As mentioned in our previous Trading Standards article, in this issue we will review the following definitions included in Section 19: “full payment promptly” and “reasonable time”. In the next edition we will analyse “Reject without reasonable cause”, “suitable shipping condition” and “truly and correctly account”.
“Full payment promptly”
It is important to remember that DRC respects the payment terms established by the parties. Most of the time, a grower’s or shipper’s invoice will include payment terms or include payment terms in accordance with either PACA or DRC rules. However, in the absence of an agreement on payment terms, such as parties failing to state their payment terms in writing, DRC Trading Standards become the default rules. This concept includes default prompt payment terms to growers, shippers, brokers, agents and transportation companies:
- Payment to growers, shippers, and sellers on fixed price transactions must be made within 10 days from the day the produce is accepted.
- Payment on consignments or joint account transactions must be made within 10 days from the date of the final sale with respect to each shipment, or within 20 days from the date the goods are accepted at destination, whichever comes first.
- Broker’s invoices must be paid within 10 days after receiving the broker’s invoice.
- Payment to growers, growers’ agents, or shippers by terminal market agents or brokers, who are selling for the account of a grower, growers’ agent, or shipper and are authorized to collect from the buyer or receiver, within 5 days after the agent or broker receives payment from the buyer or receiver
- Payment to the principal, within 10 days after receipt, of net proceeds realized from a carrier claim in connection with a consignment transaction or, in connection with a joint account transaction, payment to the joint account partners of their share of the joint account net proceeds realized from a carrier claim;
- Where growers’ agents are pooling product, within 30 days after receipt of the goods from the principal for sale or within 5 days after the date the agent receives payment for the goods, whichever comes first.
- When contracts are based on terms other than those described herein, payment is due to the supplier-seller within 20 days from the date of acceptance of the shipment under the terms of the contract.
A reasonable amount of time to provide notice of a problem or to request an inspection when product is received in deteriorated condition must not exceed 24 hours with respect to rail, air shipments and boat shipments. However, for shipments received by truck, is only 8 hours.
However, if adverse weather conditions prevent inspection of a load, the period shall be extended until weather conditions permit inspection. It is the responsibility of the receiver to ensure the seller is informed of these events.
Additionally, for shipments arriving on non-working days or after the close of regular business hours on work days when a representative of the receiver having authority to reject shipments is not present,non-working hours preceding the start of regular business hours on the next working day shall not be included. However, for those shipments arriving during regular business hours when a representative of the receiver having authority to reject shipments is customarily present, the period shall run without interruption except that, for shipments arriving less than two hours before the close of regular business hours, the remaining balance of the time period shall be extended and run from the start of regular business hours on the next working day.