7 CFR § 1210.341 - Assessments.

§ 1210.341 Assessments.

(a) During the effective period of this subpart, assessments shall be levied on all watermelons produced and first handled in the United States and all watermelons imported into the United States for consumption as human food. No more than one assessment on a producer, handler, or importer shall be made on any lot of watermelons. The handler shall be assessed an equal amount on a per unit basis as the producer. If a person performs both producing and handling functions on any same lot of watermelons, both assessments shall be paid by such person. In the case of an importer, the assessment shall be equal to the combined rate for domestic producers and handlers and shall be paid by the importer at the time of entry of the watermelons into the United States.

(b) Assessment rates shall be fixed by the Secretary in accordance with section 1647(f) of the Act. No assessments shall be levied on watermelons grown by producers of less than 10 acres of watermelons.

(c) Each handler, as defined, is responsible for payment to the Board of both the producer's and the handler's assessment pursuant to regulations issued hereunder. The handler may collect producer assessments from the producer or deduct such assessments from the proceeds paid to the producer on whose watermelons the assessments are made. The handler shall maintain separate records for each producer's watermelons handled, including watermelons produced by said handler. In addition, the handler shall indicate the total quantity of watermelons handled by the handler, including those that are exempt under this Plan, and such other information as may be prescribed by the Board.

(d) Each importer shall be responsible for payment of the assessment to the Board on watermelons imported into the United States through the U.S. Customs Service or in such other manner as may be established by rules and regulations approved by the Secretary.

(e) Producer- handlers and handlers shall pay assessments to the Board at such time and in such manner as the Board, with the Secretary's approval, directs, pursuant to regulations issued under this part. Such regulations may provide for different handlers or classes of handlers and different handler payment and reporting schedules to recognize differences in marketing practices or procedures used in any State or production area.

(f) There shall be a late payment charge imposed on any handler or importer who fails to remit to the Board the total amount for which any such handler or importer is liable on or before the payment due date established by the Board under paragraph (e) of this section. The amount of the late payment charge shall be set by the Board subject to approval by the Secretary.

(g) There shall also be imposed on any handler or importer subject to a late payment charge, an additional charge in the form of interest on the outstanding portion of any amount for which the handler or importer is liable. The rate of such interest shall be prescribed by the Board subject to approval by the Secretary.

(h) The Board is hereby authorized to accept advance payment of assessments by handlers and importers that shall be credited toward any amount for which the handlers and importers may become liable. The Board shall not be obligated to pay interest on any advance payment.

(i) The Board is hereby authorized to borrow money for the payment of administrative expenses subject to the same fiscal, budget, and audit controls as other funds of the Board.

(j) The Board may authorize other organizations to collect assessments in its behalf with the approval of the Secretary. Any reimbursement by the Board for such services shall be based on reasonable charges for services rendered.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995]