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e-CFR data is current as of February 25, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IVPart 400 → Subpart M

Title 7: Agriculture

Subpart M—Agency Sales and Service Contract—Standards for Approval

§400.201   Applicability of standards.
§400.202   Definitions.
§400.203   Financial statement and certification.
§400.204   Notification of deviation from standards.
§400.205   Denial or termination of contract and administrative reassignment of business.
§400.206   Financial qualifications for acceptability.
§400.207   Representative licensing and certification.
§400.208   Term of the contract.
§400.209   Electronic transmission and receiving system.
§400.210   [Reserved]

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1506, 1516.

Source: 53 FR 24015, June 27, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

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§400.201   Applicability of standards.

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will offer an Agency Sales and Service Contract (the Contract) to private entities meeting the requirements set forth in this subpart under which the Corporation will insure producers of agricultural commodities. The Contract will be consistent with the requirements of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, as amended, and the provisions of the regulations of the Corporation found at chapter IV of title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Standards contained herein are required for an entity to be a contractor under the Contract.

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§400.202   Definitions.

For the purpose of these Standards:

(a) Agency Sales and Service Contract or the Contract means the written agreement between the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (Corporation) and a private entity (Contractor) for the purpose of selling and servicing Federal Crop Insurance policies and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) The Agency Sales and Service Contract;

(2) Any Appendix to the Agency Sales and Service Contract issued by the Corporation;

(3) The annual approved Plan or Operation; and

(4) Any amendment adopted by the parties.

(b) BELL 208B (or compatible) modem—means a modem meeting the standards developed by BELL Laboratories for dial-up, half-duplex, 4800 or 9600 bits per second (bps) transmission of data utilizing 3780 (or 2780) protocol.

(c) Contract, the see Agency Sales and Service Contract.

(d) Contractor's electronic system (system) means the data processing hardware and software, data communications hardware and software, and printers utilized with the system.

(e) CPA means a Certified Public Accountant who is licensed as such by the State in which the CPA practices.

(f) CPA Audit means a professional examination conducted by a CPA in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards of a Financial Statement on the basis of which the CPA expresses an independent professional opinion respecting the fairness of presentation of the Financial Statement.

(g) Current Assets means cash and other assets that are reasonably expected to be realized in cash or sold or consumed during the normal operation cycle of the business or within one year if the operation cycle is shorter than one year.

(h) Current Liabilities means those liabilities expected to be satisfied by either the use of assets classified as current in the same balance sheet, or the creation of other current liabilities, or those expected to be satisfied within a relatively short period of time, usually one year.

(i) Financial Statement means the documents submitted to the Corporation by a private entity which portray the financial information of the entity. The financial statement must be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and reflect the financial position in the Statement of Financial Condition or Balance Sheet; and the result of operations in the Statement of Profit and Loss or Income Statement.

(j) Processing representative means a person or organization designated by the Contractor to be responsible for data entry and electronic transmission of data contained on crop insurance documents.

(k) Sales means new applications and renewals of FCIC policies.

(l) Suspended Data Notice means a notification of a temporary stop or delay in the processing of data transmitted to the Corporation by the Contractor because the same is incomplete, non-processable, obsolete, or erroneous.

(m) 3780 protocol—means the data communications protocol (standard) that is a binary synchronous communications (BSC), International Business Systems (IBM)-defined, byte controlled communications protocol, using control characters and synchronized transmission of binary coded data.

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§400.203   Financial statement and certification.

(a) An entity desiring to become or continue as a contractor shall submit to the Corporation a financial statement which is as of a date not more than eighteen (18) months prior to the date of submission.

(b) The financial statement submitted shall be audited by a CPA (CPA Audit); or if a CPA audited financial statement is not available, the statement submitted to the Corporation must be accompanied by a certification of:

(1) The owner, if the business entity is a sole proprietorship; or

(2) At least one of the general partners, if the business entity is a partnership; or

(3) The Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer, if the business entity is a Corporation, that said statement fairly represents the financial condition of the entity on the date of such certification to the Corporation. If the financial statement as certified by the Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer, partner, or owner is submitted, a CPA audited financial statement must be submitted if subsequently available.

