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§ 205.204 Filing “notice" of EFS.
(a) If an EFS is filed somewhere other than with the system operator, and if notice of it is filed with the system operator, such notice could be electronic filing, telephoned information, or any other form of notice which gives the system operator the information needed for the master list. Such notice need not be signed. Note that the Section does not contain any requirement for such notice except the one in subsection (c)(4)(B) that an EFS must be filed somewhere pursuant to State law as discussed above.
(b) Countermeasures against falsifications, errors or omissions in such notices or in the handling of them by the system operator, such as requirements that the notices be on paper and signed, with copies date-stamped and returned to the persons filing them, however advisable they might be from other standpoints, are discretionary with the State and not required by the Section.
$ 205.205 Fees.
The Section provides at subsection (c)(4)(H) for a fee for filing an EFS. The fee can be set in any manner provided by the law of the State in which such EFS is filed. The basis for this is that (c)(4)(H) provides for the fee to be set by the "Secretary of State" but (c)(11) defines the latter term to include "designee of the State." The fee structure is discretionary with the State.
§ 205.206 Farm products.
(a) The master list must be organized by farm product as required by subsection (c)(2), and the farm product must be identified on an EFS as required by subsection (c)(4)(D)(iv). The following is a list of such farm products.
Rice, rye, wheat, other food grains (system must specify by name)
Barley, corn, hay, oats, sorghum grain, other feed crops (system must specify by name) Cotton
Artichokes, asparagus, beans lima, beans snap, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn sweet, cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, garlic, lettuce, onions, peas green, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, other truck crops (system must specify by name)
Melons (system must specify by name) Grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, tangelos, tangerines, other citrus fruits (system
must specify by name) Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cherries, coffee, dates, figs, grapes (& raisins), nectarines, olives, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums (& prunes), pomegranates, other noncitrus fruits (system must specify by name)
Berries (system must specify by name) Tree nuts (system must specify by name) Bees wax, honey, maple syrup, sugar beets, sugar cane, other sugar crops (system must specify by name)
Grass seeds, legume seeds, other seed crops (system must specify by name)
Hops, mint, popcorn, other miscellaneous crops (system must specify by name) Greenhouse & nursery products produced on farms (system must specify by name) Mushrooms, trees, other forest products (system must specify by name)
Chickens, ducks, eggs, geese, turkeys, other poultry or poultry products (system must specify by name)
Cattle & calves, goats, horses, hogs, mules, sheep & lambs, other livestock (system must specify by name)
Milk, other dairy products produced on farms (system must specify by name) Wool, mohair, other miscellaneous livestock products produced on farms (system must specify by name)
Other farm products (system must specify by name).
(b) Note the definition of the term "farm product" at subsection (c)(5), and the Conference Report on Pub. L. 99-198, No. 99-447, December 17, 1985, at page 486.
(c) A State may establish a system for specified products and not for all. A State establishing a system for specified products and not for all will be deemed to be "a State that has established a central filing system" as to the specified products, and will be deemed not to be such a State as to other products.
$ 205.207 "Amount" and "reasonable description of the property."
(a) The "amount" of farm products and "reasonable description of the property including county or parish,"
on an EFS and on the master list under subsections (c)(4)(D)(iv) and (2)(C)(iii), need not be shown on every EFS and master list entry.
(b) Any EFS and master list entry will identify a product. If they do not show an amount, this constitutes a representation that all of such product owned by the person in question is subject to the security interest in question.
(c) Any EFS and master list entry will identify each county or parish in the same State where the product is or is to be produced. If they do not show any further identification of the location of the product, this constitutes a representation that all such product produced in each such county or parish, owned by such person, is subject to the security interest.
(d) The need to supply additional information arises only where some of that product owned by that person is subject to the security interest and some is not.
(e) The additional information about amount and property must be sufficient to enable a reader of the information to identify what product owned by that person is subject, as distinguished from what of the same product owned by the same person is not subject. The precision needed, in the description of the amount and location, would vary from case to case.
(f) The basis for this is the purpose of the entire exercise, to make information available as necessary to enable an identification of what product is subject to a security interest as distinguished from what is not.
§ 205.208 Distribution of portions of master list-registration—information to non-registrants on request. (a) The provisions in the Section regarding registration of "buyers of farm products, commission merchants, and selling agents," "regular" distribution of "portions" of the master list, furnishing of "oral confirmation *** request," and the effect of all this, that is, subsections (c)(2) (D), (E) and (F), (e) (2) and (3), and (g)(2) (C) and (D), must be read together.
(b) The Section does not require such persons to register. Not registering with a particular system operator has
the effect, under subsections (e)(2) and (g)(2)(C), of making such persons, whether they are inside or outside the State covered by that system, subject to security interests shown on that system's master list whether or not such persons know about them, so that such persons for their own protection will need to query the system operator about any seller "engaged in farming operations," of a farm product produced in the State covered by that system, with whom they deal.
