On December 5, 2016, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published in the Federal Register an interim rule (with a request for comments) [Doc. No. AMS–SC–16–0083; SC16–944/980/999–1 IR] updating reporting and notification requirements associated with, and making clarifying changes to, the fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop import regulations for certain commodities regulated under section 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘8e’’) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. The updates include shifting the exempt reporting requirement for imported tomatoes destined for noncommercial outlets for experimental purposes from the tomato import regulations to the safeguard procedures section of the vegetable import regulations. In addition, the pistachio import regulations are being updated by removing reference to a paper-based notification of entry process. Other administrative changes are being made to several of the 8e regulations to replace outdated information. These changes to the import regulations support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will streamline and automate the filing of import and export information by the trade. The effective date is December 8, 2016
On December 6, 2016, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule [Doc. No. AMS–SC–16–0064; SC16–980–1 PR] would change the reporting requirements for certain Irish potatoes, tomatoes, and onions regulated under § 608(e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (section 8e of the Act) by requiring importers of those regulated commodities that have been certified by a designated governmental inspection service other than the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service as meeting 8e requirements to provide the inspection certificate number and a copy of the certificate to AMS (currently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the only entity so designated). In addition, the pistachio import regulations would be changed to provide for the electronic filing of aflatoxin test results and to eliminate a requirement to report the disposition of reworked or failed lots of pistachios. Other changes would be made to several of the 8e regulations to remove or replace outdated information. These changes would allow AMS to confirm that section 8e regulatory requirements are being met and would also support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will automate the filing of import and export information by the trade. Comments must be received by January 5, 2017.