[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 217 (Friday, November 7, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66293-66410]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26282]



[[Page 66293]]

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Part II





Department of Health and Human Services





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Food and Drug Administration



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21 CFR Part 1



Prior Notice of Imported Food Under the Public Health Security and 
Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002; Draft Compliance 
Policy Guide; ``Sec. 110.310 Prior Notice of Imported Food Under the 
Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act 
of 2002;'' Availability; Final Rule and Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 217 / Friday, November 7, 2008 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 66294]]


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Food and Drug Administration

21 CFR Part 1

[Docket No. FDA-2002-N-0233] (formerly Docket No. 2002N-0278)
RIN 0910-AC41


Prior Notice of Imported Food Under the Public Health Security 
and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a final 
regulation that requires the submission to FDA of prior notice of food, 
including animal feed, that is imported or offered for import into the 
United States. The final rule implements the Public Health Security and 
Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism 
Act), which required prior notification of imported food to begin on 
December 12, 2003. The final rule requires that the prior notice be 
submitted to FDA electronically via either the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP or Customs) Automated Broker Interface (ABI) of the 
Automated Commercial System (ACS) or the FDA Prior Notice System 
Interface (FDA PNSI). The information must be submitted and confirmed 
electronically as facially complete by FDA for review no less than 8 
hours (for food arriving by water), 4 hours (for food arriving by air 
or land/rail), and 2 hours (for food arriving by land/road) before the 
food arrives at the port of arrival. Food imported or offered for 
import without adequate prior notice is subject to refusal and, if 
refused, must be held. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, 
FDA is announcing the availability of a draft compliance policy guide 
(CPG) entitled ``Sec. 110.310 Prior Notice of Imported Food Under the 
Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act 
of 2002.''

DATES: This rule is effective May 6, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Draski, Office of Regulatory 
Affairs (HFC-100), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, 
Rockville, MD 20857, 866-521-2297.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background and Legal Authority
II. Summary of Significant Changes Made to the IFR
    A. What Definitions Apply to This Subpart? (Sec.  1.276)
    B. What is the Scope of This Subpart? (Sec.  1.277)
    C. Who is Authorized to Submit Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.278)
    D. When Must Prior Notice Be Submitted to FDA? (Sec.  1.279)
    E. How Must You Submit Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.280)
    F. What Information Must Be in a Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.281)
    G. What Must You Do If Information Changes After You Have Received 
Confirmation of a Prior Notice From FDA? (Sec.  1.282)
    H. What Happens to Food That Is Imported or Offered for Import 
Without Adequate Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.283)
    I. What Are the Other Consequences of Failing to Submit Adequate 
Prior Notice or Otherwise Failing to Comply With This Subpart? (Sec.  
1.284)
    J. What Happens to Food That Is Imported or Offered for Import From 
Unregistered Facilities That Are Required to Register Subpart H of This 
Part? (Sec.  1.285)
III. Comments on the IFR
    A. General Comments
    B. Comments on the Legal Authority
    C. What Definitions Apply to This Subpart? (Sec.  1.276)
    1. The Act (Sec.  1.276(a))
    2. Calendar Day (Sec.  1.276(b)(1))
    3. Country From Which the Article Originates (Sec.  1.276(b)(2))
    4. Country From Which the Article is Shipped (Sec.  1.276(b)(3))
    5. FDA Country of Production (Sec.  1.276(b)(4))
    6. Full Address (Sec.  1.276(b)(6))
    7. Grower (Sec.  1.276(b)(7))
    8. Registration Number (Sec.  1.276(b)(13))
    9. United States (Sec.  1.276(b)(15))
    10. You (Sec.  1.276(b)(16))
    11. Food (Sec.  1.276(b)(5))
    12. International Mail (Sec.  1.276 b)(8))
    13. Manufacturer (Sec.  1.276(b)(9))
    14. No Longer in Its Natural State (Sec.  1.276(b)(10))
    15. Port of Arrival (Sec.  1.276(b)(11))
    16. Shipper (Sec.  1.276(b)(14))
    17. Comments Requesting Additional Definitions
    18. Summary of the Final Rule
    D. What is the Scope of this Subpart? (Sec.  1.277)
    1. Food for an Individual's Personal Use When Accompanied at 
Arrival
    2. Homemade Food Sent as Personal Gift
    3. Food Imported Then Exported Without Leaving Port of Arrival 
Until Export
    4. Food Under the Exclusive Jurisdiction of USDA
    5. Additional Exclusions Requested--General
    6. Additional Exclusions Requested--Special Programs (C-TPAT/FAST) 
and Flexible Alternatives
    7. Additional Exclusions Requested--Samples
    8. Additional Exclusions Requested--Mail
    9. Additional Exclusions Requested--Gifts
    10. Additional Exclusions Requested--Low-Value
    11. Additional Exclusions Requested--Couriers
    12. Additional Exclusion Requested--Gift Packs
    13. Additional Exclusions Requested--Household Goods and 
Unaccompanied Baggage
    14. Additional Exclusions Requested--Noncommercial Use
    15. Additional Exclusions Requested--U.S. Goods Returned
    16. Additional Exclusions Requested--In-Transit Shipments
    17. Additional Exclusions Requested--Diplomatic Pouch
    18. Additional Exclusions Requested--Seeds for Planting
    E. Who is Authorized to Submit Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.278)
    F. When Must Prior Notice Be Submitted to FDA? (Sec.  1.279)
    1. IFR Timeframes (2, 4, and 8 hours)
    2. Integration of FDA and CBP Timeframes
    3. Phase-In of FDA and CBP Timeframes
    4. Prior Notice Confirmation Number
    5. 5-Day Maximum Pre-Arrival Limitation
    6. International Mail
    G. How Must You Submit the Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.280)
    1. General Comments
    2. English Language
    3. Technical Issues Concerning Both Systems
    4. ABI/ACS Interface
    5. PNSI
    6. Security of the Systems
    7. Contingency Plans
    H. What Information Must Be in a Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.281)
    1. General Comments
    2. The Submitter
    3. The Transmitter
    4. The CBP Entry Type
    5. The CBP Entry Identifier (e.g., The Customs ACS Entry Number or 
In-Bond Number)
    6. The Product Identity
    7. Identity of the Manufacturer
    8. The Grower, If Known
    9. FDA Country of Production

[[Page 66295]]

    10. Shipper
    11. The Country From Which the Article is Shipped
    12. Anticipated Arrival Information
    13. The Importer, Owner, Ultimate Consignee, and U.S. Recipient
    14. Mode of Transportation
    15. Carrier
    16. Planned Shipment Information
    I. What Must You Do If Information Changes After You Have Received 
Confirmation of a Prior Notice From FDA? (Sec.  1.282)
    J. What Happens to Food That Is Imported or Offered for Import 
Without Adequate Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.283)
    1. General Comments
    2. Inadequate Prior Notice (Sec.  1.283(a)(1))
    3. Status and Movement of Refused Food (Sec.  1.283(a)(2))
    4. Segregation of Refused Foods (Sec.  1.283(a)(3))
    5. Costs (Sec.  1.283(a)(4))
    6. Export After Refusal (Sec.  1.283(a)(5))
    7. Post-Refusal Prior Notice Submissions (Sec.  1.283(c))
    8. FDA Review After Refusal (Sec.  1.283(d))
    9. International Mail (Sec.  1.283(e))
    10. Prohibitions on Delivery and Transfer (Sec.  1.283(f))
    11. Relationship to Other Admissibility Decisions (Sec.  1.283(g))
    K. What Are the Other Consequences of Failing to Submit Adequate 
Prior Notice or Otherwise Failing to Comply With This Subpart? (Sec.  
1.284)
    L. What Happens to Food That is Imported or Offered for Import From 
Unregistered Facilities That Are Required to Register Under Subpart H 
of This Part? (Sec.  1.285)
    M. Outreach and Enforcement
    1. General Outreach and Enforcement Issues
    2. Prior Notice Submission Training Program From Flexible 
Alternative Question 7
    3. Requests for Additional Outreach
    4. Enforcement Timeframe
    5. Enforcement Penalties
    N. The Joint FDA-CBP Plan for Increasing Integration and Assessing 
the Coordination of Prior Notice Timeframes
    1. Increased Integration
    2. General Comments on the Plan
IV. Analysis of Economic Impacts
    A. Final Regulatory Impact Analysis
    B. Small Entity Analysis (or Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis)
    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA) Major Rule
V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
VI. Analysis of Environmental Impact
VII. Federalism
VIII. References

I. Background and Legal Authority

    Section 307 of the Bioterrorism Act, which was enacted on June 12, 
2002, amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) 
(section 307 of the Bioterrorism Act added section 801(m) to the act 
(21 U.S.C. 381(m)) and amended section 301 of the act (21 U.S.C. 331)) 
by changing when FDA will receive certain information about imported 
foods by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the 
Secretary), after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury,\1\ 
to issue an implementing regulation by December 12, 2003, to require 
prior notification to FDA of food that is imported or offered for 
import into the United States. Beginning on December 12, 2003, food 
importers were required to provide FDA with advance notice of human and 
animal food shipments imported or offered for import.
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    \1\ Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-
296), the Secretary of the Treasury has delegated all relevant 
Customs revenue authorities to the Secretary of Homeland Security 
who has, in turn, delegated them to the Commissioner of the Bureau 
of Customs and Border Protection (CBP or Customs). Thus, the 
Secretary is issuing this final rule jointly with the Secretary of 
Homeland Security.
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    FDA and CBP jointly published the proposed prior notice regulation 
in the Federal Register of February 3, 2003 (68 FR 5428), for comment 
(proposed rule). On October 10, 2003, FDA and CBP issued the prior 
notice interim final rule (IFR) (prior notice IFR) (68 FR 58974) 
(corrected by a technical amendment on February 2, 2004; 69 FR 4851). 
The IFR implemented section 307 of the Bioterrorism Act, and required 
that the prior notice be submitted to FDA electronically via either the 
CBP ABI/ACS or the FDA PNSI. The information must be submitted and 
confirmed electronically as facially complete by FDA for review no less 
than 8 hours (for food arriving by water), 4 hours (for food arriving 
by air or land via rail), and 2 hours (for food arriving by land via 
road) before the food arrives at the port of arrival. Food imported or 
offered for import without adequate prior notice is subject to refusal 
and, if refused, must be held. The IFR responded to comments from the 
public on the proposed rule, and established a 75-day comment period. 
In order to ensure that those commenting on the IFR had the benefit of 
FDA's outreach and educational efforts and had experience with the 
systems, timeframes, and data elements of the prior notice system, FDA 
reopened the comment period for 30 days on April 14, 2004 (69 FR 
19763), and for an additional 60 days on May 18, 2004 (69 FR 28060), 
for a total of 165 days.

II. Summary of Significant Changes Made to the IFR

    The highlights of how this final rule compares to the IFR and the 
rationale for certain changes are described briefly in the following 
paragraphs and are discussed in more detail later in the preamble.

A. What Definitions Apply to This Subpart? (Sec.  1.276)

    We retain the following terms without change from the IFR:
     ``The act;''
     ``Calendar day;''
     ``Country from which the article originates;''
     ``FDA Country of Production;''
     ``Grower;''
     ``Port of entry;'' and
     ``United States.''
    FDA made the following changes in the final rule:
     We revised the term, ``Country from which the article is 
shipped,'' to read, ``* * * or, in the case of food sent by 
international mail, the country from which the article is mailed.''
     We revised the term, ``food,'' to add the phrase, ``except 
as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section,'' in the first 
sentence; and reworded Sec.  1.276(b)(5)(i) to read, ``For purposes of 
this subpart, food does not include''.
     We added the term, ``full address,'' to the final rule. 
Full address means the facility's street name and number; suite/unit 
number, as appropriate; city; Province or State as appropriate; mail 
code as appropriate; and country.
     We revised the term, ``international mail,'' to make the 
sentence easier to read, and to add the phrase, ``unless such service 
is operating under contract as an agent or extension of a foreign mail 
service,'' at the end of the definition.
     We added the term, ``manufacturer,'' to the final rule. 
Manufacturer means the last facility, as that word is defined in Sec.  
1.227(b)(2), that manufactured/processed the food. A facility is 
considered the last facility even if the food undergoes further 
manufacturing/processing that consists of adding labeling or any 
similar activity of a de minimis nature. If the food undergoes further 
manufacturing/processing that exceeds an activity of a de minimis 
nature, then the subsequent facility that performed the additional 
manufacturing/processing is considered the manufacturer.
     We revised the term, ``no longer in its natural state,'' 
by deleting ``waxed''

[[Page 66296]]

from the list of actions that render an article of food still in its 
natural state for purposes of this subpart.
     We revised the term, ``port of arrival'' to read ``* * * 
the water, air, or land port at which the article of food is imported 
or offered for import into the United States. For an article of food 
arriving by water or air, this is the port of unloading. For an article 
of food arriving by land, this is the port where the article of food 
first crosses the border into the United States. The port of arrival 
may be different than the port where consumption or warehouse entry or 
foreign trade zone admission documentation is presented to the U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection (CBP).''
     We revised the term, ``registration number,'' by changing 
the phrase, ``refers to,'' to ``means,'' and by adding the phrase, ``to 
a facility,'' after the word, ``assigned,'' to clarify that FDA assigns 
registration numbers by facility.
     We revised the term, ``shipper,'' by adding the phrase, 
``or express consignment operators or carriers or other private 
delivery service,'' after ``international mail'' to clarify that a 
shipper is involved with various types of transactions, and not just 
international mail shipments.
     We revised the term, ``you,'' to simplify the last phrase 
of the definition to ``i.e., the submitter or the transmitter, if 
any.''

B. What is the Scope of This Subpart? (Sec.  1.277)

    We revised this provision and added ``Articles of food subject to 
Art. 27(3) of The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), 
i.e., shipped as baggage or cargo constituting the diplomatic bag'' to 
the list of food that does not require prior notice.

C. Who is Authorized to Submit Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.278)

    We retain this provision without change.

D. When Must Prior Notice Be Submitted to FDA? (Sec.  1.279)

    FDA revised this provision. Section 1.279(b) of the IFR states 
that, except for international mail, prior notice may not be submitted 
more than 5 calendar days before the anticipated date of arrival at the 
anticipated port of arrival. We revised this section to permit prior 
notice submissions to be submitted no more than 15 calendar days before 
the anticipated date of arrival for submissions made through the PNSI 
and no more than 30 calendar days before the anticipated date of 
arrival for submission made through the ABI/ACS.

E. How Must You Submit Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.280)

    FDA revised this provision. Under 21 CFR 1.280(a)(2) (Sec.  
1.280(a)(2)) of the IFR, prior notice must be submitted via PNSI for 
articles of food that have been refused under section 801(m)(1) of the 
act. Under the final rule, prior notice for articles that have been 
refused under section 801(m) of the act must be submitted through PNSI 
until such time as ACS or its successor system can accommodate such 
transactions.
    FDA also simplified the IFR provisions pertaining to system outages 
at Sec.  1.280(b) through (e) by providing the outage notification at 
one Web address (http://www.fda.gov) and stating that FDA will accept 
prior notice submissions in the format it deems appropriate during the 
system(s) outage.

F. What Information Must Be in a Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.281)

    FDA revised the following information requirements:
     Submitter: The IFR states that ``if a registration number 
is provided, city and country may be provided instead of the full 
address.'' For clarity, in the final rule, FDA has revised this phrase 
to state that ``if the business address of the individual submitting 
the prior notice is a registered facility, then the facility's 
registration number, city, and country may be provided instead of the 
facility's full address.'' FDA also deleted the requirement for 
providing the submitter's fax number.
     Transmitter: The IFR states that ``if a registration 
number is provided, city and country may be provided instead of the 
full address.'' For clarity, in the final rule, FDA has revised this 
phrase to state that ``if the business address of the individual 
submitting the prior notice is a registered facility, then the 
facility's registration number, city, and country may be provided 
instead of the facility's full address.'' FDA also deleted the 
requirement for providing the transmitter's fax number.
     Manufacturer, for food no longer in its natural state:
    Under the IFR, the name, address, and registration number of the 
manufacturer must be submitted; if a registration number is provided, 
city and country may be provided instead of the full address. The final 
rule requires the name of the manufacturer and either: (1) The 
registration number, city and country of the manufacturer or (2) both 
the full address of the manufacturer and the reason the registration 
number is not provided. Publishing elsewhere in this issue of the 
Federal Register, the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG lists the 
reasons to use when the registration number is not provided.
    In the IFR, a registration number is not required for a facility 
associated with an article of food if the article is imported or 
offered for import for transshipment, storage, and export, or further 
manipulation and export. We have removed this from the final rule and 
are requiring the registration number of the manufacturer (or the full 
address of the manufacturer and a reason) in all circumstances.
    In the final rule, we have removed the option provided in the IFR 
that allows the label information in Sec.  101.5 (21 CFR 101.5) to be 
submitted instead of the name, address, and registration number of the 
manufacturer for food sent by an individual as a personal gift (i.e., 
for nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the United States. FDA 
notes, however, that under the enforcement policy proposed in the Prior 
Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, FDA and CBP should typically consider not 
taking any regulatory action when no prior notice is submitted for food 
imported or offered for import for noncommercial purposes with a 
noncommercial shipper, irrespective of the type of carrier.
     Shipper: The IFR required the name and address of the 
shipper and, if the shipper is required to register, the registration 
number assigned to the shipper's facility; if a registration number is 
provided, city and country may be provided instead of the full address. 
The final rule requires the name and full address of the shipper, if 
the shipper is different from the manufacturer in order to eliminate 
duplicative requirements. If the address of the shipper is a registered 
facility, the submitter may submit the registration number of the 
shipper's registered facility.
    In the IFR, the shipper's registration number was not required for 
a facility associated with an article of food if the article is 
imported or offered for import for transshipment, storage, and export, 
or further manipulation and export. We have removed this from the final 
rule because the shipper's registration number is now optional.
     Anticipated arrival information: Under the final rule, we 
removed the requirement for the identity of the anticipated border 
crossing within the port of arrival because FDA and CBP have determined 
that it is no longer necessary for purposes of communication. For post-
refusal submissions, actual date the article arrived is now a required 
data element so that FDA knows how long it has been since the refused 
food shipment arrived

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in the United States and how to connect the refused prior notice to the 
post-refusal prior notice submission for shipments where a previously 
refused prior notice was filed.
    The final rule also includes a new provision for food arriving by 
express consignment operator or carrier since certain information may 
not be available to persons who ship food using an express consignment 
operator or courier. If the article of food is arriving by express 
consignment operator or carrier, and neither the submitter nor 
transmitter is the express consignment operator or carrier, and the 
prior notice is submitted via PNSI, the express consignment operator or 
carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the anticipated 
arrival information.
     The name and address of the importer, owner, and ultimate 
consignee: The IFR required the name and address of the importer, 
owner, and ultimate consignee, unless the shipment is imported or 
offered for import for transshipment through the United States under a 
Transportation and Exportation (T&E) entry. In the final rule, FDA is 
inserting the word ``full'' in front of ``address'' to make clear that 
the complete address is required. Consequently, FDA is revising the 
subsequent text to state that if the business address of the importer, 
owner, or ultimate consignee is a registered facility, then the 
facility's registration number also may be provided in addition to the 
facility's full address.
     Planned shipment information: FDA revised this provision 
by clarifying that the required planned shipment information is 
applicable by mode of transportation and when it exists. Moreover, FDA 
added a new provision in the final rule for the Airway Bill number/Bill 
of Lading number and flight number since this information is generally 
not available to individual submitters. The final rule provides that 
for food arriving by express consignment operator or carrier when 
neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express consignment 
operator or carrier, the tracking number can be submitted in lieu of 
the Bill of Lading or Airway Bill number and the flight number for 
prior notices submitted via PNSI.
    FDA also revised the IFR by deleting the requirement to provide the 
Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code since FDA and CBP have determined 
that the HTS code is no longer critical for communication with CBP.
    In the final rule, we deleted the requirement for the license plate 
number (and State or Province that issued the license) for food 
arriving by privately owned vehicle from the planned shipment 
information and added this data element to the section identifying the 
carrier of the article of food (Sec.  1.281(a)(16) and (c)(16)).
    Table 2, which appears later in this preamble, summarizes the 
information required in a prior notice.

G. What Must You Do If Information Changes After You Have Received 
Confirmation of a Prior Notice From FDA? (Sec.  1.282)

    The IFR required that for prior notices submitted via ABI/ACS, the 
submitter should cancel the prior notice via ACS by requesting that CBP 
``delete'' the entry. FDA has revised the final rule to state that the 
submitter should request that CBP ``cancel'' the entry. Moreover, we 
changed references to ``PN System Interface'' to ``PNSI.''

H. What Happens to Food That Is Imported or Offered for Import Without 
Adequate Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.283)

    The IFR stated that refused food must be moved under appropriate 
custodial bond. FDA has revised this paragraph in the final rule to 
state that the refused food must be moved under appropriate custodial 
bond unless immediately exported under CBP supervision. The final rule 
clarifies that the refused food may be held at the port or at a secure 
facility outside the port. FDA also changed the timeframe for notifying 
FDA of the hold location from within 24 hours of refusal to before the 
food is moved to the hold location. For clarity and consistency 
throughout the final rule, we are changing the phrase, ``designated 
location,'' to ``designated secure facility.''
    Under the section describing FDA review after refusal, FDA revised 
the final rule by including the carrier as one of the entities who can 
submit a request for FDA review. FDA also revised the final rule to 
delete acceptance of requests for review by mail and express courier. 
We are limiting delivery to fax and e-mail.

I. What Are the Other Consequences of Failing to Submit Adequate Prior 
Notice or Otherwise Failing to Comply With This Subpart? (Sec.  1.284)

    We corrected the word ``federal'' in the IFR to read ``Federal.'' 
We also corrected the citation to ``section 303 of the act'' in the IFR 
to read ``sections 301 and 303 of the act.''

J. What Happens to Food That Is Imported or Offered for Import From 
Unregistered Facilities That Are Required to Register Under Subpart H 
of This Part? (Sec.  1.285)

    The final rule removes the provision in Sec.  1.285(a) that if food 
is from a foreign manufacturer that is not registered as required and 
is imported or offered for import, it is subject to refusal of 
admission for failure to provide adequate prior notice. It also deletes 
the text in that provision that states that failure to provide the 
manufacturer's registration number renders the identity of the facility 
incomplete for purposes of prior notice. The final rule retains, with 
revisions, the provision that states that if food is from a foreign 
facility that is not registered and is imported or offered for import, 
it is subject to being placed under hold under section 801(l) of the 
act.

III. Comments on the IFR

    FDA received 320 timely submissions in response to the IFR. To make 
it easier to identify comments and FDA's responses to the comments, the 
word ``Comment'' will appear in parentheses before the description of 
the comment, and the word ``Response'' will appear in parentheses 
before FDA's response. A summary follows which includes a description 
of the appropriate section in the final rule.

A. General Comments

    (Comments) Most comments generally support the intent of the 
Bioterrorism Act and FDA's efforts to implement its provisions with the 
IFR. Some comments commend FDA for revising certain proposed 
requirements to address the needs of international trade by shortening 
timeframes, reducing the amount of information required to be 
submitted, and adding a reasonable amount of flexibility for the 
submission of prior notice based on the mode of transportation in the 
IFR. However, several comments assert that the agency has 
misinterpreted the Bioterrorism Act and some comments suggest that the 
final rule should be more consistent with the existing trade practices 
established in accordance with CBP.
    (Response) FDA drafted the IFR in response to the comments to the 
proposed rule, the needs of international trade, and the continued 
threat of international terrorism and other significant risks to public 
health posed by imported food. We also drafted the final rule 
accordingly.
    (Comments) Several comments support the graduated enforcement 
policy the agency used to implement the

[[Page 66298]]

IFR, noting that this policy facilitated the transition into compliance 
with the prior notice requirements. Comments ask that FDA provide a 
similar transition period after publication of the final rule during 
which time submitters may become familiar with new requirements, 
understand the new procedures and adjust business processes and 
practices.
    (Response) After publication of the IFR, FDA published guidance 
that included a transition period during which we emphasized education 
to achieve compliance (the December 2003 Prior Notice Interim Final 
Rule CPG) (68 FR 69708, December 15, 2003). FDA agrees that 
implementing a graduated enforcement policy using enforcement 
discretion has assisted submitters to become accustomed to the new 
requirements. The new requirements of the final rule will not take 
effect until 180 days after publication. Since the final rule retains 
most of the requirements found in the IFR, and with the 180-day delay 
in effective date, we are not implementing a graduated enforcement 
policy for implementing the final rule.
    FDA and CBP have issued elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register a new CPG (hereinafter the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG) 
that explains our proposed policies for enforcing violations of this 
final rule. The draft CPG describes the circumstances under which FDA 
and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory action, the 
types of violations FDA and CBP intend to focus on, and other 
enforcement policies.
    (Comments) Several comments thank FDA for providing an opportunity 
to provide comments on the provisions of the IFR after a period of 
active FDA/CBP enforcement.
    (Response) FDA agrees that providing several comment periods 
following publication of the IFR has permitted affected stakeholders an 
additional opportunity to offer specific and informed comments on the 
new requirements.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA clarify that prior notices 
submitted to FDA will not be subject to public disclosure under the 
Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, et seq.) (FOIA) because 
information contained in a prior notice is confidential business 
information. Alternatively, the comment requests that FDA develop 
policies to protect confidential business information contained in 
prior notices from public disclosure.
    (Response) FDA does not believe this is necessary. FDA already has 
relatively detailed regulations, in 21 CFR part 20, governing the 
disclosure of information under FOIA, including the disclosure of 
confidential business information. Likewise, the agency's general 
policies, procedures, and practices relating to the protection of 
confidential information received from third parties apply to 
information received under prior notice. We do not believe rules, 
policies, or procedures specific to prior notice are needed.
    (Comments) One comment states that during the period of enforcement 
discretion, various ports of arrival took different approaches to 
enforcement and suggests that FDA ensure that all ports and all 
officials act in a similar fashion to achieve a consistent enforcement 
posture. The comment also suggests that FDA and CBP conduct ``cross-
training'' of their officials staffing FDA or CBP help desks.
    (Response) All prior notice field operations and procedures are 
directed by the FDA Prior Notice Center (PNC). The PNC works to ensure 
a consistent implementation and enforcement program. Since the initial 
implementation of the prior notice rule, FDA staff has received 
additional training and guidance on prior notice requirements.
    (Comments) Several comments acknowledge the efforts of CBP and FDA 
to work together to achieve the common goal of securing the imported 
food supply. In particular, comments congratulate FDA for coordinating 
with CBP to allow transmission of FDA-required information through the 
ABI to CBP's ACS. In addition, comments support the integration and 
cooperation of both agencies in utilizing CBP's targeting system to 
efficiently and rapidly spot anomalies in freight crossing our borders; 
reducing the FDA proposed timeframes for submission of prior notice in 
the advance electronic information requirements; and the commissioning 
of CBP staff to conduct examinations and investigations. One comment 
requests that CBP and FDA ensure that there are adequate resources at 
ports of arrival to mitigate anticipated delays at border crossings 
when the rule is enforced. Several comments anticipated that trade 
would collapse on December 12, 2003, when the new regulations took 
effect.
    (Response) FDA and CBP are continuously coordinating efforts to 
receive, review, and respond to prior notice submissions. We further 
note that trade continued without significant interruption on December 
12, 2003, or anytime after that implementation date. Rather, the 
implementation of the prior notice requirements was relatively smooth.
    (Comments) Several comments acknowledge the importance and value of 
FDA's educational outreach efforts to the trade industry through 
scheduled outreach and education sessions, port-specific flyers, 
foreign government training and Web site communications, especially 
those that summarize certain compliance data. The comments also applaud 
the unprecedented efforts the FDA has made in this regard.
    (Response) FDA and CBP will continue outreach and education efforts 
as resources permit. See section III.M entitled ``Outreach and 
Enforcement'' later in this document for further discussion on this 
subject.
    (Comments) Several comments commend FDA for its efforts in 
developing the prior notice regulation in an efficient and effective 
manner, reaching out to affected stakeholders for input and comment, 
and acknowledge the tremendous effort put forth by the agency in the 
development of the regulation. Other comments state that the rule 
lacked real world international business input and will have both 
business and government unable to function because of the amount of 
paperwork generated, which will not stop a terrorist attack. In 
particular, one comment notes that tracing a grower of a particular 
shipment is impossible in many instances.
    (Response) FDA and CBP systems have been able to manage the 
millions of prior notice submissions received, reviewed, and responded 
to since December 12, 2003. The agencies strove to implement the 
requirements in the Bioterrorism Act in a manner that required only 
that information deemed necessary and appropriate to ensure FDA could 
meet its statutory obligation to receive, review and respond to prior 
notices and target those shipments needing inspection upon arrival in 
the United States. Based on FDA's and CBP's experience since December 
2003, the agencies have revised some of the requirements in the IFR and 
eliminated some of the information we no longer deem necessary (e.g., 
HTS codes). FDA notes that the grower of a food in its natural state is 
required only when known.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that the prior notice IFR is 
``functionally redundant'' because prior notice has long been a part of 
FDA protocol long before the Bioterrorism Act.
    (Response) While FDA agrees that most of the information required 
by the IFR has been submitted to FDA via CBP processes for decades, the 
information has not been required prior to arrival of the food, making 
prior notice a new, unique, and valuable process.

