7 U.S.C. § 79 - Official inspection

Cite as:7 U.S.C. § 79
Currency:Current through P.L. 115-280
 
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(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

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(c) Reinspections and appeals; cancellation of superseded certificates; sale of samples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chapter shall include provisions for reinspections and appeal inspections; cancellation and surrender of certificates superseded by reinspections and appeal inspections; and the use of standard forms for official certificates.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.

(2) DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO STATE AGENCIES.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-If the Secretary determines, pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection, that a State agency is qualified to perform official inspection, meets the criteria in subsection (f)(1)(A) of this section, and (i) was performing official inspection at an export port location under this chapter on July 1, 1976, or (ii)(I) performed official inspection at an export port location at any time prior to July 1, 1976, (II) was designated under subsection (f) of this section on December 22, 1982, to perform official inspections at locations other than export port locations, and (III) operates in a State from which total annual exports of grain do not exceed, as determined by the Secretary, 5 per centum of the total amount of grain exported from the United States annually, the Secretary may delegate authority to the State agency to perform all or specified functions involved in official inspection (other than appeal inspection) at export port locations within the State, including export port locations which may in the future be established, subject to such rules, regulations, instructions, and oversight as the Secretary may prescribe, and any such official inspection shall continue to be the direct responsibility of the Secretary. Any such delegation may be revoked by the Secretary, at the discretion of the Secretary, at any time upon notice to the State agency without opportunity for a hearing.

(B) CERTIFICATION.-

(i) IN GENERAL.-Every 5 years, the Secretary shall certify that each State agency with a delegation of authority is meeting the criteria described in subsection (f)(1)(A).

(ii) PROCESS.-Not later than 1 year after September 30, 2015, the Secretary shall establish a process for certification under which the Secretary shall-

(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.

(C) STATE AGENCY REQUIREMENTS.-

(i) IN GENERAL.-If a State agency that has been delegated authority under this paragraph intends to temporarily discontinue official inspection or weighing services for any reason, except in the case of a major disaster, the State agency shall notify the Secretary in writing of the intention of the State agency to do so at least 72 hours in advance of the discontinuation date.

(ii) SECRETARIAL CONSIDERATION.-The Secretary shall consider receipt of a notice described in clause (i) as a factor in administering the delegation of authority under this paragraph.

(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-

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