Posted Online: Feb. 08, 2013, 10:26 am
Foreign persons must report U.S. agricultural land holdings
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Press release submitted by Mary S. Kirby
Springfield, IL, February 7, 2013—The U.S. Department of Agriculture's FarmService Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Scherrie Giamanco remindsforeign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States that theyare required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary ofAgriculture.
"Any foreign person who acquires, transfers or holds any interest, other than asecurity interest, including leaseholds of 10 years or more, in agricultural land in theUnited States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days afterthe date of the transaction," said Giamanco.
Foreign investors must file Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act(AFIDA) reports with the FSA county office that maintains reports for the countywhere the land is located.
"Failure to file a report, filing a late report or filing an inaccurate report can resultin a penalty with fines up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the agriculturalland," stated Giamanco.
For AFIDA purposes, agricultural land is defined as any land used for farming,ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more.
Disclosure reports are also required when there are changes in land use. Forexample, reports are required when land use changes from nonagricultural toagricultural or from agricultural to nonagricultural. Foreign investors must also filea report when there is a change in the status of ownership such as the owner changesfrom foreign to non-foreign, from non-foreign to foreign or from foreign to foreign.
Data gained from these disclosures is used to prepare an annual report to thePresident and Congress concerning the effect of such holdings upon family farmsand rural communities in the United States.
For more information regarding AFIDA and FSA programs, contact your localCounty FSA office or visit the USDA Web site at http://www.usda.gov.