[[Page 66299]]

    (Comments) One comment suggests that the IFR was unduly costly, 
ill-considered and generally more harmful than useful. An additional 
comment believes that the prior notice requirements would restrict 
trade more than necessary and hopes that the United States will 
implement the Bioterrorism Act in the least trade-restrictive manner. 
Another comment states that despite efforts to comply with the new 
requirements, massive problems seem to constantly occur. Another 
comment complains about accessibility to the Web site, cost and time of 
the submission procedures, language barriers, and complexity of the 
information requested.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The prior notice process, which allows 
submission of the required information via either ABI/ACS or PNSI, has 
been relatively smooth. Although there were some technical problems 
encountered during the early implementation phase, FDA believes that 
the graduated enforcement process coupled with the vigorous education 
and outreach efforts by both the government and the industry have 
supported a relatively smooth transition to the new procedures and have 
improved compliance with the new requirements. FDA also has considered 
its international trade obligations under various World Trade 
Organization agreements, North America Free Trade Agreement, and other 
international agreements throughout the rulemaking development 
processes for both the IFR and this final rule. Both rules are 
consistent with our international obligations.
    (Comments) Some comments believe there is a disincentive towards 
product diversification when exporting articles of food to the United 
States because the prior notice requirements put them at a competitive 
disadvantage compared to shipments that originate in the United States.
    (Response) The requirement for prior notice was established by 
Congress with the passage of the Bioterrorism Act to improve the 
ability of the United States to prevent, prepare for, and respond to 
bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. Section 307 of the 
Bioterrorism Act requires prior notice of all food imported or offered 
for import into the United States. FDA is aware of the international 
trade obligations of the United States and has considered these 
obligations throughout the rulemaking process for this final rule and 
the IFR preceding it. Both are consistent with these international 
obligations. FDA and CBP have actively explored ways to reduce the 
burden on industry to the extent feasible while fulfilling the 
Bioterrorism Act mandates. Accordingly, we have made a number of 
changes in the final rule that minimize the impact of prior notice 
requirements on the food being imported or offered for import into the 
United States. We also note that the registration requirement applies 
to domestic facilities, as well as foreign facilities, and that the 
registration provisions in the Bioterrorism Act contain certain 
exclusions that apply only to foreign facilities. (See e.g., 21 CFR 
1.226(a), which exempts from the requirement to register a foreign 
facility, if food from such facility undergoes further manufacturing/
processing (including packaging) by another facility outside the United 
States; no similar exclusion applies to facilities within the Unites 
States.)
    (Comments) Other comments suggest that the IFR failed to include a 
provision that would ensure that high risk imports arrive at ports 
staffed by FDA inspection personnel and notes that this could be 
accomplished by designating particular ports of entry for accepting 
high risk products or requiring importers of such products to provide 
longer notice to ensure adequate inspection coverage.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Section 307 of the Bioterrorism Act 
specifically prohibits FDA from limiting the port of entry by stating, 
``Nothing in this section may be construed as a limitation on the port 
of entry for an article of food.'' We also disagree that certain 
shipments require longer timeframes for submission of prior notice to 
ensure adequate inspection coverage. Under a Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU) between FDA and CBP, published on January 7, 2004 
(69 FR 924), FDA has commissioned thousands of CBP officers in ports 
and other locations to conduct, on FDA's behalf, investigations and 
examinations of imported foods. This helps ensure that there is 
adequate inspection coverage, including at ports where FDA does not 
currently have personnel.

B. Comments on the Legal Authority

    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA delegate authority to the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as it has with CBP, to enable 
USDA to implement prior notice requirements on products where the USDA 
shares jurisdiction.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA has not delegated its authority under 
section 801(m) of the act to CBP, although FDA has commissioned CBP 
officers in ports and other locations to conduct, on FDA's behalf, 
investigations and examinations of imported foods. FDA recognizes that 
there are some products over which both FDA and USDA have jurisdiction. 
For example, both FDA and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service (APHIS) regulate the importation of fruits and vegetables into 
the United States, although the goal of APHIS' regulation is to 
safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from the risks 
associated with the plant pests. Nonetheless, FDA does not believe that 
there is a need to have USDA implement the prior notice requirements 
for products for which we share jurisdiction, nor do we believe that 
doing so would lead to an efficient enforcement of the prior notice 
requirements. The Bioterrorism Act mandates that advance notice be 
given to FDA for any article of food that is being imported or offered 
for import into the United States and that the Secretary receive, 
review, and appropriately respond to such notifications. To accomplish 
this, FDA established the PNC that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a 
week, to receive, review, and respond to these notices as they are 
submitted. The purpose of prior notice is to enable FDA to conduct 
inspections of imported foods at U.S. ports upon arrival and target 
foods that may pose a significant risk to public health, based on the 
information submitted.
    Prior Notice is submitted electronically to FDA through either 
Customs' ABI/ACS or FDA's PNSI. Regardless of the mode of transmission, 
the prior notice information will undergo both a validation process and 
a screening in FDA's Operational and Administrative System for Import 
Support (OASIS) for food safety and security criteria. If the FDA 
system does not indicate that further evaluation of or action on the 
notice or article of food is necessary for prior notice, the system 
will transmit a message through OASIS to the ABI/ACS interface for CBP 
that the article of food may be conditionally released. However, if 
additional evaluation of the prior notice information is necessary, 
personnel at the FDA's PNC will access the information provided and 
determine if that information suggests the potential for a significant 
risk to public health.
    FDA personnel are able to make this determination by using their 
experience of imported foods, utilizing the expertise within the Center 
for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN), the Center for Veterinary 
Medicine (CVM), the inspectional information obtained by the Office of 
Regulatory Affairs (ORA), and utilizing the expertise of CBP staff who 
are co-located with the PNC. If FDA determines that a potential health 
risk is present, FDA or CBP will

[[Page 66300]]

examine the food or take other appropriate action.
    Evaluations of imported articles of food are made on an article-of-
food by article-of-food basis. CBP and FDA are continuously working 
together to incorporate further intelligence gained from this process. 
The recent addition of USDA personnel to assist in the sharing of 
information affecting the safety and security of imported foods will 
help further this effort.
    FDA does note that food items that are under the exclusive 
jurisdiction of the USDA are not subject to the requirements of prior 
notice. (See the discussion on Sec.  1.277 (scope), discussed infra.)
    (Comments) Another comment suggests that to be consistent with the 
Bioterrorism Act, FDA should permit an alternative to prior notice for 
administrative flexibility. The comments suggest that this could be 
accomplished by including in the final rule a provision which states, 
``Other measures as appropriate that provide an equivalent level of 
assurance of compliance with the requirements of this part.''
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Section 801(m) of the act requires the 
submission of prior notice for all food imported or offered for import 
into the United States, except as outlined in Sec.  1.277(b). FDA is to 
use that information to determine whether it should inspect the food 
upon arrival in the United States. Compliance with prior notice, 
therefore, means providing the required information within the 
specified timeframes. No other ``measures'' would ``provide an 
equivalent level of assurance of compliance'' with the prior notice 
requirements.

C. What Definitions Apply to This Subpart? (Sec.  1.276)

    Section 1.276 of the IFR provides definitions for the following 
terms: The act, calendar day, country from which the article 
originates, country from which the article is shipped, FDA Country of 
Production, food, grower, international mail, no longer in its natural 
state, port of arrival, port of entry, registration number, shipper, 
United States, and you. FDA received no comments on the definitions for 
the act, calendar day, country from which the article originates, FDA 
Country of Production, grower, and United States, and thus, the final 
rule retains the definitions for these terms that were in the IFR. 
Although no comments were received on the definitions for ``country 
from which the article is shipped,'' ``registration number,'' and 
``you,'' we made minor revisions to these definitions. We also added a 
definition for the term, ``full address,'' although we did not get any 
comments on this term.
1. The Act (Sec.  1.276(a))
    The final rule defines ``the act'' to mean ``the Federal Food, 
Drug, and Cosmetic Act.''
2. Calendar Day (Sec.  1.276(b)(1))
    The final rule defines ``calendar day'' to mean ``every day shown 
on the calendar.''
3. Country From Which the Article Originates (Sec.  1.276(b)(2))
    The final rule defines ``country from which the article 
originates'' to mean ``FDA Country of Production.''
4. Country From Which the Article is Shipped (Sec.  1.276(b)(3))
    The final rule defines ``country from which the article is 
shipped'' to mean ``the country in which the article of food is loaded 
onto the conveyance that brings it to the United States or, in the case 
of food sent by international mail, the country from which the article 
is mailed.'' For clarity, we revised the last phrase of this definition 
to change, ``the country in which the article will be mailed'' to ``the 
country from which the article is mailed.''
5. FDA Country of Production (Sec.  1.276(b)(4))
    The final rule defines ``FDA Country of Production'' to mean, for 
an article of food that is in its natural state, the country where the 
article of food was grown, including harvested or collected and readied 
for shipment to the United States. If an article of food is wild fish, 
including seafood that was caught or harvested outside the waters of 
the United States by a vessel that is not registered in the United 
States, the FDA Country of Production is the country in which the 
vessel is registered. If an article of food that is in its natural 
state was grown, including harvested or collected and readied for 
shipment, in a Territory, the FDA Country of Production is the United 
States. For an article of food that is no longer in its natural state, 
the country where the article was made; except that, if an article of 
food is made from wild fish, including seafood, aboard a vessel, the 
FDA Country of Production is the country in which the vessel is 
registered. If an article of food that is no longer in its natural 
state was made in a Territory, the FDA Country of Production is the 
United States.
6. Full Address (Sec.  1.276(b)(6))
    The IFR did not have a definition for the term, ``full address.'' 
However, we added this term to the final rule for clarity since this 
term is used throughout the rule. The final rule defines ``full 
address'' to mean ``the facility's street name and number; suite/unit 
number, as appropriate; city; Province or State as appropriate; mail 
code as appropriate; and country.''
7. Grower (Sec.  1.276(b)(7))
    The final rule defines ``grower'' to mean ``a person who engages in 
growing and harvesting or collecting crops (including botanicals), 
raising animals (including fish, which includes seafood), or both.''
8. Registration Number (Sec.  1.276(b)(13))
    The final rule defines ``registration number'' to mean ``the 
registration number assigned to a facility by FDA under section 415 of 
the act (21 U.S.C. 350d) and subpart H of this part.'' FDA made a minor 
change in this definition in the final rule by adding the phrase ``to a 
facility'' after the word ``assigned'' to clarify that FDA assigns 
registration numbers by facility.
9. United States (Sec.  1.276(b)(15))
    The final rule defines ``United States'' to mean ``the Customs 
territory of the United States (i.e., the 50 States, the District of 
Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), but not the 
Territories.''
10. You (Sec.  1.276(b)(16))
    The final rule defines ``you'' to mean ``the person submitting the 
prior notice, i.e., the submitter or the transmitter, if any.'' We made 
a minor change to this definition by simplifying the last phrase of the 
definition to ``i.e., the submitter or the transmitter, if any.''
    FDA received comments on the definitions for the following terms in 
the IFR: food, international mail, no longer in its natural state, port 
of arrival, and shipper. FDA also received comments that recommend that 
FDA include additional definitions for the following terms in the IFR: 
Carrier, manufacturer, trip number, and ultimate consignee. FDA 
responds to these comments in the following paragraphs.
11. Food (Sec.  1.276(b)(5))
    The IFR defines ``food'' as having the meaning given in section 
201(f) of the act, except that it does not include food contact 
substances as defined in section 409(h)(6) of the act (21 U.S.C. 
348(h)(6)) or pesticides as defined in 7 U.S.C. 136(u). Examples of 
food include fruits, vegetables, fish, including seafood,

[[Page 66301]]

dairy products, eggs, raw agricultural commodities for use as food or 
as components of food, animal feed (including pet food), food and feed 
ingredients, food and feed additives, dietary supplements and dietary 
ingredients, infant formula, beverages (including alcoholic beverages 
and bottled water), live food animals, bakery goods, snack foods, 
candy, and canned foods.
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to define food contact substances, 
which are exempt from the requirements of prior notice, to include 
secondary direct food additives. The comment reasons that secondary 
direct food additives, many of which are food processing aids, meet the 
criteria for food contact substances as defined in section 409(h)(6) of 
the act (21 U.S.C. 348(h)(6)). The comment further reasons that 
secondary direct food additives meet the criteria that FDA used in the 
registration IFR to exclude food contact materials from the 
requirements of the registration IFR as they are not ``food for 
consumption'' in that ``they are not intentionally eaten for their 
taste, aroma, or nutritive value'' (68 FR 58894 at 58911).
    (Response) Some secondary direct food additives meet the definition 
of food contact substances as given in section 409(h)(6) of the act 
and, therefore, would not be subject to the prior notice requirements 
(Sec.  1.276(b)(5)(i)(A)). The comment, however, asks about secondary 
direct food additives that are not food contact substances, for example 
food processing aids. The IFR concluded that food processing aids that 
are not food contact substances are subject to prior notice ``Whether a 
food processing aid or `indirect additive' is subject to prior notice 
depends upon whether such a substance is `food' under this rule. As 
noted, for purposes of the interim final rule, `food' excludes `food 
contact substances' as defined at section 409(h)(6) of the FD&C Act. 
Among other things, unlike food processing aids and `indirect 
additives,' `food contact substances' are not `intended to have any 
technical effect in food,' [section 409(h)(6) of the act]. In addition, 
`food' excludes pesticides as defined at 7 U.S.C. 136(u). Thus, if the 
substance is not a pesticide and is intended to have a technical effect 
in the food being processed, the substance is not exempt from the 
definition of `food' under Sec.  1.276(b)(5) in the interim final rule. 
This is a reasonable result in that such processing aids are 
intentionally and directly added to `traditional' foods.'' (68 FR 58974 
at 58986). We continue to hold this view. Thus, if a secondary direct 
food additive is not a food contact substance but is a food processing 
aid, then it would be subject to prior notice.
    (Comments) Two comments ask the FDA to clarify the term, 
``reasonably expected to be directed to a food use.'' One comment 
states that seed produced by seed companies is intended to be used for 
planting crops, but the production process inevitably results in 
remnant or culled seed that is suitable for use as animal feed (and to 
a far lesser degree, as food for human consumption), which generally is 
sold by the seed company as such. The comment states that a similar 
issue arises with some crops, such as onions, for which bulbs sold to 
farmers may also be used as feed or, in limited cases, as food if they 
are determined to be remnant or culled. The comment believes that FDA 
should provide specific limitations on the definitions of ``reasonably 
believes'' and ``reasonably expected'' that take into consideration 
that the seed produced by seed companies is intended to be used for 
planting crops, even though it is understood that there inevitably will 
be some remnant seed and culls. Without such limitations, the comment 
believes the rule is unreasonably broad, imposes a burden on seed 
companies primarily marketing seeds for planting purposes that is out 
of proportion to the protective goals of the act, and is subject to 
widely varying interpretations. Another comment notes that the seed 
industry's research and development activities generate very small 
amounts of seed that may be found ``unsuitable'' for planting and end 
up in the food supply, and similarly asks for clarification of the 
``reasonably believes'' and ``reasonably expected'' language.
    (Response) In the preamble to the IFR, we state that ``FDA will 
consider a product as one that will be used for food if any of the 
persons involved in importing or offering the product for import (e.g., 
submitter, transmitter, manufacturer, grower, shipper, importer, owner, 
or ultimate consignee) reasonably believes that the substance is 
reasonably expected to be directed to a food use'' (68 FR 58974 at 
58987). The purpose of this statement was to explain when an article of 
food would be subject to prior notice if it is capable of multiple 
uses. The comments, and our experience with the IFR, have shown that 
there is some confusion as to how to determine when a substance that is 
capable of a food use and a nonfood use is a ``food'' for purposes of 
prior notice. To clarify, we will consider such a substance to be 
``food'' for the purpose of prior notice if it is reasonably likely to 
be directed to a food use. This should make it clearer that, as 
explained in the preamble to the IFR, the determination is not based on 
the intended use of the article (68 FR 58974 at 58987).
    In one of the comments, the seed will ``inevitably'' contain 
remnant seed and culls that will be diverted to human or animal feed. 
In this case, since at the time of import, the seed is reasonably 
likely to be directed to a food use, prior notice is required. FDA 
believes this is consistent with the purpose of the Bioterrorism Act. 
With respect to the other comment about seeds found ``unsuitable'' for 
planting, there is insufficient detail in the comment to determine 
whether these seeds would be considered food.
    Nonetheless, we note that the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, 
announced elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, proposes an 
enforcement policy regarding seeds for planting. Under the draft 
policy, FDA and CBP would typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action regarding seeds that will be used for cultivation. The policy 
would apply when no more than a small portion of that seed is diverted 
from cultivation to animal feed or other food use. It would not apply, 
however, where the seed is used for the production of edible sprouts, 
such as alfalfa seeds for the production of alfalfa sprouts.
    (Comments) One comment states that the Bioterrorism Act regulations 
do not present a means to provide FDA with certification that any of 
the indicated persons (i.e., submitter, transmitter, manufacturer, 
grower, shipper, importer, owner, or ultimate consignee) do not 
reasonably believe that an item is reasonably expected to be directed 
to a food use prior to arrival at a U.S. port. The comment further 
states that there is no method to avoid classifying their products as 
anything other than those flagged as FD4 \2\ articles requiring prior

[[Page 66302]]

notice, thereby providing no means to avoid refusal of the goods upon 
arrival because the prior notice was not filed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ HTS codes are ``flagged'' in ACS as follows to indicate that 
products are or may be under FDA jurisdiction:
    FD0--Indicates that FDA has determined the article, even though 
subject to FDA's laws and regulations, is acceptable for CBP release 
without further presentation of prior notice or other entry 
information to FDA.
    FD1--Indicates that the article may be subject to FDA 
jurisdiction, including FDA review under 801(a) of the act. For 
products not subject to FDA jurisdiction, a filer can ``Disclaim'' 
product from FDA notification requirements.
    FD2--Indicates that the article is under FDA jurisdiction and 
review of entry information by FDA under section 801(a) of the act 
will take place. However, the article is not ``food'' for which 
prior notice information is required.
    FD3--Indicates that the article may be subject to prior notice 
under section 801(m) of the act and 21 CFR Part 1, subpart I. , 
e.g., the article has both food and nonfood uses.
    FD4--Indicates that the article is ``food'' for which prior 
notice is required under section 801(m) of the act and 21 CFR Part 
1, subpart I.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA is continuously reviewing the FD3 and 
FD4 flags associated with HTS codes. The HTS codes are flagged to 
indicate which products will (FD4) or may (FD3) require prior notice 
and which product will or may require FDA review under section 801(a) 
of the act for admissibility; all FDA-regulated products are covered, 
not just foods. If you believe that an item has been incorrectly 
flagged, you should contact the FDA and provide a statement that 
explains your rationale. The designation will be reviewed and action 
taken to correct the flag if deemed appropriate. With respect to the 
comment about providing certification about the belief of the 
``indicated persons,'' submitters may disclaim articles of food marked 
FD3 if the article is not reasonably likely to be directed to a food 
use by using an affirmation of compliance in ABI/ACS.
    (Comments) Many comments address the FD flags associated with the 
HTS codes. Two comments state that they are currently importing a 
product that was flagged FD4, which requires that prior notice be 
submitted for that article. However, the item is not an article of food 
and the commenter would like the HTS code changed from a FD4 flag to a 
FD3 flag. An additional comment had concerns about multiple use 
products, where one use would require prior notice and another use 
would not. Another comment states that there is no clear methodology 
provided to disclaim an item beyond the initial FD3 designation. The 
comment recommends that the agency outline the elements of a due 
diligence protocol that would become part of the disclaimer process. 
One comment suggested that the data elements in the prior notice 
submission be amended to permit an affirmation that a substance is not 
directed for a food use. This would avoid the article of food from 
being refused if the prior notice was submitted for a category that 
required prior notice. Another comment wants FDA to develop a method 
that would allow the submitter or the transmitter to disclaim the need 
for prior notice at the time of the prior notice transmission.
    (Response) If there is a concern regarding the FD flags associated 
with the HTS codes, you should contact FDA and provide a detailed 
description of why you believe the HTS code is flagged incorrectly. FDA 
and CBP are continuously reviewing and updating the FD flags associated 
with the HTS codes. If you have questions regarding whether prior 
notice is required for a particular article of food, contact the PNC 
for assistance. Furthermore, we have established procedures in place to 
disclaim articles of food the submitter believes does not require prior 
notice. This can be accommodated by ABI/ACS as an affirmation of 
compliance.
    (Comments) One comment states that the list of HTS codes flagged 
for prior notice (both FD3 and FD4) (as provided by Customs Admin 
message 03-2605 dated October 31, 2003) contains 762 tariff numbers. 
The comment asks if this is a definitive list at this point, especially 
since FDA and CBP estimated the number to be around 2,000.
    (Response) This is not a definitive list. FDA and CBP are 
continuously reviewing and updating the FD flags associated with the 
HTS codes. Guidance regarding the HTS flags is posted at http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/htsguid3.html. The lack of an FD3 or FD4 
designation does not mean that prior notice is not required. If the 
article of food fits the definition of food provided in Sec.  1.276 of 
the final rule, then prior notice is required for that article of food.
    (Final rule) Section 1.276(b)(5) of the final rule defines ``food'' 
as having the meaning given in section 201(f) of the act, except that 
it does not include food contact substances as defined in section 
409(h)(6) of the act (21 U.S.C. 348(h)(6)) or pesticides as defined in 
7 U.S.C. 136(u). Examples of food include fruits, vegetables, fish, 
including seafood, dairy products, eggs, raw agricultural commodities 
for use as food or as components of food, animal feed (including pet 
food), food and feed ingredients, food and feed additives, dietary 
supplements and dietary ingredients, infant formula, beverages 
(including alcoholic beverages and bottled water), live food animals, 
bakery goods, snack foods, candy, and canned foods.
    We revised this definition for clarity in the final rule by adding 
the phrase, ``except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this 
section,'' in the first sentence; and reworded paragraph (b)(5)(i) to 
read, ``For purposes of this subpart, food does not include:''.
12. International Mail (Sec.  1.276(b)(8))
    The IFR defines ``international mail'' to mean foreign national 
mail services. International mail does not include express carriers, 
express consignment operators, or other private delivery services.''
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to define international mail to 
include express carriers. Another comment asks FDA to clarify whether 
sending an item by express delivery will be considered ``international 
mail'' or ``express carrier.''
    (Response) FDA declines to make the requested change. The IFR 
defines ``international mail'' to mean ``foreign national mail 
services'' and expressly excluded express carriers, express consignment 
operators, or other private delivery services from the definition. We 
retain this definition in the final rule but revised the wording to 
make the definition easier to read, and to add the phrase, ``unless 
such service is operating under contract as an agent or extension of a 
foreign mail service,'' at the end of the definition. This phrase was 
needed to clarify that a contractor working for a foreign mail service 
also is included in the definition of ``international mail.'' 
International mail is a function of the foreign postal organizations of 
sovereign countries who are members of the International Postal Union. 
International mail shipments generally do not utilize any of the 
electronic data transmission systems commonly used by express 
consignment carriers and private delivery services.
    (Final rule) Section 1.276(b)(8) of the final rule defines 
``international mail'' to mean foreign national mail services. 
International mail does not include express consignment operators or 
carriers or other private delivery services unless such service is 
operating under contract as an agent or extension of a foreign mail 
service.
13. Manufacturer (Sec.  1.276(b)(9))
    (Comments) Two comments request that we define the word 
``manufacturer.'' One of these suggests that we define ``manufacturer'' 
to mean the last entity to conduct a processing operation; e.g., 
including bottling but excluding labeling.
    (Response/Final rule) As discussed in section III.H.7.a of this 
document, FDA agrees and has added a definition for manufacturer. 
Section 1.276(b)(9) of the final rule defines manufacturer as the last 
facility, as that word is defined in Sec.  1.227(b)(2) (in the 
registration rule), that manufactured/processed the food. A facility is 
considered the last facility even if the food undergoes further 
manufacturing/processing that consists of adding labeling or any 
similar activity of a de minimis nature. If the food undergoes further 
manufacturing/processing that exceeds an activity of a de minimis 
nature, then the subsequent facility that performed the additional

[[Page 66303]]

manufacturing/processing is considered the manufacturer.
14. No Longer in Its Natural State (Sec.  1.276(b)(10))
    The IFR defines ``no longer in its natural state'' to mean that 
``an article of food has been made from one or more ingredients or 
synthesized, prepared, treated, modified, or manipulated. Examples of 
activities that render food no longer in its natural state are cutting, 
peeling, trimming, washing, waxing, eviscerating, rendering, cooking, 
baking, freezing, cooling, pasteurizing, homogenizing, mixing, 
formulating, bottling, milling, grinding, extracting juice, distilling, 
labeling, or packaging. Crops that have been cleaned (e.g., dusted, 
washed), trimmed, or cooled attendant to harvest or collection or 
treated against pests, waxed, or polished are still in their natural 
state for purposes of this subpart. Whole fish headed, eviscerated, or 
frozen attendant to harvest are still in their natural state for 
purposes of this subpart.''
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to clarify the term, ``no longer in 
its natural state'' by expressly stating that seed for sowing or 
planting that are shucked, sorted and sized remain ``in their natural 
state'' for purposes of prior notice. Another comment believes that 
activities such as trimming, washing, waxing, and packaging of produce 
are part of normal harvesting activities and seeks to clarify that 
produce that has been trimmed, washed, waxed, and/or packaged is still 
``in its natural state.''
    (Response) The IFR defines ``no longer in its natural state'' as 
meaning ``an article of food has been made from one or more ingredients 
or synthesized, prepared, treated, modified, or manipulated. Examples 
of activities that render food no longer in its natural state are 
cutting, peeling, trimming, washing, waxing, eviscerating, rendering, 
cooking, baking, freezing, cooling, pasteurizing, homogenizing, mixing, 
formulating, bottling, milling, grinding, extracting juice, distilling, 
labeling, or packaging. Crops that have been cleaned (e.g., dusted, 
washed), trimmed, or cooled attendant to harvest or collection or 
treated against pests, waxed, or polished are still in their natural 
state for purposes of this subpart. Whole fish headed, eviscerated, or 
frozen attendant to harvest are still in their natural state for 
purposes of this subpart.'' In the final rule, we are deleting the word 
``waxed'' in the list of activities that render the food still in their 
natural state because this was included in error.
    After publishing the prior notice IFR, FDA issued guidance in the 
form of questions and answers to help clarify the prior notice 
requirements. In the second edition of ``Questions and Answers 
Regarding the Interim Final Rule on Prior Notice of Imported Food 
(Edition 2)'' (the prior notice question and answer guidance document) 
available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnqagui2.html, issued May 
2004, under section B, Definitions, question 4.1 of the guidance, we 
discuss seeds. If the seed will be used only for sowing or planting, 
and not directed to food use, then no prior notice is required and, 
therefore, there is no need to determine whether the seeds are in their 
natural state for the purposes of prior notice.
    Regarding the other comments, the definition for ``no longer in its 
natural state'' in the final rule already states that trimmed or washed 
produce is still in its natural state, if those activities are 
attendant to harvest or collection. This same definition states that 
waxing and packaging are activities that render food no longer in its 
natural state.
    (Final Rule) Section 1.276(b)(10) of the final rule defines ``no 
longer in its natural state'' to mean that ``an article of food has 
been made from one or more ingredients or synthesized, prepared, 
treated, modified, or manipulated. Examples of activities that render 
food no longer in its natural state are cutting, peeling, trimming, 
washing, waxing, eviscerating, rendering, cooking, baking, freezing, 
cooling, pasteurizing, homogenizing, mixing, formulating, bottling, 
milling, grinding, extracting juice, distilling, labeling, or 
packaging. Crops that have been cleaned (e.g., dusted, washed), 
trimmed, or cooled attendant to harvest or collection or treated 
against pests, or polished or packaged are still in their natural state 
for purposes of this subpart. Whole fish headed, eviscerated, or frozen 
attendant to harvest are still in their natural state for purposes of 
this subpart.''
15. Port of Arrival (Sec.  1.276(b)(11))
    The IFR defines ``port of arrival'' to mean ``the water, air, or 
land port at which the article of food is imported or offered for 
import into the United States, i.e., the port where the article of food 
first arrives in the United States. This port may be different than the 
port where consumption or warehouse entry or foreign trade zone 
admission documentation is presented to the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP).''
    (Comments) Two comments ask FDA to clarify what is meant by the 
term, ``port of arrival.'' One comment notes that notwithstanding the 
definition in the IFR, FDA representatives have stated that ``port of 
arrival'' means the first port where the articles of food are ``off-
loaded'' and that if the articles remain on the vehicle or vessel, then 
the port of arrival definition has not been met for these and only 
these articles. Another comment reports being told by FDA 
representatives that when a ship arrives from Europe, only goods ``off 
loaded'' in that port must be given prior notice within the timeframes 
required. If the ship has food destined to be ``off loaded'' in other 
ports, prior notice must be filed for each port in accordance with the 
timeframes required by the regulations. The comments ask FDA to clarify 
this definition.
    (Response) FDA agrees to clarify the term, ``port of arrival,'' as 
it is a required data element in a prior notice and important for 
gauging the timeframes for prior notice submission. The interim final 
rule defined ``port of arrival'' as ``the water, air, or land port at 
which the article of food is imported or offered for import into the 
United States, i.e., the port where the article of food first arrives 
in the United States.'' In essence, the comments ask us to identify the 
point at which an article of food ``first arrives'' in the United 
States when the food is arriving by water.
    The preambles to the proposed rule and IFR explained that for FDA 
to be able to protect U.S. consumers from terrorism or other food-
related emergencies, it was important for FDA to receive prior notice 
before the food covered by that notice is shipped around the country 
and potentially lost to government oversight (68 FR 5428 at 5431 and 68 
FR 58974 at 58991). The preambles concluded that prior notice must be 
given before the food first physically appears in the United States so 
that FDA can inspect the food upon arrival.
    As noted in the comments, some shipments contain both food and 
nonfood cargo. If the carrier stops at multiple ports, the articles of 
food may remain on board at intermediate ports where nonfood articles 
are unloaded. The articles of food are then unloaded at one or more 
subsequent ports. When food is shipped via water and FDA has 
bioterrorism or other public health emergency concerns about the food, 
it would inspect the food at the point of unloading. This is because 
before the food is unloaded it would remain on the carrier either at a 
secured port under CBP authority or in open water, preventing 
intentional or unintentional diversion until unloading. The same is 
true for food shipped by air. When an article of food remains on board 
at one airport to be unloaded at a subsequent airport, FDA would not 
need to examine the food until the point where that food is unloaded. 
In contrast, when food is shipped via land, any articles of food

