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Title 7Subtitle BChapter IXPart 915 → Subpart A


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 915—AVOCADOS GROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA


Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling


Contents

Definitions

§915.1   Secretary.
§915.2   Act.
§915.3   Person.
§915.4   Production area.
§915.5   Avocados.
§915.6   Fiscal year.
§915.7   Committee.
§915.8   Grower.
§915.9   Handler.
§915.10   Handle.
§915.11   District.
§915.12   Export.

Administrative Body

§915.20   Establishment and membership.
§915.21   Term of office.
§915.22   Nomination.
§915.23   Selection.
§915.24   Failure to nominate.
§915.25   Acceptance.
§915.26   Vacancies.
§915.27   Alternate members.
§915.28   Powers.
§915.29   Duties.
§915.30   Procedure.
§915.31   Expenses.
§915.32   Annual report.

Expenses and Assessments

§915.40   Expenses.
§915.41   Assessments.
§915.42   Accounting.
§915.43   Contributions.

Research and Development

§915.45   Production research, marketing research and development.
§915.49   Marketing policy.

Regulations

§915.50   Recommendations for regulation.
§915.51   Issuance of regulations.
§915.52   Modification, suspension, or termination of regulations.
§915.53   Exemption certificates.
§915.54   Inspection and certification.
§915.55   Avocados not subject to regulations.
§915.60   Reports.

Miscellaneous Provisions

§915.61   Compliance.
§915.62   Right of the Secretary.
§915.63   Effective time.
§915.64   Termination.
§915.65   Proceedings after termination.
§915.66   Effect of termination or amendment.
§915.67   Duration of immunities.
§915.68   Agents.
§915.69   Derogation.
§915.70   Personal liability.
§915.71   Separability.

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Definitions

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§915.1   Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or any officer or employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who is, or may hereafter be, authorized to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States.

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§915.2   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 (48 Stat. 31, as amended, 68 Stat. 906, 1047; 7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]

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§915.3   Person.

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

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§915.4   Production area.

Production area means the counties of Brevard, Orange, Lake, Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas in the State of Florida, and all of the counties of that State situated south of such counties.

[20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]

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§915.5   Avocados.

Avocados means all varieties of avocados grown in the production area.

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§915.6   Fiscal year.

Fiscal year means the twelve-month period ending March 31 of each year.

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§915.7   Committee.

Committee means the Avocado Administrative Committee established pursuant to §915.20.

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§915.8   Grower.

Grower is synonymous with producer and means any person who produces avocados for market and who has a proprietary interest therein: Provided, That as used in §915.22 the term grower shall include only those who have a proprietary interest in the production of 10 or more bearing avocado trees.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]

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§915.9   Handler.

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

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§915.10   Handle.

Handle means to sell, consign, deliver, or transport avocados within the production area or between the production area and any point outside thereof: Provided, That such term shall not include: (a) The sale or delivery of avocados to a handler, registered as such with the committee in accordance with such rules and regulations as it may prescribe with the approval of the Secretary, who has facilities within the production area for preparing avocados for market; (b) the delivery of avocados to such a handler solely for the purpose of having such avocados prepared for market; or (c) the transportation of avocados by a handler, so registered with the committee, from the grove to his packing facilities within the production area for the purpose of having such avocados prepared for market. In the event a grower sells his avocados to a handler who is not so registered with the committee, such grower shall be the first handler of such avocados.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]

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§915.11   District.

District means the applicable one of the following described subdivisions of the production area:

(a) District 1 shall include Miami-Dade County.

(b) District 2 shall include all of the production area except Miami-Dade County.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]

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§915.12   Export.

Export means to ship avocados to any destination which is not within the 48 contiguous States of the District of Columbia of the United States or Canada.

[43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978]

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Administrative Body

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§915.20   Establishment and membership.

