[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 58 (Friday, March 25, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-6931]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: March 25, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 24 
RIN 1018-AB28 
 

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designated Ports 
for Listed Plants 
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) hereby amends the 
regulations concerning the importation, exportation, and reexportation 
of plants by adding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ports at 
Mobile, AL, Savannah, GA, Baltimore, MD, Morehead City and Wilmington, 
NC, Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, SC, and Norfolk, VA, as designated 
ports for the importation of logs and lumber from trees that are listed 
as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (the Act), or listed under the Convention on International 
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The 
Service is also designating the USDA port at Wilmington, NC, as a port 
for the exportation of Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) plants. The 
USDA has adequate facilities and personnel at these ports to qualify 
the ports as designated ports for the importation, exportation, and 
reexportation of plants under the terms of the Act and CITES. The 
addition of these ports to the list of designated ports will facilitate 
trade and the enforcement of the Act and CITES.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 25, 1994.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marshall P. Jones, Chief, Office of 
Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1849 C Street, 
NW., (MS 420 C ARLSQ), Washington, DC 20240, telephone (703) 358-2095.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (the Act), requires, 
among other things, that plants be imported, exported, or reexported 
only at designated ports or, under certain limited circumstances, at 
nondesignated ports. Section 9(f) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538[f]) 
provides for the designation of ports. Under section 9(f)(1), the 
Secretary of the Interior (the Secretary) has the authority to 
establish designated ports based on a finding that such an action would 
facilitate enforcement of the Act and reduce the costs of that 
enforcement. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the 
Secretary are responsible for enforcing provisions of the Act and the 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna 
and Flora (CITES) relating to the importation, exportation, and 
reexportation of plants listed as endangered or threatened under the 
Act or listed under CITES.
    The regulations in 50 CFR part 24, ``Importation and Exportation of 
Plants,'' are for the purpose of establishing ports for the 
importation, exportation, and reexportation of plants. Plants that are 
listed as endangered or threatened in 50 CFR 17.12 or in the appendices 
to CITES in 50 CFR 23.23 are required to be accompanied by 
documentation and may be imported, exported, or reexported only at one 
of the USDA ports listed in section 24.12(a) of the regulations. 
Certain other USDA ports are designated for the importation, 
exportation, or reexportation of specific listed plants. Section 
24.12(e) of the regulations contains a list of USDA ports that are, for 
the purposes of the Act and CITES, designated ports for the 
importation, exportation, and reexportation of plants that are not 
listed as endangered or threatened. (The USDA regulations in 7 CFR 
319.37 contain additional prohibitions and restrictions governing the 
importation of plants through those ports.)
    In a July 21, 1993, Federal Register notice (58 FR 39003), the 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposed that the 
USDA ports at Mobile, AL, Savannah, GA, Baltimore, MD, Morehead City 
and Wilmington, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, SC, and Norfolk, VA, 
be listed as designated ports for the importation of logs and lumber 
from trees that are listed as endangered or threatened under the Act or 
CITES. The Service further proposed to designate the port at 
Wilmington, NC, as a port for the exportation of Venus flytrap (Dionaea 
muscipula) plants. Finally, the Service acted to correct a 
typographical error in the regulations.

Comments Submitted

    The Service's July 21, 1993, notice invited the submission of 
written comments regarding the proposal for a 60-day comment period 
ending on September 20, 1993. Four comments were received by that date, 
from a lumber company, a lumber trade association, a U.S. Senator, and 
a State port authority. All four commenters asked that Gulfport, MS, be 
added to the list of designated ports for the importation of logs and 
lumber from trees that are listed as endangered or threatened under the 
Act or CITES. In addition, one of the commenters asked that the ports 
at Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, also be added to that list.
    The Service has consulted with the USDA regarding the addition of 
Gulfport, MS, Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR, to the list of 
designated ports for the importation of logs and lumber from trees that 
are listed as endangered or threatened under the Act or CITES. Those 
consultations were necessary to determine whether the ports possess 
adequate facilities and personnel to carry out enforcement activities 
related to the Act and CITES. As a result of those consultations, the 
Service believes that Gulfport, MS, Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR, 
could be added to the list of designated ports for the importation of 
logs and lumber from trees that are listed as endangered or threatened 
under the Act or listed under CITES. However, because they were not 
listed in the July 21, 1993, proposed rule, Gulfport, MS, Vancouver, 
WA, and Portland, OR, cannot be added to the list of designated ports 
in this final rule. Therefore, the Service intends to include those 
three ports in a new proposed rule for publication in the Federal 
Register.
    In this final rule, the Service has changed the order in which the 
ports are listed in new paragraph (e) of section 24.12. The ports are 
now listed in alphabetical order, by State, in order to simplify any 
future amendments to the paragraph.

Requests for Public Hearing

    Section 9(f)(1) of the Act provides that any person may request an 
opportunity to comment at a public hearing before the Secretary of the 
Interior confers designated port status on any port. Accordingly, the 
Service's July 21, 1993, notice invited public hearing requests, which 
were required to be received by the Service on or before September 3, 
1993. No such requests were received.

