About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[2]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 22, 2014

Title 7: Agriculture


PART 781—DISCLOSURE OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURAL LAND


Contents
§781.1   General.
§781.2   Definitions.
§781.3   Reporting requirements.
§781.4   Assessment of penalties.
§781.5   Penalty review procedure.
§781.6   Paperwork Reduction Act assigned number.

Authority: Sec. 1-10, 92 Stat. 1266 (7 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Source: 49 FR 35074, Sept. 6, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

§781.1   General.

The purpose of these regulations is to set forth the requirements designed to implement the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978. The regulations require that a foreign person who acquires, disposes of, or holds an interest in United States agricultural land shall disclose such transactions and holdings to the Secretary of Agriculture. In particular, the regulations establish a system for the collection of information by the Agricultural Stablization and Conservation Service (FSA) pertaining to foreign investment in United States agricultural land. The information collected will be utilized in the preparation of periodic reports to Congress and the President by the Economic Research Service (ERS) concerning the effect of such holdings upon family farms and rural communities.

§781.2   Definitions.

In determining the meaning of the provisions of this part, unless the context indicates otherwise, words importing the singular include and apply to several persons or things, words importing the plural include the singular, and words used in the present tense include the future as well as the present. The following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) AFIDA. AFIDA means the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978.

(b) Agricultural land. Agricultural land means land in the United States used for forestry production and land in the United States currently used for, or, if currently idle, land last used within the past five years, for farming, ranching, or timber production, except land not exceeding ten acres in the aggregate, if the annual gross receipts from the sale of the farm, ranch, or timber products produced thereon do not exceed $1,000. Farming, ranching, or timber production includes, but is not limited to, activities set forth in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual (1987), Division A, exclusive of industry numbers 0711-0783, 0851, and 0912-0919 which cover animal trapping, game management, hunting carried on as a business enterprise, trapping carried on as a business enterprise, and wildlife management. Land used for forestry production means, land exceeding 10 acres in which 10 percent is stocked by trees of any size, including land that formerly had such tree cover and that will be naturally or artificially regenerated.

(c) Any interest. Any interest means all interest acquired, transferred or held in agricultural lands by a foreign person, except:

(1) Security interests;

(2) Leaseholds of less than 10 years;

(3) Contingent future interests;

(4) Noncontingent future interests which do not become possessory upon the termination of the present possessory estate;

(5) Surface or subsurface easements and rights of way used for a purpose unrelated to agricultural production; and

(6) An interest solely in mineral rights.

(d) County. County means a political subdivision of a State identified as a County or parish. In Alaska, the term means an area so designated by the State Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation committee.

(e) Foreign government. Foreign government means any government other than the United States government, the government of a State, or a political subdivision of a State.

(f) Foreign individual. Foreign individual means foreign person as defined in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(g) Foreign person. Foreign person means:

(1) Any individual:

(i) Who is not a citizen or national of the United States; or

(ii) Who is not a citizen of the Northern Mariana Islands or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; or

(iii) Who is not lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence or paroled into the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(2) Any person, other than an individual or a government, which is created or organized under the laws of a foreign government or which has its principal place of business located outside of all the States;

(3) Any foreign government;

(4) Any person, other than an individual or a government:

(i) Which is created or organized under the laws of any State; and

(ii) In which a significant interest or substantial control is directly or indirectly held:

(A) By any individual referred to in paragraph (g)(1) of this section; or

(B) By any person referred to in paragraph (g)(2) of this section; or

(C) By any foreign government referred to in paragraph (g)(3) of this section; or

(D) By any numerical combination of such individuals, persons, or governments, which combination need not have a common objective.

(h) Person. Person means any individual, corporation, company, association, partnership, society, joint stock company, trust, estate, or any other legal entity.

(i) Secretary. Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(j) Security interest. Security interest means a mortgage or other debt securing instrument.

(k) Significant interest of substantial control. Significant interest or substantial control means:

(1) An interest of 10 percent or more held by a person referred to in paragraph (g)(4) of this section, by a single individual referred to in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, by a single person referred to in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, by a single government referred to in paragraph (g)(3) of this section; or

(2) An interest of 10 percent or more held by persons referred to in paragraph (g)(4) of this section, by individuals referred to in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, by persons referred to in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, or by governments referred to in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, whenever such persons, individuals, or governments are acting in concert with respect to such interest even though no single individual, person, or government holds an interest of 10 percent or more; or

(3) An interest of 50 percent or more, in the aggregate, held by persons referred to in paragraph (g)(4) of this section, by individuals referred to in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, by persons referred to in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, or by governments referred to in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, even though such individuals, persons, or governments may not be acting in concert.

