Request for an Extension of and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection, 61014-61015 [E6-17190]

Download as PDF 61014 Notices Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 200 Tuesday, October 17, 2006 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [TM–06–09] Request for an Extension of and Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. bajohnson on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection National Organic Program (NOP) Record Keeping Requirements. DATES: Comments received by December 18, 2006 will be considered. Additional Information or Comments: Contact Toni Strother, National Organic Program, Transportation and Marketing Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 4008–So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC, 20250, telephone (202) 720–3252, fax (202) 205–7808. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: National Organic Program. OMB Number: 0581–0191. Expiration Date of Approval: May 31, 2007. Type of Request: Extension and Revision of a currently approved information collection. Abstract: The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) mandates that the Secretary develop a NOP to accredit eligible State program’s governing State officials or private persons as certifying agents who would certify producers or handlers of VerDate Aug<31>2005 04:06 Oct 18, 2006 Jkt 211001 agricultural products that have been produced using organic methods as provided for in OFPA. This regulation: (1) Established national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products; (2) assures consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard; and (3) facilitates interstate commerce in fresh and processed food that is organically produced. Reporting and recordkeeping are essential to the integrity of the organic certification system. They create a paper trail that is a critical element in carrying out the mandate of OFPA and NOP. They serve the AMS mission, program objectives, and management needs by providing information on the efficiency and effectiveness of the program. The information affects decisions because it is the basis for evaluating compliance with OFPA and NOP, for administering the program, for management decisions and planning, and for establishing the cost of the program. It supports administrative and regulatory actions in response to noncompliance with OFPA and NOP. In general, the information collected is used by USDA, State program governing State officials, and certifying agents. It is created and submitted by State and foreign program officials, peer review panel members, accredited certifying agents, organic inspectors, certified organic producers and handlers, those seeking accreditation or certification, and parties interested in changing the National List. Additionally, it necessitates that all of these entities have procedures and space for recordkeeping. USDA. USDA is the accrediting authority. USDA accredits domestic and foreign certifying agents who certify domestic and foreign organic producers and handlers, using information from the agents documenting their business operations and program expertise. USDA also permits States to establish their own organic certification programs after the programs are approved by the Secretary, using information from the States documenting their ability to operate such programs and showing that such programs meet the requirements of OFPA and NOP. States. States may operate their own organic certification programs. State officials obtain the Secretary’s approval PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of their programs by submitting information to USDA documenting their ability to operate such programs and showing that such programs meet the requirements of OFPA and NOP. The Secretary will review a State organic program not less than once during each 5-year period following the date of the initial program approval. To date, two State organic certification programs have been approved by USDA. The initial burden for each State organic certification program is an average of 40 hours or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $1,280. State organic certification programs require reporting and recordkeeping burdens similar to those required by the NOP. The average annual burden for States are 55 hours or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $1,760. Certifying agents. Certifying agents are State, private, or foreign entities who are accredited by USDA to certify domestic and foreign producers and handlers as organic in accordance with OFPA and NOP. Each entity wanting to be an agent seeks accreditation from USDA, submitting information documenting its business operations and program expertise. Accredited agents determine if a producer or handler meets organic requirements, using detailed information from the operation documenting its specific practices and on-site inspection reports from organic inspectors. Initial estimates were based on 59 entities applying for accreditation (13 State certifiers, 36 private entities, 10 foreign entities). The initial burden for each State certifier was an average of 695 hours or if calculated at a rate of $27 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $18,765. The initial burden for each private or foreign entity was 700 hours or if calculated at a rate of $27 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $18,900. Currently, 95 certifying agents (16 State certifiers, 39 private entities, 40 foreign entities) have been accredited. The AMS anticipates receiving approximately, 3 new applications per year. Accredited certifying agents submit annual updates with an annual burden, for each certifying agent, of an average of 11 hours or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $352. Administrative costs for reporting, disclosure of information, and E:\FR\FM\17OCN1.SGM 17OCN1 bajohnson on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / Notices recordkeeping vary among certifying agents. Factors affecting costs include the number and size of clients, the categories of certification provided, and the type of systems maintained. When an entity applies for accreditation as a certifying agent, it must provide a copy of its procedures for complying with recordkeeping requirements (§ 205.504(b)(3)). Once certified, agents