15.04.01.09

.09 Registration.

A. Packers, Including Repackers.

(1) For each business location where a person is operating as a packer, including a repacker, the person shall submit annually a completed application for registration on a form provided by the Department.

(2) Except as otherwise provided under §A(5) of this regulation, the Department shall issue a packer-applicant a certificate of registration if the person:

(a) Submits a completed application without any fraudulent or deceptive statements;

(b) Excluding a person operating only as a repacker, provides documentation that is satisfactory to the Department showing that the birds used to produce shell eggs meet the standards provided by COMAR 15.11.11.05A;

(c) Excluding a person operating only as a repacker, permits the Secretary to test the person's birds as provided under COMAR 15.11.11.05A during regular business hours if the Secretary has reason to believe the birds have been exposed to Salmonella enteritidis;

(d) Agrees to comply with any lawful direction the Secretary orders;

(e) Except as provided under §A(3) of this regulation, pays the $30 registration fee and any applicable inspection fee; and

(f) For the repacker only, provides documentation that is satisfactory to the Department showing that the eggs being packed for distribution or sale in Maryland originate only from packers who are currently registered with the Secretary.

(3) A packer who keeps 3,000 or fewer chickens and who sells, offers, or exposes for sale shell eggs only from those chickens shall register with the Secretary, but is exempt from paying the registration and inspection fees.

(4) A certificate of registration is effective for 1 year and, if during that year any of the following changes in status occur, the registrant shall notify the Department of the change within 15 calendar days of its occurrence:

(a) The Salmonella serotype enteritidis status of the flocks being used to produce shell eggs;

(b) The addition of birds or flocks to those identified in the original application for registration; and

(c) The corporate status, if the registrant is a corporation;

(d) The registrant's business location; and

(e) If a repacker, the addition of any packers from whom eggs are being obtained (give name and address) who had not been listed as a source of eggs in the original application for registration.

(5) The Department may suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue the certificate of registration of a person who packs shell eggs:

(a) If the person:

(i) Makes fraudulent or deceptive statements in the application for registration,

(ii) Fails to comply with any of the regulations of this chapter or any lawful direction the Secretary orders,

(iii) Refuses to permit the Secretary to test the person's birds as provided under COMAR 15.11.11.05A during regular business hours if the Secretary has reason to believe that those birds have been exposed to Salmonella enteritidis;

(b) If the person's birds have been exposed to Salmonella enteritidis and the person fails to comply with any lawful direction the Secretary orders; or

(c) If the person is a repacker and that person:

(i) Fails to provide the documentation required under §A(2)(f) of this regulation, or

(ii) Distributes or sells eggs in violation of any lawful direction of the Secretary, or which originate from packers who are not currently registered with the Secretary.

(6) The requirements set forth in this regulation also apply to repackers.

(7) A repacker is considered to be a packer if the repacker is in the business of placing shell eggs in a case, carton, or container used to hold eggs for distribution or sale, and the new case, carton, or container into which the eggs are repacked becomes for those eggs the original case, carton, or container.

(8) A packer also includes a person who places shell eggs in the original case, carton, or container that is used to hold eggs for distribution or sale to others in the distribution chain such as retailers and food service facilities, and not just consumers, as this limitation only was intended to exclude from this definition certain persons not in the business of packing eggs but who nevertheless place shell eggs into cartons, for example, consumers who are permitted by certain retailers to pack loose eggs into cartons.

B. Distributors.

(1) For each business location where a person operates as a distributor, the distributor shall submit annually a complete application for registration on a form provided by the Department.

(2) Unless the Department has reason to deny registering a person as provided under §B(4) of this regulation, the Department shall register an applicant if the person:

(a) Submits an application without any fraudulent or deceptive statements; and

(b) Pays the $30 registration fee and any other fees required under this chapter.

(3) A certificate of registration is effective for 1 year, beginning on January 1 of each year and, if during that year there is a change in business location, the distributor shall notify the Department of this change within 15 calendar days of its occurrence.

(4) The Department may suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue a certificate of registration if the distributor:

(a) Does not meet the requirements of this chapter; or

(b) Violates any provisions of Agriculture Article, Title 4, Subtitle 3, Annotated Code of Maryland, or any of the regulations of this chapter, or any lawful direction the Secretary orders.