[[Page 66304]]

remaining on board would travel through the United Stated while outside 
of secured ports and, therefore, could be potentially lost to 
government oversight due to off-loading in noncontrolled areas.
    Therefore, we believe that when an article of food is shipped via 
water or air, the article ``first arrives'' at the port where it is 
unloaded. When an article of food is shipped via land, the article 
``first arrives'' at the port where it crosses the border. We are 
revising the definition of ``port of arrival'' in the final rule to 
clarify this distinction. We have added a statement that for an article 
of food arriving by water or air, the port of arrival is the port of 
unloading. For an article of food arriving by land, the definition now 
states that the port of arrival is the port where the article of food 
first crosses the border into the United States.
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to clarify the word ``port.'' The 
comment asks whether the IFR applies to U.S. Navy ships returning to 
``port'' or to a U.S. Naval Base from outside U.S. territorial waters. 
The comment notes that U.S. Navy fleet ships always have been 
considered U.S. territory. The comment also notes that the CPG states 
that food entering and then leaving the ``port area'' is not subject to 
prior notice and asks FDA to clarify the term, ``port area.''
    (Response) FDA clarifies that the term, ``port,'' is not defined 
but that ``port of arrival'' and ``port of entry'' are defined. The 
term, ``port,'' as used in the rule relates to ports identified by CBP. 
In 19 CFR 101.1 Definitions, ``Port and port of entry refer to any 
place designated by Executive Order of the President, by order of the 
Secretary of the Treasury, or by Act of Congress, at which a Customs 
officer is authorized to accept entries of merchandise to collect 
duties, and to enforce the various provisions of the Customs and 
navigation laws. The terms `port' and `port of entry' incorporate the 
geographical area under the jurisdiction of a port director.'' If CBP 
changes this definition in the future, we will evaluate whether Sec.  
1.276(b)(12) should be revised to incorporate those changes. Proposed 
policies in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, would apply to most 
articles of food on U.S. Navy ships returning to ``port'' or a U.S. 
Naval Base from outside U.S. territorial waters. One policy states that 
FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory action 
when an article of food is imported or offered for import for an 
official government purpose without prior notice, provided that a 
Federal Government agency is the importer of record. Another states 
that FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action when an article of food is imported or offered for import for 
noncommercial purposes with a noncommercial shipper without prior 
notice. One of the examples of foods imported or offered for import 
that may be covered by this policy is food in household goods, 
including military transfers.
    (Final rule) Section 1.276 (b)(11) of the final rule defines ``port 
of arrival'' as ``the water, air, or land port at which the article of 
food is imported or offered for import into the United States. For an 
article of food arriving by water or air, this is the port of 
unloading. For an article of food arriving by land, this is the port 
where the article of food first crosses the border into the United 
States. The port of arrival may be different than the port where 
consumption or warehouse entry or foreign trade zone admission 
documentation is presented to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP).''
16. Shipper (Sec.  1.276(b)(14))
    The IFR defines ``shipper'' to mean ``the owner or exporter of the 
article of food who consigns and ships the article from a foreign 
country or the person who sends an article of food by international 
mail to the United States.''
    (Comments) Two comments request that we clarify the IFR's 
definition of ``shipper.'' One comment asks whether the shipper is the 
person who physically loads the shipment for its final journey to the 
United States, the company that has the business contract to export the 
food to the U.S. importer, or someone in the middle who removes the 
shipment from temporary storage for the initial phase of its entire 
journey to the United States. Another comment asks for clarification as 
to who is the shipper when the producer's shipping platform is involved 
in the shipment--the transporter who takes responsibility for the whole 
shipment or the producer's own facility (assuming that neither would be 
classified as ``manufacturer'')?
    (Response) In the IFR, we defined ``shipper'' based upon the 
description of shipper as it is discussed in CBP's proposed rule 
``Required Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information'' (July 
23, 2003, 68 FR 43574 at 43577). We have decided to continue to use 
this definition in the final rule. In the examples cited in the 
comments above, the shipper is considered to be the entity that 
arranges or directs the shipment to be sent to the United States, 
irrespective of who physically transports it. In the first example it 
would be the company having the business contract to export the food; 
in the second, assuming that the producer is sending the food to a firm 
in the United States, they (the producer) would be the shipper. It 
should also be noted that a firm may be both a shipper and a 
manufacturer with respect to the same product if the product is shipped 
from the point of manufacture to the United States. Moreover, we have 
added the phrase, ``or express consignment operators or carriers or 
other private delivery service,'' after the term, ``international 
mail,'' in the definition of ``shipper'' to clarify that a shipper is 
involved with various types of transactions, and not just international 
mail shipments.
    (Final rule) Section 1.276(b)(14) of the final rule defines shipper 
to mean ``the owner or exporter of the article of food who consigns and 
ships the article from a foreign country or the person who sends an 
article of food by international mail or express consignment operators 
or carriers or other private delivery service to the United States.''
17. Comments Requesting Additional Definitions
    (Comments) Several comments request that we define additional terms 
in the final rule, including: ``trip number,'' ``carrier,'' and 
``ultimate consignee.''
    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA believes these terms are sufficiently 
clear based on our experience since the initial implementation of the 
prior notice IFR. FDA intends to interpret the ``ultimate consignee'' 
consistent with CBP's use of that term in regards to the entry of 
merchandise, which is contained in paragraph 6.3 of Customs Directive 
No. 3550-079A, June 27, 2001. As stated in that CBP Directive, ``if the 
merchandise has not been sold or consigned to a U.S. party at the time 
of entry or release, then the Ultimate Consignee at the time of entry 
or release is defined as the proprietor of the U.S. premises to which 
the merchandise is to be delivered.''
18. Summary of the Final Rule
    Section 1.276 of the final rule defines the following terms: The 
act, calendar day, country from which the article originates, country 
from which the article is shipped, FDA Country of Production, food, 
full address, grower, international mail, manufacturer, no longer in 
its natural state, port of arrival, port of entry, registration number, 
shipper, United States, and you.

[[Page 66305]]

D. What is the Scope of this Subpart? (Sec.  1.277)

    Section 1.277(a) of the IFR states that the prior notice 
requirements apply to all food for humans and other animals that is 
imported or offered for import into the United States. This covers food 
for use, storage, or distribution in the United States, and includes 
food for gifts, trade and quality assurance/quality control samples, 
food for transshipment through the United States to another country, 
food for future export, and food for use in a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone 
(FTZ).
    Section 1.277(b) of the IFR sets out the exclusions from prior 
notice. It excludes food for an individual's personal use when it is 
carried by or otherwise accompanies the individual when arriving in the 
United States (i.e., for consumption by themselves, family and friends, 
not for sale or other distribution); food that was made by an 
individual in his/her personal residence and sent by that individual as 
a personal gift (i.e., for nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the 
United States; food that is imported then exported without leaving the 
port of arrival until export; and meat food products, poultry products, 
and egg products that, at the time of importation, are subject to the 
exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 
451 et seq.), or the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031 et 
seq.).
    FDA received many comments about Sec.  1.277(b), which are 
addressed in order of the exclusions covered in the IFR: Food for an 
individual's personal use when carried by or otherwise accompanying an 
individual; homemade food; food that is imported for immediate 
exportation; and foods under exclusive USDA/Food Safety and Inspection 
Service jurisdiction. The comments concerning requests for additional 
exclusions from the scope of the prior notice requirements are 
addressed by issue, beginning with general comments/requests.
1. Food for an Individual's Personal Use When Accompanied at Arrival
    Section 1.277(b)(1) of the IFR excludes food for an individual's 
personal use when it is carried by or otherwise accompanies the 
individual when arriving in the United States. The IFR explains that in 
this situation there was no ``shipper'' as that term is used in section 
801(m) of the act.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA expand the exemption for 
food carried in to the United States for personal use to include all 
food products carried in personal baggage; or to allow declaration of 
entry to be made through existing general CBP entry declaration 
procedures.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Prior notice is not required for food 
that is carried by or otherwise accompanies an individual entering the 
United States (e.g., food that is in his or her carry-on or checked 
baggage) when the food is for that individual's personal use (Sec.  
1.277(b)(1)). This means that the food is for consumption by the 
individual or by the individual's family and friends and is not for 
sale or other distribution. If the food carried by or otherwise 
accompanying an individual is for commercial purposes, then prior 
notice requirements apply.
    As we explained in the IFR preamble, we do not believe that 
Congress intended for us to characterize travelers bringing food back 
from their travels in their personal baggage for their own use as 
``shippers'' for purposes of section 801(m) of the act. When there is a 
commercial purpose involved, there is a ``shipper,'' i.e., the person 
or entity on whose behalf the traveler is bringing in the food. Thus, 
by its terms, section 801(m) of the act requires that food carried by 
or otherwise accompanying an individual arriving in the United States 
that is not for personal use be subject to prior notice. Moreover, we 
explained that we would potentially create a loophole that would defeat 
the purpose of the prior notice rule if we were to exempt all food 
products carried in personal baggage.
    (Final rule) Section 1.277(b)(1) of the final rule continues to 
state that the rule does not apply to food for an individual's personal 
use when it is carried by or otherwise accompanies the individual when 
arriving in the United States.
2. Homemade Food Sent as Personal Gift
    Section 1.277(b)(2) of the IFR excludes food that was made by an 
individual in his/her personal residence and sent by that individual as 
a personal gift (i.e., for nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the 
United States.
    (Comments) No comments were received about this issue.
    (Final rule) Section 1.277(b)(2) is retained without change.
3. Food Imported Then Exported Without Leaving Port of Arrival Until 
Export
    Section 1.277(b)(3) of the IFR excludes food that is imported then 
exported without leaving the port of arrival until export.
    (Comments) One comment states that if food moves for immediate 
export \3\ (IE) out of the same port, it is not subject to prior 
notice. However, if the food moves on a T&E entry, prior notice is 
required. The comment provides a scenario where a shipment arrives at 
Los Angeles Harbor and then moves to Los Angeles Airport for export. 
Los Angeles Harbor and Los Angeles Airport are separate ports and each 
has its own port code assigned by CBP. The comment states that CBP 
considers this an IE entry. Similarly, the comment questioned if FDA 
considers this an IE entry as well, or if it is considered a T&E entry 
that requires prior notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Food that is brought to a U.S. port but is then directly 
exported from that port of arrival is entered under a CBP IE entry 
and subject to the limitations of an IE bond. In essence, this food 
may not leave the port of arrival until export.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Response) If the food arrives in and is exported from the same 
port, then it is not subject to prior notice. FDA considers a port to 
be the same as defined by CBP in 19 CFR 101.1; i.e., the term ``port'' 
incorporates the geographical area under the jurisdiction of a port 
director. The geographical boundaries of the port of Los Angeles-Long 
Beach are described in 19 CFR 101.3(b)(1). While Los Angeles Harbor and 
Los Angeles Airport are separate for CBP management purposes, they are 
considered to be within the same port. Accordingly, IE entries may be 
filed for movements between Los Angeles Harbor and Los Angeles Airport 
followed by exportation of the goods. Similarly, because such movements 
would not leave the port of arrival until export, prior notice would 
not be required.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that articles of food imported and 
admitted into a FTZ in or adjacent to the port of arrival as ``zone 
restricted status'' merchandise, and then exported from the port of 
arrival under an IE entry, are sufficiently similar to an IE entry that 
the same restrictions as for an IE entry would apply if the food were 
refused admission under 801(m) of the act. The comment, therefore, 
recommends that these articles should be exempt from the prior notice 
requirements.
    (Response) The fact that food is for admission into an FTZ does 
not, by itself, mean that the food is not subject to the requirements 
of the prior notice regulation (Sec.  1.277(a)). In the first instance 
described in the comments, where the article of food is imported and 
admitted into an FTZ located in the port of arrival and then exported 
from the port of arrival, prior notice is not required (Sec.  
1.277(b)(3)). In the second instance, where the article of food is 
imported and admitted into an FTZ

[[Page 66306]]

located adjacent to the port of arrival and then exported, prior notice 
would be required since the food has left the port of arrival before 
export and may not be subject to the limitations of an IE bond. An FTZ 
adjacent to the port of arrival is considered to be outside the port of 
arrival, and therefore not sufficiently similar to those IE entries 
that have never left the port of arrival.
    (Comments) Several comments ask that FDA exempt the airline 
industry's food service from the requirements of prior notice. The 
comments assert that there is no danger to the American public from 
this operation. One comment suggests that leftover unopened cans of 
soda, unopened small bottles of liquor (to be held in bonded storage) 
or other ``dry-stores'' items on flights inbound to the United States 
and intended for use on later flights should be exempt from prior 
notice. In addition, the comment states that it is not possible to 
determine at ``wheels up'' what will remain upon landing in the United 
States. One comment states that it is impossible to provide detailed 
information about leftover soda and liquor on incoming international 
aircraft. One comment proposes the addition of the following exception 
to Sec.  1.277(b): ``Food that is imported by a shipper operating an 
aircraft in international air transportation, then exported by the same 
shipper, [as] long as such food remains on board the aircraft at all 
times from import to export.''
    (Response) If the aircraft food is consumed on the international 
flight or discarded and is not entered into the United States for use, 
storage, or distribution or remains on board and is exported from the 
same port into which it arrived, it is outside the scope of the 
regulation and prior notice is not required. By contrast, prior notice 
is required for in-flight food that is moved out of the port of arrival 
to caterers for use on other international or domestic flights (Sec.  
1.277).
    (Comments) One comment questions whether wines manufactured in a 
foreign country and present on a passenger ship that may cruise or dock 
in the United States Territorial Sea require prior notice.
    (Response) If the wine remains on the ship, it does not require 
prior notice (Sec.  1.277(b)(3)). However, if the wine is offloaded 
from the ship and leaves the port of arrival in the United States, 
prior notice would be required.
    (Comments) One comment asks that if wines are loaded onto a 
passenger ship at a U.S. port, but such an article of food has been 
previously imported into the U.S. to be exported or transshipped, does 
the prior notice for such an article of food require the manufacturer's 
registration number.
    (Response) Prior notice is required for food imported or offered 
for import into the United States before arrival and not when the food 
is loaded onto a passenger ship in the United States.
    (Final rule) Section 1.277(b)(3) is retained without change in the 
final rule and excludes food that is imported then exported without 
leaving the port of arrival until export.
4. Food Under the Exclusive Jurisdiction of USDA
    The IFR in Sec.  1.277(b)(4), (b)(5), and (b)(6) excludes: Meat 
food products that at the time of importation are subject to the 
exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); poultry products that at the time of 
importation are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the 
Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq); and egg 
products that at the time of importation are subject to the exclusive 
jurisdiction of USDA under the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 
1031 et seq). The IFR explains that these are excluded as directed in 
the Bioterrorism Act.
    (Comments) Comments state that live animals including cattle, pig, 
chickens, etc. require prior notice, whereas prior notice is not 
required for products exclusively regulated by the Federal Meat 
Inspection Act. The comments recommend that animals regulated 
exclusively by USDA/Veterinary Services such as live cattle, pigs, and 
chickens be exempt from prior notice because USDA examines them upon 
importation. One comment further suggests that live animals requiring 
prior notice should be those animals regulated by FDA, such as turtles, 
game animals, etc. Another comment asks whether prior notice is 
required for livestock sent to the United States for recreational 
purposes, but after a number of years are expected to be slaughtered 
and enter the food chain as pet food. One comment asks that FDA exempt 
breeder livestock not imported for immediate slaughter and remove 
``FD3'' flags from HTS codes that cover breeder livestock to avoid 
confusion at the ports of arrival regarding applicability of prior 
notice requirements.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Live animals, such as poultry and cattle, 
are food for purposes of prior notice (Sec.  1.276(b)(5)(ii)) if the 
article of food is reasonably likely to be directed to a food use (see 
discussion supra on the definition of food in section III.C.11). Note 
that live food animals are not excluded from prior notice under section 
801(m)(3)(B) of the act and Sec.  1.277(b)(4) or (b)(5) because live 
food animals do not fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of USDA 
under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or Poultry Products Inspection 
Act. If the live animals are imported for a nonfood use (i.e., as a 
pet, for show purposes, racing) and are not reasonably likely to be 
directed to a food use, then prior notice is not required. USDA/
Veterinary Services inspects imported live animals for animal health, 
not human health, purposes. An FD3 flag associated with breeder 
livestock means that the livestock may be subject to prior notice 
requirements. If the live animal is not reasonably likely to be 
directed to a food use, then the HTS code may be disclaimed because 
prior notice is not required.
    (Comments) Some comments had a concern regarding USDA-regulated 
products. One comment noted that USDA-regulated products were excluded 
from the FDA prior notice rule, but that an HTS codes document released 
on November 20, 2003, highlights a number of products that are 
regulated by USDA. Another comment questions why cattle imported for 
slaughter are coded FD4 and all other cattle are coded FD3 when the 
importation of cattle is under the responsibility and jurisdiction of 
USDA.
    (Response) Only items that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of 
the USDA are excluded from the requirements of prior notice. Articles 
of food that are jointly regulated by FDA and USDA are subject to the 
requirements of prior notice. Live animals raised for food, even though 
not in their final, edible form, are considered to be food under the 
act. United States v. Tomahara Enterprises Ltd., Food Drug Cosm. L. 
Rep. (CCH) 38,217 (N.D.N.Y. 1983) (live calves intended as veal are 
food) and United States v. Tuente Livestock, 888 F. Supp. 1416 (S.D. 
Ohio 1995) (live hogs are food).
    (Final rule) Section 1.277(b)(4), (b)(5), and (b)(6) of the final 
rule are retained without change and exclude meat food products that at 
the time of importation are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of 
the USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); 
poultry products that at the time of importation are subject to the 
exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the Poultry Products Inspection 
Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.); and egg products that at the time of 
importation are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the 
Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.).

[[Page 66307]]

5. Additional Exclusions Requested--General
    (Comments) One comment states that cough drops containing OTC 
(over-the-counter) Monograph active ingredients are regulated as an 
over-the-counter drug by the FDA, and therefore, are not subject to 
prior notice. However, CBP categorizes all cough drops, including ones 
regulated as drugs by the FDA, as candy subject to regulation by FDA as 
food. Therefore, due to this classification by CBP, cough drops would 
require prior notice. In addition, another comment asks if 
pharmaceuticals, such as over-the-counter drugs, are exempt from prior 
notice requirements.
    (Response) CBP classification does not identify foods requiring 
prior notice. However, CBP and FDA have worked together to provide 
indicators; i.e., flags associated with HTS codes to indicate which 
articles being imported may require prior notice submission. The FD3 
flag indicates that the products categorized by that HTS code may 
require prior notice submission; those products categorized in those 
HTS codes flagged as FD3 that do not require prior notice submission 
may be disclaimed by the filer upon entry. On the other hand, the FD4 
flag indicates that the products categorized by that HTS code require 
prior notice submission. FDA has published guidance regarding these 
flags and has published a list of the HTS codes with FD3 and FD4 flags. 
The guidance is posted at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/htsguid3.html 
and the list of codes is posted at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
htscodes.html.
    The comment asks about such articles containing OTC monograph 
active ingredients. HTS Code 3004909176 (cough and cold preparations) 
would apply to, among other articles, cough suppressants that contain 
OTC monograph active ingredients. This HTS Code is not flagged for 
either FD3 or FD4, meaning that prior notice would not be required. 
Candies, which are food, would fall under different HTS Codes and would 
be subject to prior notice.
    (Comments) One comment recommends that FDA's food category codes 
for raw materials could be made more complete to cover the range of 
materials known to be used in products marketed as foods. The comment 
states that there are numerous CBP ``Customs Codes'' that do not 
contain the appropriate FD3 or FD4 codes and that this causes confusion 
among the industry with some groups interpreting the lack of an FDA 
code as meaning that that food ingredient was exempt from prior notice, 
even if the ingredient is known to be used in food. Other comments 
assume that ingredients lacking an FD3 or FD4 code that are best known 
as being active ingredients in drugs, but are also used in dietary 
supplements, are exempt from prior notice. The comment recommends that 
these codes should be made as complete as possible and that FDA should 
indicate that ingredients without a FD3 or FD4 code may still require 
prior notice.
    (Response) FDA and CBP continuously evaluate the HTS codes in order 
to attach the appropriate FD3 and FD4 designations. However, the lack 
of an FD3 or FD4 designation does not mean that prior notice is not 
required. If the article fits the definition of food provided in Sec.  
1.276 of the final rule, then prior notice is required for that article 
of food. If you believe that an item has been incorrectly flagged, or 
is not currently flagged, but should be, you should contact the FDA and 
provide a statement with your suggestion and basis for the flag 
designation.
    (Comments) One comment believes that there is a conflict between 
the registration (21 CFR part 1, subpart H) and prior notice IFRs, 
where the former is based upon the intended use of food (i.e., 
consumption), and the latter applies to ``all'' food. The comment 
states that this has caused difficulties with the import process by: 
(1) Requiring foreign facilities to register in order to meet the prior 
notice requirements and (2) requiring drug and device establishments to 
register as food facilities in order to facilitate importation of 
intra-company articles. The comment believes this places an undue 
burden on drug and device establishments and hampers the importation 
process for articles not intended for use in food, as well as for food 
articles not intended for consumption. The comment suggests that 
section Sec.  1.277 be changed to read: ``This subpart applies to all 
food intended for consumption by humans and other animals * * *.'' In 
addition, the comment suggests that the HTS codes be modified to allow 
articles designated with a FD3 or FD4 code to be disclaimed, with 
rationale, depending on their intended use.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA disagrees with changing Sec.  1.277 
to read that prior notice is only required for food that is intended 
for consumption. In the preamble to the IFR, FDA noted that the 
determination of whether a substance is ``food'' is not a question of 
intended use (See 68 FR 58974 at 58987). Moreover, we do not believe 
that there is a conflict between the registration and prior notice 
requirements. Under the registration rule, in general, a facility 
engaged in the manufacturing/processing, packaging, or holding of food 
for consumption in the United States must be registered. Regardless of 
whether the facility that manufactured the food manufactured it for 
consumption in the United States, section 801(l) of the act prohibits 
food that is from an unregistered foreign facility from being delivered 
for distribution in the United States until the facility is registered. 
Thus, if the owners, operators, or agents in charge of facilities want 
to ensure these types of food are not subject to being held under 
section 801(l) of the act, they can register in accordance with section 
415 of the act (21 U.S.C. 350d) (and if the food is for consumption in 
the United States, they must register unless the facility qualifies for 
an exemption). An importer can likewise ensure that food is not subject 
to being held under section 801(l) of the act by not importing or 
offering for import food that is from an unregistered foreign facility.
    Throughout this preamble to the final rule, we often use the phrase 
``food is subject to being held'' in describing our enforcement of the 
registration requirement through prior notice. Under section 801(l) of 
the act, ``[i]f an article of food is being imported or offered for 
import into the United States, and such article is from a foreign 
facility for which a registration has not been submitted to the 
Secretary under section 415, such article shall be held at the port of 
entry for the article, and may not be delivered to the importer, owner, 
or consignee of the article, until the foreign facility is so 
registered'' (emphasis added). In this situation, the article of food 
is being prevented from moving forward past the port of arrival because 
the food is from a foreign facility that has not registered. This 
situation is distinct from a situation where, after FDA reviews the 
prior notice information, the food is held upon arrival for examination 
because it may pose a significant risk to public health, usually 
referred to as a ``BT Hold.'' In addition, we do not believe that prior 
notice places an undue burden on the drug and medical device industry. 
Items designated with a FD4 code are all believed to be used 
exclusively in food, and therefore, require prior notice. Articles 
designated by a FD3 code can have food and nonfood uses. These items do 
not require prior notice if the use of the article does not fit the 
definition of food provided in Sec.  1.276 of

[[Page 66308]]

the final rule and may be disclaimed by the filer as such upon entry.
    (Comments) One comment states that there is no facility 
registration requirement for transshippers; however, goods processed 
under CBP's Form CF7512 (T&Es and ITs) require a prior notice to be 
filed. The comment notes that this cannot be accomplished without the 
corresponding facility registration number. In addition, T&Es and ITs 
do not have a designated submitter. The comment requests that T&E and 
IT transactions be exempt from prior notice.
    (Response) FDA disagrees that T&E or IT transactions should be 
exempt from the requirements of prior notice. These articles of food 
leave the port of arrival prior to exportation from the United States 
or for subsequent movement through the United States prior to entry.
    Under Sec.  1.281(a)(9) of the IFR, a shipper's (transshipper's) 
registration number was not required for a facility associated with an 
article of food if the article is imported for transshipment. Under the 
final rule, if the shipper's identity is provided, the shipper's 
registration number is optional. Therefore, the absence of a shipper's 
registration number should not prevent submission of a prior notice 
under either the IFR or final rule. Moreover, FDA disagrees with the 
comment's implication that a prior notice requires a designated 
submitter. Under Sec.  1.278 of the IFR and final rule, a prior notice 
may be submitted by any person with knowledge of the required 
information.
    (Comments) Several comments request that FDA generally exempt 
Canada and Mexico from submitting prior notice for food shipments. One 
comment requests that FDA exempt Canada, in keeping with the nature of 
cooperation and shared security risks between the United States and 
Canada, in particular the 30 point border plan. The comment reasons 
that Canadian origin food is easily traceable through existing Canadian 
registration requirements, while already meeting or exceeding United 
States standards in some instances. The comment further notes that the 
legislation acknowledges the largest threat is from offshore, yet the 
regulations most severely hit continental trade between the United 
States, Canada, and Mexico. One comment suggests that the exemption 
could be limited to shipments of food which are under similar security 
controls, especially small quantity shipments of fish imported via 
package delivery. Another comment asks that FDA exempt goods being 
imported into the United States from companies which are inspected by 
the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. While we welcome any additional 
information that supports our ability to quickly review prior notice 
submissions and determine which food to inspect at U.S. ports of 
arrival, the Bioterrorism Act does not provide for blanket exclusions 
based on the country from which the food is shipped or the country in 
which the food originates. FDA currently is reviewing flexible 
alternative programs (e.g., CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against 
Terrorism (C-TPAT), which was adopted into law (still as a voluntary 
system) by Subtitle B of Title II of the SAFE Port Act of 2006 (Public 
Law 109-347), and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) (a voluntary program 
authorized under 19 U.S.C. 1411) ) to determine their potential for 
streamlining the prior notice review process, but notes that these 
programs do not meet or affect the requirement to submit prior notice. 
Moreover, FDA notes that many shipments from Canada and Mexico into the 
United States in fact are transshipments from other countries, which 
prior notice submissions identify with the FDA Country of Production 
data element.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA create a relational 
database to give unique identification numbers to an importer's 
specific items. The comment states that this would speed submission, 
reduce time to enter the data, and increase compliance with the 
regulation. The comment reasons that most food importers will bring in 
the same product, in the same package, from the same country, over and 
over. Another comment suggests that a single weekly summary of all 
shipments by a company to individual consumers or a summary of orders 
received should be adequate for this type of commerce.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Not all importers consistently import the 
same types of food. The Bioterrorism Act requires submission of prior 
notice before an article of food is imported or offered for import into 
the United States. A weekly summary as suggested by the comment would 
not meet this requirement, as such a summary would not provide prior 
(advance) notice before the article of food is imported or offered for 
import. FDA notes, however, that a number of the software programs that 
customs brokers use to file prior notice and entry submissions with 
ABI/ACS do allow for repetitive information to be saved on the filer's 
computer and used for future shipments, as appropriate. Similarly, 
FDA's PNSI has been designed to accommodate repetitive information, 
such that the basic prior notice information that will repeat on each 
prior notice can be created and saved for use on subsequent prior 
notices. A separate prior notice confirmation number is generated for 
each article of food or recipient.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA exempt highly perishable 
food products. The comment states that highly perishable food products, 
such as ice cream, must be delivered in a timely manner. A delay in the 
delivery schedule due to holdups at the border could potentially ruin 
these products, and customers inconvenienced by the time delay may 
choose to stop importing them. A number of comments request that FDA 
exempt fresh produce. Several comments note that produce is already 
carefully monitored by CBP and placed on automatic quarantine for 
mandatory inspection at the first port of arrival by USDA/CBP. Other 
comments state that produce is already subject to 100 percent USDA 
inspection and approval prior to release. Another comment requests that 
produce be exempt from the requirement of prior notice because it 
already meets the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act. The comment 
reasons that the purpose of the prior notification to FDA is to provide 
FDA with the information necessary to make a decision (prior to 
arrival) for a possible physical inspection. The comment states that 
the CBP Agriculture Specialist performs the physical inspection (or 
reviews original documentation that confirms ``pre-inspection''). 
Therefore, the comment reasons, importations of fresh produce are 
already meeting the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act. The comments 
further state that because prior notice is already given for produce, 
the new procedure created by this new legislation will only increase 
costs and cause extreme hardship for small business. An additional 
comment states that their shipments are subject to four levels of 
inspection: County, State, Federal, Customs and ``Bio Terrorist'' and 
reasons that the redundancy is wasteful.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Highly perishable foods, like all other 
foods that are covered by the final rule, are subject to prior notice 
requirements. The timeframes are sufficiently short, allowing for 
submission of prior notice as soon as 2, 4, or 8 hours before arrival 
in the United States depending on mode of transportation. While the 
Bioterrorism Act provides for an exclusion for certain types of food, 
such as meat and meat food products subject to USDA's exclusive 
jurisdiction, it does not exclude perishable foods generally

