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Title 7 Part 1160

Title 7 → Subtitle B → Chapter X → Part 1160

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 7 Part 1160

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

Title 7Subtitle BChapter X → Part 1160


Title 7: Agriculture


PART 1160—FLUID MILK PROMOTION PROGRAM


Contents

Subpart—Fluid Milk Promotion Order

Definitions

§1160.101   Act.
§1160.102   Department.
§1160.103   Secretary.
§1160.104   United States.
§1160.105   Board.
§1160.106   Person.
§1160.107   Fluid milk product.
§1160.108   Fluid milk processor.
§1160.109   Milk.
§1160.110   Class I price.
§1160.111   Promotion.
§1160.112   Research.
§1160.113   Fiscal period.
§1160.114   Eligible organization.
§1160.115   Milk marketing area.
§1160.116   [Reserved]
§1160.117   Continuation referendum.

National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board

§1160.200   Establishment and membership.
§1160.201   Term of office.
§1160.202   Nominations.
§1160.203   Nominee's agreement to serve.
§1160.204   Appointment.
§1160.205   Vacancies.
§1160.206   Procedure.
§1160.207   Compensation and reimbursement.
§1160.208   Powers of the Board.
§1160.209   Duties of the Board.
§1160.210   Expenses.
§1160.211   Assessments.
§1160.212   Influencing governmental action.
§1160.213   Adjustment of accounts.
§1160.214   Charges and penalties.
§1160.215   Assessment exemption.

Promotion, Consumer Education and Research

§1160.301   Promotion, consumer education and research.

Reports, Books and Records

§1160.401   Reports.
§1160.402   Books and records.
§1160.403   Confidential treatment.

Miscellaneous

§1160.501   Continuation referenda.
§1160.502   Proceedings after suspension or termination.
§1160.503   Effect of suspension, termination or amendment.
§1160.504   Personal liability.
§1160.505   Patents, copyrights, inventions and publications.
§1160.506   Amendments.
§1160.507   Report.
§1160.508   Separability.

Subpart—Fluid Milk Promotion Order

Source: 58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, unless otherwise noted.

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Definitions

§1160.101   Act.

Act means the Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990, Subtitle H of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Public Law 101-624, 7 U.S.C. 6401-6417, and any amendments thereto.

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§1160.102   Department.

Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.

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§1160.103   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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§1160.104   United States.

United States means the 48 contiguous states in the continental United States and the District of Columbia, except that United States means the 50 states of the United States of America and the District of Columbia under the following provisions: the petition and review under section 1999K of the Act, enforcement under section 1999L of the Act, and investigations and power to subpoena under section 1999M of the Act.

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§1160.105   Board.

Board means the National Processor Advertising and Promotion Board established pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 6407(b)(1) and this subpart (hereinafter known as the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board or Board).

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§1160.106   Person.

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

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§1160.107   Fluid milk product.

Fluid milk product means any product that meets the definition provided in §1000.15 for milk marketing orders issued pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 601-674.

[67 FR 49858, Aug. 1, 2002]

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§1160.108   Fluid milk processor.

(a) Fluid milk processor means any person who processes and markets commercially fluid milk products in consumer-type packages in the United States (excluding fluid milk products delivered directly to the place of residence of a consumer), except that the term fluid milk processor shall not include in each of the respective fiscal periods those persons who process and market not more than 3,000,000 pounds of such fluid milk products during the representative month, which shall be the first month of the fiscal period.

(b) Any person who did not qualify as a fluid milk processor for a fiscal period because of the 3,000,000-pound limitation shall not later qualify as a fluid milk processor during that fiscal period even though the monthly volume limitation is later exceeded during that period.

(c) Any person who qualified as a fluid milk processor for a fiscal period and whose monthly marketings of fluid milk products later become 3,000,000 pounds or less shall no longer qualify as a fluid milk processor during that fiscal period beginning with the month in which the marketings first dropped below the volume limitation.

(d) For the purpose of determining qualification as a fluid milk processor, each processor of fluid milk products shall report for the representative month of each fiscal period the hundredweight of fluid milk products processed and marketed by the processor.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997; 67 FR 49858, Aug. 1, 2002]

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§1160.109   Milk.

Milk means any class of cow's milk produced in the United States.

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§1160.110   Class I price.

Class I price is the price that is established for Class I milk in each marketing area under milk marketing orders authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 601-674.

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§1160.111   Promotion.

Promotion means the following activities:

(a) Consumer Education, which means any program utilizing public relations, advertising or other means devoted to educating consumers about the desirable characteristics of fluid milk products and directed toward increasing the general demand for fluid milk products.

(b) Advertising, which means any advertising or promotion program involving only fluid milk products and directed toward educating consumers about the positive attributes of fluid milk and increasing the general demand for fluid milk products.