(a) There is hereby established an Avocado Administrative Committee consisting of nine members, each of whom shall have an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member for whom he is an alternate. Five of the members and their respective alternates shall be growers who shall not be handlers of avocados produced by others or employees of such handlers. Four of the members and their respective alternates shall be handlers or employees of handlers. The five members of the committee who shall be growers who shall not be handlers of avocados produced by others or employees of such handlers are referred to as “grower” members of the committee; and the four members who shall be handlers or employees of handlers are referred to as “handler” members of the committee. Four of the five grower members shall be producers of avocados in District 1, and one grower member shall be a producer of avocados in District 2. Three of the four handler members shall be handlers, or employees of handlers, of avocados in District 1, and one handler member shall be a handler, or an employee of a handler, of avocados in District 2. No handler or handler organization shall be permitted to have more than one handler member and alternate on the committee from each district: Provided, That this requirement may be waived by the Secretary in the event that there are not enough persons available to be nominated and selected to serve on the committee.

(b) The committee may be increased by one public member and an alternate. Persons for the public member positions would be nominated by the committee and selected by the Secretary. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, shall prescribe qualifications, term of office and the procedure for nominating the public member and alternate.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 30 FR 917, Jan. 29, 1965; 43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978; 52 FR 7118, Mar. 9, 1987]

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§915.21   Term of office.

The term of office of each member and alternate member of the committee shall begin April 1, and shall terminate March 31 of the following year. Members and alternate members shall serve in such capacities for the portion of the term of office for which they are selected and qualify and until their respective successors are selected and have qualified. The consecutive terms of office of members shall be limited to three terms.

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§915.22   Nomination.

(a) Initial members. Nominations for each of the five initial grower members and four initial handler members of the committee, together with nominations for the initial alternate members for each position, may be submitted to the Secretary by individual growers and handlers. Such nominations may be made by means of group meetings of the growers and handlers concerned in each district. Such nominations, if made, shall be filed with the Secretary no later than ten calendar days prior to the effective date hereof. In the event nominations for initial members and alternate members of the committee; or the filed pursuant to, and within the time specified in, this section, the Secretary may select such initial members and alternate members without regard to nominations, but selections shall be on the basis of the representation provided for in §915.20.

(b) Successor members. (1) The committee shall hold or cause to be held a meeting or meetings of growers and handlers in each district to designate nominees for successor members and alternate members of the committee; or the committee may conduct nominations in Districts 1 and 2 by mail in a manner recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary. Such nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary by the committee not later than March 1 of each year. The committee shall prescribe procedural rules, not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, for the conduct of nomination.

(2) Only growers may participate in the nomination and election of nominees for grower members and their alternates. Each grower shall be entitled to cast only one vote for each nominee to be elected in the district in which he produced avocados. No grower shall participate in the election of nominees in more than one district in any one fiscal year.

(3) Only handlers may participate in the nomination and election of nominees for handler members and their alternates. Each handler shall be entitled to cast only one vote for each nominee to be elected in the district in which such handler handles avocados. Each vote shall be weighted by the volume of avocados shipped by such handler during the immediately preceding twelve-month period, January through December.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 40 FR 52605, Nov. 11, 1975; 40 FR 59719, Dec. 30, 1975; 52 FR 7118, Mar. 9, 1987; 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]

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§915.23   Selection.

From the nominations made pursuant to §915.22, or from other qualified persons, the Secretary shall select the five grower members of the committee, the four handler members of the committee, and an alternate for each such member.

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§915.24   Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and in the manner prescribed in §915.22, the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select the members and alternate members of the committee on the basis of the representation provided for in §915.20.

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§915.25   Acceptance.

Any person selected by the Secretary as a member or as an alternate member of the committee shall qualify by filing a written acceptance with the Secretary within ten days after being notified of such selection.

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§915.26   Vacancies.

To fill any vacancy occasioned by the failure of any person selected as a member or as an alternate member of the committee to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any member or alternate member of the committee, a successor for the unexpired term of such member or alternate member of the committee shall be nominated and selected in the manner specified in §§915.22 and 915.23. If the names of nominees to fill any such vacancy are not made available to the Secretary within fifteen days after such vacancy occurs, the Secretary may fill such vacancy without regard to nominations, which selection shall be made on the basis of representation provided for in §915.20.

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§915.27   Alternate members.