(l) State. State means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or any other territory or possession of the United States.

[49 FR 35074, Sept. 6, 1984, as amended at 58 FR 48274, Sept. 15, 1993]

§781.3   Reporting requirements.

(a) All reports required to be filed pursuant to this part shall be filed with the FSA County office in the county where the land with respect to which such report must be filed is located or where the FSA County office administering programs carried out on such land is located; Provided, that the FSA office in Washington, DC, may grant permission to foreign persons to file reports directly with its Washington office when complex filings are involved, such as where the land being reported is located in more than one county.

(b) Any foreign person who held, holds, acquires, or transfers any interest in United States agricultural land is subject to the requirement of filing a report on form FSA-153 by the following dates:

(1) August 1, 1979, if the interest in the agricultural land was held on the day before February 2, 1979, or

(2) Ninety days after the date of acquisition or transfer of the interest in the agricultural land, if the interest was acquired or transferred on or after February 2, 1979.

(c) Any person who holds or acquires any interest in United States agricultural land at a time when such person is not a foreign person and who subsequently becomes a foreign person must submit, not later than 90 days after the date on which such person becomes a foreign person, a report containing the information required to be submitted under paragraph (e) of this section.

(d) Any foreign person who holds or acquires any interest in United States land at a time when such land is not agricultural land and such land subsequently becomes agricultural land must submit, not later than 90 days after the date on which such land becomes agricultural, a report containing the information required to be submitted under paragraph (e) of this section.

(e) Any foreign person required to submit a report under this regulation, except under paragraph (g) of this section, shall file an FSA-153 report containing the following information:

(1) The legal name and the address of such foreign person;

(2) In any case in which such foreign person is an individual, the citizenship of such foreign person;

(3) In any case in which such foreign person is not an individual or a government, the nature and name of the person holding the interest, the country in which such foreign person is created or organized, and the principal place of business of such foreign person;

(4) The type of interest held by a foreign person who acquired or transferred an interest in agricultural land;

(5) The legal description and acreage of such agricultural land;

(6) The purchase price paid for, or any other consideration given for, such interest; the amount of the purchase price or the value of the consideration yet to be given; the current estimated value of the land reported;

(7) In any case in which such foreign person transfers such interest, the legal name and the address of the person to whom such interest is transferred; and

(i) In any case in which such transferee is an individual, the citizenship of such transferee; and

(ii) In any case in which such transferee is not an individual, or a government, the nature of the person holding the interest, the country in which such transferee is created or organized, and the principal place of business;

(8) The agricultural purposes for which such foreign person intends, on the date on which such report is submitted, to use such agricultural land;

(9) When applicable, the name, address and relationship of the representative of the foreign person who is completing the FSA-153 form for the foreign person;

(10) How the tract of land was acquired or transferred, the relationship of the foreign person to the previous owner, producer, manager, tenant or sharecropper, and the rental agreement; and

(11) The date the interest in the land was acquired or transferred.

(f)(1) Any foreign person, other than an individual or government, required to submit a report under paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, must submit, in addition to the report required under paragraph (e) of this section, a report containing the following information:

(i) The legal name and the address of each foreign individual or government holding significant interest or substantial control in such foreign person;

(ii) In any case in which the holder of such interest is an individual, the citizenship of such holder; and

(iii) In any case in which the holder of significant interest or substantial control in such foreign person is not an individual or a government, the nature and name of the foreign person holding such interest, the country in which such holder is created or organized, and the principal place of business of such holder.

(2) In addition, any such foreign person required to submit a report under paragraph (f)(1) of this section may also be required, upon request, to submit a report containing:

(i) The legal name and the address of each individual or government whose legal name and address did not appear on the report required to be submitted under paragraph (f)(1) of this section, if such individual or government holds any interest in such foreign person:

(ii) In any case in which the holder of such interest is an individual, the citizenship of such holder; and

(iii) In any case in which the holder of such interest is not an individual or a government, the nature and name of the person holding the interest, the country in which such holder is created or organized, and the principal place of business of such holder.