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§1160.112   Research.

Research means market research to support advertising and promotion efforts, including educational activities, research directed to product characteristics, and product development, including new products or improved technology in production, manufacturing or processing of milk and the products of milk.

[62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997]

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§1160.113   Fiscal period.

Fiscal period means the initial period of up to 30 months that this subpart is effective. Thereafter, the fiscal period shall be such annual period as the Board may determine, except that the Board may provide for a lesser or greater period as it may find appropriate for the period immediately after the initial fiscal period to assure continuity of fiscal periods until the beginning of the first annual fiscal period.

[62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997]

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§1160.114   Eligible organization.

Eligible organization means an organization eligible to nominate members of the Board and which meets the following criteria:

(a) Is a nonprofit organization pursuant to section 501(c) (3), (5), or (6) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3), (5), or (6));

(b) Is governed by a board comprised of a majority of fluid milk processors; and

(c) Represents fluid milk processors on a national basis whose members process more than 50 percent of the fluid milk products processed and marketed within the United States.

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§1160.115   Milk marketing area.

Milk marketing area means each area within which milk being marketed is subject to a milk marketing order issued pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 601-674, or applicable state laws.

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§1160.116   [Reserved]

§1160.117   Continuation referendum.

Continuation referendum means that referendum among fluid milk processors that the Secretary shall conduct as provided in §1160.501.

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National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board

§1160.200   Establishment and membership.

(a) There is hereby established a National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board of 20 members, 15 of whom shall represent geographic regions and five of whom shall be at-large members of the Board. To the extent practicable, members representing geographic regions shall represent fluid milk processing operations of differing sizes. No fluid milk processor shall be represented on the Board by more than three members. The at-large members shall include at least three fluid milk processors and at least one member from the general public. Except for the non-processor member or members from the general public, nominees appointed to the Board must be active owners or employees of a fluid milk processor. The failure of such a member to own or work for such fluid milk processor shall disqualify that member for membership on the Board except that such member shall continue to serve on the Board for a period not to exceed 6 months following the disqualification or until appointment of a successor Board member to such position, whichever is sooner, provided that such person continues to meet the criteria for serving on the Board as a processor representative. Should a member representing the general public cease to be employed by the entity employing that member when appointed, gain employment with a new employer, or cease to own or operate the business which that member owned or operated at the date of appointment, such member shall be disqualified for membership on the Board, except that such member shall continue to serve on the Board for a period not to exceed 6 months, or until appointment of a successor Board member, whichever is sooner.

(b) In selecting the 15 Board members who represent geographic regions, one member shall be selected from each of the following regions:

Region 1. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Region 2. New York and New Jersey.

Region 3. Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Region 4. Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Region 5. Florida.

Region 6. Ohio and West Virginia.

Region 7. Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Region 8. Illinois and Indiana.

Region 9. Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Region 10. Texas.

Region 11. Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Region 12. Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.

Region 13. Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Region 14. Northern California which shall be composed of the Northern California Marketing Area and the South Valley Marketing Area as defined by the Stabilization and Marketing Plan, as amended, issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 2, Part 3, Division 21, of the California Food and Agriculture Code, effective February 3, 1992.

Region 15. Southern California which shall be composed of the Southern California Marketing Area as defined by the Stabilization and Marketing Plan, as amended, issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 2, Part 3, Division 21, of the California Food and Agriculture Code, effective February 3, 1992.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997; 63 FR 46639, Sept. 2, 1998; 65 FR 35810, June 6, 2000; 70 FR 14975, Mar. 24, 2005]

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§1160.201   Term of office.

(a) The members of the Board shall serve for terms of three years, except that the members appointed to the initial Board shall serve proportionately, for terms of one year, two years, and three years, as determined by the Secretary. The terms of all Board members shall expire upon the suspension or termination of the order except as provided in §1160.502.

(b) No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms, except that any member who is appointed to serve for an initial term of one or two years shall be eligible to be reappointed for two three-year terms. Appointment to another position on the Board is considered a consecutive term. Should a non-board member be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board with a term of 18 months or less remaining, the appointee shall be entitled to serve two consecutive 3-year terms following the term of the vacant position to which the person was appointed.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997; 63 FR 46639, Sept. 2, 1998]

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§1160.202   Nominations.

Nominations for members of the Board shall be made in the following manner:

(a) The Secretary shall solicit nominations for the initial Board from individual fluid milk processors and other interested parties, including eligible organizations. Fluid milk processors and other interested parties may submit nominations for positions on the Board for regions in which they are located or market fluid milk, and for at-large members. Eligible organizations may submit a slate of nominees for seats in all regions and for at-large members.