[[Page 66309]]

or foods jointly regulated by USDA and FDA.
    As we explained in the IFR preamble, merely obtaining existing 
information about the food from other agencies would not guarantee that 
FDA has the information required by section 801(m) of the act's prior 
notice requirements because there is wide variation in the purposes and 
information required by other government programs (68 FR 58974 at 
58992). Moreover, our ability to respond to bioterrorism incidents or 
other food-related emergencies in a timely manner may be more difficult 
if the information is not easily accessible.
    (Comments) One comment recommends that the rule be amended to 
include an exemption from prior notice for organizations that are 
importing FD4 materials for nonfood uses.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Items designated with an FD4 code are all 
believed to be used exclusively in food, and therefore, food 
encompassed by an HTS code that is flagged FD4 is subject to prior 
notice requirements. Moreover, as discussed previously, FDA provided 
extensively its rationale for not limiting the prior notice 
requirements to food for consumption in the United States. (See 68 FR 
58974 at 58990 and 58991.) As FDA noted in the IFR, Congress did not 
explicitly limit the prior notice requirement to articles of food that 
are intended for consumption in the United States even though it could 
have done so as shown in section 415 of the act (requirement to 
register food facilities). If anyone believes that an HTS code has been 
flagged FD4 in error, they can inform FDA and, if we agree, we will 
change the flag accordingly.
    (Comments) Two comments request that FDA exempt small businesses.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Prior notice is required for all FDA-
regulated food that is imported or offered for import. The Bioterrorism 
Act does not provide for exclusions based upon the size or nature of 
the firms or facilities associated with that importation.
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to permit an exemption from prior 
notice, by importer number, to be recognized in ACS at the time of 
entry transmission, to importers who demonstrate that their products 
will not reasonably be expected to be directed to a food use.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Prior notice requirements are associated 
with food, not the person manufacturing, growing, shipping, importing, 
or owning the food. A product is food for purposes of prior notice if 
the article of food is reasonably likely to be directed to a food use. 
Prior notice is required for each article of food imported or offered 
for import, and food imported or offered for import by or for select 
importers will not be excluded from prior notice requirements. If an 
importer does not import articles of food, then no ``exemption'' would 
be needed since prior notice would not apply to such imports. The FD 
flags associated with HTS codes are designed to help identify which 
products will require prior notice. If an import is marked FD3 but it 
is not food subject to prior notice, the importer can disclaim this 
import and prior notice would not need to be submitted.
6. Additional Exclusions Requested--Special Programs (C-TPAT/FAST) and 
Flexible Alternatives
    In the explanation of the reduced timeframes and the relationship 
of special programs to those timeframes, FDA stated in the IFR that the 
``interim final rule provides for greatly reduced timeframes for foods 
based on mode of transportation. These timeframes are what FDA has 
determined are the minimum timeframes necessary to allow it to satisfy 
the statutory mandate that the timeframes give the agency the time it 
needs to `receive, review, and respond' to prior notices. However, FDA 
is also interested in exploring flexible alternatives for submission of 
prior notice for foods or firms covered by programs of other agencies, 
such as C-TPAT, or imported by other agencies.'' (68 FR 58974 at 
58995).
    FDA and CBP reopened the comment period for the IFR in the Federal 
Register of April 14, 2004 (69 FR 19763). On page 19764 of that 
publication, FDA and CBP wrote ``In the prior notice [interim final 
rule], we expressed interest in exploring flexible alternatives for 
submission of prior notice for foods or firms covered by programs of 
other agencies, such as CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against 
Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, or 
food imported by other government agencies (68 FR 58974 at 58995). C-
TPAT is a government/business initiative to increase cargo security 
while improving the flow of trade. Under this program, businesses must 
conduct comprehensive self-assessments of their supply chain using the 
security guidelines developed jointly with CBP, and they must 
familiarize companies in their supply chain with the guidelines and the 
program. These businesses must provide CBP with specific and relevant 
information about their supply chains and security practices and 
procedures. As C-TPAT members, companies may become eligible for 
expedited processing and reduced inspections, but are not exempt from 
advance electronic information requirements. (See CBP's advance 
electronic information rule). FAST, an acronym for Free and Secure 
Trade between the United States and Canada, and the United States and 
Mexico, is an expedited-clearance system designed to improve border 
security without slowing the flow of legitimate trade across the 
northern and southern U.S. borders. FAST processing is available to 
importers, carriers and foreign manufacturers (southern border) who 
participate in C-TPAT and who use a FAST-registered driver. The 
initiative builds on the same concepts that drove the rapid, post-9/11 
construction and implementation of C-TPAT. FDA and CBP plan to assess 
the feasibility of including the FAST timeframes in FDA's prior notice 
final rule, as well as other flexible alternatives raised by comments.
    To assist in this assessment, FDA and CBP requested comments on 
several questions, including three regarding special programs (69 FR 
19763 at 19764):
    C-TPAT/FAST Questions:
    (1) Should food products subject to FDA's prior notice requirements 
be eligible for the full expedited processing and information 
transmission benefits allowed with C-TPAT and FAST? If so, how should 
this be accomplished?
    (2) If the timeframe for submitting prior notice for food arriving 
by land via road is reduced to 1 hour consistent with the timeframe in 
the advance electronic information rule, would a shorter timeframe be 
needed for members of FAST?
    (3) Should the security and verification processes in C-TPAT be 
modified in any way to handle food and animal feed shipments regulated 
by FDA? If so, how?
    The comments received addressing these issues are discussed in the 
following paragraphs in order of the questions posed in the Federal 
Register notice, beginning with comments addressing general issues 
regarding C-TPAT and FAST.
    a. General comments. (Comments) Numerous comments address special 
trade programs, such as C-TPAT and FAST. These comments recommend that 
FDA and CBP modify these CBP programs to reflect the criteria required 
by FDA and to develop integrated data elements for low risk FAST/C-TPAT 
shipments, which would meet both agencies' requirements. The comments 
believe it is necessary to have harmonization between FDA and CBP for 
``low-risk'' shippers.

[[Page 66310]]

    Many comments contend that the IFR does not take into account the 
Canada-United States Smart Border Plan (SBP). A key element of the SBP 
is the FAST bilateral arrangements. Under the C-TPAT and the Canadian 
Partnerships in Protection (PIP) programs, companies approved by both 
countries have invested in specific counter-terrorism and supply-chain 
integrity measures, and are therefore, accorded more expedited 
treatment at the Canada-U.S. border in recognition of the lower risk 
they present.
    The comments recommend that FDA recognize foods imported under 
these programs as low risk and to afford them benefits, such as reduced 
information requirements for each shipment; reduced timeframes for 
providing prior notice; reduced clearance time at the border; and 
reduced number of verifications of information. The comments further 
urge FDA and CBP to permit importers who are participants in C-TPAT and 
FAST to comply with their prior notice obligations in a manner that 
does not undermine the benefits of participation in these programs. The 
comments contend that C-TPAT and FAST improve U.S. security on a number 
of levels, including reducing the risk of bioterrorism, and help to 
focus limited border resources on higher risk cargo. The comments 
suggest that FDA and CBP therefore should be careful not to remove 
incentives for participation in these programs by making importation of 
food items more cumbersome than other types of entries. Otherwise, the 
comments contend prior notice will dilute a key advantage offered to 
FAST/C-TPAT participants, thereby weakening the incentive to join the 
program. The companies participating in these programs have made a 
substantial commitment to improving security by putting in place 
appropriate security systems, and submitting to periodic review of 
those systems by CBP.
    The comments believe that these programs strengthen FDA's ability 
to meet the objectives of the prior notice rule. They contend that this 
is achieved in two ways: (1) Through the rigorous security screening 
that participants must comply with in order to obtain a low-risk 
status; and (2) by removing low-risk shipments from the queue, FAST/C-
TPAT work to shrink the number of shipments that must be screened, 
thereby ``freeing up'' FDA officials to focus limited resources on 
higher risk shipments.
    One comment states that a firm having to manage its systems to 
track C-TPAT products and non-C-TPAT products will incur increased 
complexity, increased cost, and will be subject to making errors. This 
comment suggests that firms who routinely send products across the 
border could provide prior notice on a quarterly basis. The facility 
would track the number of shipments each quarter and update FDA with 
any changes to the anticipated amounts. These shipments would be 
permitted to cross the border without waiting, but still could be 
subjected to FDA or CBP inspection.
    Another comment questions the cost, benefits, etc. of these 
programs for small companies. In addition, a few comments address the 
creation of similar programs and/or the expansion of the current 
programs. One comment requests that FDA permit the use of Line Release 
(i.e., an automated system designed to release and track repetitive 
shipments) for food shipments arriving by rail. The comment states that 
their member railroads participate in C-TPAT and it would be 
discriminatory to permit the use of an expedited clearance system for 
motor carriers, but not rail transportation.
    One comment urges FDA to begin working with all interested parties 
to identify criteria for qualification and participation in a program 
like C-TPAT, FAST, and others as it applies to prior notice. The 
comment suggests that participation might hinge on the submission and 
verification of documentation evidencing the implementation of, and 
continued adherence to, validated supply chain risk management 
techniques. The comment believes that there would be mutual benefits of 
such a program. FDA could reallocate its resources to closer review and 
examination of shipments from those importers that do not participate 
in the program and, thus, have not demonstrated the same level of 
commitment to food safety and shipment security as participating 
importers do. Program participants would benefit from the agency's 
recognition of their commitment to safety and security, which 
presumably would be reflected in more efficient and timely processing 
of their entries at the border. In that regard, the comment suggests 
that the agency consider extending to participating low risk importers 
the option of submitting a single prior notice for all entries in a 
mixed load container or truck. FDA product codes for all line entries 
would continue to be available to FDA through FDA's existing OASIS 
system.
    Another comment hopes that the multiple U.S. agencies (FDA, 
Department of Homeland Security, and USDA) could collectively address 
this issue and develop a protocol for food products that are currently 
ineligible for any FAST benefits.
    A few comments request that C-TPAT should be open to all foreign 
operators willing to participate and that companies participating in C-
TPAT should be exempt from the procedures under the Bioterrorism Act. 
These comments encourage partnerships between the U.S. and E.U. similar 
to C-TPAT, which would facilitate trade in food and feed between the 
E.U. and U.S. and avoid delays at the U.S. border, especially with 
respect to perishable products. In addition, one comment suggests that 
food transporters should be allowed eligibility in C-TPAT and FAST to 
ensure that all transporters operate on a level playing field.
    One comment notes that C-TPAT is not currently offered to Canadian 
manufacturers unless they are an Importer of Record for U.S. Customs' 
purposes.
    Finally, one comment expresses concern that any motor carrier who 
is not Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS)-certified may be required 
to present the prior notice confirmation number upon arrival at the 
border, even if prior notice was submitted through ACS. The comment 
states that truck drivers are generally unable to obtain the prior 
notice confirmation number prior to arrival given the short distance 
between Canada and the United States and the fact that prior notice is 
not generally submitted until after the trucker has left with the load. 
The comment states that requiring PAPS authorization as a way to avoid 
delays is to mandate that truck companies become C-TPAT certified or 
otherwise comply with the designation requirements. The comment notes 
that this is not possible, sometimes for cost reasons alone. The 
comment also has similar concerns regarding the PAPS-program at the 
Southern border.
    (Response) While FDA welcomes the additional information provided 
by C-TPAT and FAST, these programs would require relatively significant 
changes to be useful in helping us carry out the prior notice program. 
The purpose of prior notice is to help identify food that potentially 
poses a significant health risk to the American public and to deploy 
resources to the port of arrival so that inspections can be conducted 
before the shipment enters the United States. Information about the 
manufacturing facility is used in conducting this risk assessment. The 
C-TPAT assessment, however, does not always include the food 
manufacturing/processing operations. Even when it does, C-TPAT focuses 
on security risks

[[Page 66311]]

whereas the prior notice program considers all health and safety risks 
to the food, such as unintentional contamination. Moreover, unlike PNC 
reviewers, the CBP Supply Chain Specialists who conduct the validation 
assessments for C-TPAT are not necessarily trained in assessing the 
potential risks associated to food products and neither FDA nor CBP has 
the resources to fund the extensive training that would be required to 
do so. Because knowing that a firm participates in C-TPAT does not 
assist FDA in conducting its food safety review, we have decided not to 
provide special treatment in terms of reduced prior notice information 
requirements or reduced timeframes based on C-TPAT participation.
    It is important to note that participation in C-TPAT does not 
affect the information requirements of CBP's advance electronic 
information rules; the same information is required regardless of C-
TPAT participation. However, successful participation in C-TPAT does 
affect the frequency of CBP cargo and trade examination. FDA likewise 
uses a risk-based approach in selecting foods for examination at the 
border for security and food safety reasons. FDA, thus, is continuing 
to explore with CBP and industry use of these programs in making 
decisions regarding which products to inspect for the purposes of 
admissibility (801(a) decisions).
    Comments addressing which foreign operators are eligible for 
participation in FAST and C-TPAT are outside the scope of this rule. 
CBP stated in a document entitled ``Frequently Asked Questions 
Regarding Minimum Security Criteria for Importers,'' dated March 25, 
2005, (CBP's March 25, 2005, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document) 
(available at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/cargo_security/ctpat/security_criteria/criteria_importers/questions.xml (FDA has verified 
the Web site address, but FDA is not responsible for any subsequent 
changes to the Web site after this document publishes in the Federal 
Register)), that ``C-TPAT remains a voluntary, incentive based 
partnership. However, once a company commits to the C-TPAT program, 
there are specific program requirements that must be adhered to by the 
company to qualify for C-TPAT benefits, which are significant. C-TPAT 
importers are six times less likely to undergo a security related cargo 
examination, and four times less likely to be subject to a trade 
related examination, than non-C-TPAT members. These significantly fewer 
cargo examinations help save importers time and money, while leading to 
a more predictable supply chain. CBP continues to explore additional 
benefits, which can be afforded members who meet or exceed the minimum-
security criteria.''
    The document also states that ``CBP employs a risk management 
approach in screening and targeting, and such shipments, as well as 
those from unknown or less established entities, receive higher 
scrutiny from CBP. The agency does not disclose ATS targeting rules.''
    (Comments) Several comments suggest that FDA should not establish a 
duplicative program, but should incorporate additional factors or 
criteria necessary for prior notice into existing programs.
    (Response) FDA agrees that it is generally preferable not to 
establish duplicative programs. Thus, while we have determined not to 
provide C-TPAT members with special treatment in terms of reduced prior 
notice information requirements or reduced timeframes, we will continue 
exploring use of these programs in making decisions regarding which 
products to inspect for the purposes of admissibility (801(a) 
decisions).
    b. Special programs.
    i. Should food products subject to FDA's prior notice requirements 
be eligible for the full expedited processing and information 
transmission benefits allowed with C-TPAT and FAST? If so, how should 
this be accomplished? (Comments) Numerous comments assert that 
businesses that participate in the C-TPAT and FAST programs should be 
eligible for processing/transmission benefits. These comments contend 
that importers, carriers and drivers who have been approved for C-TPAT 
and FAST already have been deemed to be ``low risk'' by CBP. Importers 
and carriers have had to demonstrate supply chain security controls, 
and drivers have been subjected to rigorous background screening. 
Companies have made the security investments and have bolstered their 
operations to provide the requisite security and integrity of their 
trade transactions. The federal governments of the United States and 
Canada have encouraged FAST participation on the grounds that it will 
mean expedited border crossings and reduced information requirements. 
By allowing food to move through the FAST ``stream'' in the same manner 
as other products, FDA would demonstrate the commitment to 
harmonization that industry has long encouraged and would provide an 
incentive for additional participation in the C-TPAT and FAST programs. 
In addition, the comments noted that if the primary benefits of the C-
TPAT program were removed, FDA would create a disincentive for C-TPAT 
participation that would ultimately reduce the security of the articles 
covered by the Bioterrorism Act. Finally, the comments note that these 
benefits are necessary to avoid duplication and inconsistent 
application of prior notice requirements for shipments that meet the 
stringent FAST criteria.
    (Response) FDA continues to use a risk-based approach for 
determining which foods to inspect for the purposes of admissibility. 
FDA will continue to work with CBP and acknowledges that the additional 
information provided by C-TPAT participation could be helpful in this 
risk-based assessment. In CBP's March 25, 2005, FAQ document cited 
previously, CBP states that ``[u]nsolicited shipments will 
understandably lie outside the capability of the importer to ensure 
security. CBP employs a risk management approach in screening and 
targeting, and such shipments, as well as those from unknown or less 
established entities, receive higher scrutiny from CBP.'' FDA agrees 
with this statement.
    (Comments) Numerous comments provide suggestions on how to 
accomplish processing/transmission benefits for C-TPAT and FAST 
participants. Many of the comments cite a need for better harmonization 
and streamlining between FDA and CBP. Suggestions from the comments 
include:
     Enhance coordination between CBP and FDA, allowing trained 
CBP/FDA officers to process food shipments through the FAST lane, and 
allowing FAST importers using a FAST driver and carrier importing food 
and/or feed products to submit prior notice to both the CBP and FDA 
through the existing CBP/FDA interface.
     Allow for integrated targeting processes, including a 
reduction in the risk targeting factors for food shipments, as well as 
other product categories, which would translate into expedited 
processing, reduced exams and other benefits for food import shipments 
under the program.
     Integrate the CBP and FDA data systems to allow for one 
filing of the required information. The C-TPAT certification process 
delves into the critical aspects of a company's handling and 
documentation procedures, and requires a company to demonstrate it has 
good process controls in place throughout the supply chain.
     Modify the CBP and FDA systems for the receipt of advance 
notice and prior notice to ``flag'' importation under

[[Page 66312]]

C-TPAT and FAST. These notices should receive priority attention for 
entry and clearance purposes.
     Establish an MOU between FDA and CBP to allow the sharing 
of necessary information with the understanding of the program 
applicant.
     Implement a shorter prior notice timeframe for C-TPAT 
members.
     Reduce data element reporting by virtue of having 
successfully passed the C-TPAT validation process. Product information 
(HTS code, product code, manufacturer's registration numbers, etc.) 
should be part of the pre-filed information profiles under FAST.
    Finally, one comment suggests the following:
    (1) A statement of proof of acceptance (e.g., copy of acceptance 
letter from CBP) into the C-TPAT and/or FAST programs;
    (2) A detailed statement/description of policies and procedures in 
place for meeting FDA prior notice requirements. This submission should 
follow the format of the supply chain questionnaire information 
submitted to CBP as part of the C-TPAT application process and should 
be considered as an addendum to the original submission; and
    (3) FDA should notify the importer in writing of: (a) its 
acceptance/agreement with the importer's FDA prior notice procedures; 
or (b) additional questions to be answered or data to be provided to 
meet FDA requirements for acceptance into the FDA prior notice ``C-
TPAT/FAST'' program.
    (Response) As we discussed previously, we have determined not to 
provide C-TPAT members with special treatment in terms of reduced prior 
notice information requirements or reduced timeframes. FDA, however, is 
continuing to explore with CBP and industry use of these programs in 
making decisions regarding which products to inspect for the purposes 
of admissibility (801(a) decisions).
    ii. If the timeframe for submitting prior notice for food arriving 
by land via road is reduced to 1 hour consistent with the timeframe in 
the advance electronic information rule, would a shorter timeframe be 
needed for members of FAST? (Comments) One comment suggests that the 
timeframe for submitting prior notice of one hour is fine, even for 
express deliveries. Another comment believes that reducing the 
timeframes for submission of prior notice would not sufficiently 
expedite the clearance of product for participants of FAST. However, an 
overwhelming majority of the comments favor reducing the timeframe for 
FAST participants to 30 minutes. Under the CBP Advance Electronic 
Information Rule, the time element for FAST participants is 30 minutes. 
The comments state that to have two different time standards for the 
same mode of transportation only serves to create confusion. The 
comments believe that any harmonization of FDA and CBP security 
programs would assist the orderly flow of trade at the border crossing 
points.
    The comments contend that the key premise behind the FAST program 
is that low-risk parties should receive expedited treatment at the 
border, freeing up enforcement resources to concentrate on parties of 
higher or unknown risk, which is why the timeframes CBP adopted are 
shorter for FAST than for other shipments. If FDA adopted the 30 minute 
timeframe, it would demonstrate a commitment to harmonizing with CBP, 
and prevent a situation whereby FAST requirements vary depending on the 
type of commodity being transported. Finally, one comment believes that 
to ensure consistency with FAST and CBP's Automated Commercial 
Environment (ACE),\4\ prior notice should be required and calculated 
from the port of entry and not the first point of arrival, as is 
currently the case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The ACE system will replace the current ABI/ACS, as well as 
combine other CBP entry functions and transactions. Prior Notice 
submissions will be compatible with ACE.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Response) Harmonized timeframes could facilitate the orderly flow 
of trade traffic at the borders. Advance screening of consistent 
information also would aid in reducing the review time. However, as we 
discuss later in section II.F of this document (``When must prior 
notice be submitted to FDA? (Sec.  1.279)''), we are maintaining the 
timeframes that are in the IFR. These timeframes represent the minimum 
amount of time FDA needs to meet the statutory responsibility to 
receive, review, and respond to prior notice submissions. Our 
assessment of the timeframes and review times showed that we would not 
be able to reduce the timeframes to correspond to those used by CBP for 
land and air shipments.
    iii. Should the security and verification processes in C-TPAT be 
modified in any way to handle food and animal feed shipments regulated 
by FDA? If so, how? (Comments) Four comments respond that the security/
verification processes of C-TPAT/FAST should be modified for food. 
Fourteen comments respond that the process should not be modified for 
food. Most comments suggest that the current validation processes are 
sufficient and caution that additional FDA inspection would be 
redundant. Many of these comments state that C-TPAT is a well-thought-
out program and that with its current security profile requirements and 
present followup verification systems, the program is already well 
suited to handle human and animal food shipments. The comments suggest 
that FDA should rely on CBP's successful programs and avoid 
``recreating the wheel'' or imposing new and potentially inconsistent 
criteria on food companies. The comments further contend that food 
safety and product integrity is already an integral part of the 
industry's own internal policies, which have always been concerned and 
accountable for the safety and security of their products without 
regard to the more recent border security program. Therefore, companies 
certified under C-TPAT have made the critical security investments and 
have bolstered their operations to provide the requisite security and 
integrity of their trade transactions, regardless of the commodities 
(food or nonfood products) that are shipped. Another comment stresses 
that FDA should not impose additional conditions of participation for 
FAST members because the requirements for FAST participation imposed by 
CBP provide adequate assurance that expedited clearance is appropriate.
    (Response) FDA agrees with the statement in CBP's March 25, 2005, 
FAQ document that says ``For C-TPAT to ensure its continued viability, 
effectiveness, and relevance, the program must continue to evolve--as 
the terrorist threat and the nature of global trade evolves. The 
impetus for strengthening the existing security guidelines is to 
provide more detail to the membership on the expectations of the 
program, and to assist CBP in defining a more consistent baseline for 
minimal program requirements and better-defined C-TPAT benefits.'' The 
issue of how to modify the processes is discussed in the next comments 
and responses.
    (Comments) Numerous comments provide suggestions on how to modify 
the security/verification processes of C-TPAT/FAST. These include:
     FDA should investigate security plans with actual physical 
inspections of the facilities prior to allowing participation in the 
programs.
     FDA should verify that other countries' regulatory systems 
for food production and safety are equivalent to those of the United 
States. The agency should also perform on-site audits and inspection of 
production facilities

[[Page 66313]]

before a food manufacturer or carrier can be certified.
     It should be mandatory for food manufacturers to provide 
notice concerning any changes in the manufacturing processes or 
supplies, as well as those that may affect physical and personnel 
security. In addition, the current requirements that manufacturers 
periodically review the security commitment of their service providers 
to detect weakness or potential weaknesses in security should be 
altered to require that: (1) The review is conducted on an annual basis 
and (2) a certification that the review has been conducted.
     FDA and CBP should work together, along with the trade 
community, to identify potential areas where the C-TPAT security and 
verification processes can or should be modified. CBP and FDA should 
coordinate these processes to address the additional concerns of the 
FDA in order to allow C-TPAT/FAST members expedited processing of food 
and feed shipments in addition to CBP shipments.
     C-TPAT requirements should encompass any industry and food 
specific security measures into C-TPAT's checklist.
     These processes must be more comprehensive. There are no 
questions on the Supply Chain Security Profile Questionnaire to specify 
the type of freight being hauled. In addition, there are no 
opportunities in the questionnaire to indicate different locations to 
which a company is shipping regularly, or insurance a company has to 
cover those states.
    (Response) FDA notes that CBP has continued to expand the C-TPAT 
program, which now includes minimum security criteria for importers who 
participate in C-TPAT. FDA also notes that as of July 10, 2006, CBP has 
received over 11,000 C-TPAT applications of which 6,089 have been 
certified and 2,973 have been validated (certified members provide a 
complete security profile that is screened by CBP, while validated 
members also undergo a complete validation of their security profile 
that includes an on-site visit to the company to review the submitted 
security profile, followed by a physical verification of security 
measures). There are limited resources at this time to add new 
significant program requirements to meet FDA's needs under the 
Bioterrorism Act and verify that those procedures have been 
incorporated. The two agencies will continue to explore the feasibility 
of the approaches recommended in the comments in the future.
    c. Flexible alternatives. In the Federal Register document to 
reopen the comment period, FDA and CBP also requested comment on the 
following questions regarding flexible alternatives (69 FR 19763 at 
19764):
     If timeframes are reduced in FDA's prior notice final 
rule, would other flexible alternatives for participants in FAST or for 
food imported by other agencies be needed?
     In considering flexible alternatives for food imported by 
other government agencies, what factors or criteria should FDA consider 
when examining alternatives? Should participation be voluntary? If so, 
should FDA consider inspection of companies in the supply chain from 
the manufacturer to those who may hold the product, including reviews 
of their security plans to determine what procedures are in place to 
prevent infiltration of their facilities as a condition of 
participation?
     In considering flexible alternatives for submission of 
prior notice, should FDA consider additional means of ensuring that all 
companies subject to the Registration of Food Facilities Interim Final 
Rule ((68 FR 58894, October 10, 2003) (21 CFR part 1, subpart H)), have 
an updated registration on file with FDA that has been verified?
     Are there conditions of participation that FDA should 
consider; e.g., inspections of companies in the supply chain from the 
manufacturer to those who may hold the product, or reviews of their 
security plans to determine what procedures are in place to prevent 
infiltration of their facilities?
     Should the food product category be considered as a 
criteria or element of expedited prior notice processing or other 
flexible alternatives? If so, should certain foods be excluded from 
expedited prior notice processing? If so, what should be the basis for 
determining which foods should be excluded?
     If FDA adopts reduced timeframes in the prior notice final 
rule, should FDA phase in the shorter timeframes as CBP phases in the 
advance electronic information rule?
     Should FDA offer a prior notice submission training 
program for submitters and transmitters, including brokers, to ensure 
the accuracy of the data being submitted?
    This section will address the comments to each of those questions 
introduced in the Federal Register of April 14, 2004, beginning with 
general comments.
    (Comments) One comment said that if the final rule is refined, then 
it is not necessary to offer additional flexible alternatives. Several 
comments state that any flexible alternatives should be incorporated 
into existing programs because the duplication of security programs and 
division of limited resources are not in the best interest of our 
security goals and the protection of public health.
    (Response) FDA believes that additional flexible alternatives 
should be incorporated into existing programs when appropriate and 
feasible. FDA will continue to work with CBP and acknowledges that the 
additional information provided by other programs such as C-TPAT could 
be helpful for purposes of admissibility decisions.
    i. If timeframes are reduced in FDA's prior notice final rule, 
would other flexible alternatives for participants in FAST or for food 
imported by other agencies be needed? (Comments) Several comments 
encourage incorporation of prior notice requirements into the C-TPAT 
and FAST programs. Most comments caution that additional requirements 
should not be added as separate programs, but that FDA should recognize 
participants in the existing programs for expedited review and 
processing of prior notice. One comment further suggests that 
participation in C-TPAT and FAST should also ensure expedited 801(a) 
admissibility processing. Another comment suggests that CBP be solely 
responsible for administering both the FDA and CBP requirements of C-
TPAT and FAST.
    (Response) As we discussed previously, we have determined not to 
provide C-TPAT members with special treatment in terms of reduced prior 
notice information requirements or reduced timeframes. FDA, however, is 
continuing to explore with CBP and industry use of these programs in 
making decisions regarding which products to inspect for the purposes 
of admissibility (801(a) decisions).
    FDA disagrees with the comment's suggestion that CBP be solely 
responsible for administering both the FDA and CBP requirements for 
these programs, as the expertise related to food safety and possible 
additional participation requirements that address food safety resides 
in FDA. Accordingly, FDA and CBP will continue to consider how to 
administer FAST and C-TPAT programs so that they could apply to FDA 
regulated products.
    ii. In considering flexible alternatives for food imported by other 
government agencies, what factors or criteria should FDA consider when 
examining alternatives? Should participation be voluntary? If so, 
should FDA consider

