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Title 7 Part 1212 → Subpart A

Title 7 → Subtitle B → Chapter XI → Part 1212 → Subpart A

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 7 Part 1212 → Subpart A

e-CFR data is current as of June 21, 2019

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XIPart 1212 → Subpart A


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1212—HONEY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS RESEARCH, PROMOTION, CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER


Subpart A—Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education, and Industry Information Order


Contents

Definitions

§1212.1   Act.
§1212.2   Board.
§1212.3   Conflict of interest.
§1212.4   Department.
§1212.5   Exporter.
§1212.6   First handler.
§1212.7   Fiscal period.
§1212.8   Handle.
§1212.9   Honey.
§1212.10   Honey products.
§1212.11   Importer.
§1212.12   [Reserved]
§1212.13   Information.
§1212.14   Market or marketing.
§1212.15   Order.
§1212.16   Part and subpart.
§1212.17   Person.
§1212.18   Plans and programs.
§1212.19   Producer.
§1212.20   Promotion.
§1212.21   Qualified national organization representing first handler interests.
§1212.22   Qualified national organization representing importer interests.
§1212.23   Qualified national organization representing producer interests.
§1212.24   Qualified national organization representing cooperative interests.
§1212.25   Referendum.
§1212.26   Research.
§1212.27   Secretary.
§1212.28   Suspend.
§1212.29   State.
§1212.30   Terminate.
§1212.31   United States.
§1212.32   United States Customs Service.

National Honey Board

§1212.40   Establishment and membership.
§1212.41   Term of office.
§1212.42   Nominations and appointments.
§1212.43   Removal and vacancies.
§1212.44   Procedure.
§1212.45   Reimbursement and attendance.
§1212.46   Powers.
§1212.47   Duties.
§1212.48   Reapportionment of Board membership.

Expenses and Assessments

§1212.50   Budget and expenses.
§1212.51   Financial statements.
§1212.52   Assessments.
§1212.53   Exemption from assessment.
§1212.54   Operating reserve.
§1212.55   Prohibition on use of funds.

Promotion, Research, and Information

§1212.60   Programs, plans and projects.
§1212.61   Independent evaluation.
§1212.62   Patents, copyrights, inventions, product formulations, and publications.

Reports, Books, and Records

§1212.70   Reports.
§1212.71   Book and records.
§1212.72   Confidential treatment.

Miscellaneous

§1212.80   Right of the Secretary.
§1212.81   Referenda.
§1212.82   Suspension or termination.
§1212.83   Proceedings after termination.
§1212.84   Effect of termination or amendment.
§1212.85   Personal liability.
§1212.86   Separability.
§1212.87   Amendments.
§1212.88   OMB control number.

Source: 73 FR 29397, May 21, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

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Definitions

§1212.1   Act.

“Act” means the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996, (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425), and any amendments to that Act.

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§1212.2   Board.

“Board” or “National Honey Board” means the administrative body established pursuant to §1212.40, or such other name as recommended by the Board and approved by the Department.

[84 FR 1345, Feb. 4, 2019]

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§1212.3   Conflict of interest.

“Conflict of interest” means a situation in which a member or employee of the Board has a direct or indirect financial interest in a person who performs a service for, or enters into a contract with, the Board for anything of economic value.

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§1212.4   Department.

“Department” means the United States Department of Agriculture, 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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§1212.5   Exporter.

“Exporter” means any person who exports honey or honey products from the United States.

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§1212.6   First handler.

“First handler” means the first person who buys or takes possession of honey or honey products from a producer for marketing. If a producer markets honey or honey products directly to consumers, that producer shall be considered to be the first handler with respect to the honey produced by the producer.

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§1212.7   Fiscal period.

“Fiscal period” means a calendar year from January 1 through December 31, or such other period as recommended by the Board and approved by the Secretary.

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§1212.8   Handle.

“Handle” means to process, package, sell, transport, purchase or in any other way place honey or honey products, or causes them to be placed, in commerce. This term includes selling unprocessed honey that will be consumed without further processing or packaging. This term does not include the transportation of unprocessed honey by the producer to a handler or transportation by a commercial carrier of honey, whether processed or unprocessed for the account of the first handler or producer.

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§1212.9   Honey.

“Honey” means the nectar and saccharine exudations of plants that are gathered, modified, and stored in the comb by honeybees, including comb honey.

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§1212.10   Honey products.

“Honey products” mean products where honey is a principal ingredient. For purposes of this subpart, a product shall be considered to have honey as a principal ingredient if the product contains at least 50% honey by weight.

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§1212.11   Importer.

“Importer” means any person who imports for sale honey or honey products into the United States as a principal or as an agent, broker, or consignee of any person who produces honey or honey products outside the United States for sale in the United States, and who is listed in the import records as the importer of record for such honey or honey products.

