(a) In general
An order issued by the Secretary under section 6203(a) of this title shall contain the terms and conditions described in this section and, except as provided in section 6205 of this title, no other terms or conditions.
(b) Lime Board
Such order shall provide for the establishment of a Lime Board as follows:
The Board shall be composed of—
(A) 3 members who are producers and who are not exempt from an assessment under subsection (d)(5)(A);
(B) 3 members who are importers and who are not exempt from an assessment under subsection (d)(5)(A); and
(C) one member appointed from the general public.
(2) Appointment and nomination (A) Appointment
The Secretary shall appoint the members of the Board.
The 3 members who are producers shall be appointed from individuals nominated by lime producers.
The 3 members who are importers shall be appointed from individuals nominated by lime importers.
The public representative shall be appointed from nominations of the Board.
(E) Failure to nominate
If producers and importers fail to nominate individuals for appointment, the Secretary may appoint members on a basis provided for in the order. If the Board fails to nominate a public representative, such member may be appointed by the Secretary without a nomination.
(F) Initial Board
The Secretary shall establish an initial Board from among nominations solicited by the Secretary. For the purpose of obtaining nominations for the members of the initial Board described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall perform the functions of the Board under this subsection as the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate. The Secretary shall terminate the initial Board established under this subsection as soon as practicable after December 14, 1993.
(G) Board allocation
The producer and importer representation on the Board shall be allocated on the basis of 2 producer members and 1 importer member from the district east of the Mississippi River and 1 producer member and 2 importer members from the district west of the Mississippi River.
The Secretary shall appoint an alternate for each member of the Board. An alternate shall—
(A) be appointed in the same manner as the member for whom such individual is an alternate; and
(B) serve on the Board if such member is absent from a meeting or is disqualified under paragraph (5).
The initial members of the Board appointed under the amended order shall serve a term of 30 months. Subsequent appointments to the Board shall be for a term of 3 years, except that—
(A) 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 1 year;
(B) 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 2 years; and
(C) 3 members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years;
as designated by the Secretary at the time of appointment.
If a member or alternate of the Board who was appointed as a producer, importer, or public representative ceases to belong to the group for which such member was appointed, such member or alternate shall be disqualified from serving on the Board.
Members and alternates of the Board shall serve without pay.
(7) Travel expenses
While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of duties for the Board, members and alternates shall be allowed travel expenses, including a per diem allowance in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in Government service are allowed travel expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
(8) Powers and duties
The Board shall—
(A) administer orders issued by the Secretary under section 6203(a) of this title, and amendments to such orders, in accordance with their terms and provisions and consistent with this chapter;
(B) prescribe rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of such orders;
(C) receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary accounts of violations of such orders;
(D) make recommendations to the Secretary with respect to amendments that should be made to such orders; and
(E) employ a manager and staff.
(c) Budgets and plans
Such order shall provide for periodic budgets and plans as follows:
The Board shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a budget (on a fiscal period basis determined by the Secretary) of the anticipated expenses and disbursements of the Board in the administration of the order, including probable costs of research, promotion, and consumer information. A budget shall take effect on the approval of the Secretary.
Each budget shall include a plan for research, promotion, and consumer information regarding limes. A plan under this paragraph shall take effect on the approval of the Secretary. The Board may enter into contracts and agreements, with the approval of the Secretary, for—
(A) the development and carrying out of such plan; and
(B) the payment of the cost of such plan with funds collected pursuant to this chapter.
Such order shall provide for the imposition and collection of assessments with regard to the production and importation of limes as follows:
The assessment rate shall not exceed $.01 per pound of limes.
(2) Collection by first handlers
Except as provided in paragraph (4), the first handler of limes shall—
(A) be responsible for the collection from the producer, and payment to the Board, of assessments under this subsection; and
(B) maintain a separate record of the limes of each producer whose limes are so handled, including the limes owned by the handler.
For purposes of paragraph (2), a producer-handler shall be considered the first handler of limes produced by such producer-handler.
The assessment on imported limes shall be paid by the importer at the time of entry into the United States and shall be remitted to the Board.
(5) De minimis exception
The following persons are exempt from an assessment under this subsection—
(A) a producer who produces less than 200,000 pounds of limes per year;
(B) a producer-handler who produces and handles less than 200,000 pounds of limes per year; and
(C) an importer who imports less than 200,000 pounds of limes per year.
