APHIS Publishes Final Rule to Expand Notice-Based Process for Importation and Interstate Movement of Fruits and Vegetables

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding its use of a notice-based process for approving fruits and vegetables for importation into the United States. This will help APHIS achieve USDA’s goal of reducing regulations by eliminating the need for rulemaking to approve fruits and vegetables for import. This action does not in any way compromise the rigor of APHIS’ analysis for potential plant pest risks, nor our safeguarding efforts. Instead, it will streamline procedures and help to reduce the time it takes to approve commodities for entry into the United States. This change will also allow us to focus regulatory resources, which would otherwise be consumed with the lengthy rulemaking process, on other critical priorities. Continue reading

APHIS Changes Requirements for Movement of Soil from Phytophthora ramorum Quarantined Areas for Analysis

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is revising the conditions for the interstate movement of regulated soil from Phytophthora ramorum quarantined areas when the soil is moving to an APHIS-approved soil laboratory for physical or chemical analysis. This action removes the certification requirement and authorizes movement under a compliance agreement. The movement of bulk soil for other purposes (e.g., disposal, landscaping, use in potting media) is not included in this action and will continue to require certificates per the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR 301.92). This action does not include soil to be moved for the isolation of plant pests, which is regulated in accordance with 7 CFR, Part 330. Continue reading