License required; penalties for violations
After December 10, 1930, no person shall at any time carry on the business of a commission merchant, dealer, or broker without a license valid and effective at such time. Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $1,000 for each such offense and not more than $250 for each day it continues, which shall accrue to the United States and may be recovered in a civil suit brought by the United States.
Any person violating this provision may, upon a showing satisfactory to the Secretary of Agriculture, or his authorized representative, that such violation was not willful but was due to inadvertence, be permitted by the Secretary, or such representative, to settle his liability in the matter by the payment of the fees due for the period covered by such violation and an additional sum, not in excess of $250, to be fixed by the Secretary of Agriculture or his authorized representative. Such payment shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States in the same manner as regular license fees.
Application and fees for licenses
Application for license
Any person desiring any such license shall make application to the Secretary. The Secretary may by regulation prescribe the information to be contained in such application and to be furnished thereafter.
Upon the filing of an application under paragraph (1), the applicant shall pay such license fees, both individually and in the aggregate, as the Secretary determines necessary to meet the reasonably anticipated expenses for administering this chapter and the Act to prevent the destruction or dumping of farm produce, approved March 3, 1927 (7 U.S.C. 491–497). Thereafter, the licensee shall pay such license fees annually or at such longer interval as the Secretary may prescribe. The Secretary shall take due account of savings to the program when determining an appropriate interval for renewal of licenses. The Secretary shall establish and alter license fees only by rulemaking under section 553 of title 5, except that the Secretary may not alter the fees required under paragraph (3) or (4) for retailers and grocery wholesalers that are dealers. Effective on November 15, 1995, and until such time as the Secretary alters such fees by rule, an individual license fee shall equal $550 per year, plus $200 for each branch or additional business facility operated by the applicant in excess of nine such facilities, as determined by the Secretary, subject to an annual aggregate limit of $4,000 per licensee. Any increase in license fees prescribed by the Secretary under this paragraph shall not take effect unless the Secretary determines that, without such increase, the funds on hand as of the end of the fiscal year in which the increase takes effect will be less than 25 percent of the projected budget to administer this chapter and such Act for the next fiscal year. In no case may a license fee increase by the Secretary take effect before the end of the three-year period beginning on November 15, 1995.
One-time fee for retailers and grocery wholesalers that are dealers
During the three-year period beginning on November 15, 1995, a retailer or grocery wholesaler making an initial application for a license under this section shall pay the license fee required under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (4) for license renewals in the year in which the initial application is made. After the end of such period, a retailer or grocery wholesaler making an initial application for a license under this section shall pay an administrative fee equal to $100. In either case, a retailer or grocery wholesaler paying a fee under this paragraph shall not be required to pay any fee for renewal of the license for subsequent years.
Gradual elimination of annual fees for retailers and grocery wholesalers that are dealers
In the case of a retailer or grocery wholesaler that holds a license under this section as of November 15, 1995, payments for the renewal of the license shall be made pursuant to the following schedule:
For anniversary dates occurring during the one-year period beginning on November 15, 1995, the licensee shall pay a renewal fee in an amount equal to 100 percent of the applicable renewal fee (subject to the $4,000 aggregate limit on such payments) in effect under this subsection on the day before November 15, 1995.
For anniversary dates occurring during the one-year period beginning at the end of the period in subparagraph (A), the licensee shall pay a renewal fee in an amount equal to 75 percent of the amount paid by the licensee under subparagraph (A).
For anniversary dates occurring during the one-year period beginning at the end of the period in subparagraph (B), the licensee shall pay a renewal fee in an amount equal to 50 percent of the amount paid by the licensee under subparagraph (A).
After the end of the three-year period beginning on November 15, 1995, the licensee shall not be required to pay any fee if the licensee seeks renewal of the license.
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Fund
Such fee, when collected, shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States as a special fund, without fiscal year limitation, to be designated as the “Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Fund”, which shall be available for all expenses necessary to the administration of this chapter and the Act approved March 3, 1927, referred to above. Any reserve funds in the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Fund may be invested by the Secretary in insured or fully-collateralized interest-bearing accounts or, at the discretion of the Secretary, by the Secretary of the Treasury in United States Government debt instruments. Any interest earned on such reserve funds shall be credited to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Fund and shall be available for the same purposes as the fees deposited in such fund. Financial statements prescribed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for the last completed fiscal year, and as estimated for the current and ensuing fiscal years, shall be included in the budget as submitted to the Congress annually.
Use of trade names
A licensee may conduct business in more than one trade name or change the name under which business is conducted without requiring an additional or new license. The Secretary may disapprove the use of a trade name if, in his opinion, the use of the trade name by the licensee would be deceptive, misleading, or confusing to the trade, and the Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, suspend for a period not to exceed ninety days the license of any licensee who continues to use a trade name which the Secretary has disapproved for use by such licensee. The Secretary may refuse to issue a license to an applicant if he finds that the trade name in which the applicant proposes to do business would be deceptive, misleading, or confusing to the trade if used by such applicant.
[June 10, 1930, ch. 436, § 3], [46 Stat. 533]; [Aug. 20, 1937, ch. 719, § 5], [50 Stat. 726]; [June 15, 1950, ch. 254, § 1], [64 Stat. 217]; [July 30, 1956, ch. 786, § 2(a)], [70 Stat. 726]; [Pub. L. 87–725], §§ 3, 4, Oct. 1, 1962, [76 Stat. 673], 674; [Pub. L. 91–107, § 3], Nov. 4, 1969, [83 Stat. 182]; 1970 Reorg. Plan No. 2, § 102, eff. July 1, 1970, 35 F.R. 7959, [84 Stat. 2085]; [Pub. L. 95–562, § 2], Nov. 1, 1978, [92 Stat. 2381]; [Pub. L. 97–98, title XI, § 1115(b)], Dec. 22, 1981, [95 Stat. 1269]; [Pub. L. 100–414, § 1], Aug. 22, 1988, [102 Stat. 1102]; [Pub. L. 101–624, title XIII, § 1361], Nov. 28, 1990, [104 Stat. 3568];