[Federal Register: January 12, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 7)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 1675]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12ja04-18]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Food and Drug Administration

21 CFR Part 1

[Docket No. 2003D-0545]

 
Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding the 
Interim Final Rule on Registration of Food Facilities; Availability

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability of guidance.

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SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the 
availability of a revised guidance entitled ``Questions and Answers 
Regarding the Interim Final Rule on Registration of Food Facilities.'' 
The guidance responds to various questions raised about section 305 of 
the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response 
Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act) and the agency's implementing 
regulation, which require facilities that manufacture/process, pack, or 
hold food for consumption in the United States to register with FDA by 
December 12, 2003.

DATES: Submit written or electronic comments on the agency guidance at 
any time.

ADDRESSES: Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to 
the Registration Help Desk, 1-800-216-7331 or 301-575-0156, or FAX: 
301-210-0247. (See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION) for electronic access to 
the guidance document.
    Submit written comments on the guidance to the Division of Dockets 
Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, 
rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments
.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa S. Scales, Office of 
Regulations and Policy (HFS-24), Center for Food Safety and Applied 
Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., 
College Park, MD 20740, 301-436-1720.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In the Federal Register of October 10, 2003 (68 FR 58894), FDA 
issued an interim final rule to implement section 305 of the 
Bioterrorism Act. The registration regulation requires facilities that 
manufacture/process, pack, or hold food (including animal feed) for 
consumption in the United States to register with FDA by December 12, 
2003.
    On December 4, 2003, FDA issued the first edition of a guidance 
entitled ``Questions and Answers Regarding the Interim Final Rule on 
Registration of Food Facilities.'' This guidance, (``Questions and 
Answers Regarding the Interim Final Rule on Registration of Food 
Facilities (Edition 2)'') is a revision of the December 4, 2003, 
document and responds to additional questions about the interim final 
rule on registration. It is intended to help the industry better 
understand and comply with the regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart H.
    FDA is issuing the guidance entitled ``Questions and Answers 
Regarding the Interim Final Rule on Registration of Food Facilities 
(Edition 2)'' as a Level 1 guidance. Consistent with FDA's good 
guidance practices (GGPs) regulation Sec.  10.115(g)(2) (21 CFR 
10.115), the agency will accept comments, but it is implementing the 
guidance document immediately, in accordance with Sec.  10.115(g)(2), 
because the agency has determined that prior public participation is 
not feasible or appropriate. As noted, the Bioterrorism Act requires 
covered facilities to be registered with FDA by December 12, 2003. 
Clarifying the provisions of the interim final rule will facilitate 
prompt registration by covered facilities and thus, complete 
implementation of the interim final rule.
    FDA continues to receive a large number of questions regarding the 
registration interim final rule, and is responding to these inquires 
under Sec.  10.115 as promptly as possible, using a question-and-answer 
format. The agency believes that it is reasonable to maintain all 
responses to questions concerning food facilities registration in a 
single document that is periodically updated as the agency receives and 
responds to additional questions. The following indicators will be 
employed to help users of the guidance identify revisions: (1) The 
guidance will be identified as a revision of a previously issued 
document, (2) the revision date of the guidance will appear on its 
cover, (3) the edition number of the guidance will be included in its 
title, and (4) new questions and answers will be identified as such in 
the body of the guidance.

II. Comments

    Interested persons may submit to the Division of Dockets Management 
(see ADDRESSES) written or electronic comments on the guidance at any 
time. Two copies of any mailed comments are to be submitted, except 
that individuals may submit one copy. Comments are to be identified 
with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this 
document. The guidance and received comments may be seen in the 
Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday 
through Friday.

III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/guidance.html.


    Dated: January 7, 2004.
Jeffrey Shuren,
Assistant Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 04-598 Filed 1-8-04; 10:33 am]

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