[USC02] 7 USC CHAPTER 101, SUBCHAPTER III: CANOLA AND RAPESEED
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7 USC CHAPTER 101, SUBCHAPTER III: CANOLA AND RAPESEED
From Title 7—AGRICULTURECHAPTER 101—AGRICULTURAL PROMOTION

SUBCHAPTER III—CANOLA AND RAPESEED

§7441. Findings and declaration of policy

(a) Findings

Congress finds that—

(1) canola and rapeseed products are an important and nutritious part of the human diet;

(2) the production of canola and rapeseed products plays a significant role in the economy of the United States in that—

(A) canola and rapeseed products are produced by thousands of canola and rapeseed producers and processed by numerous processing entities; and

(B) canola and rapeseed products produced in the United States are consumed by people throughout the United States and foreign countries;


(3) canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products should be readily available and marketed efficiently to ensure that consumers have an adequate supply of canola and rapeseed products at a reasonable price;

(4) the maintenance and expansion of existing markets and development of new markets for canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products are vital to the welfare of canola and rapeseed producers and processors and those persons concerned with marketing canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products, as well as to the general economy of the United States, and are necessary to ensure the ready availability and efficient marketing of canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products;

(5) there exist established State and national organizations conducting canola and rapeseed research, promotion, and consumer education programs that are valuable to the efforts of promoting the consumption of canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products;

(6) the cooperative development, financing, and implementation of a coordinated national program of canola and rapeseed research, promotion, consumer information, and industry information is necessary to maintain and expand existing markets and develop new markets for canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products; and

(7) canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products move in interstate and foreign commerce, and canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products that do not move in interstate or foreign commerce directly burden or affect interstate commerce in canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products.

(b) Policy

It is the policy of this subchapter to establish an orderly procedure for developing, financing through assessments on domestically produced canola and rapeseed, and implementing a program of research, promotion, consumer information, and industry information designed to strengthen the position in the marketplace of the canola and rapeseed industry, to maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets and uses for canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products, and to develop new markets and uses for canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products.

(c) Construction

Nothing in this subchapter provides for the control of production or otherwise limits the right of individual producers to produce canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §532, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1048.)

§7442. Definitions

In this subchapter (unless the context otherwise requires):

(1) Board

The term "Board" means the National Canola and Rapeseed Board established under section 7444(b) of this title.

(2) Canola; rapeseed

The terms "canola" and "rapeseed" mean any brassica plant grown in the United States for the production of an oilseed, the oil of which is used for a food or nonfood use.

(3) Canola or rapeseed product

The term "canola or rapeseed product" means a product produced, in whole or in part, from canola or rapeseed.

(4) Commerce

The term "commerce" includes interstate, foreign, and intrastate commerce.

(5) Conflict of interest

The term "conflict of interest" means a situation in which a member of the Board has a direct or indirect financial interest in a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture, or other business entity dealing directly or indirectly with the Board.

(6) Consumer information

The term "consumer information" means information that will assist consumers and other persons in making evaluations and decisions regarding the purchase, preparation, and use of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products.

(7) Department

The term "Department" means the Department of Agriculture.

(8) First purchaser

The term "first purchaser" means—

(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person who buys or otherwise acquires canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products produced by a producer; or

(B) the Commodity Credit Corporation, in a case in which canola or rapeseed is forfeited to the Commodity Credit Corporation as collateral for a loan issued under a price support loan program administered by the Commodity Credit Corporation.

(9) Industry information

The term "industry information" means information or a program that will lead to the development of new markets, new marketing strategies, or increased efficiency for the canola and rapeseed industry, or an activity to enhance the image of the canola or rapeseed industry.

(10) Industry member

The term "industry member" means a member of the canola and rapeseed industry who represents—

(A) manufacturers of canola or rapeseed products; or

(B) persons who commercially buy or sell canola or rapeseed.

(11) Marketing

The term "marketing" means the sale or other disposition of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products in a channel of commerce.

(12) Order

The term "order" means an order issued under section 7443 of this title.

