[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 204 (Friday, October 23, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 54758]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-25548]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 204 / Friday, October 23, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 54758]]


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 354

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0048]
RIN 0579-AC99

User Fees for Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Services; 
Public Meeting

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: We are informing the public of an upcoming meeting to address 
affected stakeholders' questions and concerns regarding the 
agricultural quarantine and inspection user fee increases scheduled to 
go into effect on November 1, 2009. The meeting is being organized by 
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

DATES: The meeting will be held on October 27, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 1 
p.m. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in the USDA Center at 
Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. William E. Thomas, Director, 
Quarantine Policy, Analysis, and Support, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, 
Unit 131, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-5214.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In an interim rule \1\ published in the 
Federal Register on September 28, 2009 (74 FR 49311-49315, Docket No. 
APHIS-2009-0048), we amended the user fee regulations in 7 CFR part 354 
by adjusting the fees charged for certain agricultural quarantine and 
inspection (AQI) services that are provided in connection with certain 
commercial vessels, commercial trucks, commercial railroad cars, 
commercial aircraft, and international airline passengers arriving at 
ports in the customs territory of the United States. In the interim 
rule, we explained that the recent downturn in the U.S. economy has 
negatively impacted travel volumes, and, as a result, our user fee 
collections, which fund these services, have diminished. Although the 
volume of international travel and trade has decreased, inspection and 
related support services continue to be provided at their existing 
levels, so expenses have not decreased. As a result, our user fee 
collections have not been sufficient to enable us to provide those 
services and maintain a reasonable reserve balance. We therefore found 
it necessary to increase our AQI user fees in order to provide adequate 
funds for these purposes.

    \1\ To view and comment upon the interim rule and its supporting 
documents, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009-0048.

    The interim rule was scheduled to become effective on October 1, 
2009. However, we subsequently published a document in the Federal 
Register on October 2, 2009 (74 FR 50915, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0048), 
in which we delayed the effective date of the user fee increases until 
November 1, 2009. This delay was intended to provide entities affected 
by the changes in AQI user fees additional time to make the necessary 
preparations to comply with the new fees. In conjunction with the 
delay, we held a public meeting on October 15, 2009, in Riverdale, MD. 
Transcripts of that meeting are available for viewing on the 
Regulations.gov Web site.\2\

    \2\ See footnote 1.

    APHIS will continue to accept public comments on the interim rule 
until November 27, 2009. In order to gather additional feedback and to 
address questions and concerns that stakeholders potentially affected 
by the AQI user fee increases may have, we plan to hold a second public 
meeting. The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 
in the USDA Center at Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD. 
Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The public meeting will begin at 9 
a.m. and is scheduled to end at 1 p.m. Additional information regarding 
the meeting may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER 

Security Procedures

    Upon entering the building, visitors should inform security 
personnel that they are attending the AQI user fee public meeting. 
State-issued photo identification is required and all bags will be 
screened. Security personnel will direct visitors to the registration 
tables located outside of the conference center on the first floor. 
Registration upon arrival is required for all participants.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of October 2009.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E9-25548 Filed 10-22-09; 8:45 am]