Dealing with Lacey Act import declaration issues and streamlining imports of fruits and vegetables are among the topics of proposed and final regulations the Department of Agriculture is working to complete this summer. The USDA’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda lists the following regulations affecting international trade in agricultural products that could be issued within the next year, with expected timeframes for issuance of the rules indicated in parentheses.

Upcoming Regulations

- an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on regulatory options that could address issues that have arisen with the implementation of the Lacey Act import declaration requirement for composite plant materials (May 2018; first time published)

- a final rule amending the regulations regarding the importation of live sheep, goats, and wild ruminants and their embryos, semen, products, and byproducts (July 2018; previously February)

- a final rule establishing a performance standard for authorizing the importation and interstate movement of fruits and vegetables (July 2018; previously December 2017)

- a proposed rule that would remove all pine shoot beetle quarantined areas and all federal regulatory requirements related to the import and movement of PSB and associated host materials (August 2018; first time published)

- final rules adding Honduras and Poland to the list of countries eligible to export poultry products to the U.S. (August 2018; previously March)

- a final rule that would ease restrictions on the importation of some plant pests, establish criteria for the movement and environmental release of biological control organisms, and revise the regulations regarding the movement of soil (September 2018, previously February; proposed rule issued in January 2017)

- a final rule to list China as eligible to export to the U.S. poultry products from birds slaughtered in China (September 2018, previously March; proposed rule published in June 2017)

- a proposed rule that would establish standards allowing APHIS to recognize compartments for animal disease status, similar to the recognition process for regions (November 2018; first time published)

- a final rule changing import reporting requirements to implement the use of electronic form submissions (January 2019)

Regulations Completed

- a final rule restructuring the regulations on the importation of plants for planting and adding plants whose importation is not authorized pending pest risk analysis

- a final rule to (1) establish generic criteria that would allow for the approval of new cold treatment facilities in the southern and western states of the U.S., which would facilitate the importation of fruit requiring cold treatment, and (2) harmonize language concerning state compliance with facility establishment and parameters for the movement of consignments from the port of entry or points of origin in the U.S. to the treatment facility in the irradiation treatment regulations with language in the cold treatment regulations

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