Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter except as provided in subsection (b), any egg producer against whose commercial eggs any assessment is made and collected from him under authority of this chapter and who is not in favor of supporting the programs as provided for herein shall have the right to demand and receive from the Egg Board a refund of such assessment: Provided, That such demand shall be made personally by such producer in accordance with regulations and on a form and within a time period prescribed by the Board and approved by the Secretary but in no event more than ninety days after the end of the month in which the assessments are due and collectable, and upon submission of proof satisfactory to the Board that the producer paid the assessment for which refund is sought, and any such refund shall be made within sixty days after demand is received therefor.
(b) Amendment of order to eliminate producer refund: effective date; refund referendum; escrow account; requirements for one-time refund; proration of refunds
(1) With regard to each order issued under this chapter that provides for a producer refund, the Secretary shall amend such order to eliminate such refund.
(2) Notwithstanding sections 2708 and 2710 of this title, an amendment made by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1)—
(A) shall take effect on the date that the Secretary issues the amendment; and
(B) shall not be subject to a referendum under section 2708 or 2709(b) of this title until the end of the 18-month period beginning on such effective date.
(3) During the period prior to the referendum of an amendment issued pursuant to paragraph (1) and beginning on the effective date of such amendment, the Egg Board shall—
(A) establish an escrow account to be used for assessment refunds; and
(B) place funds in such account in accordance with paragraph (4).
(4) The Egg Board shall place in such account, from assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (3), an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying the total amount of assessments collected during such period by 10 percent.
(5) Subject to paragraphs (6), (7), and (8), any producer shall have the right to demand and receive from the Egg Board a one-time refund of assessments collected from such producer during the period referred to in paragraph (3) if—
(A) such producer is responsible for paying such assessments;
(B) such producer does not support the program established under this chapter; and
(C) the amendment issued pursuant to paragraph (1) is not approved pursuant to a referendum under section 2708 or 2709(b) of this title.
(6) Such demand shall be made in accordance with regulations, on a form, and within a time period prescribed by the Egg Board.
(7) Such refund shall be made on submission of proof satisfactory to the Egg Board that such producer paid the assessment for which refund is demanded.
(8) If the amount in the escrow account required to be established by paragraph (3) is not sufficient to refund the total amount of assessments demanded by all eligible producers under this subsection and the amendment issued pursuant to paragraph (1) is not approved pursuant to a referendum under section 2708 or 2709(b) of this title, the Egg Board shall prorate the amount of such refunds among all eligible producers who demand such refund.
AMENDMENTS 1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–575 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted "except as provided in subsection (b) of this section", and added subsec. (b).
7 U.S.C. § 2712 (2018)