2004 Florida Code
TITLE XXVIII NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 370 SALTWATER FISHERIES  
370.07   Wholesale and retail saltwater products dealers; regulation.

370.07  Wholesale and retail saltwater products dealers; regulation.--

(1)  DEFINITIONS; LICENSES AUTHORIZED.--Annual license or privilege taxes are hereby levied and imposed upon dealers in the state in saltwater products. It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to deal in any such products without first paying for and procuring the license required by this section. Application for all licenses shall be made to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on blanks to be furnished by it. All licenses shall be issued by the commission upon payment to it of the license tax. The licenses are defined as:

(a)1.  "Wholesale county dealer" is any person, firm, or corporation which sells saltwater products to any person, firm, or corporation except to the consumer and who may buy saltwater products in the county designated on the wholesale license from any person licensed pursuant to s. 370.06(2) or from any licensed wholesale dealer.

2.  "Wholesale state dealer" is a person, firm, or corporation which sells saltwater products to any person, firm, or corporation except to the consumer and who may buy saltwater products in any county of the state from any person licensed pursuant to s. 370.06(2) or from any licensed wholesale dealer.

3.  "Wholesale dealer" is either a county or a state dealer.

(b)  A "retail dealer" is any person, firm, or corporation which sells saltwater products directly to the consumer, but no license is required of a dealer in merchandise who deals in or sells saltwater products consumed on the premises or prepared for immediate consumption and sold to be taken out of any restaurant licensed by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Any person, firm, or corporation which is both a wholesale dealer and a retail dealer shall obtain both a wholesale dealer's license and a retail dealer's license. If a wholesale dealer has more than one place of business, the annual license tax shall be effective for all places of business, provided that the wholesale dealer supplies to the commission a complete list of additional places of business upon application for the annual license tax.

(2)  LICENSES; AMOUNT, TRUST FUND.--

(a)  A resident wholesale county seafood dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $300.

(b)  A resident wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $450.

(c)  A nonresident wholesale county dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $500.

(d)  A nonresident wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,000.

(e)  An alien wholesale county dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,000.

(f)  An alien wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,500.

(g)  A resident retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $25; however, if such a dealer has more than one place of business, the dealer shall designate one place of business as a central place of business, shall pay an annual license tax of $25 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $10 for each other place of business.

(h)  A nonresident retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $200; however, if such a dealer has more than one place of business, the dealer shall designate one place of business as a central place of business, shall pay an annual license tax of $200 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $25 for each other place of business.

(i)  An alien retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $250; however, if such a dealer has more than one place of business, the dealer shall designate one place of business as a central place of business, shall pay an annual license tax of $250 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $50 for each other place of business.

(j)  License or privilege taxes, together with any other funds derived from the Federal Government or from any other source, shall be deposited in a Florida Saltwater Products Promotion Trust Fund to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the sole purpose of promoting all fish and saltwater products produced in this state, except that 4 percent of the total wholesale and retail saltwater products dealer's license fees collected shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund administered by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the purpose of processing wholesale and retail saltwater products dealer's licenses.

(3)  APALACHICOLA BAY OYSTER SURCHARGE.--

(a)  For purposes of this section, "bag" means an amount of oysters with shells weighing approximately 60 pounds.

(b)  Effective October 1, 1989, there shall be assessed a surcharge of 50 cents on each bag of oysters to be paid by the wholesale dealer first receiving, using, or selling the oysters after harvesting from the waters of Apalachicola Bay.

(c)1.  Each wholesale dealer shall certify, on such forms as may be prescribed by the Department of Revenue, to any subsequent purchasing wholesale dealer or other purchaser that the surcharge imposed by this subsection has been paid or will be paid by such wholesale dealer first receiving the oysters.

2.  In the case where the harvester is also the wholesale dealer, such wholesale dealer shall maintain documentation, on forms as may be prescribed by the Department of Revenue, adequate to establish that the surcharge has been paid or will be paid by such wholesale dealer.

3.  In such case where the wholesale dealer is also the retail dealer under paragraph (1)(b), such wholesale dealer shall maintain documentation, on forms as may be prescribed by the Department of Revenue, adequate to establish that the surcharge has been paid or will be paid by such wholesale dealer.