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§1212.12   [Reserved]

§1212.13   Information.

“Information” means activities or programs designed to develop new and existing markets, new and existing marketing strategies and increased efficiency and activities to enhance the image of honey and honey products. These include:

(a) Consumer education, which means any action taken to provide information to, and broaden the understanding of, the general public regarding the consumption, use, nutritional attributes, and care of honey and honey products; and

(b) Industry information, which means information and programs that will lead to the development of new markets, new marketing strategies, or increased efficiency for the honey industry, and activities to enhance the image of the honey industry.

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§1212.14   Market or marketing.

(a) “Marketing” means the sale or other disposition of honey or honey products in any channel of commerce.

(b) “Market” means to sell or otherwise dispose of honey or honey products in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce.

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§1212.15   Order.

“Order” means the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order.

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§1212.16   Part and subpart.

“Part” means the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education, and Industry Information Order (Order) and all rules, regulations, and supplemental orders issued pursuant to the Act and the Order. The Order shall be a “subpart” of such part.

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§1212.17   Person.

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

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§1212.18   Plans and programs.

“Plans and programs” mean those research, promotion and information programs, plans, or projects established pursuant to this Order.

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§1212.19   Producer.

“Producer” means any person who is engaged in the production and sale of honey in any State and who owns, or shares the ownership and risk of loss of the production of honey or a person who is engaged in the business of producing, or causing to be produced, honey beyond personal use and having value at first point of sale.

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§1212.20   Promotion.

“Promotion” means any action, including paid advertising and public relations that presents a favorable image for honey or honey products to the public and food industry with the intent of improving the perception and competitive position of honey and stimulating sales of honey or honey products.

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§1212.21   Qualified national organization representing first handler interests.

“Qualified national organization representing first handler interests” means an organization that the Secretary certifies as being eligible to nominate first handler and alternate first handler members of the Board under §1212.42.

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§1212.22   Qualified national organization representing importer interests.

“Qualified national organization representing importer interests” means an organization that the Secretary certifies as being eligible to nominate importer and alternate importer members of the Board under §1212.42.

[84 FR 1345, Feb. 4, 2019]

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§1212.23   Qualified national organization representing producer interests.

“Qualified national organization representing producer interests” means an organization that the Secretary certifies as being eligible to nominate producer and alternate producer members of the Board under §1212.42.

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§1212.24   Qualified national organization representing cooperative interests.

“Qualified national organization representing cooperative interests” means an organization that the Secretary certifies as being eligible to nominate cooperative and alternate cooperative members of the Board under §1212.42.

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§1212.25   Referendum.

“Referendum” means a referendum to be conducted by the Secretary pursuant to the Act whereby first handlers and importers shall be given the opportunity to vote to determine whether the implementation of or continuance of this part is favored by a majority of eligible persons voting in the referendum and a majority of volume voted in the referendum.

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§1212.26   Research.

“Research” means any type of test, study, or analysis designed to advance the image, desirability, use, marketability, production, product development, or quality of honey and honey products, including research relating to nutritional value, cost of production, new product development, testing the effectiveness of market development and promotion efforts. Such term shall also include studies on bees to advance the cost effectiveness, competitiveness, efficiency, pest and disease control, and other management aspects of beekeeping, honey production, and honey bees.

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§1212.27   Secretary.

“Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any other officer or employee of the Department to whom authority the Secretary delegated the authority to act on his or her behalf.

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§1212.28   Suspend.

“Suspend” means to issue a rule under 5 U.S.C. 553 to temporarily prevent the operation of an order or part thereof during a particular period of time specified in the rule.

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§1212.29   State.

“State” means any of the fifty States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territories and possessions of the United States.

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§1212.30   Terminate.

“Terminate” means to issue a rule under 5 U.S.C. 553 to cancel permanently the operation of an order or part thereof beginning on a date certain specified in the rule.

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§1212.31   United States.

“United States” means collectively the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territories and possessions of the United States.

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§1212.32   United States Customs Service.

“United States Customs Service” or “Customs” means the United States Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

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National Honey Board

§1212.40   Establishment and membership.

The National Honey Board is established to administer the terms and provisions of this part. The Board shall have ten members, composed of three first handler representatives, three importer representatives, three producer representatives, and one marketing cooperative representative. In addition, each producer representative must produce a minimum of 50,000 pounds of honey in the United States annually based on the best three-year average of the most recent five calendar years, as certified by producers. The Secretary will appoint members to the Board from nominees submitted in accordance with §1212.42. The Secretary shall also appoint an alternate for each member.

[84 FR 1345, Feb. 4, 2019]

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§1212.41   Term of office.

