7 CFR § 319.56-5 - Pest-free areas.

§ 319.56-5 Pest-free areas.

As provided elsewhere in this subpart, certain fruits and vegetables may be imported into the United States provided that the fruits or vegetables originate from an area that is free of a specific pest or pests. In some cases, fruits or vegetables may only be imported if the area of export is free of all quarantine pests that attack the fruit or vegetable. In other cases, fruits and vegetables may be imported if the area of export is free of one or more quarantine pests that attack the fruit or vegetable, and provided that the risk posed by the remaining quarantine pests that attack the fruit or vegetable is mitigated by other specific phytosanitary measures contained in the regulations in this subpart.

(a) Application of international standard for pest free areas. APHIS requires that determinations of pest-free areas be made in accordance with the criteria for establishing freedom from pests found in International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 4, “Requirements for the establishment of pest free areas.” The international standard was established by the International Plant Protection Convention of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and is incorporated by reference in § 300.5 of this chapter.

(b) Survey protocols. APHIS must approve the survey protocol used to determine and maintain pest-free status, as well as protocols for actions to be performed upon detection of a pest. Pest-free areas are subject to audit by APHIS to verify their status.

(c) Determination of pest freedom.

(1) For an area to be considered free of a specified pest for the purposes of this subpart, the Administrator must determine, and announce in a notice or rule published in the Federal Register for 60 days public comment, that the area meets the criteria of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(2) The Administrator will announce his or her decision in a subsequent Federal Register notice. If appropriate, APHIS would begin issuing permits for importation of the fruit or vegetable from a pest-free area because:

(i) No comments were received on the notice or

(ii) The comments on the notice did not affect the overall conclusions of the notice and the Administrator's determination of risk.

(d) Decertification of pest-free areas; reinstatement. If a pest is detected in an area that is designated as free of that pest, APHIS would publish in the Federal Register a notice announcing that the pest-free status of the area in question has been withdrawn, and that imports of host crops for the pest in question are subject to application of an approved treatment for the pest. If a treatment for the pest is not available, importation of the host crops would be prohibited. In order for a decertified pest-free area to be reinstated, it would have to meet the criteria of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(e) General requirements for fruits and vegetables imported from pest-free areas.

(1) Labeling. Each box of fruits or vegetables that is imported into the United States from a pest-free area under this subpart must be clearly labeled with:

(i) The name of the orchard or grove of origin, or the name of the grower; and

(ii) The name of the municipality and State in which the fruits or vegetables were produced; and

(iii) The type and amount of fruit the box contains.

(2) Phytosanitary certificate. A phytosanitary certificate must accompany the imported fruits or vegetables, and must contain an additional declaration that the fruits originate from a pest-free area that meets the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(3) Safeguarding. If fruits or vegetables are moved from a pest-free area into or through an area that is not free of that pest, the fruits or vegetables must be safeguarded during the time they are present in a non-pest-free area by being covered with insect-proof mesh screens or plastic tarpaulins, including while in transit to the packinghouse and while awaiting packaging. If fruits or vegetables are moved through an area that is not free of that pest during transit to a port, they must be packed in insect-proof cartons or containers or be covered by insect-proof mesh or plastic tarpaulins during transit to the port and subsequent export to the United States. These safeguards described in this section must be intact upon arrival in the United States.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 0579-0049, 0579-0316 and 0579-0293)