APHIS urges public comment on import consolidation proposal
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in the U.S. has encouraged the public to provide comments on a new consolidated scheme that regulates the imports of a wide variety of plants and plant products.
The proposal brings all plant and plant product regulations under one section, 7CFR 319-7, which APHIS senior regulatory policy specialist Marc Phillips says will make the job of importers much simpler.
"Instead of having to go and look through all the different parts of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 319, whether you’ve got a 319-8 and looking for cotton, or 319-37 and look for plants for planting, or 319-56 which is the fruit and vegetables, it’ll all be in one sub-part," he told www.freshfruitportal.com.
"Besides having all the import requirements under one roof, now all the import cancellation and denials will be under one roof also, so it’ll be very clear what exactly would cause APHIS to revoke or deny a permit, which we actually don’t have across the board in a clear cut manner for all our plants and plant products at the moment.
"It's very helpful if their [an importer's] permit is denied or revoked for whatever reasons, all the reasons why we would do such a thing are very clearly stated, which wasn’t the case before."
This proposal will require that all individuals who hold permits have and maintain a U.S. residence. If a corporation, institution, association or other legal entity holds a permit, they must designate an individual for service of process and maintain an address or business office in the United States.
"You don't have to be a U.S. resident - you have and maintain a residence in the U.S., and you must be physically present there during the duration of the importations, except if you’re an individual," Philipps said.
APHIS will be receiving comments until August 13.