(13) Person

The term "person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative, or any other legal entity.

(14) Producer

The term "producer" means a person engaged in the growing of canola or rapeseed in the United States who owns, or who shares the ownership and risk of loss of, the canola or rapeseed.

(15) Promotion

The term "promotion" means an action, including paid advertising, technical assistance, or a trade servicing activity, to enhance the image or desirability of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products in domestic and foreign markets, or an activity designed to communicate to consumers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, government officials, or other persons information relating to the positive attributes of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products or the benefits of use or distribution of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products.

(16) Research

The term "research" means any type of test, study, or analysis to advance the image, desirability, marketability, production, product development, quality, or functional or nutritional value of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products, including research activity designed to identify and analyze barriers to export sales of canola or rapeseed produced in the United States.

(17) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(18) State

The term "State" means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(19) United States

The term "United States" means collectively the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §533, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1049.)

§7443. Issuance and amendment of orders

(a) In general

Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall issue 1 or more orders under this subchapter applicable to producers and first purchasers of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products. The order shall be national in scope. Not more than 1 order shall be in effect under this subchapter at any 1 time.

(b) Procedure

(1) Proposal or request for issuance

The Secretary may propose the issuance of an order under this subchapter, or an association of canola and rapeseed producers or any other person that would be affected by an order issued pursuant to this subchapter may request the issuance of, and submit a proposal for, an order.

(2) Notice and comment concerning proposed order

Not later than 60 days after the receipt of a request and proposal for an order pursuant to paragraph (1), or whenever the Secretary determines to propose an order, the Secretary shall publish a proposed order and give due notice and opportunity for public comment on the proposed order.

(3) Issuance of order

After notice and opportunity for public comment are given as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue an order, taking into consideration the comments received and including in the order provisions necessary to ensure that the order is in conformity with the requirements of this subchapter. The order shall be issued and become effective not later than 180 days following publication of the proposed order.

(c) Amendments

The Secretary may amend an order issued under this section.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §534, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1050.)

§7444. Required terms in orders

(a) In general

An order issued under this subchapter shall contain the terms and conditions specified in this section.

(b) Establishment and membership of National Canola and Rapeseed Board

(1) In general

The order shall provide for the establishment of, and appointment of members to, a National Canola and Rapeseed Board to administer the order.

(2) Service to entire industry

The Board shall carry out programs and projects that will provide maximum benefit to the canola and rapeseed industry in all parts of the United States and only promote canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products.

(3) Board membership

The Board shall consist of 15 members, including—

(A) 11 members who are producers, including—

(i) 1 member from each of the 6 geographic regions comprised of States where canola or rapeseed is produced, as determined by the Secretary; and

(ii) 5 members from the geographic regions referred to in clause (i), allocated according to the production in each region; and


(B) 4 members who are industry members, including at least—

(i) 1 member who represents manufacturers of canola or rapeseed end products; and

(ii) 1 member who represents persons who commercially buy or sell canola or rapeseed.

(4) Limitation on State residence

There shall be no more than 4 producer members of the Board from any 1 State.

(5) Modifying Board membership

In accordance with regulations approved by the Secretary, at least once each 3 years and not more than once each 2 years, the Board shall review the geographic distribution of canola and rapeseed production throughout the United States and, if warranted, recommend to the Secretary that the Secretary—

(A) reapportion regions in order to reflect the geographic distribution of canola and rapeseed production; and

(B) reapportion the seats on the Board to reflect the production in each region.

(6) Certification of organizations

(A) In general

For the purposes of section 7445 of this title, the eligibility of any State organization to represent producers shall be certified by the Secretary.

(B) Criteria

The Secretary shall certify any State organization that the Secretary determines has a history of stability and permanency and meets at least 1 of the following criteria:

(i) Majority representation

The total paid membership of the organization—

(I) is comprised of at least a majority of canola or rapeseed producers; or

(II) represents at least a majority of the canola or rapeseed producers in the State.