An alternate member of the committee, during the absence or at the request of the member for whom he is an alternate, shall act in the place and stead of such member. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member, his alternate shall act for him until a successor for such member is selected and has qualified. In the event both a member and his alternate are unable to attend a committee meeting, the chairman may designate any alternate who is present and who is not serving for any member to serve in such absent member's place and stead: Provided, That only grower alternate members may be so designated to serve for grower members and only handler alternate members may be so designated to serve only for handler members.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16627, Oct. 27, 1970]

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§915.28   Powers.

The committee shall have the following powers:

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

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

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

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

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§915.29   Duties.

The committee shall have, among others, the following duties:

(a) To select a chairman and such other officers as may be necessary, and to define the duties of such officers;

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

(c) To submit to the Secretary as soon as practicable after the beginning of each fiscal year a budget for such fiscal year, including a report in explanation of the items appearing therein and a recommendation as to the rate of assessment for such fiscal year;

(d) To keep minutes, books, and records which will reflect all of the acts and transactions of the committee and which shall be subject to examination by the Secretary;

(e) To prepare periodic statements of the financial operations of the committee and to make copies of each such statement available to growers and handlers for examination at the office of the committee;

(f) To cause its books to be audited by a certified public accountant at least once each fiscal year, and at such other times as the Secretary may request;

(g) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any grower or handler;

(h) To investigate growing and maturity conditions of avocados, and to assemble data in connection therewith;

(i) To engage in such research relating to the determination of maturity and grade standards for avocados as may be approved by the Secretary;

(j) To submit to the Secretary such available information as he may request;

(k) To notify, as provided in this part, producers and handlers of all meetings of the committee to consider recommendations for regulation;

(l) To give the Secretary the same notice of meetings of the committee as is given to its members;

(m) To consult with such representatives of growers or groups of growers as may be deemed necessary and to pay the travel expenses incurred by such representatives in attending committee meetings at the request of the committee: Provided, That the committee shall not pay the travel expenses of more than three such representatives in connection with any one meeting of the committee; and

(n) To investigate compliance with the provisions of this part.

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§915.30   Procedure.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, six members of the committee, including alternates acting for members, shall constitute a quorum and any decision, recommendation or other action of the committee shall require not less than five concurring votes including one by a handler, or an alternate acting as such: Provided, That if the committee is increased by one, the quorum requirement shall be increased to seven and any decision, recommendation or other action of the committee shall require not less than six concurring votes including one by a handler, or an alternate acting as such.

(b) The committee may provide for simultaneous meetings of groups of its members assembled at two or more designated places: Provided, That such meetings shall be subject to the establishment of telephone communication between all such groups and the availability of loud speaker receivers for each group so that each member may participate in the discussions and other actions the same as if the committee were assembled in one place.

(c) For any recommendation of the committee for an assessment rate change, a quorum of seven committee members and a two-thirds majority vote of approval of those in attendance is required.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978; 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]

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§915.31   Expenses.

The members of the committee and their respective alternates when performing duties at the direction of the committee, shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties under this part.

[43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978]

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§915.32   Annual report.

The committee shall, as soon as practicable after the close of each fiscal year, prepare and mail an annual report to the Secretary, and to each handler and grower who requests a copy of the report. This annual report shall contain at least: (a) A complete review, by districts, of the regulatory operations during the fiscal year; (b) an appraisal of the effect of such regulatory operations upon the avocado industry; and (c) any recommendations for changes in the program.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]

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Expenses and Assessments

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§915.40   Expenses.

The committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred to enable the committee to exercise its powers and perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this part during each fiscal year. The funds to cover such expenses shall be acquired by the levying of assessments as provided for in §915.41.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16627, Oct. 27, 1970]

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§915.41   Assessments.

(a) Each person who first handles avocados shall, with respect to the avocados so handled by him, pay to the committee upon demand such person's pro rata share of the expenses which the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the committee during each fiscal year. Each such person's share of such expenses shall be equal to the ratio between the total quantity of avocados handled by him as the first handler thereof during the applicable fiscal year, and the total quantity of avocados so handled by all persons during the same fiscal year. 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 thereof are suspended or become inoperative. If a handler does not pay his assessment within the time prescribed by the committee, the unpaid assessment may be subject to an interest charge at rates prescribed by the committee with the approval of the Secretary.

