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Title 7 Part 1210

Title 7 → Subtitle B → Chapter XI → Part 1210

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 7 Part 1210

e-CFR data is current as of December 9, 2019

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XI → Part 1210


Title 7: Agriculture


PART 1210—WATERMELON RESEARCH AND PROMOTION PLAN


Contents

Subpart A—Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan

Definitions

§1210.301   Secretary.
§1210.302   Act.
§1210.303   Plan.
§1210.304   Board.
§1210.305   Watermelon.
§1210.306   Producer.
§1210.307   Handle.
§1210.308   Handler.
§1210.309   Person.
§1210.310   Fiscal period and marketing year.
§1210.311   Programs and projects.
§1210.312   Promotion.
§1210.313   Research.
§1210.314   Importer.
§1210.315   United States.

National Watermelon Promotion Board

§1210.320   Establishment and membership.
§1210.321   Nominations and selection.
§1210.322   Term of office.
§1210.323   Acceptance.
§1210.324   Vacancies.
§1210.325   Procedure.
§1210.326   Compensation and reimbursement.
§1210.327   Powers.
§1210.328   Duties.

Research and Promotion

§1210.330   Policy and objective.
§1210.331   Programs and projects.

Expenses and Assessments

§1210.340   Budget and expenses.
§1210.341   Assessments.
§1210.342   Exemption from assessment.
§1210.343   [Reserved]
§1210.344   Operating reserve.

Reports, Books, and Records

§1210.350   Reports.
§1210.351   Books and records.
§1210.352   Confidential treatment.

Miscellaneous

§1210.360   Right of the Secretary.
§1210.361   Personal liability.
§1210.362   Influencing government action.
§1210.363   Suspension or termination.
§1210.364   Proceedings after termination.
§1210.365   Effect of termination or amendment.
§1210.366   Separability.
§1210.367   Patents, copyrights, inventions, and publications.

Subpart A—Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan

Source: 54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

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Definitions

§1210.301   Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in the Secretary's stead.

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§1210.302   Act.

Act means the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act of 1985 (Title XVI, Subtitle C of Pub. L. 99-198, 99th Congress, effective January 1, 1986, 99 Stat. 1622), as amended.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10797, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.303   Plan.

Plan means this watermelon research and promotion Plan issued by the Secretary pursuant to the Act.

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§1210.304   Board.

Board means the National Watermelon Promotion Board, hereinafter established pursuant to §1210.320.

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§1210.305   Watermelon.

Watermelon means all varieties of the Family Curcubitaceae; Genus and Species; Citrullus Lanatus, popularly referred to as watermelon grown by producers in the United States or imported into the United States.

[60 FR 10797, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.306   Producer.

Producer means any person engaged in the growing of 10 acres or more of watermelons including any person who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such watermelon crop.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10797, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.307   Handle.

Handle means to grade, pack, process, sell, transport, purchase, or in any other way to place or cause watermelons to which one has title or possession to be placed in the current of commerce. Such term shall not include the transportation or delivery of field run watermelons by the producer thereof to a handler for grading, sizing or processing.

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§1210.308   Handler.

Handler means any person (except a common or contract carrier of watermelons owned by another person) who handles watermelons, including a producer who handles watermelons of the producer's own production. For the purposes of this subpart, the term “handler” means the “first” person who performs the handling functions.

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§1210.309   Person.

Person means any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative, or other entity.

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§1210.310   Fiscal period and marketing year.

Fiscal period and marketing year mean the 12 month period from January 1 to December 31 or such other period which may be approved by the Secretary.

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§1210.311   Programs and projects.

Programs and projects mean those research, development, advertising, or promotion programs or projects developed by the Board pursuant to §1210.331.

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§1210.312   Promotion.

Promotion means any action taken by the Board, pursuant to the Act, to present a favorable image for watermelons to the public with the express intent of improving the competitive position of watermelons in the marketplace and stimulating sales of watermelons, and shall include, but not be limited to, paid advertising.

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§1210.313   Research.

Research means any type of systematic study or investigation, and/or the evaluation of any study or investigation designed to advance the image, desirability, usage, marketability, production, or quality of watermelons.

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§1210.314   Importer.

Importer means any person who imports watermelons into the United States as a principal or as an agent, broker, or consignee for any person who produces watermelons outside of the United States for sale in the United States.

[60 FR 10797, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.315   United States.

United States means each of the several States and the District of Columbia.

[60 FR 10797, Feb. 28, 1995]

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National Watermelon Promotion Board

§1210.320   Establishment and membership.

(a) There is hereby established a National Watermelon Promotion Board, hereinafter called the “Board.” The Board shall be composed of producers, handlers, importers, and one public representative appointed by the Secretary. An equal number of producer and handler representatives shall be nominated by producers and handlers pursuant to §1210.321. The Board shall also include one or more representatives of importers, who shall be nominated in such manner as may be prescribed by the Secretary. The public representative shall be nominated by the Board members in such manner as may be prescribed by the Secretary. If producers, handlers, and importers fail to select nominees for appointment to the Board, the Secretary may appoint persons on the basis of representation as provided in §1210.324. If the Board fails to adhere to procedures prescribed by the Secretary for nominating a public representative, the Secretary shall appoint such representative.

(b) Membership on the Board shall be determined on the basis of two handler and two producer representatives for each of seven districts in the contiguous States of the United States. Such districts as hereby established have approximately equal production volume according to the three-year average production as set forth in the USDA Crop Production Annual Summary Reports for 1979, 1980, and 1981. They are:

District #1—South Florida including all areas south of State Highway 50.

District #2—North Florida including all areas north of State Highway 50.

District #3—The States of Alabama and Georgia.

District #4—The States of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

District #5—The States of Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, and New Mexico.

District #6—The State of Texas.

District #7—The States of Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, and Montana.

(c) After two years, the Board shall review the districts to determine whether realignment of the districts is necessary and at least every five years thereafter the Board shall make such a review. In making such review, it shall give consideration to:

(1) The most recent three years USDA production reports or Board assessment reports if USDA production reports are unavailable;

(2) Shifts and trends in quantities of watermelon produced, and

(3) Other relevant factors.

As a result of this review, the Board may realign the districts subject to the approval of the Secretary. Any such realignment shall be recommended by the Board to the Secretary at least six months prior to the date of the call for nominations and shall become effective at least 30 days prior to such date.

(d) Importer representation on the Board shall be proportionate to the percentage of assessments paid by importers to the Board, except that at least one representative of importers shall serve on the Board.

(e) Not later than 5 years after the date that importers are subject to the Plan, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall evaluate the average annual percentage of assessments paid by importers during the 3-year period preceding the date of the evaluation and adjust, to the extent practicable, the number of importer representatives on the Board.

(f) The Board consists of 14 producers, 14 handlers, at least one importer, and one public member appointed by the Secretary.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10797, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.321   Nominations and selection.

The Secretary shall appoint the members of the Board from nominations to be made in the following manner:

(a) There shall be two individuals nominated for each vacant position.

(b) The Board shall issue a call for nominations by February first of each year in which an election is to be held. The call shall include at a minimum, the following information:

(1) A list of the vacancies and qualifications as to producers and handlers by district and to importers nationally for which nominees may be submitted.

(2) The date by which the nominees shall be submitted to the Secretary for consideration to be in compliance with §1210.323 of this subpart.

(3) A list of those States, by district, entitled to participate in the nomination process.

(4) The date, time, and location of any next scheduled meeting of the Board, national and State producer or handler associations, importers, and district conventions, if any.

(c) Nominations for producer and handler positions that will become vacant shall be made by district convention in the district entitled to nominate. Notice of such convention shall be publicized to all producers and handlers within such district, and the Secretary at least ten days prior to said event. The notice shall have attached to it the call for nominations from the Board. The responsibility for convening and publicizing the district convention shall be that of the then members of the Board from that district.