have to make their records available for inspection and copying by authorized representatives of the Secretary (§ 205.501(a)(9)). The USDA charges certifying agents for the time required to do these document reviews. Audits require less time when the documents are well organized and centrally located. Recordkeeping requirements for certifying agents are divided into three categories of records with varying retention periods: (1) Records created by certifying agents regarding applicants for certification and certified operations, maintain 10 years, consistent with OFPA’s requirement for maintaining all records concerning activities of certifying agents; (2) records obtained from applicants for certification and certified operations, maintain 5 years, the same as OFPA’s requirement for the retention of records by certified operations; and (3) records created or received by certifying agents regarding accreditation, maintain 5 years, consistent with OFPA’s requirement for renewal of agent’s accreditation (§ 205.5 10(b)). Organic inspectors. Inspectors, on behalf of certifying agents, conduct onsite inspections of certified operations and operations applying for certification. They determine whether or not certification should continue or be granted and report their findings to the certifying agent. Inspectors are the agents themselves, employees of the agents, or individual contractors. We estimate that about half are certifying agents or their employees and half are individual contractors. Individuals who apply for positions as inspectors submit to the agents information documenting their qualifications to conduct such inspections. Estimates: 293 inspectors (147 certifying agents and their employees, 146 individual contractors). The annual burden for each inspector is an average of 1 hour or if calculated at $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $32. Producers and handlers. Producers and handlers, domestic and foreign, apply to certifying agents for organic certification, submit detailed information documenting their specific practices, provide annual updates to continue their certification, and report VerDate Aug<31>2005 04:06 Oct 18, 2006 Jkt 211001 changes in their practices. Producers include farmers, livestock and poultry producers, and wild crop harvesters. Handlers include those who transport or transform food and include millers, bulk distributors, food manufacturers, processors, repackagers, or packers. Some handlers are part of a retail operation that processes organic products in a location other than the premises of the retail outlet. The OFPA requires certified operators to maintain their records for 5 years. We estimate: 19,400 total operators (14,253 certified and 5,147 exempt), including 17,150 producers (12,176 certified and 4,974 exempt) and 2,250 handlers (1,977 certified and 273 exempt). The annual recordkeeping burden for each certified operator is an average of 5 hours or if calculated at $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $160. Administrative costs for reporting and recordkeeping vary among certified operators. Factors affecting costs include the type and size of operation, and the type of systems maintained. Research studies have indicated that operations using product labels containing the term ‘‘organic’’ handle an average of 20 labels annually and that there are about 1,977 handlers with the term organic on their label. An estimate of the time needed to develop labels for products sold, labeled, or represented as ‘‘100 percent organic,’’ ‘‘organic,’’ ‘‘made with organic (specified ingredients),’’ or which use the term organic to modify an ingredient in the ingredients statement is included. Also included is the time spent deciding about use of the USDA seal, a State emblem, or the seal, logo, or other identifying marks of a private certifying agent (§§ 205.300–205.310). Because the labeling requirements are in addition to Food and Drug Administration and Food Safety and Inspection Service requirements, the burden measurement does not include the hours necessary to develop the entire label. For purposes of calculating the burden, it is estimated that each handler develops 20 labels annually. Estimates: 1,977 certified handlers. The annual burden for each certified handler is an average of 1 hour per product label times 20 product labels per handler or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $640. Interested parties. Any interested party may petition the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) for the purpose of having a substance evaluated for recommendation to the Secretary for inclusion on or deletion from the National List. Estimates: 25 interested parties may petition the NOSB. The annual burden for each interested party PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61015 is an average of 104 hours or if calculated at $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $3,328. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.74 hours per response. Respondents: Producers, handlers, certifying agents, inspectors and State, Local or Tribal governments and interested parties. Estimated Number of Respondents: 16,095. Estimated Number of Responses: 365,343. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 22.7. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 635,697. Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Mark A. Bradley, Associate Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program, USDA–AMS–TM–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 4008– S0., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250 or via the Internet at: Paperwork@usda.gov, or by fax at: (202) 205–7808. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address. Also, all comments to this notice will be available for viewing on the NOP homepage at https:// www.ams.usda.gov/nop. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501–6522. Dated: October 10, 2006. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. E6–17190 Filed 10–16–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P E:\FR\FM\17OCN1.SGM 17OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 17, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61014-61015]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-17190]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / 
Notices

