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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 16, 2014

Title 7: Agriculture


PART 956—SWEET ONIONS GROWN IN THE WALLA WALLA VALLEY OF SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON AND NORTHEAST OREGON


Contents

Definitions

§956.1   Secretary.
§956.2   Act.
§956.3   Person.
§956.4   Production area.
§956.5   Walla Walla Sweet Onions.
§956.6   Handler.
§956.7   Registered handler.
§956.8   Handle.
§956.9   Container.
§956.10   Producer.
§956.11   Varieties.
§956.12   Committee.
§956.13   Fiscal period.
§956.14   [Reserved]
§956.15   Grade and size.
§956.16   Pack.

Administrative Committee

§956.20   Establishment and membership.
§956.21   Term of office.
§956.22   Nominations.
§956.23   Selection.
§956.24   Qualification and acceptance.
§956.25   Alternates.
§956.26   Vacancies.
§956.27   Failure to nominate.
§956.28   Procedure.
§956.29   Expenses.
§956.30   Powers.
§956.31   Duties.

Expenses and Assessments

§956.40   Expenses.
§956.41   Budget.
§956.42   Assessments.
§956.43   Accounting.
§956.44   Excess funds.
§956.45   Contributions.

Research and Development

§956.50   Research and development.

Regulation

§956.60   Marketing policy.
§956.61   Recommendation for regulations.
§956.62   Issuance of regulations.
§956.63   Handling for specified purposes.
§956.64   Minimum quantities.
§956.65   Notification of regulations.
§956.66   Safeguards.

Inspection

§956.70   Inspection and certification.

Reports

§956.80   Reports and recordkeeping.

Miscellaneous Provisions

§956.85   Termination or suspension.
§956.87   Proceedings after termination.
§956.88   Effect of termination or amendment.
§956.89   Compliance.
§956.90   Right of the Secretary.
§956.91   Duration of immunities.
§956.92   Agents.
§956.93   Derogation.
§956.94   Personal liability.
§956.95   Separability.
§956.96   Amendments.

Subpart—Rules and Regulations

§956.113   Fiscal period.
§956.142   Interest charges.
§956.162   Container markings.
§956.163   Handling for specified purposes.
§956.180   Reports.
§956.202   Assessment rate.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601-674.

Source: 60 FR 27626, May 24, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

Definitions

§956.1   Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or any officer or employee of the Department of Agriculture who has been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, the authority to act for the Secretary.

§956.2   Act.

Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (May 12, 1933), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (Sec. 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

§956.3   Person.

Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or any other business unit.

§956.4   Production area.

Production area means a tract of land in Umatilla County, Oregon, and Walla Walla County, Washington, based on surveyors' maps, enclosed by the following boundaries:

Commencing at the Southeast corner of Section 13, Township (Twp.) 5 North, Range (Rge.) 36 East, W.M.; thence Westerly along the South line of Sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 36 East, Sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 35 East, Sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 34 East, Sections 13, 14, and 15 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 33 East, W.M. to the East right of way line of the Northern Pacific Railway, as it runs Northwesterly through Vansyckle Canyon; thence Northwesterly along said Easterly right of way line to a point in the Northwest 14 of Section 20, Twp. 7 North, Rge. 32 East, W.M. where said line intersects the South right of way of the Union Pacific Railway, said intersection being commonly known as Zangar Junction; thence Easterly along said South right of way line of the Union Pacific Railway to a point in the Southwest 14 of Section 23, Twp. 7 North, Rge. 32 East where said line intersects the South right of way line of Washington State Highway No. 12; thence Easterly along said South right of way line to the intersection with the West line of Section 34, Twp. 7 North, Rge. 33 East, W.M.; thence North, along the West line of Sections 34, 27, 22, 15, 10, and 3 in Twp. 7 North, Rge. 33 East, W.M., and the West line of Sections 34, 27, and 22 in Twp. 8 North, Rge. 33 East, W.M. to the Northwest corner of said Section 22; thence East along the North line of said Section 22 to the Northeast corner thereof; thence North along the West line of Sections 14, 11, and 2 in Twp. 8 North, Rge. 33 East, W.M. to the Northwest corner of said Section 2; thence East along North lines of Sections 2 and 1 in Twp. 8 North, Rge. 33 East, W.M. and the North line of Section 6, Twp. 8 North, Rge. 34 East, W.M. to the centerline of the Touchet River; thence northerly and Easterly along said centerline of the Touchet River as it runs through Twp. 9 North, Rge. 34 East, Twp. 9 North, Rge. 35 East, Twp. 10 North, Rge. 35 East, Twp. 10 North, Rge. 36 East, Twp. 9 North, Rge. 36 East, and Twp. 9 North, Rge. 37 East to a point on the East line of Section 11 in Twp. 9 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M., thence South along the East line of Sections 11, 14, 23, 26, and 35 in Twp. 9 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M., the East lines of Sections 2, 11, 14, 23, 26, and 35 in Twp. 8 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M., the East lines of Sections 2, 11, 14, 23, 26, and 35 in Twp. 7 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M., and the East lines of Sections 2, 11, and fractional Section 14 in Twp. 6 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M., to a point on the Washington-Oregon State line; thence West along said State Line to the closing corner on the West side of Section 18 in Twp. 6 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M.; thence South along the West line of Sections 18, 19, 30, and 31 in Twp. 6 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M. and the West line of Sections 6, 7, and 18 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 37 East to the corner common to Sections 18 and 19 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 37 East, W.M. and 13 and 24 in Twp. 5 North, Rge. 36 East, W.M., Being the True Point of Beginning of this Legal Description.