(b) After the appointment of the initial Board, the Secretary shall announce at least 180 days in advance of the expiration of members' terms that such terms are expiring, and shall solicit nominations for such positions in the manner described in paragraph (a) of this section. Nominations for such positions should be submitted to the Secretary not less than 120 days prior to the expiration of members' terms.

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§1160.203   Nominee's agreement to serve.

Each nominee for Board membership must file with the Secretary at the time of nomination a written agreement to serve on the Board if appointed.

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§1160.204   Appointment.

From the nominations made pursuant to §1160.202, the Secretary shall appoint the members of the Board on the basis of representation provided for in §§1160.200 and 1160.201.

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§1160.205   Vacancies.

To fill any vacancy occasioned by the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any member of the Board, the Secretary shall appoint a successor from the most recent list of nominations made by individual fluid milk processors and other interested parties, including eligible organizations, for the Board, or from nominations made by the Board.

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§1160.206   Procedure.

(a) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum at a properly convened meeting of the Board. Any action of the Board shall require the concurring votes of at least a majority of those present and voting. The Board shall establish rules concerning timely notice of meetings.

(b) The Board may take action upon the concurring votes of a majority of members by mail, telephone, telegraph, or other means of electronic communication when, in the opinion of the chairperson of the Board, such action must be taken before a meeting can be called. Action taken by this emergency procedure is valid only if all members are notified and provided the opportunity to vote and any telephone vote is confirmed promptly in writing. Any action so taken shall have the same force and effect as though such action had been taken at a properly convened meeting of the Board.

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§1160.207   Compensation and reimbursement.

The members of the Board and trustees, if any, named under §1160.502, shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties under this subpart.

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§1160.208   Powers of the Board.

The Board shall have the following powers:

(a) To receive and evaluate, or on its own initiative develop, and budget for plans or projects to educate consumers and promote the use of fluid milk products and to make recommendations to the Secretary regarding such proposals;

(b) To administer the provisions of this subpart in accordance with its terms and provisions;

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

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

(e) To employ such persons as the Board deems necessary and determine the duties and compensation of such persons;

(f) To contract with eligible organizations or other persons to conduct activities authorized pursuant to this subpart;

(g) To select committees and subcommittees, to adopt bylaws, and to adopt such rules for the conduct of its business as it may deem advisable; the Board may establish working committees of persons other than Board members;

(h) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this subpart; and

(i) With the approval of the Secretary, to invest, pending disbursement pursuant to a plan or project, funds collected through assessments authorized under §1160.211 in, and only in, obligations of the United States or any agency thereof, in general obligations of any State or any political subdivision thereof, in any interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System, or in obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 63 FR 46639, Sept. 2, 1998]

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§1160.209   Duties of the Board.

The Board shall have the following duties:

(a) To meet not less than annually, and to organize and select from among its members a chairperson, who may serve for a term of a fiscal period pursuant to §1160.113, and not more than two consecutive terms, and to select such other officers as may be necessary;

(b) To prepare and submit to the Secretary for approval a budget for each fiscal period of the anticipated expenses and disbursements in the administration of this subpart, including a description of and the probable costs of consumer education, promotion and research projects;

(c) To develop and submit to the Secretary for approval promotion and consumer education, and research plans or projects;

(d) To the extent practicable, carry out consumer education and promotion programs under §1160.301 in such a manner as to ensure that advertising coverage in each of the regions defined in §1160.200 is proportionate to funds collected from each such region;

(e) To disseminate information to fluid milk processors or eligible organizations;

(f) To maintain minutes, books and records that accurately reflect all of the acts and transactions of the Board, which shall be available to the Secretary for inspection and audit, and prepare and promptly report minutes of each Board meeting to the Secretary and submit such reports from time to time to the Secretary as the Secretary may prescribe, and to account with respect to the receipt and disbursement of all funds entrusted to it;

(g) To enter into contracts or agreements, with the approval of the Secretary, with such persons and organizations as the Board may approve for the development and conduct of activities authorized under this subpart and for the payment of the cost thereof with funds collected through assessments pursuant to §1160.211 and income from such assessments. Any such contract or agreement shall provide that:

(1) The contractors shall develop and submit to the Board a plan or project together with a budget(s) showing the estimated cost of such plan or project;

(2) Any such plan or project shall be adopted upon approval of the Secretary; and

(3) The contracting party shall keep accurate records of all of its transactions and make periodic reports to the Board of all activities conducted pursuant to the contract or agreement, and provide accounts of all funds received and expended, and such other reports as the Secretary or the Board may require. The Secretary or employees of the Board periodically may audit the records of the contracting parties;

(h) For the initial fiscal period, the Board shall contract, to the extent practicable and subject to the approval of the Secretary, with an eligible organization to carry out the provisions of this subpart;

