The Secretary shall establish and implement a program to accredit a governing State official, and any private person, that meets the requirements of this section as a certifying agent for the purpose of certifying a farm or handling operation as a certified organic farm or handling operation.
To be accredited as a certifying agent under this section, a governing State official or private person shall—
(1) prepare and submit, to the Secretary, an application for such accreditation;
(2) have sufficient expertise in organic farming and handling techniques as determined by the Secretary; and
(3) comply with the requirements of this section and section 6515 of this title.
The Secretary, acting through the Deputy Administrator of the national organic program established under this chapter, has the authority, and shall grant a certifying agent the authority, to require producers and handlers to provide additional documentation or verification before granting a certification under section 6503 of this title, in the case of a compliance risk with respect to meeting the national standards for organic production established under section 6504 of this title, as determined by the Secretary or the certifying agent.
For an agricultural product being imported into the United States to be represented as organically produced, the Secretary shall require the agricultural product to be accompanied by a complete and valid national organic import certificate, which shall be available as an electronic record.
The Secretary shall establish a system to track national organic import certificates.
In establishing the system under subparagraph (A), the Secretary may integrate the system into any existing information tracking systems for imports of agricultural products.
An accreditation made under this section—
(1) subject to paragraph (2), shall be for a period of not more than 5 years, as determined appropriate by the Secretary;
(2) in the case of a certifying agent operating in a foreign country, shall be for a period of time that is consistent with the certification of a domestic certifying agent, as determined appropriate by the Secretary; and
(3) may be renewed.
(Pub. L. 101–624, title XXI, §2115, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3944; Pub. L. 115–334, title X, §10104(c), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4900.)
2018—Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 115–334 added subsecs. (c) to (e) and struck out former subsec. (c). Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (c) read as follows: "An accreditation made under this section shall be for a period of not to exceed 5 years, as determined appropriate by the Secretary, and may be renewed."