[[Page 66314]]

inspection of companies in the supply chain from the manufacturer to 
those who may hold the product, including reviews of their security 
plans to determine what procedures are in place to prevent infiltration 
of their facilities as a condition of participation? (Comments/
Response) There were no comments addressing flexible alternatives for 
food imported by other government agencies. However, FDA has considered 
imported shipments of foods for official U.S. federal government use 
and our draft policy for enforcing prior notice in these situations is 
contained in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG that is announced 
elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. Under the draft 
policy, FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action when an article of food is imported or offered for import for an 
official government purpose, provided that a Federal Government agency 
is the importer of record.
    (Comments) Many comments advise that voluntary participation 
enhances the success of these programs.
    (Response) C-TPAT is a voluntary, incentive based partnership. As 
we continue exploring use of the C-TPAT and FAST programs in making 
decisions regarding which products to inspect for the purposes of 
admissibility (801(a) decisions), it will be based on the assumption 
that participation should remain voluntary.
    iii. In considering flexible alternatives for submission of prior 
notice, should FDA consider additional means of ensuring that all 
companies subject to the Registration of Food Facilities Interim Final 
Rule ((68 FR 58894, October 10, 2003) (21 CFR part 1, subpart H)), have 
an updated registration on file with FDA that has been verified? 
(Comments) Several comments reiterate that it is not necessary for FDA 
to provide flexible alternatives that exceed or augment CBP's existing 
programs, including a requirement to have an updated and verified 
registration on file with FDA. However, another comment believes that 
companies eligible to participate in low-risk programs should have an 
updated registration and that verification of that registration would 
be useful in determining low-risk status. Another comment assumes that 
verification of registration with FDA should have been conducted under 
CBP's current validation aspect of the C-TPAT program.
    (Response) FDA agrees that participants designated as low risk 
should have an updated and verified registration of all facilities 
subject to 21 CFR part 1, subpart H. FDA also agrees it would be 
efficient to conduct the verification as part of the C-TPAT validation 
process, but neither FDA nor CBP has the resources to do so at this 
time.
    iv. Are there conditions of participation that FDA should consider; 
e.g., inspections of companies in the supply chain from the 
manufacturer to those who may hold the product, or reviews of their 
security plans to determine what procedures are in place to prevent 
infiltration of their facilities? (Comments) Most comments suggest that 
other conditions, such as inspection of other companies in the supply 
chain would be unnecessary and a repetition of effort with little 
return on investment. Another comment states that to begin a process of 
examining the security plans and procedures of foreign food facilities 
would be tremendously expensive, call into question the validity of the 
prior notice and registration requirements already in place, and the 
efficacy of the targeting tools FDA employs.
    (Response) We agree that adding conditions for C-TPAT participation 
and validating them to meet the purpose of the Bioterrorism Act would 
be extremely expensive and potentially only benefit a small number of 
those entities subject to this rule. We do not believe that this is the 
best use of our limited resources at this time, particularly as we have 
not experienced significant impacts on the flow of trade as a result of 
the timeframes in the rule since the IFR took effect on December 12, 
2003.
    v. Should the food product category be considered as a criteria or 
element of expedited prior notice processing or other flexible 
alternatives? If so, should certain foods be excluded from expedited 
prior notice processing? If so, what should be the basis for 
determining which foods should be excluded? (Comments) While one 
comment asserts that the food product category be considered an 
important element of expedited processing, most other comments state 
that no product category distinctions should be made. One comment 
states that to allow items imported under food product categories to 
qualify for expedited prior notice could easily lead to abuse of the 
system intended to protect us from terrorist attack. Other comments 
suggest that all food products be treated in the same manner and be 
subject to the same regulations. Most comments state that no product 
should be specifically included or excluded from participation, but 
that the criteria for participation should be focused solely on 
attributes of the company and a company's ability to meet the program 
standards set by the particular government agency.
    (Response) FDA agrees in part that no product category distinctions 
should be made. However, FDA acknowledges that some foods are more 
susceptible to terrorism and food safety problems than others, 
regardless of the processes within the supply chain. But if we were to 
make product category distinctions, such actions could be disruptive to 
transportation (e.g., we may need to segregate products) and may make 
such products targets for terrorism since such products may be eligible 
for special (e.g., expedited) treatment.
    vi. If FDA adopts reduced timeframes in the prior notice final 
rule, should FDA phase in the shorter timeframes as CBP phases in the 
advance electronic information rule? (Comments/Response) Comments 
addressing phase-in of timeframes are found under the discussion of 
Sec.  1.279 ``When must prior notice be submitted to FDA.''
    vii. Should FDA offer a prior notice submission training program 
for submitters and transmitters, including brokers, to ensure the 
accuracy of the data being submitted? (Comments/Response) Most comments 
support additional training for submitters and transmitters. Additional 
discussion of training is found under section III. M (Outreach and 
Enforcement) of this document.
7. Additional Exclusions Requested--Samples
    (Comments) Numerous comments request an exclusion from the 
requirements of prior notice for samples used in trade fairs, market 
research, market testing, and laboratory analyses (i.e., quality 
analysis/quality control (QA/QC) samples, scientific research, 
compositional analyses, research and development, standard of identity 
confirmation testing or quality comparison testing). The comments state 
that QA/QC samples are clearly not destined for consumption and will 
never enter the food chain or be consumed by the general public, 
thereby placing samples in a low-risk category. In addition, the 
comments note that these samples are often imported in very small 
quantities for a specific purpose. Samples used for organoleptic 
analyses will be consumed in very small quantities as part of the 
analytic procedures in a laboratory setting. In the case of trade 
samples, the comments contend that although the food will be consumed, 
the consumption is minor and is contained within a controlled 
environment, such as a test kitchen or trade booth.

[[Page 66315]]

    In addition, the comments suggest some ways in which the burdens 
for submitting prior notice for samples could be less cumbersome. These 
recommendations include:
     Exempt all samples or some subset of samples, e.g., 
analytical, research, consumer complaint;
     Set a limit of the quantity of samples in each shipment 
and do not require prior notice for quantities below this limit;
     Exempt samples from the requirement to provide the 
manufacturer's registration number;
     Include a field in the prior notice in which a filer can 
indicate that the item(s) is a sample, and eliminate certain data 
elements if this field is flagged (i.e., registration number);
     Allow a single prior notice without registration numbers 
for commingled shipments of many small sample items falling under the 
same or similar FDA product codes;
     Allow shippers to provide a pre-approved list of customers 
who may receive samples in a particular month, on a monthly basis in 
lieu of filing individual prior notices;
     Specify procedures in the final rule for clearly 
identifying samples, such as the inclusion of a statement on the airway 
bill of lading that says: ``Quality Evaluation and Research and 
Development Use Only--Resale Prohibited;'' and
     Provide a limited exemption for intra-corporate (within 
the same company) samples.
    One comment requests that FDA exempt foods for exhibit at trade 
shows and food samples. The comment reasons that these foods are not 
intended for consumption in the United States, but are imported for 
``show'' and sampling at the trade shows, not for later general 
consumption. The comment further reasons that the quantity involved 
with each shipment is minuscule, usually no more than five hundred 
consumer units, which is too small a quantity to pose a potential 
national security threat.
    Another comment states that there should be a de minimus provision 
for samples from known shippers/importers that is ``cross-referenced'' 
by shipper facility registration, manufacturer facility registration, 
importer facility registration, low value, and low weight.
    (Response) Many samples of food, including those for test 
marketing, are ``articles of food imported or offered for import,'' as 
stated in section 801(m) of the act. If, however, the samples are items 
that are in such early stages of research and development that they 
cannot yet be considered food under Sec.  1.276(b)(5) of the final 
rule, they would not be subject to prior notice requirements. In 
addition, if the sample is in a form that is not an article of food, 
such as a slurry of lettuce for pesticide analysis, then prior notice 
requirements would not apply. But where a sample is food, as defined 
under prior notice, the sample is not excluded from the final rule even 
if it is imported or offered for import for quality assurance, research 
or analysis purposes only, not for human or animal consumption and not 
for resale. However, as outlined in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft 
CPG, FDA's and CBP's enforcement discretion policy would apply to these 
foods, under which FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any 
regulatory action when there is no prior notice and the food is a 
sample not intended for human or animal consumption.
    Samples of food are considered to be for quality assurance, 
research or analysis purposes, rather than human or animal consumption, 
when they are in small quantities (i.e., quantities consistent with the 
quality assurance, research, or analysis purposes) and the entire 
sample is used up by the analysis, destroyed after analysis, or 
destroyed following a reasonable retention period after analysis. The 
analysis may include sensory examination, such as organoleptic 
examination for determining tea quality or detecting the presence of 
histamines. Evidence that an article of food is for quality assurance, 
research, or analysis purposes only might include, among other 
evidence, markings on the food and shipping documents.
    FDA disagrees with the comments that suggest that prior notice 
should only be required for food, including samples, that is intended 
for consumption. In the preamble to the IFR, FDA discussed extensively 
its rationale for not limiting the prior notice requirements to food 
for consumption in the United States. (See 68 FR 58974 at 58990 and 
58991.) This rationale still holds. FDA also disagrees with the 
comments that state samples should be exempted from prior notice if the 
consumption of the samples is minor and is contained within a 
controlled environment, such as a test kitchen or trade booth, or the 
quantity involved with each shipment is minuscule, such that it ``is 
too small a quantity to pose a potential national security threat.'' 
The purpose of the Bioterrorism Act is not limited to terrorist 
activity or other national security threats; its purpose is ``[t]o 
improve the ability of the United States to prevent, prepare for, and 
respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies'' [emphasis 
added]. (Public Law 107-188.) Moreover, we have had incidents where 
small quantities of samples that had been consumed caused serious 
illness or death. For example, in the preamble to the IFR, FDA noted 
that ``in the summer of 2003, FDA received a report from a poison 
control center in country T concerning the acute poisoning of 9 men 
(one died) from ingestion of an herbal fermented wine. Symptoms 
occurred within minutes. Reports indicated that this product may have 
been exported to the United States in small quantities for test 
marketing in restaurants. This underscores the importance of FDA 
receiving prior notice of all food imported or offered for import.'' 
(68 FR 58974 at 58993.)
8. Additional Exclusions Requested--Mail
    (Comments) One comment sought better information regarding the 
sending of food products as international packages or bringing food 
products into the United States personally in their baggage.
    (Response) Information on the sending of food through international 
mail can be found at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnmail.html. Food 
products for personal use brought into the United States that 
accompanies an individual are not subject to the requirements of prior 
notice (Sec.  1.277(b)(1)).
    (Comment) One comment questions whether express couriers, such as 
EMS, FEDERAL EXPRESS, DHL, and TNT, are considered ``international 
mail.''
    (Response) Section 1.276(b)(8) of the final rule defines 
international mail to mean foreign national mail services and further 
states that international mail does not include express consignment 
operators or carriers or other private delivery services unless such 
service is operating under contract as an agent or extension of a 
foreign mail service. Therefore, if food items are shipped through one 
of these services and the food items are not otherwise excluded from 
prior notice requirements, prior notice is required.
    (Comments) One comment questions if the rule applies to the 
military postal service, which is a subsidiary of the United States 
Postal Service that operates overseas.
    (Response) If the military post offices are located outside of the 
United States, as defined for the purposes of prior notice, articles of 
food would be subject to the requirements of prior notice (Sec.  
1.277(a)).
    (Comments) One comment states that the costs and resource 
implications of FDA applying this type of approach to single-piece, 
person-to-person,

[[Page 66316]]

international mailings of manufactured food products may outweigh any 
perceived benefits. FDA's current approach to prior notice forces the 
U.S. Postal Service (USPS), FDA, and CBP to dedicate substantial 
resources simply to attempt effective implementation of these 
regulations. The comment asks that FDA: (1) Exempt these single-piece, 
personal use mailings from prior notice; (2) allow CBP to continue 
using its time-tested strategies for screening and selections of items 
from mail shipments arriving at the first port of entry; (3) allow the 
delivery of mail items containing food, even if the contents are not 
accompanied by prior notice confirmation numbers to the U.S. address, 
as long as the U.S. authorities find no problem with the contents at 
border inspection; and (4) work in close coordination with CBP and USPS 
to promote more clarity of understanding on the procedures for packages 
where the majority of the contents are not food items. The comment 
states that these policies will need to be uniformly applied, and also 
must ensure that proper accountability is provided to the mailers and 
recipients whose mailed items might have been refused, seized, or 
destroyed.
    Another comment requests an exemption for manufactured food 
products that are sent via international mail for noncommercial 
purposes. Some comments complain that the required data are very 
complex for the average customer and the system is not very customer-
friendly, entries take a long time, and each single item has to have a 
separate prior notice.
    A few comments state that most of the required information, such as 
the manufacturer's registration number, is not available to private 
persons, and therefore, not available to international mail and mail by 
express carriers. The comments note that this is particularly 
problematic, since FDA does not provide information on registration of 
facilities to private parties. The comments further note that a 
business relationship between the buyer of the goods (e.g., a private 
person), the mail service and the manufacturer will in general not be 
present. In addition, the comments state that to file prior notice, 
Internet access and knowledge of the English language is required. The 
comments contend that mail users will have to bear unreasonable 
disadvantages and unequal treatment. The comments argue that this seems 
disproportionate because most shipments are of low value. Therefore, 
the comments suggest that FDA simplify the prior notice requirements 
through FDA's PNSI for mail users.
    In addition, the comments suggest that: (1) Private persons should 
be excluded from prior notice; (2) the requested information should be 
limited to some key-information, such as the submitter and the type of 
food; (3) all mail services, including express carriers, should fall 
under the definition of ``international mail;'' and (4) FDA should 
provide on their Web site dedicated information for companies and 
consumers about international mail, in different languages.
    (Response) The act does not exempt noncommercial shipments with a 
noncommercial shipper. FDA explained this position in the preamble to 
the IFR (See 68 FR 58992) and believes that this rationale is still 
valid. However, under the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, when food 
is purchased or otherwise acquired by an individual for nonbusiness 
purposes and sent to an individual with a noncommercial shipper, FDA 
and CBP would typically consider not taking regulatory action if prior 
notice is not submitted. This proposed enforcement discretion policy 
would be continued from the Prior Notice Interim Final Rule CPG.
    Express consignment operators or carriers or other private delivery 
services, unless such service is operating under contract as an agent 
or extension of a foreign mail service, are not considered 
international mail. (See Sec.  1.276(b)(8) of the final rule). The IFR 
created a category for international mail because the rule imposed 
slightly different requirements for such imports. For example, given 
the nature of international mail imports, prior notice required the 
planned date of mail instead of the anticipated arrival information; it 
required the identification of the recipient instead of the importer, 
owner, and consignee; and it did not require the mode of 
transportation, carrier, planned shipment information, and hold 
information. In addition, for international mail the prior notice must 
be submitted before the article of food has been sent in order to allow 
the prior notice confirmation number to accompany the package. We do 
not believe these changes are relevant for shipments arriving by 
express consignment operators or carriers or other private delivery 
services. For example, if the express carrier submits the prior notice, 
it will be able to include the mode of transportation, carrier, and 
other data elements not included in the international mail category. In 
situations where the submitter and/or transmitter is not the express 
consignment operator or carrier, the final rule now allows the 
submission of the express consignment operator or carrier tracking 
number in lieu of anticipated arrival and certain planned shipment 
information. Thus, we do not believe the final rule should be revised 
to expand the definition of international mail to include express 
consignment operators or carriers or other private delivery services.
    FDA also does not agree the prior notice requirements should not 
apply to low-value shipments, as neither the Bioterrorism Act nor 
experience with samples support this approach. See FDA's responses to 
comments previously under section III.D.7 of this document ``Additional 
Exclusions Requested--Samples'' for further discussion on this point.
    (Comments) A few comments suggest that FDA modify the existing 
procedures for commercial shipments arriving by international mail. The 
comments state that complying with the requirements of FDA's prior 
notification procedure results in an unbearable workload for mail order 
companies, which sometimes mail thousands of packages at one time, with 
each package requiring a prior notice. The comments suggest that 
manufacturers submit their company information and product information 
for similar items once and then add the different recipients' addresses 
at the end.
    (Response) FDA's PNSI has been designed to accommodate repetitive 
information so that the basic prior notice can be created and saved, 
and each U.S. recipient can be added at the end of each subsequent 
prior notice. A separate prior notice confirmation number is generated 
for each article of food (and recipient). Similarly, a number of the 
software programs that customs brokers use to file prior notice and 
entry submissions with ABI/ACS do allow for repetitive information to 
be saved on the filer's computer and used for future shipments, as 
appropriate.
9. Additional Exclusions Requested--Gifts
    (Comments) Several comments recommend that FDA expand the exemption 
already provided for homemade food products sent as gifts (Sec.  
1.277(b)(2)) or food items carried in for ``personal consumption'' 
(Sec.  1.277(b)(1)) to include all gifts, regardless of mode of 
transportation, that are intended for personal use. Another comment 
asks for clarification regarding food articles sent as gifts to persons 
in the United States for personal consumption. This comment believes 
that prior notice is only required for food articles that will be

[[Page 66317]]

distributed or traded in the United States.
    (Response) If the food was made by an individual in his/her 
personal residence and sent by that individual as a personal gift 
(i.e., for nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the United States, 
prior notice is not required (Sec.  1.277(b)(2)). Other food products 
sent by an individual and imported for noncommercial purposes with a 
noncommercial shipper are not excluded from prior notice requirements. 
FDA explained this position in the preamble to the IFR (See 68 FR 
58992) and believes that this rationale is still valid. However, under 
the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, when gifts are shipped by an 
individual for nonbusiness reasons to an individual without prior 
notice, FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking regulatory 
action. This proposed policy would apply regardless of the mode of 
transportation.
10. Additional Exclusions Requested--Low-Value
    (Comments) Many comments request a de minimis exemption from prior 
notice for all low value shipments (less than $200). The comments 
assert that the prior notice requirements can be quite onerous for 
small shipments and that low value shipments of prepared food sent from 
and to individuals for their personal use are of little risk to the 
U.S. food supply, especially relative to the individual size and large 
number of commercial shipments entering the country. One comment states 
that a low value exemption from prior notice for shipments under $200, 
whether for personal or commercial use, would be consistent with CBP's 
de minimis exemption. In addition, one comment states that foreign 
individuals shipping low value gifts to the United States will not know 
the Bioterrorism Act's requirements and will not be able to obtain the 
manufacturer's phone and registration numbers. The comment states that 
these numbers are not readily available to the consumer when products 
are purchased in small quantities. One comment requests an exemption 
for small dollar value mail-order sales to U.S. customers ($100 or 
less) since the prior notice system is difficult and costly to 
implement for this type of business.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Low-value shipments are clearly subject 
to the terms of section 801(m) of the act as they are ``articles of 
food imported or offered for import.'' Moreover, low-value articles of 
food can pose the same threat level to the U.S. food supply as do 
articles of food that cost more, as we explained in the IFR (68 FR 
58974 at 58993). However, under the proposed enforcement discretion 
policy, described in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, when food 
is sent by an individual for noncommercial purposes with a 
noncommercial shipper without prior notice, regardless of the article's 
value, FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action.
    (Comments) Two comments recommend that FDA consider incorporating 
into the final rule a limited exemption for very small quantities of 
food. One of those comments considers a small quantity to be under 80 
pounds or less than 100 bottles.
    (Response) FDA disagrees and will not place a weight or quantity 
restriction on the requirements for prior notice. ``Small quantity'' 
shipments are clearly subject to the terms of section 801(m) of the act 
as they are ``articles of food imported or offered for import.'' 
Similar to low-value articles of food, small quantity shipments can 
pose the same threat level to the U.S. food supply as do articles of 
food that arrive in larger quantities. If we were to exempt small 
quantity food shipments, small quantities of poisoned food (with the 
potential to do a high level of damage) could be imported into the 
United States without prior notice, thereby negating the purpose of the 
Bioterrorism Act.
11. Additional Exclusions Requested--Couriers
    (Comments) One comment reports that many of the express couriers 
refuse to do the necessary paperwork for shipments being sent via their 
services. Therefore, the manufacturers are required to submit prior 
notice. However, the manufacturer does not have the necessary 
information needed to complete the form, such as flight number, 
departure and arrival time, etc. The comment suggests that express 
courier shipments should be treated in the same manner as mail 
shipments.
    (Response) FDA disagrees but has modified the rule to address the 
underlying concern. Food imported or offered for import via these 
private delivery services are subject to prior notice, which must be 
submitted within the timeframe of the applicable mode of 
transportation--water, air, or land (Sec.  1.279). In the prior notice 
CPG published in November 2004 (November 9, 2004; 69 FR 64959), FDA and 
CBP stated that they generally would consider not taking regulatory 
action if the prior notice is inadequate because it does not include 
the required anticipated arrival information and/or planned shipment 
information and if, among other criteria, the prior notice includes the 
shipment's tracking number in lieu of the required anticipated arrival 
information and/or planned shipment information. A person shipping food 
into the United States via an express courier will have access to the 
tracking number to use in lieu of the flight number or other planned 
shipment information. FDA has incorporated this policy in Sec.  1.281 
of the final rule, which allows the submitter and/or transmitter to 
submit the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number in 
lieu of anticipated arrival and certain planned shipment information as 
long as neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express 
consignment operator or carrier and prior notice is submitted via PNSI.
12. Additional Exclusion Requested--Gift Packs
    (Comments) One comment requests clarification of the interpretation 
pertaining to gift baskets. The comment states it is unclear whether 
prior notice is based upon the description of the entire gift basket as 
an entity, which is currently the case for CBP entry processing, or on 
the individual items within the basket. One comment asks FDA to exempt 
gift baskets because they are ``no-risk.''
    (Response) Under the final rule, a gift pack is not considered a 
single article of food (e.g., a gift pack consisting of four articles 
of food would require four prior notice submissions). This is because a 
gift pack is not manufactured/processed as a single product, but is 
packed by consolidating a variety of articles of food into a unit, with 
or without other nonfood articles. However, FDA and CBP are proposing 
to continue their enforcement discretion policy for gift packs, which 
the agencies first announced in their March 2005 CPG (March 4, 2005; 70 
FR 10657). Under that policy, ``FDA and Customs Border Protection (CBP) 
staff should typically consider not taking regulatory action if there 
is a prior notice violation because a single prior notice is submitted 
for a gift pack and the identity of the facility that packed the gift 
pack is submitted in lieu of the identity of the manufacturer(s), 
provided that the gift pack is purchased or otherwise acquired by an 
individual and imported or offered for import for nonbusiness 
purposes.''
    There is no CBP rule or regulation, nor is there a General Rule of 
Interpretation (GRI) under which gift packs are classified. In the case 
of ``gift packs'' that contain multiple products,

[[Page 66318]]

CBP tries to classify the gift pack using the concept of a set. That 
is, if the products included in a gift pack are part of a common 
activity, the gift pack may be classified under the HTS code that is 
most applicable. However, CBP does not consider eating to be a common 
activity, even when all items in a gift pack are to be consumed. 
Therefore, unless there has been an applicable CBP ruling, entries of 
gift packs should be declared to CBP using the HTS code for each item 
included within the gift pack. This principle applies even when there 
are food and nonfood items in the pack (e.g., a soup mug and a can of 
soup) as well as for make-your-own gift packs (e.g., if you created a 
gift pack by personally selecting individual items from a list of 
available products).
13. Additional Exclusions Requested--Household Goods and Unaccompanied 
Baggage
    (Comments) Many comments suggest that the final rule exempt 
unaccompanied food that is included in a shipment of personal household 
goods, if the food is owned by and intended to be consumed by the 
shipper of the household goods, their family or friends, and if the 
food is not to be offered for sale or distribution. In addition, 
several comments suggest that food contained in unaccompanied baggage 
should be exempt from the requirements of prior notice. The comments 
state that the owner of the food never changes, and that there is no 
sale or transfer of the goods. The comments believe that shipping food 
items contained in household goods or unaccompanied baggage to the 
United States is equivalent to carrying the items in baggage for 
personal use. The comments further state that household goods are even 
more personal than food accompanying a traveler because although it 
travels from one personal residence to another, it remains part of the 
same household or home. The comments suggest that FDA not require as 
many data elements for these types of shipments, and allow a minimum 
amount of food/consumables to be imported without prior notice. The 
comments believe that it will be unnecessarily tedious and exhaustive 
for individuals to input the required information into the FDA PNSI, 
and that it is unreasonable to ask individuals to destroy or leave 
behind hundreds of dollars of canned goods.
    Additionally, one comment suggests that persons on duty in the 
United States as members of the armed forces of a North Atlantic Treaty 
Organization (NATO) or Partnership for Peace or civilian component 
attached to or employed by NATO Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander 
Transformation Atlantic and their immediate families be granted an 
exemption from prior notice. The comment contends that these 
individuals have undergone an intense screening process prior to being 
selected for a NATO position. One comment requests that FDA exempt 
Department of Defense active duty military and civilian personnel 
unaccompanied baggage and household good shipments.
    (Response) Section 801(m) of the act does not authorize an 
exclusion from prior notice for food imported as part of unaccompanied 
baggage or food included as part of a shipment of personal household 
goods. Therefore, food contained in household goods and accompanied 
baggage are subject to prior notice requirements.
    However, a proposed enforcement discretion policy in the Prior 
Notice Final Rule Draft CPG would apply to most or all of the household 
goods and unaccompanied baggage shipments described in the comments. 
Under the proposed policy, FDA and CBP should typically consider not 
taking any regulatory action when an article of food is imported or 
offered for import for noncommercial purposes with a noncommercial 
shipper without prior notice. We consider food in household goods, 
including military and civilian transfers, to be food imported or 
offered for import for a noncommercial purpose. This enforcement 
discretion policy would be a continuation of the policy in effect since 
FDA issued the June 2004 Prior Notice Interim Final Rule CPG (June 29, 
2004, 69 FR 38906).
14. Additional Exclusions Requested--Noncommercial Use
    (Comments) One comment asserts that shipments for personal 
consignment when sent from a business are, by definition, 
noncommercial, due to the fact they are purchased for personal use and 
not for resale. The comment suggests that FDA define noncommercial 
shipments to include any consignment to an individual for personal, 
noncommercial use, as exempt from the requirements of prior notice, 
regardless of whether the shipper is a business entity or an 
individual.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. As we described in the IFR, there is no 
basis in the statute for an exemption based on shipments that are for 
personal use, regardless of whether the shipper is a commercial or 
noncommercial (i.e., an individual) entity (68 FR 58974 at 58992). 
However, we are proposing an enforcement discretion policy in the Prior 
Notice Final Rule Draft CPG for food imported or offered for import for 
noncommercial purposes with a noncommercial shipper without prior 
notice, irrespective of the type of carrier. Under the proposed policy, 
FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory action 
when an article of food is imported or offered for import for 
noncommercial purposes with a noncommercial shipper without prior 
notice. The noncommercial shipper, under this policy, would be an 
individual (e.g., the individual delivers the food to a post office or 
common carrier for delivery to self, family member, or friend for 
nonbusiness purposes).
    When a business ships a food, it is for a commercial or business 
purpose. The situation as described in this comment, therefore, would 
not meet the criteria covered by the enforcement discretion policy 
since the shipper is a business.
    (Comments) One comment requests that private persons should be 
excluded from the requirements of prior notice. The comment states that 
commercially-produced food imported for the personal use of an 
individual, even if included in a shipment of personal effects, should 
not require prior notice.
    (Response) Section 801(m) of the act does not authorize a broad 
exclusion from prior notice for food imported or offered for import by 
private persons. Therefore, food that is commercially produced that is 
imported for the personal use of an individual, as described in the 
comment, would be subject to this final rule.
    However, we are proposing an enforcement discretion policy in the 
Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG for food imported or offered for 
import for noncommercial purposes with a noncommercial shipper, 
irrespective of the type of carrier without prior notice. Under the 
proposed policy, FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any 
regulatory action when an article of food is imported or offered for 
import for noncommercial purposes with a noncommercial shipper without 
prior notice. This policy would cover the food described in the 
comment, commercially produced food imported for the personal use of an 
individual, as long as the shipper is noncommercial. This enforcement 
policy would continue the policy initially announced in our June 2004 
Prior Notice Interim Final Rule CPG. The draft CPG describes a 
noncommercial purpose as one where the food is purchased or otherwise 
acquired by an individual for nonbusiness purposes, and a noncommercial 
shipper is one where the shipper is an individual (e.g., the individual 
delivers the food to a post