(i) To prepare and make public, at least annually, a report of its activities and an accounting for funds received and expended;

(j) To have an audit of its financial statements conducted by a certified public accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, at the end of the first 15 months of the initial fiscal period, at the end of the initial fiscal period, and at least once each fiscal period thereafter as well as at such other times as the Secretary may request, and to submit a copy of each such audit report to the Secretary;

(k) To give the Secretary the same notice of meetings of the Board and committees of the Board, including actions conducted under §1160.206(b), as is given to such Board or committee members in order that the Secretary, or a representative of the Secretary, may attend such meetings;

(l) To submit to the Secretary such information pursuant to this subpart as may be requested;

(m) The Board shall take reasonable steps to coordinate the collection of assessments, and promotion, education, and research activities of the Board, with the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board established under section 113(b) of the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 4504(b)); and

(n) The Board shall conduct advertising using third parties only through contracts which shall prohibit the third party from selling, offering for sale, or otherwise making available advertising time or space to private industry members conducting brand-name advertising which immediately precedes, follows, appears in juxtaposition, or appears in the midst of Board-sponsored advertising.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 27003, May 30, 1996; 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997]

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§1160.210   Expenses.

(a) The Board is authorized to incur such expenses (including provision for a reasonable reserve) as the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the Board for its administration, and to enable it to exercise its powers and perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this subpart; except that, after the Board's first year, it shall not spend on its administration more than 5 percent of the assessments collected during any fiscal period subsequent to the initial fiscal period. Such administrative expenses shall be paid from assessments collected pursuant to §1160.211.

(b) The Board shall reimburse the Secretary for administrative costs incurred by the Department from assessments collected pursuant to §1160.211.

(c) Within 30 days after funds are remitted from Regions 14 and 15, the Board shall provide a grant of 80% of such funds to the entity authorized by the laws of the State of California to conduct an advertising program for fluid milk products in that State for the purpose of implementing a coordinated advertising program in the markets within those regions. Such grant shall be provided with the approval of the Secretary on the following conditions:

(1) The granted funds shall be utilized to implement a fluid milk promotion campaign within the markets within those regions. Verification of the implementation of this program shall be provided to the Board.

(2) The Board shall ensure that the recipients of these funds implement a research and evaluation program to determine the effect of such program on consumption of fluid milk within the region.

(3) The recipient of these funds must provide to the Board data from the research and evaluation programs so that the Board can determine the effect of the program on consumption of fluid milk.

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§1160.211   Assessments.

(a)(1) Each fluid milk processor shall pay to the Board or its designated agent an assessment of $.20 per hundredweight of fluid milk products processed and marketed commercially in consumer-type packages in the United States by such fluid milk processor. Any fluid milk processor who markets milk of its own production directly to consumers as prescribed under section 113(g) of the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 4504(g)), and not exempt under §1160.108 or §1160.215, shall also pay the assessment under this subpart. The Secretary shall have the authority to receive assessments on behalf of the Board.

(2) The Secretary shall announce the establishment of the assessment each month in the Class I price announcement in each milk marketing area by adding it to the Class I price for the following month. In the event the assessment is suspended for a given month, the Secretary shall inform all fluid milk processors of the suspension in the Class I price announcement for that month. The Secretary shall also inform fluid milk processors marketing fluid milk in areas not subject to milk marketing orders administered by the Secretary of the establishment or suspension of the assessment.

(3) Each processor responsible for remitting an assessment shall remit it to the Board not later than the last day of the month following the month that the assessed milk was marketed.

(b) Such assessments shall not:

(1) Reduce the prices paid under the Federal milk marketing orders issued under section 8c of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (7 U.S.C. 608c), reenacted with amendments by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937;

(2) Otherwise be deducted from the amounts that handlers must pay to producers for fluid milk products sold to a processor; or

(3) Otherwise be deducted from the price of milk paid to a producer by a handler, as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Money remitted to the Board or the Board's designated agent shall be in the form of a negotiable instrument made payable to the Board or its agent, as the case may be. Processors must mail remittances and reports specified in §§1160.108, 1160.211(a)(1), 1160.213, 1160.214, and 1160.401 to the location designated by the Board or its agent.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997; 70 FR 2753, Jan. 14, 2005]

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§1160.212   Influencing governmental action.

No funds collected by the Board under this subpart shall in any manner be used for the purpose of influencing governmental policy or action, except to recommend to the Secretary amendments to this subpart.

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§1160.213   Adjustment of accounts.