§956.5   Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

Walla Walla Sweet Onions means all varieties of Allium cepa grown within the production area, except Spanish hybrid varieties. The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, exempt individual varieties from any or all regulations issued under this part.

§956.6   Handler.

Handler is synonymous with shipper and means any person (except a common or contract carrier of Walla Walla Sweet Onions owned by another person) who handles Walla Walla Sweet Onions or causes Walla Walla Sweet Onions to be handled.

§956.7   Registered handler.

Registered handler means any person with adequate facilities for preparing Walla Walla Sweet Onions for commercial market, who has requested such registration and is so recorded by the committee, or any person who has access to such facilities and has recorded with the committee the ability and willingness to assume customary obligations of preparing Walla Walla Sweet Onions for commercial market. The committee may recommend, for approval of the Secretary, procedures with respect to handler registration.

§956.8   Handle.

Handle is synonymous with ship and means to package, load, sell, transport, or in any way place Walla Walla Sweet Onions or cause Walla Walla Sweet Onions to be placed in the current of commerce within the production area or between the production area and any point outside thereof. Such term shall not include the transportation, sale, or delivery of harvested Walla Walla Sweet Onions to a handler within the production area for the purpose of having such Walla Walla Sweet Onions prepared for market.

§956.9   Container.

Container means a box, bag, crate, hamper, basket, package, or any other receptacle used in the packaging, transporting, sale, shipment, or other handling of Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

§956.10   Producer.

Producer is synonymous with grower and means any person engaged in a proprietary capacity in the production of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for market.

§956.11   Varieties.

Varieties means and includes all classifications, subdivisions, or types of Walla Walla Sweet Onions according to those definitive characteristics now or hereafter recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture or recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.

§956.12   Committee.

Committee means the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Committee established pursuant to §956.20.

§956.13   Fiscal period.

Fiscal period means the period beginning on June 1 and ending on May 31 of each year, or other such period as may be recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.

§956.14   [Reserved]

§956.15   Grade and size.

Grade means any of the officially established grades of onions, including maturity requirements and size means any of the officially established sizes of onions as set forth in the United States standards for grades of onions or amendments thereto, or modifications thereof, or variations based thereon, or States of Washington or Oregon standards of onions or amendments thereto or modifications thereof or variations based thereon, recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.

[64 FR 4933, Feb. 1, 1999]

§956.16   Pack.

Pack means a quantity of Walla Walla Sweet Onions specified by grade, size, weight, or count, or by type or condition of container, or any combination of these recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.

[64 FR 4933, Feb. 1, 1999]

Administrative Committee

§956.20   Establishment and membership.

(a) The Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee, consisting of ten members, is hereby established. The committee shall consist of six producer members, three handler members, and one public member. Each member shall have an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member.

(b) A producer shall have three years of experience in producing onions in order to qualify for committee membership. At the time of selection, no more than two producer members may be affiliated with the same handler.

[60 FR 27626, May 24, 1995, as amended at 64 FR 4933, Feb. 1, 1999]

§956.21   Term of office.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the term of office of committee members and their respective alternates shall be for three fiscal periods beginning on June 1 or such other date as recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary. The terms shall be determined so that one-third of the grower membership and one-third of the handler membership shall terminate each year. Members and alternates shall serve during the term of office for which they are selected and have been qualified, or during that portion thereof beginning on the date on which they qualify during such term of office and continuing until the end thereof, or until their successors are selected and have qualified.

(b) The term of office of the initial members and alternates shall begin as soon as possible after the effective date of this subpart. One-third of the initial industry members and alternates shall serve for a one-year term, one-third shall serve for a two-year term, and one-third shall serve for a three-year term. The initial, as well as all successive terms of office of the public member and alternate member shall be for three years.

(c) The consecutive terms of office for all members shall be limited to two three-year terms. There shall be no such limitation for alternate members.

§956.22   Nominations.

