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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 38, ISSUE 7
ISSUE DATE: APRIL 3, 2006
RULE PROPOSALS
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Standard Containers for Farm Products; Weights and Measures

38 N.J.R. 1537(a)

Proposed Readoption: N.J.A.C. 13:47G

Standard Containers for Farm Products; Weights and Measures

Authorized By: Louis Greenleaf, State Superintendent, Office of Weights and Measures.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 51:1-61.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to the calendar requirements.

Proposal Number: PRN 2006-98.

Submit comments by June 2, 2006 to:
Louis Greenleaf, State Superintendent
Office of Weights and Measures
1261 Routes 1 and 9 South
Avenel, NJ 07001

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 52:14B-5.1c, the rules at N.J.A.C. 13:47G will expire on December 28, 2006. The Office of Weights and Measures (the Office) has reviewed these rules and determined them to be necessary, reasonable and proper for the purpose for which they were originally promulgated, that is, to establish standard containers for farm products. The Office proposes these rules for readoption with no amendments. Subchapter 1 establishes the legal standards for farm product containers. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.1 requires that all standard containers for fruits and vegetables be legibly marked by the manufacturers with the capacity in terms of quarts. It also requires the manufacturer to mark each container with his name and address or in lieu of such name and address, a sign or symbol furnished by the State Superintendent of Weights and Measures. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.2 provides the legal container standard for apple crates. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.3 sets forth the legal container standard for apple boxes. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.4 establishes the legal container standard for cranberry boxes. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.5 establishes that the half pint till or box, with the cubical contents of 16.80 cubic inches, is the standard container for the distribution and sale of fresh berries in New Jersey. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.6 sets forth the standard containers for mushrooms. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.7 provides the container specifications for asparagus crates. N.J.A.C. 13:47G-1.8 establishes the legal standards for sweet corn, strawberry and blueberry containers in New Jersey. As the Office has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.

Social Impact

The rules proposed for readoption at N.J.A.C. 13:47G provide uniform standards for containers that are used for farm products. Since these rules provide legal standards to ensure consistency, the impact of these rules are and will continue to be positive upon both those who package farm products in containers and those who purchase the products that are packaged in these containers.

Economic Impact

The Office believes that continuing the current standards set forth in the rules will not result in increased costs of the enforcement of or the compliance of the rules proposed for readoption since the Office is not proposing to amend any of the container specifications. The specifications for the standard containers for farm products are set forth in the Agriculture Industry Impact.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the rules proposed for readoption are subject to State statutory requirements and are not subject to any Federal requirements.

Jobs Impact

The rules proposed for readoption will enable the Office to continue to provide container standards throughout New Jersey. The Office does not expect that the rules proposed for readoption will result in the creation or loss of jobs in the State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Office does not anticipate that the current rules proposed for readoption will have any new impact on the agriculture industry in the State since container specifications are being continued. The markings on containers for fruit and vegetables shall be legible and in terms of quarts. Such containers shall also include either the manufacturer's name and address or a sign or symbol furnished by the Superintendent. Containers for apples must have the following inside dimensions: length 17 1/2 inches; width 14 inches; height at ends 11 inches; and sides 10 1/4 inches. A box for apples having a capacity of 1 1/8 bushels, with cubical contents of 2,419.22 cubic inches is standardized legal in New Jersey. The standardized boxes for cranberries are a half barrel box, Style A, with dimensions: 20 inches long by 14 inches wide by 10 7/16 inches deep, and having cubical contents of 2,923 cubic inches; half barrel box, Style B, with dimensions: 20 inches long by 14 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches deep, and having cubical contents of 2,940 cubic inches; one-quarter barrel box, with dimensions: 15 inches long by 10 1/2 inches wide by 9 1/4 inches deep, and having cubical contents of 1,456.875 cubic inches; and one-eighth barrel box, with dimensions: 11 7/8 inches long by 8 3/8 inches wide by 7 11/32 inches deep, and having cubical contents of 730.36 cubic inches. The 1/2 pint till or box is the standardized box for the distribution and sale of fresh berries in NJ. The cubical contents must be 16.80 cubic inches. Mushrooms may be packaged or sold in closed or covered original standard containers of one-quart or one-pint capacity and marked in a plain manner with the net quantity of contents in terms of volume by dry measure. Containers for asparagus (known as the "pyramid asparagus crate") must have the dimensions: length 16 1/4 inches width at top, 9 3/4 inches; width at bottom, 12 inches; height, 11 inches. The standardized crate for sweet corn is a container with inside dimensions of: 21 7/8 inches in length; 12 inches in width; and nine inches in height. A container for strawberries must have the inside dimensions of: 22 1/8 inches in length; 11 inches in width; and 9 5/8 inches in height. Blueberry containers must have the inside dimensions of: 18 inches in length; 13 inches in width, and 3 3/8 inches in height. These containers must also include a 1/2 inch center divider.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The rules proposed for readoption do not impose any reporting or recordkeeping requirements. The rules do, however, impose compliance requirements. N.J.A.C. 13:47G imposes compliance requirements upon those individuals that package farm products, such as apples, cranberries, mushrooms, asparagus, sweet corn, blueberries and strawberries and manufacturers of the containers in which they are packed. Most of the farmers upon whom these requirements are imposed are small businesses, as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. The rules specify the legal standards for the containers used to package farm products in New Jersey. No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the rules proposed for readoption. Moreover, the Board does not believe that there will be any significant, additional economic impact as a result of the proposed readoption. Compliance costs are discussed in the Economic Impact above. The Office also believes that the rules proposed for readoption should be uniformly applied to all in order to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the general public; therefore, no differing compliance requirements are provided.

Smart Growth Impact

The Office does not believe that the rules proposed for readoption will have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

Full text of the rules proposed for readoption may be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code at N.J.A.C. 13:47G.



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