APHIS Proposal to Strengthen Quarantine and Inspection Program

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is seeking comments on a proposed rule to amend regulations governing its Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection program user fees. APHIS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection jointly administer the program, ensuring that cargo and passenger baggage entering the country is inspected for plant pests and potential sources of animal diseases that could affect U.S. agriculture, trade and commerce.

Foreign pests and diseases can devastate U.S. agriculture and the broader U.S. economy, and the AQI program is highly successful at preventing such disruptions. Fees for the AQI program were last updated in 2015. The outdated fee structure and recent changes in international travel and shipping mean that current fees do not generate enough revenue to cover the costs of the AQI services provided. APHIS will consider all comments received on or before October 10, 2023.

Go to www.regulations.gov to search for the proposal and comment.