Plant Health Inspections Return

 - November 15, 2006, 4:26 AM

Aphis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, will eliminate the exemption from agricultural quarantine inspection (AQI) requirements and implement inspection fees for commercial aircraft (including on-demand charter aircraft) flying from Canada to the U.S., effective November 24. So the family ficus will again become the focus of government agents, and subject to a $70.25 user fee for aircraft entering the U.S. from Canada, as well as a $5-per-passenger fee. The fees were imposed through an emergency rulemaking, sidestepping the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking. Aphis justified the emergency rule as required “to prevent the introduction of plant pests and animal diseases into the U.S. via conventional pathways or through bio-terrorism and to recover the cost of the needed inspections.”