Nominations from which the Secretary may select the members of the committee and their respective alternates may be made in the following manner:

(a) The committee shall hold or cause to be held, within the production area and prior to April 1 of each year or by such other date as may be specified by the Secretary, one or more meetings of producers and handlers for the purpose of designating one nominee for each of the member and alternate member positions which are vacant or will be vacant at the end of the fiscal period;

(b) In arranging for such meetings the committee may, if it deems such desirable, cooperate with existing organizations and agencies;

(c) Nominations for committee members and alternate members shall be provided to the Secretary, in such manner and form as the Secretary may prescribe, not later than 30 days prior to the end of the fiscal period within which the current term of office expires;

(d) Only producers may participate in designating nominees for producer committee members and their alternates and only handlers may participate in designating nominees for handler committee members and their alternates;

(e) Each person who is both a handler and a producer may vote either as a handler or as a producer, but not both;

(f) Each person is entitled to cast only one vote on behalf of him or herself, his or her partners, agents, subsidiaries, affiliates and representatives, in designating nominees for committee members and alternates. An eligible producer's or handler's privilege of casting only one vote, as aforesaid, shall be construed to permit such voter to cast one vote for each producer member and alternate member position to be filled or each handler member and alternate member position to be filled, but not both.

(g) Every three years, at the first meeting following selection, the committee shall nominate the public member and alternate for a three-year term of office.

(h) The committee shall prescribe such additional qualifications, administrative rules and procedures for selection and voting for each candidate as it deems necessary and as the Secretary approves.

§956.23   Selection.

The Secretary shall select members and alternate members of the committee from the nominations made pursuant to §956.22 or from other qualified persons.

§956.24   Qualification and acceptance.

Any person nominated to serve as a member or alternate member of the committee shall, prior to selection by the Secretary, qualify by filing a written background and acceptance statement indicating such person's willingness to serve in the position for which nominated.

§956.25   Alternates.

An alternate member of the committee shall act in the place and stead of the member for whom such person is an alternate, during such member's absence. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member, that member's alternate shall serve until a successor to such member has qualified and is selected.

§956.26   Vacancies.

To fill any vacancy occasioned by the failure of any person nominated as a member or as an alternate to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member or alternate, a successor for the unexpired term may be selected by the Secretary from nominations made pursuant to §956.22 from previously unselected nominees on the current nominee list, or from other eligible persons.

§956.27   Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and manner prescribed in §956.22 the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select the members and alternates on the basis of the representation provided for in §956.20.

§956.28   Procedure.

(a) Six members of the committee shall constitute a quorum, and six concurring votes shall be required to pass any motion or approve any committee action, except that recommendations made pursuant to §956.61 shall require seven concurring votes.

(b) The committee may provide for meetings by telephone, telegraph, facsimile, or other means of communication, and any vote cast orally at such meetings shall be confirmed promptly in writing: Provided, That if an assembled meeting is held, all votes shall be cast in person.

§956.29   Expenses.

Members and alternates shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for such expenses authorized by the committee and necessarily incurred by them in attending committee meetings and in the performance of their duties under this part.

§956.30   Powers.

The committee shall have the following powers:

(a) To administer the provisions of this part in accordance with its terms;

(b) To make rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part;

(c) To receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of the provisions of this part; and

(d) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part.

§956.31   Duties.

It shall be among the duties of the committee:

(a) At the beginning of each fiscal period, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to meet and organize, to select a chairperson and such other officers as may be necessary, to select subcommittees, and to adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of its business as it may deem advisable;

(b) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any producer or handler;

(c) To furnish to the Secretary such available information as the Secretary may request;

(d) To appoint such employees, agents, and representatives as it may deem necessary and to determine the salaries and define the duties of each such person;

(e) To investigate from time to time and to assemble data on the growing, harvesting, shipping, and marketing conditions with respect to Walla Walla Sweet Onions and to engage in such research and service activities which relate to the production, handling, or marketing of Walla Walla Sweet Onions as may be approved by the Secretary;

(f) To keep minutes, books, and records which clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the committee. Such minutes, books, and records shall be subject to examination at any time by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized agent or representative;

(g) To make available to producers and handlers the committee voting record on recommended regulations and on other matters of policy;

(h) Prior to each fiscal period, to submit to the Secretary a budget of its proposed expenses for such fiscal period, together with a report thereon, and a recommendation as to the rate of assessment for such period;

(i) To cause its books to be audited by a competent accountant at least once each fiscal period, and at such other time as the committee may deem necessary or as the Secretary may require; the report of such audit shall show the receipt and expenditure of funds collected pursuant to this part; a copy of each such report shall be furnished to the Secretary, and a copy of each such report shall be made available at the principal office of the committee for inspection by producers and handlers: Provided, that confidential information shall be removed from all copies made available to the public; and

(j) To consult, cooperate, and exchange information with other onion marketing committees and other individuals or agencies in connection with all proper committee activities and objectives under this subpart.

Expenses and Assessments

§956.40   Expenses.

The committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary may find are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the committee for its maintenance and functioning, and to enable it to exercise its powers and perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this part. The funds to cover such expenses shall be acquired in the manner prescribed in §§956.42 and 956.45.

§956.41   Budget.

Prior to each fiscal period and as may be necessary thereafter, the committee shall prepare an estimated budget of income and expenditures necessary for the administration of this part. The committee shall recommend a rate of assessment calculated to provide adequate funds to defray its proposed expenditures. The committee shall present such budget to the Secretary with an accompanying report showing the basis for its calculations.

