The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule that, effective April 18, will restructure its regulations governing the importation of plants for planting. APHIS states that this rule does not make any major changes to the restrictions that currently apply to such imports but instead will make such restrictions easier for readers to find and less cumbersome for APHIS to change.

APHIS states that in the new structure restrictions on the importation of specific types of plants for planting will be found in the Plants for Planting Manual instead of the regulations. Changes to the restrictions in this manual will be made after APHIS receives public comment through notices published in the Federal Register.

Also as part of this restructuring APHIS is (1) adding most of the currently prohibited plants to the Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis list, (2) moving lists of approved growing media, packing materials, and ports of entry, as well as other approved items, to the Plants for Planting Manual, (3) adopting a notice-based process for making changes to the import restrictions that will be listed in the Plants for Planting Manual, (4) establishing a framework for using integrated pest risk management measures, and (5) adding post-entry quarantine requirements to the Plants for Planting Manual.

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