Our Fee Schedule for Service
Certification fees are based on gross income from sale of organic products for the calendar year (Jan – Dec). Our one fee schedule for all clients is below.
- There is an additional $75 one-time new applicant fee.
- Fee covers the cost of the organic inspection.
- Fee covers the cost of one certification scope (crops, livestock, processing/handling, or wild crop). If your annual income from organic sales exceeds $60K, you will be charged an additional $150.00 per scope.
- 2022 Applicant Fee Form
Federal Cost Share and Your Actual Out-of-Pocket Expense for Certification
This program currently reimburses certified growers and processor/handlers 50% of their certification costs, to a maximum of $500 per certification scope. Funds come from two sources. In Maine, funds for cost share payments to organic producers (farmers or growers) come from the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program. The AMA is available exclusively to producers in the 16 states that have a historically low participation rate in the Federal Crop Insurance Program. The AMA has been a stable source of cost share funding, regardless of Farm Bill related negotiations. The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), which is a Farm Bill program, provides the funds for the organic cost share to the entire USA, including the organic processors and handlers in Maine. Currently there is funding for both programs, though USDA did reduce the maximum reimbursement amounts in 2020 to 50% up to $500 per scope. In the fall of 2021 the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) was made available for producers through local FSA offices. OTECP provides certified producers with an additional 25%, to a maximum of $250 per scope, in rebates toward certification fees paid in 2020 through 2022.
MCS handles cost share submissions directly with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (MDACF). MCS producers do not need to apply directly through USDA’s FSA offices. MCS submits on behalf of all certified producers who have paid their fees in full by the MCS submission deadlines (6/30 and 9/30). Newly certified operations, or currently certified operations who have not submitted previously, or have had a change of name or address, must file the W-9 form directly with the state in order to receive the reimbursement. Please Note: Producers must apply for funds through the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) individually through their local FSA office; MCS does not administer this program. Visit farmers.gov/otecp to learn more and find an FSA office close to you.
The form must be sent or emailed to: Debbie Davis, Office Associate II Division of Animal and Plant Health Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 28 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0028. Phone: (207) 287-3891 Email: Debbie.Davis@maine.gov
The table below illustrates the out-of-pocket expense for certifying a single scope operation, such as a direct-market vegetable farm. For a more expansive explanation of cost share and out-of-pocket expenses click here.
*After cost share rebate (one scope) and MOFGA rebate (for income under $10K). Cost share rebate is calculated at $500 maximum or up to 50% per scope. Producers with multiple scopes will see a larger refund. USDA reduced the maximum reimbursement amounts in 2020 to 50% up to $500 per scope. We are hopeful this funding will be restored to its intended levels in 2021 (75% up to $750 per scope) but at this time we are not able to guarantee that. PLEASE NOTE: Fees must be paid to MCS in full and not at the out-of-pocket cost.
Supplemental fees are assessed for additional work by the MCS office or inspector that are considered beyond the standard package and annual cycle, including but not limited to: additional inspections to verify compliance or inspection of a farmer/processor whose facilities are in more than one location; out of state travel; expedited services; significant label review due to rebranding, etc. (in excess of 50% of total certified products). The supplemental fee covers additional costs associated with these services. MCS reserves the right to charge for additional services not listed above. Fee assessed case-by-case. Please contact your specialist for more information.
Fees are due at the time you submit your application or renewal with the exception of a requested payment plan. Refunds are based on the total certification fee for your operation and the status of your update or application at the time of withdrawal or surrender.
- 80% refund if the request to withdraw your update or application comes before a certification specialist has reviewed your organic system plan (OSP).
- 50% refund if the request comes after your specialist has review your OSP, but before an inspector has been assigned.
- 25% refund if the request takes place after your file has been assigned to an inspector but before the scheduled day of inspection
- 0% refund if update or application is withdrawn during or after your inspection.
- 0% refund if a Denial of Certification has been issued after review and inspection.