(d) Nominations for importer positions that become vacant may be made by mail ballot, nomination conventions, or by other means prescribed by the Secretary. The Board shall provide notice of such vacancies and the nomination process to all importers through press releases and any other available means as well as direct mailing to known importers. All importers may participate in the nomination process. A person who both imports and handles watermelons may participate in the nomination process and serve on the Board as either an importer or handler, but not both.

(e) All producers and handlers within the district may participate in the convention: Provided, That a person that produces and handles watermelons may vote for handler members only if the producer purchased watermelons from other producers, in a combined total volume that is equal to 25 percent or more of the producer's own production; or the combined total volume of watermelon handled by the producer from the producer's own production and purchases from other producer's production is more than 50 percent of the producer's own production; and provided further, That if a producer or handler is engaged in the production or handling of watermelons in more than one State or district, the producer or handler shall participate within the State or district in which the producer or handler so elects in writing to the Board and such election shall remain controlling until revoked in writing to the Board.

(f) The district convention chairperson shall conduct the selection process for the nominees in accordance with procedures to be adopted at each such convention, subject to requirements set in §1210.321(e).

(1) No State in Districts 3, 4, 5, and 7 as currently constituted shall have more than three producers and handlers representatives concurrently on the Board.

(2) Each State represented at the district convention shall have one vote for each producer position and one vote for each handler position from the District on the Board, which vote shall be determined by the producers and handlers from that State by majority vote. Each State shall further have an additional vote for each five hundred thousand hundredweight volume as determined by the three year average annual crop production summary reports of the USDA, or if such reports are not published, then the three year average of the Board assessment reports; Provided, That for the first two calls for nominees, the USDA Crop Production Annual Summary Reports for 1979, 1980, and 1981 will be controlling as to any additional production volume votes.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995; 79 FR 17852, Mar. 31, 2014]

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§1210.322   Term of office.

(a) The term of office of Board members shall be three years.

(b) Except in the case of mid-term vacancies, the term of office shall begin on January 1, or such other date as may be recommended by the Board and approved by the Secretary.

(c) Board members shall serve during the term of office for which they are selected and have qualified, and until their successors are selected and have qualified.

(d) No person shall serve more than two successive terms of office.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995; 60 FR 13515, Mar. 13, 1995]

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§1210.323   Acceptance.

Each person nominated for membership on the Board shall qualify by filing a written acceptance with the Secretary. Such written acceptance shall accompany the nominations list required by §1210.321.

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§1210.324   Vacancies.

(a) In the event any member of the Board ceases to be a member of the category of members from which the member was appointed to the Board, such position shall automatically become vacant.

(b) If a member of the Board consistently refuses to perform the duties of a member of the Board, or if a member of the Board engages in acts of dishonesty or willful misconduct, the Board may recommend to the Secretary that the member be removed from office. If the Secretary finds the recommendation of the Board shows adequate cause, the Secretary shall remove such member from office. Further, without recommendation of the Board, a member may be removed by the Secretary upon showing of adequate cause, if the Secretary determines that the person's continual services would be detrimental to the purposes of the Act.

(c) To fill any vacancy caused by the failure of any person selected as a member of the Board to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any member, a successor shall be nominated and selected in the manner specified in §1210.321, except that said nomination and replacement shall not be required if the unexpired term of office is less than six months. In the event of failure to provide nominees for such vacancies, the Secretary may appoint other eligible persons.

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§1210.325   Procedure.

(a) A simple majority of Board members shall constitute a quorum and any action of the Board shall require the concurring votes of a majority of those present and voting. At assembled meetings all votes shall be cast in person.

(b) For routine and noncontroversial matters which do not require deliberation and the exchange of views, and for matters of an emergency nature when there is not enough time to call an assembled meeting, the Board may act upon a majority of concurring votes of its members cast by mail, telegraph, telephone, or by other means of communication; Provided, That each member receives an accurate, full, and substantially identical explanation of each proposition. Telephone votes shall be promptly confirmed in writing. All votes shall be recorded in the Board minutes.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.326   Compensation and reimbursement.

Board members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as Board members.

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§1210.327   Powers.

The Board shall have the following powers subject to §1210.363:

(a) To administer the provisions of this Plan in accordance with its terms and conditions;

(b) To make rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and conditions of this Plan;

(c) To require its employees to receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of this Plan; and

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

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§1210.328   Duties.

The Board shall, among other things, have the following duties:

(a) To meet, organize, and select from among its members a president and such other officers as may be necessary; to select committees and subcommittees of board members; to adopt such rules for the conduct of its business as it may deem advisable; and it may establish working committees of persons other than Board members.

(b) To employ such persons as it may deem necessary and to determine the compensation and define the duties of each; and to protect the handling of Board funds through fidelity bonds;

(c) To prepare and submit for the Secretary's approval, prior to the beginning of each fiscal period, a recommended rate of assessment and a fiscal period budget of the anticipated expenses in the administration of this Plan, including the probable costs of all programs and projects;

(d) To develop programs and projects, which must be approved by the Secretary before becoming effective, and enter into contracts or agreements, with the approval of the Secretary, for the development and carrying out of programs or projects of research, development, advertising or promotion, and the payment of the costs thereof with funds received pursuant to this Plan;

(e) To keep minutes, books, and records which clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the Board. Minutes of each Board meeting shall be promptly reported to the Secretary;

(f) To prepare and submit to the Secretary such reports from time to time as may be prescribed for appropriate accounting with respect to the receipt and disbursement of funds entrusted to the Board;

(g) To cause the books of the Board to be audited by a certified public accountant at least once each fiscal period, and at such other time as the Board may deem necessary. The report of such audit shall show the receipt and expenditure of funds received pursuant to this part. Two copies of each such report shall be furnished to the Secretary and a copy of each such report shall be made available at the principal office of the Board for inspection by producers, handlers, and importers;

(h) To investigate violations of the Plan and report the results of such investigations to the Secretary for appropriate action to enforce the provisions of the Plan;

(i) To periodically prepare, make public, and make available to producers, handlers, and importers reports of its activities carried out.

(j) To give the Secretary the same notice of meetings of the Board and its subcommittees as is given to its members;

(k) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any producer, handler, or importer;

(l) To furnish the Secretary such information as the Secretary may request;

(m) To notify watermelon producers, handlers, and importers of all Board meetings through press releases or other means;

(n) To appoint and convene, from time to time, working committees drawn from producers, handlers, importers, and the public to assist in the development of research and promotion programs for watermelons; and

(o) To develop and recommend such rules and regulations to the Secretary for approval as may be necessary for the development and execution of programs or projects to effectuate the declared purpose of the Act.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995]

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Research and Promotion

§1210.330   Policy and objective.

It shall be the policy of the Board to carry out an effective, continuous, and coordinated program of research, development, advertising, and promotion in order to:

(a) Strengthen watermelons' competitive position in the marketplace,

(b) Maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets, and

(c) Develop new or improved markets.

It shall be the objective of the Board to carry out programs and projects which will provide maximum benefit to the watermelon industry.

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§1210.331   Programs and projects.

