Inspection Services

AMS Federal Grain Inspection Service provides inspection services on grains, pulses, oilseeds, and processed and graded commodities. These services facilitate the efficient and effective marketing of U.S. grain and other commodities from farmers to domestic and international end users.

Inspection services are divided into two basic types: "inspection for grade" or "factor analysis" without grade. Inspection for grade involves analyzing the sample according to the quality factors listed in the Official U.S. Standards for Grain and certifying the applicable numeric grade designation, the quality factors responsible for the grade assignment, and any other quality factors the customer requests.

Review Inspection Service

Due to inherent sampling and inspection variability, the Federal Grain Inspection Service allows customers to obtain an additional inspection service if certificated results are questionable. From the original inspection service; customers may obtain a reinspection service, an appeal inspection service, and a Board Appeal inspection service.

  • The reinspection service is provided by the same inspection laboratory that provided the original inspection service.
  • The appeal inspection service is handled at one of the Federal Grain Inspection Service field offices.
  • The Board Appeal inspection service, the highest level of inspection service available, is provided by the Board of Appeals and Review in Kansas City, Missouri.

Official Commercial Inspection Service

Official commercial inspection services (OCIS) are official services designed mainly for small- to moderately-sized grain elevators and processors, who may find official services too costly or time-consuming.

Like other official services, OCIS provides unbiased information on grain quality by FGIS-licensed or authorized inspectors, using FGIS-approved and check tested equipment. Unlike other services, the commercial service allows applicants to work with FGIS or an official agency to modify sampling and inspection procedures to fit their individual needs. The result: the applicant saves considerable time and money.

Official commercial inspection service is a permissive service. Buyers or sellers of grain may use it and/or any other kind of official service. Export grain is not eligible for OCIS.

Stowage Examinations

FGIS provides stowage examinations that ensure that carriers and containers that hold grain, rice, pulses, and related products are clean, dry, and fit for loading.

A stowage examination is a service performed by official personnel or licensed cooperators who visually inspect an identified carrier or container and determine if the stowage areas are clean; dry; free of infestation, rodents, toxic substances, and foreign odor; and suitable to store or carry bulk or sacked grain, rice, beans, peas, lentils, or processed commodities.

Exporter Registration

The United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) requires the registration of all persons engaged in the business of buying, handling, weighing or transporting grain for sale in foreign commerce in excess of 15,000 metric tons in the preceding or current calendar year.