PRIA Fee Waivers for Small Businesses
This Web page includes information about eligbility for small business fee waivers, how to apply, and related issues.
On this page:
- Eligibility for small business fee waivers
- Submitting a request for a waiver of a registration service fee
- Contents of a small business fee waiver request
- EPA processing of waiver requests
- Information for a small business waiver located in countries other than the United States
- Waiver requests for registration applications after the initial waiver is granted
An applicant that qualifies as a small business is eligible for a partial waiver of 50% or, in some cases, 75% of the registration service fee. Section 33(b)(7)(F) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) contains the provisions for small business waivers.
A small business means a corporation, partnership, or unincorporated business that has:
- 500 or fewer employees; and
- an average annual global gross revenue from pesticides that did not exceed $60 million (including any such revenue from all of its affiliates) during the three-year period prior to the most recent maintenance fee billing cycle.
In addition, a small business that has average annual global gross revenues from pesticides of less than $10 million (including any such revenue from all of its affiliates) over the past three-year maintenance fee billing cycle at the time of the application is eligible for a 75% waiver of the pesticide registration service fee.
If your number of employees is
If your average annual revenue from pesticides is not greater than
You are eligible for a waiver of
500 or fewer
500 or fewer
- Direct and indirect subsidiary and parent entities of the applicant.
- Entities that are controlled directly or indirectly by the owner(s) or any parent entity of the applicant.
- Two unrelated entities that are both owned or controlled by the same entity or person.
- Interlocking management or ownership.
- Identity of interests among family members.
- Shared facilities and equipment.
- Common use of employees.
Accordingly, control is not limited to voting control over another entity.
The Agency will consider these situations on a case-by-case basis. To the extent possible, the applicant should provide the same information as other applicants regarding the number of employees and affiliates. The applicant should disclose whether the ownership or management of the new entity had control over other entities with gross global revenue from pesticides in the prior applicable three-year period. The Agency will not grant a waiver if it determines that the entity submitting the application has been formed or manipulated primarily for the purpose of qualifying for the waiver.
A request for a waiver or reduction must be submitted in writing together with the application.
All small business waiver requests must be accompanied by a partial payment of the appropriate fee:
- If you are requesting a 75% waiver, you must submit 25% of the fee with your application.
- If you are requesting a 50% waiver, you must submit 50% of the fee with your application.
- Do not submit the full fee. If you submit the full fee, the Agency will not consider a request for a waiver or exemption.
Documentation of payment should be attached to the front of your application in the form of a pay.gov receipt. This will ensure that the EPA can match up your payment with the application.
Submit the request in writing and include the following information:
- Basic information:
- The company name and company number assigned by OPP to the applicant.
- The official mailing address of the applicant on record with OPP.
- The telephone number and e-mail or fax number of the contact person regarding the fee waiver or reduction request.
- Information regarding the number of employees of the applicant.
- A certification signed by a responsible officer that the documentation submitted to support the waiver or reduction request is true, complete, and correct.
- An ownership structure chart depicting the relationship of the applicant to subsidiaries and parent entities that are directly or indirectly controlled by the owner(s) or any parent entity of the applicant, if appropriate.
- If the applicant does not have a parent entity, the percentage ownership interest of the direct and indirect owner(s) or shareholders of the applicant should be disclosed. A narrative or explanatory information, if appropriate, addressing whether related entities are affiliates.
- A narrative or explanatory information, if appropriate, explaining how the applicant differentiated its global gross receipts from pesticides from other revenue and how such revenue was calculated, both for the applicant and for any affiliates.
- The rationale should explain what types of revenues have been excluded.
- Appropriate supporting documentation demonstrating that the criteria for the waiver or reduction from the registration service fee are met.
The Certification Statement
The accuracy of the documentation supporting a small business waiver request must be certified by a responsible officer. A responsible officer is someone who is authorized and has sufficient personal knowledge to make the certification. An agent for the applicant is not a responsible officer. In addition, the Agency considers the information to be accurate if it is true, complete, and correct in all material respects. Thus, the sample certification is an acceptable model that complies with the statutory requirements.
If a certification statement is qualified in a manner such that the Agency is unable to determine that it was made by someone who is authorized to do so and has sufficient personal knowledge, e.g., the certification is qualified with a blanket “to the best of my knowledge” statement, the waiver request will be denied.