Whenever the Board or the Secretary determines through an audit of a processor's reports, records, books or accounts or through some other means that additional money is due the Board or to such processor from the Board, the Board shall notify that person of the amount due or overpaid. If the processor owes money to the Board, it shall remit that amount by the next date for remitting assessments as provided in §1160.211. For the first two erroneous reports submitted by a processor in the preceding 12-month period, late-payment charges assessed pursuant to §1160.214 shall not begin to accrue until the day following such date. For all additional erroneous reports submitted by a processor during the 12-month period, late-payment charges shall accrue from the date the payment was due. If the processor has overpaid, that amount shall be credited to its account and applied against amounts due in succeeding months.

[73 FR 29390, May 21, 2008]

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§1160.214   Charges and penalties.

(a) Late-payment charge. Any unpaid assessments shall be increased 1.5 percent each month beginning with the day following the date such assessments were due. Any remaining amount due, which shall include any unpaid charges previously made pursuant to this section, shall be increased at the same rate on the corresponding day of each month thereafter until paid. For the purpose of this section, any assessment determined at a date later than prescribed by this subpart because of the failure of a processor to submit a report to the Board when due shall be considered to have been payable by the date it would have been due if the report had been filed when due. The receipt of a payment by the Board will be based on the earlier of the postmark date or the actual date of receipt.

(b) Penalties. The Secretary may assess any person who violates any provision of this subpart a civil penalty of not less than nor more than the minimum and maximum amounts specified in §3.91(b)(1)(xxxv) of this title for each such violation. In the case of a willful failure to pay an assessment as required by this subpart, in addition to the amount due, the Secretary may assess an additional penalty of not less than nor more than the minimum and maximum amounts specified in §3.91(b)(1)(xxxv) of this title for each such violation. The amount of any such penalty shall accrue to the United States, which may recover such amount in a civil suit. The remedies provided in this section are in addition to, and not exclusive of, other remedies that may be available by law or in equity.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 70 FR 29579, May 24, 2005]

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§1160.215   Assessment exemption.

(a) No assessment shall be required on fluid milk products exported from the United States.

(b) A fluid milk processor described in §1160.211(a) who operates under an approved National Organic Program (7 CFR part 205) (NOP) organic 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 fluid milk processor regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is processed by a person that also processes conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed;

(3) The fluid milk processor 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 OFPA (7 CFR part 205); and

(4) Any fluid milk processor 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.

(c) To apply for an assessment exemption, a fluid milk processor described in §1160.211(a) 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 July 1, for as long as the processor continues to be eligible for the exemption.

(d) A fluid milk processor request for exemption shall include the following information:

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

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

(3) Certification that the applicant processes 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.

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

(f) The exemption will apply not later than the last day of the month following the Certificate of Exemption issuance date.

[70 FR 2754, Jan. 14, 2005, as amended at 80 FR 82022, Dec. 31, 2015]

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Promotion, Consumer Education and Research

§1160.301   Promotion, consumer education and research.

(a) The Board shall receive and evaluate, or on its own initiative develop, and submit to the Secretary for approval any plans or projects authorized in §§1160.208 and 1160.209. Such plans or projects shall provide for:

(1) The establishment, issuance, effectuation, and administration of consumer education, promotion and research activities with respect to fluid milk products; and

(2) The evaluation of consumer education, promotion and research activities implemented under the direction of the Board, and the communication of such evaluation to fluid milk processors and the public.

(b) The Board shall periodically review or evaluate each plan or project authorized under §1160.301(a) to ensure that it contributes to an effective program of promotion, consumer education and research. If the Board finds that any such plan or project does not further the purposes of the Act, the Board shall terminate that plan or project.

(c) No plan or project authorized under §1160.301(a) may employ unfair or deceptive acts or practices with respect to the quality, value or use of any competing product.

(d) No plan or project authorized under §1160.301(a) may make use of a brand or trade name of a fluid milk product, except that this paragraph does not preclude the Board from offering program material to commercial parties to use under such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe, subject to approval by the Secretary.

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Reports, Books and Records

§1160.401   Reports.

Each fluid milk processor marketing milk and paying an assessment under §1160.211 shall be required to report upon the remittance of such assessments such information as the Board or the Secretary may require. Such information shall include but not be limited to the following:

(a) The quantity of fluid milk products marketed that is subject to the collection of the assessment;

(b) The amount of assessment remitted;

(c) The reason, if necessary, why the remittance is less than the number of hundredweights of milk multiplied by 20 cents; and

(d) The date any assessment was paid.

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§1160.402   Books and records.

Each person subject to this subpart shall maintain and make available for inspection by agents of the Board and the Secretary such books and records as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this subpart and the regulations issued hereunder, including such records as are necessary to verify any reports required. Such books and records shall be retained for at least two years beyond the fiscal period of their applicability.

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§1160.403   Confidential treatment.