The Board shall develop and submit to the Secretary for approval any programs or projects authorized in this section. Such programs or projects shall provide for:

(a) The establishment, issuance, effectuation and administration of appropriate programs or projects for advertising and other sales promotion of watermelons designed to strengthen the position of the watermelon industry in the marketplace and to maintain, develop, and expand markets for watermelon;

(b) Establishing and carrying out research and development projects and studies to the end that the acquisition of knowledge pertaining to watermelons or their consumption and use may be encouraged or expanded, or to the end that the marketing and use of watermelons may be encouraged, expanded, improved, or made more efficient: Provided, That quality control, grade standards, supply management programs or other programs that would otherwise limit the right of the individual watermelon producer to produce watermelons shall not be conducted under, or as a part of, this Plan;

(c) The development and expansion of watermelon sales in foreign markets;

(d) A prohibition on advertising or other promotion programs that make any reference to private brand names or use false or unwarranted claims on behalf of watermelons or false or unwarranted statements with respect to the attributes or use of any competing product;

(e) Periodic evaluation by the Board of each program or project authorized under this Plan to insure that each program or project contributes to an effective and coordinated program of research and promotion and submission of such evaluation to the Secretary. If the Board or the Secretary finds that a program or project does not further the purposes of the Act, then the Board or the Secretary shall terminate such program or project; and

(f) The Board to enter into contracts or make agreements for the development and carrying out of research and promotion and pay for the costs of such contracts or agreements with funds collected pursuant to §1210.341.

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Expenses and Assessments

§1210.340   Budget and expenses.

(a) Prior to the beginning of each fiscal period, or as may be necessary thereafter, the Board shall prepare and recommend a budget on a fiscal period basis of its anticipated expenses and disbursements in the administration of this Plan, including probable costs of research, development, advertising, and promotion. The Board shall also recommend a rate of assessment calculated to provide adequate funds to defray its proposed expenditures and to provide for a reserve as set forth in §1210.344.

(b) The Board is authorized to incur such expenses for research, development, advertising, or promotion of watermelons, such other expenses for the administration, maintenance, and functioning of the Board as may be authorized by the Secretary, and any referendum and administrative costs incurred by the Department of Agriculture. The funds to cover such expenses shall be paid from assessments received pursuant to §1210.341.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.341   Assessments.

(a) During the effective period of this subpart, assessments shall be levied on all watermelons produced and first handled in the United States and all watermelons imported into the United States for consumption as human food. No more than one assessment on a producer, handler, or importer shall be made on any lot of watermelons. The handler shall be assessed an equal amount on a per unit basis as the producer. If a person performs both producing and handling functions on any same lot of watermelons, both assessments shall be paid by such person. In the case of an importer, the assessment shall be equal to the combined rate for domestic producers and handlers and shall be paid by the importer at the time of entry of the watermelons into the United States.

(b) Assessment rates shall be fixed by the Secretary in accordance with section 1647(f) of the Act. No assessments shall be levied on watermelons grown by producers of less than 10 acres of watermelons.

(c) Each handler, as defined, is responsible for payment to the Board of both the producer's and the handler's assessment pursuant to regulations issued hereunder. The handler may collect producer assessments from the producer or deduct such assessments from the proceeds paid to the producer on whose watermelons the assessments are made. The handler shall maintain separate records for each producer's watermelons handled, including watermelons produced by said handler. In addition, the handler shall indicate the total quantity of watermelons handled by the handler, including those that are exempt under this Plan, and such other information as may be prescribed by the Board.

(d) Each importer shall be responsible for payment of the assessment to the Board on watermelons imported into the United States through the U.S. Customs Service or in such other manner as may be established by rules and regulations approved by the Secretary.

(e) Producer-handlers and handlers shall pay assessments to the Board at such time and in such manner as the Board, with the Secretary's approval, directs, pursuant to regulations issued under this part. Such regulations may provide for different handlers or classes of handlers and different handler payment and reporting schedules to recognize differences in marketing practices or procedures used in any State or production area.

(f) There shall be a late payment charge imposed on any handler or importer who fails to remit to the Board the total amount for which any such handler or importer is liable on or before the payment due date established by the Board under paragraph (e) of this section. The amount of the late payment charge shall be set by the Board subject to approval by the Secretary.

(g) There shall also be imposed on any handler or importer subject to a late payment charge, an additional charge in the form of interest on the outstanding portion of any amount for which the handler or importer is liable. The rate of such interest shall be prescribed by the Board subject to approval by the Secretary.

(h) The Board is hereby authorized to accept advance payment of assessments by handlers and importers that shall be credited toward any amount for which the handlers and importers may become liable. The Board shall not be obligated to pay interest on any advance payment.

(i) The Board is hereby authorized to borrow money for the payment of administrative expenses subject to the same fiscal, budget, and audit controls as other funds of the Board.

(j) The Board may authorize other organizations to collect assessments in its behalf with the approval of the Secretary. Any reimbursement by the Board for such services shall be based on reasonable charges for services rendered.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10798, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.342   Exemption from assessment.

(a) The Board may exempt watermelons used for nonfood purposes from the provisions of this Plan and shall establish adequate safeguards against improper use of such exemptions.

(b) Importers of less than 150,000 pounds of watermelons per year shall be entitled to apply for a refund that is equal to the rate of assessment paid by domestic producers.

(c) The Secretary may adjust the quantity of the weight exemption specified in paragraph (b) of this section on the recommendation of the Board after an opportunity for public notice and comment to reflect significant changes in the 5-year average yield per acre of watermelons produced in the United States.

(d) The Board shall have the authority to establish rules, with the approval of the Secretary, for certifying whether a person meets the definition of a producer under section 1210.306.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.343   [Reserved]

§1210.344   Operating reserve.

The Board may establish an operating monetary reserve and may carry over to subsequent fiscal periods excess funds in a reserve so established; Provided, That funds in the reserve shall not exceed approximately two fiscal periods' expenses. Such reserve funds may be used to defray any expenses authorized under this subpart.

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Reports, Books, and Records

§1210.350   Reports.

(a) Each handler shall maintain a record with respect to each producer for whom watermelons were handled and for watermelons produced and handled by the handler. Handlers shall report to the Board at such times and in such manner as the Board may prescribe by regulations whatever information as may be necessary in order for the Board to perform its duties. Such reports may include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:

(1) Total quantity of watermelons handled for each producer and by the handler, including those which are exempt under this Plan;

(2) Total quantity of watermelons handled for each producer and by the handler, on which the producer assessment was collected;

(3) Name and address of each person from whom an assessment was collected, the amount collected from each person, and the date such collection was made; and

(4) Name and address of each person claiming exemption from assessment and a copy of each such person's claim of exemption.

(b) Each importer of watermelons shall maintain a separate record that includes a record of:

(1) The total quantity of watermelons imported into the United States that are included under the terms of this Plan;

(2) The total quantity of watermelons that are exempt from the Plan; and

(3) Such other information as may be prescribed by the Board.

(c) Each importer shall report to the Board at such times and in such manner as it may prescribe such information as may be necessary for the Board to perform its duties under this part.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.351   Books and records.

Each handler and importer subject to this Plan shall maintain, and during normal business hours make available for inspection by employees of the Board or Secretary, such books and records as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Plan and the regulations issued thereunder, including such records as are necessary to verify any required reports. Such records shall be maintained for 2 years beyond the fiscal period of their applicability.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.352   Confidential treatment.

(a) All information obtained from the books, records, or reports required to be maintained under §§1210.350 and 1210.351 shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public by any person. Only such information as the Secretary deems relevant shall be disclosed to the public and then only in a suit or administrative hearing brought at the direction, or on the request, of the Secretary, or to which the Secretary or any officer of the United States is a party, and involving this Plan: Except that nothing in this subpart shall be deemed to prohibit:

(1) The issuance of general statements based on the reports of a number of handlers or importers subject to this Plan if such statements do not identify the information furnished by any person; or

(2) The publication by direction of the Secretary of the name of any person violating this Plan together with a statement of the particular provisions of this Plan violated by such person.

(b) Any disclosure of confidential information by any employee of the Board, except as required by law, shall be considered willful misconduct.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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Miscellaneous

§1210.360   Right of the Secretary.

All fiscal matters, programs or projects, rules or regulations, reports, or other substantive actions proposed and prepared by the Board shall be submitted to the Secretary for approval.

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§1210.361   Personal liability.

No member or employee of the Board 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 or employee, except for acts of dishonesty or willful misconduct.