(ii) Substantial number of producers represented

The organization represents a substantial number of producers that produce a substantial quantity of canola or rapeseed in the State.

(iii) Purpose

The organization is a general farm or agricultural organization that has as a stated objective the promotion and development of the United States canola or rapeseed industry and the economic welfare of United States canola or rapeseed producers.

(C) Report

The Secretary shall make a certification under this paragraph on the basis of a factual report submitted by the State organization.

(7) Terms of office

(A) In general

A member of the Board shall serve for a term of 3 years, except that the members appointed to the initial Board shall serve, proportionately, for terms of 1, 2, and 3 years, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Limitation on terms

No individual may serve more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms as a member.

(C) Termination of terms

Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), each member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed by the Secretary.

(8) Compensation

A member of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of duties for and approved by the Board.

(c) Powers and duties of Board

The order shall define the powers and duties of the Board, which shall include the power and duty—

(1) to administer the order in accordance with the terms and conditions of the order;

(2) to issue regulations to effectuate the terms and conditions of the order;

(3) to meet, organize, and select from among members of the Board a chairperson, other officers, and committees and subcommittees, as the Board determines appropriate;

(4) to establish working committees of persons other than Board members;

(5) to employ such persons, other than Board members, as the Board considers necessary, and to determine the compensation and define the duties of the persons;

(6) to prepare and submit for the approval of the Secretary, when appropriate or necessary, a recommended rate of assessment under section 7445 of this title, and a fiscal period budget of the anticipated expenses in the administration of the order, including the probable costs of all programs and projects;

(7) to develop programs and projects, subject to subsection (d);

(8) to enter into contracts or agreements, subject to subsection (e), to develop and carry out programs or projects of research, promotion, industry information, and consumer information;

(9) to carry out research, promotion, industry information, and consumer information projects, and to pay the costs of the projects with assessments collected under section 7445 of this title;

(10) to keep minutes, books, and records that reflect the actions and transactions of the Board, and promptly report minutes of each Board meeting to the Secretary;

(11) to appoint and convene, from time to time, working committees comprised of producers, industry members, and the public to assist in the development of research, promotion, industry information, and consumer information programs for canola, rapeseed, and canola and rapeseed products;

(12) to invest, pending disbursement under a program or project, funds collected through assessments authorized under section 7445 of this title, or funds earned from investments, only in—

(A) obligations of the United States or an agency of the United States;

(B) general obligations of a State or a political subdivision of a State;

(C) an interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System; or

(D) obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States;


(13) to receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of the order;

(14) to furnish the Secretary with such information as the Secretary may request;

(15) to recommend to the Secretary amendments to the order;

(16) to develop and recommend to the Secretary for approval such regulations as may be necessary for the development and execution of programs or projects, or as may otherwise be necessary, to carry out the order; and

(17) to provide the Secretary with advance notice of meetings.

(d) Programs and budgets

(1) Submission to Secretary

The order shall provide that the Board shall submit to the Secretary for approval any program or project of research, promotion, consumer information, or industry information. No program or project shall be implemented prior to approval by the Secretary.

(2) Budgets

The order shall require the Board, prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, or as may be necessary after the beginning of a fiscal year, to submit to the Secretary for approval budgets of anticipated expenses and disbursements in the implementation of the order, including projected costs of research, promotion, consumer information, and industry information programs and projects.

(3) Incurring expenses

The Board may incur such expenses for programs or projects of research, promotion, consumer information, or industry information, and other expenses for the administration, maintenance, and functioning of the Board as may be authorized by the Secretary, including any implementation, administrative, and referendum costs incurred by the Department.

(4) Paying expenses

The funds to cover the expenses referred to in paragraph (3) shall be paid by the Board from assessments collected under section 7445 of this title or funds borrowed pursuant to paragraph (5).

(5) Authority to borrow

To meet the expenses referred to in paragraph (3), the Board shall have the authority to borrow funds, as approved by the Secretary, for capital outlays and startup costs.

