(a) Grain required to be officially inspected
The Secretary is authorized to cause official inspection under the standards provided for in section 76 of this title to be made of all grain required to be officially inspected as provided in section 77 of this title, in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe.
(b) Inspections made pursuant to request of interested persons
Terms Used In 7 USC 79
- Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
- Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Department of Agriculture: means the United States Department of Agriculture. See 7 USC 75
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- export grain: means grain for shipment from the United States to any place outside thereof. See 7 USC 75
- export port location: means a commonly recognized port of export in the United States or Canada, as determined by the Secretary, from which grain produced in the United States is shipped to any place outside the United States. See 7 USC 75
- Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
- grain: means corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, flaxseed, sorghum, soybeans, mixed grain, and any other food grains, feed grains, and oilseeds for which standards are established under section 76 of this title. See 7 USC 75
- Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
- interested person: means any person having a contract or other financial interest in grain as the owner, seller, purchaser, warehouseman, or carrier, or otherwise. See 7 USC 75
- lot: means a specific quantity of grain identified as such. See 7 USC 75
- official agency: means any State or local governmental agency, or any person, designated by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (f) of section 79 of this title for the conduct of official inspection (other than appeal inspection), or subsection (c) of section 79a of this title for the conduct of official weighing or supervision of weighing (other than appeal weighing). See 7 USC 75
- official inspection: means the determination (by original inspection, and when requested, reinspection and appeal inspection) and the certification, by official inspection personnel of the kind, class, quality, or condition of grain, under standards provided for in this chapter, or the condition of vessels and other carriers or receptacles for the transportation of grain insofar as it may affect the quality or condition of such grain. See 7 USC 75
- official inspection personnel: means persons licensed or otherwise authorized by the Secretary pursuant to section 84 of this title to perform all or specified functions involved in official inspection, official weighing, or supervision of weighing, or in the supervision of official inspection, official weighing or supervision of weighing. See 7 USC 75
- official sample: means a sample obtained from a lot of grain by, and submitted for official inspection by, official inspection personnel (the term "official sampling" shall be construed accordingly). See 7 USC 75
- officially inspected: shall be construed accordingly). See 7 USC 75
- Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
- person: means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business entity. See 7 USC 75
- Secretary: means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or delegates of the Secretary. See 7 USC 75
- State: means any one of the States (including Puerto Rico) or territories or possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia). See 7 USC 75
- submitted sample: means a sample submitted by or for an interested person for official inspection, other than an official sample. See 7 USC 75
- United States: means the States (including Puerto Rico) and the territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia). See 7 USC 75
- writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1
The Secretary is further authorized, upon request of any interested person, and under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, to cause official inspection to be made with respect to any grain whether by official sample, submitted sample, or otherwise within the United States under standards provided for in section 76 of this title, or, upon request of the interested person, under other criteria approved by the Secretary for determining the kind, class, quality, or condition of grain, or other facts relating to grain, whenever in the judgment of the Secretary providing such service will effectuate any of the objectives stated in section 74 of this title.
(c) Reinspections and appeals; cancellation of superseded certificates; sale of samples
The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this chapter shall include provisions for reinspections and appeal inspections; cancellation and surrender of certificates superseded by reinspections and appeal inspections; and the use of standard forms for official certificates. The Secretary may provide by regulation that samples obtained by or for employees of the Secretary for purposes of official inspection shall become the property of the United States, and such samples may be disposed of without regard to the provisions of chapters 1 to 11 of title 40 and division C (except sections 3302, 3307(e), 3501(b), 3509, 3906, 4710, and 4711) of subtitle I of title 41.
(d) Official certificates as evidence
Official certificates setting out the results of official inspection issued and not canceled under this chapter shall be received by all officers and all courts of the United States as prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts stated therein.
(e) Official inspection at export port locations; delegation of authority to State agencies
(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Secretary shall cause official inspection at export port locations, for all grain required or authorized to be inspected by this chapter, to be performed by official inspection personnel employed by the Secretary or other persons under contract with the Secretary as provided in section 84 of this title.
(I) publish in the Federal Register notice of intent to certify a State agency and provide a 30-day period for public comment;
(II) evaluate the public comments received and, in accordance with paragraph (3), conduct an investigation to determine whether the State agency is qualified;
(III) make findings based on the public comments received and investigation conducted; and
(IV) publish in the Federal Register a notice announcing whether the certification has been granted and describing the basis on which the Secretary made the decision.
