1216.56 Exemption for organic peanuts.§ 1216.56 Exemption for organic peanuts.
(a) A producer who operates under an approved National Organic Program (7 CFR part 205) (NOP) organic production 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 regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is produced by a person that also produces conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed;
(3) The producer 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 OPFA (7 CFR part 205); and
(4) Any producer 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) In order to apply for this exemption, an eligible peanut producer 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 August 1, for as long as the producer continues to be eligible for the exemption.
(c) A producer 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 organic certificate issued under the OFPA and the NOP;
(3) Certification that the applicant produces 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 complies with the requirements of this section, the Board will grant an assessment exemption and issue a Certificate of Exemption to the producer 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 peanuts. The handler shall maintain records showing the exempt producer's name and address and the exemption number assigned by the Board.
(f) The exemption will apply at the first reporting period following the issuance of the Certificate of Exemption.[70 FR 2757, Jan. 14, 2005, as amended at 80 FR 82029, Dec. 31 2015]