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§1210.362   Influencing government action.

No funds received by the Board under this Plan shall in any manner be used for the purpose of influencing governmental policy or action, except for making recommendations to the Secretary as provided in this subpart.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.363   Suspension or termination.

(a) Whenever the Secretary finds that this Plan or any provision thereof obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Secretary shall terminate or suspend the operation of this Plan or such provision thereof.

(b) The Secretary may conduct a referendum at any time and shall hold a referendum on request of the Board or at least 10 percent of the combined total of the watermelon producers, handlers, and importers to determine if watermelon producers, handlers, and importers favor termination or suspension of this Plan. The Secretary shall suspend or terminate this Plan at the end of the marketing year whenever the Secretary determines that the suspension or termination is favored by a majority of the watermelon producers, handlers, and importers voting in such referendum who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production, handling, or importing of watermelons and who produced, handled, or imported more than 50 percent of the combined total of the volume of watermelons produced, handled, or imported by those producers, handlers, and importers voting in the referendum. Any such referendum shall be conducted by mail ballot.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995; 79 FR 17852, Mar. 31, 2014]

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§1210.364   Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of this Plan, the Board shall recommend not more than five of its members to the Secretary to serve as trustees for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the Board. Such persons, upon designation by the Secretary, shall become trustees of all funds and property then in possession or under control of the Board, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered or any other claim existing at the time of such termination.

(b) The said trustees shall:

(1) Continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary;

(2) Carry out the obligations of the Board under any contracts or agreements entered into by it pursuant to §1210.328(d);

(3) From time-to-time account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of the Board and of the trustees, to person or persons as the Secretary may direct; and

(4) Upon the request of the Secretary execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in such person or persons full title and right to all the funds, property, and claims vested in the Board or the trustees pursuant to this section.

(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 Board and upon the trustees.

(d) A reasonable effort shall be made by the Board or its trustees to return to producers, handlers and importers any residual funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation. If it is found impractical to return such remaining funds to producers, handlers and importers such funds shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate.

[54 FR 24545, June 8, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.365   Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the termination of this Plan or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, 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 Plan or any regulation issued thereunder; or

(b) Release or extinguish any violation of this Plan or any regulation issued thereunder; or

(c) Affect or impair any rights or remedies of the United States, or of the Secretary, or of any other person with respect to any such violation.

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§1210.366   Separability.

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

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§1210.367   Patents, copyrights, inventions, and publications.

Any patents, copyrights, inventions, product formulations, or publications developed through the use of funds collected under the provisions of this Plan shall be the property of the United States government as represented by the Board. Funds generated by such patents, copyrights, inventions, product formulations, or publications shall be considered income subject to the same fiscal, budget, and audit controls as other funds of the Board. Upon termination of this part, §1210.364 shall apply to determine the disposition of all such property.

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Subpart B—Nominating Procedures

Source: 54 FR 38205, Sept. 15, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

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Producer and Handler Members

§1210.400   Terms defined.

Unless otherwise defined in this subpart, definitions of terms used in this subpart shall have the same meaning as the definitions of such terms which appear in Subpart—Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan.

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§1210.401   District conventions.

(a) Except for the initial district convention in each district, which will be called and opened by a representative of the Secretary, the Board shall call and open all district conventions.

(b) District conventions are to be held to nominate producers and handlers as candidates for membership on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Each district, as defined in §1210.501, is entitled to two producer and two handler members on the Board.

(c) There shall be two individuals nominated for each vacant position. In multi-State districts, no one State shall have nominees for more than three of the four district positions on the Board.

(d) All producers and handlers within each district may participate in that district's convention: Provided, That they meet the eligibility provisions set forth in §1210.402 of this subpart.

(e) The convention chairperson shall be elected as provided in §1210.403(b) of this subpart.

(f) The Board member nomination process shall be conducted by the chairperson in conformance with the provisions of §1210.321 of the Plan and §1210.403 of this subpart. At the conclusion of the district convention for the initial term of office, the chairperson will provide the Secretary with:

(1) The identification of that district's two nominees for each producer and handler position on the Board, and

(2) A typed copy of the district convention's minutes.

This information must be provided by the chairperson to the Board staff in a manner that will ensure receipt, at the address specified in the call for the district convention, within 14 calendar days of the district convention's completion, but not later than July 8 for appointments to become effective on the following January 1. The Board staff must forward such information to the Secretary, in a manner that will ensure receipt, within 21 calendar days of completion of the district convention, but not later than July 15 for appointments to become effective on the following January 1. Further, the chairperson will immediately arrange for completion of qualification statements and other specified information by each nominee, and each nominee shall qualify by forwarding such information to the Board's office within 14 calendar days of completion of the district convention, but not later than July 8 for appointments to become effective on the following January 1. The Board staff must forward the completed qualification statements and other specified information to the Secretary, in a manner that will ensure receipt within 21 calendar days of completion of the district convention, but not later than July 15 for appointments to become effective on the following January 1.

[54 FR 38205, Sept. 15, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 3355, Jan. 8, 1993; 59 FR 18948, Apr. 21, 1994; 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.402   Voter and board member nominee eligibility.

(a) All producers and handlers within a district may participate in their district convention for the purpose of nominating candidates for appointment to the Board: Provided, That a producer who both produces and handles watermelons may vote for handler member nominees and serve as a handler member nominee only if the producer purchased watermelons from other producers, in a combined total volume that is equal to 25 percent or more of the producer's own production or the combined total volume of watermelons handled by the producer from the producer's own production and purchases from other producer's production is more than 50 percent of the producer's own production; and Provided further, That if a producer or handler is engaged in the production or handling of watermelons in more than one State or district, the producer or handler shall participate within the State or district in which the producer or handler so elects in writing to the Board and such election shall remain controlling until revoked in writing to the Board. For the purpose of participation in initial nominating conventions, such election shall be made in writing, at the address provided, to the Department official identified in the call for a district convention.

(b) Any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative or any other entity which is engaged in the production, first handling or importing of watermelons is considered a person and as such is entitled to only one vote, except that such person may cast proxy votes as provided in §1210.403 and §1210.404 of this subpart.

(c) All producers and handlers attending their district conventions may be candidates for one or more of the positions of State spokesperson, district convention chairperson, and producer or handler nominee.

[54 FR 38205, Sept. 15, 1989, as amended at 60 FR 10799, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.403   Voting procedures.

(a) Proxy voting by producers and handlers for producer and handler nominees shall be permitted at all district conventions: Provided, That producers may cast proxy votes for producers only, and handlers may cast proxy votes for handlers only. In non-multi-State districts, proxy voting shall be permitted for all producer and handler nominee balloting to determine the districts' nominees. In multi-State districts, proxy voting shall be permitted for all producers and handlers participating in a State's balloting to determine the State's nominees. No other proxy voting, such as for district convention chairperson, shall be allowed. Any person wanting to cast proxy votes must demonstrate authorization to do so. Authority to cast a proxy vote on behalf of another person shall be demonstrated through documentation containing:

(1) The proxy voter's name, address, and telephone number;

(2) Signature and date signed;

(3) A certification identifying the proxy voter as a producer or a handler; and

(4) A statement identifying the person being given authority by the proxy voter to cast the proxy vote.

All proxy documentation must be received by the Board at its headquarters address at least two weeks before the district convention is scheduled to convene. For the purpose of the initial district convention, all proxy documentation must be forwarded to the Department representative identified in the call for the district convention in a manner that will ensure receipt, at the address specified in the call, at least 72 hours before the district convention is scheduled to convene. The Board, or in the case of the initial conventions the Department representative identified in the call or other representative of the Department, may challenge any proxy vote and disqualify any challenged vote for cause. In the case of duplicate proxy authorizations by any person, only the first authorization, determined by date will be allowed. In the case of duplicate dates, the proxy which is received first will be allowed.

