7 U.S. Code §7416. Assessments

Section Text

(a) Assessments authorized

While an order issued under this subchapter is in effect with respect to an agricultural commodity, assessments shall be—

(1) paid by first handlers with respect to the agricultural commodity produced and marketed in the United States; and

(2) paid by importers with respect to the agricultural commodity imported into the United States, if the imported agricultural commodity is covered by the order pursuant to section 7415(f) of this title.

(b) Collection

Assessments required under an order shall be remitted to the board established under the order at the time and in the manner prescribed by the order.

(c) Limitation on assessments

Not more than 1 assessment may be levied on a first handler or importer under subsection (a) with respect to any agricultural commodity.

(d) Assessment rates

The board shall recommend to the Secretary 1 or more rates of assessment to be levied under subsection (a). If approved by the Secretary, the rates shall take effect. An order may provide that an assessment rate may not be increased unless approved by a referendum conducted pursuant to section 7417 of this title.

(e) Late-payment and interest charges (1) In general

Late-payment and interest charges may be levied on each person subject to an order who fails to remit an assessment in accordance with subsection (b).

(2) Rate

The rate for the charges shall be specified by the Secretary.

(f) Investment of assessments

Pending disbursement of assessments under a budget approved by the Secretary, a board may invest assessments collected under this section in—

(1) obligations of the United States or any agency of the United States;

(2) general obligations of any State or any political subdivision of a State;

(3) interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit of financial institutions that are members of the Federal Reserve System; or

(4) obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States.

(g) Refund of assessments from escrow account (1) Escrow account

During the period beginning on the effective date of an order and ending on the date the Secretary announces the results of a referendum that is conducted under section 7417(b)(1) of this title with respect to the order, the board established under the order shall—

(A) establish and maintain an escrow account of the kind described in subsection (f)(3) to be used to refund assessments; and

(B) deposit funds in the account in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) Amount to be deposited

The board shall deposit in the account an amount equal to 10 percent of the assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (1).

(3) Right to receive refund

Subject to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), persons subject to an order shall be eligible to demand a refund of assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (1) if—

(A) the assessments were remitted on behalf of the person; and

(B) the order is not approved in the referendum.

(4) Form of demand

The demand for a refund shall be made at such time and in such form as specified by the order.

(5) Payment of refund

A person entitled to a refund shall be paid promptly after the board receives satisfactory proof that the assessment for which the refund is demanded was paid on behalf of the person who makes the demand.

(6) Proration

If the funds in the escrow account required by paragraph (1) are insufficient to pay the amount of all refunds that persons subject to an order otherwise would have a right to receive under this subsection, the board shall prorate the amount of the funds among all the persons.

(7) Closing of escrow account

If the order is approved in a referendum conducted under section 7417(b)(1) of this title—

(A) the escrow account shall be closed; and

(B) the funds shall be available to the board for disbursement as authorized in the order.


7 U.S.C. § 7416 (2018)