7 CFR § 319.40-11 - Plant pest risk assessment standards.

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§ 319.40-11 Plant pest risk assessment standards.

When evaluating a request to import a regulated article not allowed importation under this subpart, or a request to import a regulated article under conditions other than those prescribed by this subpart, APHIS will conduct the following analysis to determine the plant pest risks associated with each requested importation in order to determine whether or not to issue a permit under this subpart or to propose regulations establishing conditions for the importation into the United States of the regulated article.

(a) Collecting commodity information.

(1) APHIS will evaluate the application for information describing the regulated article and the origin, processing, treatment, and handling of the regulated article; and

(2) APHIS will evaluate history of past plant pest interceptions or introductions (including data from foreign countries) associated with the regulated article.

(b) Cataloging quarantine pests. For the regulated article specified in an application, APHIS will determine what plant pests or potential plant pests are associated with the type of tree from which the regulated article was derived, in the country and locality from which the regulated article is to be exported. A plant pest that meets one of the following criteria is a quarantine pest and will be further evaluated in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section:

(1) Non-indigenous plant pest not present in the United States;

(2) Non-indigenous plant pest, present in the United States and capable of further dissemination in the United States;

(3) Non-indigenous plant pest that is present in the United States and has reached probable limits of its ecological range, but differs genetically from the plant pest in the United States in a way that demonstrates a potential for greater damage potential in the United States;

(4) Native species of the United States that has reached probable limits of its ecological range, but differs genetically from the plant pest in the United States in a way that demonstrates a potential for greater damage potential in the United States; or

(5) Non-indigenous or native plant pest that may be able to vector another plant pest that meets one of the criteria in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section.

(c) Determining which quarantine pests to assess.

(1) APHIS will divide quarantine pests identified in paragraph (b) of this section into groups depending upon where the plant pest is most likely to be found. The plant pests would be grouped as follows:

(i) Plant pests found on the bark;

(ii) Plant pests found under the bark; and

(iii) Plant pests found in the wood.

(2) APHIS will subdivide each of the groups in paragraph (c)(1) of this section into associated taxa.

(3) APHIS will rank the plant pests in each group in paragraph (c)(2) of this section according to plant pest risk, based on the available biological information and demonstrated plant pest importance.

(4) APHIS will identify any plant pests ranked in paragraph (c)(3) of this section for which plant pest risk assessments have previously been performed in accordance with this section. APHIS will conduct individual plant pest risk assessments for the remaining plant pests, starting with the highest ranked plant pest(s) in each group.

(5) The number of plant pests in each group to be evaluated through individual plant pest risk assessment will be based on biological similarities of members of the group as they relate to measures taken in connection with the importation of the regulated article to mitigate the plant pest risk associated with the regulated article. For example, if the plant pest risk assessment for the highest ranked plant pest indicates a need for a mitigation measure that would result in the same reduction of risk for other plant pests ranked in the group, the other members need not be subjected to individual plant pest risk assessment.

(d) Conducting individual plant pest risk assessments. APHIS will evaluate each of the plant pests identified in paragraph (c)(4) of this section by:

(1) Estimation of the probability of the plant pest being on, with, or in the regulated article at the time of importation;

(2) Estimation of the probability of the plant pest surviving in transit on the regulated article and entering the United States undetected;

(3) Estimation of the probability of the plant pest colonizing once it has entered into the United States;

(4) Estimation of the probability of the plant pest spreading beyond any colonized area; and

(5) Estimation of the damage to plants that could be expected upon introduction and dissemination within the United States of the plant pest.

(e) Estimating unmitigated overall plant pest risk. APHIS will develop an estimation of the overall plant pest risk associated with importing the regulated article based on compilation of individual plant pest risk assessments performed in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(f) Evaluating available requirements to determine whether they would allow safe importation of the regulated article. The requirements of this subpart, and any other requirements relevant to the regulated article and plant pests involved, will be compared with the individual plant pest risk assessments in order to determine whether particular conditions on the importation of the regulated article would reduce the plant pest risk to an insignificant level. If APHIS determines that the imposition of particular conditions on the importation of the regulated article could reduce the plant pest risk to an insignificant level, and determines that sufficient APHIS resources are available to implement or ensure implementation of the conditions, APHIS will implement rulemaking to allow importation of the requested regulated article under the conditions identified by the plant pest risk assessment process.