The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to restructure our regulations governing the importation of plants for planting, commonly known as the Q37 regulations. In the proposed structure, restrictions on the importation of specific types of plants for planting would no longer be found in the regulations, but instead would be found in the Plants for Planting Manual. We would change those restrictions after taking public comment through notices published in the Federal Register. As part of this restructuring, we would group together restrictions in the plants for planting regulations that apply to the importation of most or all plants for planting, and we would add general requirements for the development of integrated pest risk management measures that we would use to mitigate the risk associated with the importation of a specific type of plants for planting. We would also amend our foreign quarantine regulations to remove various provisions regarding the importation of specific types of plants for planting that are not currently subject to the general plants for planting regulations; these provisions would also be found in the Plants for Planting Manual. This action would not make any major changes to the restrictions that currently apply to the importation of plants for planting. These changes would make restrictions on the importation of specific types of plants for planting easier for readers to find and less cumbersome for us to change.
On Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, APHIS presented an informational overview of the proposed rule and answered questions regarding the content of the rule.
Federal Register Publications
The reopened comment period for the proposed rule closed on January 30, 2014. During the reopened comment period we specifically requested feedback on the differences commenters perceived between International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 36 and the North American Plant Protection Organization's Regional Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 24, and reasons to prefer one over the other as a basis for such measures; and how to address the risk posed when plant brokers purchase and move plants for planting after they leave their place of production and before they are exported to the United States. We are currently reviewing the comments and will publish a final rule with our responses to stakeholders comments and feedback.