[Federal Register: November 22, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 224)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 70488-70489]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr22no05-5]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Food and Drug Administration

21 CFR Parts 1 and 11

[Docket No. 2005D-0356]

 
Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding the Final 
Rule on Establishment and Maintenance of Records (Edition 2); 
Availability

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability of guidance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the 
availability of a guidance entitled ``Questions and Answers Regarding 
Establishment and Maintenance of Records (Edition 2).'' The guidance 
responds to various questions raised about section 306 of the Public 
Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 
(the Bioterrorism Act) and the agency's implementing regulation, which 
requires the establishment and maintenance of records by persons who 
manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or 
import food in the United States. Such records are to allow for the 
identification of the immediate previous sources and the immediate 
subsequent recipients of food. Persons covered by the regulation must 
be in compliance by December 9, 2005, June 9, 2006, or December 11, 
2006, depending on the size of the business.

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

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. 2005D-
0356, by any of the following methods:
Electronic Submissions
    Submit electronic comments in the following ways:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.regulations.gov. 

Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Agency Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments. 

Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the agency Web site.
Written Submissions
    Submit written submissions in the following ways:
     FAX: 301-827-6870.
     Mail/Hand delivery/Courier [For paper, disk, or CD-ROM 
submissions]: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug 
Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
    To ensure more timely processing of comments, FDA is no longer 
accepting comments submitted to the agency by e-mail. FDA encourages 
you to continue to submit electronic comments by using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal or the agency Web site, as described in the 
Electronic Submissions portion of this paragraph.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and Docket No(s). and Regulatory Information Number (RIN) (if a RIN 
number has been assigned) for this rulemaking. All comments received 
may be posted without change to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/default.htm
, including any personal information provided. For detailed 

instructions on submitting comments

[[Page 70489]]

and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the 
``Comments'' heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this 
document.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/default.htm 

and insert the docket number(s), found in brackets in the heading of 
this document, into the ``Search'' box and follow the prompts and/or go 
to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, 
Rockville, MD 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Beavers, 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, 301-436-1721.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In the Federal Register of December 9, 2004 (69 FR 71562), FDA 
issued a final rule to implement section 306 of the Bioterrorism Act. 
The regulation requires the establishment and maintenance of records by 
persons who manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, 
hold, or import food in the United States. Such records are to allow 
for the identification of the immediate previous sources and the 
immediate subsequent recipients of food. Persons subject to the 
regulation are required to be in compliance by December 9, 2005, June 
9, 2006, or December 11, 2006, depending on the size of the business. 
On September 12, 2005, FDA issued the first edition of a guidance 
entitled ``Questions and Answers Regarding Establishment and 
Maintenance of Records.'' This guidance entitled ``Questions and 
Answers Regarding Establishment and Maintenance of Records (Edition 
2)'' responds to questions about the final rule on records. It is 
intended to help the industry better understand and comply with the 
regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart J. FDA is issuing this guidance as 
a Level 1 guidance. The guidance represents the agency's current 
thinking on the topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or 
on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. 
Consistent with FDA's good guidance practices 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 final rule 
requires that covered persons begin to establish and maintain records 
identifying the immediate previous sources and immediate subsequent 
recipients of food by December 9, 2005, June 9, 2006, or December 11, 
2006, depending on the size of the business. Clarifying the provisions 
of the final rule will facilitate prompt compliance with these 
requirements and complete the rule's implementation.
    FDA continues to receive large numbers of questions regarding the 
records final rule, and is responding to these questions 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 establishment and maintenance of records in a 
single document that is periodically updated as the agency receives and 
responds to additional questions. The following four indicators will be 
employed to help users of this 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) questions and answers that have been added to the 
original guidance 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 regarding the guidance 
at any time. Submit a single copy of electronic comments or two paper 
copies of any mailed comments, except that individuals may submit one 
paper copy. Comments are to be identified with the docket number found 
in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments and the 
guidance 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 guidance at 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/guidance.html.


    Dated: November 15, 2005.
Jeffrey Shuren,
Assistant Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 05-23062 Filed 11-21-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4160-01-S