To be accredited as a certifying agent under section
6514 of this title, a governing State official or a person shall be able to fully implement the applicable organic certification program established under this chapter.
Any certifying agent shall employ a sufficient number of inspectors to implement the applicable organic certification program established under this chapter, as determined by the Secretary.
(1) Maintenance of records
Any certifying agent shall maintain all records concerning its activities under this chapter for a period of not less than 10 years.
(2) Access for Secretary
Any certifying agent shall allow representatives of the Secretary and the governing State official access to any and all records concerning the certifying agent’s activities under this chapter.
(3) Transference of records
If any private person that was certified under this chapter is dissolved or loses its accreditation, all records or copies of records concerning such person’s activities under this chapter shall be transferred to the Secretary and made available to the applicable governing State official.
Any certifying agent shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary under which such agent shall—
(1)agree to carry out the provisions of this chapter; and
(2)agree to such other terms and conditions as the Secretary determines appropriate.
(e) Private certifying agent agreement
Any certifying agent that is a private person shall, in addition to the agreement required in subsection (d) of this section—
(1)agree to hold the Secretary harmless for any failure on the part of the certifying agent to carry out the provisions of this chapter; and
(2)furnish reasonable security, in an amount determined by the Secretary, for the purpose of protecting the rights of participants in the applicable organic certification program established under this chapter.
(f) Compliance with program
Any certifying agent shall fully comply with the terms and conditions of the applicable organic certification program implemented under this chapter.
Except as provided in section
6506(a)(9) of this title, any certifying agent shall maintain strict confidentiality with respect to its clients under the applicable organic certification program and may not disclose to third parties (with the exception of the Secretary or the applicable governing State official) any business related information concerning such client obtained while implementing this chapter.
(h) Conflict of interest
Any certifying agent shall not—
(1)carry out any inspections of any operation in which such certifying agent, or employee of such certifying agent has, or has had, a commercial interest, including the provision of consultancy services;
(2)accept payment, gifts, or favors of any kind from the business inspected other than prescribed fees; or
(3)provide advice concerning organic practices or techniques for a fee, other than fees established under such program.
A certifying agent that is a private person shall nominate the individual who controls the day-to-day operation of the agent.
(j) Loss of accreditation
If the Secretary or the governing State official (if applicable) determines that a certifying agent is not properly adhering to the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary or such governing State official may suspend such certifying agent’s accreditation.
(2) Effect on certified operations
If the accreditation of a certifying agent is suspended under paragraph (1), the Secretary or the governing State official (if applicable) shall promptly determine whether farming or handling operations certified by such certifying agent may retain their organic certification.
1991—Subsec. (j)(2). Pub. L. 102–237substituted “such certifying” for “certifying such”.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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