(b) The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment per 55-pounds of fruit or equivalent in any container or in bulk, to be paid by each such handler. At any time during or after a fiscal year, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment, in order to secure sufficient funds to cover any later finding by the Secretary relative to the expense which may be incurred. Such increase shall be applied to all fruit handled during the applicable fiscal year. In order to provide funds for the administration of the provisions of this part, the committee may accept the payment of assessments in advance, or borrow money on an emergency short-term basis. The authority of the committee to borrow money is subject to approval of the Secretary and may be used only to meet financial obligations as the obligations occur or to allow the committee to adjust its reserve funds to meet such obligations.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16627, Oct. 27, 1970; 40 FR 52605, Nov. 11, 1975; 43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978; 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]

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§915.42   Accounting.

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

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each person entitled to a proportionate refund of the excess assessment shall be credited with such refund against the operation of the following fiscal year unless such person demands repayment thereof, in which event it shall be paid to him: Provided, That any sum paid by a person in excess of his pro rata share of the expenses during any fiscal year may be applied by the committee at the end of such fiscal year to any outstanding obligations due the committee from such person.

(2) The Secretary, upon recommendation of the committee, may determine that it is appropriate for the maintenance and functioning of the committee that the funds remaining at the end of a fiscal year which are in excess of the expenses necessary for committee operations during such year may be carried over into following years as a reserve. Such reserve may be established at an amount not to exceed approximately 3 fiscal years' operational expenses. Funds in the reserve may be used to cover the necessary expenses of liquidation, in the event of termination of this part, and to cover the expenses incurred for the maintenance and functioning of the committee during any fiscal year when there is crop failure, or during any period of suspension of any or all of the provisions of this part. Such reserve may also be used by the committee to finance its operations during any fiscal year prior to the time that assessment income is sufficient to cover such expenses and to cover deficits incurred during any fiscal year when income is less than expenses. 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: Provided, That to the extent practical, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.

(b) All funds received by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this part shall be used solely for the purposes specified in this part, and shall be accounted for in the manner provided in this part. The Secretary may, at any time, require the committee and its members to account for all receipts and disbursements.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16628, Oct. 27, 1970; 43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978]

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§915.43   Contributions.

The committee may accept voluntary contributions. Such contributions shall be free from any encumbrances by the donor and the committee shall retain complete control of their use.

[73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]

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Research and Development

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§915.45   Production research, marketing research and development.

The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, establish or provide for the establishment of production research, marketing research and development projects designed to assist, improve or promote the marketing, distribution, and consumption or efficient production of avocados. Such products may provide for any form of marketing promotion, including paid advertising. The expenses of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to the applicable provisions of §915.41, or from such other funds as approved by the USDA.

[73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]

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§915.49   Marketing policy.

Each season prior to making any recommendations pursuant to §915.50, the committee shall submit to the Secretary a report setting forth its marketing policy for the ensuing season. Such marketing policy report shall contain information relative to (a) the estimated total production of avocados within the production area; (b) the expected general quality and maturity of avocados in the production area and in competing areas; (c) the expected demand conditions for avocados in different market outlets; (d) the expected shipments of avocados produced in the production area and competing areas; (e) supplies of competing commodities; (f) trend and level of consumer income; (g) other factors having a bearing on the marketing of avocados; and (h) the type of regulations expected to be recommended during the season. In the event it becomes advisable, because of changes in the supply and demand situation for avocados, to modify substantially such marketing policy, the committee shall submit to the Secretary a revised marketing policy report setting forth the information prescribed in this section. The committee shall publicly announce the contents of each marketing policy report and copies thereof shall be maintained in the offices of the committee where they shall be available for examination by growers and handlers.

[40 FR 52605, Nov. 11, 1975]

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Regulations

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§915.50   Recommendations for regulation.

(a) Whenever the committee deems it advisable to regulate the handling of any variety or varieties of avocados grown in District 1 or District 2 in the manner provided in §915.51, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.

(b) In arriving at its recommendations pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the committee shall give consideration to such of the following factors as may be applicable:

(1) The estimated total production and shipments of each variety of avocados, including avocados grown in other areas;

(2) The time of bloom and growing conditions during the development of the crop;

(3) The quality of the avocado crop;

(4) The anticipated demand for avocados; and

(5) Other available information having a bearing on the market for avocados with each recommendation for regulation the committee shall submit to the Secretary the data and information on which such recommendation is predicated, and such other available information as the Secretary may request.