Each Board member and alternate will serve a three-year term or until the Secretary selects his or her successor. No member or alternate may serve more than two consecutive terms. Each term of office will end on December 31, with new terms of office beginning on January 1.

[84 FR 1345, Feb. 4, 2019]

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§1212.42   Nominations and appointments.

All nominations to the Board will be made as follows:

(a) All qualified national organizations representing first handler interests will have the opportunity to participate in a nomination caucus and will, to the extent practical, submit as a group a single slate of nominations to the Secretary for the first handler positions and the alternate positions on the Board. If the Secretary determines that there are no qualified national organizations representing first handler interests, individual first handlers who have paid assessments to the Board in the most recent fiscal period may submit nominations. For the initial Board, persons that meet the definition of first handlers as defined in this subpart will certify their qualification and upon certification, if qualified, may submit nominations.

(b) All qualified national organizations representing importer interests will have the opportunity to participate in a nomination caucus and will, to the extent practical, submit as a group a single slate of nominations to the Secretary for importer positions and the importer alternate positions on the Board. If the Secretary determines that there are no qualified national organizations representing importer interests, individual importers who have paid assessments to the Board in the most recent fiscal period may submit nominations.

(c) All qualified national organizations representing producer interests will have the opportunity to participate in a nomination caucus and will, to the extent practical, submit as a group a single slate of nominations to the Secretary for the producer positions and the producer alternate positions on the Board. If the Secretary determines that there are no qualified national organizations representing producer interests, individual producers may submit nominations to the Secretary. For the initial Board, persons that meet the definition of producer as defined in this subpart will certify such qualification and upon certification, if qualified, may submit nominations.

(d) For the purposes of this subpart, a national honey-marketing cooperative means any entity that is organized under the Capper-Volstead Act (7 U.S.C. 291) or state law as a cooperative and markets honey or honey products in at least 20 states. All national honey-marketing cooperatives that are first handlers will have the opportunity to participate in a nomination caucus and will, to the extent practical, submit as a group a single slate of nominations to the Secretary of persons who serve as an officer, director, or employee of a national honey marketing cooperative for the cooperative position and the alternate position on the Board.

(e) Eligible organizations, cooperatives, producers, first handlers or importers must submit nominations to the Secretary six months before the new Board term begins. At least two nominees for each position to be filled must be submitted.

(f) Qualified national organization representing first handler interests. To be certified by the Secretary as a qualified national organization representing first handler interests, an organization must meet the following criteria, as evidenced by a report submitted by the organization to the Secretary:

(1) The organization's voting membership must be comprised primarily of first handlers of honey or honey products;

(2) The organization must represent a substantial number of first handlers who market a substantial volume of honey or honey products in at least 20 states;

(3) The organization has a history of stability and permanency and has been in existence for more than one year;

(4) The organization must have as a primary purpose promoting honey first handlers' economic welfare;

(5) The organization must derive a portion of its operating funds from first handlers; and

(6) The organization must demonstrate it is willing and able to further the Act's purposes.

(g) Qualified national organization representing importer interests. To be certified as a qualified national organization representing importer interests, an organization must meet the following criteria, as evidenced by a report submitted by the organization to the Secretary:

(1) The organization's importer membership must represent at least a majority of the volume of honey or honey products imported into the United States;

(2) The organization has a history of stability and permanency and has been in existence for more than one year;

(3) The organization must have as a primary purpose promoting honey importers' economic welfare;

(4) The organization must derive a portion of its operating funds from importers; and

(5) The organization must demonstrate it is willing and able to further the Act's purposes.

(h) Qualified national organization representing producer interests. To be certified by the Secretary as a qualified national organization representing producer interests, an organization must meet the following criteria, as evidenced by a report submitted by the organization to the Secretary:

(1) The organization's membership must be comprised primarily of honey producers;

(2) The organization must represent a substantial number of producers who produce a substantial volume of honey in at least 20 states;

(3) The organization has a history of stability and permanency and has been in existence for more than one year;

(4) The organization must have as one of its primary purposes promoting honey producers' economic welfare;

(5) The organization must derive a portion of its operating funds from producers; and

(6) The organization must demonstrate it is willing and able to further the Act's purposes.

(i) To be certified by the Secretary as a qualified national organization representing first handler, producer or importer interests, an organization must agree to:

(1) Take reasonable steps to publicize to non-members the availability of open Board first handler, producer or importer positions; and

(2) Consider nominating a non-member first handler, producer or importer, if he or she expresses an interest in serving on the Board.

(j) National honey-marketing cooperative. The Secretary can certify that an entity qualifies as a national honey-marketing cooperative, as defined in §1212.42(d). Such an entity shall not be eligible for certification as a qualified national organization representing producer interests.

