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USDA Proposes Fee Increase for Egg and Poultry Grading, Certification and Auditing Services

by 5m Editor
9 October 2006, at 4:20pm

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today a proposal to increase fees for certain grading services for eggs, poultry, and rabbits. The fees and charges need to be changed to cover rising agency costs and salaries of federal and state employees who administer the programs. The agency is required to collect fees from users of these services to cover the costs of services rendered.

The proposal would raise the basic hourly rate for resident service, or work of a grader with a regular tour of duty at a plant, from the current $36.36 to $39.04. Additionally, for plants using resident service, the administrative fee for USDA supervision and for other overhead expenses will increase from 5.1 cents to 5.3 cents per case of shell eggs and from .039 cents to .043 cents per pound of poultry handled.

For poultry and eggs, the maximum monthly administrative charge that covers overhead costs would be increased from $2,875 to $3,075. The minimum administrative fee for grading poultry, eggs, and rabbits would be increased from $260 to $275 per monthly billing period. The proposal would also raise the basic hourly rate for nonresident fee service, or work on an intermittent, as-needed basis, from the current $65.00 to $69.68 for regular hours and from $75.12 to $80.12 for weekend and holiday work.

This action also adds to the regulations a definition of auditing services and description of such services, as appropriate. In the past the nonresident fee rate has been applied to auditing services as well as regular grading and certification services. Today, due to the complexity and specific training requirements needed by auditors, a separate audit fee is proposed to cover the additional costs required to provide the service. The proposed audit fee would be $82.16 for regular hours and $102.84 for weekend and holiday work.

The grading, certification, and audit services are made available upon request and are paid for by the users. Current fees have been in effect since September 25, 2005.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor