7 CFR § 17.6 - Discounts, fees, commissions and payments.

§ 17.6 Discounts, fees, commissions and payments.

For purposes of this section, the term “payment” means a commission, fee or other compensation of any kind. The term “other compensation of any kind” includes anything given in return for any consideration, services, or benefits received or to be received.

(a) Discounts. If a contract provides for one or more discounts (including but not limited to trade or quantity discounts and discounts for prompt payment) whether expressed as such or as “commissions” to the importer, CCC will only pay the invoice amount after the discount (supplier's contracted price less all discounts).

(b) Selling agents.

(1) A supplier may not make a payment to a selling agent employed or engaged by the supplier to obtain a contract. This prohibition applies to any payment to a person who has acted as a selling agent to obtain a contract even though the payment may be for services performed that are not themselves services to obtain a contract.

(2) A person is deemed to act “to obtain a contract” if the person acts on behalf of a commodity supplier to:

(i) Influence a buyer to award a contract to the supplier;

(ii) Give the supplier a competitive advantage in relation to other potential suppliers; or

(iii) Influence CCC to approve a contract for financing under this part.

(3) CCC will not consider acts which are purely ministerial in nature and do not require the exercise of personal influence, judgment, or discretion (such as attending bid openings or presenting offers at bid openings), or services to implement a contract after it has been entered into by the parties (such as handling documentation problems or contract disputes), as acts to obtain a contract.

(c) Other prohibitions.

(1) Suppliers of commodities or ocean transportation may not:

(i) Pay a commission to the participant or importer; to any agency, including an agency of the government of the importing country or the destination country; or to a corporation owned or controlled by the participant or the government of the importing country or the destination country.

(ii) Pay a commission to any affiliate of the participant, if the participant is a private entity;

(iii) Make any payment to an agent of the participant or importer, in the person's capacity as such agent, other than ocean transportation brokerage commissions.

(iv) Pay an address commission or payment.

(2) For ocean transportation, in addition to this paragraph, see also § 17.8(j).

(3) When any portion of the ocean freight is financed by CCC, total ocean transportation brokerage commissions earned on U.S. and non-U.S.-flag bookings by all parties arranging vessel fixtures shall not exceed 2 1/2 percent of the total freight costs.

(4) If a payment is made in violation of this section, CCC may demand dollar refund of the entire amount financed by CCC under the contract.