[73 FR 29397, May 21, 2008, as amended at 84 FR 1345, Feb. 4, 2019]

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§1212.43   Removal and vacancies.

(a) In the event that any member or alternate 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 become vacant.

(b) The Board may recommend to the Secretary that a member be removed from office if the member consistently refuses to perform his or her duties or engages in dishonest acts or willful misconduct. The Secretary may remove the member if he or she finds that the Board's recommendation shows adequate cause.

(c) A vacancy for any reason will be filled as follows:

(1) If a member position becomes vacant, the alternate for that position will serve the remainder of the member's term. In accordance with §1212.42, the Secretary will request nominations for a replacement alternate and will appoint a nominee to serve the remainder of the term. The Secretary does not have to appoint a replacement if the unexpired term is less than six months.

(2) If both a member position and an alternate position become vacant, in accordance with §1212.42, the Secretary will request nominations for replacements and appoint a member and alternate to serve the remainder of the term. The Secretary does not have to appoint a new member or alternate if the unexpired term for the position is less than six months.

(3) No successor appointed to a vacated term of office shall serve more than two successive three-year terms on the Board.

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§1212.44   Procedure.

(a) A majority of the Board members will constitute a quorum so long as at least one of the members present is an importer member and one of the members present is a first handler member. An alternate will be counted for the purpose of determining a quorum only if a member from his or her membership class is absent or disqualified from participating. Any Board action will require the concurring votes of a majority of those present and voting; with the exception of the two-thirds vote requirement in §1212.52(f). All votes at meetings will be cast in person. The Board must give timely notice of all Board and committee meetings to members and alternates.

(b) The Board may take action by any means of communication when, in the opinion of the Board chairperson, an emergency requires that action must be taken before a meeting can be called. Any action taken under this procedure is valid only if:

(1) All members and the Secretary are notified and the members are provided the opportunity to vote;

(2) Each proposition is explained accurately, fully, and substantially identically to each member;

(3) With the exception of the two-thirds vote requirement in §1212.52(f), a majority of the members vote in favor of the action; and

(4) All votes are promptly confirmed in writing and recorded in the Board minutes.

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§1212.45   Reimbursement and attendance.

Board members and alternates, when acting as members, will serve without compensation but will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses, as approved by the Board, that they incur when performing Board business. The Board may request that alternates attend any meeting even if their respective members are expected to attend or actually attend the meeting.

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§1212.46   Powers.

The Board shall have the following powers subject to §1212.80:

(a) Administer this subpart in accordance with its terms and provisions of the Act;

(b) Require its employees to receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of this part;

(c) Recommend adjustments to the assessments as provided in this part;

(d) Recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part;

(e) Establish, issue, and administer appropriate programs and enter into contracts or agreements with the approval of the Secretary for promotion, research, and information programs and plans including consumer and industry information, and advertising designed to strengthen the honey industry's position in the marketplace and to maintain, develop, and expand domestic and foreign markets for honey and honey products; and

(f) Invest assessments collected and other funds received pursuant to the Order and use earnings from invested assessments to pay for activities carried out pursuant to the Order.

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§1212.47   Duties.

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

(a) To meet and organize, and to select from among its members a chairperson and such other officers as may be necessary; to select committees and subcommittees from its membership and other industry representatives; and to develop and recommend such rules, regulations, and by-laws to the Secretary for approval to conduct its business as it may deem advisable;

(b) To employ or contract with 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 to the Secretary for approval 60 days in advance of the beginning of a fiscal period, a budget of anticipated expenses in the administration of this part including the probable costs of all programs and plans and to recommend a rate of assessment with respect thereto.

(d) To investigate violations of this part and report the results of such investigations to the Secretary for appropriate action to enforce the provisions of this part.

(e) To establish, issue, and administer appropriate programs and enter into contracts or agreements with the approval of the Secretary for promotion, research, and information including consumer and industry information, and advertising designed to strengthen the honey industry's position in the marketplace and to maintain, develop, and expand domestic and foreign markets for honey and honey products.

(f) To maintain minutes, books, and records and prepare and submit to the Secretary such reports from time to time as may be required for appropriate accounting with respect to the receipt and disbursement of funds entrusted to it.

(g) To periodically prepare and make public and to make available to first handlers, producers, and importers reports of its activities and, at least once each fiscal period, to make public an accounting of funds received and expended.

(h) To cause its books to be audited by a certified public accountant at the end of each fiscal period and to submit a copy of each audit to the Secretary.

(i) To submit to the Secretary such information pertaining to this part or subpart as he or she may request.

(j) To give the Secretary the same notice of Board meetings and committee meetings that is given to members in order that the Secretary's representative(s) may attend such meetings, and to keep and report minutes of each meeting to the Secretary.