(d)  Except for the collection allowance pursuant to s. 212.12 and estimated tax filing requirements pursuant to s. 212.11, the same duties and privileges imposed by chapter 212 upon dealers of tangible personal property respecting the remission of the surcharge, the making of returns, penalties and interest, the keeping of books, records and accounts, and the compliance with the rules of the Department of Revenue in the administration of chapter 212 shall apply and be binding upon all wholesale dealers who are subject to the surcharge imposed by this subsection.

(e)  The Department of Revenue shall keep records showing the amount of the surcharge collected.

(f)  The Department of Revenue shall collect the surcharge for transfer into the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

(g)  The Department of Revenue is empowered to promulgate rules, establish audit procedures for the audit of wholesale dealers, assess for delinquency, and prescribe and publish such forms as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this subsection.

(h)  Annually, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall furnish the Department of Revenue with a current list of wholesale dealers in the state.

(i)  Collections received by the Department of Revenue from the surcharge shall be transferred quarterly to the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, less the costs of administration.

(j)  The executive director of the Department of Revenue is hereby authorized to adopt emergency rules pursuant to s. 120.54(4) for purposes of implementing this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, such emergency rules shall remain effective for 6 months from the date of adoption. Other rules of the Department of Revenue related to and in furtherance of the orderly implementation of this subsection shall not be subject to a s. 120.56(2) rule challenge or a s. 120.54(3)(c)2. drawout proceeding but, once adopted, shall be subject to a s. 120.56(3) invalidity challenge. Such rules shall be adopted by the Governor and Cabinet and shall become effective upon filing with the Department of State, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 120.54(3)(e)6.

(k)  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall use or distribute funds generated by this surcharge, less reasonable costs of collection and administration, to fund the following oyster management and restoration programs in Apalachicola Bay:

1.  The relaying and transplanting of live oysters.

2.  Shell planting to construct or rehabilitate oyster bars.

3.  Education programs for licensed oyster harvesters on oyster biology, aquaculture, boating and water safety, sanitation, resource conservation, small business management, and other relevant subjects.

4.  Research directed toward the enhancement of oyster production in the bay and the water management needs of the bay.

(4)  TRANSPORTATION OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS.--

(a)  A person transporting in this state saltwater products that were produced in this state, regardless of destination, shall have in his or her possession invoices, bills of lading, or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes, or containers and the number of pounds of each species and the name, physical address, and the Florida wholesale dealer number of the dealer of origin.

(b)  A person transporting in this state saltwater products that were produced outside this state to be delivered to a destination in this state shall have in his or her possession invoices, bills of lading, or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes, or containers and the number of pounds of each species, the name and physical address of the dealer of origin, and the name, physical address, and Florida wholesale dealer number of the Florida dealer to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

(c)  A person transporting in this state saltwater products that were produced outside this state which are to be delivered to a destination outside this state shall have in his or her possession invoices, bills of lading, or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes, or containers and the number of pounds of each species, the name and physical address of the dealer of origin, and the name and physical address of the dealer to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

(d)  If the saltwater products in transit come from more than one dealer, distributor, or producer, each lot from each dealer shall be covered by invoices, bills of lading, and other similar instruments showing the number of boxes or containers and the number of pounds of each species. Each invoice, bill of lading, and other similar instrument shall display the wholesale dealer license number and the name and physical address of the dealer, distributor, or producer of the lot covered by the instrument.

(e)  It is unlawful to sell, deliver, ship, or transport, or to possess for the purpose of selling, delivering, shipping, or transporting, any saltwater products without all invoices concerning the products having thereon the wholesale dealer license number in the form prescribed under this subsection and the rules of the commission. Any saltwater products found in the possession of any person who is in violation of this paragraph may be seized by the commission and disposed of in the manner provided by law.

(f)  Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to apply to the sale and delivery to a consumer of saltwater products in an ordinary retail transaction by a licensed retail dealer who has purchased such products from a licensed wholesale dealer, or to the sale and delivery of the catch or products of a saltwater products licensee to a Florida-licensed wholesale dealer.

(g)  Wholesale dealers' licenses shall be issued only to applicants who furnish to the commission satisfactory evidence of law-abiding reputation and who pledge themselves to faithfully observe all of the laws, rules, and regulations of this state relating to the conservation of, dealing in, or taking, selling, transporting, or possession of saltwater products, and to cooperate in the enforcement of all such laws to every reasonable extent. This pledge may be included in the application for license.