§956.42   Assessments.

(a) The funds to cover the committee's expenses shall be acquired by the levying of assessments upon handlers as provided in this subpart. Each person who first handles Walla Walla Sweet Onions shall pay assessments to the committee upon demand, which assessments shall be in payment of such handler's pro rata share of the committee's expenses.

(b) Assessments shall be levied upon handlers, at rates established by the Secretary. Such rates may be established upon the basis of the committee's recommendations or other available information.

(c) At any time during, or subsequent to, a given fiscal period, the committee may recommend the approval of an amended budget and an increase in the rate of assessment. Upon the basis of such recommendations, or other available information, the Secretary may approve an amended budget and increase the assessment rate. Such increase in the assessment rate shall be applicable to all Walla Walla Sweet Onions which were handled by each handler thereof during such fiscal period.

(d) The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect, irrespective of whether particular provisions of this part are suspended or become inoperative.

(e) To provide funds for the administration of the provisions of this part during the initial fiscal period or the first part of a fiscal period when neither sufficient operating reserve funds nor sufficient revenue from assessments on the current season's shipments are available, the committee may accept payment of assessments in advance or may borrow money for such purposes.

(f) The committee may impose a late payment charge or an interest charge, or both, on any handler who fails to pay any assessment in a timely manner. Such time and the rates shall be recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.

§956.43   Accounting.

(a) All funds received by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this part shall be used solely for the purposes specified in this part.

(b) The Secretary may at any time require the committee, its members and alternate members, employees, agents, and all other such persons associated with the committee to account for all receipts, disbursements, funds, property, or records for which they are responsible. Whenever any person ceases to be a member, alternate member, employee, or agent of the committee, such person shall account for all receipts, disbursements, funds, property, and records pertaining to the committee's activities for which such person was responsible, deliver all property and funds in such person's possession to the committee, and execute such assignments and other instruments as may be necessary or appropriate to vest in the committee full title to all of the property, funds, and claims vested in such person pursuant to this part.

(c) The committee may make recommendations to the Secretary for one or more of the members thereof, or any other person, to act as a trustee for holding records, funds, or any other committee property during periods of suspension of this part, or during any period or periods when regulations are not in effect and, upon determining such action is appropriate, the Secretary may direct that such person or persons shall act as trustee or trustees for the committee.

§956.44   Excess funds.

If, at the end of a fiscal period, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, such excess shall be accounted for as follows:

(a) The committee, with approval of the Secretary, may establish an operating reserve and may carry over to subsequent fiscal periods excess funds in a reserve so established, except funds in the reserve shall not exceed the equivalent of approximately two fiscal period's budgeted expenses. Such reserve funds may be used:

(1) To defray any expenses authorized under this part;

(2) To defray expenses during any fiscal period prior to the time assessment income is sufficient to cover such expenses;

(3) To cover deficits incurred during any fiscal period when assessment income is less than expenses;

(4) To defray expenses incurred during any period when any or all provisions of this part are suspended or are inoperative; and

(5) To cover necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part.

(b) Upon termination of this part, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate except that to the extent practicable, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.

(c) If such excess is not retained in a reserve as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, each handler entitled to a proportionate refund of the excess assessments collected shall be credited at the end of a fiscal period with such refund against the operations of the following fiscal period unless such handler demands payment thereof, in which event such proportionate refund shall be paid as soon as practicable.

§956.45   Contributions.

The committee may accept voluntary contributions but these shall be used only to pay expenses incurred pursuant to §956.50. Such contributions shall be free from any encumbrances by the donor, and the committee shall retain complete control of their use.

Research and Development

§956.50   Research and development.

(a) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of production research, marketing research and development, and marketing promotion projects, including paid advertising, designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, consumption, or efficient production of Walla Walla Sweet Onions. Any such project for the promotion and advertising of Walla Walla Sweet Onions may utilize an identifying mark, including but not limited to registered trademarks and logos, which shall be made available for use by all handlers in accordance with such terms and conditions as the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe. The committee may register such logos with the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The expense of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to §§956.42 and 956.45.

(b) In recommending projects pursuant to this section, the committee shall give consideration to the following:

(1) The expected supply of Walla Walla Sweet Onions in relation to market requirements;

(2) The supply situation among competing onion areas and communities;

(3) The anticipated benefits from such projects in relation to their costs;

(4) The need for marketing research with respect to any market development activity; and

(5) Other relevant factors.

(c) If the committee concludes that a program of research and development should be undertaken, or continued, in any fiscal period, it shall submit the following for the approval of the Secretary:

(1) Its recommendations as to the funds to be obtained pursuant to §§956.42 and 956.45;

(2) Its recommendations as to any research projects; and

(3) Its recommendations as to promotion activity and paid advertising.

(d) Upon conclusion of each activity, but at least annually, the committee shall summarize and report the results of such activity to the Secretary.

