Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Written Guidance: Checklist & Line Instructions

 

Fertilizer Tonnage Guidance FAQ for print 

General

 

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If you register fertilizers, soil conditioners or plant amendments in Colorado, you must pay a tonnage distribution fee and file a distribution affidavit and report annually by February 15.  Tonnage is due on products distributed or sold in Colorado during the preceding calendar year.

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The distribution fee pays for the cost of administering the Colorado State Fertilizer Program, which is charged with promoting the truth and accuracy of nutrient and other guarantees relied upon by farmers, horticulturalists and consumers who purchase fertilizers, soil conditioners and plant amendments.

A groundwater protection fee is also due on all commercial fertilizers, and is included in the fertilizer fee rates on the affidavit.  This fee supports the Department’s groundwater protection efforts.

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Yes, each registrant must keep adequate records showing the pounds or tonnage distributed in Colorado.  The Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture has authority to examine these records to verify stated pounds and tons.

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No, pay only once on a given material.  If you pay on a fertilizer ingredient, such as urea, do not also pay on the finished material.  If you pay on the finished material, do not pay on the ingredients.

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If more than one firm is involved in distribution, the last registrant must report and pay the fees, unless a prior distributor does so.  The last registrant is the firm whose name appears on the label and registration application for the product in question.  If more than one firm registers the same material, the last registrant is the last firm registering the material.

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The distribution fees are set by the Colorado Agricultural Commission.  Fees are set for bulk and large (more than ten pounds) packages on a per ton basis, and for small (ten pounds or less) packages on a per pound basis.

An additional groundwater protection fee on commercial fertilizers is also established by the Commission.  Both distribution and groundwater fees are included in the “total fertilizer products” and “total specialty fertilizers” lines on the affidavit.  The “total soil/plant amendment” line is a distribution fee only; no groundwater fee is due on soil conditioners and plant amendments.

Colorado state general fund dollars cover 50% of the costs of administering and enforcing the Colorado Commercial Fertilizer, Soil Conditioner, and Plant Amendment Act.  The fees established by the Commission cover the remaining costs.

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The tonnage and pound statutory reporting requirements are in section 35-12-106 of the Colorado Commercial Fertilizer, Soil Conditioner, and Plant Amendment Act, which can be viewed by following the Lexis Nexis link on the Division’s Law and Regulations Internet page.  The rule requirements are in Part 4 of the Fertilizers and Soil Conditioners Rule, 8 CCR 1202-4, which can be viewed by following the Code of Colorado Regulations link from the same page.

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For assistance, call the Fertilizer Program at (303) 477-0086 or e-mail the Program Administrative Assistant Ms. Curtis Phillips.

 

Completing the Forms

 

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All commercial fertilizers, soil conditioners and plant amendments distributed in Colorado during the preceding twelve month period must be reported.  This will include all such products registered with the Department as well as any custom mixed products for which tonnage is not otherwise paid.

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Forms are sent out to registrants in the second half of December & due back (post-marked by) February 15, or the next business day if February 15 is on a Sunday or holiday.  It is the registrant’s responsibility to obtain & submit the correct form.  Please contact our office if you have not received the correct form by the end of the first week of January.

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To the CDA ICS Main office:

     Colorado Department of Agriculture
     Inspection & Consumer Services Division
     2331 W. 31st Avenue
     Denver, CO 80211

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It is permissible to round amounts reported to the nearest tenth of a ton (0.1 ton), or pound for materials reported in section H.

 

Specific Issues

 

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Yes, one firm may pay for another.  This should be indicated on both the report submitted by the firm paying and on the report submitted by the firm not paying with a note in Section I.  The lines, tons and/or pounds involved are to be indicated on both reports.  The tons and/or pounds of product registered by one firm with fees paid by another are to be indicated in the “Tons/Pounds with fees paid by other companies” column on the report.

Example:  firm A pays for 100 tons of urea, but the urea product is registered by firm B.  Firm A enters the 100 tons in the “Total tons with fees due from your company” column for the Urea/Code 66 line, and notes “100 tons paid for urea/code 66.  Product registered by firm B.”  Firm B enters the 100 tons in the “Total Tons” and “Tons with fees paid by other companies” columns for the urea/code 66 line, and notes in Section I “Fee for 100 tons of urea registered by firm B paid by firm A.”

Private agreements between such firms may facilitate correct payment by both, although such agreements are not specifically addressed by the Colorado Fertilizer Law.  Such agreements are typically augmented by statements such as “Colorado tonnage fee not paid” on invoices for product shipped to a party expected to pay fees due.

If a question arises as to who is responsible for fee payment, the ultimate responsible party is the last firm registering the product(s) for which tonnage is due.

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Yes, there are two examples of this:

  • A firm pays tonnage for products registered by another.
     
  • A firm produces only custom mixes and pays tonnage on the ingredients.
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Yes, if it has not already been paid on the ingredients.

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Distribution fees are not required for ingredients that have already been included in the tonnage or pounds for which a Colorado distribution fee has been paid.

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No distribution fee is due on such materials.

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Generally yes, for one year.  Registration is on the fiscal year, from July 1 through June 30.  Tonnage/pounds reporting is on the calendar year, from January 1 through December 31.  Example:  if a product is registered for 2012-13, tonnage will be due for both the 2012 and 2013 calendar years.

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It may be returned, or held, pending receipt of the affidavit & report.  Payment may be considered late if the correct fee is not submitted with a properly completed affidavit and report form by the due date.

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Colorado distribution fees are not due on product shipped through, rather than to, Colorado.

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No, Colorado has no special exemptions for transactions between importers, manufacturers, distributors or registrants/licensees.