The Ownership Structure Chart
An ownership structure chart is a diagram that shows the relationship between the applicant and other entities, including parent and subsidiary entities. The ownership structure chart should show all the entities related to the applicant, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary entity, or by virtue of common ownership. If the applicant does not have a parent entity, the direct and indirect owner(s) or shareholders of the applicant should be disclosed. The ownership structure chart and accompanying narrative should include:
- all related entities and owners or shareholders (the company names and company numbers assigned by OPP to entities, if applicable; the official mailing address under FIFRA, if applicable; telephone number; fax number; and e-mail for each entity), and
- the relationship between the entities (i.e., identifying who the owners or interested parties are, identifying entities with any gross revenues from pesticides, and a factual disclosure with respect to the statutory “indicia of control”).
- You may assert a business confidentiality claim covering part or all of the information in the waiver application at the time it is submitted to the Agency. If you wish to assert a claim of confidentiality, you must mark the document "CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION" or a similar designation, and must bracket all text so claimed.
- Information covered by a claim of confidentiality will be disclosed by EPA only to the extent, and by means of the procedures set forth under 40 CFR Part 2. If no claim of confidentiality accompanies the information when it is received by EPA, it may be made available to the public by EPA without further notice to the applicant.
The documentation to support the waiver or fee reduction request should be reliable, pertinent, and comprehensive. The type of documentation that the Agency currently believes will aid it in making a decision regarding a small business waiver or fee reduction request includes, but is not limited to, such documents as: income tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service (such as IRS Forms 1065, 1120, or 1120S, as applicable), the applicant’s most recent IRS 941, and audited financial statements.
Documentation of Total Gross Revenue versus Global Gross Rrevenue from Pesticides
- If the applicant’s total global gross revenues from all sales (and not just pesticides) are well below the $10 million threshold, the applicant does not need to differentiate between total global gross revenues and global gross revenues from pesticides alone.
- If the applicant is differentiating between gross revenue from pesticides and other gross revenue, the applicant should provide an explanation of how the applicant differentiated and calculated global gross revenue from pesticides from other gross revenue for itself and for its affiliates.
Calculating global gross revenues from pesticides
Global gross revenue from pesticides (as defined in FIFRA and the implementing regulations) is not limited to revenue from pesticides for which the applicant is the registrant but includes all revenue from the distribution or sale by the applicant or any of its affiliates of a substance (or mixture of substances) that is intended for a pesticidal purpose or is advertised as having pesticidal purpose, either in the United States or abroad, even if
- the applicant is not the registrant and
- (ii) the substance or device is not registered in the United States.
Thus, global gross revenue from pesticides includes:
- Revenue from pesticides that are not currently registered in the United States.
- All revenue from the sale or distribution of so-called “Section 25(b)” exempt pesticides.
Global gross revenue from pesticides does not, however, include revenue from devices that are sold separately from a pesticide.
For all inert ingredient manufacturers, “global gross revenue from pesticides” includes all revenue from:
- The distribution or sale by the applicant or any of its affiliates of an inert ingredient for formulation into a pesticide either in the United States or abroad.
- The sale or distribution of so-called “Section 25(b)” exempt pesticides.
- Pesticide sales as well as the inert sales that go into the formulation of pesticides (if you are both a registrant and an inert ingredient manufacturer).
Calculating the Number of Employees
To be eligible for a small business waiver, the applicant must have 500 or fewer employees at the time of submitting the application. Unlike the calculation for global gross receipts from pesticides, the calculation of the number of employees is limited to the employees of the applicant and does not include the employees of affiliates.
The Agency currently believes that the number of employees should be calculated in a manner similar to how the Small Business Administration calculates the number of employees for purposes of its regulations. Therefore, the number of employees should be determined upon consideration of the totality of the circumstances, including factors relevant for tax purposes. Accordingly, the number of employees should include all individuals employed on a full-time, part-time, and temporary basis (including shared employees). Supporting documentation may, in part, include payroll information and a recent IRS Form 941, together with a statement certifying the total number of individuals employed by the applicant.
The Agency will review the documentation provided by the applicant and other information in the Agency databases as well as other publicly available information to determine if the applicant meets the applicable criteria for a waiver. The Agency will respond in writing to the applicant with the decision regarding the waiver. If a portion of the fee is still due to the Agency, the letter will include the amount to be paid and instructions for submitting payment.