(e) All marketing promotion activity engaged in by the committee, including paid advertising, shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:

(1) No marketing promotion, including paid advertising, shall refer to any private brand, private trademark, or private trade name;

(2) No promotion or advertising shall disparage the quality, use, value, or sale of like or any other agricultural commodity or product, and no false or unwarranted claims shall be made in connection with the product; and

(3) No promotion or advertising shall be undertaken without reason to believe that returns to producers will be improved by such activity.

Regulation

§956.60   Marketing policy.

(a) Preparation. Prior to each marketing season, the committee shall consider and prepare a proposed policy for the marketing of Walla Walla Sweet Onions. In developing its marketing policy, the committee shall investigate relevant supply and demand conditions for Walla Walla Sweet Onions. In such investigations, the committee shall give appropriate consideration to the following:

(1) Market prices for sweet onions, including prices by variety, grade, size, quality, and maturity, and by different packs;

(2) Supply of sweet onions by grade, size, quality, maturity, and variety in the production area and in other sweet onion producing sections;

(3) The trend and level of consumer income;

(4) Establishing and maintaining orderly marketing conditions for Walla Walla Sweet Onions;

(5) Orderly marketing of Walla Walla Sweet Onions as will be in the public interest; and

(6) Other relevant factors.

(b) Reports. (1) The committee shall submit a report to the Secretary setting forth the aforesaid marketing policy, and the committee shall notify producers and handlers of the contents of such report.

(2) In the event it becomes advisable to shift from such marketing policy because of changed supply and demand conditions, the committee shall prepare an amended or revised marketing policy in accordance with the manner previously outlined. The committee shall submit a report thereon to the Secretary and notify producers and handlers of the contents of such report on the revised or amended marketing policy.

[64 FR 4933, Feb. 1, 1999]

§956.61   Recommendation for regulations.

The committee shall recommend regulations to the Secretary whenever it deems it advisable, as provided in §956.62. The committee also may recommend modification, suspension, or termination of any regulation, or amendments thereto, in order to facilitate the handling of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for the purposes authorized in §956.63. The committee may also recommend amendment, modification, termination, or suspension of any regulation issued under this part.

§956.62   Issuance of regulations.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this part, the Secretary shall limit the shipment of Walla Walla Sweet Onions by any one or more of the methods hereinafter set forth whenever the Secretary finds from the recommendations and information submitted by the committee, or from other available information, that such regulation would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. Such limitation may:

(1) Regulate in any or all portions of the production area, the handling of particular grades, sizes, qualities, or maturities of any or all varieties of Walla Walla Sweet Onions, or combinations thereof, during any period or periods;

(2) Regulate the handling of particular grades, sizes, qualities, or maturities of Walla Walla Sweet Onions differently, for different varieties or packs, or for any combination of the foregoing, during any period or periods;

(3) Provide a method, through rules and regulations issued pursuant to this part, for fixing the size, capacity, weight, dimensions, markings or pack of the container or containers, which may be used in the packaging or handling of Walla Walla Sweet Onions, including appropriate logo or other container markings to identify the contents thereof;

(4) Regulate the handling of Walla Walla Sweet Onions by establishing, in terms of grades, sizes, or both, minimum standards of quality and maturity.

(b) The Secretary may amend any regulation issued under this part whenever the Secretary finds that such amendment would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. The Secretary may also terminate or suspend any regulation or amendment thereof whenever the Secretary finds that such regulation or amendment obstructs or no longer tends to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

[64 FR 4933, Feb. 1, 1999]

§956.63   Handling for specified purposes.

Upon the basis of recommendations and information submitted by the committee, or other available information, the Secretary may issue special regulations, or modify, suspend, or terminate requirements in effect pursuant to §§956.42 and 956.62 or any combination thereof, in order to facilitate the handling of onions for the following purposes:

(a) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for relief or to charitable institutions;

(b) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for livestock feed;

(c) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for planting and for plants;

(d) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions as salad onions;

(e) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for all processing uses including, pickling, peeling, dehydration, juicing, or other processing;

(f) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for disposal;

(g) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for seed;

(h) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for packing or storing within the production area or outside the production area, but within specified locations in the States of Oregon and Washington; and

(i) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for other purposes which may be specified.

§956.64   Minimum quantities.

During any period in which shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions are regulated pursuant to this part, each handler may handle up to, but not to exceed, 2,000 pounds of Walla Walla Sweet Onions per shipment without regard to the inspection requirements of this part: Provided, That such Walla Walla Sweet Onion shipments meet the minimum requirements in effect at the time of the shipment pursuant to §956.62. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may recommend modifications to this section and the establishment of such other minimum quantities below which Walla Walla Sweet Onion shipments will be free from the requirements in, or pursuant to, §§956.42, 956.62, 956.63, and 956.70, or any combination thereof.

[64 FR 4934, Feb. 1, 1999]

§956.65   Notification of regulations.

The Secretary shall notify the committee of each regulation issued and of each amendment, modification, suspension, or termination thereof. The committee shall give reasonable notice thereof to handlers.

§956.66   Safeguards.