[[Page 66319]]

office or common carrier for delivery to self, family member, or friend 
for nonbusiness purposes, i.e., not for sale, resale, barter, business 
use, or commercial use). Examples of foods imported or offered for 
import that may be covered by this noncommercial category are: (1) Food 
in household goods, including military and civilian transfers; (2) food 
purchased by a traveler and mailed or shipped to the traveler's U.S. 
address by the traveler, not the commercial establishment; and (3) 
gifts purchased at a commercial establishment and shipped by the 
purchaser, not the commercial establishment.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that older wines already owned by a 
U.S. individual and imported solely for personal consumption be exempt 
from prior notice. Another comment provides an example of an individual 
who owns a wine cellar overseas and arranges for cases of wine to be 
sent to him/herself in the United States for personal consumption.
    (Response) As discussed previously, there is no basis in section 
801(m) of the act to exclude food imported or offered for import for 
personal use. Although this importation is subject to the provisions of 
this final rule, if the wine is imported or offered for import by an 
individual for noncommercial purposes and shipped by himself to himself 
using a noncommercial shipper without prior notice, the proposed 
enforcement discretion policy in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG 
would apply. Under the proposed policy, FDA and CBP generally should 
typically consider not taking regulatory action when an article of food 
is imported or offered for import for noncommercial purposes with a 
noncommercial shipper without prior notice.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that small shipments of nominal 
value for personal, noncommercial use should be exempted from the 
requirements of prior notice. The comment states that the express 
industry handles many of these shipments now, which include purchases 
from a growing number of Internet-based sellers. The comment asserts 
that these small shipments for personal use do not qualify as a risk to 
the domestic food supply, and should be exempt from prior notice.
    (Response) As we discussed previously, section 801(m) of the act 
does not authorize an exclusion for small quantity or low-value 
shipments. FDA notes that under the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, 
FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking regulatory action when 
an article of food is imported or offered for import for noncommercial 
purposes, such as small shipments for personal use, with a 
noncommercial shipper without prior notice. However, this proposed 
enforcement discretion policy would not extend to situations where the 
shipper is a commercial entity (e.g., a retail store, an Internet 
company, etc.).
15. Additional Exclusions Requested--U.S. Goods Returned
    (Comments) A few comments request exemptions for unadulterated U.S. 
goods being returned. The comments state that these items do not pose 
an adequate threat to the nation's food supply. In addition, these 
comments indicate that it is not possible to provide the manufacturer's 
registration number for merchandise that was manufactured in the United 
States and then exported overseas, where the merchandise can be 
purchased and then shipped back to the United States. The comments 
state that the original manufacturer in the United States will not 
provide their registration number in these scenarios.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. As discussed in the IFR, FDA believes 
that, for the purpose of section 801(m) of the act, the phrase 
``imported or offered for import into the United States'' applies to 
articles of food of U.S. origin that are ``reimported'' back into the 
United States (68 FR 58974 at 58990). FDA believes that this 
interpretation, and the underlying rationale for it, are still valid. 
We also believe, as explained in the IFR, that section 801(m) of the 
act does not authorize us to exclude ``low-risk'' food shipments from 
prior notice requirements (68 FR 58974 at 58993).
    The inability to submit the manufacturing facility's registration 
number is not a valid reason for excluding such a shipment from prior 
notice requirements. However, we are revising Sec.  1.281(a)(6) of the 
final rule to provide flexibility in submitting the identity of the 
manufacturer. In addition to the name of the manufacturer, the 
submitter may submit either the registration number, city, and country 
of the manufacturer, or both the full address of the manufacturer and 
the reason why the registration number is not provided.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA provide clear direction 
whether prior notice is required for food shipments of U.S. products 
that are returned to the United States after refusal by a foreign 
government.
    (Response) FDA requires prior notice for an article of food that 
has been exported from the U.S. and is being ``reimported'' back into 
the U.S., as we consider such a shipment as being ``imported or offered 
for import into the United States'' (Sec.  1.277(a)), regardless of 
whether it was initially a U.S. export that was refused by a foreign 
government. We would require prior notice for these shipments even if 
entry is not required by CBP. In these cases, we recommend that prior 
notice be submitted via PNSI.
16. Additional Exclusions Requested--In-Transit Shipments
    (Comments) Several comments request that in-transit shipments be 
excluded from the prior notice requirements. The comments express 
concern that submitting prior notice for such shipments presents a 
tremendous burden on industry. Companies may seek to avoid the 
potential cost and disruption by diverting freight to other routes 
rather than use transshipment facilities through U.S. territory for 
destinations in Mexico and Canada.
    The comments note that requiring prior notice for shipments not 
intended for consumption in the United States appears to be beyond the 
statutory authority provided by the Bioterrorism Act. The comments 
reason that in-transit shipments are under strict CBP regulations and 
control by the carrier with respect to movement and are secured by a 
bond, and thus, the food cannot be diverted to enter the U.S. food 
supply.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The IFR contains FDA's rationale and 
legal support for determining that for the purpose of section 801(m) of 
the act, the phrase, ``imported or offered for import into the United 
States,'' applies to articles of food of U.S. origin that are 
``reimported'' back into the United States, as well as to food that 
transits the United States (See 68 FR 58974 at 58990). FDA continues to 
believe this determination is correct and is not convinced it should be 
revised. Moreover, the comment implies that these shipments should be 
exempt from prior notice requirements since the shipments are under 
strict CBP control and are secured by a bond, i.e., that these 
shipments are low-risk. However, section 801(m) of the act does not 
authorize an exemption for articles of food that are ``low risk'' or 
covered by programs of other agencies, such as CBP or foreign 
government regulatory authorities.
    (Comments) One comment requests that the final rule exempt foreign-
to-foreign transit mail; i.e., mail shipments that simply transit the 
United States for delivery in a third country. The comment reasons that 
these items are not intended for U.S. consumption (i.e., not intended 
for a U.S. recipient); represent the transfer of universal

[[Page 66320]]

service obligation mail between sovereign governmental entities; and 
are items from foreign mailers who would not know when to submit the 
required prior notice data as they do not always know whether their 
mail dispatches will be transiting the United States.
    (Response) As we explained in the IFR and elsewhere in this notice, 
food that is not intended for U.S. consumption is still within the 
scope of ``imported or offered for import'' (68 FR 58974 at 58991) and 
is subject to prior notice requirements. However, we understand that in 
the case of foreign-to-foreign mail, the sender does not have control 
over the transportation route that the foreign-to-foreign shipment will 
transit. Therefore, we are proposing an enforcement discretion policy 
in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG that would address this 
situation. Under that policy, FDA and CBP should typically consider not 
taking any regulatory action when an article of food is imported or 
offered for import via international mail without prior notice and 
there is no U.S. recipient.
    (Comments) Comments filed by express carriers request that FDA 
exempt all non-U.S. destination shipments from the requirement to 
provide prior notice. The comments note that the shipment is in the 
custody of the express carrier at all times and the risk of diversion 
from the highly-controlled environment in which express shipments move, 
particularly in-bond shipments, is low. The comments also reason that 
foreign shippers and foreign consignees do not submit the required 
prior notice data because they are, by design, not aware that their 
shipments will transit the United States on their way to a third 
country because express carriers do not disclose flight routes of 
packages either to shippers or consignees due to security concerns. If 
prior notice must be submitted, express carriers will be required to 
make the customers aware of routes, nullifying this simple but 
effective security precaution.
    (Response) As described in the previous comment, prior notice 
applies to food imported or offered for import notwithstanding that the 
food is not intended for U.S. consumption. However, we recognize that, 
when shipping via express carrier or other private delivery service, 
the sender does not have control over the transportation route that the 
foreign-to-foreign shipment will transit. For example, a person in 
Europe intends to mail an article of food to South America via an 
express carrier. This person has no control over the package entering 
the United States if the express carrier, for example, chooses to 
consolidate shipments going to South America in Florida. The proposed 
enforcement discretion policy in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG 
states that FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any 
regulatory action when an article of food is imported or offered for 
import and the carrier is an express consignment operator or carrier; 
neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express consignment 
operator or carrier; and the importer, owner, or recipient/consignee is 
not located in the United States.
    (Comments) Several comments request that FDA exempt shipments of 
food that move from Canada to Canada under bond by rail through 
Northern Maine. These comments note that such shipments moving by rail 
in bond cannot be delivered to points within the United States, must 
move from Canada to Canada, and that the food products in trailers on 
rail cars cannot be diverted to enter the U.S. food supply. The 
comments state that having to submit prior notice puts the U.S. rail 
carriers at a competitive disadvantage when competing for Canadian rail 
business. Other comments request that FDA exempt shipments of food that 
move from Canada to Canada by marine and trucking companies. The 
comments reason that their Canada to Canada in-transit shipments move 
in sealed containers and that providing detailed information for 
products that are never going to enter the U.S. food supply is a 
hardship to U.S. businesses.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The Bioterrorism Act does not create any 
exemptions for this situation and therefore, there is no basis for 
excluding such business operations from prior notice requirements. The 
preamble to the IFR provides our rationale for determining that food 
that transits the United States falls under the scope of this rule (68 
FR 58974 at 58990) and we continue to hold this view. Moreover, the 
comment implies that these shipments should be exempt from prior notice 
requirements because they pose a relatively low risk by moving by rail, 
in bond, and/or under seal. Even if such food shipments are a low risk, 
as discussed elsewhere in this notice, section 801(m) of the act does 
not authorize a ``low risk'' exemption. However, the proposed guidance 
in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG (which would continue the 
policy established in the March 2005 revision to the Prior Notice 
Interim Final Rule CPG) addresses imported food arriving from and 
exiting to the same country. It describes the situations and conditions 
under which FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking regulatory 
action when prior notice is not submitted.
    (Comments) Another comment suggests that the FDA work cooperatively 
with CBP such that transshipments that follow the CBP transshipment 
procedures are not required to enter additional information for FDA 
prior notice purposes, and that shipments that may pose a risk are 
identified through the CBP process. The comment also states that the 
current requirements in the agreement for secure in-transit procedures 
could be modified to meet the objective of the prior notice IFR to 
prevent the entry of products that have been intentionally adulterated. 
Shipments that follow the proposed secure in-transit procedures would 
not be distributed in the United States and would be of minimal risk to 
human or animal security and safety. The comment also suggests that FDA 
can achieve certainty of safety of overseas shipments that are 
transiting to the United States through Canada by conducting 
examinations at the first point of arrival in North America and through 
the expansion of existing bilateral harmonized risk screening and 
lockout sharing systems to accommodate additional high-risk 
commodities.
    (Response) CBP's secure in transit procedures cannot substitute for 
the submission of prior notice for in transit shipments because they do 
not meet the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act, such as providing 
FDA with certain specified information. The information in a prior 
notice is necessary for FDA to determine whether it should examine the 
food at the U.S. port of arrival. In addition, section 801(m) of the 
act does not authorize an exemption for articles of food that are 
covered by programs of other agencies, such as CBP, even if those 
programs would ``prevent the entry of products that have been 
intentionally adulterated.''
    (Comments) One comment notes that there are many ocean containers 
crossing into the United States for transshipment purposes and prior 
notice is not being submitted. The comment asks how to ensure that 
ocean containers that arrive in Canada or Mexico and cross into the 
United States by rail have prior notice submitted in a timely fashion, 
or submitted at all, when shippers are not always aware of when the 
containers are due to cross or on which train.
    (Response) FDA addressed this issue in the IFR when it allowed any 
person with knowledge of the required information to submit prior 
notice. In

[[Page 66321]]

Sec.  1.285 of the proposed prior notice rule (68 FR 5428, February 3, 
2003), FDA provided that a purchaser or importer of an article of food 
who resides or maintains a place of business in the United States or an 
agent thereof was authorized to submit prior notice. FDA further 
proposed that if the article of food is imported for in-bond movement 
through the United States for export, the prior notice must be 
submitted by the arriving carrier or, if known, the carrier making the 
in-bond entry. Many comments to the proposed rule objected to the 
limitation that only a person who resides or maintains a place of 
business in the United States can submit the prior notice. In addition, 
comments pointed out that under some circumstances, the U.S. importer 
or purchaser or carrier would not have all the information required by 
prior notice, but that other entities, e.g., the foreign manufacturer/ 
processor, shipper, or exporter, would have the required information. 
Many comments stated that entities other than U.S. firms or carriers 
should be allowed to submit prior notice.
    In response, FDA modified this provision in the IFR and removed the 
restriction on who can submit prior notice. Accordingly, Sec.  1.278 of 
the IFR provides that any person with knowledge of the required 
information may submit prior notice to FDA. FDA has retained this 
provision in the final rule.
17. Additional Exclusions Requested--Diplomatic Pouch
    We have determined that prior notice does not apply to food in 
diplomatic pouches because Art. 27(3) of The Vienna Convention on 
Diplomatic Relations (1961) states that: ``The diplomatic bag shall not 
be opened or detained.''
    (Final Rule) Section 1.277(b)(7) of the final rule adds a new 
exclusion to the rule: ``Articles of food subject to Art. 27(3) of The 
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), i.e., shipped as 
baggage or cargo constituting the diplomatic bag.''
18. Additional Exclusions Requested--Seeds for Planting
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA exempt imported seed that 
is destined solely for planting purposes, even if small amounts found 
unsuitable for planting will end up in the food supply. The comment 
also requests that the FD3 flags be removed from HTS codes that cover 
seed for sowing or planting or, alternatively, to clarify that FD3 
flagged HTS codes may be ``disclaimed'' at entry.
    (Response) Whether seeds are subject to prior notice depends on 
whether the seeds meet the definition of food. Some seeds, such as 
sesame seeds for baking or as a garnish, are food for which prior 
notice must be submitted to FDA before the seed is imported or offered 
for import into the United States. Some seeds are capable of both food 
and nonfood uses, such as seeds that are sometimes processed into 
cooking oil and other times processed into industrial-use oil. As 
discussed elsewhere in this document, FDA considers such seed to be 
food for the purpose of prior notice if the seed is reasonably likely 
to be directed to a food use. Even when seed is for a nonfood use, such 
as seeds for growing flowers, if a small portion of that seed is 
reasonably likely to be directed for use in animal feed, prior notice 
would be required. Because seeds, including seeds for planting, may be 
subject to prior notice under section 801(m) of the act, we believe 
they are properly flagged as FD3.
    Nonetheless, we note that the draft Prior Notice Final Rule CPG, 
announced elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, proposes an 
enforcement policy regarding seeds for planting. Under the draft 
policy, FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action regarding seeds that will be used for cultivation if they are 
imported or offered for import without prior notice. The policy would 
apply when no more than a small portion of that seed is diverted from 
cultivation to animal feed or other food use. It would not apply, 
however, where the seed is used for the production of edible sprouts, 
such as alfalfa seeds for the production of alfalfa sprouts.

E. Who is Authorized to Submit Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.278)

    Section 1.278 of the IFR states that prior notice may be submitted 
by any person with knowledge of the required information and identifies 
this person as the submitter. The IFR also states that the submitter 
also may use another person to transmit the required information on 
his/her behalf and identifies the person who transmits the information 
as the transmitter. The IFR also states that the submitter and 
transmitter may be the same person.
    (Comments) Several comments note that carriers often do not have 
access to the information required to classify articles in the FDA 
system (the commercial invoice and packing list) because it is 
proprietary information that the owners of the goods will not want to 
give to intermediaries in the transportation chain. Also, there is 
confusion regarding who is responsible for submitting prior notice. 
This causes particular problems for carriers of in-bond cargo 
transiting the United States. The comment suggests that exempting in-
bond shipments from prior notice would allow carriers to move the 
shipment without having to submit prior notice and permit the broker at 
the port of entry, who does get the necessary documents, to properly 
submit the prior notice. (Response) FDA disagrees that there is 
confusion regarding who is responsible for submitting prior notice. The 
IFR and this final rule expressly state in Sec.  1.278 that any person 
with knowledge of the required information may submit the prior notice. 
FDA provided this flexibility as to who could submit prior notice in 
response to comments that FDA received on the proposed rule, which 
urged FDA not to limit who could file prior notice to either a 
purchaser or importer of an article of food who resides or maintains a 
place of business in the United States or an agent thereof, or to the 
arriving carrier or the carrier making the in-bond entry if the article 
of food is imported for in-bond movement through the United States for 
export. (See 68 FR 58974 at 58994.) Comments to the proposed rule also 
pointed out that under some circumstances, the U.S. importer or 
purchaser or carrier would not have all the information required by 
prior notice, but that other entities, e.g., the foreign manufacturer/ 
processor, shipper, or exporter, would have the required information. 
Many comments stated that entities other than U.S. firms or carriers 
should be allowed to submit prior notice. In response, FDA modified 
this provision in the IFR and removed the limitation on who can submit 
prior notice.
    (Response) FDA disagrees that there is confusion regarding who is 
responsible for submitting prior notice. The IFR and this final rule 
expressly state in Sec.  1.278 that any person with knowledge of the 
required information may submit the prior notice. FDA provided this 
flexibility as to who could submit prior notice in response to comments 
that FDA received on the proposed rule, which urged FDA not to limit 
who could file prior notice to either a purchaser or importer of an 
article of food who resides or maintains a place of business in the 
United States or an agent thereof, or to the arriving carrier or the 
carrier making the in-bond entry if the article of food is imported for 
in-bond movement through the United States for export. (See 68 FR 58974 
at 58994.) Comments to the proposed rule

[[Page 66322]]

also pointed out that under some circumstances, the U.S. importer or 
purchaser or carrier would not have all the information required by 
prior notice, but that other entities, e.g., the foreign manufacturer/
processor, shipper, or exporter, would have the required information. 
Many comments stated that entities other than U.S. firms or carriers 
should be allowed to submit prior notice. In response, FDA modified 
this provision in the IFR and removed the limitation on who can submit 
prior notice.
    Accordingly, Sec.  1.278 of the IFR provides that any person with 
knowledge of the required information may submit prior notice to FDA. 
FDA noted in the preamble to the IFR that any person may now take 
responsibility for submitting prior notice for a particular article of 
food, as long as that person can provide all the required information. 
This person is referred to as the submitter in the IFR. The IFR also 
states that the submitter may use another person to transmit the 
required information to FDA. For ease of reference, the person who 
transmits the prior notice is referred to as the transmitter in the 
IFR. FDA has retained these provisions in the final rule. FDA further 
notes that to the extent that there is confusion, the parties to the 
transaction may want to consider a means for identifying which party is 
responsible for submitting prior notice as part of their business 
arrangements (e.g., within their contract).
    (Comments) Several comments note that problems arise because the 
IFR creates no particular obligation on any particular party within the 
distribution system to submit prior notice. One comment states that 
because prior notice can be submitted by any person who has the 
information, there are many cases of duplicate prior notices filed by 
different parties for the same shipment. Another comment suggests that 
FDA select one party to be responsible, suggesting the appropriate 
party would be either the exporter or the importer-broker.
    (Response) Please see the response to the previous comments. FDA's 
proposed rule did specify a limited class of individuals who could 
provide prior notice and this limitation received significant adverse 
comment. Accordingly, both the IFR and this final rule provide that any 
person with knowledge of the required information may submit the prior 
notice (Sec.  1.278). FDA notes that the parties to a transaction can 
elect to take steps among them to identify which party should submit 
the prior notice and ensure that the party submitting prior notice has 
the appropriate and correct information.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that it is improper for a carrier 
to require the shipper to submit prior notice when the shipper is not 
shipping goods into the United States, but the carrier unilaterally 
moves the goods through their hub in the United States, thereby causing 
the shipment to enter the United States. Another comment notes that the 
data elements required in a prior notice are not available to the 
shipper, inferring that it is not possible for a shipper to submit 
prior notice.
    (Response) Neither the IFR nor this final rule specifies who must 
file prior notice. Rather, the rule provides that any person with 
knowledge of the required information may submit prior notice to FDA. 
Accordingly, it is not for FDA to say whether it is proper for a 
carrier to require a shipper to submit prior notice as a condition of 
shipment, as that is a matter between two contracting parties. We note 
that the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG proposes an enforcement 
policy for foreign-to-foreign mail. Under the proposed policy, if there 
is no prior notice FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any 
regulatory action in the case of international mail where the recipient 
is not in the United States since the sender does not have control over 
the transportation route that the foreign-to-foreign mail will transit.
    (Comments) One comment asks whether there are any prior notice 
obligations to fulfill if the exporter is not required to register with 
the FDA under the Bioterrorism Act (21 CFR part 1, subpart H).
    (Response) Prior notice and registration are separate obligations 
under different regulations and with differing applicability. For 
example, registration applies to facilities that manufacture, process, 
pack or hold food that will be consumed by humans or animals in the 
United States. By comparison, prior notice generally applies to FDA-
regulated food being imported or offered for import into the United 
States, regardless of whether it will be consumed in the United States 
and regardless of whether the exporter must register.
    (Comments) One comment asks for clarification of the legal 
responsibility of the submitter.
    (Response) Among the requirements of the final rule, the prior 
notice information must be accurate and timely. As described in Sec.  
1.283, if an article of food is imported or offered for import and the 
notice is inaccurate or untimely, the food is subject to refusal of 
admission. Other consequences under the act for those who fail to 
comply with the prior notice requirements, such as by submitting 
inaccurate or untimely notice, are described in Sec.  1.284.
    (Final rule) Section 1.278 of the final rule states that prior 
notice may be submitted by any person with knowledge of the required 
information and identifies this person as the submitter. The final rule 
also states that the submitter may use another person to transmit the 
required information on his/her behalf and identifies the person who 
transmits the information as the transmitter. The final rule also 
states that the submitter and transmitter may be the same person.

F. When Must Prior Notice Be Submitted to FDA? (Sec.  1.279)

    Section 801(m)(2)(A) of the act states that FDA shall by regulation 
prescribe the time of submission of the notification in advance of 
importation or the offering of the food for import, which period shall 
be no less than the minimum amount of time necessary for the Secretary 
to receive, review, and appropriately respond to such notification, and 
any timeframe FDA adopts in the final rule must be justified under this 
standard. Section 1.279(a) of the IFR requires FDA to receive prior 
notice and confirm it for review no less than 2 hours before arriving 
at the port of arrival by land via road, no less than 4 hours before 
arriving at the port of arrival by air and land via rail, and no less 
than 8 hours before arriving at the port of arrival by water. We 
explained in the preamble to the IFR that the ``interim final rule 
provides for greatly reduced timeframes for foods [from what we had 
proposed] based on mode of transportation. These timeframes are what 
FDA has determined are the minimum timeframes necessary to allow it to 
satisfy the statutory mandate that the timeframes give the agency the 
time it needs to `receive, review, and respond' to prior notices.'' (68 
FR 58974 at 58995)
    Under Sec.  1.279(b) of the IFR, prior notice may not be submitted 
more than 5 calendar days before arrival, except in the case of food 
imported or offered for import by international mail. Under Sec.  
1.279(c) of the IFR, if the article of food is arriving by 
international mail, the prior notice must be submitted before the food 
is sent to the United States.
    Section 1.279(d) of the IFR provides that the time of submission is 
fixed and the prior notice time will start for purposes of determining 
if prior notice is timely when the prior notice submission is confirmed 
by FDA for

[[Page 66323]]

review. FDA will confirm a prior notice once all required information 
has been submitted and confirmed as facially complete. For example, if 
the information submitted failed to include an FDA Product Code, the 
system will not provide a confirmation for that prior notice. The 
transmitter has an opportunity to correct the rejected information. 
When the information is corrected, transmitted, and determined to be 
facially valid, the system will then notify the transmitter and provide 
the prior notice confirmation number.
    Under Sec.  1.279(e) of the IFR, the prior notice confirmation 
number must accompany any article of food arriving by international 
mail. Under Sec.  1.279(f), a copy of the confirmation (with the prior 
notice confirmation number) must accompany any article of food carried 
by or otherwise accompanying an individual (unless excluded under Sec.  
1.277(b)(1)), and be provided to CBP or FDA upon arrival. Additionally, 
under Sec.  1.279(g) the prior notice confirmation number must 
accompany any article of food for which the prior notice was submitted 
through the FDA PNSI when arriving in the United States and must be 
provided to CBP and FDA upon arrival.
    We further stated in the IFR's preamble that we also were 
interested in exploring flexible alternatives for submission of prior 
notice for foods or firms covered by programs of other agencies, such 
as C-TPAT, or imported by other agencies. We explained that FDA and CBP 
would publish a plan, including an implementation schedule, to achieve 
the goal of a uniform, integrated system, and to coordinate timeframes 
for import prior notice information while fulfilling the Bioterrorism 
Act mandates for air and truck modes of transportation with timeframes 
finalized by CBP when they finalize their rule entitled ``Required 
Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information'' (the Advance 
Electronic Information Rule) (68 FR 58995). On December 5, 2003, CBP 
issued the Advance Electronic Information Rule (68 FR 68140), which 
requires CBP to receive, by way of a CBP-approved electronic data 
interchange system, information pertaining to cargo before the cargo is 
either brought into or sent from the United States by any mode of 
commercial transportation (water, air, rail, or truck). The cargo 
information required is that which is reasonably necessary to enable 
high-risk shipments to be identified for purposes of ensuring cargo 
safety and security and preventing smuggling under the laws enforced 
and administered by CBP. The Advance Electronic Information Rule 
implements the provisions of section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, 
as amended by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. The 
relevant timeframes provided in the Advance Electronic Information Rule 
are as follows:
     For arrival by land via road at ports that are fully 
equipped to accommodate CBP's Advance Electronic Information Rule, no 
later than 1 hour prior to the arrival of the truck at the border, or 
for Free and Secure Trade (FAST) participants, 30 minutes;
     For arrival by land via rail at ports that are fully 
equipped to accommodate CBP's Advance Electronic Information Rule, no 
later than 2 hours prior to the arrival of the train at the border; For 
arrival by air, no later than the departure time (``wheels up'') of the 
aircraft from any foreign port or place in North America, including 
locations in Mexico, Central America, South America (from north of the 
Equator only), the Caribbean, and Bermuda, and from other areas into 
ports that are fully equipped to accommodate CBP's Advance Electronic 
Information Rule no later than 4 hours prior to the arrival of the 
aircraft in the United States.
    On April 14, 2004, FDA and CBP announced their ``Joint FDA-CBP Plan 
for Increasing Integration and Assessing the Coordination of Prior 
Notice Timeframes'' (69 FR 19765), which the agencies amended in August 
2004 (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnplan2.html). As stated in the plan 
regarding the agencies' assessment of reduced timeframes ``FDA and CBP 
continuously are assessing the completeness of prior notice submissions 
received as well as the amount of time necessary to receive, review, 
and respond to those submissions requiring a human review. However, 
that process is not yet complete, as we are currently operating under 
the enforcement policies outlined in the Prior Notice Compliance Policy 
Guide (CPG). See Compliance Policy Guide Sec. 110.310--Prior Notice of 
Imported Food Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism 
Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. (Issued December 15, 2003, and 
revised June and August 2004; http://www.fda.gov/ora under Compliance 
References.) We currently do not receive prior notice for all 
shipments.''
    In our plan, we also stated that we would assess existing 
procedures and staffing needed to receive, review, and respond to the 
prior notices submitted in accordance with the Prior Notice IFR; 
identify what changes to work practices and staffing would be necessary 
to determine if FDA could continue to receive, review, and respond to 
all prior notice submissions with reduced timeframes for land and air 
consistent with CBP's rule; and implement necessary changes and make 
appropriate adjustments to ensure we could receive, review, and respond 
to all prior notice submissions with reduced timeframes before issuing 
the final rule, consistent with our obligation to ensure that any 
timeframe selected is sufficient to receive, review, and respond to 
prior notice submissions, as set out in section 801(m)(2)(A) of the 
act. We also emphasized that ``the evaluation of whether to reduce the 
timeframes for prior notice review will depend on the level of 
compliance industry achieves during the assessment. If we are unable to 
make such an assessment, our intended timeframe for issuing a prior 
notice final rule may be delayed.''
    Comments received on the prior notice IFR addressed the timeframes 
required in the IFR, as well as integration of those timeframes with 
the timeframes covered by CBP's advance electronic information rule. 
Comments also covered the IFR's requirement that prior notice must be 
submitted at least 5 days prior to arrival. We respond to the issue of 
timeframes for submitting prior notice here, and respond to the other 
questions raised in our Joint Implementation Plan and April 14, 2004, 
reopening of the comment period later in this preamble.
1. IFR Timeframes (2, 4, and 8 hours)
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to permit prior notice to be 
submitted at the port of entry, instead of at the port of arrival, in 
order to align the prior notice process with long-standing, existing 
CBP clearance processes and infrastructures at the port of entry. The 
comment reasons that since according to FDA's own estimates, 80 to 90 
percent of prior notice data will be filed by the ABI filer, it is 
logical that prior notice should be filed at the same port where 
clearance entry is filed. The comment also suggests that FDA may want 
to consider a two-step process for submitting prior notice, under which 
the CBP ``ACI data'' is accepted as the first step, filed at port of 
arrival as part of the ``ACI data,'' followed by complete prior notice 
in its current form, filed as a second step at the port of entry, i.e., 
concurrent with the clearance entry. Another comment suggests that to 
ensure consistency with ACE, the prior notice should be required and 
calculated from the port of entry and not the first point of arrival, 
as is currently the case.

