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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 23, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter MPart 205Subpart F → §205.504


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 205—NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM
Subpart F—Accreditation of Certifying Agents


§205.504   Evidence of expertise and ability.

A private or governmental entity seeking accreditation as a certifying agent must submit the following documents and information to demonstrate its expertise in organic production or handling techniques; its ability to fully comply with and implement the organic certification program established in §§205.100 and 205.101, §§205.201 through 205.203, §§205.300 through 205.303, §§205.400 through 205.406, and §§205.661 and 205.662; and its ability to comply with the requirements for accreditation set forth in §205.501:

(a) Personnel. (1) A copy of the applicant's policies and procedures for training, evaluating, and supervising personnel;

(2) The name and position description of all personnel to be used in the certification operation, including administrative staff, certification inspectors, members of any certification review and evaluation committees, contractors, and all parties responsibly connected to the certifying agent;

(3) A description of the qualifications, including experience, training, and education in agriculture, organic production, and organic handling, for:

(i) Each inspector to be used by the applicant and

(ii) Each person to be designated by the applicant to review or evaluate applications for certification; and

(4) A description of any training that the applicant has provided or intends to provide to personnel to ensure that they comply with and implement the requirements of the Act and the regulations in this part.

(b) Administrative policies and procedures. (1) A copy of the procedures to be used to evaluate certification applicants, make certification decisions, and issue certification certificates;

(2) A copy of the procedures to be used for reviewing and investigating certified operation compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part and the reporting of violations of the Act and the regulations in this part to the Administrator;

(3) A copy of the procedures to be used for complying with the recordkeeping requirements set forth in §205.501(a)(9);

(4) A copy of the procedures to be used for maintaining the confidentiality of any business-related information as set forth in §205.501(a)(10);

(5) A copy of the procedures to be used, including any fees to be assessed, for making the following information available to any member of the public upon request:

(i) Certification certificates issued during the current and 3 preceding calendar years;

(ii) A list of producers and handlers whose operations it has certified, including for each the name of the operation, type(s) of operation, products produced, and the effective date of the certification, during the current and 3 preceding calendar years;

(iii) The results of laboratory analyses for residues of pesticides and other prohibited substances conducted during the current and 3 preceding calendar years; and

(iv) Other business information as permitted in writing by the producer or handler; and

(6) A copy of the procedures to be used for sampling and residue testing pursuant to §205.670.

(c) Conflicts of interest. (1) A copy of procedures intended to be implemented to prevent the occurrence of conflicts of interest, as described in §205.501(a)(11).

(2) For all persons who review applications for certification, perform on-site inspections, review certification documents, evaluate qualifications for certification, make recommendations concerning certification, or make certification decisions and all parties responsibly connected to the certifying agent, a conflict of interest disclosure report, identifying any food- or agriculture-related business interests, including business interests of immediate family members, that cause a conflict of interest.

(d) Current certification activities. An applicant who currently certifies production or handling operations must submit: (1) A list of all production and handling operations currently certified by the applicant;

(2) Copies of at least 3 different inspection reports and certification evaluation documents for production or handling operations certified by the applicant during the previous year for each area of operation for which accreditation is requested; and

(3) The results of any accreditation process of the applicant's operation by an accrediting body during the previous year for the purpose of evaluating its certification activities.

(e) Other information. Any other information the applicant believes may assist in the Administrator's evaluation of the applicant's expertise and ability.

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