7 CFR 966.113 - Registered handler certification.
Each handler who handles tomatoes grown in the production area must be certified as a registered handler by the committee in order to ship such tomatoes outside of the regulated area. A handler who is certified as a registered handler is a handler who has adequate facilities to meet the requirements for preparing tomatoes for market, obtains inspection on tomatoes handled, agrees to handle tomatoes in compliance with the order's grade, size and container requirements, pays applicable assessments on a timely basis, submits reports required by the committee, and agrees to comply with other regulatory requirements on the handling of tomatoes grown in the production area.
(a) Based on the criteria specified in this section, the committee shall determine eligibility for certification as a registered handler. The committee or its authorized agent shall inspect a handler's facilities to determine if the facilities are adequate for preparing tomatoes for market. In order to be adequate for such purposes, the facilities must be permanent, nonportable buildings located in the production area with equipment that is nonportable for the proper washing, grading, sizing and packing of tomatoes grown in the production area.
(b) Application for certification shall be executed by the handler and filed with the committee on a form, prescribed by and available at the principal office of the committee, containing the following information:
(1) Business name,
(2) Address of handling facilities (including telephone and facsimile number),
(3) Mailing address (if different from handling facility),
(4) Number of years in tomato business in Florida,
(5) Type of business, and
(6) Names of senior officers, partners, or principal owners with financial interest in the business.
(c) If the committee determines from available information that an applicant meets the criteria specified in this section, such applicant shall be certified as a registered handler and shall be so informed by written notice from the committee. If certification is denied, such denial shall be made by the committee in writing, stating the reasons for denial.
(d) A registered handler's certification shall be cancelled by the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, if the handler fails to pay assessments within 45 days of the end of the assessment billing period, fails to provide reports, or no longer has adequate facilities as described in this section. Cancellation of a handler's registration shall be made in writing to the handler and shall specify the reason(s) for and effective date of such cancellation. The committee shall recertify the handler's registration at such time as the handler corrects the deficiencies which resulted in the cancellation. Certification is permanent until the committee determines, based on criteria herein, that cancellation is warranted. Persons who make deliveries of ungraded tomatoes to such certified registered handlers are hereby determined to be exempt from otherwise applicable regulations pursuant to this part.
(e) During any period in which the handling of tomatoes is regulated pursuant to this part, no handler shall obtain an inspection certifying that said handler's tomatoes meet the requirements of the marketing order unless said handler has been certified as a registered handler. Any person who is not certified as a registered handler may receive inspection on tomatoes from the Federal-State Inspection Service. Such inspection certificate shall state “Fails to meet the requirements of Marketing Order No. 966 because the handler is not a registered handler.”