(k) To notify first handlers, importers, and producers of all Board meetings through press releases or other means.

(l) To appoint and convene, from time to time, working committees or subcommittees that may include first handlers, importers, exporters, producers, members of the wholesale or retail outlets for honey, or other members of the honey industry and the public to assist in the development of research, promotion, advertising, and information programs for honey and honey products.

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

(n) To provide any patents, copyrights, inventions, product formulations, or publications developed through the use of funds collected under the provisions of this subpart shall be the property of the U.S. Government, as represented by the Board, and shall along with any rents, royalties, residual payments, or other income from the rental, sales, leasing, franchising, or other uses of such patents, copyrights, trademarks, information, publications, or product formulations, inure to the benefit of the Board; shall be considered income subject to the same fiscal, budget, and audit controls as other funds of the Board; and may be licensed subject to approval by the Department.

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§1212.48   Reapportionment of Board membership.

At least once in each 5-year period, but not more frequently than once in each 3-year period, the Board shall:

(a) Review, based on a three-year average, the geographical distribution in the United States of the production of honey and the quantity or value of the honey and honey products imported into the United States; and

(b) If warranted, recommend to the Secretary the reapportionment of the Board membership to reflect changes in the geographical distribution of the production of honey and the quantity or value of the honey and honey products imported into the United States.

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Expenses and Assessments

§1212.50   Budget and expenses.

(a) At least 60 days prior to the beginning of each fiscal period, and as may be necessary thereafter; the Board shall prepare and submit to the Department a budget for the fiscal period covering its anticipated expenses and disbursements in administering this subpart. The budget shall allocate five percent (5%) of the Board's anticipated revenue from assessments each fiscal period for production research and research relating to the production of honey.

Each such budget shall include:

(1) A statement of objectives and strategy for each program, plan, or project;

(2) A summary of anticipated revenue, with comparative data or at least one preceding year (except for the initial budget);

(3) A summary of proposed expenditures for each program, plan, or project; and

(4) Staff and administrative expense breakdowns, with comparative data for at least one preceding year (except for the initial budget).

(b) Each budget shall provide adequate funds to defray its proposed expenditures and to provide for a reserve as set forth in this subpart.

(c) Subject to this section, any amendment or addition to an approved budget must be approved by the Department, including shifting funds from one program, plan, or project to another. Shifts of funds which do not cause an increase in the Board's approved budget and which are consistent with governing bylaws need not have prior approval by the Department.

(d) The Board is authorized to incur such expenses, including provision for a reserve, as the Department finds reasonable and likely to be incurred by the Board for its maintenance and functioning, and to enable it to exercise its powers and perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this subpart. Such expenses shall be paid from funds received by the Board.

(e) With approval of the Department, the Board may borrow money for the payment of administrative expenses, subject to the same fiscal, budget, and audit controls as other funds of the Board. Any funds borrowed by the Board shall be expended only for startup costs and capital outlays and are limited to the first year of operation of the Board.

(f) The Board may accept voluntary contributions, but these shall only be used to pay expenses incurred in the conduct of programs, plans, and projects. Voluntary contributions shall be free from any encumbrance by the donor, and the Board shall retain complete control of their use.

(g) The Board shall reimburse the Department for all expenses incurred by the Department in the implementation, administration, enforcement and supervision of the Order, including all referendum costs in connection with the Order.

(h) The Board may not expend for administration, maintenance, and functioning of the Board in any calendar year an amount that exceeds 15 percent of the assessments and other income received by the Board for that calendar year. Reimbursements to the Department required under paragraph (g) of this section, are excluded from this limitation on spending.

(i) The Board may also receive funds provided through the Department's Foreign Agricultural Service or from other sources, with the approval of the Secretary, for authorized activities.

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§1212.51   Financial statements.

(a) The Board shall prepare and submit financial statements to the Department on a periodic basis. Each such financial statement shall include, but not be limited to, a balance sheet, income statement, and expense budget. The expense budget shall show expenditures during the time period covered by the report, year-to-date expenditures, and the unexpended budget.

(b) Each financial statement shall be submitted to the Department within 30 days after the end of the time period to which it applies.

(c) The Board shall submit annually to the Department an annual financial statement within 90 days after the end of the calendar year to which it applies.

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§1212.52   Assessments.

(a) The Board will cover its expenses by levying in a manner prescribed by the Secretary an assessment on first handlers and importers. For the period January 1 through December 31, 2015, the assessment rate shall be $0.0125 per pound of assessable honey and honey products. On and after January 1, 2016, the assessment rate shall be $0.015 per pound of assessable honey and honey products.

