BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the adoption of New Rule I pertaining to phytosanitary certification fees
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED ADOPTION
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On March 5, 2014, at 1:00 p.m., the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed adoption of the above-stated rule.
2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 27, 2014, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jenson, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail email@example.com.
3. The rule as proposed to be adopted provides as follows:
NEW RULE I PHYTOSANITARY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION COSTS -- FEES (1) All fees for services are payable upon receipt of a billing statement. The department may assess a collection fee of 18% annual percentage rate, or assess a minimum fee of $25, whichever is greater, for any payment amount not received on or before the last regular business day of each month. The department may require past due payment of fees prior to providing inspection and certification services.
(2) Export certification fees shall be as follows:
(a) federal and state phytosanitary certificate:
(i) $105 for a noncommercial shipment, those shipments having a value that is less than $1,250; or
(ii) $180 for a commercial shipment having a value that is $1,250 or more;
(iii) $160 for a commercial produce shipment having a value that is $1,250 or more;
(iv) administrative and replacement user fees for each federal or state phytosanitary certification. Requests for export certification shall be made through a client-funded Phytosanitary Certification Information Tracking (PCIT) account; and
(v) certificate of Origin and Statement of Origin $150.
AUTH: 80-1-102, 80-7-108, 80-7-122, MCA
IMP: 80-7-108, 80-7-122, MCA
REASON: To provide a separate section focused on phytosanitary certification and certificate of origin since it is not nursery-specific and includes all agricultural commodities and products that are being exported domestically or internationally, and to increase fees associated with phytosanitary certification and certificates of origin so that fees cover actual costs of providing the service.
ECONOMIC IMPACT: The department provides phytosanitary certification services under agreement with USDA APHIS but receives no funding from USDA APHIS PPQ. Phytosanitary services are based solely on fee for service. Revenue from fees varies with export demand and ranges between $35,000 and $45,000 a year. Fee increases are necessary to provide sufficient revenue to cover the cost of providing the service. Under the proposed rule, a cost is assigned to a noncommercial phytosanitary certificate (hereafter referred to as a phyto) and includes the inspection, hourly costs, per diem, and mileage. There are cases where a commercial phyto inspection may be satisfied by another type of inspection that covers the pest concerns of the importing country or state. Because of this, the fee structure provides for commercial phytos that include and commercial phytos that do not include an inspection by a department Accredited Certifying Official (ACO). The potential economic impact to exporters can be best shown through illustrative examples.
A grain phyto based on a FGIS 921-2 currently costs $56 and will cost $180 under the proposed rules. A grain phyto (non-FGIS 921-2) currently costs $96 and will cost $180. A noncommercial phyto for nursery stock currently costs $157.76 and will cost $105. Multiple (four) nursery stock phytos (two noncommercial and two commercial) that currently cost $311 will cost $570. Grain that need only attest to origin of the grain can be processed as a Certificate of Origin currently costs $30 and will cost $150 under the proposed rule. A log home kit currently costing $225 will cost $180. The fee increases associated with this rule will allow the department to recover the costs associated with providing the service. USDA administrative and replacement pass-through fees also apply. Current administrative fees are $6 when the Phytosanitary Certification Information Tracking (PCIT, the USDA database) is used and $12 when PCIT is not used. The department requires the use of PCIT for all phytos except in extreme, extenuating circumstances. The current replacement fee is $15.
Export service is available from the Montana Department of Agriculture and the Montana USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ).
4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., April 10, 2014.
5. Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.
6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register. The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.
8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption of the above-referenced rule will significantly and directly impact small businesses.
/s/ Cort Jensen /s/ Ron de Yong
Cort Jensen Ron de Yong
Rule Reviewer Director
Department of Agriculture
Certified to the Secretary of State February 3, 2013.