(e) Contracts and agreements

(1) In general

To ensure efficient use of funds, the order shall provide that the Board may enter into a contract or agreement for the implementation and carrying out of a program or project of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products research, promotion, consumer information, or industry information, including a contract with a producer organization, and for the payment of the costs with funds received by the Board under the order.

(2) Requirements

A contract or agreement under paragraph (1) shall provide that—

(A) the contracting party shall develop and submit to the Board a program or project together with a budget that shall show the estimated costs to be incurred for the program or project;

(B) the program or project shall become effective on the approval of the Secretary; and

(C) the contracting party shall keep accurate records of all transactions, account for funds received and expended, make periodic reports to the Board of activities conducted, and make such other reports as the Board or the Secretary may require.

(3) Producer organizations

The order shall provide that the Board may contract with a producer organization for any services required in addition to the services described in paragraph (1). The contract shall include provisions comparable to the provisions required by paragraph (2).

(f) Books and records of Board

(1) In general

The order shall require the Board to—

(A) maintain such books and records (which shall be available to the Secretary for inspection and audit) as the Secretary may prescribe;

(B) prepare and submit to the Secretary, from time to time, such reports as the Secretary may prescribe; and

(C) account for the receipt and disbursement of all funds entrusted to the Board.

(2) Audits

The Board shall cause the books and records of the Board to be audited by an independent auditor at the end of each fiscal year, and a report of the audit to be submitted to the Secretary.

(g) Prohibition

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Board shall not engage in any action to, nor shall any funds received by the Board under this subchapter be used to—

(A) influence legislation or governmental action;

(B) engage in an action that would be a conflict of interest;

(C) engage in advertising that is false or misleading; or

(D) engage in promotion that would disparage other commodities.

(2) Action permitted

Paragraph (1) does not preclude—

(A) the development and recommendation of amendments to the order;

(B) the communication to appropriate government officials of information relating to the conduct, implementation, or results of promotion, research, consumer information, or industry information activities under the order; or

(C) any action designed to market canola or rapeseed products directly to a foreign government or political subdivision of a foreign government.

(h) Books and records

(1) In general

The order shall require that each producer, first purchaser, or industry member shall—

(A) maintain and submit to the Board any reports considered necessary by the Secretary to ensure compliance with this subchapter; and

(B) make available during normal business hours, for inspection by employees of the Board or Secretary, such books and records as are necessary to carry out this subchapter, including such records as are necessary to verify any required reports.

(2) Confidentiality

(A) In general

Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, all information obtained from books, records, or reports required to be maintained under paragraph (1) shall be kept confidential, and shall not be disclosed to the public by any person.

(B) Disclosure

Information referred to in subparagraph (A) may be disclosed to the public if—

(i) the Secretary considers the information relevant;

(ii) the information is revealed in a suit or administrative hearing brought at the direction or on the request of the Secretary or to which the Secretary or any officer of the Department is a party; and

(iii) the information relates to this subchapter.

(C) Misconduct

A knowing disclosure of confidential information in violation of subparagraph (A) by an officer or employee of the Board or Department, except as required by other law or allowed under subparagraph (B) or (D), shall be considered a violation of this subchapter.

(D) General statements

Nothing in this paragraph prohibits—

(i) the issuance of general statements based on the reports of a number of persons subject to an order or statistical data collected from the reports, if the statements do not identify the information furnished by any person; or

(ii) the publication, by direction of the Secretary, of the name of a person violating the order, together with a statement of the particular provisions of the order violated by the person.

(3) Availability of information for law enforcement

Information obtained under this subchapter may be made available to another agency of the Federal Government for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law and if the head of the agency has made a written request to the Secretary specifying the particular information desired and the law enforcement activity for which the information is sought.

(4) Penalty

Any person knowingly violating this subsection, on conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, and if an officer or employee of the Board or the Department, shall be removed from office or terminated from employment, as applicable.

(5) Withholding of information

Nothing in this subchapter authorizes the withholding of information from Congress.

