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e-CFR data is current as of August 13, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter MPart 205Subpart G → §205.662


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 205—NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM
Subpart G—Administrative


§205.662   Noncompliance procedure for certified operations.

(a) Notification. When an inspection, review, or investigation of a certified operation by a certifying agent or a State organic program's governing State official reveals any noncompliance with the Act or regulations in this part, a written notification of noncompliance shall be sent to the certified operation. 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 certified operation must rebut or correct each noncompliance and submit supporting documentation of each such correction when correction is possible.

(b) Resolution. When a certified operation demonstrates that each noncompliance has been resolved, the certifying agent or the State organic program's governing State official, as applicable, shall send the certified operation 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 certifying agent or State organic program's governing State official shall send the certified operation a written notification of proposed suspension or revocation of certification of the entire operation or a portion of the operation, as applicable to the noncompliance. When correction of a noncompliance is not possible, the notification of noncompliance and the proposed suspension or revocation of certification may be combined in one notification. The notification of proposed suspension or revocation of certification shall state:

(1) The reasons for the proposed suspension or revocation;

(2) The proposed effective date of such suspension or revocation;

(3) The impact of a suspension or revocation on future eligibility for certification; and

(4) The right to request mediation pursuant to §205.663 or to file an appeal pursuant to §205.681.

(d) Willful violations. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, if a certifying agent or State organic program's governing State official has reason to believe that a certified operation has willfully violated the Act or regulations in this part, the certifying agent or State organic program's governing State official shall send the certified operation a notification of proposed suspension or revocation of certification of the entire operation or a portion of the operation, as applicable to the noncompliance.

(e) Suspension or revocation. (1) If the certified operation fails to correct the noncompliance, to resolve the issue through rebuttal or mediation, or to file an appeal of the proposed suspension or revocation of certification, the certifying agent or State organic program's governing State official shall send the certified operation a written notification of suspension or revocation.

(2) A certifying agent or State organic program's governing State official must not send a notification of suspension or revocation to a certified operation that has requested mediation pursuant to §205.663 or filed an appeal pursuant to §205.681, while final resolution of either is pending.

(f) Eligibility. (1) A certified operation whose certification has been suspended 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 certification. 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 certified operation or a person responsibly connected with an operation whose certification has been revoked will be ineligible to receive certification for a period of 5 years following the date of such revocation, Except, That, the Secretary may, when in the best interest of the certification program, reduce or eliminate the period of ineligibility.

(g) Violations of Act. In addition to suspension or revocation, any certified operation that:

(1) Knowingly sells or labels a product as organic, except in accordance with the Act, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than the amount specified in §3.91(b)(1) of this title per violation.

(2) Makes a false statement under the Act to the Secretary, a State organic program's governing State official, or a certifying agent shall be subject to the provisions of section 1001 of title 18, United States Code.

[65 FR 80637, Dec. 21, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 17560, Apr. 7, 2010; 79 FR 6430, Feb. 5, 2015]

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