(a) All persons, including agents and former agents of the Board, all officers and employees and all former officers and employees of the Department, and all officers and all employees and all former officers and employees of contracting agencies having access to commercial or financial information obtained from such books, records or reports under the Act and this subpart shall keep such information confidential, and not make it available to Board members. Only those persons, as determined by the Secretary, who have a specific need for such information in order to effectively administer the provisions of this subpart shall have access to such information. In addition, they shall disclose only that information the Secretary deems relevant, and then only in a suit or administrative hearing brought at the discretion, or upon the request, of the Secretary, or to which the Secretary or any officer of the United States is a party, and involving this subpart. Nothing in this section, however, shall be deemed to prohibit:

(1) The issuance of general statements based upon the reports of the number of processors, individuals, groups of individuals, partnerships, corporations, associations, cooperatives, or other entities subject to this subpart or statistical data collected from such sources, which statements do not identify the information furnished by any such parties, and

(2) The publication, at the direction of the Secretary, of the name of any processor, individuals, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative, or other entity that has been adjudged to have violated this subpart, together with a statement of the particular provisions of the subpart so violated.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, information obtained under this subpart may be made available to another agency of the Federal Government for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law and if the head of the agency has made a written request to the Secretary specifying the particular information desired and the law enforcement activity for which the information is sought.

(c) Any person violating this section, on conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, and if such person is an agent of the Board or an officer or employee of the Department shall be removed from office.

(d) Nothing in this subsection authorizes the Secretary to withhold information from a duly authorized committee or subcommittee of Congress.

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Miscellaneous

§1160.501   Continuation referenda.

(a) The Secretary at any time may conduct a referendum among those persons who the Secretary determines were fluid milk processors during a representative period, as determined by the Secretary, on whether to suspend or terminate the order. The Secretary shall hold such a referendum at the request of the Board or of any group of such processors that marketed during a representative period, as determined by the Secretary, 10 percent or more of the volume of fluid milk products marketed in the United States by fluid milk processors voting in the preceding referendum.

(b) Any suspension or termination of the order on the basis of a referendum conducted pursuant to this section must be favored:

(1) By at least 50 percent of the fluid milk processors voting in the referendum; and

(2) By fluid milk processors voting in the referendum that marketed during a representative period, as determined by the Secretary, 40 percent or more of the volume of fluid milk products marketed in the United States by fluid milk processors voting in the referendum.

(c) If the Secretary determines that the suspension or termination of the order is favored in the manner set forth in §1160.501(b), the Secretary shall take such action within 6 months of such determination.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997]

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§1160.502   Proceedings after suspension or termination.

(a) Upon the suspension or termination of this subpart, the Board shall recommend to the Secretary not more than five of its members to serve as trustees for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the Board. Once the Secretary has designated such members as trustees, they shall become trustees of all the funds and property that the Board owns, possesses, or controls, including unpaid and undelivered property or any other unpaid claim existing at the time of such termination. The actions of such trustees shall be subject to approval by the Secretary.

(b) The said trustees shall:

(1) Serve as trustees until discharged by the Secretary;

(2) Carry out the obligations of the Board under any contract or agreements that it entered pursuant to §§1160.208 and 1160.209;

(3) Account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver to any person designated by the Secretary all property on hand, together with all books and records of the Board and the trustees; and

(4) At the request of the Secretary, execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in the Secretary's designee full title and right to all of the funds, property, and claims of the Board or the trustees.

(c) The Secretary's designee shall be subject to the same obligations with respect to funds, property or claims transferred or delivered pursuant to this subpart as the Board and the trustees.

(d) The Board, the trustees or the Secretary's designee shall deliver to the Secretary any residual funds not required to pay liquidation expenses, which funds may be used, to the extent practicable, to continue one or more of the promotion, research or nutrition education plans or projects authorized pursuant to this subpart.

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§1160.503   Effect of suspension, termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the suspension or termination of this subpart or of any regulation issued pursuant hereto, or the issuance of any amendment to either thereof, shall not:

(a) Affect or waive any right, duty, obligation, or liability of the Board or its trustees which shall have arisen or which may hereafter arise in connection with any provision of this subpart or any regulation issued thereunder;

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

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

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§1160.504   Personal liability.

No member or employee of the Board shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly, in any way whatsoever to any person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts of either commission or omission by such member or employee, except for acts of dishonesty or willful misconduct.

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§1160.505   Patents, copyrights, inventions and publications.

(a) Any patents, copyrights, trademarks, inventions or publications developed through the use of funds collected under the provisions of this subpart are the property of the United States Government as represented by the Board, and shall, along with any rents, royalties, residual payments, or other income from the rental, sale, leasing, franchising, or other uses of such patents, copyrights, inventions, or publications, inure to the benefit of the Board. Section 1160.502 governs the disposition of all such property upon suspension or termination of this subpart.