(i) Use of assessments

The order shall provide that the assessments collected under section 7445 of this title shall be used for payment of the expenses in implementing and administering this subchapter, with provision for a reasonable reserve, and to cover administrative costs incurred by the Secretary in implementing and administering this subchapter.

(j) Other terms and conditions

The order shall contain such other terms and conditions, not inconsistent with this subchapter, as are determined necessary by the Secretary to effectuate this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §535, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1051.)

§7445. Assessments

(a) In general

(1) First purchasers

During the effective period of an order issued pursuant to this subchapter, assessments shall be—

(A) levied on all canola or rapeseed produced in the United States and marketed; and

(B) deducted from the payment made to a producer for all canola or rapeseed sold to a first purchaser.

(2) Direct processing

The order shall provide that any person processing canola or rapeseed of that person's own production and marketing the canola or rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products, shall remit to the Board or a State organization certified to represent producers under section 7444(b)(6) of this title, in the manner prescribed by the order, an assessment established at a rate equivalent to the rate provided for under subsection (d).

(b) Limitation on assessments

No more than 1 assessment may be assessed under subsection (a) on any canola or rapeseed produced (as remitted by a first purchaser).

(c) Remitting of assessments

(1) In general

Assessments required under subsection (a) shall be remitted to the Board by a first purchaser. The Board shall use State organizations certified to represent producers under section 7444(b)(6) of this title to collect the assessments. If an appropriate certified State organization does not exist to collect an assessment, the assessment shall be collected by the Board. There shall be only 1 certified State organization in each State.

(2) Times to remit assessment

Each first purchaser shall remit the assessment to the Board as provided for in the order.

(d) Assessment rate

(1) Initial rate

The initial assessment rate shall be 4 cents per hundredweight of canola or rapeseed produced and marketed.

(2) Increase

The assessment rate may be increased on recommendation by the Board to a rate not exceeding 10 cents per hundredweight of canola or rapeseed produced and marketed in a State, unless—

(A) after the initial referendum is held under section 7446(a) of this title, the Board recommends an increase above 10 cents per hundredweight; and

(B) the increase is approved in a referendum under section 7446(b) of this title.

(3) Credit

A producer who demonstrates to the Board that the producer is participating in a program of a State organization certified to represent producers under section 7444(b)(6) of this title shall receive credit, in determining the assessment due from the producer, for contributions to the program of up to 2 cents per hundredweight of canola or rapeseed marketed.

(e) Late payment charge

(1) In general

There shall be a late payment charge imposed on any person who fails to remit, on or before the date provided for in the order, to the Board the total amount for which the person is liable.

(2) Amount of charge

The amount of the late payment charge imposed under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by the Board with the approval of the Secretary.

(f) Refund of assessments from escrow account

(1) Establishment of escrow account

During the period beginning on the date on which an order is first issued under section 7443(b)(3) of this title and ending on the date on which a referendum is conducted under section 7446(a) of this title, the Board shall—

(A) establish and maintain an escrow account to be used for assessment refunds; and

(B) place funds in the account in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) Placement of funds in account

The Board shall place in the account, from assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (1), an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying the total amount of assessments collected during the period by 10 percent.

(3) Right to receive refund

The Board shall refund to a producer the assessments paid by or on behalf of the producer if—

(A) the producer is required to pay the assessment;

(B) the producer does not support the program established under this subchapter; and

(C) the producer demands the refund prior to the conduct of the referendum under section 7446(a) of this title.

(4) Form of demand

The demand shall be made in accordance with such regulations, in such form, and within such time period as prescribed by the Board.

(5) Making of refund

The refund shall be made on submission of proof satisfactory to the Board that the producer paid the assessment for which the refund is demanded.

(6) Proration

If—

(A) the amount in the escrow account required by paragraph (1) is not sufficient to refund the total amount of assessments demanded by eligible producers; and

(B) the order is not approved pursuant to the referendum conducted under section 7446(a) of this title;


the Board shall prorate the amount of the refunds among all eligible producers who demand a refund.