(a) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe adequate safeguards to prevent Walla Walla Sweet Onions shipped, pursuant to §§956.63 and 956.64, from entering channels of trade for other than the purpose authorized therefor.

(b) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may also prescribe rules and regulations governing the issuance, and the contents, of Certificates of Privilege, if such certificates are prescribed as safeguards by the committee. Such safeguards may include requirements that:

(1) Handlers shall first file applications with the committee to ship such Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

(2) Handlers shall pay the pro rata share of expenses provided by §956.42 in connection with such Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

(3) Handlers shall obtain Certificates of Privilege from the committee prior to effecting the particular onion shipment.

(c) The committee may rescind any Certificate of Privilege, or refuse to issue any Certificate of Privilege, to any handler if proof is obtained that Walla Walla Sweet Onions shipped by the handler for the purposes stated in the Certificate of Privilege were handled contrary to the provisions of this part.

(d) The Secretary shall have the right to modify, change, alter, or rescind any safeguards prescribed and any certificates issued by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(e) The committee shall make reports to the Secretary as requested, showing the number of applications for such certificates, the quantity of Walla Walla Sweet Onions covered by such applications, the number of such applications denied and certificates granted, the quantity of Walla Walla Sweet Onions handled under duly issued certificates, and such other information as may be requested.

Inspection

§956.70   Inspection and certification.

(a) During any period in which shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions are regulated pursuant to this subpart, no handler shall handle Walla Walla Sweet Onions unless such onions are inspected by an authorized representative of the Federal-State Inspection Service, or such other inspection service as the Secretary shall designate and are covered by a valid inspection certificate, except when relieved from such requirements pursuant to §956.63 or §956.64, or both. Upon recommendation of the committee, with approval of the Secretary, inspection providers and certification requirements may be modified to facilitate the handling of Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

(b) Regrading, resorting, or repacking any lot of Walla Walla Sweet Onions shall invalidate prior inspection certificates insofar as the requirements of this section are concerned. No handler shall ship Walla Walla Sweet Onions after they have been regraded, resorted, repacked, or in any other way further prepared for market, unless such onions are inspected by an authorized representative of the Federal-State Inspection Service, or such other inspection service as the Secretary shall designate: Provided, That such inspection requirements on regraded, resorted, or repacked Walla Walla Sweet Onions may be modified, suspended, or terminated under rules and regulations recommended by the committee, and approved by the Secretary.

(c) Upon recommendation of the committee, and approval of the Secretary, all Walla Walla Sweet Onions that are required to be inspected and certified in accordance with this section shall be identified by appropriate seals, stamps, tags, or other identification to be furnished by the committee and affixed to the containers by the handler under the direction and supervision of the Federal-State or Federal inspector, or the committee. Master containers may bear the identification instead of the individual containers within said master container.

(d) Insofar as the requirements of this section are concerned, the length of time for which an inspection certificate is valid may be established by the committee with the approval of the Secretary.

(e) When Walla Walla Sweet Onions are inspected in accordance with the requirements of this section, a copy of each inspection certificate issued shall be made available to the committee by the inspection service.

(f) The committee may enter into an agreement with an inspection service with respect to the costs of the inspection as provided by paragraph (a) of this section, and may collect from handlers their respective pro rata shares of such costs.

[64 FR 4934, Feb. 1, 1999]

Reports

§956.80   Reports and recordkeeping.

Upon request of the committee, made with the approval of the Secretary, each handler shall furnish to the committee, in such manner and at such time as it may prescribe, such reports and other information as may be necessary for the committee to perform its duties under this part.

(a) Such reports may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

(1) The acreage of Walla Walla Sweet Onions grown;

(2) The quantities of Walla Walla Sweet Onions received by such handler;

(3) The quantities of Walla Walla Sweet Onions disposed of by such handler;

(4) The disposition date of such Walla Walla Sweet Onions;

(5) The manner of disposition of such Walla Walla Sweet Onions; and

(6) The identification of the carrier transporting such Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

(b) All such reports shall be held under appropriate protective classification and custody by the committee, or duly appointed employees thereof, so that any information contained therein which may adversely affect the competitive position of any handler in relation to other handlers will not be disclosed. Compilations of general reports from data submitted by handlers is authorized, subject to the prohibition of disclosure of individual handler's identity or operations.

(c) Each handler shall maintain for at least two succeeding years such records of the Walla Walla Sweet Onions received and disposed of by such handler as may be necessary to verify reports submitted to the committee pursuant to this section.

Miscellaneous Provisions

§956.85   Termination or suspension.

(a) The Secretary may at any time terminate the provisions of this subpart by giving at least one day's notice by means of a press release or in any other manner which the Secretary may determine.

(b) The Secretary shall terminate or suspend the operations of any or all of the provisions of this subpart whenever it is found that such provisions do not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act.

(c) The Secretary shall terminate the provisions of this subpart at the end of any fiscal period whenever it is found that such termination is favored by a majority of producers who, during a representative period, have been engaged in the production of Walla Walla Sweet Onions: Provided, That such majority has, during such representative period, produced for market more than fifty percent of the volume of such Walla Walla Sweet Onions produced for market, but such termination shall be announced at least 90 days before the end of the current fiscal period.