(b) Should patents, copyrights, inventions, and publications be developed through the use of funds collected by the Board under this subpart, and funds contributed by another organization or person, ownership and related rights to such patents, copyrights, inventions, and publications shall be determined by the agreement between the Board and the party contributing funds towards the development of such patent, copyright, invention, and publication in a manner consistent with paragraph (a) of this section.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 63 FR 46639, Sept. 2, 1998]

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§1160.506   Amendments.

The Secretary may from time to time amend provisions of this subpart. Any interested person or organization affected by the provisions of the Act may propose amendments to the Secretary.

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§1160.507   Report.

The Secretary shall provide annually for an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the fluid milk promotion program carried out under this subtitle during the previous fiscal year, in conjunction with the evaluation of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board established under section 113(b) of the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 4504(b)).

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§1160.508   Separability.

If any provision of this subpart is declared invalid or the applicability thereof to any person or any circumstances is held invalid, such declaration or holding shall not offset the validity of the remainder of this subpart or the applicability thereof to other persons or circumstances.

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Subpart—Procedure for Conduct of Referenda in Connection with a Fluid Milk Promotion Order

§1160.600   General.

Referenda to determine whether eligible fluid milk processors favor the issuance, continuance, termination or suspension of a Fluid Milk Promotion Order authorized by the Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990 shall be conducted in accordance with this subpart.

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§1160.601   Definitions.

As used in this subpart:

(a) Act means the Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990 (Subtitle H of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-624, 7 U.S.C. 6401-6417) and any amendments thereto.

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

(c) 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.

(d) 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.

(e) Order means a Fluid Milk Promotion Order, and any amendments thereto, authorized by the Act.

(f) Board means the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board established pursuant to the Act.

(g) Assessment means the monies that are collected and remitted to the Board pursuant to the Act.

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

(i) Fluid milk processor means any person who is defined as a fluid milk processor under the order, or under the proposed order on which the initial referendum is held.

(j) Referendum agent means the person designated by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.

(k) Representative period means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to Sections 1999N and 1999O of the Act.

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§1160.602   Conduct of referendum.

(a) The referendum shall be conducted by mail in the manner prescribed in this subpart. The referendum agent may utilize such personnel or agencies of the Department as are deemed necessary by the Administrator. There shall be no voting except within the time specified by the referendum agent.

(b) The referendum agent shall mail to each fluid milk processor that has properly registered to participate in the referendum:

(1) A ballot containing a description of the question(s) upon which the referendum is being held;

(2) Instructions for completing the ballot; and

(3) A statement as to the time within which the ballot must be mailed to the referendum agent.

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§1160.603   Who may vote.

(a) Each person who was a fluid milk processor during the representative period, as determined by the Secretary, and who at the time of voter registration and when voting is processing and marketing commercially fluid milk products in consumer-type packages in the United States shall be entitled to vote in a referendum, and no such person shall be refused a ballot. Any person casting more than one ballot with conflicting votes shall thereby invalidate all ballots cast by such person in such referendum. Each person voting shall have registered with the referendum agent prior to the voting period. Each ballot cast shall contain a certification by the person casting the ballot that such person is qualified to vote. All information required on the ballot pertinent to the identification of the person voting must be supplied and certified to as being correct in order for the ballot to be valid.

(b) Voting by proxy or agent will not be permitted. However, the ballot of a fluid milk processor who is other than an individual may be cast by a person who is duly authorized to do so, and such ballot shall contain a certification by such person that the entity on whose behalf the ballot is cast was a fluid milk processor during the representative period. All information required on the ballot pertinent to the identification of the fluid milk processor on whose behalf the ballot is cast must be supplied and certified to as being correct in order for the ballot to be valid.

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§1160.604   Duties of the referendum agent.

The referendum agent, in addition to any other duties imposed by this subpart, shall:

(a) For the purpose of adjusting the rate of assessment, determine and publicly announce prior to the voting period the total volume of fluid milk products marketed by all processors of fluid milk in the United States during the representative period and the portion of such volume that must be represented by those fluid milk processors voting in favor of the question included on the ballot if the referendum question is to pass.

(b)(1) Within 12 days after the deadline for registering to vote in the referendum, the referendum agent shall make available upon request a list of those fluid milk processors that properly registered. Any challenge of a processor's eligibility to vote must be received by the referendum agent within 17 days of the deadline for voter registration.

(2) If the voting eligibility of any fluid milk processor is challenged within the timeframe specified in §1160.604(b)(1), the referendum agent shall review the challenge and make a final determination regarding the processor's eligibility to vote.

(3) Prior to the time of mailing ballots to fluid milk processors, the referendum agent shall prepare a final list of eligible voters and make such list available upon request.

