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

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Restructuring Plants for Planting Regulations, FAQ's

Why is APHIS restructuring the plants for planting import regulations?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule to restructure its plants for planting regulations. Specifically, APHIS is consolidating general requirements for importing plants for planting in one place in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  In addition, we are posting import restrictions for specific types of plants for planting in the Plants for Planting Manual, instead of codifying them in the CFR. APHIS is taking these actions to make the regulations less confusing and establish the Plants for Planting Manual as a single resource for information about the importation of plants for planting for stakeholders.  This will make the information and updates easier to find for stakeholders while also making it less cumbersome for APHIS to change any restrictions.

When will the final rule take effect?

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on March 19, 2018 and will be effective 30 days after publication, on April 18, 2018. The updated Plants for Planting Manual will be published on April 18, 2018 to coincide with the effective date of the final rule.

Where will the updated Plants for Planting Manual be located?

The updated Plants for Planting Manual will be posted on the APHIS web site.

Does the final rule change current import restrictions for plants for planting?

No. This action does not make any changes to current import restrictions for plants for planting. However, by moving import restrictions into the Plants for Planting Manual, the rule establishes the Plants for Planting Manual as a single resource for information about importing plants for planting, making it easier to find, and to comply with the regulations.

How will APHIS make changes to import restrictions for plants for planting moving forward?

This restructure establishes a streamlined process for making changes to import restrictions that includes taking public comment and publishing notices in the Federal Register, rather than publishing proposed and final rules.
This approach will reduce the time it takes to update import restrictions.

What specific changes does the final rule make to the plants for planting import regulations?

The final rule makes the following changes:

  • Consolidates foreign quarantine requirements for importing plants for planting into one subpart in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR 319 Subpart - Plants for Planting)
  • Adds most of the currently  prohibited plants for planting to the Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA) list
  •  Requires a “Phytosanitary Certificate” for all imported propagative plant material including seed (with some exemptions)
  • Characterizes certain prohibitions as restrictions and moves them to the Plants for Planting Manual
  • Moves lists of approved growing media, packing materials, and ports of entry, and other approved items from 7 CFR 319 to the Plants for Planting Manual
  • Moves general requirements and specific restrictions on imports of specific types of plants for planting from 7 CFR 319 to the Plants for Planting Manual
  • Establishes a framework for using Integrated Pest Risk Management Measures (IPRMM)
  • Adds Postentry quarantine program requirements to the Plants for Planting Manual
  • Adopts a streamlined notice-based process for making changes to the plants for planting import restrictions that will be listed in the Plants for Planting Manual

Does the consolidation of other subparts in the final rule change the general import requirements for plants for planting?

Yes. All plants for planting, including seed, intended for propagation that are imported into the United States must now be accompanied by a “Phytosanitary Certificate” or equivalent documentation agreed upon by APHIS and the exporting country’s National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO). This includes plants for planting, such as corn or wheat seeds, which were previously allowed to enter the United States without a phytosanitary certificate.

Which subparts in 7 CFR 319 will be affected by this change?

The final rule moves plants for planting import provisions found in the following commodity-specific sections of 7 CFR 319 to the Subpart - Plants for Planting. These taxa will now require a phytosanitary certificate for propagative material, including seeds.

  • 7 CFR 319.8, Foreign Cotton and Covers
  • 7 CFR 319.15, Sugarcane
  • 7 CFR 319.19, Citrus Canker and Other Citrus Diseases (will be removed)
  • 7 CFR 319.24, Corn Diseases
  • 7 CFR 319.41, Indian Corn or Maize, Broomcorn and Related Plants
  • 7 CFR 319.55, Rice
  • 7 CFR 319.59, Wheat Diseases
  • 7 CFR 319.73, Coffee
  • 7 CFR 319.75, Khapra Beetle
  • 7 CFR 319.77, Gypsy Moth Host Material from Canada

Stakeholders can find a detailed table on the Q37 Restructure web page that shows where specific information was located before the restructure, and where it can be found when the final rule takes effect.

Will there be changes to the existing numbering of the subparts of  7 CFR 319 Subpart - Plants for Planting after the restructure?

Yes. With the restructure we will refer to the Plants for Planting import regulations as 7 CFR 319 Subpart - Plants for Planting, and not 7CFR 319.37.

319.37-1 Notice of quarantine.
319.37-2 Definitions.
319.37-3 General restrictions on the importation of plants for planting.
319.37-4 Taxa of plants for planting whose importation is not authorized pending pest risk analysis.
319.37-5 Permits.
319.37-6 Phytosanitary certificates.
319.37-7 Marking and identity.
319.37-8 Ports of entry:  Approved ports, notification of arrival, inspection, and refusal of entry.
319.37-9 Treatment of plants for planting; costs and charges for inspection and treatment; treatments applied outside the United States.
319.37-10 Growing media.
319.37-11 Packing and approved packing material.
319-37-12 through 319.37-19 (reserved for future use).
319.37-20 Restrictions on the importation of specific types of plants for planting.
319.37-21 Integrated Pest Risk Management measures (IPRRM).
319.37-22 Trust fund agreements.
319.37-23 Postentry quarantine.

Who do I contact if I need more information?

Please call PPQ Customer Service at (301) 851-2046 or visit the following APHIS Website's for additional information. 

If you have any questions about this rule, please email: PPQ.Q37.Questions@aphis.usda.gov

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