GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 1999-412
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
Section 1. Chapter 106 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Article to read:
"Cotton Gins, Warehouses, Merchants.
"§ 106-451.40. Definitions.
(1) "Cotton gin" means any cotton gin.
(2) "Cotton merchant" means any person who buys cotton from the producer for the purpose of resale, or acts as a broker or agent for the producer in arranging the sale of cotton. It does not include a person who buys cotton for his own use.
(3) "Cotton warehouse" means any enclosure in which producer-owned cotton is stored or held for longer than 48 hours.
"§ 106-451.41. Registration required.
No person shall engage in business as a cotton gin, cotton warehouse, or cotton merchant without first having registered with the Commissioner of Agriculture. This shall include a cotton marketing cooperative or association that performs any of these functions.
"§ 106-451.42. Application; bond; display of certificate of registration.
(a) A cotton gin, cotton warehouse, cotton merchant, or cotton marketing cooperative or association shall, on or before July 1 of each year, file an application for registration on a form provided by the Commissioner of Agriculture. A fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) shall be submitted with each application.
(b) An application for registration as a cotton warehouse shall also be accompanied by a bond in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) issued by a company authorized to issue surety bonds in North Carolina and shall be conditioned upon fulfillment of contractual obligations related to the purchase or storage of cotton. A bond shall not be required for a person who is licensed and bonded under the U.S. Warehouse Act.
(c) The registration certificate shall be conspicuously displayed at the place of business.
"§ 106-451.43. Records; receipts; other duties; denial of registration.
(a) Cotton gins, cotton warehouses, cotton merchants, and cotton cooperatives or associations shall keep records of producer-owned cotton transactions for seven years, showing the producer's name, bale number, and bale weight.
(b) Cotton gins shall, within 48 hours of ginning, make available to the person from whom cotton was received, a paper document showing the bale number and weight for each bale of cotton ginned.
(c) Cotton gins, cotton warehouses, cotton merchants, and cotton cooperatives or associations shall not market, obligate for sale, or otherwise dispose of producer-owned cotton without written consent from the producer.
(d) Cotton gins, cotton warehouses, cotton merchants, and cotton cooperatives or associations shall assist the Commissioner of Agriculture or his agents in inspecting records of producer-owned cotton transactions. Cotton gins, cotton warehouses, cotton merchants, and cotton cooperatives or associations shall assist the Commissioner or his agents in weighing or reweighing a representative sample of cotton bales stored or held at their premises, using sampling procedures approved by the Board of Agriculture.
(e) Violation of any of the requirements of this section shall be grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of registration under G.S. 106-451.41.
"§ 106-451.44. Operation without registration unlawful; injunction.
Engaging in business as a cotton gin, cotton warehouse, or cotton merchant without being registered under G.S. 106-451.41 is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. In addition, the Commissioner of Agriculture may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction to obtain injunctive relief to prevent violations of this act."
Section 2. This act becomes effective January 1, 2000.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 20th day of July, 1999.
s/ Dennis A. Wicker
President of the Senate
s/ James B. Black
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ James B. Hunt, Jr.
Approved 10:01 p.m. this 5th day of August, 1999