Under the Plant Protection Act (PPA), States are prohibited from regulating in foreign commerce any plant pests, plants, plant products, or other articles to control, eradicate, or prevent the introduction or dissemination of a plant pest or a noxious weed. However, individual states may establish plant health (phytosanitary) regulations and procedures to address pests of concern to them when those pests are moving in interstate commerce as long as the state’s regulations are consistent with and do not exceed any PPA regulations.
Through the FRSMP program, states may petition APHIS to recognize state-managed plant health programs. Federal recognition will justify actions ordered by APHIS officials to mitigate the risk when a pest covered under a FRSMP program is moving in foreign commerce and intercepted at a U.S port of entry.
The FRSMP program creates two processes. The first process allows APHIS to grant Federal recognition to qualifying state-managed pest eradication, control, and exclusion programs. For a plant pest to be considered for a FRSMP program, it must be one that is not regulated by APHIS or one that APHIS is considering to no longer regulate under a federal program, and it must be of limited distribution within the United States. Federal recognition will justify actions ordered by APHIS officials when a FRSMP program pest is intercepted at a U.S port of entry. Such actions could include treatment (if available), re-direction to a state that does not restrict the pest, re-exportation, destruction of the shipment, or restrictions on interstate movement. This means that only those shipments arriving in or moving through a state that is regulating a specific pest must comply with the import requirements. This gives importers and trading partners more opportunities to trade with fewer restrictions with states not participating in a FRSMP program for that pest.
The second process (also known as the Deregulation Evaluation of Established Pests –DEEP—process) provides a means for APHIS, in close collaboration with the states, to re-categorize certain pests to no longer require action at ports of entry. To be considered for re-categorization, the pest must be established and unlikely to harm the U.S. environment or the economy. APHIS and the states have already identified 94 such pests.
APHIS will accept and consider petitions from states interested in obtaining Federal recognition of a FRSMP program. APHIS will evaluate each petition using rigorous criteria. States must provide detailed information about the absence or limited distribution of a pest, pest pathways and likelihood of introduction, potential economic and environmental harm that the pest may cause, and a regulatory program for the pest that includes monitoring, surveillance, and control methods.