Dealing with Lacey Act import declaration issues and revising import restrictions are among the topics of proposed and final regulations the Department of Agriculture is working to complete. 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

- 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 (November 2018; previously August)

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

- 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 (November 2018, previously September; 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 (November 2018, previously September; 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; unchanged)

- a final rule amending the bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie regulations regarding the importation of live sheep, goats, and wild ruminants and their embryos, semen, products, and byproducts (November 2018, previously July; proposed rule published July 2016)

- a proposed rule supporting a strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports and the organic supply chain to deter fraud, enhance enforcement, and protect organic integrity (March 2019; first time published)

- a final rule changing reporting requirements for fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop imports to implement the use of electronic form submissions (April 2019, previously January; proposed rule issued December 2016)

- a proposed rule updating the regulations on the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of genetically engineered organisms (April 2019; first time published)

- a final rule establishing an exception to the Lacey Act import declaration requirement for products containing a minimal amount of plant materials (September 2019; proposed rule issued July 2018)

Regulations Completed

- 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

- a final rule establishing a performance standard for authorizing the importation and interstate movement of fruits and vegetables 

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