(6) Claiming an exemption
To claim an exemption under paragraph (5) for a particular year, a person shall submit an application to the Board—
(A) stating the basis for such exemption; and
(B) certifying that such person will not exceed the limitation required for such exemption in such year.
(e) Use of assessments (1) In general
Such order shall provide that funds paid to the Board as assessments under subsection (d)—
(A) may be used by the Board to—
(i) pay for research, promotion, and consumer information described in the budget of the Board under subsection (c) and for other expenses incurred by the Board in the administration of an order;
(ii) pay such other expenses for the administration, maintenance, and functioning of the Board as may be authorized by the Secretary; and
(iii) fund a reserve established under section 6205(4) of this title; and
(B) shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Secretary, including salaries and expenses of Government employees in implementing and administering the order, except as provided in paragraph (2).
Such order shall provide that the Board shall reimburse the Secretary, from assessments collected under subsection (d), for any expenses incurred by the Secretary in conducting referenda under this chapter, except for the salaries of Government employees.
(f) False claims
Such order shall provide that any promotion funded with assessments collected under subsection (d) may not make—
(1) any false or unwarranted claims on behalf of limes; and
(2) any false or unwarranted statements with respect to the attributes or use of any product that competes with limes for sale in commerce.
(g) Prohibition on use of funds
Such order shall provide that funds collected by the Board under this chapter through assessments authorized by this chapter may not, in any manner, be used for the purpose of influencing legislation or governmental policy or action, except for making recommendations to the Secretary as provided for in this chapter.
(h) Books, records, and reports (1) By the Board
Such order shall require the Board—
(A) to maintain books and records with respect to the receipt and disbursement of funds received by the Board;
(B) to submit to the Secretary from time to time such reports as the Secretary may require for appropriate accounting; and
(C) to submit to the Secretary at the end of each fiscal year a complete audit report regarding the activities of the Board during such fiscal year.
(2) By others
So that information and data will be available to the Board and the Secretary that is appropriate or necessary for the effectuation, administration, or enforcement of this chapter (or any order or regulation issued under this chapter), such order shall require handlers, producer-handlers, and importers who are responsible for the collection, payment, or remittance of assessments under subsection (d)—
(A) to maintain and make available for inspection by the employees of the Board and the Secretary such books and records as may be required by the order; and
(B) to file, at the times, in the manner, and having the content prescribed by the order, reports regarding the collection, payment, or remittance of such assessments.
(i) Confidentiality (1) In general
Such order shall require that all information obtained pursuant to subsection (h)(2) shall be kept confidential by all officers and employees of the Department and of the Board. Only such information as the Secretary considers relevant shall be disclosed to the public and only in a suit or administrative hearing, brought at the request of the Secretary or to which the Secretary or any officer of the United States is a party, involving the order with respect to which the information was furnished or acquired.
Nothing in this subsection prohibits—
(A) issuance of general statements based on the reports of a number of handlers, producer-handlers, and importers subject to an order, if the statements do not identify the information furnished by any person; or
(B) the publication by direction of the Secretary, of the name of any person violating an order issued under section 6203(a) of this title, together with a statement of the particular provisions of the order violated by such person.
(j) Withholding information
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the withholding of information from Congress.
AMENDMENTS 1993—Subsec. (b)(1)(A), (2)(B). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(a)(1), (2), substituted "3" for "7". Subsec. (b)(2)(F). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(a)(3), inserted at end "The Secretary shall terminate the initial Board established under this subsection as soon as practicable after December 14, 1993." Subsec. (b)(2)(G). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(a)(4), added subpar. (G). Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(b)(1), substituted "The initial members of the Board appointed under the amended order shall serve a term of 30 months. Subsequent appointments to the Board shall be for a term of 3 years, except that—" for "Members of the Board shall be appointed for a term of 3 years. Of the members first appointed—". Subsec. (b)(4)(A). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(b)(2), substituted "2" for "3". Subsec. (b)(4)(B). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(b)(3), substituted "2" for "4" before "members". Subsec. (b)(4)(C). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(b)(4), substituted "3" for "4" before "members". Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 103–194, §4(c), substituted "200,000" for "35,000", wherever appearing. 1991—Subsec. (e)(1)(B). Pub. L. 102–237 substituted "Government employees" for "government employees".
7 U.S.C. § 6204 (2018)