Proposed Fee Increases for Border Agricultural Inspections Get More Time for Comments
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has extended through July 24 the period for public comments on a proposed rule that would significantly increase many of the fees APHIS charges for conducting agricultural quarantine inspections at U.S. ports of entry. This proposal would also add two new fees and adjust the hourly rates charged when APHIS employees perform overtime work associated with AQI activities. APHIS notes that the AQI program is a critical part of efforts to protect U.S. agriculture and natural resources from invasive plant and animal pests and diseases but that AQI user fees have not been updated to reflect the real cost of services in over a decade.
APHIS also plans to soon announce an additional meeting opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the proposed rule.