(b) In non-multi-State districts, convention chairpersons shall be elected by a majority vote of the eligible voters in attendance. In multi-State districts, the election shall be by majority vote of all States present with each State's vote(s) determined by a majority vote of the eligible voters of that State in attendance. Each such State is entitled to one vote, plus one additional vote for each 500,000 hundredweight volume of production in the State as determined by the three-year average annual crop production summary reports of the Department or, if such reports are not published, then the three-year average of the Board's assessment reports: Provided, That for the first two conventions, the Department's Crop Production Annual Summary Reports for 1979, 1980, and 1981 will be controlling as to any additional production volume votes.

(c) In multi-State districts 3, 4, 5 and 7, the convention chairperson will direct the eligible producer voters and handler voters from each State to caucus separately for the purpose of electing a State spokesperson for each group. Election of each State spokesperson shall be by simple majority of all individual voters in attendance. In lieu of written ballots, a State spokesperson may be elected by voice vote or a show of hands. The role of the State spokesperson is to coordinate State voting and to cast all State votes.

(d) Convention chairpersons will coordinate the entire producer and handler nomination process. In conducting the nomination process, each convention chairperson will ensure that:

(1) Voting for producer nominees is limited to producers, and voting for handler nominees is limited to handlers; and

(2) Producer candidates for nomination are producers, and handler candidates for nomination are handlers.

(e) Voting, for producer and handler nominees, in non-multi-State districts shall be on the basis of one vote per person, except that persons authorized to cast proxy votes shall be allowed to cast all proxy votes not disallowed by the Board or the Department. Election of nominees shall be on the basis of a simple majority of all eligible votes cast.

(f) Voting for producer and handler nominees in multi-State districts shall be on a State by State basis. Producers and handlers from each State shall caucus separately, at the district convention, for the purpose of determining which nominees shall receive their State's vote(s) for membership on the Board. Each State's vote(s) shall be based on a simple majority of all votes (including proxy votes) cast by producers or handlers voting in their State's caucus. Each State represented at a multi-State district convention shall have one vote for each producer position and one vote for each handler position from the district on the Board. Each State shall further have an additional vote toward each position for each 500,000 hundredweight volume of production in the State as determined by the three-year average annual crop production summary reports of the Department or, if such reports are not published, then the three-year average of the Board's assessment reports: Provided, That for the first two calls for nominees, the Department's Crop Production Annual Summary Reports for 1979, 1980, and 1981 will be controlling as to any additional production volume votes. Each State spokesperson will cast the State's vote(s) for each nominee position. Election of nominees shall be on the basis of a simple majority of all State votes cast.

(g) During the voting for convention chairperson, State spokesperson, and Board member nominee, should no candidate receive the required simple majority on the first ballot, the number of candidates may be reduced by dropping one or more of the lowest vote recipients from the list of candidates. The balloting will be repeated until the position is filled.

(h) Two nominees shall be elected for each of the producer and handler positions from each district on the Board. The two nominees for each position shall be elected simultaneously. The convention chairperson will open the floor to the nomination of candidates for possible election as a Board member nominee for each available position. Each position will be dealt with separately (i.e., candidates for one position will be nominated and then elected before the convention moves on to the next available position). Each eligible voter may vote for two of the nominees on one ballot. The two nominees receiving the greatest number of votes and at least a simple majority of the votes cast will be elected as the district's Board member nominees for the position. No individual elected as a nominee for Board membership may be a candidate on subsequent Board member nominee ballots (i.e., two different producer names and two different handler names must be submitted as nominees for each producer and handler position from each district to the Secretary of Agriculture). There shall be no designation of first and second choice nominees.

[54 FR 38205, Sept. 15, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 3355, Jan. 8, 1993]

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Importer Members

§1210.404   Importer member nomination and selection.

(a) The Board shall include one or more representatives of importers, who shall be appointed by the Secretary from nominations submitted by watermelon importers. Importers' representation on the Board shall be proportionate to the percentage of assessments paid by importers to the Board, except that at least one representative of importers shall serve on the Board if importers are subject to the Plan. Nominations for importer positions that become vacant shall be made by importers at nomination conventions or by mail ballot.

(b) The initial nomination of importer members shall be made not later than 90 days after the Plan is amended.

(c) There shall be two individuals nominated for each vacant position. The importer receiving the highest number of votes for a vacancy shall be the first choice nominee, and the importer receiving the second highest number of votes shall be the second choice nominee submitted to the Secretary.

(d) Any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative or any other entity which is engaged in the production, first handling or importing of watermelons is considered a person and as such is entitled to only one vote, except that such person may cast proxy votes as provided in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(e) Nomination Conventions. If nominations are made by nomination conventions, the Board shall widely publicize such conventions and provide importers and the Secretary at least 10 days notice prior to each convention.

(1) Proxy voting by importers shall be permitted at all conventions. Any person wanting to cast proxy votes must demonstrate authorization to do so. Authority to cast a proxy vote on behalf of another person shall be demonstrated through documentation containing:

(i) The proxy voter's name, address, and telephone number;

(ii) Signature and date signed;

(iii) A certification identifying the proxy voter as an importer; and

(iv) A statement identifying the person being given authority by the proxy voter to cast the proxy vote.

(2) The Board shall provide to the Secretary a typed copy of each convention's minutes and shall arrange for completion of qualification statements and other specified information by each nominee and forward such to the Secretary within 14 calendar days of completion of a convention.

(f) Mail balloting. If nominations are conducted by mail ballot, the Board shall request importers to submit nominations of eligible importers. It is the importer's responsibility to prove the individual's eligibility. After the names of nominees are received, the Board shall print ballots and ask eligible importers to vote to nominate their candidates. After the vote is received, the Board shall tabulate the results and shall send to the Department the nominees in order of preference. The Board shall provide the Secretary with a report on the results, number of importers participating in the vote, and the volume of imports, and shall arrange for completion of qualification statements and other specified information by each nominee and forward such to the Secretary within 14 calendar days of receiving the ballots.

(g) A person who both imports and handles watermelons may participate in the nomination process and serve on the Board as either an importer or handler, but not both.

[60 FR 10800, Feb. 28, 1995, as amended at 79 FR 17852, Mar. 31, 2014]

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Public Member

§1210.405   Public member nominations and selection.

(a) The public member shall be nominated by the other members of the Board. The public member shall have no direct financial interest in the commercial production or marketing of watermelons except as a consumer and shall not be a director, stockholder, officer or employee of any firm so engaged. The Board shall nominate two individuals for the public member position. Voting for public member nominees shall require a quorum of the Board and shall be on the basis of one vote per Board member. Election of nominees shall be on the basis of a simple majority of those present and voting. Such election shall be held prior to August 1, 1990, and every third August first thereafter. The Board may prescribe such additional qualifications, administrative rules and procedures for selection and voting for public member nominees as it deems necessary and the Secretary approves.

(b) Each person nominated for the position of public member on the Board shall qualify by filing a written acceptance with the Secretary within 14 calendar days of completion of the Board meeting at which public member nominees were selected.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990. Redesignated and amended at 60 FR 10800, Feb. 28, 1995]

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Subpart C—Rules and Regulations

Source: 55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, unless otherwise noted.

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Definitions

§1210.500   Terms defined.

Unless otherwise defined in this subpart, definitions of terms used in this subpart shall have the same meaning as the definitions of such terms which appear in subpart—Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan.

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General

§1210.501   Realignment of districts.

Pursuant to §1210.320(c) of the Plan, the districts shall be as follows:

(a) District 1—The State of Florida.

(b) District 2—The States of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

(c) District 3—The State of Georgia.

(d) District 4—The States of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC.

(e) District 5—The State of California.

(f) District 6—The State of Texas.

(g) District 7—The States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

[76 FR 42012, July 18, 2011, as amended at 83 FR 4420, Jan. 31, 2018]

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§1210.502   Importer members.