Treasury Department Approval to Designate Proposed Ports

    Section 9(f)(1) of the Act also provides, in part that:
    ``For the purpose of facilitating enforcement of this chapter and 
reducing costs thereof, the Secretary of the Interior, with approval of 
the Secretary of the Treasury and after notice and opportunity for 
public hearing, may, by regulation, designate ports and change such 
designations.''
    Approval from the Secretary of the Treasury was obtained in 
accordance with these provisions.
    Therefore, based on the rationale set forth in the proposed rule 
and in this document, the Service is adopting the provisions of the 
proposal as a final rule with the changes discussed in this document.

Effective Date

    The effect of this rule is to grant an exemption from 16 U.S.C. 
1538(f), which generally prohibits importation of wildlife and plants 
except at such ports as may be designated. Accordingly, it may be given 
immediate effect under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), which permits a rule that 
``grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction'' to be 
given immediate effect.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule was not subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
review under Executive Order 12866.
    The Service believes that establishing the USDA ports at Mobile, 
AL, Savannah, GA, Baltimore, MD, Morehead City and Wilmington, NC, 
Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, SC, and Norfolk, VA, as designated ports 
for the importation of logs and lumber from trees listed as endangered 
or threatened under the Act or listed under CITES will have a positive 
economic impact. These ports are major ports of entry for logs and 
lumber, but they had not been designated as ports for the importation 
of logs and lumber from listed trees. Before the effective date of this 
rule, importers wishing to import logs and lumber from listed trees 
into a port on the east coast of the United States could use only 
Hoboken, NJ, or Miami, FL, and importers wishing to import logs and 
lumber from listed trees into a U.S. port on the Gulf of Mexico could 
use only Brownsville and Houston, TX, and New Orleans, LA. Establishing 
Mobile, AL, Savannah, GA, Baltimore, MD, Morehead City and Wilmington, 
NC, Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, SC, and Norfolk, VA, as designated 
ports for the importation of logs and lumber from trees listed as 
endangered or threatened under the Act or listed under CITES will 
result in a savings in time and transportation costs for importers of 
logs and lumber.
    The Service also believes that establishing Wilmington, NC, as a 
designated port for the exportation of Venus flytrap plants will have a 
positive economic impact. The Venus flytrap occurs chiefly in North 
Carolina and also in South Carolina. Before the inclusion of the Venus 
flytrap in appendix II of CITES became effective on June 11, 1992, 
exporters of the Venus flytrap had been able to use Wilmington, NC, and 
other USDA ports for the exportation of their plants. After June 11, 
1992, however, those exporters were required to send their plants 
through ports designated for the importation, exportation, or 
reexportation of listed plants, with Miami, FL, and Hoboken, NJ, being 
the closest such ports to North Carolina and South Carolina. 
Establishing Wilmington, NC, as a designated port for the exportation 
of Venus flytrap will result in a savings in time and transportation 
costs for exporters of the plant.
    Under these circumstances, the Service has determined that this 
action will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial 
number of small entities, as described in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601).

Executive Order 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12778

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12778, 
Civil Justice Reform. The Office of the Solicitor has determined that 
the requirements of Executive Order 12778 have been satisfied.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Service has determined that this final rule adding designated 
ports under authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 for the 
importation and exportation of plants is not a major Federal action 
which will significantly affect the quality of the human environment 
within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no new information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 24

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Harbors, Imports and 
plants.

    Accordingly, we are amending 50 CFR part 24 as follows:

PART 24--IMPORTATION AND EXPORTATION OF PLANTS

    1. The authority citation for part 24 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 9(f)(1), 11(f), Pub. L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 893, 
897 (16 U.S.C. 1538(f)(1), 1540(f)).

    2. In Sec. 24.12, paragraph (e) is redesignated as paragraph (g), 
and two new paragraphs, (e) and (f), are added to read as follows:


Sec. 24.12  Designated ports.

* * * * *
    (e) The U.S. Department of Agriculture ports at Mobile, Alabama; 
Savannah, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Wilmington and Morehead City, 
North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; 
and Norfolk, Virginia, are designated ports for the importation of logs 
and lumber from trees which are listed in the appendices to the 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna 
and Flora (CITES) or in 50 CFR 17.12 or 23.23 and which are required to 
be accompanied by documentation under 50 CFR part 17 or 23.
    (f) The U.S. Department of Agriculture port at Wilmington, North 
Carolina, is a designated port for the exportation of plants of the 
species Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap), which is listed in appendix 
II to CITES and which is required to be accompanied by documentation 
under 50 CFR part 23.
* * * * *


Sec. 24.12  [Amended]

    3. In Sec. 24.12, in newly redesignated paragraph (g), the list of 
U.S. Department of Agriculture ports is amended by removing the words 
``San Antonia, Texas'' and adding the words ``San Antonio, Texas''.

    Dated: February 26, 1994.
George T. Frampton,
Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 94-6931 Filed 3-24-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P