(d) Within six years of the effective date of this subpart the Secretary shall conduct a continuance referendum to ascertain whether continuance of this subpart is favored by producers. Subsequent referenda to ascertain continuance shall be conducted every six years thereafter. The Secretary may terminate the provisions of this part at the end of any fiscal period in which the Secretary has found that continuance of this subpart is not favored by a majority of producers who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production for market of Walla Walla Sweet Onions in the production area. Such termination shall be announced on or before the end of the fiscal period.

(e) The provisions of this subpart shall, in any event, terminate whenever the provisions of the Act authorizing them cease to be in effect.

§956.87   Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of the provisions of this subpart, the then functioning members of the committee shall continue as joint trustees, for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the committee, of all funds and property then in the possession, or under control, of the committee, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered at the time of such termination. Action by said trusteeship shall require the concurrence of a majority of the said trustees.

(b) The said trustees shall continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary; shall, from time to time, account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of said committee and of the trustees, to such person as the Secretary may direct; and shall upon the request of the Secretary, execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in such person full title and right to all of the funds, property, and claims vested in said committee or the trustees pursuant to this subpart.

(c) Any person to whom funds, property, or claims have been transferred or delivered by the committee or its members pursuant to this section shall be subject to the same obligations imposed upon the members of the committee and upon the said trustees.

§956.88   Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the termination of this subpart or of any regulation issued pursuant to this subpart, or the issuance of any amendments to either thereof, shall not:

(a) Affect or waive any right, duty, obligation, or liability which shall have arisen or which may thereafter arise in connection with any provision of this subpart;

(b) Release or extinguish any violation of this subpart or of any regulations issued under this subpart; and

(c) Affect or impair any rights or remedies of the Secretary or of any other person with respect to any such violations.

§956.89   Compliance.

No handler shall handle Walla Walla Sweet Onions except in conformity to the provisions of this part.

§956.90   Right of the Secretary.

The members of the committee, including successors and alternates, and any agent or employee appointed or employed by the committee shall be subject to removal or suspension by the Secretary at any time. Each and every order, regulation, decision, determination, or other act of the committee shall be subject to the continuing right of the Secretary to disapprove of the same at any time. Upon such disapproval, the disapproved action of the committee shall be deemed null and void except as to acts done in reliance thereon or in compliance therewith prior to such disapproval by the Secretary.

§956.91   Duration of immunities.

The benefits, privileges, and immunities conferred upon any person by virtue of this subpart shall cease upon the termination of this subpart, except with respect to acts done under and during the existence of this subpart.

§956.92   Agents.

The Secretary may, by designation in writing, name any person, including any officer or employee of the Government, or name any agency in the United States Department of Agriculture, to act as the Secretary's agent or representative in connection with any of the provisions of this part.

§956.93   Derogation.

Nothing contained in this part is, or shall be construed to be, in derogation or in modification of the rights of the Secretary or of the United States to exercise any powers granted by the Act or otherwise, or, in accordance with such powers, to act in the premises whenever such action is deemed advisable.

§956.94   Personal liability.

No member or alternate of the committee or any employee or agent thereof, shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly with others, in any way whatsoever, to any handler or to any person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as such member, alternate, employee, or agent, except for acts of dishonesty, willful misconduct, or gross negligence.

§956.95   Separability.

If any provision of this subpart is declared invalid, or the applicability thereof to any person, circumstance, or thing is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this subpart, or the applicability thereof to any other person, circumstance, or thing shall not be affected thereby.

§956.96   Amendments.

Amendments to this subpart may be proposed, from time to time, by the committee or by the Secretary.

Subpart—Rules and Regulations

Source: 61 FR 44151, Aug. 28, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

§956.113   Fiscal period.

Pursuant to §956.13, fiscal period shall mean the period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of each year.

[68 FR 57326, Oct. 3, 2003]

§956.142   Interest charges.

For Walla Walla Sweet Onions handled prior to September 1, the Committee shall impose an interest charge on any handler who fails to pay his or her annual assessments within thirty (30) days of the due date of September 30. For Walla Walla Sweet Onions handled during the period September 1 through May 31, the Committee shall impose an interest charge on any handler who fails to pay his or her assessments within thirty (30) days of the last day of the month in which such shipments are made. The interest charge shall be 112 percent of the unpaid assessment balance. In the event the handler fails to pay the delinquent assessment amount within 60 days following the due date, the 112 percent interest charge shall be applied monthly thereafter to the unpaid balance, including any accumulated interest. Any amount paid by a handler as an assessment, including any charges imposed pursuant to this paragraph, shall be credited when the payment is received in the Committee office.

[75 FR 34347, June 17, 2010]

§956.162   Container markings.