Pursuant to §1210.320(d) of the Plan, there are twelve importer representatives on the Board based on the proportionate percentage of assessments paid by importers to the Board.

[83 FR 4420, Jan. 31, 2018]

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§1210.504   Contracts.

The Board, with the approval of the Secretary, may enter into contracts or make agreements with persons for the development and submission to it of programs or projects authorized by the Plan and for carrying out such programs or projects. Contractors shall agree to comply with the provisions of this part. Subcontractors who enter into contracts or agreements with a Board contractor and who receive or otherwise utilize funds allocated by the Board shall be subject to the provisions of this part. All records of contractors and subcontractors applicable to contracts entered into by the Board are subject to audit by the Secretary.

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§1210.505   Department of Agriculture costs.

Pursuant to §1210.340, the Board shall reimburse the Department of Agriculture for referendum and administrative costs incurred by the Department with respect to the Plan. The Board shall pay those costs incurred by the Department for the conduct of Department duties under the Plan as determined periodically by the Secretary. The Department will bill the Board monthly and payment shall be due promptly after the billing of such costs. Funds to cover such expenses shall be paid from assessments collected pursuant to §1210.341.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 10800 Feb. 28, 1995]

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Assessments

§1210.515   Levy of assessments.

(a) An assessment of three cents per hundredweight shall be levied on all watermelons produced for ultimate consumption as human food, and an assessment of three cents per hundredweight shall be levied on all watermelons first handled for ultimate consumption as human food. An assessment of six cents per hundredweight shall be levied on all watermelons imported into the United States for ultimate consumption as human food at the time of entry in the United States.

(b) The import assessment shall be uniformly applied to imported watermelons that are identified by the numbers 0807.11.30 and 0807.11.40 in the Harmonized Tariff Scheudle of the United States of any other number used to identify fresh watermelons for consumption as human food. The U.S. Customs Service (USCS) will collect assessments on such watermelons at the time of entry and will forward such assessment as per the agreement between USCS and USDA. Any importer or agent who is exempt from payment of assessments may submit the Board adequate proof of the volume handled by such importer for the exemption to be granted.

(c) Watermelons used for non-human food purposes are exempt from assessment requirements but are subject to the safeguard provisions of §1210.521.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 10800, Feb. 28, 1995; 72 FR 41428, July 30, 2007; 72 FR 61051, Oct. 29, 2007]

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§1210.516   Exemption for organic watermelons.

(a) A producer or handler who operates under an approved National Organic Program (7 CFR part 205) (NOP) organic production or handling system plan may be exempt from the payment of assessments under this part, provided that:

(1) Only agricultural products certified as “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in the NOP) are eligible for exemption;

(2) The exemption shall apply to all certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in the NOP) products of a producer or handler regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is produced or handled by a person that also produces or handles conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed;

(3) The producer or handler maintains a valid certificate of organic operation as issued under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522)(OFPA) and the NOP regulations issued under the OFPA (7 CFR part 205); and

(4) Any producer or handler so exempted shall continue to be obligated to pay assessments under this part that are associated with any agricultural products that do not qualify for an exemption under this section.

(b) To apply for exemption under this section, an eligible producer or handler shall submit a request to the Board on an Organic Exemption Request Form (Form AMS-15) at any time during the year initially, and annually thereafter on or before January 1, for as long as the producer or handler continues to be eligible for the exemption.

(c) The request for exemption shall include the following:

(1) The applicant's full name, company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address;

(2) Certification that the applicant maintains a valid certificate of organic operation issued under the OFPA and the NOP;

(3) Certification that the applicant produces or handles organic products eligible to be labeled “organic” or “100 percent organic” under the NOP;

(4) A requirement that the applicant attach a copy of their certificate of organic operation issued by a USDA-accredited certifying agent under the OFPA and the NOP;

(5) Certification, as evidenced by signature and date, that all information provided by the applicant is true; and

(6) Such other information as may be required by the Board, with the approval of the Secretary.

(d) If a producer or handler complies with the requirements of this section, the Board will grant an assessment exemption and issue a Certificate of Exemption to the producer or handler within 30 days. If the application is disapproved, the Board will notify the applicant of the reason(s) for disapproval within the same timeframe.

(e) The producer shall provide a copy of the Certificate of Exemption to each handler to whom the producer sells watermelons. The handler shall maintain records showing the exempt producer's name and address and the exemption number assigned by the Board.

(f) An importer who imports products that are eligible to be labeled as “organic” or “100 percent organic” under the NOP, or certified as “organic” or “100 percent organic” under a U.S. equivalency arrangement established under the NOP, may be exempt from the payment of assessments on those products. Such importer may submit documentation to the Board and request an exemption from assessment on certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” watermelons on an Organic Exemption Request Form (Form AMS-15) at any time initially, and annually thereafter on or before January 1, as long as the importer continues to be eligible for the exemption. This documentation shall include the same information required of producers in paragraph (c) of this section. If the importer complies with the requirements of this section, the Board will grant the exemption and issue a Certificate of Exemption to the importer. If Customs collects the assessment on exempt product that is identified as “organic” by a number in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, the Board must reimburse the exempt importer the assessments paid upon receipt of such assessments from Customs. For all other exempt organic product for which Customs collects the assessment, the importer may apply to the Board for a reimbursement of assessments paid, and the importer must submit satisfactory proof to the Board that the importer paid the assessment on exempt organic product. Any importer so exempted shall continue to be obligated to pay assessments under this part that are associated with any imported agricultural products that do not qualify for an exemption under this section.

(g) The exemption will apply immediately following the issuance of the Certificate of Exemption.

[70 FR 2756, Jan. 14, 2005, as amended at 80 FR 82026, Dec. 31, 2015]

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§1210.517   Determination of handler.

The producer and handler assessments on each lot of watermelons handled shall be paid by the handler. Unless otherwise provided in this section, the handler responsible for payment of assessments shall be the first handler of such watermelons. The first handler is the person who initially performs a handling function as heretofore defined. Such person may be a fresh shipper, processor, or other person who first places the watermelons in the current of commerce.

(a) The following examples are provided to aid in the identification of first handlers:

(1) Producer grades, packs, and sells watermelons of own production to a handler. In this instance, it is the handler, not the producer, who places the watermelons in the current of commerce. The handler is responsible for payment of the assessments.

(2) Producer packs and sells watermelons of that producer's own production from the field, roadside stand, or storage to a consumer, trucker, retail or wholesales outlet, or other buyer who is not a handler of watermelons. The producer places the watermelons in the current of commerce and is the first handler.

(3) Producer purchases watermelons from another producer. The producer purchasing the watermelons is the first handler.

(4) Producer delivers field-run watermelons of own production to a handler for preparation for market and entry into the current of commerce. The handler, in this instance, is the first handler, regardless of whether the handler subsequently handles such watermelons for the account of the handler or for the account of the producer.

(5) Producer delivers field-run watermelons of own production to a handler for preparation for market and return to the producer for sale. The producer in this instance, is the first handler, except when the producer subsequently sells such watermelons to a handler.

(6) Producer delivers watermelons of own production to a handler who takes title to such watermelons. The handler who purchases such watermelons from the producer is the first handler.

(7) Producer supplies watermelons to a cooperative marketing association which sells or markets the watermelons and makes an accounting to the producer, or pays the proceeds of the sale to the producer. In this instance, the cooperative marketing association becomes the first handler upon physical delivery to such cooperative.

(8) Handler purchases watermelons from a producer's field for the purpose of preparing such watermelons for market or for transporting such watermelons to storage for subsequent handling. The handler who purchases such watermelons from the producer is the first handler.

(9) Broker/Commission House receives watermelons from a producer and sells such watermelons in the Broker's/Commission House's name. In this instance, the Broker/Commission House is the first handler, regardless of whether the Broker/ Commission House took title to such watermelons.