(3) Prior to delegating authority to a State agency for the performance of official inspection at export port locations pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Secretary shall (A) conduct an investigation to determine whether such agency is qualified, and (B) make findings based on such investigation. In conducting the investigation, the Secretary shall consult with, and review the available files of the Department of Justice, the Office of Investigation of the Department of Agriculture (or such other organization or agency within the Department of Agriculture which may be delegated the authority, in lieu thereof, to conduct investigations on behalf of the Department of Agriculture), and the Government Accountability Office.
(4) The Secretary may provide that grain loaded at an interior point in the United States into a rail car, barge, or other container as the final carrier in which it is to be transported from the United States shall be inspected in the manner provided in this subsection or subsection (f) of this section, as the Secretary determines will best meet the objectives of this chapter.
(f) Official inspections at other than export port locations; designation of agencies or persons to conduct official inspections
(1) With respect to official inspections other than at export port locations, the Secretary is authorized, upon application by any State or local governmental agency, or any person, to designate such agency or person as an official agency for the conduct of all or specified functions involved in official inspection (other than appeal inspection) at locations where the Secretary determines official inspection is needed, if–
(A) the agency or person shows to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such agency or person–
(i) has adequate facilities and qualified personnel for the performance of such official inspection functions;
(ii) will provide for the periodic rotation of official inspection personnel among the grain elevators, warehouses, or other storage or handling facilities at which the State or person provides official inspection, as is necessary to preserve the integrity of the official inspection service;
(iii) will meet training requirements and personnel standards established by the Secretary under section 84(g) of this title;
(iv) will otherwise conduct such training and provide such supervision of its personnel as are necessary to assure that they will provide official inspection in accordance with this chapter and the regulations and instructions thereunder;
(v) will not charge official inspection fees that are discriminatory or unreasonable;
(vi) if a State or local governmental agency, will not use any moneys collected pursuant to the charging of fees for any purpose other than the maintenance of the official inspection operation of the State or local governmental agency;
(vii) and any related entities do not have a conflict of interest prohibited by section 87 of this title;
(viii) will maintain complete and accurate records of its organization, staffing, official activities, and fiscal operations, and such other records as the Secretary may require by regulation;
(ix) if a State or local governmental agency, will employ personnel on the basis of job qualifications rather than political affiliations;
(x) will comply with all provisions of this chapter and the regulations and instructions thereunder; and
(xi) meets other criteria established in regulations issued under this chapter relating to official functions under this chapter;
(B) the Secretary determines that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide official inspection service; and
(C) the Secretary–
(i) periodically conducts a consultation with the customers of the applicant, in a manner that provides opportunity for protection of the identity of the customer if desired by the customer, to review the performance of the applicant with regard to the provision of official inspection services and other requirements of this chapter; and
(ii) works with the applicant to address any concerns identified during the consultation process.
(i) the current designated official agency for that geographic area is unable to provide inspection services in a timely manner;
(ii) a person requesting inspection services in that geographic area has not been receiving official inspection services from the current designated official agency for that geographic area;
(iii) a person requesting inspection services in that geographic area requests a probe inspection on a barge-lot basis; or
(iv) the current official agency for that geographic area agrees in writing with the adjacent official agency to waive the current geographic area restriction at the request of the applicant for service.
(I) was granted an exception under the final rule entitled “Exceptions to Geographic Areas for Official Agencies Under the USGSA” (68 Fed. Reg. 19137 (April 18, 2003)); and
(II) had that exception revoked between September 30, 2015, and December 20, 2018.
(I) the eligible grain handling facility and the former excepted official agency agree to restore that exception; and
(II) the eligible grain handling facility notifies the Secretary of the preferred date for restoration of the exception within 90 days of December 20, 2018.
(3) Except as authorized by the Secretary, no official agency or State delegated authority pursuant to subsection (e)(2) of this section shall officially inspect under this chapter any official or other sample drawn from a lot of grain and submitted for inspection unless such lot of grain is physically located within the geographic area assigned to the agency by the Secretary at the time such sample is drawn.
(4) No State or local governmental agency or person shall provide any official inspection for the purposes of this chapter except pursuant to an unsuspended and unrevoked delegation of authority or designation by the Secretary, as provided in this section, or as provided in section 84(a) of this title.
