The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has created a new Website to provide importers with information about the commodity import approval process for plants and plant products and give them the opportunity to consult with the agency on risk assessments as they are being drafted.
“We are doing this in response to stakeholder requests for more information about the commodity import approval process and the opportunity to comment on draft risk assessments,” the agency said. “This Website will make the commodity import approval process more visible to stakeholders and allow them to comment on draft risk assessments.”
APHIS is responsible for enforcing regulations and considering requests for changes to allow the import of plants, plant parts, or plant products that are not currently allowed for import under the regulations.
Once the risk analysis has been completed and APHIS makes its determination that the risks associated with the commodity in question can be adequately mitigated, the risk analysis is made available for public comment either through a notice published in the Federal Register
or as a supporting document with a proposed rule published in the Federal Register
APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program Website also providse stakeholders with information about the commodity import approval process for plants and plant products, including fruits, vegetables, plants for planting, cut flowers, wood, and wood products. The Website describes each major step in the commodity import approval process, including a general description of the following:
- Determination of the import status of a commodity.
- Submission of a request by a national plant protection organization.
- Initiation and drafting of risk assessment and risk management documents.
- Completion of an environmental review.
- Publication and implementation of new requirements, as applicable.
The new Website can be viewed here