United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 21, 2020
An order shall contain the terms and provisions specified in this section.
The order shall provide for the establishment of a Hass Avocado Board, consisting of 12 members, to administer the order.
The order shall provide that members of the Board shall be appointed by the Secretary from nominations submitted as provided in this subsection.
The Board shall consist of participating domestic producers and importers.
In this subsection, the term “importer” means a person who is involved in, as a substantial activity, the importation, sale, and marketing of Hass avocados in the United States (either directly or as an agent, broker, or consignee of any person or nation that produces or handles Hass avocados outside the United States for sale in the United States), and who is subject to assessments under the order.
Three years after the assessment of Hass avocados commences pursuant to an order, and at the end of each 3-year period thereafter, the Avocado Board shall adjust the proportion of producer representatives to importer representatives on the Board under subparagraph (A)(iii) on the basis of the amount of assessments collected from producers and importers over the immediately preceding 3-year period. Any adjustment under this subparagraph shall be subject to the review and approval of the Secretary.
The order shall provide for the selection of alternate members of the Board by the Secretary in accordance with procedures specified in the order.
The order shall provide that if a member or alternate of the Board who was appointed as a domestic producer or importer ceases to belong to the group for which such member was appointed, such member or alternate shall be disqualified from serving on the Board.
A vacancy arising as a result of disqualification or any other reason before the expiration of the term of office of an incumbent member or alternate of the Board shall be filled in a manner provided in the order.
The order shall provide that members and alternates of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for the reasonable expenses incurred in performing duties as members or alternates of the Board.
The order shall require the Board to submit to the Secretary for approval budgets, on a fiscal year basis, of the anticipated expenses and disbursements of the Board in the implementation of the order, including the projected costs of Hass avocado promotion, industry information, consumer information, and related research plans and projects.
The order shall provide for the establishment, implementation, administration, and evaluation of appropriate plans and projects that will lead to the development of new markets, maintain and expand existing markets, lead to the development of new marketing strategies, or increase the efficiency of the Hass avocado industry, and activities to enhance the image of the Hass avocado industry, and for the disbursement of necessary funds for the purposes described in this subparagraph.
The order shall provide that the Board shall submit to the Secretary for approval a proposed plan or project for Hass avocados promotion, industry information, consumer information, or related research, as described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C).
A budget, plan, or project for Hass avocados promotion, industry information, consumer information, or related research may not be implemented prior to approval of the budget, plan, or project by the Secretary. Not later than 45 days after receipt of such a budget, plan, or project, the Secretary shall notify the Board whether the Secretary approves or disapproves the budget, plan, or project. If the Secretary fails to provide such notice before the end of the 45-day period, the budget, plan, or project shall be deemed to be approved and may be implemented by the Board.
To ensure the efficient use of funds, the order shall provide that the Board, with the approval of the Secretary, shall enter into a contract or an agreement with an avocado organization established by State statute in a State with the majority of Hass avocado production in the United States, for the implementation of a plan or project for promotion, industry information, consumer information, or related research with respect to Hass avocados, and for the payment of the cost of the contract or agreement with funds received by the Board under the order.
The order shall provide that the Board, with the approval of the Secretary, may enter into a contract or agreement for administrative services. Any contract or agreement entered into under this paragraph shall include provisions comparable to the provisions described in paragraph (1)(B).
The Board shall cause the books and records of the Board to be audited by an independent auditor at the end of each fiscal year. A report of each audit shall be submitted to the Secretary.
The Board shall use, to the extent possible, the resources, staffs, and facilities of existing organizations, as provided in subsection (e)(1)(A).
The order shall provide that each first handler shall remit to the Board, in the manner provided in the order, an assessment collected from the producer, except to the extent that the sale is excluded from assessments under paragraph (6). In the case of imports, the assessment shall be levied upon imports and remitted to the Board by Customs.
To facilitate the payment of assessments under this paragraph, the Board shall publish lists of first handlers required to remit assessments under the order and exempt handlers.
The order shall contain provisions regarding the determination of the status of a person as a first handler or exempt handler.
For purposes of paragraph (3), a producer-handler shall be considered the first handler of those Hass avocados that are produced by that producer-handler and packed by that producer-handler for sale at wholesale or retail.