[[Page 66324]]

    Another comment recommends that to fully achieve the FDA-CBP goal 
of coordinating timeframes, FDA should adopt the ``point of entry,'' 
rather than the ``point of arrival'' in the United States to measure 
the timeliness of the prior notice filing. CBP's ``point of entry'' is 
well known to importers and its use for purposes of the Bioterrorism 
Act not only will alleviate unnecessary confusion, but also will 
facilitate the stream of U.S. commerce without compromising food 
safety.
    The comment also states that with the growing partnership between 
FDA and CBP, FDA's concern regarding limited personnel should no longer 
be an issue now that FDA and CBP collectively are using their 
respective enforcement officials for this joint endeavor.
    (Response) FDA discussed the ``port of entry/port of arrival'' 
issue extensively in the preamble to the IFR and is not persuaded by 
the comments that its initial position should be changed (See 68 FR 
58974 at 58988). The Bioterrorism Act established that prior notice be 
provided by a specified period of time in advance of the time of the 
importation of the article of food involved or the offering of the food 
for import, which period shall be no less than the minimum amount of 
time necessary for the Secretary to receive, review, and appropriately 
respond to such notification, but may not exceed 5 days. That means 
that prior notice must be submitted before the article of food arrives 
in the United States. Moreover, we explained in the IFR that the 
overall purpose of the Bioterrorism Act is to improve the ability of 
the United States to prevent, prepare for, and respond to bioterrorism 
and other public health emergencies, thereby making essential the 
ability to examine or hold a suspect article of food when it first 
arrives at a port of entry in the United States, rather than later at 
the port where CBP will process the entry. Thus, the final rule uses 
the term ``port of arrival'' rather than ``port of entry'' as the food 
may not arrive at the port of entry until long after it has arrived in 
the United States. In addition, CBP's advance electronic information 
rule also requires notice in advance of ``arrival'' in the United 
States, and not at ``entry.''
    The IFR and final rule define ``port of arrival'' and ``port of 
entry.'' Neither, however, use the terms ``point of arrival'' or 
``point of entry.'' FDA could not find reference to ``point of entry'' 
in CBP rules or regulations.
    FDA does agree that FDA's staffing at certain U.S. ports is much 
less of an issue. Under an MOU between FDA and CBP signed by the 
respective commissioners of both agencies on December 3, 2003, FDA has 
commissioned thousands of CBP officers in ports and other locations to 
conduct, on FDA's behalf, investigations and examinations of imported 
foods. This unprecedented FDA-CBP collaboration significantly 
strengthens the implementation of the Bioterrorism Act to ensure the 
security of imported foods, particularly with respect to implementing 
the prior notice rule. Building on FDA's and CBP's long history of 
close cooperation, the MOU upgrades the two agencies' teamwork in 
training, day-to-day operations, and information sharing. As part of 
the MOU, FDA and CBP have provided specialized training for the 
commissioned CBP employees who carry out this work, and both agencies 
have expanded their existing cooperative arrangements to directly share 
information affecting the safety and security of imported foods, 
including co-locating FDA's PNC with CBP staff. Although the FDA and 
CBP partnership benefits the prior notice process in many ways, this 
partnership does not mean that the PNC no longer would have staffing 
concerns such that the prior notice timeframes could be reduced, as the 
comment implies. Please see the discussion later in this document 
regarding ``Integration of FDA and CBP timeframes'' for further 
discussion on reducing timeframes.
    (Comments) One comment noted that the time difference between their 
country and the United States makes it difficult for the agent to start 
submitting prior notice immediately upon the receipt of necessary 
information. Therefore, some food transported by air, as well as by 
water, has actually missed the appointed timeframe. The comment 
requests that prior notice be accepted until immediately before the 
arrival of the food.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA's PNSI is available 24 hours a day to 
submit prior notice. The timeframes established in the final rule are 
the minimum amount of time that FDA needs to receive, review, and 
respond to prior notice submissions.
2. Integration of FDA and CBP Timeframes
    (Comments) One comment states that ``no shorter timeframes should 
be allowed.'' However, the remainder of the comments addressing 
consistency of timeframes between FDA and CBP recommend that FDA 
timeframes for imported food arriving by air and land be reduced and be 
consistent with those set forth by CBP in their advanced electronic 
information rule. No comments recommend aligning the prior notice 
timeframe for imported food arriving by water with the CBP advanced 
electronic information rule timeframe of 24 hours prior to loading on 
the vessel. The reasons for recommending that prior notice timeframes 
be the same as CBP's advanced electronic information timeframes for 
food arriving by air and land are that it would minimize the complexity 
of the process by presenting a more streamlined flow of information and 
avoid unnecessary duplication, result in fewer errors, provide better 
compliance rates, allow for fewer disruptions at the border, 
significantly reduce the burden on the trade community without creating 
additional security risks, and allow operators at close border points 
to load and verify truck loads and travel routes prior to submitting 
notice. One comment suggested that there is no basis for concluding 
that more time is needed for food shipments than for other shipments. 
Another comment states that utilizing one system and one set of 
timelines should provide adequate notice to FDA and improve compliance 
with the prior notice requirements.
    (Response) The timeframes established in the final rule represent 
the minimum amount of time FDA needs to meet our statutory 
responsibility to receive, review, and respond to prior notice 
submissions. In accordance with our Joint Implementation Plan, we 
evaluated the feasibility of conducting prior notice reviews in a 
reduced time period in an effort to more closely harmonize the 
submissions with CBP timeframes. As part of our assessment, we analyzed 
data regarding prior notices we received in the first 9.75 months of 
fiscal year (FY) 2005--specifically from prior notices received and 
responded to by the PNC between October 1, 2004, and July 23, 2005. 
Based on the results of our assessment, in the final rule we have 
maintained the timeframes that are in the IFR:
     If the article of food is arriving by land by road, no 
less than 2 hours before arriving at the port of arrival;
     If the article of food is arriving by land by rail, no 
less than 4 hours before arriving at the port of arrival;
     If the article of food is arriving by air, no less than 4 
hours before arriving at the port of arrival; and
     If the article of food is arriving by water, no less than 
8 hours before arriving at the port of arrival.
    FDA and CBP established these timeframes for the IFR based on the 
information available at the time. By necessity, though, these 
decisions regarding timeframes were not informed

[[Page 66325]]

by actual experience in operating the prior notice program. We now have 
that experience, and the information gained during our assessment shows 
that the minimum timeframes for submitting prior notices contained in 
the IFR closely match the minimum time necessary for FDA to receive, 
review, and respond to the prior notices. During the assessment period, 
FDA was able to receive, review, and respond to almost all notices 
within the established timeframes. In a relatively small number of 
situations, FDA was not able to make a decision regarding whether to 
inspect the food at the port of arrival by the end of the timeframe. In 
these situations, when the food arrived at the port of arrival, it was 
delayed while FDA completed its review. The number of such shipments, 
however, has been relatively low, and the resulting impact on 
government resources and the flow of traffic at ports has not been 
significant. Thus, we do not believe we should increase the timeframes 
to account for this relatively small number of outliers whose review 
takes longer than the IFR's timeframes.
    Our assessment also shows that, because the IFR's timeframes 
closely match the minimum time necessary for FDA to receive, review, 
and respond to the prior notices, those timeframes could not be 
significantly reduced. If we were to change the timeframes to be 
consistent with those of CBP's advance electronic information rule, not 
only would this go against the statutory standard for setting the 
timeframes, but it would also significantly increase the number of 
shipments where FDA would not be able to decide whether it should 
examine the food at the port of arrival by the end of the timeframe. 
Based on current and projected staffing levels in the PNC, such 
shipments would be delayed at the port of arrival until FDA has either 
completed its review or decided to examine or not examine the food at 
the port of arrival without the benefit of a complete review. FDA could 
expend additional resources to increase capacity to review and reduce 
the timeframe, but it would be at considerable cost to assist a small 
number of shipments that have difficultly meeting these timeframes. In 
the nearly 4 years since the end of the transition enforcement period 
for the interim final rule, very few shipments have arrived without 
prior notice and as such, the timeframes are both reasonable, and 
economically efficient. The prior notice review process, information 
from our assessment, and the consequences of reducing the timeframes 
for conducting the prior notice review are discussed in more detail 
below.
    To implement the Prior Notice IFR, FDA established the PNC that 
operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all days of the year to 
receive, review, and adequately responds to these notices as they are 
submitted. PNC staff is also responsible for responding in real-time 
(by e-mail, fax, or telephone) to inquiries they receive from affected 
parties about pending prior notices and/or operational issues.
    The purpose of prior notice is to help identify food that 
potentially poses a significant health risk to the American public and 
to deploy resources to the port of arrival so that inspections can be 
conducted before the shipment ever enters the United States. Regardless 
of whether a prior notice is submitted electronically to FDA through 
CBP's ABI/ACS or FDA's PNSI, the prior notice information undergoes a 
validation process and is then screened against food safety and 
security criteria.
    If the results of our initial validation indicate that the prior 
notice requirements have been met and the results of our screening 
indicate that the shipment does not appear to be a potential 
bioterrorism or significant public health threat, the submission is 
considered to have satisfied prior notice requirements and the 
associated article of food is allowed to proceed for further 
processing, including FDA admissibility review under section 801(a) of 
the act. Alternatively, if the results of the initial screening of the 
prior notice information indicate there is a potential bioterrorism or 
other significant public health threat, the prior notice undergoes 
additional intensive review by the PNC using other databases and 
sources of information to determine whether the article of food should 
be held at the port of arrival for examination or should be allowed to 
proceed into 801(a) status for admissibility review. PNC personnel make 
this determination using their experience with imported foods and the 
expertise within FDA's CFSAN for human food or FDA's CVM for animal 
feed, the inspectional information obtained by FDA's ORA, and the 
expertise of CBP. FDA's goal is to complete its review within the 2, 4, 
or 8 hour timeframe for submitting prior notice so that the review is 
complete before the shipment arrives at the port of arrival. If the 
intensive review takes longer than the timeframe and the shipment 
arrives at the port of arrival, then FDA may delay the shipment at the 
port of arrival until its review is completed. FDA could increase 
staffing at the PNC in order to decrease timeframes, but the effect has 
diminishing returns. When a shipment must undergo intensive review, PNC 
staff members are reviewing databases and sorting through information 
to determine whether the shipment poses a potential threat. Reviewing 
one source of information leads to other sources of information to 
investigate. It would not necessarily be effective to expend, for 
example, five staff members on one intensive review at the start 
because not all sources of information for review are known at the 
beginning of an intensive review. Doubling or tripling staff, as 
discussed in Option 2B of the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis of this 
document, also would result in a significant amount of unused office 
space and equipment during the slowest time periods. Staffing at 
increased levels at all times would result in wasteful unproductive 
staff waiting for shipments to arrive.
    Moreover, the constant unpredictability of the submission times for 
high risk prior notices requiring the shortest timeframe review (2 
hours for food arriving by land via road) is a significant issue. The 
exact busiest times are variable, and are very difficult to predict on 
a daily basis. In addition, PNC targeting for high risk shipments also 
varies based on contemporaneous targeting intelligence and changing 
risk assessment strategies. Having constant two to three times the 
number of staff to cover those short bursts of time when the highest 
volume of high risk shipments, with the lowest timeframes are at their 
peak would be inefficient and wasteful.
    In addition, it has been suggested that the PNC reduce their time 
frames and hold only those shipments it needs more time to review. 
There are two very significant reasons why this would be impractical. 
First, from a security perspective, doing so would result in holding 
only potential high risk shipments at the border and would make PNC 
targeting strategies widely visible and predictable to both those 
involved in legitimate trade, and those with nefarious pursuits looking 
to exploit weaknesses in U.S. food cargo security. Second, the holding 
of high risk shipments at the port would cause logistical challenges 
for port operators, and would almost certainly have a negative impact 
on all food and nonfood shipments processed through those ports. In 
contrast, with the current PN timeframes which have been in place for 
more than 4[frac1s2] years, these logistical challenges have been 
almost nonexistent, and PNC targeting strategies are virtually 
transparent to the import trade.

[[Page 66326]]

    The other factor to consider is the tremendous growth of imported 
foods year to year (approximately 14 percent growth over the past 4 
years), which far exceeds what FDA projected in the IFR. FDA has been 
able to maintain the existing timeframes without adversely impacting 
trade. Given that we continue to expect imports to increase in volume, 
FDA does not believe that reducing timeframes is warranted. For all the 
above reasons, FDA believes that its current and projected staffing 
levels are sufficient and appropriate, and the timeframes are both 
reasonable, and economically efficient.
    FDA receives approximately 167,000 prior notices each week. The 
distribution of prior notices by mode of transportation during our 
assessment that were flagged by the initial screening and that received 
an intensive prior notice review by the PNC is as follows:

 Table 1.--Proportion of Prior Notices Flagged at the Initial Screening,
                        by Mode of Transportation
Truck                                27.6%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Car                                  2.9%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Air                                  17.6%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rail                                 0.8%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sea                                  39.2%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mail                                 11.1%
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other                                0.8%
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As indicated, a significant portion (approximately 31 percent) of 
the prior notices reviewed by the PNC on a daily basis are land/road 
border entries, which under the IFR are subject to submission 
timeframes of at least 2 hours before arrival. On average, during the 
assessment period, the PNC conducted intensive security reviews on 225 
to 250 prior notices per day from all modes of transportation, which 
means that, on average, the PNC conducted intensive security reviews on 
about 77 prior notices (31 percent of 250) each day that are subject to 
the 2-hour timeframe. Moreover, the prior notices are not evenly 
distributed over an 8 hour shift or 24-hour day. The actual dispersal 
pattern of the prior notice submissions is not uniform; an overwhelming 
majority of prior notice submissions arrive between a certain 12-hour 
period.
    The amount of time the PNC has needed for its intensive review has 
ranged from 20 minutes to 315 minutes (5 hours and 25 minutes) from 
when FDA received the prior notice and confirmed it for review. Using 
data collected on articles of food arriving by land via truck and car 
during our assessment period, the PNC expended an average of 61 minutes 
to receive, review, and make a decision on whether or not a shipment 
should be refused or held for examination under section 801(m) of the 
act, or allowed to proceed into 801(a) status for admissibility review. 
The PNC completed about 99 percent of its intensive reviews of prior 
notices submitted for land/road border arrivals within 120 minutes of 
receiving and confirming the prior notice for review. Only about 57 
percent of the intensive reviews were completed within 1 hour. Reviews 
for the remaining 43 percent (8,900 prior notices for the assessment 
period, or more than 10,000 for FY 2005) took longer. If the timeframe 
were set at 1 hour for these articles of food instead of the IFR's 2 
hours, the PNC would have had to either delay the food at the port of 
arrival until it completed its review or decide whether to examine the 
food at the port or arrival without the benefit of a complete review, 
based on current and projected staffing levels in the PNC.
    FDA does not have data to accurately analyze the impact of changing 
the timeframe to 30 minutes for FAST participants because FAST 
membership is not one of the data elements that we currently require in 
a prior notice submission. FDA instead did the analysis based on the 
total number of prior notices submitted that the PNC could review based 
on a timeframe of 30 minutes. The PNC completed less than 10 percent of 
its intensive reviews of prior notices submitted for land/road border 
arrivals within 30 minutes of receiving and confirming the prior notice 
for review. If the timeframe for all articles of food arriving by land 
by truck and car during our assessment period had been 30 minutes 
(i.e., the timeframes for FAST participants) instead of 2 hours, the 
PNC would not have completed approximately 68 percent of its intensive 
reviews (over 14,000 during the assessment period, which equates to 
approximately 16,000 for FY 2005 of the land/road border prior notices) 
within the applicable timeframe. As a result, the PNC would have had to 
either delay the food at the port of arrival until it completed its 
review or decide whether to examine the food at the port of arrival 
without the benefit of a complete review, based on current and 
projected staffing levels in the PNC. This assessment is an 
overestimate of the number of articles of food that would be eligible 
for FAST timeframes, as we do not know how many articles of food 
arriving in the United States subject to the prior notice requirements 
are from FAST and C-TPAT participants. Moreover, there are other 
impediments to integrating prior notice with the C-TPAT and FAST 
programs. These are discussed in section III.D.6 of this document 
(``Additional Exclusions Requested--Special Programs (C-TPAT/FAST) and 
Flexible Alternatives'').
    We also conducted a similar assessment on prior notices submitted 
for articles of food arriving by air between October 1, 2004, and July 
23, 2005. The IFR requires prior notices for these shipments to be 
submitted and confirmed for review at least 4 hours before the food 
arrives at the U.S. port of arrival. If the timeframes for articles of 
food arriving by air during our assessment period had been reduced to 
``wheels up,'' the PNC would not have completed approximately 21 
percent of the intensive prior notice reviews for articles of food with 
flight times less than 3 hours. These articles of food (2,700 for our 
assessment period, or an estimated 3,230 for FY 2005) also would have 
been subject to cargo delays and/or increased cargo examinations, based 
on current and projected staffing levels in the PNC.
    Neither FDA nor CBP have sufficient personnel or resources to 
accommodate the number of additional cargo delays and/or food shipment 
examinations that would result under either 60- or 30-minute timeframes 
for articles of food arriving by land by road. This would include the 
significant additional personnel and resources needed to track, 
facilitate, and coordinate the evaluation and/or examination of the 
delayed cargo. Coordination of the handling of delayed shipments is a 
resource intensive process that can last for multiple days per 
shipment, and includes communicating with both FDA and CBP personnel at 
the border, and the brokers/filers and importers involved in the 
shipment.
    To handle the extra work, the PNC would need to shift its personnel 
based on current and projected staffing levels in the PNC, resulting in 
fewer staff being available to review prior notices for all categories 
of shipments including shipments arriving by water. The PNC's current 
approximate average time for the PNC intensive review for shipments 
arriving by water is 5 hours, which is within the 8 hour submission 
timeframe. We would expect, based on our assessment, that the time 
taken away from prior notice review work for the increase in 
coordination due to the increase in delays and examinations for

[[Page 66327]]

land and air shipments would increase the time needed to complete 
intensive review of prior notices for shipments arriving by water by 25 
percent at the minimum. As a result, over 7,000 shipments by water 
during our assessment period (estimated as 7,370 for FY 2005) would 
have been delayed at the port of arrival while the PNC completed its 
intensive review and determined whether the shipment in fact presented 
a significant health threat, based on current and projected staffing 
levels in the PNC.
    In setting the timeframes, the act provides that we may consider, 
among other considerations, the effect on commerce (section 
801(m)(2)(A) of the act). Assuming current and projected PNC resources, 
lowering the timeframes to 60 or 30 minutes would likely result in 
delays at the border, not only for those shipments delayed for 
intensive review longer than the timeframe, but also for other 
shipments passing through the port, especially at the busiest land 
border ports where traffic lanes, parking, and inspection facilities 
are extremely limited. In some ports, the lack of holding facilities 
could result in an increase in trucks being turned around at the 
border. As we have mentioned above, there have been a relatively small 
number of situations where FDA was not able to make a decision 
regarding whether to inspect the food at the port of arrival by the end 
of the timeframe, causing a small number of shipments to be delayed 
when it arrived at the port of arrival. Since the impact of these small 
number of delays on trade has not been significant, continuing to 
maintain that the current IFR timeframes is the most efficient use of 
resources.
    Thus, based on current and projected resources and other high-
priority activities FDA is addressing, reducing the timeframes would 
lead to an increase in delays at the ports of arrival, causing FDA to 
shift some resources away from conducting intensive reviews of prior 
notices so they can conduct the coordination and other activities 
necessary for these delayed shipments. The shift in resources away from 
conducting intensive reviews would, in turn, further increase the 
number of shipments that are delayed because FDA has not been able to 
finish its intensive review within the applicable submission timeframe. 
This ultimately would cause a delay in getting cargo to its final 
destination, which would have an adverse impact on trade.
    Moreover, the number of prior notices identified for intensive 
review has increased over time, as intelligence and other risks are 
identified. We expect the number of intensive reviews to continue to 
increase relative to the assessment period, resulting in even more food 
shipments that would be delayed or held for examination under shortened 
timeframes.
    We did not get any comments asking us to coordinate the timeframes 
for articles of food arriving by water in our prior notice rule (8 
hours before arrival) with those in CBP's rule (24 hours before 
arrival). We received one comment asking us to reduce the time for 
articles arriving by water. We stated in the preamble to the IFR ``In 
determining the actual timeframes for submission of prior notice for 
each mode of transportation, FDA considered the need to provide 
sufficient time for the agency to review and respond to the information 
submitted, as well as the current ability of the food industry to 
provide the information required within the stated timeframe given the 
differences in lead time before arrival among different modes of 
transportation. We determined that information for shipments whose 
transport time is measured in days or weeks (e.g., ocean shipments) is 
available further in advance of arrival than shipments whose transport 
time is measured in hours (e.g., land and air shipments.) Staggered 
prior notice submission timeframes will allow FDA reviewers to direct 
additional resources to shipments with short transport times and to 
defer review of shipments with longer transport times. Based on these 
considerations, FDA established the prior notice timeframes in the 
interim final rule to associate with the mode of transportation.'' (69 
FR at 58995). We continue to hold this view for shipments arriving by 
water in light of our assessment for articles of food arriving by land 
and air.
    For all of the previously stated reasons, we did not reduce the 
timeframes for submitting prior notice in the final rule for any mode 
of transportation, as these timeframes still are the minimum amount of 
time FDA needs to fulfill its statutory obligation to receive, review 
and respond to prior notices while having the minimal impact on trade.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that it would be preferable for FDA 
to harmonize the prior notice timelines to the future ACE transmission 
timelines, ensuring consistency and compliance of the trade community 
and efficiencies in both agency and industry workforces.
    (Response) FDA agrees that timeframes for submission of prior 
notice may be further evaluated in light of new trade programs such as 
ACE, when it is implemented and in effect. CBP is planning to bring its 
ACE system on line in the next few years, which will accommodate prior 
notice submissions and eliminate or change ABI/ACS and PNSI prior 
notice submissions. FDA will continue to assess and pursue the 
integration of timeframes as policies, processes, and strategic IT 
systems are improved. FDA believes that the most opportune time for 
coordinating timeframes will coincide with the startup of CBP's ACE. We 
will determine at that time or after ACE is operational whether the 
prior notice timeframes should and can be reduced further. Until that 
time, the timeframes for submission of prior notice will remain the 
same in the final rule as issued under the IFR (see Sec.  1.279).
3. Phase-In of FDA and CBP Timeframes
    When FDA reopened the comment period for the IFR on April 14, 2004 
(see 69 FR 19763), FDA asked Flexible Alternative Question 6: ``If FDA 
adopts reduced timeframes in the prior notice final rule, should FDA 
phase in the shorter timeframes as CBP phases in the advance electronic 
information rule?''
    (Comments) Most comments recommend integration of the phase-in of 
reduced timeframes in association with CBP's schedule to promote 
consistency between the programs, reduce errors, and minimize 
disruption of supply chains through conflicting requirements. However, 
one comment, in addition to recommending adherence to CBP's phase-in 
schedule, also notes that they would not want FDA to delay adopting a 
reduced timeframe for submitting prior notice merely because CBP is not 
yet ready to implement the counterpart provisions of its advance notice 
programs. In addition, they state that the deadlines are minimum 
periods, and any shipper can provide more notice of imports, to FDA, 
CBP or both, than the minimum timeframes in either regulation. They 
recommend that FDA should shorten its lead times to match those in the 
CBP regulations, even if the CBP requirements are not yet in place. 
Another comment states that the phase-in plan, which is a port-by-port 
implementation according to a time schedule, would be very problematic 
to industry. The comment further explains that systems and operations 
do not necessarily have the flexibility to switch on by individual site 
or location and the current plan would introduce complication and 
confuse the trade community. The comment recommends further discussion 
with CBP and FDA as to development of a more viable and achievable 
implementation plan.
    (Response) This issue is moot, as the final rule retains the 
timeframes

[[Page 66328]]

established in the IFR, for the previously stated reasons.
4. Prior Notice Confirmation Number
    (Comments) One comment asks for clarification regarding when the 
prior notice confirmation number is required to accompany the food.
    (Response) The prior notice confirmation number must accompany any 
article of food arriving by international mail, when the food is 
carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual, or when the prior 
notice was submitted via FDA's PNSI.
    Under Sec.  1.279(e), the prior notice confirmation number must 
accompany any article of food arriving by international mail. Under 
Sec.  1.279(f), a copy of the confirmation (with the prior notice 
confirmation number) must accompany any article of food carried by or 
otherwise accompanying an individual (unless excluded under Sec.  1.277 
(b)(1)), and be provided to CBP or FDA upon arrival. Additionally, 
under Sec.  1.279(g) the prior notice confirmation number must 
accompany any article of food for which the prior notice was submitted 
through the FDA PNSI when arriving in the United States and must be 
provided to CBP and FDA upon arrival.
    (Comments) One comment asked FDA to confirm whether it is 
sufficient for an ocean carrier to have the prior notice confirmation 
number on arrival or whether they are required to have the actual prior 
notice confirmation also.
    (Response) Under Sec.  1.279(e), the prior notice confirmation 
number must accompany any article of food arriving by international 
mail. Additionally, under Sec.  1.279(g) the prior notice confirmation 
number must accompany any article of food for which the prior notice 
was submitted through the FDA PNSI when arriving in the United States 
and must be provided to CBP and FDA upon arrival. Therefore, although a 
prior notice confirmation number is required, the final rule does not 
require that the actual prior notice confirmation has to be supplied 
for food arriving by ocean carrier.
    (Comments) One comment states that when food arrives in the United 
States, the carrier should present a copy of the prior notice 
confirmation and the food to CBP. The comment asks if the submitter 
should send the prior notice confirmation to the carrier company or to 
the vessel that transported the food to the United States.
    (Response) As stated previously, Sec.  1.279(e) requires the prior 
notice confirmation number to accompany any article of food arriving by 
international mail. Additionally, under Sec.  1.279(g) the prior notice 
confirmation number must accompany any article of food for which the 
prior notice was submitted through the FDA PNSI when arriving in the 
United States and must be provided to CBP and FDA upon arrival. How 
persons importing or offering for import food into the United States 
choose to comply with this requirement is a private matter (e.g., 
persons may decide to specify these obligations in the contract between 
the exporting company and the carriers to ensure that the logistics are 
worked out in advance).
    (Comments) Comments stated that the data requirements should be 
reassessed to simplify and make the requirements more manageable. The 
comment states that one data element should link all information 
secured by prior notice, which would be beneficial for locating 
shipments in the event of a possible crisis. The comments suggest that 
FDA use bill of lading numbers as a single reference point because all 
shipments that are moved are repeatedly covered by this number. This 
would render the prior notice confirmation number currently used 
redundant.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that the waybill/Bill of Lading can 
be used as a single reference point for all shipments instead of the 
prior notice confirmation number. A Bill of Lading number is not always 
assigned to a shipment at the time of prior notice submission. For 
certain shipments, such as those sent by international mail, no Bill of 
Lading may exist. Thus, FDA has determined that it is better to use a 
unique confirmation number provided by the FDA system to transmitters.
    (Comments) One comment notes that a separate prior notice is 
required for each distinct food product and a prior notice confirmation 
number is returned for each prior notice. Therefore, if a shipment 
consists of multiple food products, the carrier would have multiple 
prior notice confirmations upon arrival. The comment states multiple 
prior notice confirmations do not align well with the commercial 
realities of international trade, where the focus is on the entire 
shipment, not the individual components. The comment recommends that 
FDA provide a prior notice confirmation number that encompasses the 
entire shipment.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The carrier could be carrying articles of 
food for different submitters or recipients. If it was necessary to 
hold an article of food, the entire shipment would be held under the 
above scenario suggested by the comment. Under the final rule, the 
article of food that is subject to a hold can be offloaded and the rest 
of the shipment allowed to proceed. This would not be the case if there 
was only one prior notice confirmation number for the entire shipment.
5. 5-Day Maximum Pre-Arrival Limitation
    (Comments) Many comments requested that prior notice be allowed to 
be submitted more than 5 days before arrival. This would allow 
exporters to complete their documentation at the same time the bill of 
lading and health certification is usually completed in the case of 
food shipped by water. One comment contends that the 5 day limit does 
not reflect the variable and unpredictable nature of transport and does 
not reflect a risk-based approach to a potential bioterrorism threat. 
Another comment contends that the limitation of the timeframe to 5 days 
is problematic and is due to a misinterpretation of the statute. The 
comment asserts that the statutory language does not preclude a party 
from voluntarily providing prior notice more than 5 days in advance. 
The comment also maintains that 10 days prior to arrival would provide 
the necessary flexibility for their industry. A foreign government, 
apparently assuming that prior notice must be submitted by the foreign 
shipper or exporter, recommends that the time should be extended 
because it may take the shipment 2 weeks to reach a U.S. port.
    (Response) In response to the concerns raised by the comments, we 
have revised Sec.  1.279(b) to allow submission of prior notice more 
than 5 days before arrival (except for articles of food imported or 
offered for import by international mail). Specifically, this provision 
permits prior notice submissions to be submitted no more than 30 
calendar days before the anticipated date of arrival for submissions 
made through ABI/ACS and no more than 15 calendar days before the 
anticipated date of arrival for submissions made through PNSI. Due to 
system limitations, the timeframes between ABI/ACS and PNSI are not 
identical. Also, because of the way ABI/ACS is programmed, when prior 
notice is submitted through ABI/ACS, the prior notice confirmation 
number cannot be provided more than 5 calendar days before the 
anticipated date of arrival.
    Please note that if any of the prior notice information, except the 
anticipated arrival information, the estimated quantity, or the planned 
shipment information, changes after FDA has confirmed the prior notice 
submission for review, the prior notice must be resubmitted, as 
provided by Sec.  1.282(a). The resubmission must be

[[Page 66329]]

confirmed by FDA for review no less than 2, 4, or 8 hours before 
arriving at the port of arrival, with the minimum time depending on the 
mode of transportation (Sec.  1.279(a)). If prior notice is 
resubmitted, the previous prior notice should be cancelled (Sec.  
1.282(b), (c)).
6. International Mail
    (Comments) There were no comments received regarding the timeframes 
established for prior notice covering food arriving by international 
mail.
    (Response) FDA retained the timeframes for submission of prior 
notice for food arriving by international mail that are in the IFR.
    (Final rule) The final rule at Sec.  1.279(a) requires that you 
must submit prior notice to FDA and the prior notice submission must be 
confirmed by FDA for review as follows: If the article of food is 
arriving by land by road, no less than 2 hours before arriving at the 
port of arrival; if the article of food is arriving by land by rail, no 
less than 4 hours before arriving at the port of arrival; if the 
article of food is arriving by air, no less than 4 hours before 
arriving at the port of arrival; or if the article of food is arriving 
by water, no less than 8 hours before arriving at the port of arrival.
    Under Sec.  1.279(b), except in the case of an article of food 
imported or offered for import by international mail, prior notice may 
be submitted no more than 30 calendar days before the anticipated date 
of arrival for submissions made through ABI/ACS and no more than 15 
calendar days before the anticipated date of arrival for submissions 
made through PNSI.
    Under Sec.  1.279(c), if the article of food is arriving by 
international mail, the prior notice must be submitted before the 
article of food is sent to the United States.
    Under Sec.  1.279(d), FDA will provide notification that the prior 
notice has been confirmed for review with a reply message that contains 
a prior notice confirmation number. The prior notice will be considered 
submitted and the prior notice review time will start when FDA has 
confirmed the prior notice for review.
    Under Sec.  1.279(e), the prior notice confirmation number must 
accompany any article of food arriving by international mail. The prior 
notice confirmation number must appear on the Customs Declaration that 
accompanies the package. We provide CN22 or CN23 or a U.S. equivalent 
as examples of the Customs Declaration.
    Under Sec.  1.279(f), a copy of the confirmation, including the 
prior notice confirmation number, must accompany any article of food 
that is subject to this subpart when it is carried by or otherwise 
accompanies an individual when arriving in the United States. The copy 
of the confirmation must be provided to CBP or FDA upon arrival.
    Under Sec.  1.279(g), the prior notice confirmation number must 
accompany any article of food for which the prior notice was submitted 
through the FDA PNSI when the article arrives in the United States and 
must be provided to CBP or FDA upon arrival.