(c) Verify the eligibility of all persons voting in the referendum by reviewing all ballots cast to assure that each ballot:

(1) Was mailed within the prescribed time;

(2) Contains all certifications required attesting to the eligibility of the person to vote, and that the person voting filed with the referendum agent prior to the voting period the advance registration required pursuant to §1160.606(a)(1); and

(3) Was completed with respect to all necessary information pertinent to the identification of the person voting so that additional verification can be conducted by the referendum agent to substantiate the eligibility of each such person to vote.

(d) Conduct further verification, as necessary, to determine the eligibility of each person to vote. Such verification may be completed by reviewing readily available sources of information, including the following:

(1) Records of the Department;

(2) Fluid milk processors' records; and

(3) Any other reliable sources of information which may be available to the referendum agent.

(e) Further verify ballots to avoid a duplication of votes. The following criteria shall serve as a guide:

(1) Each fluid milk processor that is other than an individual shall be regarded as one person for voting purposes;

(2) No more than one vote may be cast on behalf of any one fluid milk processor; and

(3) In the event that more than one individual claim the right to vote and cast a ballot for a fluid milk processor, concurring votes of such individuals shall be treated as one vote while any conflicting votes shall thereby invalidate all ballots cast by such individuals.

[58 FR 62503, Nov. 29, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 3983, Jan. 28, 1997]

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§1160.605   Scheduling of referendum.

A referendum shall be held:

(a) Whenever prescribed by the order;

(b) For the purpose of adjusting the rate of assessment:

(1) At the direction of the Secretary; or

(2) Upon request of the Board or upon request of any group of fluid milk processors that marketed during a representative period, as determined by the Secretary, 10 percent or more of the volume of fluid milk products marketed by all processors of fluid milk in the United States during that period; or

(c) For the purpose of suspending or terminating the order:

(1) At the direction of the Secretary; or

(2) Upon request of the Board or upon request of any group of fluid milk processors that marketed during a representative period, as determined by the Secretary, 10 percent or more of the volume of fluid milk products marketed by fluid milk processors voting in the preceding referendum.

[62 FR 3984, Jan. 28, 1997]

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§1160.606   Notice of referendum.

The referendum agent shall provide at least 30 days' notice of any referendum authorized by the Act by:

(a) Mailing to each known person processing fluid milk products a notice of referendum, which shall include:

(1) An advance registration form to be filed with the referendum agent prior to the voting period by any person choosing to vote in the referendum, with a statement as to the time within which the registration form must be mailed to the referendum agent;

(2) A copy of the final rule, when applicable;

(3) A sample ballot containing a description of the question(s) upon which the referendum is being held; and

(4) Rules for participating in the referendum, including a statement as to the time within which the ballot must be mailed to the referendum agent; and

(b) Giving public notice of the referendum:

(1) By furnishing press releases and other information to available media of public information (including but not limited to press, radio, and television facilities) announcing the time within which ballots must be completed and mailed to the referendum agent, eligibility requirements, required certifications to cast a valid ballot, where additional information, ballots and instructions may be obtained, and other pertinent information; and

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

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§1160.607   Tabulation of ballots.

(a) The referendum agent shall verify the validity of all ballots cast in accordance with the instructions and requirements specified in §§1160.602 through 1160.606. Ballots that are not valid shall be marked “disqualified” with a notation on the ballot as to the reason for the disqualification.

(b) The total number of ballots cast, including the disqualified ballots, shall be ascertained. The number of ballots cast approving, the number of ballots cast disapproving, and the pounds of fluid milk products distributed during the representative period by the processors represented in each grouping of ballots, shall also be ascertained. The ballots marked “disqualified” shall not be considered as approving or disapproving, and the persons who cast such ballots shall not be regarded as participating in the referendum.

(c) The referendum agent shall notify the Administrator of the number of ballots cast, the count of the votes, the number of disqualified ballots, and the volume of fluid milk products associated with the ballots cast as prescribed in §1160.607(b). The referendum agent shall seal the ballots and transmit to the Administrator a complete detailed report of all actions taken in connection with the referendum and all other information furnished to or compiled by the referendum agent.

(d) Announcement of the results of the referendum will be made only at the direction of the Secretary. The referendum agent or others who assist in the referendum shall not disclose the results of the referendum or the total number of ballots and votes cast.

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§1160.608   Confidential information.

The ballots cast, the identity of any person who voted, or the manner in which any person voted and all information furnished to, compiled by, or in the possession of the referendum agent, except the list of eligible voters, shall be regarded as confidential.

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§1160.609   Supplementary instructions.

The Administrator is authorized to issue instructions and to prescribe forms and ballots, not inconsistent with the provisions of this subpart, to govern the conduct of referenda by referendum agents.

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