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§400.204   Notification of deviation from standards.

A Contractor shall advise the Corporation immediately if the Contractor deviates from the requirements of these standards. The Corporation may require the Contractor to show compliance with these standards during the contract year if the Corporation determines that such submission is necessary. If the Corporation determines that the deviation is temporary, the Corporation may grant a temporary waiver pending compliance within a specified period of time. A waiver of any provision of these standards will not be granted to an applicant for a contract.

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§400.205   Denial or termination of contract and administrative reassignment of business.

Non-compliance with these standards will result in:

(a) The denial of a Contract; or

(b) Termination of an existing Contract.

In the event of denial or termination of the Contract, all crop insurance policies of the Corporation sold by the Contractor and all business pertaining thereto may be assumed by the Corporation and may be administratively reassigned by the Corporation to another Contractor.

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§400.206   Financial qualifications for acceptability.

The financial statement of an entity must show total allowable assets in excess of liabilities and the ability of the entity to meet current liabilities by the use of current assets.

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§400.207   Representative licensing and certification.

(a) A Contractor must maintain twenty-five (25) licensed and certified Contractor Representatives.

(b) A Contractor's Representative who solicits, sells and services FCIC policies or represents the Contractor in solicitation, sales or service of such policies must hold a license as issued by the State or States in which the policies are issued, which license authorizes the sales of insurance in any one or more of the following lines:

(1) Multiple peril crop insurance;

(2) Crop hail insurance;

(3) Casualty insurance;

(4) Property insurance;

(5) Liability insurance; or

(6) Fire insurance and allied lines.

The Contractor must submit evidence, satisfactory to the Corporation, verifying the type of State license held by each Representative and the date of expiration of each license.

(c) A Contractor's Representative must have achieved certification by the Corporation for each crop upon which the Representative sells and services insurance.

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§400.208   Term of the contract.

(a) The term of the Contract shall commence on July 1 or when signed. The contract will continue from year to year with an annual renewal date of July 1 for each succeeding year unless the Corporation or the Contractor gives at least ninety (90) days advance notice in writing to the other party that the contract is not to be renewed. Any breach of the contract, or failure to comply with these Standards, by the Contractor, may result in termination of the contract by the Corporation upon written notice of termination to the Contractor. That termination will be effective thirty (30) days after mailing of the notice and termination to the Contractor.

(b) A Contractor who elects to continue under the Contract for a subsequent year must, prior to the month of June, submit a completed Plan of Operation which includes the Certifications as required by §400.203 of this subpart. The Contractor may not perform under the contract until the Plan of Operation is approved by the Corporation.

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§400.209   Electronic transmission and receiving system.

Any Contractor under the Contract is required to:

(a) Adopt a plan for the purpose of transmitting and receiving electronically, information to and from the Corporation concerning the original executed crop insurance documents;

(b) Maintain an electronic system which must be tested and approved by the Corporation;

(c) Maintain Corporation approval of the electronic system as a condition to the electronic transmission and reception of data by the Contractor;

(d) Utilize the Corporation approved automated data processing and electronic data transmission capabilities to process crop insurance documents as required herein; and

(e) Establish and maintain the electronic equipment and computer software program capability to:

(1) Receive and store actuarial data electronically via telecommunications utilizing 3780 protocol and utilizing a BELL 208B or compatible modem at 4800 bits per second (bps);

(2) Enter and store information from original crop insurance documents into electronic format;

(3) Verify electronically stored information recorded from crop insurance documents with electronically stored actuarial information;

(4) Compute and print the data elements in the Summary of Protection;

(5) Transmit crop insurance data electronically, via 3780 protocol utilizing a BELL 208B or compatible modem at 4800 bps;

(6) Receive electronic acknowledgements, error messages, and other data via 3780 protocol utilizing a BELL 208B or compatible modem at 4800 bps, and relate error messages to original crop insurance documents; and

(7) Store backup data and physical documents.

(The Corporation may approve other compatible specifications if accepted by the Corporation and if requested by the Contractor)

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§400.210   [Reserved]

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