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§205.665 Noncompliance procedure for certifying agents.
(a) Notification. When an inspection, review, or investigation of an accredited certifying agent by the Program Manager reveals any noncompliance with the Act or regulations in this part, a written notification of noncompliance shall be sent to the certifying agent. Such notification shall provide:
(1) A description of each noncompliance;
(2) The facts upon which the notification of noncompliance is based; and
(3) The date by which the certifying agent must rebut or correct each noncompliance and submit supporting documentation of each correction when correction is possible.
(b) Resolution. When the certifying agent demonstrates that each noncompliance has been resolved, the Program Manager shall send the certifying agent a written notification of noncompliance resolution.
(c) Proposed suspension or revocation. When rebuttal is unsuccessful or correction of the noncompliance is not completed within the prescribed time period, the Program Manager shall send a written notification of proposed suspension or revocation of accreditation to the certifying agent. The notification of proposed suspension or revocation shall state whether the certifying agent's accreditation or specified areas of accreditation are to be suspended or revoked. When correction of a noncompliance is not possible, the notification of noncompliance and the proposed suspension or revocation may be combined in one notification. The notification of proposed suspension or revocation of accreditation shall state:
(1) The reasons for the proposed suspension or revocation;
(2) The proposed effective date of the suspension or revocation;
(3) The impact of a suspension or revocation on future eligibility for accreditation; and
(4) The right to file an appeal pursuant to §205.681.
(d) Willful violations. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, if the Program Manager has reason to believe that a certifying agent has willfully violated the Act or regulations in this part, the Program Manager shall send a written notification of proposed suspension or revocation of accreditation to the certifying agent.
(e) Suspension or revocation. When the accredited certifying agent fails to file an appeal of the proposed suspension or revocation of accreditation, the Program Manager shall send a written notice of suspension or revocation of accreditation to the certifying agent.
(f) Cessation of certification activities. A certifying agent whose accreditation is suspended or revoked must:
(1) Cease all certification activities in each area of accreditation and in each State for which its accreditation is suspended or revoked.
(2) Transfer to the Secretary and make available to any applicable State organic program's governing State official all records concerning its certification activities that were suspended or revoked.
(g) Eligibility. (1) A certifying agent whose accreditation is suspended by the Secretary under this section may at any time, unless otherwise stated in the notification of suspension, submit a request to the Secretary for reinstatement of its accreditation. The request must be accompanied by evidence demonstrating correction of each noncompliance and corrective actions taken to comply with and remain in compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part.
(2) A certifying agent whose accreditation is revoked by the Secretary shall be ineligible to be accredited as a certifying agent under the Act and the regulations in this part for a period of not less than 3 years following the date of such revocation.