Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/29/1976--Conference report filed in House.
(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 94-1722) United States Grain Standards Act - Declares the policy of the Congress to:
(1) provide for the establishment of official United States standards for grain;
(2) promote the uniform application of such standards by official inspection personnel;
(3) provide for an official inspection system for grain and to regulate the weighing; and
(4) provide for the certification of the weight of grain shipped in interstate or foreign commerce; with the objectives that grain may be marketed in an orderly manner and that trading of grain be facilitated.
Defines terms for purposes of this Act. Establishes within the Department of Agriculture the Federal Grain Inspection Service. States that the Administrator of such Service shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall be responsible for the administration of this Act. Authorizes the Administrator to establish:
(1) standards of kind, class, quality, and condition of specified grains; and
(2) standards for accurate weighing and certification procedures of grain shipped in interstate and foreign commerce and procedures for the supervision of the weighing of such grains.
Forbids the shipment of grain from the United States to any other place unless such lot is officially inspected (unless otherwise agreed in the export sales contract) in accordance with established standards on the basis of official samples (taken after final elevation or while in the final export carrier) and unless a valid official certificate showing the official grade designation and certified weight of the lot of grain has been provided by an official inspection.
Allows the Administrator to waive such requirement where it would not impair objectives of this Act. Requires all official weighing and inspection to be supervised by representatives of the Service. Forbids the knowing description of any grain shipped outside the United States by any official grade designation or description which is false or misleading.
Includes in the regulations provided by the Administrator provisions for:
(1) reinspections and appeal inspections;
(2) cancellation and surrender of certificates superseded by reinspections and appeal inspections; and
(3) the use of standard forms for official certificates.
Requires such inspections to be performed by official inspection personnel employed by the Federal Grain Inspection Service. Authorizes the Administrator to provide for the inspection of grain loaded at any interior point in the United States on a carrier from which such grain is to be transported outside the United States. Authorizes the Administrator to permit Service personnel to perform such inspections or to enter into contracts therefor with any State or person for the conduct of all or specified functions involved in an official inspection (except appeal inspections).
Limits the State agencies to which delegations of authority may be made to those agencies conducting inspections as of July 1, 1976.
Provides for the inspection of American grain in Canadian ports.
Requires the Administrator to cause official weighing to be made of all grain required to be officially weighed.
Directs the Administrator to cause all official weighing at export elevators and major inland terminal elevators to be performed by official personnel of the Service, except that the Administrator may agree with a State for such weighing.
Provides for the weighing of American grain in Canadian ports.
Provides that official weight certificates shall be received by officers and courts of the Untied States as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
Requires that the representatives of the Administrator be afforded access to grain elevators, warehouses, and all the facilities therein for weighing grain.
Requires the Administrator to provide for the testing of all equipment used in the inspection, grading, and weighing of grain located at all elevators, warehouses, and other grain storage and handling facilities at which official inspection or weighing is required.
Authorizes the Administrator to issue licenses to individuals employed by an official inspection or weighing contractor, an employee of a State with which an agreement is in effect under this Act, or as an employee of the Service for the weighing and supervision of the inspection of grain.
Forbids any person from performing any official inspection or weighing functions unless such individual holds a valid license or authorization from the Administrator under this Act. States that all such licenses shall terminate triennially and shall be suspended automatically when the licensee ceases to be employed by the Service or under an official inspection contract or agreement under this Act. Provides for the rotation of supervisory and official personnel of the Service for the purpose of preserving the integrity of the inspection and weighing system.
Authorizes the Administrator to develop and effectuate uniform standards for the recruiting, training, and supervising of official personnel and work production standards for such personnel, which shall be applicable to the Service, and all official contractors and all persons licensed or authorized to perform official functions under this Act. Provides for the suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of any license or authorization issued under this Act based on specified misconduct.
Allows the Administrator to refuse to provide official inspection or weighing under this Act with respect to grain if the person has violated any of the prohibited acts enumerated in this Act or has been convicted of any violation involving the handling, weighing, or inspection of grain.
Provides for a civil penalty not to exceed $75,000 for each violation of any prohibited conduct under this Act. Allows the Administrator to temporarily refuse to provide official inspection or weighing without a hearing whenever there is reason to believe there is a cause for such refusal.
Requires a hearing within seven days after such refusal.
Prohibits any person licensed, authorized, or employed by the Administrator to perform any functions under this Act from being financially interested in, employed by, or accepting gratuities from, any business entity owning or oprating any grain elevators or warehouse or engaged in the merchandising of grain.
Requires that users of services under the United States Grain Standards Act keep detailed records of all grain purchases, sales, transportation, storage, treating, cleaning, drying, blending and other processing, and of their grain inspection.
Extends recordkeeping and access requirements under such Act to users of official weighing services.
Enumerates the acts prohibited under this Act. Increases the maximum penalties for violations.
Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to require as a condition for official inspection services that interested persons have the opportunity to observe weighing, loading, and official inspection.
Prohibits State or local government restrictions upon the performance of official inspection or official weighing under such Act. Authorizes to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. Requires the registration of all persons engaged in the business of buying grain for sale in foreign commerce, and in the business of handling, weighing, or transporting of such grain for sale.
Requires the Administrator, one year from the enactment of this Act, to report to the appropriate Congressional committees on the actions taken in implementing the provisions of this Act. Requires specified other reports to be submitted to such Congressional committees.
Authorizes the Administrator to negotiate with persons presently licensed or designated to perform official functions under the United States Grain Standards Act, for the purchase or lease of facilities or equipment as necessary for the conduct of official inspection, notwithstanding other Federal procurement statutes.
Directs the Administrator to conduct an investigation and make a study regarding the adequacy of the current grain standards established under the United States Grain Standards Act.