National Organic Program: Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection, 17133-17134 [2016-06930]

Download as PDF 17133 Notices Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 59 Monday, March 28, 2016 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 [Doc. No. AMS–NOP–16–0010; NOP–15–15] National Organic Program: Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of the currently approved information collection National Organic Program (NOP) Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements. SUMMARY: Comments received by May 27, 2016 will be considered. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this notice. Comments must be sent to Stacy Jones King, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, AMS/USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2642–S., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250– 0268 or by Internet: http:// www.regulations.gov. Written comments responding to this notice should be identified with the document number AMS–NOP–16–0010; NOP–15–15. It is USDA’s intention to have all comments concerning this notice, including names and addresses when provided, regardless of submission procedure used, available for viewing on the Regulations.gov (http:// www.regulations.gov) Internet site. Comments submitted in response to this notice will also be available for viewing in person at USDA–AMS, National Organic Program, Room 2642-South Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Mar 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official Federal holidays). Persons wanting to visit the USDA South Building to view comments received in response to this notice are requested to make an appointment in advance by calling (202) 720–3252. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Director, Standards Division, National Organic Program, USDA–AMS, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2642-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: December 31, 2016. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection. Abstract: The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501–6522) mandates that the Secretary develop the 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. The USDA organic regulation (7 CFR part 205): (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 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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, accredited certifying agents, organic inspectors, certified organic producers and handlers, those seeking accreditation or certification, and parties interested in changing the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances at sections 205.600 through 205.607. Additionally, it causes most of these entities to 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 state organic 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 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, or delegated representative, 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, one State organic program is approved by USDA. 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 by submitting information documenting its business operations and program expertise. Accredited certifying 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 E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 17134 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 59 / Monday, March 28, 2016 / Notices inspectors. Currently, there are 79 certifying agents accredited under NOP. Administrative costs for reporting, disclosure of information, and 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 accredited, agents have to make their records available for inspection and copying by authorized representatives of the Secretary (§ 205.501(a)(9)). 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 (§ 205.510(b)). Organic inspectors. Inspectors, on behalf of certifying agents, conduct onsite inspections of certified operations and operations applying for certification. They report the findings from their inspection 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. According to International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), there are at least 250 inspectors currently providing services.1 Producers and handlers. Producers and handlers, domestic and foreign, apply to certifying agents for organic certification, submit detailed information documenting their specific 1 Not all inspectors are members of IOIA. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Mar 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 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, 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. Based upon AMS NOP’s 2015 List of certified organic operations, there are approximately 31,000 certified operations globally.2 Based on past growth of the industry, AMS estimates the addition of 1,900 new certified organic operations a year. In addition, AMS estimates that there are 7,650 producers exempt from certification, but who must still maintain records pursuant to section 205.101(c). 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. AMS believes that operations using product labels containing the term ‘‘organic’’ handle an average of 20 labels annually. Based upon AMS NOP’s 2015 List of certified organic operations, there are over 13,100 certified organic handlers. For each certified handler, AMS estimates that the average annual burden to develop product labels with organic claims is one hour per product label times 20 product labels per handler. The annual burden will be lower for smaller operations and higher for large operations that produce a significant volume of organic processed product. 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. Based on the number of petitions received in the past, AMS estimates 25 parties petitioning the NOSB to amend the National List in a given year. The annual burden for each interested party to prepare a complete petition is an average of 30 hours. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4.79 hours per response. Respondents: Producers, handlers, certifying agents, inspectors and State, Local or Tribal governments and interested parties. 2 AMS NOP 2012 List of certified organic operations. Available at: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/ nop/. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Estimated Number of Respondents: 31,329. Estimated Number of Responses: 1,007,189. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 32.15. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,826,189. 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. 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: March 22, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2016–06930 Filed 3–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 22, 2016. The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the 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 burden 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 through the use of appropriate automated, E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 59 (Monday, March 28, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17133-17134]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06930]


========================================================================
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. 81, No. 59 / Monday, March 28, 2016 / 
Notices

[[Page 17133]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

[Doc. No. AMS-NOP-16-0010; NOP-15-15]


National Organic Program: Request for an Extension of 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 (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of 
Management and Budget, for an extension of the currently approved 
information collection National Organic Program (NOP) Reporting and 
Recordkeeping Requirements.