(g) Termination, renewal, amendment, cancellation, and revocation of designations of official agencies
(1) Designations of official agencies shall terminate at such time as specified by the Secretary but not later than every 5 years and may be renewed in accordance with the criteria and procedure prescribed in subsection (f) of this section.
(2) A designation of an official agency may be amended at any time upon application by the official agency if the Secretary determines that the amendment will be consistent with the provisions and objectives of this chapter; and a designation will be cancelled upon request by the official agency with ninety days written notice to the Secretary. A fee as prescribed by regulations of the Secretary shall be paid by the official agency to the Secretary for each such amendment, to cover the costs incurred by the Secretary in connection therewith, and it shall be deposited in the fund created in subsection (j) of this section.
(3) The Secretary may revoke a designation of an official agency whenever, after opportunity for hearing is afforded the agency, the Secretary determines that the agency has failed to meet one or more of the criteria specified in subsection (f) of this section or the regulations under this chapter for the performance of official functions, or otherwise has not complied with any provision of this chapter or any regulation prescribed or instruction issued to such agency under this chapter, or has been convicted of any violation of other Federal law involving the handling or official inspection of grain: Provided, That the Secretary may, without first affording the official agency an opportunity for a hearing, suspend any designation pending final determination of the proceeding whenever the Secretary has reason to believe there is cause for revocation of the designation and considers such action to be in the best interest of the official inspection system under this chapter. The Secretary shall afford any such agency an opportunity for a hearing within thirty days after temporarily suspending such designation.
(h) Official inspections at locations other than export port locations when designated official agencies are not available
If the Secretary determines that official inspection by an official agency designated under subsection (f) of this section is not available on a regular basis at any location (other than at an export port location) where the Secretary determines such inspection is needed to effectuate the objectives stated in section 74 of this title, and that no official agency within reasonable proximity to such location is willing to provide or has or can acquire adequate personnel and facilities for providing such service on an interim basis, official inspection shall be provided by authorized employees of the Secretary, and other persons licensed by the Secretary to perform official inspection functions, as provided in section 84 of this title, until such time as the service can be provided on a regular basis by an official agency.
(i) Official inspections in Canadian ports
The Secretary is authorized to cause official inspection under this chapter to be made, as provided in subsection (a) of section 77 of this title, in Canadian ports of United States export grain transshipped through Canadian ports, and pursuant thereto the Secretary is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Canadian Government for such inspection. All or specified functions of such inspections shall be performed by official inspection personnel employed by the Secretary or, except for appeals, by persons operating under a contract with the Secretary or as otherwise provided by agreement with the Canadian Government.
(2) Each designated official agency and each State agency to which authority has been delegated under subsection (e) of this section shall pay to the Secretary fees in such amount as the Secretary determines fair and reasonable and as will cover the estimated costs incurred by the Secretary relating to supervision of official agency personnel and supervision by the Secretary of the Secretary’s field office personnel, except costs incurred under paragraph (3) of subsection (g) of this section and sections 85, 86, and 87c of this title. The fees shall be payable after the services are performed at such times as specified by the Secretary and shall be deposited in the fund created in paragraph (1) of this subsection. Failure to pay the fee within thirty days after it is due shall result in automatic termination of the delegation or designation, which shall be reinstated upon payment, within such period as specified by the Secretary, of the fee currently due plus interest and any further expenses incurred by the Secretary because of such termination. The interest rate on overdue fees shall be as prescribed by the Secretary, but not less than the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturity, plus an additional charge of not to exceed 1 per centum per annum as determined by the Secretary and adjusted to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum.
(3) Any sums collected or received by the Secretary under this chapter and deposited to the fund created in paragraph (1) of this subsection and any late payment penalties collected by the Secretary and credited to such fund may be invested by the Secretary in insured or fully collateralized, interest-bearing accounts or, at the discretion of the Secretary, by the Secretary of the Treasury in United States Government debt instruments. The interest earned on such sums and any late payment penalties collected by the Secretary shall be credited to the fund and shall be available without fiscal year limitation for the expenses of the Secretary incident to providing services under this chapter.
(5) The duties imposed by paragraph (2) on designated official agencies and State agencies described in such paragraph and the investment authority provided by paragraph (3) shall expire on September 30, 2020. After that date, the fees established by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not cover administrative and supervisory costs related to the official inspection of grain.