(h)  A wholesale dealer, retail dealer, or restaurant facility shall not purchase or sell for public consumption any saltwater products known to be taken illegally, or known to be taken in violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or any rule or statute implementing its provisions.

(i)  Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5)  LICENSE DENIAL, SUSPENSION, OR REVOCATION.--

(a)  A license issued to a wholesale or retail dealer is good only to the person to whom issued and named therein and is not transferable. The commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the renewal of the license of any licensee:

1.  Upon the conviction of the licensee of any violation of the laws or regulations designed for the conservation of saltwater products;

2.  Upon conviction of the licensee of knowingly dealing in, buying, selling, transporting, possessing, or taking any saltwater product, at any time and from any waters, in violation of the laws of this state; or

3.  Upon satisfactory evidence of any violation of the laws or any regulations of this state designed for the conservation of saltwater products or of any of the laws of this state relating to dealing in, buying, selling, transporting, possession, or taking of saltwater products.

(b)  Upon revocation of such license, no other or further license may be issued to the dealer within 3 years from the date of revocation except upon special order of the commission. After revocation, it is unlawful for such dealer to exercise any of the privileges of a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.

(c)  In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection, the commission may impose penalties pursuant to s. 370.021.

(6)  RECORDS TO BE KEPT ON SALTWATER PRODUCTS.--

(a)  Wholesale dealers shall be required by the commission to make and preserve a record of the names and addresses of persons from whom or to whom saltwater products are purchased or sold, the quantity so purchased or sold from or to each vendor or purchaser, and the date of each such transaction. Retail dealers shall be required to make and preserve a record from whom all saltwater products are purchased. Such record shall be open to inspection at all times by the commission. A report covering the sale of saltwater products shall be made monthly or as often as required by rule to the commission by each wholesale dealer. All reports required under this subsection are confidential and shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) except that, pursuant to authority related to interstate fishery compacts as provided by ss. 370.19(3) and 370.20(3), reports may be shared with another state if that state is a member of an interstate fisheries compact, and if that state has signed a Memorandum of Agreement or a similar instrument agreeing to preserve confidentiality as established by Florida law.

(b)  The commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the renewal of the license of any dealer for failure to make and keep required records, for failure to make required reports, for failure or refusal to permit the examination of required records, or for falsifying any such record. In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalties imposed pursuant to this paragraph and s. 370.021, the commission may impose against any person, firm, or corporation who is determined to have violated any provision of this paragraph or any provisions of any commission rules adopted pursuant to s. 370.0607, the following additional penalties:

1.  For the first violation, a civil penalty of up to $1,000;

2.  For a second violation committed within 24 months of any previous violation, a civil penalty of up to $2,500; and

3.  For a third or subsequent violation committed within 36 months of any previous two violations, a civil penalty of up to $5,000.

The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used for administration, auditing, and law enforcement purposes.

(7)  PURCHASE OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS AT TEMPORARY LOCATION.--Wholesale dealers purchasing saltwater products pursuant to s. 370.06(2) at any site other than a site located in a county where the dealer has a permanent address must notify the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of the location of the temporary site of business for each day business is to be conducted at such site.

(8)  UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS.--It is unlawful for any licensed retail dealer or any restaurant licensed by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to buy saltwater products from any person other than a licensed wholesale or retail dealer. For purposes of this subsection, any saltwater products received by a retail dealer or a restaurant are presumed to have been purchased.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29990, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-387; ss. 1, 2, ch. 57-335; s. 2, ch. 61-22; s. 1, ch. 61-376; s. 1, ch. 65-537; s. 1, ch. 67-212; s. 1, ch. 67-262; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 282, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 75-95; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 1, ch. 80-115; ss. 6, 12, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 5, 17, ch. 85-234; ss. 3, 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 4, 19, ch. 86-240; s. 1, ch. 87-120; s. 26, ch. 87-225; s. 2, ch. 88-412; s. 18, ch. 89-175; s. 1, ch. 89-213; s. 9, ch. 90-310; s. 36, ch. 92-151; s. 36, ch. 94-218; s. 217, ch. 94-356; s. 987, ch. 95-148; s. 30, ch. 96-321; s. 171, ch. 96-406; s. 97, ch. 96-410; s. 12, ch. 98-203; s. 12, ch. 2000-197; s. 10, ch. 2000-364; s. 4, ch. 2002-264.
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