(10) Broker/Commission House, without taking title or possession of watermelons, sells such watermelons in the name of the producer. In this instance, the producer is the first handler.

(11) Processor utilizes watermelons of own production in the manufacture of rind pickles, frozen, dehydrated, extracted, or canned products for human consumption. In so handling watermelons the processor is the first handler.

(12) Processor purchases watermelons from the producer thereof. In this instance, the processor is the first handler even though the producer may have graded, packed, or otherwise handled such watermelons.

(b) In the event of a handler's death, bankruptcy, receivership, or incapacity to act, the representative of the handler or the handler's estate shall be considered the handler of the watermelons for the purpose of this subpart.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, as amended at 58 FR 3356, Jan. 8, 1993]

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§1210.518   Payment of assessments.

(a) Time of payment. The assessment on domestically produced watermelons shall become due at the time the first handler handles the watermelons for non-exempt purposes. The assessment on imported watermelons shall become due at the time of entry, or withdrawal, into the United States.

(b) Responsibility for payment. (1) The first handler is responsible for payment of both the producer's and the handler's assessment. The handler may collect the producer's assessment from the producer or deduct such producer's assessment from the proceeds paid to the producer on whose watermelons the producer assessment is made. Any such collection or deduction of producer assessment shall be made not later than the time when the first handler handles the watermelons.

(2) The U.S. Customs Service shall collect assessments on imported watermelons from importers and forward such assessments under an agreement between the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Importers shall be responsible for payment of assessments directly to the Board of any assessments due but not collected by the U.S. Customs Service at the time of entry, or withdrawal, on watermelons imported into the United States for human consumption.

(c) Payment direct to the Board. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b) and (e) of this section, each handler and importer shall remit the required producer and handler assessments, pursuant to §1210.341 of the Plan, directly to the Board not later than 30 days after the end of the month such assessments are due. Remittance shall be by check, draft, or money order payable to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, or NWPB, and shall be accompanied by a report, preferably on Board forms, pursuant to §1210.350. To avoid late payment charges, the assessments must be mailed to the Board and postmarked within 30 days after the end of the month such assessments are due.

(2) Pursuant to §1210.350 of the Plan, each handler shall file with the Board a report for each month that assessable watermelons were handled. All handler reports shall contain at least the following information:

(i) The handler's name, address, and telephone number;

(ii) Date of report (which is also the date of payment to the Board);

(iii) Period covered by the report;

(iv) Total quantity of watermelons handled during the reporting period;

(v) Date of last report remitting assessments to the Board; and

(vi) Listing of all persons for whom the handler handled watermelons, their addresses, hundredweight handled, and total assessments remitted for each producer. In lieu of such a list, the handler may substitute copies of settlement sheets given to each person or computer generated reports, provided such settlement sheets or computer reports contain all the information listed above.

(vii) Name, address, and hundredweight handled for each person claiming exemption for assessment.

(viii) If the handler handled watermelons for persons engaged in the growing of less than 10 acres of watermelons, the report shall indicate the name and address of such person and the quantity of watermelons handled for such person.

(3) The words “final report” shall be shown on the last report at the close of the handler's marketing season or at the end of each fiscal period if such handler markets assessable watermelons on a year-round basis.

(4) Prepayment of assessments. (i) In lieu of the monthly assessment and reporting requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, the Board may permit handlers to make an advance payment of their total estimated assessments for the crop year to the Board prior to their actual determination of assessable watermelons. The Board shall not be obligated to pay interest on any advance payment.

(ii) Handlers using such procedures shall provide a final annual report of actual handling and remit any unpaid assessments not later than 30 days after the end of the last month of the designated handler's marketing season or at the end of each fiscal period if such handler markets assessable watermelons on a year-round basis.

(iii) Handlers using such procedures shall, after filing a final annual report, receive a reimbursement of any overpayment of assessments.

(iv) Handlers using such procedures shall, at the request of the Board to verify a producer's refund claim, provide the Board with a handling report on any and all producers for whom the handler has provided handling services but has not yet filed a handling report with the Board.

(v) Specific requirements, instructions, and forms for making such advance payments shall be provided by the Board on request.

(d) Late payment charges and interest. (1) A late payment charge shall be imposed on any handler and importer who fails to make timely remittance to the Board of the total producer and handler and importer assessments for which any such handler and importer is liable. Such late payment shall be imposed on any assessments not received before the fortieth day after the end of the month such assessments are due. This one-time late payment charge shall be 10 percent of the assessments due before interest charges have accrued. The late payment charge will not be applied to any late payments postmarked within 30 days after the end of the month such assessments are due.

(2) In addition to the late payment charge, one and one-half percent per month interest on the outstanding balance, including the late payment charge and any accrued interest, will be added to any accounts for which payment has not been received by the last day of the second month following the month of handling; Provided, that, handlers paying their assessments in accordance with paragraph (c)(4)(ii), will not be subject to the one and one-half percent per month interest under this paragraph until the last day of the second month after such assessments are due under paragraph (c)(4)(ii). Such interest will continue monthly until the outstanding balance is paid to the Board.

(e) Payment through cooperating agency. The Board may enter into agreements, subject to approval of the Secretary, authorizing other organizations, such as a regional watermelon association or State watermelon board, to collect assessments in its behalf. In any State or area in which the Board has entered into such an agreement, the designated handler shall pay the assessment to such agency in the time and manner, and with such identifying information as specified in such agreement. Such an agreement shall not provide any cooperating agency with authority to collect confidential information from handlers or producers. To qualify, the cooperating agency must on its own accord have access to all information required by the Board for collection purposes. If the Board requires further evidence of payment than provided by the cooperating agency, it may acquire such evidence from individual handlers. All such agreements are subject to the requirements of the Act, Plan, and all applicable rules and regulations under the Act and the Plan.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990; 55 FR 20443, May 17, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 15808, Apr. 18, 1991; 60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.519   Failure to report and remit.

Any handler and importer who fails to submit reports and remittances according to the provisions of §1210.518 shall be subject to appropriate action by the Board which may include one or more of the following actions:

(a) Audit of the handler's and importer's books and records to determine the amount owed the Board.

(b) Establishment of an escrow account for the deposit of assessments collected. Frequency and schedule of deposits and withdrawals from the escrow account shall be determined by the Board with the approval of the Secretary.

(c) Referral to the Secretary for appropriate enforcement action.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.520   Refunds.

Each importer of less than 150,000 pounds of watermelons during any calendar year shall be entitled to apply for a refund of the assessments paid in an amount equal to the amount paid by domestic producers.

(a) Application form. The Board shall make available to all importers a refund application form.

(b) Submission of refund application to the Board. The refund application form shall be submitted to the Board within 90 days of the last day of the year the watermelons were actually imported. The refund application form shall contain the following information:

(1) Importer's name and address;

(2) Number of hundredweight of watermelon on which refund is requested;

(3) Total amount to be refunded;

(4) Proof of payment as described below; and

(5) Importer's signature.

(c) Proof of payment of assessment. Evidence of payment of assessments satisfactory to the Board shall accompany the importer's refund application. An importer must submit a copy of the importer's report or a cancelled check. Evidence submitted with a refund application shall not be returned to the applicant.

(d) Payment of refund. Immediately after receiving the properly executed application for refund, the Board shall make remittance to the applicant.

[60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.521   Reports of disposition of exempted watermelons.

The Board may require reports by handlers or importers on the handling/importing and disposition of exempted watermelons and/or on the handling of watermelons for persons engaged in growing less than 10 acres of watermelons or in the case of importers, the importing of less than 150,000 pounds per year. Authorized employees of the Board or the Secretary may inspect such books and records as are appropriate and necessary to verify the reports on such disposition.

