Inspection Services

GIPSA's 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.

Mandatory Export Grain Inspection and Weighing Services

Under the United States Grain Standards Act, the following are mandatory services:

  • Official weighing of most grain exported from the United States and of intercompany barge grain received at export port locations.
  • Official inspection of most grain exported from the United States.
  • Testing of all corn exported from the United States for aflatoxin prior to shipment, unless the contract stipulates testing is not required.

Mandatory inspection requirements do not apply to grain that is not sold or described by grade. Mandatory inspection and weighing requirements are waived for grain exporters shipping less than 15,000 metric tons of grain abroad annually; for grain exported by rail or truck to Canada or Mexico; for grain sold as "seed"; for grain transshipped through the United States in a bonded identity preserved fashion; and for high-quality specialty grain shipped in containers.

Voluntary Domestic Grain Inspection and Weighing Services

Official inspection and weighing of U.S. grain in domestic commerce are not mandatory and are performed upon request by GIPSA-authorized States and private agencies.

Appeal 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.

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