(7) Program approved

If the plan is approved pursuant to the referendum conducted under section 7446(a) of this title, all funds in the escrow account shall be returned to the Board for use by the Board in accordance with this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §536, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1056.)

§7446. Referenda

(a) Initial referendum

(1) Requirement

During the period ending 30 months after the date on which an order is first issued under section 7443(b)(3) of this title, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among producers who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of canola or rapeseed for the purpose of ascertaining whether the order then in effect shall be continued.

(2) Advance notice

The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, provide broad public notice in advance of any referendum. The notice shall be provided, without advertising expenses, by means of newspapers, county newsletters, the electronic media, and press releases, through the use of notices posted in State and county cooperative extension offices and county Consolidated Farm Service Agency 1 offices, and by other appropriate means specified in the order. The notice shall contain information on when the referendum will be held, registration and voting requirements, rules regarding absentee voting, and other pertinent information.

(3) Approval of order

The order shall be continued only if the Secretary determines that the order has been approved by not less than a majority of the producers voting in the referendum.

(4) Disapproval of order

If continuation of the order is not approved by a majority of the producers voting in the referendum, the Secretary shall terminate collection of assessments under the order within 180 days after the referendum and shall terminate the order in an orderly manner as soon as practicable.

(b) Additional referenda

(1) In general

(A) Requirement

After the initial referendum on an order, the Secretary shall conduct additional referenda, as described in subparagraph (C), if requested by a representative group of producers, as described in subparagraph (B).

(B) Representative group of producers

An additional referendum on an order shall be conducted if requested by 10 percent or more of the producers who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of canola or rapeseed.

(C) Eligible producers

Each additional referendum shall be conducted among all producers who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of canola or rapeseed to determine whether the producers favor the termination or suspension of the order.

(2) Disapproval of order

If the Secretary determines, in a referendum conducted under paragraph (1), that suspension or termination of the order is favored by a majority of the producers voting in the referendum, the Secretary shall suspend or terminate, as appropriate, collection of assessments under the order within 180 days after the determination, and shall suspend or terminate the order, as appropriate, in an orderly manner as soon as practicable after the determination.

(3) Opportunity to request additional referenda

(A) In general

Beginning on the date that is 5 years after the conduct of a referendum under this subchapter, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall provide canola and rapeseed producers an opportunity to request an additional referendum.

(B) Method of making request

(i) In-person requests

To carry out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall establish a procedure under which a producer may make a request for a reconfirmation referendum in person at a county cooperative extension office or a county Consolidated Farm Service Agency office during a period established by the Secretary, or as provided in clause (ii).

(ii) Mail-in requests

In lieu of making a request in person, a producer may make a request by mail. To facilitate the submission of requests by mail, the Secretary may make mail-in request forms available to producers.

(C) Notifications

The Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register, and the Board shall provide written notification to producers, not later than 60 days prior to the end of the period established under subparagraph (B)(i) for an in-person request, of the opportunity of producers to request an additional referendum. The notification shall explain the right of producers to an additional referendum, the procedure for a referendum, the purpose of a referendum, and the date and method by which producers may act to request an additional referendum under this paragraph. The Secretary shall take such other action as the Secretary determines is necessary to ensure that producers are made aware of the opportunity to request an additional referendum.

(D) Action by Secretary

As soon as practicable following the submission of a request for an additional referendum, the Secretary shall determine whether a sufficient number of producers have requested the referendum, and take such steps as are necessary to conduct the referendum, as required under paragraph (1).

(E) Time limit

An additional referendum requested under the procedures provided in this paragraph shall be conducted not later than 1 year after the Secretary determines that a representative group of producers, as described in paragraph (1)(B), have requested the conduct of the referendum.

(c) Procedures

(1) Reimbursement of Secretary

The Secretary shall be reimbursed from assessments collected by the Board for any expenses incurred by the Secretary in connection with the conduct of an activity required under this section.