(c) The effect of registration by such persons with a particular system is to get them on the list for regular distribution of portions of that system's master list, the portions to be determined by the registration. They are subject only to security interests shown on the portions which they receive, and are not subject to such interests as are shown on the master list but not shown on portions which they receive. Also, if a particular security interest is shown on the master list, but has been placed on it since the last regular distribution of portions of that list to registrants, registrants would not be subject to that security interest. These conclusions are based on the provisions in subsections (e)(3)(A) and (g)(2)(D)(i) that such persons are subject to a security interest only if they receive "written notice *** that specifies both the seller and the farm product."
(d) A question arises as to the length of time for which a registration is effective, and whether a registrant, wishing to change registration as to county or product, can amend an existing registration or must file a new one. This is discretionary with the State since the Section is silent about it.
(e) A question arises whether persons can register to receive only portions of the list for products in which they do not deal, and thus not be subject to security interests in products in which they deal because they are registrants but do not receive written notice of them. For example, can cattle dealers register to receive portions of the master list only for oranges, and thus take cattle free and clear of security interests shown on the master list, but as to which they do not receive written notice because they have not registered
to receive the portion for cattle? Registrants will be deemed to be registered only as to those portions of the master list for which they register, and will be deemed to have failed to register as to those portions for which they do not register.
(f) The Section requires "regular" distribution, to registrants, of portions of the master list as amended from time to time by the filing of EFS's and amendments to EFS's. The requirement that the distribution be "regular" necessarily refers to an interval specified in advance. The interval may vary according to product and region. The frequency of such distribution must be a consideration in review for certification since distribution must be timely to serve its purpose. While subsection (c)(2)(E) (providing that distribution be made "regularly as prescribed by the State") gives each State discretion to choose the interval between distributions, whatever interval a State chooses will inevitably make possible some transactions in which security interests are filed in the system but registrants are not subject to them.
(g) Legislative history of the Section shows that buyers, commission merchants, and selling agents are not intended to be liable for errors or other inaccuracies generated by the system. See Nov. 22, 1985 Cong. Rec., Senate, pg. S16300, and Dec. 18, 1985 Cong. Rec., House, pg. H12523.
(h) In furnishing to non-registrants "oral confirmation within 24 hours of any [EFS] on request followed by written confirmation," by a system operator pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(F), any failure in use of a telephone caused by a "busy signal" could not be the basis of liability of the system operator. The basis for this is that subsection (c)(2)(F) does not mention telephones. Also, while it mentions furnishing information orally, it does not contain any provision as to how queries are to be received, that is, orally, in writing, or otherwise.
(i) Of course it is to be expected that telephones would be used in most cases, but use of them is not required by the legislation and is discretionary with the State.
(j) In the matter of receiving queries and giving oral replies to them, subsection (c)(2)(F) will be complied with if a system operator maintains an office and staff where a query can be received on business days and during business hours such as are regular in the State, and where an oral reply will be available on the regular business day following the day on which the query is received, at or before the time. of day when it was received.
(k) Written confirmation is required, by subsection (c)(2)(F), to be given to any non-registered buyer, commission merchant, or selling agent.
(1) Such a written confirmation pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(F) does not alter the liability of the non-registrant querying the system and receiving information about a security interest recorded in it. The basis of this, as above, is that non-registrants are subject to security interests recorded in a system whether or not they know about them, and must query the system for their own protection.
(m) The Section does not specify when or how the written confirmation must be furnished, but provides only that it must follow the oral information. Thus the time and method of furnishing written confirmation is discretionary with the State.
§ 205.209 Amendment or continuation of EFS.
(a) The "material change," required by subsection (c)(4)(E) to be reflected in an amendment to an EFS and master list entry, is whatever change would render the master list entry no longer informative as to what is subject to the security interest in question. That will vary from case to case. The basis for this is the purpose for which the information is supplied, that is, to make information available, to a buyer, commission merchant, or selling agent who proposes to enter into a transaction in a product, whether it is subject to a security interest. The requirement to amend arises when the information already made available no longer serves the purpose and other information is needed in order to do so.
(b) Where an owner of a product makes a change, such as planting a different crop or purchasing different animals from what was represented, without informing the secured party, so that the master list entry is rendered not informative, but the EFS and master list are not amended through no fault of the secured party, the Section is silent as to the consequences. However, see the legislative history cited in §205.208(f).
(c) The amendment must be filed in the same manner as the original filing. Note the requirement of section (c)(4)(E). The amendment may be filed electronically provided a State allows electronic filing of financing statements without the signature of the debtor under applicable State law under provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code. An electronically filed amendment need not be signed. However, if an original or reproduced paper document is filed, the amendment must be signed by the secured party and the debtor, and be filed by the secured party.
