WSR 04-07-172

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed March 24, 2004, 8:50 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-04-108.

Title of Rule: The department is proposing to amend chapter 16-401 WAC, Nursery inspection fees, by adopting a new section, WAC 16-401-070 Annual assessment -- Recordkeeping requirement.

Purpose: The proposed new section requires that all licensed nurseries must maintain accurate records of all grapevine, fruit tree, or fruit tree related ornamental nursery stock sales. The section also specifies the minimum standards that a licensed nursery must meet in order to comply with this new recordkeeping requirement.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapters 15.13, 15.14, and 34.05 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW.

Summary: RCW 15.13.310 gives the department the authority to audit the records of licensees to determine if the assessments paid to the department are correct. The requirements in the proposed new section will increase the department's ability to determine if licensees are paying appropriate assessment amounts. The ability to determine if appropriate assessment amounts are being paid is important, as these assessments fund the fruit tree and grapevine certification programs that are responsible for facilitating the movement of virus-tested planting stock in domestic and international markets and assisting the state's orchards and vineyards to remain free of harmful virus diseases.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: See Summary above.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Mary Toohey, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1907; Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Wessels, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1984.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Agriculture, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: RCW 15.13.310 gives the department's director the authority to audit the records of licensees to determine if the assessments paid to the department are correct. The requirements in the proposed new section will increase the department's ability to determine if licensees are paying appropriate assessment amounts. The ability to determine if appropriate assessment amounts are being paid is important because these assessments fund the fruit tree and grapevine certification programs that are responsible for facilitating the movement of virus-tested planting stock in domestic and international markets and assisting the state's orchards and vineyards to remain free of harmful virus diseases.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The department is proposing to amend chapter 16-401 WAC, Nursery inspection fees, by adopting a new section, WAC 16-401-070 Annual assessment -- Recordkeeping requirement. The proposed new section requires that all licensed nurseries must maintain accurate records of all grapevine, fruit tree, or fruit tree related ornamental nursery stock sales. The section also specifies the minimum standards that a licensed nursery must meet in order to comply with this new recordkeeping requirement.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a) requires that an agency must prepare a small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) for proposed rules that impose a more than minor cost on businesses in an industry. Analysis by the department of the economic effects of the proposed rule amendments demonstrates that they will not impose a more than minor cost on the regulated industry and, therefore, an SBEIS is not required.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

Hearing Location: WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center (conference room inside main entrance), 1100 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, on April 27, 2004, at 1:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Henri Gonzales by April 13, 2004, TDD (360) 902-1996.

Submit Written Comments to: Henri Gonzales, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail hgonzales@agr.wa.gov, by April 27, 2004.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 11, 2004.

March 24, 2004

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

OTS-6918.3


NEW SECTION
WAC 16-401-070   Annual assessment -- Recordkeeping requirement.   Any person selling grapevine, fruit tree or fruit tree related ornamental nursery stock must maintain a set of accurate sales records to facilitate an audit and ensure that the proper assessment amount is paid to the department. The records must be maintained for a minimum of three years from the date of sale. At a minimum, the records must contain sequentially numbered sales invoices that clearly show the amount of assessment owed for each invoice. Sales invoices must be filed either numerically or alphabetically.

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