publish an initial notice or proposed rule in the Federal Register to announce that a risk assessment, pest list, risk management document, and supporting environmental documentation are available for public comment.  APHIS uses notices for fruits and vegetables and plants for planting, and proposed rules for all other plants and plant products.

If the evaluated fruit or vegetable meets the criteria in 7 CFR part 319.56-4, APHIS may publish a notice. On July 18, 2007, APHIS implemented a “notice-based” process that allows the Agency to authorize certain imports without rulemaking. On September 14, 2018, APHIS expanded the “notice-based” process to include all fruits and vegetables for which effective mitigations have been determined. These designated phytosanitary measures are described in 7 CFR 319.56-4 (follow the prompts to 319.56-4).

APHIS Notice Development and Clearance Process

[Flowchart]

  1. APHIS drafts regulatory workplan, which includes National Environmental Policy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act evaluations. 
  2. APHIS drafts initial notice, which then goes through legal review.    
  3. Initial Notice is reviewed by PPQ Deputy Administrator, APHIS Administrator and USDA appointed officials.
  4. Publication of the Proposed Notice for 60 days in the Federal Register
  5. APHIS reviews comments and prepare response.
  6. APHIS drafts final notice, which then goes through legal review.
  7. Final Notice is reviewed by PPQ Deputy Administrator, APHIS Administrator and USDA appointed official.
  8. APHIS publishes Final Notice in the Federal Register.

APHIS makes its risk analyses and accompanying documentation available for public comment by publishing an initial notice or proposed rule in the Federal Register. Notices and rules are available for public comment for at least 60 days.

You can access the notices, rules, and supporting documents we make available for public comment on-line at Regulations.gov. You can send your comments to our notices and rules directly to Regulations.gov following the instructions provided on the web site.

When the comment period for a notice, APHIS staff review all comments received by the due date and respond to them in a second notice that we publish in the Federal Register. The resultant notice will include an effective date, which is the date at which the commodity is approved for importation into the United States under the described requirements. (See Approved Commodities web page.)

The effective date of the final notice or rule is the date the commodity is approved for importation into the United States under the described requirements. Please note that the country of origin may be required to meet or establish certain requirements prior to allowing importations of that commodity into the United States. Until such requirements are established, the commodity will not be allowed into the United States.

To view requirements for commodities that are approved for importation, please see the Approved Commodities section of this site.

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