May 10, 2016

Inspection Fees for Terminal Market Inspections to See First Rate Increase in 10 Years

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an increase for fees in 2016 for the Terminal Market Inspection Program. The increase follows the agency’s publication of a final rule in the Federal Register in 2014 for calculating fees charged by AMS for user-funded programs. The Program has not seen a fee increase since 2007. According to the announcement, fees for some inspection services will increase by 10 percent effective October 1, 2016.

The Specialty Crops Inspection Division (SCI) provides voluntary grading, inspection and certification services that support the marketing of U.S. specialty crops and related products. Western Growers fully supports the inspection services offered by SCI, as they are valuable tool in determining the outcome of disputes under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

To emphasize our support for the inspection services and its importance to our members, Western Growers will be submitting comments to the USDA. Specifically, the comments will communicate the continued need for high-quality inspections as well as the need to ensure that USDA inspection offices throughout the country be properly manned to handle the inspection requests.