"The reforms made to GIPSA's operations as part of the Reauthorisation Act are designed to restore much-needed continuity, predictability and ongoing improvement of the important official inspection and weighing services provided by GIPSA's Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS)," said NGFA President Randy Gordon and NAEGA President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Martin.
With some notable exceptions, NGFA and NAEGA generally supported the proposed changes. However, the grain groups urged the following significant changes to the GIPSA proposal:
- Modify the proposed definition of "emergency" in the rulemaking to recognise that the law requires USDA to issue waivers from official inspection and weighing certificates under circumstances other than emergencies, provided the buyer and seller agree and the waiver does not impair the objectives of the USGSA. Further, the groups objected to GIPSA's proposal to limit the definition of "emergency" to "conditions outside the control" of GIPSA or its delegated state agencies - a potentially giant loophole that Congress did not authorise in the law;
- Reduce official inspection and weighing fees charged at both domestic and export facilities, since the quantity of funds in FGIS's operating reserve currently exceeds reasonable levels; and
- Add new language to require that facilities operating at export port locations be notified at the same time as the secretary of agriculture if a delegated state agency utilises the new USGSA provision to provide 72 hours' advance notice to USDA that it intends to discontinue providing official inspection service.
View the NGFA and NAEGA's full comments HERE and the letter supporting the comments from the affiliates and national agribusiness groups HERE.
Visit the NGFA site HERE.
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