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Federal Register Highlights – 1/20/16

January 20, 2016

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for January 20, 2016:

PROPOSED RULE: We are proposing to amend the regulations to allow the importation of fresh apple and pear fruit from certain countries in the European Union into the continental United States, provided that the fruit is produced in accordance with a systems approach, as an alternative to importation under the current preclearance program. The proposed systems approach for fresh apple and pear fruit consists of production site and packinghouse registration, inspection of registered production sites twice a season, production site pest control and sanitation, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback, sampling, cold treatment against Mediterranean fruit fly in countries where the pest is known to occur, a phytosanitary certificate, port of entry inspection, and importation as commercial consignments only. Fresh apple and pear fruit that does not meet the requirements in the systems approach would continue to be allowed to be imported into the United States subject to the conditions of the preclearance program. This action would provide an alternative for the importation of fresh apple and pear fruit from certain countries in the European Union while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 21, 2016. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number  APHIS–2015–0073.)

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard is establishing emergency temporary safety zones for all waters of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) between miles 109.9 and 185.5 and all waters of the Illinois River (ILR) between miles 0 and 128.9. The emergency safety zones are needed to protect persons, property, and infrastructure from potential damage and safety hazards associated with high waters. Entry of vessels or persons into these zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP). Deviation from the safety zones may be requested and will be considered on a case-by-case basis as specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) or a designated representative. This rule is effective without actual notice from January 20, 2016 until 11:59 p.m. on January 22, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 3:00 p.m. on December 28, 2015 until January 20, 2016.

PROPOSED RULE: DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a section of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. This statute requires contractors to notify the contracting officer in writing if the contractor pays a reduced price to a small business subcontractor, or if the contractor’s payment to a small business contractor is more than 90 days past due. Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before March 21, 2016 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule. (To submit comments, visit, reference FAR Case 2014–004.)

TEMPORARY RULE: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial greater amberjack in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings of greater amberjack will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) (equivalent to the commercial quota) by January 21, 2016. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the South Atlantic EEZ on January 21, 2016, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing year on March 1, 2016. This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack resource. This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, January 21, 2016, until 12:01 a.m., local time, March 1, 2016.


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