USDA Amends Embryo Collection User Fee Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is amending user fees for the inspection and approval of embryo collection centers.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service charges user fees for providing veterinary diagnostic services and import- and export-related services for live animals and birds, animal semen and embryos, and animal products. Currently, APHIS charges an hourly rate user fee of $56 to inspect and approve embryo collection centers.

The final rule replaces the hourly rate user fee with an annual flat rate user fee of $278.50 that covers the cost of approval and all required inspections of the facility for that year.

"Embryo industry representatives asked us to make it easier for them to quote accurate costs to their customers," said Craig A. Reed, administrator for APHIS, a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area. "We have determined that a flat rate user fee is the most effective solution."

This action is scheduled for publication in the Dec. 30 Federal Register and becomes effective Jan. 29, 1999. APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS rules, are available on the Internet at www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.

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