(2) Date

Each referendum shall be conducted for a reasonable period of time not to exceed 3 days, established by the Secretary, under a procedure under which producers intending to vote in the referendum shall certify that the producers were engaged in the production of canola, rapeseed, or canola or rapeseed products during the representative period and, at the same time, shall be provided an opportunity to vote in the referendum.

(3) Place

Referenda under this section shall be conducted at locations determined by the Secretary. On request, absentee mail ballots shall be furnished by the Secretary in a manner prescribed by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §537, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1058; Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, §7511(c)(28), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1270; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title VII, §7511(c)(28), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2031.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2008—Subsecs. (a)(2), (b)(3)(B)(i). Pub. L. 110–246, §7511(c)(28), substituted "cooperative extension" for "Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service".

Change of Name

Consolidated Farm Service Agency effectively renamed Farm Service Agency by the amendments made to section 6932 of this title by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12404(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4974.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

Amendment by section 7511(c)(28) of Pub. L. 110–246 effective Oct. 1, 2009, see section 7511(c) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 1522 of this title.

1 See Change of Name note below.

§7447. Petition and review

(a) Petition

(1) In general

A person subject to an order issued under this subchapter may file with the Secretary a petition—

(A) stating that the order, a provision of the order, or an obligation imposed in connection with the order is not established in accordance with law; and

(B) requesting a modification of the order or an exemption from the order.

(2) Hearings

The petitioner shall be given the opportunity for a hearing on a petition filed under paragraph (1), in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary.

(3) Ruling

After a hearing under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue a ruling on the petition that is the subject of the hearing, which shall be final if the ruling is in accordance with applicable law.

(4) Limitation on petition

Any petition filed under this subchapter challenging an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, shall be filed not later than 2 years after the effective date of the order or imposition of the obligation.

(b) Review

(1) Commencement of action

The district court of the United States for any district in which the person who is a petitioner under subsection (a) resides or carries on business shall have jurisdiction to review a ruling on the petition, if a complaint is filed by the person not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of a ruling by the Secretary under subsection (a)(3).

(2) Process

Service of process in a proceeding under paragraph (1) shall be conducted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(3) Remands

If the court determines, under paragraph (1), that a ruling issued under subsection (a)(3) is not in accordance with applicable law, the court shall remand the matter to the Secretary with directions either—

(A) to make such ruling as the court shall determine to be in accordance with law; or

(B) to take such further proceedings as, in the opinion of the court, the law requires.

(4) Enforcement

The pendency of proceedings instituted under subsection (a) shall not impede, hinder, or delay the Attorney General or the Secretary from taking any action under section 7448 of this title.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §538, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1060.)

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§7448. Enforcement

(a) Jurisdiction

The district courts of the United States are vested with jurisdiction specifically to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from violating, an order or regulation made or issued under this subchapter.

(b) Referral to Attorney General

A civil action authorized to be commenced under this section shall be referred to the Attorney General for appropriate action, except that the Secretary shall not be required to refer to the Attorney General a violation of this subchapter if the Secretary believes that the administration and enforcement of this subchapter would be adequately served by providing a suitable written notice or warning to the person committing the violation or by administrative action under subsection (c).

(c) Civil penalties and orders

(1) Civil penalties

(A) In general

Any person who willfully violates any provision of an order or regulation issued by the Secretary under this subchapter, or who fails or refuses to pay, collect, or remit an assessment or fee required of the person under an order or regulation, may be assessed—

(i) a civil penalty by the Secretary of not more than $1,000 for each violation; and

(ii) in the case of a willful failure to pay, collect, or remit an assessment as required by an order or regulation, an additional penalty equal to the amount of the assessment.

(B) Separate offense

Each violation under subparagraph (A) shall be a separate offense.

(2) Cease-and-desist orders

In addition to, or in lieu of, a civil penalty under paragraph (1), the Secretary may issue an order requiring a person to cease and desist from continuing a violation.

(3) Notice and hearing

No penalty shall be assessed, or cease-and-desist order issued, by the Secretary under this subsection unless the person against whom the penalty is assessed or the cease-and-desist order is issued is given notice and opportunity for a hearing before the Secretary with respect to the violation.