(c) All meetings of the committee held for the purpose of formulating recommendations for regulations shall be open to growers and handlers. The committee shall give notice of such meetings to growers and handlers by mailing such notice to each grower and handler who has filed his address with the committee and requested such notice.

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§915.51   Issuance of regulations.

(a) The Secretary shall regulate, in the manner specified in this section, the handling of avocados whenever he finds, from the recommendations and information submitted by the committee or from other available information, that such regulations will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act. Such regulations may:

(1) Prohibit, prior to such time as shall be specified, the handling of any size or sizes of any variety or varieties of avocados grown in District 1 or District 2.

(2) Prohibit the handling of any variety or varieties of avocados grown in District 1 or District 2 which do not meet such quality and maturity standards as shall be prescribed.

(3) Limit the shipment of the total quantity of avocados by prohibiting the shipment thereof: Provided, That no such prohibition shall be effective during any fiscal period, other than for four periods not exceeding six days each immediately prior to, including, or following July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

(4) Fix the size, capacity, weight, dimensions, or pack of the container or containers which may be used in the packaging, and the transportation, sale, shipment or other handling of avocados.

(5) Establish and prescribe pack specifications for the grading and packing of any variety or varieties of avocados and require that all avocados handled shall be packed in accordance with such pack specifications, and shall be identified by appropriate labels, seals, stamps, or tags, affixed to the containers by the handler under the supervision of the committee or an inspector of the Federal-State Inspection Service, showing the particular pack specifications of the lot.

(6) Provide that any or all requirements effective pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section applicable to the handling of avocados shall be different for the handling of avocados within the production area and for the handling of avocados between the production area and any point outside thereof.

(7) Prescribe requirements, as provided in this paragraph, applicable to exports of any variety of avocados which are different from those applicable to the handling of the same variety to other destinations.

(b) The committee shall be informed immediately of any such regulations issued by the Secretary and the committee shall promptly give notice thereof to growers and handlers.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955; 22 FR 3514, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 36 FR 14126, July 30, 1971; 40 FR 52606, Nov. 11, 1975; 43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978]

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§915.52   Modification, suspension, or termination of regulations.

(a) In the event the committee at any time finds that, by reason of changed conditions, any regulations issued pursuant to §915.51 should be modified, suspended, or terminated, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.

(b) Whenever the Secretary finds, from the recommendations and information submitted by the committee or from other available information, that a regulation should be modified, suspended, or terminated with respect to any or all shipments of avocados in order to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall modify, suspend, or terminate such regulation. If the Secretary finds that a regulation obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall suspend or terminate such regulation. On the same basis and in like manner the Secretary may terminate any such modification or suspension.

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§915.53   Exemption certificates.

Whenever a regulation is in effect pursuant to §915.51(a)(1), the committee shall issue one or more exemption certificates to any person who furnishes proof, satisfactory to the committee, that his avocados of a particular variety are mature prior to the time such variety may be handled under such regulation. Such exemption certificates shall authorize the person to whom the certificates are issued to handle, or have handled, only that portion of his avocados of the particular variety which the committee has determined to be mature. The committee shall adopt, with the approval of the Secretary, procedural rules by which such exemption certificates will be issued and the avocados covered thereunder may be handled. Exemption certificates shall be transferred to the handler of the avocados covered by such certificates at the time the avocados are delivered to such handler.

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§915.54   Inspection and certification.

Whenever the handling of any variety of avocados is regulated pursuant to §915.51, each handler who handles avocados shall, prior thereto, cause each lot of avocados handled to be inspected by the Federal-State Inspection Service and certified by it as meeting the applicable requirements of such regulation: Provided, That such inspection and certification shall not be required whenever the avocados previously have been so inspected and certified. Promptly thereafter, each such handler shall submit, or cause to be submitted, to the committee a copy of the certificate of inspection with respect to such handling.

