(a) Each handler shall, with respect to free tonnage acquired by him, and any reserve tonnage released or sold to him for use in free tonnage outlets, pay to the committee, upon demand, his pro rata share of the expenses (exclusive of expenses for receiving, fumigating, handling, holding or disposing of reserve pool tonnage) which the Secretary finds will be incurred, as aforesaid, by the committee during each crop year less any amounts credited pursuant to § 989.53. Such handler's pro rata share of such expenses shall be equal to the ratio between the total free tonnage acquired by such handler plus any reserve tonnage released or sold to him for use as free tonnage, during the applicable crop year and the total free tonnage acquired by all handlers plus all reserve tonnage released or sold to all handlers for use as free tonnage, during the same crop year: Provided, That (1) in computing the total free tonnage acquired by a particular handler, there shall be excluded all standard raisins (recovered by the reconditioning of offgrade raisins) acquired by the handler and which comprise the assessable portion of another handler pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, and (2) the computation of the total free tonnage acquired by all handlers shall not be similarly reduced.
(c) During any crop year or any portion of a crop year for which volume percentages are not effective for a varietal type, all standard raisins of that varietal type acquired by handlers during such period shall be free tonnage for purposes of levying assessments pursuant to this section. The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment to be paid by all handlers on the basis of a specified rate per ton. At any time during or after a crop year, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment to obtain sufficient funds to cover any later finding by the Secretary relative to the expenses of the committee. Each handler shall pay such additional assessment to the committee upon demand. In order to provide funds to carry out the functions of the committee, the committee may accept advance payments from any handler to be credited toward such assessments as may be levied pursuant to this section against such handler during the crop year. In the event cash flow needs of the committee are above cash available generated by handler assessments, the committee may borrow from a commercial lending institution. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee, and for such purposes as the Secretary may pursuant to this subpart determine to be appropriate, may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect, irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative.
(d) Each handler shall, with respect to administrative assessments not paid within 30 calendar days of the date of the Committee's invoice, pay to the Committee interest on the unpaid assessment at the rate of the prime rate established by the bank in which the Committee has its administrative assessment funds deposited, on the day that the administrative assessment becomes delinquent plus 2 percent; and further, that such rate of interest be added to the bill monthly until the delinquent handler's assessment plus applicable interest has been paid: Provided, That the Committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, modify the interest rate applicable to delinquent handler's assessment through the establishment of applicable rules and regulations.