7 CFR § 205.681 - Appeals.
(a) Adverse actions by certifying agents. An applicant for certification may appeal a certifying agent's notice of denial of certification, and a certified operation may appeal a certifying agent's notification of proposed suspension or proposed revocation of certification to the Administrator, Except, that, when the applicant or certified operation is subject to an approved State organic program, the appeal must be made to the State organic program which will carry out the appeal pursuant to the State organic program's appeal procedures approved by the Secretary.
(1) If the Administrator or State organic program sustains a certification applicant's or certified operation's appeal of a certifying agent's decision, the applicant will be issued organic certification, or a certified operation will continue its certification, as applicable to the operation. The act of sustaining the appeal shall not be an adverse action subject to appeal by the affected certifying agent.
(2) If the Administrator or State organic program denies an appeal, a formal administrative proceeding will be initiated to deny, suspend, or revoke the certification unless the parties resolve the issues through settlement, or the appellant waives or does not timely request a hearing. Such proceeding must be conducted pursuant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Uniform Rules of Practice, 7 CFR part 1, subpart H, or the State organic program's rules of procedure.
(1) If the Administrator sustains an appeal, an applicant will be issued accreditation, a certifying agent will continue its accreditation, or an operation will continue its certification, a civil penalty will be withdrawn, and a cease and desist notice will be withdrawn, as applicable to the operation.
(2) If the Administrator denies an appeal, a formal administrative proceeding will be initiated to deny, suspend, or revoke the accreditation or certification and/or levy civil penalties unless the parties resolve the issues through settlement, the appellant waives a hearing, or the appellant does not timely request a hearing. Such proceeding must be conducted pursuant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Uniform Rules of Practice, 7 CFR part 1, subpart H.
(c) Filing period. An appeal must be filed in writing within the time period provided in the letter of notification or within 30 days from receipt of the notification, whichever occurs later. The appeal will be considered “filed” on the date received by the Administrator or by the State organic program. An adverse action will become final and nonappealable unless an appeal is timely filed.
(d) Where and what to file.
(1) Appeals to the Administrator and Requests for Hearing must be filed in writing and addressed to: 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 2642, Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250, or electronic transmission, NOPAppeals@usda.gov.
(3) All appeals must include a copy of the adverse action and a statement of the appellant's reasons for believing that the action was not proper or made in accordance with applicable program regulations.
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