(b) Each first handler shall pay the assessment to the Board on all domestically produced honey or honey products the first handler handles. A producer shall pay the Board the assessment on all honey or honey products for which the producer is the first handler.

(c) Each first handler responsible for remitting assessments shall remit the amounts due to the Board's office on a monthly basis no later than the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which the honey or honey products were marketed.

(d) Each importer shall pay an assessment to the Board on all honey or honey products the importer imports into the United States. An importer shall pay the assessment to the Board through the United States Customs and Border Protection (Customs) when the honey or honey products being assessed enters the United States. If Customs does not collect an assessment from an importer, the importer is responsible for paying the assessment to the Board.

(e) The import assessment recommended by the Board and approved by the Secretary shall be uniformly applied to imported honey or honey products that are identified as HTS heading numbers 0409.00.00 and 2106.90.9988 by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States or any other numbers used to identify honey or honey products.

(f) The Board may recommend to the Secretary an increase or decrease in the assessment as it deems appropriate by at least a two-thirds vote of members present at a meeting of the Board. The Board may not recommend an increase in the assessment of more than $0.02 per pound of honey or honey products and may not increase the assessment by more than $0.0025 in any single fiscal year.

(g) In situations of late payment:

(1) The Board shall impose a late payment charge on any first handler or importer who fails to remit to the Board the total amount for which the first handler or importer is liable on or before the payment due date the Board recommends. The amount of the late payment charge shall be prescribed by the Department.

(2) The Board shall require any first handler or importer subject to a late payment charge to pay interest on the unpaid assessments for which the first handler or importer is liable. The rate of interest shall be prescribed by the Department.

(3) First handlers or importers who fail to remit total assessments in a timely manner may also be subject to actions under federal debt collection procedures.

(h) Advance payment. The Board may accept advance payment of assessments from first handlers or importers that will be credited toward any amount for which the first handlers or importers may become liable. The Board does not have to pay interest on any advance payment.

(i) If the Board is not in place by the date the first assessments are to be collected, the Secretary shall have the authority to receive assessments and invest them on behalf of the Board, and shall pay such assessments and any interest earned to the Board when it is formed.

[73 FR 11472, Mar. 3, 2008, as amended at 80 FR 22365, Apr. 22, 2015]

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§1212.53   Exemption from assessment.

(a) A first handler who handles less than 250,000 pounds of honey or honey products per calendar year or an importer who imports less than 250,000 pounds of honey or honey products per calendar year is exempt from paying assessments.

(b) A first handler or importer desiring an exemption shall apply to the Board, on a form provided by the Board, for a certificate of exemption. A first handler shall certify that the first handler will handle less than 250,000 of honey and honey products for the calendar year for which the exemption is claimed. An importer shall certify that the importer will import less than 250,000 pounds of honey and honey products during the calendar year for which the exemption is claimed.

(c) A first handler or importer 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), or certified as “organic” or “100 percent organic” under a U.S. equivalency arrangement established under 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 first handler or importer regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is handled or imported by a person that also handles or imports conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed;

(3) The first handler or importer 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 first handler or importer 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.

(5) Persons eligible for an organic assessment exemption as provided this section may apply for such an exemption by submitting 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, as long as the first handler or importer continues to be eligible for the exemption.

(i) A first handler or importer request for exemption shall include the following:

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

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

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

(D) 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;

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

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

(ii) Upon receipt of an application, the Board shall determine whether an exemption may be granted and issue a Certificate of Exemption to the first handler or importer within 30 calendar days. If the application is disapproved, the Board will notify the applicant of the reason(s) for disapproval within the same timeframe. It is the responsibility of the first handler or importer to retain a copy of the certificate of exemption.

(d) Upon receipt of an application, the Board shall determine whether an exemption may be granted. The Board will then issue, if deemed appropriate, a certificate of exemption to each person who is eligible to receive one. The exemption is effective when approved by the Board. It is the responsibility of these persons to retain a copy of the certificate of exemption.

(e) Exempt importers shall be eligible for reimbursement of assessments collected by Customs.

(1) Importers exempt under paragraph (a) of this section must apply to the Board for reimbursement of any assessment paid. No interest will be paid on the assessment collected by Customs. Requests for reimbursement must be submitted to the Board within 90 days of the last day of the calendar year the honey or honey products were imported.

(2) If Customs collects the assessment on exempt product under paragraph (b) of this section 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.

(f) If a person has been exempt from paying assessments for any calendar year under this section and no longer meets the requirements for an exemption, the person shall file a report with the Board in the form and manner prescribed by the Board and begin to pay the assessment on all honey or honey products handled or imported.

(g) Any person who desires an exemption from assessments for a subsequent calendar year shall reapply to the Board for a certificate of exemption.