[60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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Records

§1210.530   Retention period for records.

Each handler and importer required to make reports pursuant to this subpart shall maintain and retain for at least 2 years beyond the marketing year of their applicability:

(a) One copy of each report made to the Board; and

(b) Such records as are necessary to verify such reports.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.531   Availability of records.

Each handler and importer required to make reports pursuant to this subpart shall make available for inspection and copying by authorized employees of the Board or the Secretary during regular business hours, such records as are appropriate and necessary to verify reports required under this subpart.

[55 FR 13256, Apr. 10, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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§1210.532   Confidential books, records, and reports.

All information obtained from the books, records, and reports of handlers and importers and all information with respect to refunds of assessments made to importers shall be kept confidential in the manner and to the extent provided for in §1210.352.

[60 FR 10801, Feb. 28, 1995]

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Miscellaneous

§1210.540   OMB assigned numbers.

The information collection and recordkeeping requirements contained in this part have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the provisions of 44 U.S.C. chapter 35 and have been assigned OMB Control Number 0581-0093, except that Board member nominee background information sheets are assigned OMB Control Number 0505-0001.

[58 FR 3356, Jan. 8, 1993]

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Subpart D—Referendum Procedures

Source: 66 FR 56388, Nov. 7, 2001; 67 FR 17907, Apr. 12, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

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§1210.600   General.

Referenda to determine whether eligible producers, handlers, and importers favor the continuation, suspension, termination, or amendment of the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan shall be conducted in accordance with this subpart.

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§1210.601   Definitions.

Unless otherwise defined in this section, the definition of terms used in these procedures shall have the same meaning as the definitions in the Plan.

(a) Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in the Administrator's stead.

(b) Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.

(c) Eligible handler means any person (except a common contract carrier of watermelons owned by another person) who handles watermelons, including a producer who handles watermelons of the producer's own production, subject to the provisions of §1210.602(a) of this chapter, who handles watermelons as a person performing a handling function and either:

(1) Takes title or possession of watermelons from a producer and directs the grading, packing, transporting, and selling of the watermelons in the current of commerce;

(2) Purchases watermelons from producers;

(3) Purchases watermelons from handlers;

(4) Purchases watermelons from importers; or

(5) Arranges the sale or transfer of watermelons from one party to another and takes title or possession of the watermelons: Provided, That harvest crews and common carriers who collect and transport watermelons from the field to a handler are not handlers and that retailers, wholesale retailers, foodservice distributors, and foodservice operators are not handlers.

(d) Eligible importer means any person who imports 150,000 pounds or more watermelons annually into the United States as principal or as an agent, broker, or consignee for any person who produces watermelons outside the United States for sale in the United States. An importer who imports less than 150,000 pounds of watermelons annually and did not apply for and receive reimbursement of assessments is also an eligible importer.

(e) Eligible producer means any person who is engaged in the growing of 10 or more acres of watermelons, including any person who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of such watermelon crop. A person who shares the ownership and risk of loss includes a person who:

(1) Owns and farms land, resulting in ownership, by said producer, of the watermelons produced thereon;

(2) Rents and farms land, resulting in ownership, by said producer, of all or a portion of the watermelons produced thereon; or

(3) Owns land which said producer does not farm and, as rental for such land, obtains the ownership of a portion of the watermelons produced thereon. Ownership of, or leasehold interest in land, and the acquisition, in any manner other than set forth in this subpart, of legal title to the watermelons grown on said land, shall not be deemed to result in such owners or lessees becoming producers. Persons who produce watermelons for non-food uses are not producers for the purposes of this subpart.

(f) Person means any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative, or any other entity. For the purpose of this definition, the term partnership includes, but is not limited to:

(1) A husband and wife who have title to, or leasehold interest in, land as tenants in common, joint tenants, tenants by the entirety, or, under community property laws, as community property, and

(2) So-called joint ventures wherein one or more parties to the agreement, informal or otherwise, contributed land and others contributed capital, labor, management, equipment, or other services, or any variation of such contributions by two or more parties, so that it results in the production, handling, or importation of watermelons for market and the authority to transfer title to the watermelons so produced, handled, or imported.

(g) Referendum agent or agent means the individual or individuals designated by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.

(h) Representative period means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to the Act.

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§1210.602   Voting.

(a) Each person who is an eligible producer, handler, or importer as defined in this subpart, at the time of the referendum and who also was a producer, handler, or importer during the representative period, shall be entitled to one vote in the referendum: Provided, That each producer in a landlord-tenant relationship or a divided ownership arrangement involving totally independent entities cooperating only to produce watermelons in which more than one of the parties is a producer, shall be entitled to one vote in the referendum covering only that producer's share of the ownership.

(b) Proxy voting is not authorized, but an officer or employee of a corporate producer, handler, or importer, or an administrator, executor, or trustee of a producing, handling, or importing entity may cast a ballot on behalf of such entity. Any individual so voting in a referendum shall certify that the individual is an officer, employee of the producer, handler, or importer, or an administrator, executor, or trustee of a producing, handling, or importing entity and that the individual has the authority to take such action. Upon request of the referendum agent, the individual shall submit adequate evidence of such authority.

(c) Casting of ballots. All ballots are to be cast as instructed by the Secretary.

[66 FR 56388, Nov. 7, 2001, as amended at 79 FR 17852, Mar. 31, 2014]

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§1210.603   Instructions.

The referendum agent shall conduct the referendum, in the manner provided in this section, under the supervision of the Administrator. The Administrator may prescribe additional instructions, not inconsistent with the provisions in this section, to govern the procedure to be followed by the referendum agent. Such agent shall:

(a) Determine the period during which ballots may be cast.

(b) Provide ballots and related material to be used in the referendum. The ballot shall provide for recording essential information, including that needed for ascertaining whether the person voting, or on whose behalf the vote is cast, is an eligible voter.

(c) Give reasonable public notice of the referendum:

(1) By utilizing available media or public information sources, without incurring advertising expense, to publicize the voting period, method of voting, eligibility requirements, and other pertinent information. Such sources of publicity may include, but are not limited to, print and radio; and

(2) By such other means as said agent may deem advisable.

(d) Mail to eligible producers; importers; and in the case of an order assessing handlers, handlers whose names and addresses are known to the referendum agent; the instructions on voting; a ballot; and a summary of the terms and conditions to be voted upon. No person who claims to be eligible to vote shall be refused a ballot. However, such persons may be required to submit evidence of their eligibility.

(e) At the end of the voting period, collect, open, number, and review the ballots and tabulate the results in the presence of an agent of a third party authorized to monitor the referendum process.

(f) Prepare a report on the referendum.

(g) Announce the results to the public.

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§1210.604   Subagents.

The referendum agent may appoint any individual or individuals necessary to assist the agent in performing such agent's functions hereunder. Each individual so appointed may be authorized by the agent to perform any or all of the functions which, in the absence of such appointment, shall be performed by the agent.

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§1210.605   Ballots.

The referendum agent and subagents shall accept all ballots cast. However, if an agent or subagent deems that a ballot should be questioned for any reason, the agent or subagent shall endorse above their signature, on the ballot, a statement to the effect that such ballot was questioned, by whom questioned, why the ballot was questioned, the results of any investigation made with respect to the questionable ballot, and the disposition of the questionable ballot. Ballots invalid under this subpart shall not be counted.

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§1210.606   Referendum report.

Except as otherwise directed, the referendum agent shall prepare and submit to the Administrator a report on the results of the referendum, the manner in which it was conducted, the extent and kind of public notice given, and other information pertinent to analysis of the referendum and its results.

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§1210.607   Confidential information.

All ballots cast and their contents and all other information or reports furnished to, compiled by, or in possession of, the referendum agent or subagents that reveal, or tend to reveal, the identity or vote of any producer, handler, or importer of watermelons shall be held strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed.

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