[[Page 61014]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

[TM-06-09]


Request for an Extension of and Revision to a Currently Approved 
Information Collection

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing 
Service's intention to request approval from the Office of Management 
and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved 
information collection National Organic Program (NOP) Record Keeping 
Requirements.

DATES: Comments received by December 18, 2006 will be considered.
    Additional Information or Comments: Contact Toni Strother, National 
Organic Program, Transportation and Marketing Programs, Agricultural 
Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence 
Ave., SW., Room 4008-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC, 20250, 
telephone (202) 720-3252, fax (202) 205-7808.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: National Organic Program.
    OMB Number: 0581-0191.
    Expiration Date of Approval: May 31, 2007.
    Type of Request: Extension and Revision of a currently approved 
information collection.
    Abstract: The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) mandates that the Secretary develop a 
NOP to accredit eligible State program's governing State officials or 
private persons as certifying agents who would certify producers or 
handlers of agricultural products that have been produced using organic 
methods as provided for in OFPA. This regulation: (1) Established 
national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural 
products as organically produced products; (2) assures consumers that 
organically produced products meet a consistent standard; and (3) 
facilitates interstate commerce in fresh and processed food that is 
organically produced.
    Reporting and recordkeeping are essential to the integrity of the 
organic certification system. They create a paper trail that is a 
critical element in carrying out the mandate of OFPA and NOP. They 
serve the AMS mission, program objectives, and management needs by 
providing information on the efficiency and effectiveness of the 
program. The information affects decisions because it is the basis for 
evaluating compliance with OFPA and NOP, for administering the program, 
for management decisions and planning, and for establishing the cost of 
the program. It supports administrative and regulatory actions in 
response to noncompliance with OFPA and NOP.
    In general, the information collected is used by USDA, State 
program governing State officials, and certifying agents. It is created 
and submitted by State and foreign program officials, peer review panel 
members, accredited certifying agents, organic inspectors, certified 
organic producers and handlers, those seeking accreditation or 
certification, and parties interested in changing the National List. 
Additionally, it necessitates that all of these entities have 
procedures and space for recordkeeping.
    USDA. USDA is the accrediting authority. USDA accredits domestic 
and foreign certifying agents who certify domestic and foreign organic 
producers and handlers, using information from the agents documenting 
their business operations and program expertise. USDA also permits 
States to establish their own organic certification programs after the 
programs are approved by the Secretary, using information from the 
States documenting their ability to operate such programs and showing 
that such programs meet the requirements of OFPA and NOP.
    States. States may operate their own organic certification 
programs. State officials obtain the Secretary's approval of their 
programs by submitting information to USDA documenting their ability to 
operate such programs and showing that such programs meet the 
requirements of OFPA and NOP. The Secretary will review a State organic 
program not less than once during each 5-year period following the date 
of the initial program approval. To date, two State organic 
certification programs have been approved by USDA. The initial burden 
for each State organic certification program is an average of 40 hours 
or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to the next 
dollar) $1,280. State organic certification programs require reporting 
and recordkeeping burdens similar to those required by the NOP. The 
average annual burden for States are 55 hours or if calculated at a 
rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) $1,760.
    Certifying agents. Certifying agents are State, private, or foreign 
entities who are accredited by USDA to certify domestic and foreign 
producers and handlers as organic in accordance with OFPA and NOP. Each 
entity wanting to be an agent seeks accreditation from USDA, submitting 
information documenting its business operations and program expertise. 
Accredited agents determine if a producer or handler meets organic 
requirements, using detailed information from the operation documenting 
its specific practices and on-site inspection reports from organic 
inspectors. Initial estimates were based on 59 entities applying for 
accreditation (13 State certifiers, 36 private entities, 10 foreign 
entities). The initial burden for each State certifier was an average 
of 695 hours or if calculated at a rate of $27 per hour (rounded up to 
the next dollar) $18,765. The initial burden for each private or 
foreign entity was 700 hours or if calculated at a rate of $27 per hour 
(rounded up to the next dollar) $18,900. Currently, 95 certifying 
agents (16 State certifiers, 39 private entities, 40 foreign entities) 
have been accredited. The AMS anticipates receiving approximately, 3 
new applications per year. Accredited certifying agents submit annual 
updates with an annual burden, for each certifying agent, of an average 
of 11 hours or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour (rounded up to 
the next dollar) $352.
    Administrative costs for reporting, disclosure of information, and

