(b) Form of applicationAn application for a charter for a council shall be made by filing with the Secretary the text of a proposed charter in such form as shall be prescribed by regulation by the Secretary. The text of a proposed charter must contain such information as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate for carrying out the provisions of this chapter, including—
the name of the council and a provision proclaiming its establishment;
a declaration of the purposes and objectives of the council;
a description of the procedures for determining assessment rates under section 4012 of this title;
the maximum amount an assessment rate for any period may be raised above the rate applicable for the immediately preceding period; and
The text of a proposed charter shall be accompanied by a document identifying, to the extent practicable by address of place of business, the persons (hereinafter referred to as “sector participants”) that are considered by the applicants to meet the requirements specified in paragraph (6) of this subsection. The text of a proposed charter shall include provisions setting forth procedures for providing refunds to those sector participants subject to assessment under section 4012 of this title, and may also include provisions which establish a maximum limit on the amount that any one sector participant may be required to pay under an assessment for any period.
(c) Contents of charterThe Secretary may not approve a proposed charter filed under subsection (a) of this section unless such charter provides that—
(d) Review of charter
(1) Within 180 days of the receipt of an application to establish a council, the Secretary shall—
identify, to the extent practicable, those sector participants that meet the requirements for eligibility to participate in the referendum under subsection (e) of this section;
determine, to the extent practicable, if the charter is accompanied by a petition comprised of the signatures or corporate certifications, as the case may be, of no less than three sector participants in each sector identified in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section who collectively accounted for, in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the month in which the application was filed, not less than 10 percent of the value of the fish or fish products described in accordance with subsection (b)(3) of this section that were handled by each such sector during that period; and
If any negative determination is made under paragraph (1) of this subsection regarding a proposed charter, the Secretary shall advise in writing the sector participants who made the application of the reasons for such determination. A corrected application may be submitted thereafter to the Secretary for approval.
(e) Conduct of referendum
Upon making affirmative determinations under subsection (d)(1) of this section regarding a proposed charter, the Secretary, within 90 days after the date of the last of such determinations, shall conduct a referendum on the adoption of the proposed charter among all sector participants identified in accordance with subsection (d)(1)(A) of this section. The Secretary shall by order establish the council and approve the proposed charter, if the referendum votes which are cast in favor of the proposed charter constitute a majority of the sector participants voting in each sector and the majority collectively accounts for, in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the month in which the proposed charter was filed under subsection (a) of this section, at least sixty-six percent of the value of the fish and fish products described in accordance with subsection (b)(3) of this section that were handled by that sector during such period.
(2) Not less than thirty days prior to holding a referendum under this subsection, the Secretary shall—
publish (by such means as will result in wide publicity in regions affected by the proposed charter) the text of the proposed charter and a list of those sector participants eligible to vote in the referendum; and
The Secretary shall pay all costs of a referendum which establishes a council under this subsection. Within two years after a council is established the council shall reimburse the Secretary for any expenses incurred for the conduct of the referendum from assessments collected by the council. Prior to the holding of a referendum under this subsection, the Secretary shall require the applicants to post a bond or other security acceptable to the Secretary, in an amount which the Secretary determines to be sufficient to pay any expenses incurred for the conduct of the referendum, and shall immediately recover such amount if a referendum fails to result in the establishment of a council.
Within thirty days after a council is established under subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary shall solicit from the sectors represented on the council nominations for members of the council. If the harvesters and receivers represented on the council are engaged in business in two or more regions of the United States, the nominations made under this paragraph, and the appointments to the council made under paragraph (3) of this subsection, must, to the extent practicable, result in equitable representation for the constituent regions.
A vacancy on a council shall be filled, within sixty days after the vacancy occurs, in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. A member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.