(h) The Board may recommend to the Secretary that honey and honey products exported from the United States be exempt from this subpart and recommend procedures for refunding assessments paid on exported honey and honey products and any necessary safeguards to prevent improper use of this exemption.

[73 FR 11472, Mar. 3, 2008, as amended at 80 FR 22366, Apr. 22, 2015; 80 FR 82027, Dec. 31, 2015]

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§1212.54   Operating reserve.

The Board may establish an operating monetary reserve and may carry over to subsequent fiscal periods excess funds in any reserve so established: Provided that the funds in the reserve do not exceed one fiscal period's budget. Subject to approval by the Department, such reserve funds may be used to defray any expenses authorized under this part.

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§1212.55   Prohibition on use of funds.

(a) The Board may not engage in, and shall prohibit the employees and agents of the Board from engaging in:

(1) Any action that is a conflict of interest;

(2) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, using funds collected by the Board under the Order to undertake any action for the purpose of influencing legislation or governmental action or policy, by local, state, national, and foreign governments, other than recommending to the Secretary amendments to the Order.

(3) A program, plan or project conducted pursuant to this subpart that includes false or misleading claims on behalf of honey or honey products.

(4) Any advertising, including promotion, research and information activities authorized that may be false or misleading or disparaging to another agricultural commodity.

(b) The prohibition in paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall not apply:

(1) To the development and recommendation of amendments to this subpart; or

(2) To the communication to appropriate government officials, in response to a request made by the officials, of information relating to the conduct, implementation, or results of promotion, research, consumer information, education, industry information, or producer information activities authorized under this subpart.

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Promotion, Research, and Information

§1212.60   Programs, plans and projects.

(a) Scope of activities. The Board must develop and submit to the Secretary for approval plans and programs authorized by this section. The plans and programs may provide for:

(1) Establishing, issuing, and administering appropriate programs for promotion, research, and information including consumer and industry information, and advertising designed to strengthen the honey industry's position in the marketplace and to maintain, develop, and expand domestic and foreign markets for honey and honey products;

(2) Establishing and conducting research and development activities to encourage and expand the acquisition of knowledge about honey and honey products, their consumption and use, or to encourage, expand or improve the quality, marketing, and utilization of honey and honey products;

(3) Conducting activities that may lead to developing new markets or marketing strategies for honey and honey products;

(4) Conducting activities related to production issues or bee research activities; and

(5) Conducting activities designed to make the honey industry more efficient, to improve the quality of honey or to enhance the image of honey and honey products and the honey industry.

(b) No program, plan, or project shall be implemented prior to its approval by the Department. Once a program, plan, or project is so approved, the Board shall take appropriate steps to implement it.

(c) The Board must periodically evaluate each plan and program authorized under this part to ensure that it contributes to an effective and coordinated program of research, promotion and information. The Board must submit the evaluations to the Secretary. If the Board and the Secretary find that a plan or program does not further the purposes of the Act, then such plan or program should be terminated.

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§1212.61   Independent evaluation.

The Board must authorize and fund not less than once every five years an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of this subpart and the plans and programs conducted by the Board under the Act. The Board must submit this independent evaluation to the Secretary and make the results available to the public.

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§1212.62   Patents, copyrights, inventions, product formulations, and publications.

Except for a reasonable royalty paid by the Board to the inventor of a patented invention, any patents, copyrights, inventions, product formulations, or publications developed through the use of funds collected under the provisions of this subpart shall be the property of the U.S. Government, as represented by the Board, and shall along with any rents, royalties, residual payments, or other income from the rental, sales, leasing, franchising, or other uses of such patents, copyrights, trademarks, information, publications, or product formulations, inure to the benefit of the Board; shall be considered income subject to the same fiscal, budget, and audit controls as other funds of the Board; and may be licensed subject to approval by the Department. Upon termination of this Order, §1212.83 shall apply to determine disposition of all such property.

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Reports, Books, and Records

§1212.70   Reports.

(a) Each first handler or importer subject to this part must report to the Board, at the time and in the manner it prescribes, and subject to the approval of the Secretary, the information the Board deems necessary to perform its duties.

(b) First handlers must report:

(1) The total quantity of honey and honey products acquired during the reporting period;

(2) The total quantity of honey and honey products handled during the period;

(3) The quantity of honey processed for sale from the first handler's own production;

(4) The quantity of honey and honey products purchased from a first handler or importer responsible for paying the assessment due pursuant to this Order;

(5) The date that assessment payments were made on honey and honey products handled; and

(6) The first handler's tax identification number.

(c) Unless provided by Customs, importers must report:

(1) The total quantity of honey and honey products imported during the reporting period;

(2) A record of each lot of honey or honey products imported during such period, including the quantity, date, country of origin, and port of entry; and

(3) The importer of record's tax identification number.

