USDA Seeks Comments on Exceptions to Geographic Boundaries for Grain Inspections
On April 1, 2020 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to seek comments on updating the criteria for requests for exceptions to geographic boundaries in grain inspections known as “nonuse of service” exceptions. Under this exception, a customer who had not obtained an inspection from the designated official inspection agency (OA) in that customer’s geographic region for a specified amount of time could obtain services from another OA. At the time that the exception was in use, there was a lack of clarity about the specified amount of time necessary to receive the exception. The exception was discontinued in 2015; however the 2018 Farm Bill reinstated it and tasked AMS with regulating it. AMS is now seeking comments into the development of criteria that could be used to implement this, and other exceptions under the United States Grain Standards Act. Comments are due by May 1, 2020.