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APHIS to revise fees for import/export permits, quarantines, other services

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USDA APHIS has released a proposal to revise its user fees for import/exports permits, quarantine fees, and other services offered by the agency. Those fees were last set 10 years ago, based on data from 2009. Under the new process, fees will be set yearly, based on a new standard methodology, as explained in the APHIS’ Federal Register notice.  

APHIS does not receive Congressionally-appropriated funds to cover the cost of the veterinary diagnostics or import/export related services for animals, animal products and byproducts, birds, germplasm, organisms, and vectors that it provides; those activities are funded by the user fees paid for those services. Previously, those fees were set for five years at a time, through a series of different rules. This proposal would allow the agency to streamline that approach and reduce the amount of rule making involved in setting fees. A notice would be released each year when the fees are adjusted.  Permits would continue to be one year in duration.

Comments will be accepted on the proposal through December 2.  


USDA Press Release

USDA Seeks Public Comment on a Proposal to Amend Veterinary Services’ User Fee Regulations

Contact: APHISPress@usda.gov

WASHINGTON, September 30, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting public comments on a proposal to introduce a notice-based process for revising user fees for certain veterinary services. The proposed rule would update fee rates yearly using a notice-based process, rather than the current, lengthy rulemaking process. APHIS relies on user fees to cover services including veterinary diagnostic services, such as disease testing as well as certain import- and export-related services, including inspections and application processing, among others.

Under the proposed notice-based process, APHIS would publish a notice in the Federal Register listing the proposed fees and invite public comment. The notice would include justification for any changes and describe cost-saving measures taken by the agency. When the comment period ends, APHIS would review and address any public comments and publish a subsequent notice providing the final rates. APHIS would publish the updated fee rates on the user fees web page. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Food Safety Inspection Service has recently implemented similar noticed-based processes.

The proposed change would streamline the process and reduce the time it takes to update user fee rates, ensuring APHIS has sufficient funds to cover current customer needs using appropriate rates. It would also increase transparency by publishing annual notices that would include justifications for all fees and any changes. The proposed rule only addresses the process for setting fees and would not change them.

This proposed rule may be viewed in today’s Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-21030/process-for-establishing-rates-for-veterinary-services-user-fees. Beginning Monday, October 3, 2022, members of the public may submit comments at www.regulations.gov. All comments must be received by December 2, 2022.


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