[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 97 (Friday, May 21, 2021)]
[Pages 27552-27553]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10706]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
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appearing in this section.


Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 97 / Friday, May 21, 2021 / Notices

[[Page 27552]]


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2020-0100]

Notice of Proposed Revision to Requirements for the Importation 
of Fresh Melon Fruit From Japan Into the United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk 
analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of 
fresh melon fruit with stems from Japan into the United States. Based 
on the analysis, we are proposing to revise the existing conditions for 
importation of melons from Japan, which do not currently allow the 
importation of melons with stems, and which do not authorize 
importation to the continental United States or most territories. We 
are making the pest risk analysis available to the public for review 
and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 
20, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. 
Enter APHIS-2020-0100 in the Search field. Select the Documents tab, 
then select the Comment button in the list of documents.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2020-0100, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at www.regulations.gov or in our reading room, which is 
located in room 1620 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure 
someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, 
Imports, Regulations, and Manuals PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 
133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2352.



    Under the regulations in ``Subpart L-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 
319.56-1 through 319.56-12, referred to below as the regulations), the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits or 
restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States from certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from 
being introduced into or disseminated within the United States.
    Section 319.56-4 of the regulations provides requirements for 
authorizing the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United 
States and revises existing requirements for the importation of fruits 
and vegetables. Paragraph (c) of that section provides that the name 
and origin of all fruits and vegetables authorized importation into the 
United States, as well as the requirements for their importation, be 
listed on the internet in APHIS' Fruits and Vegetables Import 
Requirements database, or FAVIR (https://epermits.aphis.usda.gov/manual). It also provides that, if the Administrator of APHIS 
determines that any of the phytosanitary measures required for the 
importation of a particular fruit or vegetable are no longer necessary 
to reasonably mitigate the plant pest risk posed by the fruit or 
vegetable, APHIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register making 
its pest risk documentation and determination available for public 
    Currently, fresh melon fruit (Cucumis melo L.) from Japan is listed 
in FAVIR as fruit authorized importation into Hawaii, and fresh 
cantaloupe fruit (Cucumis melo ssp. melo var. cantalupensis) and 
honeydew melon (Cucumis melo ssp. melo var. inodorus) are authorized 
importation into Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands from areas of 
Japan other than Amami, Bonin, Ryukyu, Tokara, and Volcano Islands. To 
be eligible for importation under the current requirements, the melon 
fruit must be certified as being hothouse grown on or north of Honshu 
Island and is subject to inspection at the U.S. port of entry.
    APHIS received a request from the national plant protection 
organization (NPPO) of Japan, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and 
Fisheries, to revise the current import requirements and allow the 
importation of fresh melon fruits with stems into the entire United 
States. If we approve the request, the mitigation measures developed 
would supersede current importation requirements for fresh cantaloupe, 
honeydew melon, and melon from Japan.
    As part of our evaluation of Japan's request, we have prepared a 
pest risk assessment (PRA) to identify pests of quarantine significance 
that could follow the pathway of importation of fresh melon fruit with 
stems into the United States from Japan. The PRA identified one 
quarantine pest--Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV)--as the 
only quarantine pest that could reasonably be expected to follow the 
pathway, and that the likelihood of introduction into the United States 
via fresh melon fruit with stems from Japan is low.
    Based on the PRA, a risk management document (RMD) was prepared to 
identify phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the fresh 
melon fruit with stems from Japan to mitigate the pest risk.
    We have concluded that fresh melon fruit with stems can be safely 
imported from Japan into the United States using one or more of the 
five designated phytosanitary measures listed in Sec.  319.56-4(b). 
These measures are summarized below and would also be listed in APHIS' 
Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements database, available at 
     Fresh melon fruit with stems from Japan must be imported 
as commercial consignments only.
     Each consignment must be inspected and accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate issued by the Japanese NPPO stating that the 
melon fruit with stems are free of CGMMV.

[[Page 27553]]

     Each consignment is subject to inspection upon arrival in 
the United States.
    Each of the pest risk mitigation measures that would be required, 
along with evidence of their efficacy in removing pests of concern from 
the pathway, are described in detail in the RMD.
    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  319.56-4(c)(3), we are 
announcing the availability of our PRA and RMD for public review and 
comment. Those documents, as well as a description of the economic 
considerations associated with the importation of fresh melon fruit 
with stems under the revised conditions, may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov website or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for 
a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of 
the reading room). You may request paper copies of these documents by 
calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the analysis you wish to review 
when requesting copies.
    After reviewing any comments we receive, we will announce our 
decision regarding the import status of fresh melon fruit with stems 
from Japan in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of our 
analysis and the Administrator's determination of risk remain unchanged 
following our consideration of the comments, then we will authorize the 
importation of fresh melon fruit with stems from Japan into the entire 
United States subject to the revised requirements specified in this 

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1633, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 
136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of May 2021.
Mark Davidson,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-10706 Filed 5-20-21; 8:45 am]