The assessment on imported Hass avocados shall be paid by the importer to Customs at the time of entry into the United States and shall be remitted by Customs to the Board. Importation occurs when Hass avocados originating outside the United States are released from custody of Customs and introduced into the stream of commerce within the United States. Importers include persons who hold title to foreign-produced Hass avocados immediately upon release by Customs, as well as any persons who act on behalf of others, as agents, brokers, or consignees, to secure the release of Hass avocados from Customs and the introduction of the released Hass avocados into the current of commerce.
The rate of assessment on Hass avocados shall be $.025 per pound on fresh avocados or the equivalent rate for processed avocados on which an assessment has not been paid.
Once the order in is effect, the uniform assessment rate may be increased or decreased not more than once annually, but in no event shall the rate of assessment be in excess of $.05 per pound.
Except as provided in paragraph (1)(C)(iii), the first handler of Hass avocados shall be responsible for the collection of assessments from the producer under this subsection. As part of the collection of assessments, the first handler shall maintain a separate record of the Hass avocados of each producer whose Hass avocados are so handled, including the Hass avocados produced by the first handler.
The order shall provide that each person required to remit assessments under this subsection shall remit to the Board the assessment due from each sale of Hass avocados that is subject to an assessment within such time period after the sale (not to exceed 60 days after the end of the month in which the sale took place) as is specified in the order.
An order shall exclude from assessments under the order any sale of Hass avocados for export from the United States.
The order shall provide that assessment funds shall be used for payment of costs incurred in implementing and administering the order, with provision for a reasonable reserve, and to cover the administrative costs incurred by the Secretary in implementing and administering this chapter, including any expenses incurred by the Secretary in conducting referenda under this chapter, subject to subsection (i).
The order shall provide that a State organization of avocado producers established pursuant to State law shall receive an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying the aggregate amount of assessments attributable to the pounds of Hass avocados produced in such State by 85 percent. The State organization shall use such funds and any proceeds from the investment of such funds for financing domestic promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information plans and projects, except that no such funds shall be used for the administrative expenses of such State organization.
An importers association described in subparagraph (A) shall receive 85 percent of the assessments paid on Hass avocados imported by the members of such association.
Importers associations described in subparagraph (A) shall use the funds described in subparagraph (B) and proceeds from the investment of such funds for financing promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information plans and projects in the United States.
No funds described in subparagraph (C) shall be used for the administrative expenses of such importers association.
Paragraph (1) does not preclude the Board from offering its programs and projects for use by commercial parties, under such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe as approved by the Secretary. For the purposes of this subsection, a reference to State of origin does not constitute a reference to a private brand name with regard to any funds credited to, or disbursed by the Board to, a State organization of avocado producers established pursuant to State law. Furthermore, for the purposes of this section, a reference to either State of origin or country of origin does not constitute a reference to a private brand name with regard to any funds credited to, or disbursed by the Board to, any importers association established or certified in accordance with subsection (h)(9)(A).
Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), the order shall prohibit any funds collected by the Board under the order from being used in any manner for the purpose of influencing legislation or government action or policy.
Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the development or recommendation of amendments to the order.
The Board may not engage in, and shall prohibit the employees and agents of the Board from engaging in, any action that would be a conflict of interest.
The order shall provide that each first handler, producer, and importer subject to the order shall maintain, and make available for inspection, such books and records as are required by the order and file reports at the time, in the manner, and having the content required by the order, to the end that such information is made available to the Secretary and the Board as is appropriate for the administration or enforcement of this chapter, the order, or any regulation issued under this chapter.
Information obtained from books, records, or reports under paragraph (1) shall be kept confidential by all officers and employees of the Department of Agriculture and by the staff and agents of the Board.
The order shall provide that the staff of the Board shall periodically review lists of importers of Hass avocados to determine whether persons on the lists are subject to the order.
On the request of the Secretary or the Board, the Commissioner of the United States Customs Service shall provide to the Secretary or the Board lists of importers of Hass avocados.
The order shall provide that the Board may seek advice from and consult with experts from the production, import, wholesale, and retail segments of the Hass avocado industry to assist in the development of promotion, industry information, consumer information, and related research plans and projects.
For the purposes described in paragraph (1), the order shall authorize the appointment of special committees composed of persons other than Board members.
A committee appointed under subparagraph (A) shall consult directly with the Board.
The order shall contain such other terms and provisions, consistent with this chapter, as are necessary to carry out this chapter (including provision for the assessment of interest and a charge for each late payment of assessments under subsection (h)).