(d) An effective financing statement remains effective for a period of 5 years from the date of filing and may be continued in increments of 5-year periods beyond the initial 5-year filing period by refiling an effective financing statement or by filing a continuation statement within 6 months before expiration of the effective financing statement. A continuation statement may be filed electronically or as a paper document, and need not contain the signature of the debtor.
[51 FR 29451, Aug. 18, 1986, as amended at 61 FR 54728, Oct. 22, 1996; 63 FR 66721, Dec. 3, 1998]
§ 205.210 Effect of EFS outside State in which filed.
(a) A question arises whether, if an EFS is filed in one State, a notice of it can be filed in another State and shown on the master list for the second State. There is nothing in the Section to prevent this, but it would serve no purpose.
(b) The Section provides only for filing an EFS, covering a given product, in the system for the State in which it is produced. Upon such filing in such system, subsections (e)(2) and (g)(2)(C)
make buyers, commission merchants and selling agents not registered with that system subject to the security interest in that product whether or not they know about it, even if they are outside that State. Subsections (e)(3) and (g)(2)(D) make persons registered with that system subject if they receive written notice of it even if they are outside that State. All of these provisions apply only where an EFS is filed in the system for the State in which the product is produced. They do not apply to a filing in another system.
(c) What constitutes "receipt" of notice is determined by the law of the State in which the intended recipient of notice resides. This is based on subsection (f) which follows provisions for notice to buyers, and (g)(3) which follows provisions for notice to commission merchants and selling agents. Each of those provisions uses the word "buyer" but it means "intended recipient of notice."
§ 205.211 Applicability of court decisions under the UCC.
(a) Court decisions under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), about the scope of the "farm products" exception in Section 9-307(1) thereof, and interpreting the terms therein, particularly "person engaged in farming operations" which is not defined in the Section, are applicable to an extent in interpreting the Section. The basis of this is the legislative intent of the Section to pre-empt State laws reflecting that "farm products" exception, as shown in the House Committee Report on Pub. L. 99-198, No. 99-271, Part 1, September 13, 1985, at pages 108 et seq. (b) That UCC Section 9-307(1) reads as follows:
(1) A buyer in ordinary course of business (subsection (9) of Section 1-201) other than a person buying farm products from a person engaged in farming operations takes free of a security interest created by his seller even though the security interest is perfected and even though the buyer knows of its existence. (emphasis added)
§ 205.212 "Buyer in ordinary course of business" and "security interest.” The terms "buyer in ordinary course of business" and "security interest" are defined in subsections (c) (1) and (7). There are differences between those
definitions and the UCC definitions of the same terms. In interpreting those differences, the following would be pertinent:
(a) The legislative intent discussed above in $205.211, to pre-empt State laws reflecting the "farm products" exception; and
(b) The legislative intent shown in subsections (a) and (b) that certain persons take free and clear of certain interests of a "secured lender" "when the seller fails to repay the lender," unless such persons have information about such interests made available to them as provided in the Section.
§ 205.213 Obligations subject—“person indebted"-"debtor."
(a) A debt need not exist at the time of filing of an EFS. The basis for this is that subsection (c)(4) does not require the EFS, and subsection (c)(2)(C) does not require the master list, to show any amount of debt.
(b) The Section does not provide for the transaction in which one person subjects a product to a security interest for another's debt. However the terms "person indebted" and "debtor" in the Section refer to the person who owns a product and subjects it to a security interest, whether or not that person
Owes a debt to the secured party. The basis for this is the purpose for which the information is supplied. Any buyer of a farm product, commission merchant, or selling agent querying a master list or system operator about a prospective seller of a farm product is interested in whether that seller has subjected that product to a security interest, not in whether the debt is owed by that seller or by another.
(c) Security interests existing prior to establishment of a system can be filed in such a system and reflected in the master list if documents are in existence or are created which meet the requirements of subsection (c)(4) besides filing, if such documents are filed wherever State law requires, and if the system operator receives the information about them needed for the master list.
(d) A system can be in compliance with the Section, although it reflects security interests not supported by
EFS's as defined in the legislation, and although it reflects security interests on items other than farm products. However, subsections (e) (2) and (3), and (g)(2) (C) and (D), will apply only as to entries reflecting farm products and supported by EFS's as defined in the Section, and it must be possible to distinguish the entries to which these provisions apply from the other entries.
§ 205.214 Litigation as to whether a system is operating in compliance with the Section.
(a) The requirements for a system in subsection (c) are written as the definition of the term "central filing system," so that failure of a system to meet any such requirement, either at the time of its establishment or later, will mean that it is not a "central filing system" as defined.
(b) The issue whether a system, after certification, is operating in compliance, thus whether it is a "central filing system" as defined, could be litigated and ruled on in a case involving only private parties, such as a lender and a buyer of a farm product. The only immediate effect of a finding in such a case, that a system is not a "central filing system" as defined, would be that the rights of the secured party in the case would be as if the State had no system. However, others would be in doubt as to whether they could safely rely on the same system.