(d) The Board may request any other information from first handlers and importers that it deems necessary to perform its duties under this subpart, subject to the approval of the Secretary.

(e) The Board, with the Secretary's approval, may request that persons claiming an exemption from assessments under §1212.52(b) or (d) must provide it with any information it deems necessary about the exemption, including, without limitation, the disposition of exempted honey or honey products.

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§1212.71   Book and records.

Each first handler and importer, including those who are exempt under this subpart, must maintain any books and records necessary to carry out the provisions of this part, and any regulations issued under this part, including the books and records necessary to verify any required reports. Books and records must be made available during normal business hours for inspection by the Board's or Secretary's employees or agents. A first handler or importer must maintain the books and records for three years beyond the fiscal period to which they apply.

[80 FR 22366, Apr. 22, 2015]

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§1212.72   Confidential treatment.

All information obtained from books, records, or reports under the Act and this part shall be kept confidential by all persons, including all employees and former employees of the Board, all officers and employees and former officers and employees of contracting and subcontracting agencies or agreeing parties having access to such information. Such information shall not be available to Board members, first handlers, or importers. Only those persons having a specific need for such information to effectively administer the provisions of this subpart shall have access to such information. Only such information so obtained as the Secretary deems relevant shall be disclosed by them, and then only in a judicial proceeding 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 subpart. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit:

(a) The issuance of general statements based upon the reports of the number of persons subject to this subpart or statistical data collected thereof, which statements do not identify the information furnished by any person; and

(b) The publication, by direction of the Secretary, of the name of any person who has been adjudged to have violated this part, together with a statement of the particular provisions of this part violated by such person.

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Miscellaneous

§1212.80   Right of the Secretary.

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

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§1212.81   Referenda.

(a) After the initial referendum, the Secretary shall conduct subsequent referenda;

(1) Every seven years, to determine whether first handlers and importers of honey or honey products favor the continuation, suspension, or termination of the Order. The Order shall continue if it is favored by a majority of first handlers and importers voting in the referendum and a majority of volume voting in the referendum who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the handling or importation of honey or honey products;

(2) At the request of the Board established in this Order;

(3) At the request of ten (10) percent or more of the number of persons eligible to vote under the Order; or

(4) Whenever the Department deems that a referendum is necessary.

(b) Approval of order. Approval in a referendum shall be established by a majority of eligible persons voting in the referendum and a majority of volume voting in the referendum who are first handlers or importers during the representative period by those voting as established by the Secretary.

(c) Manner of conducting referenda. A referendum conducted under this section shall be conducted in the manner determined by the Secretary to be appropriate.

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§1212.82   Suspension or termination.

The Secretary shall suspend or terminate the operation of this part or subpart or any provision thereof, if the Secretary finds that this part or subpart or the provision obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

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§1212.83   Proceedings after termination.

(a) If this subpart terminates, the Board shall recommend to the Secretary up to five of its members to serve as trustees for the purpose of liquidating the Board's affairs. Such persons, upon designation by the Secretary, will become trustees of any funds and property the Board possesses or controls at that time and any existing claims it has, including, without limitation, claims for any unpaid or undelivered funds or property.

(b) The trustees will:

(1) Serve until discharged by the Secretary;

(2) Carry out the Board's obligations under any contracts or agreements entered into pursuant to the Order;

(3) Account from time to time for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all the Board's and trustees' books and records to any person the Secretary directs; and

(4) Execute at the Secretary's direction any assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in any person full title and right to all of the funds, property, and claims owned by the Board or the trustees under this subpart.

(c) Any person to whom funds, property, or claims have been transferred or delivered pursuant to the Order will be subject to the same obligations imposed upon Board and the trustees.

(d) Any residual funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be turned over to the Department to be disposed of, to the extent practical, to one or more honey industry organizations in the interest of continuing honey promotion, research, and information programs.

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§1212.84   Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, terminating or amending this subpart or any regulation issued under it will not:

(a) Affect or waive any right, duty, obligation, or liability that arose or may arise in connection with any provision of this part;

(b) Release or extinguish any violation of this part; or

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

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§1212.85   Personal liability.

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

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§1212.86   Separability.

If any provision of this subpart is declared invalid or the applicability of it to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this subpart, or the applicability of it to other persons or circumstances will not be affected.

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§1212.87   Amendments.

Amendments to this Order may be proposed from time to time by the Board or any interested person affected by the provisions of the Act, including the Department.

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§1212.88   OMB control number.

The control number assigned to the information collection requirements in this part by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, is OMB control number 0505-0001, and OMB control number 0581-[NEW, to be assigned by OMB].

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