9 CFR 205.208 - Distribution of portions of master list - registration - information to non-registrants on request.
(a) The provisions in the Section regarding registration of “buyers of farm products, commission merchants, and selling agents,” “regular” distribution of “portions” of the master list, furnishing of “oral confirmation * * * on request,” and the effect of all this, that is, subsections (c)(2) (D), (E) and (F), (e) (2) and (3), and (g)(2) (C) and (D), must be read together.
(b) The Section does not require such persons to register. Not registering with a particular system operator has the effect, under subsections (e)(2) and (g)(2)(C), of making such persons, whether they are inside or outside the State covered by that system, subject to security interests shown on that system's master list whether or not such persons know about them, so that such persons for their own protection will need to query the system operator about any seller “engaged in farming operations,” of a farm product produced in the State covered by that system, with whom they deal.
(c) The effect of registration by such persons with a particular system is to get them on the list for regular distribution of portions of that system's master list, the portions to be determined by the registration. They are subject only to security interests shown on the portions which they receive, and are not subject to such interests as are shown on the master list but not shown on portions which they receive. Also, if a particular security interest is shown on the master list, but has been placed on it since the last regular distribution of portions of that list to registrants, registrants would not be subject to that security interest. These conclusions are based on the provisions in subsections (e)(3)(A) and (g)(2)(D)(i) that such persons are subject to a security interest only if they receive “written notice * * * that specifies both the seller and the farm product.”
(d) A question arises as to the length of time for which a registration is effective, and whether a registrant, wishing to change registration as to county or product, can amend an existing registration or must file a new one. This is discretionary with the State since the Section is silent about it.
(e) A question arises whether persons can register to receive only portions of the list for products in which they do not deal, and thus not be subject to security interests in products in which they deal because they are registrants but do not receive written notice of them. For example, can cattle dealers register to receive portions of the master list only for oranges, and thus take cattle free and clear of security interests shown on the master list, but as to which they do not receive written notice because they have not registered to receive the portion for cattle? Registrants will be deemed to be registered only as to those portions of the master list for which they register, and will be deemed to have failed to register as to those portions for which they do not register.
(f) The Section requires “regular” distribution, to registrants, of portions of the master list as amended from time to time by the filing of EFS's and amendments to EFS's. The requirement that the distribution be “regular” necessarily refers to an interval specified in advance. The interval may vary according to product and region. The frequency of such distribution must be a consideration in review for certification since distribution must be timely to serve its purpose. While subsection (c)(2)(E) (providing that distribution be made “regularly as prescribed by the State”) gives each State discretion to choose the interval between distributions, whatever interval a State chooses will inevitably make possible some transactions in which security interests are filed in the system but registrants are not subject to them.
(g) Legislative history of the Section shows that buyers, commission merchants, and selling agents are not intended to be liable for errors or other inaccuracies generated by the system. See Nov. 22, 1985 Cong. Rec., Senate, pg. S16300, and Dec. 18, 1985 Cong. Rec., House, pg. H12523.
(h) In furnishing to non-registrants “oral confirmation within 24 hours of any [EFS] on request followed by written confirmation,” by a system operator pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(F), any failure in use of a telephone caused by a “busy signal” could not be the basis of liability of the system operator. The basis for this is that subsection (c)(2)(F) does not mention telephones. Also, while it mentions furnishing information orally, it does not contain any provision as to how queries are to be received, that is, orally, in writing, or otherwise.
(i) Of course it is to be expected that telephones would be used in most cases, but use of them is not required by the legislation and is discretionary with the State.
(j) In the matter of receiving queries and giving oral replies to them, subsection (c)(2)(F) will be complied with if a system operator maintains an office and staff where a query can be received on business days and during business hours such as are regular in the State, and where an oral reply will be available on the regular business day following the day on which the query is received, at or before the time of day when it was received.
(k) Written confirmation is required, by subsection (c)(2)(F), to be given to any non-registered buyer, commission merchant, or selling agent.
(l) Such a written confirmation pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(F) does not alter the liability of the non-registrant querying the system and receiving information about a security interest recorded in it. The basis of this, as above, is that non-registrants are subject to security interests recorded in a system whether or not they know about them, and must query the system for their own protection.
(m) The Section does not specify when or how the written confirmation must be furnished, but provides only that it must follow the oral information. Thus the time and method of furnishing written confirmation is discretionary with the State.