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§915.55   Avocados not subject to regulations.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person may, without regard to the provisions of §§915.41, 915.51, and 915.54, and the regulations issued thereunder, handle avocados (a) for consumption by charitable institutions; (b) for distribution by relief agencies; (c) for commercial processing into products; or (d) in such minimum quantities or types of shipments as the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe. The committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, prescribe such rules, regulations, and safeguards as it may deem necessary to prevent avocados handled under the provisions of this section from entering channels of trade for other than the specific purposes authorized by this section. Such rules, regulations, and safeguards may include the requirements that handlers shall file applications with the committee for authorization to handle avocados pursuant to this section, and that such applications be accompanied by a certification by the intended purchaser or receiver that the avocados will not be used for any purpose not authorized by this section.

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]

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§915.60   Reports.

(a) Each handler shall furnish to the committee, at such times and for such periods as the committee may designate, certified reports covering, to the extent necessary for the committee to perform its functions, the following:

(1) The quantities of each variety of avocados he received;

(2) A complete record of the quantities disposed of by him, segregated as to varieties and as to the respective quantities subject to regulation and not subject to regulation;

(3) The date of each such disposition and the identification of the carrier transporting such fruit;

(4) Identification of the inspection certificates and the exemption certificates, if any, pursuant to which the fruit was handled, together with the destination of each such exempted disposition, and of all fruit handled pursuant to §915.55; and

(5) The quantity of each variety held by him at the end of the period.

(b) 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 times as it may prescribe, such other information as may be necessary to enable the committee to perform its duties under this part.

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Miscellaneous Provisions

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§915.61   Compliance.

Except as provided in this part, no person shall handle avocados, the shipment of which have been prohibited by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of this part; and no person shall handle avocados except in conformity with the provisions of this part and the regulations issued under this part.

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§915.62   Right of the Secretary.

The members of the committee (including successors and alternates), and any agents, employees, or representatives thereof, shall be subject to removal or suspension by the Secretary at any time. Each and every 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 accordance therewith prior to such disapproval by the Secretary.

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§915.63   Effective time.

The provisions of this part shall become effective at such time as the Secretary may declare above his signature to this part, and shall continue in force until terminated in one of the ways specified in §915.64.

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§915.64   Termination.

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

(b) The Secretary shall terminate or suspend the operation of any and all of the provisions of this part whenever he finds that such provisions do not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act.

(c) The Secretary shall terminate the provisions of this part whenever the Secretary finds by referendum or otherwise that such termination is favored by a majority of the producers: Provided, That such majority has, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, produced more than 50 percent of the volume of the avocados produced within the production area: And Provided further, That such termination shall be announced by March 15 of the then current fiscal year.

(d) The Secretary shall conduct a referendum as soon as practicable after the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 1990, and at such time every sixth year thereafter, to ascertain whether continuance of this part is favored by avocado producers. The Secretary may terminate the provisions of this part at the end of any fiscal year in which the Secretary has found that continuance of this part is not favored by producers who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production for market of avocados in the production area: Provided, That termination of this part shall be effective only if announced on or before March 15 of the then current fiscal year.

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

[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 52 FR 7118, Mar. 9, 1987]

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§915.65   Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of the provisions of this part, the committee shall, for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the committee, continue as trustees of all the funds and property then in its possession, or under its control, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered at the time of such termination.

(b) The said trustees shall (1) continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary; (2) from time to time account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of the committee and of the trustees, to such persons as the Secretary may direct; and (3) 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 the committee or the trustees pursuant thereto.

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

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§915.66   Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the termination of this part or of any regulation issued pursuant to this part, or the issuance of any amendment 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 part or any regulation issued under this part, or (b) release or extinguish any violation of this part or of any regulation issued under this part, or (c) affect or impair any rights or remedies of the Secretary or of any other person with respect to any such violation.

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§915.67   Duration of immunities.

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

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§915.68   Agents.

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

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§915.69   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 (a) to exercise any powers granted by the act or otherwise, or (b) in accordance with such powers, to act in the premises whenever such action is deemed advisable.

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§915.70   Personal liability.

No member or alternate member of the committee and no employee or agent of the committee shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly with others, in any way whatsoever, 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.

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§915.71   Separability.

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

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