Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (06/09/2015)

United States Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Act of 2015

This bill reauthorizes and amends provisions of the United States Grain Standards Act. The Act authorizes the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish official marketing standards for grains, and to provide procedures for grain inspection and weighing. The bill reauthorizes several expiring provisions through FY2020, provides a safeguard mechanism in the event of an interruption of inspection services, revises the process for delegating inspections to state agencies, and revises fees for inspection and weighing services.

(Sec. 2) The bill amends the purposes of the Act to include: promoting the marketing of high quality grain responsive to the purchase specifications of domestic and foreign buyers; and providing an accurate, reliable, consistently available, and cost-effective official grain inspection and weighing system.

The bill revises USDA's discretionary authority to waive weighing and inspection requirements in emergency circumstances to require a waiver in an emergency or major disaster. Transfers of grain into an export elevator by any mode of transportation are not required to be officially weighed.

The bill ends the permanent delegation to state agencies to carry out export inspection and weighing services. USDA must review current delegations, provide public notice and a comment period, establish an application process, and require states to reapply for delegated status after five years.

Official inspection services must be provided in an uninterrupted manner except in the case of a major disaster. In the event of a disruption, the bill sets forth procedures and requirements for resuming official inspection and weighing services.

USDA may waive the geographic boundaries for designated agencies if adjacent agencies have agreed to waive the boundaries.

The bill changes the fee calculation for inspection and weighing services and extends the authority to collect fees through FY2020.

The duration of licenses for inspectors is extended from three to five years, and the qualifications for inspectors are revised.

The bill extends the limitation on total administrative and supervisory costs, the authorization of appropriations, and the authorization of the advisory committee through FY2020.