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Commissioner Nikki Fried waives fees, fines for businesses and license applicants during COVID-19

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried issued the following emergency orders and rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency orders and rules may be viewed here.

“During this pandemic, we are taking every step necessary to protect Floridians,” said Commissioner Fried. “This includes waiving fees for businesses and license applicants, extending the expiration on concealed weapons and security guard licenses by 30 days, providing training flexibility for workers, and helping move gasoline to consumers more efficiently. These are common-sense actions that will help our state continue to thrive in these challenging times.”

Emergency Order 2020-002 provides relief to pest control, pesticide, fertilizer, and animal feed licensees by suspending the late fees assessed for failure to timely pay fees, or timely renew licenses and certifications. Additionally, it extends (by 30 days) the timeframes required for both quarterly and annual reporting, as well as for renewing licenses and certificates.

Emergency Order 2020-003 waives fees that would typically be imposed for late renewals of the following permits and registrations: solicitors of contributions (charities), brake fluid, commercially-used weights and measures (e.g., scales), motor vehicle repair shops, and dealers of agricultural products.

Emergency Order 2020-004 will help concealed weapon licensees and Chapter 493 licensees by suspending renewal application late fees, providing additional time (30 days) to renew licenses set to expire, providing armed security officers additional time to submit proof of annual requalification, and allowing unarmed security officer training to be conducted by live video conferencing.

Emergency Rule 5JER20-1 states that the COVID-19 global health crisis and the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s directive to limit travel, there is an extreme and unusual oversupply of fuel meeting winter season volatility requirements, known as “winter blend” fuel. This emergency rule will allow winter blend fuel to be sold longer, ensuring the adequate and rapid distribution of available fuel and helping to stabilize the fuel market, and providing consumers a stable supply of gasoline.

Emergency Rule 5PER20-2 extends the deadlines for Sponsors participating in the National School Lunch Program to appeal agency action that may be issued against them by the Department in the coming weeks. The deadlines are being extended to allow Sponsors the extra time needed to comply with recommendations for social distancing when responding to the agency action and to allow the Department to safely hold hearings at a later date.

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