Effective April 15, 1997, no handler shall ship any container of Walla Walla Sweet Onions except in accordance with the following terms and provisions:

(a) Each container of Walla Walla Sweet Onions shall be conspicuously marked with the “Genuine Walla Walla Sweet Onion” logo. The marking may be in the form of a decal or a stamped imprint of any color and size: Provided, That the decal or stamped imprint must be placed in plain sight and easy to read.

(b) Walla Walla Sweet Onions may be handled not subject to the marking requirements of this section when handlers ship such onions pursuant to §956.163, or ship such onions in field packed bulk bins containing more than 500 pounds net weight for sale to roadside stands and farmers' market operators for repacking and direct consumer sale: Provided, That subject to Committee verification of handler container inventories, handlers may use their existing inventories of unmarked containers until April 15, 1999.

[62 FR 18026, Apr. 14, 1997]

§956.163   Handling for specified purposes.

(a) Assessment and container marking requirements specified in this part shall not be applicable to shipments of onions for any of the following purposes:

(1) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for relief or to charitable institutions: Provided, That such shipments must be donated and not sold in order for this exemption to apply;

(2) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for livestock feed;

(3) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for planting and for plants;

(4) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions as salad onions;

(5) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for all processing uses including, pickling, peeling, dehydration, juicing, or other processing;

(6) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for disposal;

(7) Shipments of Walla Walla Sweet Onions for seed.

(b) Market preparation outside the production area. (1) Persons desiring to ship or receive Walla Walla sweet onions for grading, packing, or storing outside the production area, but within Oregon and Washington, shall apply to the Committee on a “Shippers/Receivers Application for Certificate of Privilege” form. Such application shall contain the following:

(i) Company name, contact name, address, contact telephone numbers, date, and signature of the applicant;

(ii) Whether the applicant is the shipper or receiver;

(iii) Agreement to provide a Special Purpose Shipment Report to the Committee as required after shipping or receiving Walla Walla sweet onions for grading, packing, or storing out of the production area under a Certificate of Privilege.

(iv) Certification by the applicant that all provisions of the rules and regulations of this part will be adhered to including, but not limited to, any grade, size, quality, maturity, pack, or container requirements that may be currently in effect;

(v) Certification by the applicant, if a receiver under the Certificate of Privilege, that they will forward to the Committee office all assessments due on Walla Walla sweet onions handled.

(vi) Such other information as the Committee may require.

(2) Each approved applicant shall furnish to the Committee a Special Purpose Shipment Report form no later than thirty (30) days after the final shipment of sweet onions are shipped or received pursuant to the Certificate of Privilege. That report shall contain the following information:

(i) Company name, contact name, address, contact telephone numbers, signature, and date;

(ii) Names of shippers or receivers who have either shipped Walla Walla sweet onions out of the production area or received the same;

(iii) The total quantity of Walla Walla sweet onions shipped or received under this section during the period covered;

(iv) Certification by the receiver that all assessments due on Walla Walla sweet onions handled under the respective Certificate of Privilege are being forwarded to the Committee; and

(v) Such other information as the Committee may require.

(3) The Committee may cancel any Certificate of Privilege if proof satisfactory to the Committee is obtained that any Walla Walla sweet onions shipped or received were done so contrary to the provisions of this section. Upon cancellation of such Certificate of Privilege the shipper or receiver may appeal to the Committee for reconsideration.

[62 FR 18026, Apr. 14, 1997, as amended at 69 FR 22382, Apr. 26, 2004]

§956.180   Reports.

(a) Each handler shall furnish to the Committee, no later than May 31 each year, a preseason Walla Walla Sweet Onion Handler Registration Form. Such form shall include:

(1) Company name, contact name, mailing and physical addresses, contact telephone numbers, and signature of handler;

(2) Season covered by registration;

(3) Brand names or labels to be used; and

(4) Estimated number of acres of fall planted and spring planted Walla Walla Sweet Onions to be packed during the season.

(b) Each handler shall furnish to the Committee a Handler's Statement of Walla Walla Sweet Onion Shipments containing the information in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) of this section, except that gift box and roadside stand sales shall be exempt from paragraph (a)(2) of this section: Provided, That for Walla Walla Sweet Onions handled prior to September 1, such report shall be furnished to the Committee by September 30, and that for Walla Walla Sweet Onions handled during the period September 1 through May 31, such report shall be furnished to the Committee no later than thirty (30) days after the end of the month in which such onions were handled:

(1) The number of 50 lb. equivalents of Walla Walla Sweet Onions shipped by each handler during each week of the shipping season and the total for the season;

(2) The geographical regions as defined by the Committee to which each shipment is made;

(3) The name, address, and signature of each handler; and

(4) The name of each producer and the number of 50 lb. equivalents of Walla Walla Sweet Onions that were handled on behalf of or acquired from that producer.

[69 FR 22382, Apr. 26, 2004, as amended at 75 FR 34347, June 17, 2010]

§956.202   Assessment rate.

On and after January 1, 2008, an assessment rate of $0.22 per 50-pound bag or equivalent is established for Walla Walla sweet onions.

[73 FR 35888, June 25, 2008]



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