(g) Any foreign person, other than an individual or a government, whose legal name is contained on any report submitted in satisfaction of paragraph (f) of this section may also be required, upon request, to:

(1) Submit a report containing:

(i) The legal name and the address of each foreign individual or government holding significant interest or substantial control in such foreign person;

(ii) In any case in which the holder of such interest is an individual, the citizenship of such holder; and

(iii) In any case in which the holder of such interest in such foreign person is not an individual or a government, the nature and name of the foreign person holding such interest, the country in which each holder is created or organized, and the principal place of business of such holder.

(2) Submit a report containing:

(i) The legal name and address of each individual or government whose legal name and address did not appear on the report required to be submitted under paragraph (g)(1) of this section if such individual or government holds any interest in such foreign person and, except in the case of a request which involves a foreign person, a report was required to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section, disclosing information relating to nonforeign interest holders;

(ii) In any case in which the holder of such interest is an individual, the citizenship of such holder; and

(iii) In any case in which the holder of such interest is not an individual or government and, except in a situation where the information is requested from a foreign person, a report was required to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section disclosing information relating to nonforeign interest holders, the nature and name of the person holding the interest, the country in which such holder is created or organized, and the principal place of business of such holder.

(h)(1) Any person which has issued fewer than 100,000 shares of common and preferred stock and instruments convertible into equivalents thereof shall be considered to have satisfactorily determined that it has no obligation to file a report pursuant to §781.3 if, in addition to information within its knowledge, a quarterly examination of its business records fails to reveal that persons with foreign mailing addresses hold significant interest or substantial control in such person.

(2) Any person which has issued 100,000 or more shares of common and preferred stock and instruments convertible into equivalents thereof shall be considerd to have satisfactorily determined that it has no obligation to file a report pursuant to §781.3 if, in addition to information within its knowledge, a quarterly examination of its business records fails to reveal that the percentage of shares held in such person both by persons with foreign mailing addresses and investment institutions which manage shares does not equal or exceed significant interest or substantial control in such person.

(3) If the person in paragraph (h)(2) of this section determines that the percentage of shares, which is held in it both by persons with foreign mailing addresses and investment institutions which manage shares, equals or exceeds significant interest or substantial control in such persons, then such person shall be considered to have satisfactorily attempted to determine whether it has an obligation to file a report pursuant to §781.3 if it sends questionnaires to each such investment institution holding an interest in it inquiring as to whether the persons for which they are investing are foreign persons and the percentage of shares reflected by the affirmative responses from each such investment institution plus the percentage of shares held by persons listed on the business records with foreign mailing addresses does not reveal that foreign persons hold significant interest or substantial control in such person.

(i) Any foreign person, who submitted a report under paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section at a time when such land was agricultural, and such agricultural land later ceases to be agricultural, must submit, not later than 90 days after the date on which such land ceases being agricultural, a revised report from FSA-153 or a written notification of the change of status of the land to the FSA office where the report form was originally filed. The report form and notification must contain the following information:

(1) The legal name and the address of such foreign person;

(2) The legal description, which includes the State and county where the land is located, and the acreage of such land;

(3) The date the land ceases to be agricultural;

(4) The use of the land while agricultural.

(j) If any foreign person who submitted a report under paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section ceases to be a foreign person, such person must submit, not later than 90 days after the date such person ceases being a foreign person, a written notification of the change of status of the person to the FSA office where the report form FSA-153 was originally filed. The notification must contain the following information:

(1) The legal name of such person;

(2) The legal description and acreage of such land;

(3) The date such person ceases to be foreign.

(k) Any foreign person who submitted a report under paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section must submit, not later than 90 days after the change of information contained on the report, a written notification of the change to the FSA office where the report form FSA-153 was originally filed. The following information must be kept current on the report:

(1) The legal address of such foreign person;

(2) The legal name and the address required to be submitted under (f)(1) of this section;

(3) The legal name and the address required to be submitted under (g)(1) of this section.

[49 FR 35074, Sept. 6, 1984, as amended at 51 FR 25993, July 18, 1986]

§781.4   Assessment of penalties.

(a) Violation of the reporting obligations will consist of:

(1) Failure to submit any report in accordance with §781.3;

(2) Failure to maintain any submitted report with accurate information; or

(3) Submission of a report which the foreign person knows:

(i) Does not contain, initially or within thirty days from the date of a letter returning for completion such incomplete report, all the information required to be in such report; or

(ii) Contains misleading or false information.

