(a) Authority of Secretary

The Secretary is authorized to conduct such investigations; hold such hearings; require such reports from any official agency, any State agency delegated authority under this chapter, licensee, or other person; and prescribe such rules, regulations, and instructions, as the Secretary deems necessary to effectuate the purposes or provisions of this chapter. Such regulations may require, as a condition for official inspection or official weighing or supervision of weighing, among other things, (1) that there be installed specified sampling, handling, weighing, and monitoring equipment in grain elevators, warehouses, and other grain storage or handling facilities, (2) that approval of the Secretary be obtained as to the condition of vessels and other carriers or receptacles for the transporting or storing of grain, and (3) that persons having a financial interest in the grain which is to be inspected (or their agents) shall be afforded an opportunity to observe the weighing, loading, and official inspection thereof, under conditions prescribed by the Secretary. Whether any certificate, other form, representation, designation, or other description is false, incorrect, or misleading within the meaning of this chapter shall be determined by tests made in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary may adopt to effectuate the objectives of this chapter, if the relevant facts are determinable by such tests. Proceedings under section 85 of this title for refusal to renew, or for suspension or revocation of, a license shall not, unless requested by the respondent, be subject to the administrative procedure provisions in sections 554, 556, and 557 of title 5.

(b) Investigation of reports or complaints of discrepancies and abuses in official inspection or weighing of grain

Terms Used In 7 USC 87e

  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Department of Agriculture: means the United States Department of Agriculture. See 7 USC 75
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • 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
  • 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 weighing: means the determination and certification by official inspection personnel of the quantity of a lot of grain under standards provided for in this chapter, based on the actual performance of weighing or the physical supervision thereof, including the physical inspection and testing for accuracy of the weights and scales and the physical inspection of the premises at which the weighing is performed and the monitoring of the discharge of grain into the elevator or conveyance (the terms "officially weigh" and "officially weighed" shall be construed accordingly). See 7 USC 75
  • 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
  • supervision of weighing: means such supervision by official inspection personnel of the grain-weighing process as is determined by the Secretary to be adequate to reasonably assure the integrity and accuracy of the weighing and of certificates which set forth the weight of the grain and such physical inspection by such personnel of the premises at which the grain weighing is performed as will reasonably assure that all the grain intended to be weighed has been weighed and discharged into the elevator or conveyance. 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

The Secretary is authorized to investigate reports or complaints of discrepancies and abuses in the official inspection and weighing of grain under this chapter. The Secretary shall prescribe by regulation procedures for (1) promptly investigating (A) complaints of foreign grain purchasers regarding the official inspection or official weighing of grain shipped from the United States, (B) the cancellation of contracts for the export sale of grain required to be inspected or weighed under this chapter, and (C) any complaint regarding the operation or administration of this chapter or any official transaction with which this chapter is concerned; and (2) taking appropriate action on the basis of the findings of any investigation of such complaints.

(c) Monitoring of United States grain upon its entry into foreign nations

The Secretary is authorized to cause official inspection personnel to monitor in foreign nations which are substantial importers of grain from the United States, grain imported from the United States upon its entry into the foreign nation, to determine whether such grain is of a comparable kind, class, quality, and condition after considering the handling methods and conveyance utilized at the time of loading, and the same quantity that it was certified to be upon official inspection and official weighing in the United States.

(d) Authority of Office of Investigation of Department of Agriculture

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) shall conduct such investigations regarding the operation or administration of this chapter or any official transaction with which this chapter is concerned, as the Director thereof deems necessary to assure the integrity of official inspection and weighing under this chapter.

(e) Research program to develop methods of improving accuracy and uniformity in grading grain

The Secretary is authorized to conduct, in cooperation with other agencies within the Department of Agriculture, a continuing research program for the purpose of developing methods to improve accuracy and uniformity in grading grain.

(f) Adequate personnel to meet inspection and weighing requirements

To assure the normal movement of grain at all inspection points in a timely manner consistent with the policy expressed in section 74 of this title, the Secretary shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, provide adequate personnel to meet the inspection and weighing requirements of this chapter.

(g) Testing of certain weighing equipment

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may provide for the testing of weighing equipment used for purposes other than weighing grain. The testing shall be performed–

(A) in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe; and

(B) for a reasonable fee established by regulation or contractual agreement and sufficient to cover, as nearly as practicable, the estimated costs of the testing performed.


(2) Testing performed under paragraph (1) may not conflict with or impede the objectives specified in section 74 of this title.

(h) Testing of grain inspection instruments

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may provide for the testing of grain inspection instruments used for commercial inspection. The testing shall be performed–

(A) in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe; and

(B) for a reasonable fee established by regulation or contractual agreement and sufficient to cover, as nearly as practicable, the estimated costs of the testing performed.


(2) Testing performed under paragraph (1) may not conflict with or impede the objectives specified in section 74 of this title.

(i) Additional for fee services

(1) In accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may provide, the Secretary may perform such other services as the Secretary considers to be appropriate.

(2) In addition to the fees authorized by sections 79, 79a, 79b, and 87f-1 of this title, and this section, the Secretary shall collect reasonable fees to cover the estimated costs of services performed under paragraph (1) other than standardization and foreign monitoring activities.

(3) To the extent practicable, the fees collected under paragraph (2), together with any proceeds from the sale of any samples, shall cover the costs, including administrative and supervisory costs, of services performed under paragraph (1).

(j) Deposit of fees

Fees collected under subsections (g), (h), and (i) shall be deposited into the fund created under section 79(j) of this title.

(k) Official courtesies

The Secretary may extend appropriate courtesies to official representatives of foreign countries in order to establish and maintain relationships to carry out the policy stated in section 74 of this title. No gift offered or accepted pursuant to this subsection shall exceed $20 in value.