The Agency must determine whether to grant or deny the request as soon as practicable, but not later than 60 days after the date on which the Agency receives a request for a waiver or reduction of a registration service fee.
- If no additional fees are due, the decision time review period begins on the date we grant the waiver or 60 days after we receive the waiver application, whichever is earlier.
- If a partial waiver is granted but additional fees are due, the decision review time period begins on the date we receive certification of payment of the applicable registration fee.
- If a waiver or fee reduction request is denied, the decision time review period begins when we receive the applicable registration service fee.
- If the applicant withdraws a covered pesticide registration application during the first 60 days after the beginning of the applicable decision time review period, we must refund all but 25% of the total registration service fee.
- If a covered pesticide registration application is withdrawn after the first 60 days of the applicable decision time review period, we must determine what portion, if any, of the total registration service fee for the application may be refunded based on the proportion of the work completed at the time of withdrawal. The maximum that can be refunded is 75%.
The "maintenance fee billing cycle" is a yearly cycle commencing on January 15th. Therefore, the relevant time periods for measuring whether an applicant meets the definition of a small business are the applicant's three fiscal years preceding January 15th of the year in which EPA receives the application.
Foreign entities must provide the same information provided by domestic entities. However, if the information is not in English, the applicant's request may be denied because the Agency is unable to determine that the applicant meets the statutorily defined criteria for a small business. Therefore, documentation not in English should be accompanied by a translation with a certification that the translation is accurate. The Agency will consider the appropriate documentation supporting the request on a case-by-case basis.
Using Exchange Rates to Convert Global Pesticide Sales into U.S. Dollars
Global gross revenue from pesticides is calculated as an average during the 3-year period prior to the most recent maintenance fee billing cycle. The exchange rates to convert the global gross revenue into US dollars should also be the average during the same period. The applicant should include an explanation of the method used for averaging such revenues over the applicable period(s) as well as an explanation of how the exchange rate used was determined.
EPA must determine that the applicant meets the statutory criteria for a small business fee waiver or reduction at the time of the request for each registration application. Therefore, you must provide a certification with each registration application. To the extent that previously submitted documentation is still valid and represents your company’s current small business status, you can rely on these materials by reference.
If the previous request occurred during a prior maintenance fee billing cycle (i.e., prior to January 15):
- The applicant must submit all of the necessary documentation supporting the fee waiver/reduction request as if the request were being made for the first time.
If the previous request occurred during the current maintenance fee billing cycle and the information provided in connection with the prior request has not changed:
- The applicant may reaffirm the information and the underlying documentation previously submitted by submitting a new certification statement that could read as follows:
“I, [insert name of undersigned], the [insert title] of [insert name of applicant], am authorized and have personal knowledge sufficient to make this certification on behalf of [insert name of applicant]. I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that, since [insert name of applicant]’s waiver request of [insert date], there has been no change in the number of [insert name of applicant]’s employees, entities affiliated with [insert name of applicant] or average gross global revenue from pesticides, including any such revenue from affiliates and that the documentation submitted in connection with the request of [insert date] remains true, complete, and correct and remains valid.
While not required, the Agency asks that the applicant also provide a copy of the Agency letter granting the fee/waiver reduction as information in this letter helps the Agency expedite the waiver decision-making process.
If the previous request occurred during the current maintenance fee billing cycle and some of the information provided in connection with the prior request has changed:
- The applicant can reaffirm the information and underlying documentation previously submitted to the extent that there have been no changes and provide updated documentation with respect to those pieces of information that have changed. In these instances, the applicant would provide the following:
- A letter indicating what information in the last certification continues to remain “true, complete, and correct”.
- Materials documentation the information that has changed since the last certification.
- A new certification that could read as follows:
“I, [insert name of undersigned], the [insert title] of [insert name of applicant], am authorized and have personal knowledge sufficient to make this certification on behalf of [insert name of applicant]. I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that the documentation submitted in connection with [insert name of applicant]’s waiver request is true, accurate, and complete in all material respects. I further certify under penalty of perjury that, since [insert name of applicant]’s partial waiver request of [insert date] there has been no change in the [include applicable elements]: number of employees/entity affiliations/average gross global revenue from pesticides, including any such revenue from affiliates] and the documentation submitted in connection with the request of [insert date] remains true, complete, and correct and remains valid.”