PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 16-303-020 Schedule of charges -- Billing policies and procedures, 16-303-200 Seed program testing fees, 16-303-210 Fees for special seed tests, 16-303-250 Miscellaneous charges for seed services, 16-303-310 Organization for economic cooperation and development scheme for varietal certification (O.E.C.D.) fees, and 16-303-320 Certification fees for seed certified by the department.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Section 309(2), chapter 25, Laws of 2003 1st sp.s., RCW 15.49.310, 15.49.370(3), and chapter 34.05 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Amendments to chapter 16-303 WAC are necessary so the fees charged for certain program activities reflect current seed industry production practices and ensure that the program recovers its full cost of providing services to the industry. The proposed amendments will:
• Increases certain fees beyond the Office of Financial Management fiscal growth rate factor to cover the cost of providing seed certification services;
• Establish a new fee for services currently provided for free;
• Modify certification fee rates to create an equitable fee structure based upon crop yields; and
• Correct typographical, spelling and similar errors.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: In response to a suggestion from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Seed Program Advisory Committee, the department formed an ad hoc committee comprised of advisory committee members and other industry representatives to study and advise the department regarding seed program fees. The recommendation of the ad hoc committee was to increase certain fees. The Seed Program Advisory Committee concurred with this recommendation. WSDA staff will develop the specific rule proprosal. In turn, seed industry representatives and the advisory committee will review and comment on the proposed rule amendments. Interested parties can participate in the public hearing/public comment process, the dates of which will be announced when the department files the rule proposal with the code reviser.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Fawad Shah, Program Manager, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Seed Program, 21 North 1st Avenue, Suite 203, Yakima, WA 98902, (509) 225-2636, e-mail Fshah@agr.wa.gov.
February 14, 2005
Robert W. Gore