35:37-15-3 - Procedures for Organic Certification and Registration

35:37-15-3. Procedures for Organic Certification and Registration

(a) The application for organic certification of producers and handlers, as defined by the NOP, shall be submitted to the Department on an approved application form available from the Department, or in a manner prescribed by the Department.

(b) Initial application for certification shall be accompanied by the application fee and completed information in compliance with the NOP, 7 CFR § 205.401. The initial application shall be received by the Department not less than thirty (30) days before harvest of crop or before final handling of the organic product.

(c) Once granted, certification continues in effect for one (1) year or until surrendered by the certified entity, or suspension or revocation by the Department. An annual renewal application for certification must be submitted to the Department with the application fee and information as required by the NOP, 7 CFR § 205.406, and an annual reinspection shall be conducted by the Department at each facility to determine whether the certification of the operation should continue.

(d) An application fee shall accompany each new or renewal application for organic certification. Fees for inspection services shall be assessed separately pursuant to subsection (g), below. Application fees are as follows:

(1) Crop producers:

(A) Producers with 25 acres or less - $250.00.

(B) Producers with 26 to 250 acres - $325.00.

(C) Producers with 251 to 500 acres - $450.00.

(D) Producers with more than 500 acres - $625.00.

(2) Livestock producers:

(A) Producers with 100 head or less - $250.00.

(B) Producers with 101 to 300 head - $375.00.

(C) Producers with 301 to 500 head - $500.00.

(D) Producers with more than 501 head - $625.00.

(3) Handlers or processors:

(A) On-farm processing of any kind - $250.00.

(B) Commercial Food Processors of any kind - $625.00.

(C) Commercial Feed Processors of any kind - $625.00.

(D) Commercial products/services other than food or feed - $625.00.

(4) Fee for each certified organic product label submitted by any processor - $5.00 per label.

(e) A refund of seventy-five percent (75%) of application fees will be made if certification is:

(1) Denied by the Department prior to the on-site inspection; or

(2) A withdrawal of the application and request for refund are made prior to the on-site inspection.

(f) Application fees shall be due and payable before the Department will accept an application packet or conduct organic inspections. Upon payment of the application fee, the Department shall process the application packet, issue transaction certificates, and conduct sampling at no additional charge.

(g) Producers, handlers, and processors shall be assessed a fee of $50.00 per hour for inspection services. Inspection services include on-site inspections, initial and final reviews of the organic system plan, and the inspection report write-up. Travel expenses will be added for out-of-state certifications.

(h) "Exempt" or "excluded" organic producers or handlers, as defined by the NOP, 7 CFR § 205.101, must register with the Department prior to the offering for sale of any organic product. Exempt or excluded organic producers must be registered with the Department as an exempt or excluded organic entity and may apply to be certified "organic" by the Department.

(i) Exempt producers, processors, and handlers must submit a $50.00 registration fee with their attestation form annually.

(j) The initial certification fee is not prorated throughout the year.

(k) Applications to renew certification are due one (1) year from the date of the previous application.

(1) Any application postmarked between one (1) and thirty (30) days after the due date shall pay a late fee of $75.00.

(2) Any application postmarked between thirty-one (31) and sixty (60) days after the due date shall pay a late fee of $100.00.

(3) Any application postmarked between sixty-one (61) and ninety (90) days after the due date shall pay a late fee of $200.00.

(4) Any application postmarked more than ninety (90) days after the due date shall pay a late fee of $500.00.

(l) Certified organic entities may petition to withdraw their certification with the Department at any time. In order to withdraw certification, the applicant must submit the request in writing, with company name, address, and signature. A voluntary withdrawal of the certification application by the organic entity shall not result in a "Notice of Certification Denial."

(m) Any certified entity that withdraws their certification from the Department or allows their certification to elapse may reapply for recertification, but will be considered to be a renewal application and shall pay the renewal certification fee.

(Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 32, Issue 24, September 1, 2015, eff. 9/11/2015)

Added at 21 Ok Reg 1181, eff 5-27-04; Amended at 28 Ok Reg 2204, eff 7-25-11

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