7 CFR 353.6 - Inspection.
Inspections shall be performed by agents, by inspectors, or by employees of a State plant protection agency who are authorized by the agency to perform field inspections in accordance with this part and who have successfully completed training in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section. Employees of a State plant protection agency who are not agents may perform field inspections only under the supervision of an inspector.
(a) Agent. (1) Agents may conduct phytosanitary field inspections of seed crops in cooperation with and on behalf of those State plant regulatory agencies electing to use agents and maintaining a Memorandum of Understanding with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in accordance with the regulations. The Memorandum of Understanding must state that agents shall be used in accordance with the regulations in this part. Agents are not authorized to issue Federal phytosanitary certificates, but are only authorized to conduct the field inspections of seed crops required as a basis for determining phytosanitary condition prior to the issuance of a phytosanitary certificate for the crops.
(2) To be eligible for designation as an agent, an individual must:
(i) Have the ability to recognize, in the crops he or she is responsible for inspecting, plant pests, including symptoms and/or signs of disease-causing organisms, of concern to importing countries.
(ii) Have a bachelor's degree in the biological sciences, and a minimum of 1 year's experience in identifying plant pests endemic to crops of commercial importance within the cooperating State, or a combination of higher education in the biological sciences and experience in identifying such plant pests, as follows:
(iii) Successfully complete annual training provided by the State plant regulatory agency. The required training must include instruction in inspection procedures, identification of plant pests of quarantine importance to importing countries, methods of collection and submission of specimens (organisms and/or plants or plant parts) for identification, and preparation and submission of inspection report forms approved by the State plant regulatory agency.
(iv) Have access to Federal or State laboratories for the positive identification of plants pests detected.
(3) No agents shall inspect any plants or plant products in which they or a member of their family are directly or indirectly financially interested.
(b) Inspector. (1) An employee of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or a State or county regulatory official designated by the Secretary of Agriculture to inspect and certify to shippers and other interested parties, as to the phytosanitary condition of plants and plant products inspected under the Act.
(2) To be eligible for designation as an inspector, a State or county plant regulatory official must:
(i) Have a bachelor's degree in the biological sciences, and a minimum of 1 year's experience in Federal, State or county plant regulatory activities, or a combination of higher education in the biological sciences and experience in State plant regulatory activities, as follows:
(ii) Successfully complete, as indicated by receipt of a passing grade, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service training course on phytosanitary certification.
(3) No inspectors shall inspect any plants or plant products in which they or a member of their family are directly or indirectly financially interested.
(c) Applicant responsibility. (1) When the services of an agent or an inspector are requested, the applicant shall make the plant or plant product accessible for inspection and identification and so place the plant or plant product to permit physical inspection of the lot for plant pests.
(2) The applicant must furnish all labor involved in the inspection, including the moving, opening, and closing of containers.
(3) Certificates may be refused for failure to comply with any of the foregoing provisions.