U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 17, 2022
(a) General. USDA will conduct oversight and monitoring of manufacturers, vendors, designated representatives, and other entities involved with the voluntary product labeling program to ensure compliance with this part. This oversight will include, but not be limited to, conducting facility visits of manufacturers and vendors who have certified biobased products, and of their designated representatives. Manufacturers, vendors, and their designated representatives are required to cooperate fully with all USDA audit efforts for the enforcement of the voluntary labeling program.
(b) Biobased content testing. USDA will conduct biobased content testing of certified biobased products, as described in § 3202.8(b)(1) to ensure compliance with this part.
(c) Inspection of records. Manufacturers, vendors, and their designated representatives must allow Federal representatives access to the records required under § 3202.9 for inspection and copying during normal Federal business hours.
(d) Audits. USDA expects to conduct audits of the voluntary labeling program on an ongoing basis with audit activities conducted every other calendar year (bi-annually). Audit activities will include three stages and will be conducted in sequential order as follows:
(1) Stage 1 auditing includes contacting all participants via email and requesting that they complete a “Declaration of Conformance Form.” Program participants are asked to confirm that they still manufacture the product and that the formulation and manufacturing processes remain the same. Participants are also asked to list all active products and advise the USDA of any complaints regarding the claim of the biobased content. The first Stage 1 auditing activity was completed in 2012 and the second Stage 1 audit will be conducted in 2018.
(2) Stage 2 auditing consists of a random sampling of certified products to confirm the accuracy of biobased content percentages claimed. The participants whose products are selected will be required to submit product samples to be tested by independent testing labs at USDA expense. The first Stage 2 auditing activity began in 2014 and is scheduled to be completed during 2015 and the second Stage 2 audit will be conducted in 2020.
(3) Stage 3 auditing requires manufacturers of products that have been certified for 5 years or more to have their products re-tested at their expense to confirm that the biobased content remains at or above the level at which the product was originally certified. The first Stage 3 auditing activity is scheduled to be completed during 2016 and the second Stage 3 audit will be conducted in 2022.