15.22.03.08

.08 Inspections.

A. Upon receipt of an application and verification of documents submitted by an applicant under Regulations .05 and .06 of this chapter, the Department shall conduct an initial inspection of a farm unit or business facility.

B. The Department shall conduct an annual on-site inspection of each farm or business facility that has obtained a certification permit under this subtitle.

C. A person who conducts an inspection under this subtitle may not:

(1) Carry out any inspection in which the inspector or any person employed by the inspector has, or has had during the immediately preceding 4 years, a commercial interest, including the provision of consultancy services in the activity inspected;

(2) Accept payment, gifts, or favors of any kind, other than prescribed fees, from the business inspected; or

(3) Provide advice concerning organic practices or techniques for a fee, other than fees established under this subtitle.

D. A person who conducts an inspection under this subtitle shall have sufficient expertise in organic production or handling techniques to carry out this responsibility and meet the minimum criteria for competence, as defined by the Department.

E. The Department shall maintain current information on the relevant qualifications, training, and experience of each member of the personnel involved in the certification process, including subcontractors. The records of training and experience include, but are not limited to:

(1) Name and address of training courses;

(2) Organization affiliation and position held;

(3) Educational qualification and professional status;

(4) Experience and training in each field of the certification agent's competence;

(5) Date of most recent updating of records; and

(6) Date and results of most recent performance appraisal.