(b) Any foreign person who violates the reporting obligation as described in paragraph (a) of this section shall be subject to the following penalties:

(1) Late-filed reports: One-tenth of one percent of the fair market value, as determined by the Farm Service Agency, of the foreign person's interest in the agricultural land, with respect to which such violation occurred, for each week or portion thereof that such violation continues, but the total penalty imposed shall not exceed 25 percent of the fair market value of the foreign person's interest in such land.

(2) Submission of an incomplete report or a report containing misleading or false information, failure to submit a report or failure to maintain a submitted report with accurate information: 25 percent of the fair market value, as determined by the Farm Service Agency, of the foreign person's interest in the agricultural land with respect to which such violation occurred.

(3) Penalties prescribed above are subject to downward adjustments based on factors including:

(i) Total time the violation existed.

(ii) Method of discovery of the violation.

(iii) Extenuating circumstances concerning the violation.

(iv) Nature of the information misstated or not reported.

(c) The fair market value for the land, with respect to which such violation occurred, shall be such value on the date the penalty is assessed, or if the land is no longer agricultural, on the date it was last used as agricultural land. The price or current estimated value reported by the foreign person, as verified and/or adjusted by the County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee for the County where the land is located, will be considered to be the fair market value.

§781.5   Penalty review procedure.

(a) Whenever it appears that a foreign person has violated the reporting obligation as described in paragraph (a) of §781.4, a written notice of apparent liability will be sent to the foreign person's last known address by the Farm Service Agency. This notice will set forth the facts which indicate apparent liability, identify the type of violation listed in paragraph (a) of §781.4 which is involved, state the amount of the penalty to be imposed, include a statement of fair market value of the foreign person's interest in the subject land, and summarize the courses of action available to the foreign person.

(b) The foreign person involved shall respond to a notice of apparent liability within 60 days after the notice is mailed. If a foreign person fails to respond to the notice of apparent liability, the proposed penalty shall become final. Any of the following actions by the foreign person shall constitute a response meeting the requirements of this paragraph.

(1) Payment of the proposed penalty in the amount specified in the notice of apparent liability and filing of a report, if required, in compliance with §781.3. The amount shall be paid by check or money order drawn to the Treasurer of the United States and shall be mailed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2415, Washington, DC 20013. The Department is not responsible for the loss of currency sent through the mails.

(2) Submission of a written statement denying liability for the penalty in whole or in part. Allegations made in any such statement must be supported by detailed factual data. The statement should be mailed to the Administrator, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2415, Washington, DC 20013.

(3) A request for a hearing on the proposed penalty may be filed in accordance with part 780 of this title.

(c) After a final decision is issued pursuant to an appeal under part 780 of this title, the Administrator or Administrator's designee shall mail the foreign person a notice of the determination on appeal, stating whether a report must be filed or amended in compliance with §781.3, the amount of the penalty (if any), and the date by which it must be paid. The foreign person shall file or amend the report as required by the Administrator. The penalty in the amount stated shall be paid by check or money order drawn to the Treasurer of the United States and shall be mailed to the United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2415, Washington, DC 20013. The Department is not responsible for the loss of currency sent through the mails.

(d) If the foreign person contests the notice of apparent liability by submitting a written statement or a request for a hearing thereon, the foreign person may elect either to pay the penalty or decline to pay the penalty pending resolution of the matter by the Administrator. If the Administrator determines that the foreign person is not liable for the penalty or is liable for less than the amount paid, the payment will be wholly or proportionally refunded. If the Administrator ultimately determines that the foreign person is liable, the penalty finally imposed shall not exceed the amount imposed in the notice of apparent liability.

(e) If a foreign person fails to respond to the notice of apparent liability as required by paragraph (b) of this section, or fails to pay the penalty imposed by the Administrator under paragraph (d) of this section, the case will, without further notice, be referred by the Department to the Department of Justice for prosecution in the appropriate District Court to recover the amount of the penalty.

(f) Any amounts approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for disbursement to a foreign person under the programs administered by the Department may be setoff against penalties assessed hereunder against such person, in accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR part 13.

[49 FR 35074, Sept. 6, 1984, as amended at 60 FR 67318, Dec. 29, 1995]

§781.6   Paperwork Reduction Act assigned number.

The information collection requirements contained in these regulations (7 CFR part 781) have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the provisions of 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35 and have been assigned OMB control number 0560-0097.



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.