7 CFR 800.70 - Fees for official services performed by agencies.
(a) Assessment and use of fees.
(1) Fees assessed by an agency for official inspection and Class X or Class Y weighing services or testing of inspection equipment shall be reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
(2) In the case of a State or local governmental agency, fees shall not be used for any purpose other than to finance the cost of the official inspection and Class X or Class Y weighing service and inspection equipment testing service performed by the agency or the cost of other closely related programs administered by the agency.
(b) Approval required -
(1) Restriction. Only fees that meet the requirements stated in this section and are approved by the Service as reasonable and nondiscriminatory may be charged by an agency.
(2) Exceptions. For good cause shown by an agency, the Administrator may grant case-by-case exceptions to the requirements in this section, provided that a determination is made that the agency fees would be reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
(c) Reasonable fees. In determining if an agency's fees are reasonable, the Service will consider whether the fees:
(1) Cover the estimated total cost to the agency of
(i) Official inspection services,
(ii) Class X or Class Y weighing services,
(iii) Inspection equipment testing services, and
(iv) Related supervision and monitoring activities performed by the agency;
(2) Are reasonably consistent with fees assessed by adjacent agencies for similar services;
(3) Are assessed on the basis of the average cost of performing the same or similar services at all locations served by the agency; and
(4) Are supported by sufficient information which shows how the fees were developed.
(d) Nondiscriminatory fees. In determining if fees are nondiscriminatory, the Service will consider whether the fees are collected from all applicants for official service in accordance with the approved fee schedule. Charges for time and travel incurred in providing service at a location away from a specified service point shall be assessed in accordance with the approved fee schedule.
(e) Schedule of fees to be established.
(1) Each agency shall establish a schedule of fees for official services which the agency is delegated or designated the authority to perform. The schedule shall be in a standard format in accordance with the instructions. Such schedules may include fees for nonofficial services provided by the agency, but they shall be clearly identified and will not be subject to approval by the Service.
(2) The schedule shall be published and made available by the agency to all users of its services.
(f) Request for approval of fees -
(1) Time requirement. A request for approval of a new or revised fee shall be submitted to the Service not less than 60 days in advance of the proposed effective date for the fee. Failure to submit a request within the prescribed time period may be considered grounds for postponment or denial of the request.
(2) Contents of request. Each request shall show (i) the present fee, if any, and the proposed fee, together with data showing in detail how the fee was developed, and (ii) the proposed effective date.
(g) Review of request -
(1) Approval action. If upon review the Service finds that the request and supporting data justify the new or revised fee, the request will be marked “approved” and returned to the agency.
(2) Denial action. If the Service finds that the request and supporting data do not justify the new or revised fee, approval of the request will be withheld pending receipt of any additional supporting data which the agency has to offer. If the data are not submitted within a reasonable period, the request shall be denied. In the case of a denial of a request, the agency shall be notified of the reason for denial.