The official grain inspection and weighing system is a unique partnership comprised of Federal, State, and private partners serving customers across the Nation. Our State and private partners are authorized by FGIS to provide official inspection and weighing services to the domestic and export grain trade on our behalf. Specifically, FGIS delegates qualified State agencies to inspect and weigh grain at certain U.S. export port locations and designates qualified State and private agencies to inspect and weigh grain at interior locations.
FGIS licenses all State and private agency personnel who perform official inspection and weighing services and oversees our official partners and the system at large.
Every official service provider operates under uniform, official U.S. grain standards and procedures. That means that while the composition of the official system is diverse, its results are not. Every customer - whether on the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Midwest, or the Pacific Northwest - receives consistent, reliable service.
Delegation and Designation
The Delegation/Designation Program. Under the U.S. Grain Standards Act, as amended (USGSA):
- Delegated States may provide mandatory official grain inspection, weighing, and scale testing services at export port locations within their respective State. Delegated States are reevaluated and recertified every 5 years in accordance with the Act.
- Designated State agencies and designated private agencies (i.e., official agencies) may perform permissive official grain inspection and/or weighing services at domestic locations under designations awarded up to a 5-year period.
You can rely on FGIS's programs and services. We are committed to continuously improving customer service to all segments of the market, from farmers, grain handlers, processors, and exporters to international buyers, to efficiently facilitate the marketing of U.S. grain.
Any person, State, or local government may apply for designation as an official agency to perform official inspection and/or weighing services. Section 79(f)(1)(A) of the USGSA lists the conditions and criteria for designation, and Section 79(f)(1)(B) says that an applicant must be better able to provide service than any other applicant for designation.
When and How to Apply
Applications for designation should be filed with FGIS, according to the Federal Register notice which requests applicants for designation to perform official services. The Application for Designation, Conflict of Interest Questionnaire, and Certification Regarding Drug-free Workplace Requirements must be submitted and accompanied by documents which show all information requested by FGIS.
Evaluation of Applicants
FGIS evaluates each applicant for designation to determine whether the applicant meets the conditions and criteria contained in Sections 79(f)(1)(A) and (B) of the USGSA, and Section 800.199 of the regulations.
Some factors FGIS considers in determining which applicant is better able to provide service are past performance, quality and timeliness of service, commitment to excellence and customer service, cooperation with FGIS, willingness and ability to purchase and use new technology, stability and adequacy of resources, the cost of official services, comments received, and the accuracy and detail of applications.
FGIS charges and collects reasonable fees to cover costs of supervision of grain inspection and weighing services provided by delegated States and designated official agencies. See FGIS Directive 9180.74 Service Fees and Billing Codes . These fees are charged by delegated States and designated official agencies to their customers (grain industry) as part of the overall fee charged for inspection and weighing services. Such fees are evaluated to determine if they are reasonable and nondiscriminatory before they are approved. See FGIS Directive 9100.7 Fees for Official Service Provider Services (pdf).