New regs for Wednesday: Tropical fish, exports, imports

Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new protections for tropical fish, export and import regulations, and payment requirements for government subcontractors.

Here’s what is happening:

Fish: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is moving forward with new protections for certain tropical fish that are often seen in aquariums.

The Banggai cardinalfish will be listed as a threatened species, the agency said Tuesday. However, it is not designating a critical habitat for the tropical fish.

The protections stem from a 2013 petition by WildEarth Guardians.

The protections go into effect in 30 days.

Livestock: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is loosening the regulations for farmers exporting livestock to countries outside the United States.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Tuesday it is dropping most of the requirements for health certifications, tests and treatments that apply to exporters. They will instead be encouraged to comply with the regulations in the country to which they are sending the livestock, the agency said.

The changes go into effect in 30 days.

Fruit: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to loosen the regulations for importing fresh apples and pears from Europe.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Tuesday it is considering a new systems approach for importing these fruits.

The systems approach would include registration of production sites and packinghouses, as well as inspection, pest control and sanitation requirements, among other things.

"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,” the agency said.The public has 60 days to comment.

Government contractors: The Department of Defense (DOD) is proposing new payment notification requirements for subcontractors.

Defense contractors would be required to notify the military if they pay a lower price or are more than 90 days past due on a payment to a subcontractor.

The public has 60 days to comment.