DATES: Comments received by May 27, 2016 will be considered.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments 
concerning this notice. Comments must be sent to Stacy Jones King, 
Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, AMS/USDA, 
1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2642-S., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 
20250-0268 or by Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. Written comments 
responding to this notice should be identified with the document number 
AMS-NOP-16-0010; NOP-15-15. It is USDA's intention to have all comments 
concerning this notice, including names and addresses when provided, 
regardless of submission procedure used, available for viewing on the 
Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov) Internet site. Comments 
submitted in response to this notice will also be available for viewing 
in person at USDA-AMS, National Organic Program, Room 2642-South 
Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to 12 
noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except 
official Federal holidays). Persons wanting to visit the USDA South 
Building to view comments received in response to this notice are 
requested to make an appointment in advance by calling (202) 720-3252.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul I. Lewis, Ph.D., Director, 
Standards Division, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Room 2642-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: December 31, 2016.
    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information 
collection.
    Abstract: The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522) mandates that the Secretary develop the 
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. The USDA organic regulation (7 CFR 
part 205): (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, accredited 
certifying agents, organic inspectors, certified organic producers and 
handlers, those seeking accreditation or certification, and parties 
interested in changing the National List of Allowed and Prohibited 
Substances at sections 205.600 through 205.607. Additionally, it causes 
most of these entities to 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 state organic 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 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, or delegated representative, 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, one State 
organic program is approved by USDA.
    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 by 
submitting information documenting its business operations and program 
expertise. Accredited certifying 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

[[Page 17134]]

inspectors. Currently, there are 79 certifying agents accredited under 
NOP.
    Administrative costs for reporting, disclosure of information, and 
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 accredited, agents have to 
make their records available for inspection and copying by authorized 
representatives of the Secretary (Sec.  205.501(a)(9)). 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.  205.510(b)).
    Organic inspectors. Inspectors, on behalf of certifying agents, 
conduct on-site inspections of certified operations and operations 
applying for certification. They report the findings from their 
inspection 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. According to International 
Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), there are at least 250 
inspectors currently providing services.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Not all inspectors are members of IOIA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, 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. Based upon AMS NOP's 2015 List 
of certified organic operations, there are approximately 31,000 
certified operations globally.\2\ Based on past growth of the industry, 
AMS estimates the addition of 1,900 new certified organic operations a 
year. In addition, AMS estimates that there are 7,650 producers exempt 
from certification, but who must still maintain records pursuant to 
section 205.101(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ AMS NOP 2012 List of certified organic operations. Available 
at: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/nop/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    AMS believes that operations using product labels containing the 
term ``organic'' handle an average of 20 labels annually. Based upon 
AMS NOP's 2015 List of certified organic operations, there are over 
13,100 certified organic handlers. For each certified handler, AMS 
estimates that the average annual burden to develop product labels with 
organic claims is one hour per product label times 20 product labels 
per handler. The annual burden will be lower for smaller operations and 
higher for large operations that produce a significant volume of 
organic processed product.
    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. Based on the number of petitions 
received in the past, AMS estimates 25 parties petitioning the NOSB to 
amend the National List in a given year. The annual burden for each 
interested party to prepare a complete petition is an average of 30 
hours.
    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 4.79 hours per response.
    Respondents: Producers, handlers, certifying agents, inspectors and 
State, Local or Tribal governments and interested parties.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 31,329.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 1,007,189.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 32.15.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,826,189.
    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.
    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: March 22, 2016.
Elanor Starmer,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-06930 Filed 3-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-02-P