Return of Plant Health Inspections on Friday

 - November 22, 2006, 4:28 AM

Aphis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, will eliminate the exemption from agricultural quarantine inspection requirements and implement inspection fees for commercial aircraft (including on-demand charter aircraft) flying from Canada to the U.S., effective Friday, November 24. So the family ficus will again become the focus of government agents, and subject to a $70.25 inspection fee for aircraft entering the U.S. from Canada. There will also be 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.”