[[Page 61015]]

recordkeeping vary among certifying agents. Factors affecting costs 
include the number and size of clients, the categories of certification 
provided, and the type of systems maintained.
    When an entity applies for accreditation as a certifying agent, it 
must provide a copy of its procedures for complying with recordkeeping 
requirements (Sec.  205.504(b)(3)). Once certified, agents have to make 
their records available for inspection and copying by authorized 
representatives of the Secretary (Sec.  205.501(a)(9)). The USDA 
charges certifying agents for the time required to do these document 
reviews. Audits require less time when the documents are well organized 
and centrally located.
    Recordkeeping requirements for certifying agents are divided into 
three categories of records with varying retention periods: (1) Records 
created by certifying agents regarding applicants for certification and 
certified operations, maintain 10 years, consistent with OFPA's 
requirement for maintaining all records concerning activities of 
certifying agents; (2) records obtained from applicants for 
certification and certified operations, maintain 5 years, the same as 
OFPA's requirement for the retention of records by certified 
operations; and (3) records created or received by certifying agents 
regarding accreditation, maintain 5 years, consistent with OFPA's 
requirement for renewal of agent's accreditation (Sec.  205.5 10(b)).
    Organic inspectors. Inspectors, on behalf of certifying agents, 
conduct on-site inspections of certified operations and operations 
applying for certification. They determine whether or not certification 
should continue or be granted and report their findings to the 
certifying agent. Inspectors are the agents themselves, employees of 
the agents, or individual contractors. We estimate that about half are 
certifying agents or their employees and half are individual 
contractors. Individuals who apply for positions as inspectors submit 
to the agents information documenting their qualifications to conduct 
such inspections. Estimates: 293 inspectors (147 certifying agents and 
their employees, 146 individual contractors). The annual burden for 
each inspector is an average of 1 hour or if calculated at $32 per hour 
(rounded up to the next dollar) $32.
    Producers and handlers. Producers and handlers, domestic and 
foreign, apply to certifying agents for organic certification, submit 
detailed information documenting their specific practices, provide 
annual updates to continue their certification, and report changes in 
their practices. Producers include farmers, livestock and poultry 
producers, and wild crop harvesters. Handlers include those who 
transport or transform food and include millers, bulk distributors, 
food manufacturers, processors, repackagers, or packers. Some handlers 
are part of a retail operation that processes organic products in a 
location other than the premises of the retail outlet.
    The OFPA requires certified operators to maintain their records for 
5 years. We estimate: 19,400 total operators (14,253 certified and 
5,147 exempt), including 17,150 producers (12,176 certified and 4,974 
exempt) and 2,250 handlers (1,977 certified and 273 exempt). The annual 
recordkeeping burden for each certified operator is an average of 5 
hours or if calculated at $32 per hour (rounded up to the next dollar) 
$160.
    Administrative costs for reporting and recordkeeping vary among 
certified operators. Factors affecting costs include the type and size 
of operation, and the type of systems maintained.
    Research studies have indicated that operations using product 
labels containing the term ``organic'' handle an average of 20 labels 
annually and that there are about 1,977 handlers with the term organic 
on their label. An estimate of the time needed to develop labels for 
products sold, labeled, or represented as ``100 percent organic,'' 
``organic,'' ``made with organic (specified ingredients),'' or which 
use the term organic to modify an ingredient in the ingredients 
statement is included. Also included is the time spent deciding about 
use of the USDA seal, a State emblem, or the seal, logo, or other 
identifying marks of a private certifying agent (Sec. Sec.  205.300-
205.310). Because the labeling requirements are in addition to Food and 
Drug Administration and Food Safety and Inspection Service 
requirements, the burden measurement does not include the hours 
necessary to develop the entire label. For purposes of calculating the 
burden, it is estimated that each handler develops 20 labels annually. 
Estimates: 1,977 certified handlers. The annual burden for each 
certified handler is an average of 1 hour per product label times 20 
product labels per handler or if calculated at a rate of $32 per hour 
(rounded up to the next dollar) $640.
    Interested parties. Any interested party may petition the National 
Organic Standards Board (NOSB) for the purpose of having a substance 
evaluated for recommendation to the Secretary for inclusion on or 
deletion from the National List. Estimates: 25 interested parties may 
petition the NOSB. The annual burden for each interested party is an 
average of 104 hours or if calculated at $32 per hour (rounded up to 
the next dollar) $3,328.
    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 1.74 hours per response.
    Respondents: Producers, handlers, certifying agents, inspectors and 
State, Local or Tribal governments and interested parties.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 16,095.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 365,343.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 22.7.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 635,697.
    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways 
to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who 
are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms 
of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Mark A. Bradley, 
Associate Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-TM-
NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 4008-S0., Ag Stop 0268, 
Washington, DC 20250 or via the Internet at: Paperwork@usda.gov, or by 
fax at: (202) 205-7808. All comments received will be available for 
public inspection during regular business hours at the same address. 
Also, all comments to this notice will be available for viewing on the 
NOP homepage at https://www.ams.usda.gov/nop.
    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the 
request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public 
record.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501-6522.

    Dated: October 10, 2006.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-17190 Filed 10-16-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P