7 CFR § 205.403 - On-site inspections.

§ 205.403 On-site inspections.

(a) On-site inspections.

(1) A certifying agent must conduct an initial on-site inspection of each production unit, facility, and site that produces or handles organic products and that is included in an operation for which certification is requested. An on-site inspection shall be conducted annually thereafter for each certified operation that produces or handles organic products for the purpose of determining whether to approve the request for certification or whether the certification of the operation should continue.

(2)

(i) A certifying agent may conduct additional on-site inspections of applicants for certification and certified operations to determine compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part.

(ii) The Administrator or State organic program's governing State official may require that additional inspections be performed by the certifying agent for the purpose of determining compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part.

(iii) Additional inspections may be announced or unannounced at the discretion of the certifying agent or as required by the Administrator or State organic program's governing State official.

(b) Scheduling.

(1) The initial on-site inspection must be conducted within a reasonable time following a determination that the applicant appears to comply or may be able to comply with the requirements of subpart C of this part: Except, That, the initial inspection may be delayed for up to 6 months to comply with the requirement that the inspection be conducted when the land, facilities, and activities that demonstrate compliance or capacity to comply can be observed.

(2) All on-site inspections must be conducted when an authorized representative of the operation who is knowledgeable about the operation is present and at a time when land, facilities, and activities that demonstrate the operation's compliance with or capability to comply with the applicable provisions of subpart C of this part can be observed, except that this requirement does not apply to unannounced on-site inspections.

(c) Verification of information. The on-site inspection of an operation must verify:

(1) The operation's compliance or capability to comply with the Act and the regulations in this part;

(2) That the information, including the organic production or handling system plan, provided in accordance with §§ 205.401, 205.406, and 205.200, accurately reflects the practices used or to be used by the applicant for certification or by the certified operation;

(3) That prohibited substances have not been and are not being applied to the operation through means which, at the discretion of the certifying agent, may include the collection and testing of soil; water; waste; seeds; plant tissue; and plant, animal, and processed products samples.

(d) Exit interview. The inspector must conduct an exit interview with an authorized representative of the operation who is knowledgeable about the inspected operation to confirm the accuracy and completeness of inspection observations and information gathered during the on-site inspection. The inspector must also address the need for any additional information as well as any issues of concern.

(e) Documents to the inspected operation.

(1) At the time of the inspection, the inspector shall provide the operation's authorized representative with a receipt for any samples taken by the inspector. There shall be no charge to the inspector for the samples taken.

(2) A copy of the on-site inspection report and any test results will be sent to the inspected operation by the certifying agent.