(4) Finality

The order of the Secretary assessing a penalty or imposing a cease-and-desist order under this subsection shall be final and conclusive unless the affected person files an appeal of the order in the appropriate district court of the United States in accordance with subsection (d).

(d) Review by district court

(1) Commencement of action

Any person who has been determined to be in violation of this subchapter, or against whom a civil penalty has been assessed or a cease-and-desist order issued under subsection (c), may obtain review of the penalty or cease-and-desist order by—

(A) filing, within the 30-day period beginning on the date the penalty is assessed or cease-and-desist order issued, a notice of appeal in—

(i) the district court of the United States for the district in which the person resides or carries on business; or

(ii) the United States District Court for the District of Columbia; and


(B) simultaneously sending a copy of the notice by certified mail to the Secretary.

(2) Record

The Secretary shall file promptly, in the appropriate court referred to in paragraph (1), a certified copy of the record on which the Secretary determined that the person committed the violation.

(3) Standard of review

A finding of the Secretary under this section shall be set aside only if the finding is found to be unsupported by substantial evidence.

(e) Failure to obey cease-and-desist orders

Any person who fails to obey a cease-and-desist order issued under this section after the cease-and-desist order has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, shall be subject to a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary, after opportunity for a hearing and for judicial review under the procedures specified in subsections (c) and (d), of not more than $5,000 for each offense. Each day during which the failure continues shall be considered as a separate violation of the cease-and-desist order.

(f) Failure to pay penalties

If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty under this section after the assessment has become a final and unappealable order, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for recovery of the amount assessed in the district court of the United States for any district in which the person resides or carries on business. In an action for recovery, the validity and appropriateness of the final order imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.

(g) Additional remedies

The remedies provided in this subchapter shall be in addition to, and not exclusive of, other remedies that may be available.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §539, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1061.)

§7449. Investigations and power to subpoena

(a) Investigations

The Secretary may make such investigations as the Secretary considers necessary—

(1) for the effective administration of this subchapter; and

(2) to determine whether any person has engaged or is engaging in an act that constitutes a violation of this subchapter, or an order, rule, or regulation issued under this subchapter.

(b) Subpoenas, oaths, and affirmations

(1) In general

For the purpose of an investigation under subsection (a), the Secretary may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, take evidence, and issue subpoenas to require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The attendance of witnesses and the production of records may be required from any place in the United States.

(2) Administrative hearings

For the purpose of an administrative hearing held under section 7447 or 7448 of this title, the presiding officer is authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena and compel the attendance of witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The attendance of witnesses and the production of records may be required from any place in the United States.

(c) Aid of courts

In the case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to, any person, the Secretary may invoke the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the investigation or proceeding is carried on, or where the person resides or carries on business, in order to enforce a subpoena issued by the Secretary under subsection (b). The court may issue an order requiring the person to comply with the subpoena.

(d) Contempt

A failure to obey an order of the court under this section may be punished by the court as contempt of the court.

(e) Process

Process may be served on a person in the judicial district in which the person resides or carries on business or wherever the person may be found.

(f) Hearing site

The site of a hearing held under section 7447 or 7448 of this title shall be in the judicial district where the person affected by the hearing resides or has a principal place of business.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §540, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1062.)

§7450. Suspension or termination

The Secretary shall, whenever the Secretary finds that an order or a provision of an order obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of this subchapter, suspend or terminate the operation of the order or provision. The suspension or termination of an order shall not be considered an order within the meaning of this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §541, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1063.)

§7451. Regulations

The Secretary may issue such regulations as are necessary to carry out this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §542, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1063.)

§7452. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

There are authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year such sums as are necessary to carry out this subchapter.

(b) Administrative expenses

Funds appropriated under subsection (a) shall not be available for payment of the expenses or expenditures of the Board in administering a provision of an order issued under this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 104–127, title V, §543, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1063.)