7 CFR § 1160.215 - Assessment exemption.

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§ 1160.215 Assessment exemption.

(a) No assessment shall be required on fluid milk products exported from the United States.

(b) A fluid milk processor described in § 1160.211(a) who operates under an approved National Organic Program (7 CFR part 205) (NOP) organic handling system plan may be exempt from the payment of assessments under this part, provided that:

(1) Only agricultural products certified as “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in the NOP) are eligible for exemption;

(2) The exemption shall apply to all certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in the NOP) products of a fluid milk processor regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is processed by a person that also processes conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed;

(3) The fluid milk processor maintains a valid certificate of organic operation as issued under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 65016522)(OFPA) and the NOP regulations issued under OFPA (7 CFR part 205); and

(4) Any fluid milk processor so exempted shall continue to be obligated to pay assessments under this part that are associated with any agricultural products that do not qualify for an exemption under this section.

(c) To apply for an assessment exemption, a fluid milk processor described in § 1160.211(a) shall submit a request to the Board on an Organic Exemption Request Form (Form AMS–15) at any time during the year initially, and annually thereafter on or before July 1, for as long as the processor continues to be eligible for the exemption.

(d) A fluid milk processor request for exemption shall include the following information:

(1) The applicant's full name, company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address;

(2) Certification that the applicant maintains a valid organic certificate issued under the OFPA and the NOP;

(3) Certification that the applicant processes organic products eligible to be labeled “organic” or “100 percent organic” under the NOP;

(4) A requirement that the applicant attach a copy of their certificate of organic operation issued by a USDA-accredited certifying agent under the OFPA and the NOP;

(5) Certification, as evidenced by signature and date, that all information provided by the applicant is true; and

(6) Such other information as may be required by the Board, with the approval of the Secretary.

(e) If a fluid milk processor complies with the requirements of this section, the Board will grant an assessment exemption and issue a Certificate of Exemption to the processor within 30 days. If the application is disapproved, the Board will notify the applicant of the reason(s) for disapproval within the same timeframe.

(f) The exemption will apply not later than the last day of the month following the Certificate of Exemption issuance date.

[70 FR 2754, Jan. 14, 2005, as amended at 80 FR 82022, Dec. 31, 2015]