G. How Must You Submit the Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.280)

    Section 1.280 of the IFR required that prior notice must be 
submitted electronically to FDA in the English language, except that an 
individual's name, the name of a company, and the name of a street may 
be submitted in a foreign language. All information, including these 
items, must be submitted using the Latin (Roman) alphabet. The IFR 
provided for two methods of electronic submission of prior notice: (1) 
The CBP ABI/ACS; or (2) FDA PNSI at http://www.access.fda.gov.
    The IFR required submission of prior notice via FDA's PNSI for 
articles of food imported or offered for import by international mail, 
other transaction types that cannot be made through ABI/ACS, and 
articles of food that have been refused under section 801(m)(1) of the 
act and 21 CFR part 1, subpart I.
    The IFR also provided for contingencies if certain systems were not 
working, e.g., a custom broker's or self-filer's system, ABI/ACS, PNSI, 
or OASIS. The IFR required that prior notice must be submitted through 
PNSI if a custom broker's or self-filer's system or if the ABI/ACS 
interface is not working. The IFR also required that prior notice must 
be submitted via e-mail or fax if PNSI or OASIS is not working. The IFR 
did not exempt any specific categories of food articles from prior 
notice if systems are not performing.
    In August 2004, FDA and CBP published guidance covering a 
Contingency Plan for System Outages. This guidance can be accessed at 
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pndguid.html. Comments addressing 
contingencies will be discussed later in this section.
    Comments regarding how to submit prior notice are addressed 
according to issue: General comments; comments about the ABI/ACS and 
PNSI systems, including technical issues and security of the systems; 
and comments about contingencies.
1. General Comments
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA should have CBP collect 
and review all prior notices with one prior notice submission timeframe 
for all agencies.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The Bioterrorism Act, while providing for 
the ability to commission other agencies to help implement the 
provisions of the Bioterrorism Act, specifies that the Secretary is to 
receive prior notice for all food imported or offered for import into 
the United States. FDA personnel are trained and knowledgeable about 
the risks and hazards involving food products under its jurisdiction 
and have the expertise to review the prior notice submissions. The 
integration of prior notice submission timeframes is discussed earlier 
in this document under the discussion for Sec.  1.279.
    (Comments) Several comments suggest allowing the option of 
submitting prior notice by fax or mail because not everyone has 
Internet capability, access to a computer, or proficiency in English. 
One comment asks that they be allowed to continue sending prior notice 
by fax (as is allowed during certain contingency situations). Several 
other comments suggest that international mail shippers are at a 
disadvantage because many mail customers have no access to the 
Internet, the pre-notification system is not customer-friendly, entries 
take a long time, and the data requirements are too complex and 
difficult for customers to determine.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that a process for manual 
transmission is needed, except on a contingency basis. FDA believes 
that persons engaged in international commerce have, or can get, access 
to the Internet. If the Internet is not accessible by the submitter, he 
or she can use a customs broker to submit prior notice through ABI/ACS 
or another person to transmit prior notice through the FDA PNSI. 
Allowing manual transmission would not give adequate time for FDA 
personnel to receive, review, and respond, unless the timeframes for 
prior notice in the final rule were greatly extended. Thus, manual 
transmission will be used only as a contingency alternative.
    FDA also notes that the data quality of manual systems is usually 
less than satisfactory, because no automated data validation takes 
place during data entry. The U.S. Government has a strong commitment to 
reducing paper-based processes and moving toward e-commerce for all 
business transactions. Accordingly, under the final rule, paper-

[[Page 66330]]

based submissions will not be allowed, except on a contingency basis.
    In response to the comment that international mail shippers are 
disadvantaged, FDA also notes that it has compliance policies to 
address this situation. Its compliance policy under the IFR had been 
that ``FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action when an article of food is imported or offered for import for 
non-commercial purposes with a non-commercial shipper'' without prior 
notice. This applied to all such food subject to prior notice, 
including food shipped by international mail. The Prior Notice Final 
Rule Draft CPG, announced elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register, would continue that enforcement policy.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that instead of submitting prior 
notice via PNSI, mail shippers be allowed to complete an alternate form 
requiring minimal information that is similar to the Customs 
Declaration form in the native language to be completed at the post 
office. This comment argues that the current requirements are too 
cumbersome for the average consumer. Similarly, another comment 
suggests that FDA accept Customs Declaration Forms CN22 and CN23 in 
lieu of submitting prior notice via PNSI for mail shippers. This 
comment argues that such forms are much easier to complete and are 
official documents prescribed by the Universal Postal Convention and 
are used around the world. In the alternative, this comment suggests 
that FDA accept data submitted by mail shippers via PNSI in a condensed 
form determined by the foreign government's postal agency.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Section 801(m) of the act requires the 
prior notice submission to contain certain data elements, such as the 
identity of the article of food, manufacturer and shipper of the 
article, grower, country from which the article originates, country 
from which the article is shipped, and the anticipated port of entry of 
the article. Customs Declaration Forms are not adequate substitutes for 
providing this information to FDA since such forms do not typically 
require this kind of comprehensive information. Likewise, allowing a 
foreign government's postal agency to determine which information to 
submit to FDA also does not guarantee that we will receive the 
information required by section 801(m) of the act. Therefore, FDA has 
not provided an alternative form of prior notice submission for food 
arriving by mail for commercial purposes.
    FDA again notes that it has compliance policies that address some 
of the concerns raised by the comments. Its compliance policy under the 
IFR had been that ``FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking 
any regulatory action when an article of food is imported or offered 
for import for non-commercial purposes with a non-commercial shipper'' 
without prior notice. This applied to all such food subject to prior 
notice, including food shipped by international mail. The Prior Notice 
Final Rule Draft CPG, announced elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register, would continue that enforcement policy. FDA believes that 
this proposed compliance policy should not be extended to food that is 
imported or offered for import for commercial purposes or with a 
noncommercial shipper without prior notice. Mail shipments associated 
with a commercial purpose pose a higher risk with respect to ability to 
reach a greater number of people, and most commercial entities already 
are familiar with submitting information to FDA and CBP.
    (Comments) One comment proposes a two-step process for filing prior 
notice, whereby FDA would accept the same data submitted for CBP ABI to 
satisfy the prior notice requirements at the first port of arrival. 
Then, after accepting ABI data at the port of arrival, complete prior 
notice data would be filed at the port of entry as step two of the 
process. The comment contends that utilizing ABI data for prior notice 
at the port of arrival would allow faster processing, which is a 
significant issue considering FDA's concern about timely processing of 
prior notice under a shorter time schedule. This more complete data 
would be filed concurrent with the CBP clearance entry, and therefore 
provide FDA with the level of data desired, while removing the issue of 
time constraints under a reduced schedule measured against the port of 
arrival.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The purpose of section 801(m) of the 
Bioterrorism Act is to ensure that FDA has sufficient information 
before arrival so it can determine what foods to inspect at the border. 
Therefore, all information required for prior notice must be submitted 
prior to arrival, not just a portion of the information.
    Additional information may be required after arrival and for entry 
admissibility decisions. That process is completed after arrival for 
those foods offered for consumption in the United States. (See 68 FR 
58974 at 58976 in the preamble to the IFR for additional discussion 
about the relationship and differences between the prior notice 
determination and the admissibility determination.)
    (Comments) One comment suggests the agencies should synchronize the 
different filing systems so as to ensure that all notices can be made 
via Automated Manifest System (AMS). Other comments request FDA to 
coordinate prior notice with CBP's AMS to eliminate duplication of data 
submissions.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. No interface currently exists between AMS 
and the existing interface with FDA's OASIS through the ABI/ACS entry 
processes, which means FDA does not have access to AMS data. FDA and 
CBP have discussed interfacing with AMS for manifest data and 
determined that the general cargo data in AMS are not suitable to 
accommodate the detailed information requirements of section 801(m) of 
the act. For example, AMS does not collect the country of origin. In 
addition, its collection of the identities of the article of food and 
its manufacturer differs from the way those are collected under the 
prior notice interim final and final rules in such a way that the data 
would not meet our needs in carrying out the purpose of section 801(m) 
of the act.
    (Comments) One comment urges FDA to upgrade its systems to coincide 
with normal commercial flow times and recommends that FDA consider the 
approach used by the Census Bureau, i.e., providing a range of 
automated filing options for meeting electronic filing requirements by 
offering an Internet application, a direct link for certified filers, 
and a personal computer (PC)-based application.
    (Response) FDA provides two methods for submitting prior notice: 
One via ABI/ACS (a PC-based link for certified filers) and another via 
PNSI (an Internet-based application). Prior notice is not required to 
be filed at a specific time or during specific hours of the day, but 
may be submitted 24 hours/day, 365 days of the year. The rule requires 
FDA to receive the prior notice before the food arrives in the United 
States, and the time frame is based on the mode of transportation (see 
Sec.  1.279).
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA participate in the 
International Trade Data System (ITDS), which provides for one-window 
filing of trade-related information by motor carriers and other parties 
through CBP's ACE system, to more effectively execute its Bioterrorism 
Act mission.
    (Response) FDA is actively participating in the development of 
CBP's ACE system and has long been a participant in the ITDS. However, 
ACE is not yet a complete reality and prior

[[Page 66331]]

notice requirements have been in effect since December 12, 2003. FDA is 
working with CBP and others in the international trade community to 
ensure that the prior notice requirements are reflected in ACE once ACE 
is fully operational.
    (Comments) One comment notes that exporters use different kinds of 
transmission formats to send prior notice-related information to 
importers or brokers in the United States. The comment further states 
that since none of its member companies have received any notice from 
FDA requesting changes in content or formatting of the transmitted 
information, they assume that FDA is satisfied with their industry's 
approach to regulatory compliance. In the event that FDA requires a 
change to format or content of the reporting now conducted, the comment 
requests that FDA notify companies well in advance of any such 
requested change.
    (Response) FDA receives prior notice information via ABI/ACS or 
PNSI. FDA expects that the transmitted information discussed in the 
comment is submitted to FDA via one of these two methods in the proper 
format. If the information is inaccurate, the food is subject to 
refusal. Customs brokers are notified using typical procedures 
regarding any changes relating to the rule that require an IT change to 
ABI/ACS, including a 90-day lead time before implementation of the IT 
change. FDA also provides tutorials on its Web site that explain 
changes to PNSI (see http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pnts/pnsitut.html).
2. English Language
    (Comments) Many comments suggest that FDA program PNSI in other 
languages, such as Japanese, Korean, German, and Spanish. These 
comments state that ``mail users'' must rely on PNSI to submit prior 
notice, and in many cases, English may not be the native language for 
many of these users and puts them at a disadvantage, e.g., foreign 
filers experience higher burdens and are frequently being timed out of 
PNSI because it takes them longer to complete a prior notice. One 
comment argues that a reason for noncompliance of prior notice 
requirements is the inability to understand English well enough to 
submit prior notice via PNSI.
    (Response) FDA agrees that a system available in multiple languages 
would be advantageous for some users. However, the agency has assessed 
the feasibility of providing and maintaining PNSI in multiple 
languages, and has determined that the cost of developing translations 
into one or more additional languages cannot be accommodated at this 
time. The cost of updating the translations as new versions of the 
system are developed would also be substantial. In addition, FDA notes 
that other import documents required by FDA and by CBP must be filed in 
English. Therefore, FDA does not plan to program PNSI in other 
languages and the final rule will continue to require submission of 
prior notice in the English language.
    FDA and CBP nonetheless have taken into account many of the 
concerns referenced in the comments. For example, the final rule does 
not apply to homemade foods shipped from an individual to an individual 
in the United States (see Sec.  1.277, Scope, discussed supra). In 
addition, the agencies' compliance policy under the IFR had been that 
``FDA and CBP should typically consider not taking any regulatory 
action when an article of food is imported or offered for import for 
non-commercial purposes with a non-commercial shipper'' without prior 
notice. This applied to all such food subject to prior notice, 
including food shipped by international mail. The Prior Notice Final 
Rule Draft CPG, announced elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register, would continue that enforcement policy.
    (Comments) One comment requests that other pieces of the prior 
notice system also be available in other languages, such as the 
tutorials for determining the FDA product code. Another comment 
suggests that FDA provide foreign governments and trade organizations 
with a detailed outline of the ``prior notice form'' with explanations 
of the individual requirements so that they could be translated into a 
foreign language and provided to affected companies.
    (Response) While many of the documents regarding prior notice 
requirements have been translated into other languages, the PNSI 
tutorials (available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pnts/pnsitut.html) 
and the FDA Harmonized Tariff Schedule Codes guidance (available at 
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/htsguid3.html) have not been translated. 
FDA intends to continue translating these and other prior notice 
documents as resources permit. Documents that are available in other 
languages are posted at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/internat.html. 
Foreign governments and trade organizations are welcome to translate 
these documents and provide them to affected companies.
3. Technical Issues Concerning Both Systems
    (Comments) One comment suggests that both systems provide a link to 
HTS codes.
    (Response) FDA agrees. Both PNSI and ABI/ACS provide a link to HTS 
codes. FDA also has provided guidance regarding HTS codes and a 
companion list of HTS codes flagged with prior notice indicators. The 
guidance is posted at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/htsguid3.html and 
the updated list is posted at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
htscodes.html.
    (Comments) One comment states that railroads will not load cargo 
until a prior notice confirmation number is provided, and a prior 
notice confirmation number cannot be provided without complete planned 
shipment information, including a railcar number.
    (Response) FDA notes that, while this situation seemed to be an 
issue early in the implementation of the prior notice IFR, it is our 
understanding and experience that the rail industry has now changed 
business practices to address this concern. FDA received only one 
comment on this issue and has not received any other feedback to 
suggest this matter is still of concern. A check with a large rail 
shipping company revealed that the restrictions for loading cargo are 
not at issue; i.e. rail cars can be physically loaded with shipments 
containing food prior to obtaining prior notice (Ref. 1). Therefore, 
the prior notice filer does have the ability to obtain the rail car 
number in order to file prior notice. The rail company did however 
indicate that rail cars are not connected/added/attached to the U.S. 
in-bound train until the rail company receives documentation that prior 
notice has been filed.
    (Comments) One comment states that the FDA Help Desk, and other 
methods now established for resolution of operational issues, simply 
are not yielding a workable ``fix'' to the ``kinks'' in the new PNSI/
ABI system. Another comment recommends the establishment of a system 
for swift resolution of technical and operational problems for both 
systems.
    (Response) FDA agrees and has established an FDA Help Desk to deal 
with technical issues involving PNSI. Questions and concerns about 
operational, rather than technical, problems involving prior notice 
should be directed to FDA's PNC. While the FDA PNC is available 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to operational issues, it is not 
equipped to resolve technical issues involving PNSI or ABI.

[[Page 66332]]

However, the PNC has a process in place to handle calls involving 
technical issues and will forward those calls to the Help Desk. CBP 
also has a well-established system of client representatives to deal 
with technical problems involving ABI/ACS. CBP client representatives 
are available to assist users with ABI issues. ABI operational issues 
are the sole responsibility of CBP.
    (Comments) One comment states that the systems go down from time to 
time, and all the time-consuming entry-work has to be repeated.
    (Response) PNSI has been enhanced to allow copying and saving of 
prior notices within a Web entry and copying of a Web entry, with or 
without the associated prior notices. Copying allows you to avoid 
repetitive data entry for similar Web Entries and associated Prior 
Notices. You also may cancel a Web Entry and then copy it, to correct 
errors in a Web Entry you have already completed. Instructions for 
copying a Web entry prior notice are available on FDA's Web site at 
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnstep2.html#copywe. ABI users are 
responsible for their own software and its capability to save and/or 
copy information that has not been transmitted.
    (Comments) One comment urges FDA to harmonize their efforts with 
CBP with respect to the prior notification of food articles and to work 
with CBP to integrate its joint administration and enforcement of prior 
notice for both CBP and FDA. One comment recommends that both the FDA 
and CBP systems be simplified to allow for both a decrease in data 
entry time and a more efficient method for multiple data entries.
    (Response) FDA agrees and is continuously working with CBP to make 
the administration and enforcement of prior notice as integrated and 
efficient as possible. Both agencies recognize that ACE, when 
initiated, will allow for a more harmonized process.
    With respect to multiple data entries, PNSI does offer several 
features that make prior notice data entry faster and reduce the amount 
of redundant data entry, such as the Copy Web Entry feature, Copy Prior 
Notice feature, and other shortcuts. Please refer to Time Saving Tips 
from the FDA PNC for PNSI (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pntips.html) 
for a description of these features. Many private ABI software programs 
also have features that provide a means for multiple data entries.
    (Comments) Several comments express concern about the timeliness of 
receipt of the prior notice confirmation number. One comment states 
that it can take an hour or more to receive the prior notice 
confirmation number that is needed to move the cargo. Another comment 
states that there have been several instances when the confirmation 
response has been delayed and asks FDA to improve the timeliness of 
this response.
    (Response) Generally, for prior notice submission via PNSI, the 
user should receive their confirmation number immediately upon 
submission of the correctly completed form. For those prior notices 
submitted via ABI on the anticipated date of arrival, users can expect 
to receive a response message (confirmation number or rejection) within 
15 minutes of submission. For ABI submissions submitted prior to the 
anticipated date of arrival, users can expect to receive their response 
message no later than midnight (Eastern Time) on the anticipated date 
of arrival.
    (Comments) One comment states that there are glitches in the 
software that has been released. The comment notes that perfume is a 
nonfood product that is subject to FDA's 801(a) jurisdiction, but it 
does not require prior notice. However, in a procedures memorandum from 
CBP, it appears that if you disclaim FDA in FD3, it is disclaimed for 
all purposes. Similarly, if you acknowledge FDA jurisdiction in FD3, 
then prior notice must be submitted whether or not the importation 
involves food.
    (Response) We have provided instructions describing how to disclaim 
an article for prior notice, while still sending information required 
for FDA 801(a) admissibility. The instructions were included in at 
least four separate ABI Administrative Messages issued by CBP beginning 
in March 2004 (e.g., Administrative Message 04-0586, dated March 24, 
2004). If merchandise marked FD3 in the Tariff Record is subject to 
prior notice and 801(a) reporting requirements, the required prior 
notice and 801(a) information should be transmitted. In cases where 
801(a) information is required, and prior notice information is not 
required, filers should transmit the ``PN disclaimer'' (PND) and the 
information required for 801(a). In this case, the PND Affirmation of 
Compliance (AofC) code must be the first AofC code recorded (FD01 
Record-Positions 20-22) in the ABI transmission. The PND affirmation 
does not require a qualifier. If the merchandise marked FD3 represents 
an article exempt from all FDA reporting requirements, the line should 
be disclaimed using the FD0 marker in the OA Record,\5\ as has always 
been done for FDA disclaims.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ This is a ``Conditional Other Government Agency 
Declaration'' input record that provides a code indicating that 
there are/are not other government agency review requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Comments) One comment believes there is a problem with the in-bond 
system. The comment states that if it is assumed that a shipment 
arrives in Los Angeles, but is destined for in-bond travel to New York, 
the shipment is subject to prior notice upon arrival. In order to 
properly comply with CBP requirements, the arrival date is entered 
based upon the expected arrival date in New York. The data exchange 
between CBP and FDA is then triggered by the New York arrival date 
rather than the Los Angeles arrival date. The comment is concerned that 
prior notice could be transmitted in a timely manner to CBP, but be 
held up due to computer programming, making the prior notice untimely. 
The brokers have fixed this problem in the short term by inputting the 
Los Angeles arrival date in both places for prior notice purposes and 
then changing it after prior notice has concluded.
    (Response) The anticipated arrival date is a requirement of prior 
notice and is independent of CBP entry requirements. The Bioterrorism 
Act requires submission of prior notice before the food arrives in the 
United States, and not upon arrival as stated in the comment. 
Therefore, in the example provided, prior notice is required before the 
article of food arrives in Los Angeles notwithstanding any other CBP 
entry requirements.
    For ABI entries requiring prior notice, the filer must enter 
separate dates for purposes of entry and prior notice. The filer enters 
an anticipated arrival date at the entry header level for CBP. For 
purposes of prior notice, the filer also enters the anticipated arrival 
date as an affirmation of compliance code ``ADA.'' Therefore, there 
should not be a problem with choosing which date to submit as raised by 
the comment.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that the systems provide a drop 
down list of reasons that provide an explanation for the absence of the 
registration number.
    (Response) FDA agrees. In the November 2004 revision of the CPG 
that explained how FDA intended to enforce the prior notice IFR, a list 
of reasons was provided as Appendix 1, Reason Codes for Registration 
Number of Manufacturer Not Provided. This list of reasons is available 
in both PNSI and ABI/ACS, and the reasons are available as a drop down 
menu in PNSI. ACS is

[[Page 66333]]

programmed in ``batch mode'' which does not lend itself to drop down 
menus. CBP also has issued Administrative Messages to ABI filers in 
December 2004 and March 2005 concerning these reason codes. The Prior 
Notice Final Rule Draft CPG that is announced elsewhere in this issue 
of the Federal Register provides an updated list of reasons to be used 
in certain limited situations when the manufacturer's facility 
registration number is not provided in a prior notice submission.
    (Comments) One comment recommends that the required data elements 
be identified so that shippers will know which elements are mandatory 
and which are not.
    (Response) In the preamble to the IFR, FDA provided a table of the 
data elements for reference describing in which situations the 
information is mandatory (68 FR 58974 at 58980). The preamble of this 
final rule also contains table 2 which describes the information 
requirements. FDA also notes that PNSI is programmed such that if a 
data element does not apply, the data element is not requested during 
the prior notice submission process.
    (Comments) One comment states that when a prior notice confirmation 
number is submitted to CBP and FDA, it is sometimes returned with a 
different prior notice confirmation number. The comment asks why this 
is and what happens to the original prior notice confirmation number.
    (Response) FDA acknowledges that this problem occurred in the early 
stages of prior notice; however, we have rectified the situation. When 
we received a report concerning this prior notice confirmation number 
problem, we immediately modified our software to prevent the reported 
problem from reoccurring.
4. ABI/ACS Interface
    (Comments) One comment states that the ABI system has been proven 
to be the most efficient means for meeting the prior notice time 
requirements.
    (Response) FDA agrees that for many submitters, the ABI interface 
is the most efficient means for providing prior notice, as it allows 
the data to be saved and used for entry purposes. FDA also acknowledges 
that not all submitters have a custom broker, nor does ABI accommodate 
all transactions subject to prior notice (e.g., food imported by 
international mail or inside personal baggage not for personal use). 
Accordingly, the final rule continues to provide for electronic 
submission of prior notice via either ABI/ACS or PNSI.
    (Comments) One comment points out that some problems with 
electronic submission of prior notice are being encountered by virtue 
of the fact that not all brokers interact with FDA in a completely 
electronic environment. ABI allows for the fully electronic 
transmission of CBP and FDA data, but ``dual mode'' brokers must also 
submit information to FDA in paper form. The comment recommends that 
FDA encourage all brokers to participate in paperless electronic 
processing.
    (Response) ``Dual mode'' filers are those who must submit paper 
entries when transmitting entry information for FDA admissibility 
consideration. However, for prior notice, any customs broker or self-
filer, including ``dual mode'' filers, may transmit using ABI/ACS or 
PNSI.
    (Comments) One comment urges that for rail intermodal shipments 
between points in Canada where the transportation transits the United 
States, FDA should agree that data submitted to the CBP via AMS 
constitutes advance notice under the FDA regulations.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Under section 801(m) of the act, FDA, not 
CBP, must receive prior notice. Furthermore, no interface currently 
exists between AMS and the existing interface with FDA's OASIS through 
the ABI/ACS entry processes, which means FDA does not have access to 
AMS data. FDA and CBP have discussed interfacing with AMS for manifest 
data and determined that the general cargo data in AMS are not suitable 
to accommodate the detailed information requirements of the prior 
notice rule. For example, AMS does not collect the country of origin. 
In addition, its collection of the identities of the article of food 
and its manufacturer differs from the way those data points are 
collected under the prior notice final rule in such a way that the data 
would not meet our needs in carrying out the purpose of section 801(m) 
of the act.
    (Comments) One comment reports that foreign exporters are obliged 
to use FDA's PNSI as they cannot register as users of CBP's ABI. The 
comment contends that these exporters, not being able to combine prior 
notice and a customs declaration for import in one operation, will be 
in a disadvantaged position compared to U.S. importers because the 
foreign exporter, after having completed his prior notice, will receive 
a prior notice confirmation number, which he then has to transmit to 
his U.S. importer or customs broker.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Prior notice may be submitted 
electronically through either ABI/ACS or PNSI. Typically, ABI/ACS is 
used by a person who contracts with a filer who is licensed and 
approved by CBP to use ABI/ACS. The submitter provides the filer with 
the information necessary to transmit a complete prior notice through 
ABI/ACS to FDA. This process is often used to combine the prior notice 
and entry processes and many importers and foreign exporters find this 
to be the most advantageous process. FDA and CBP provided the ability 
to use ABI/ACS in response to comments to the proposed rule. As 
expected, the ABI/ACS process is used in around 83 percent of prior 
notice transmissions. PNSI was developed for those submissions that 
cannot be accommodated by ABI/ACS, and for those who choose not to use 
a customs broker for prior notice submissions, and these transmissions 
represent about 17 percent of the total prior notice submissions.
    (Comments) One comment asks that the customs broker be allowed 
access to all pertinent information by electronic means in order to 
reduce the amount of paperwork required by the prior notice process.
    (Response) The means by which the submitter provides the 
transmitter with the required information is a matter of communication 
between the submitter and transmitter. The final rule neither requires 
nor precludes processes the parties select to handle these 
communications.
    (Comments) Several comments request that the agencies change the 
process for resubmission of prior notice after the original prior 
notice or entry has been cancelled and when prior notice is submitted 
after the food is already in the United States. One comment asks that 
the system interface be modified so that the resubmission automatically 
cancels the original. Another comment suggests that in the case where 
the foods are already in the United States and the CBP entry has had to 
be cancelled and resubmitted, it should not be necessary to repeat the 
prior notice filing; filing entry should be sufficient. Another 
suggests that when the second entry is made, CBP allow for submission 
of the previous prior notice confirmation number rather than the 
creation of a new prior notice with an accompanying new prior notice 
confirmation number. Other comments suggest that ABI submission of 
prior notice be allowed for food in the United States. An additional 
comment states that CBP entry can be made for articles of food that are 
already in the United States without adequate prior notice. Another 
comment recommends that FDA consider allowing the submission of prior 
notice through the ABI interface even when that prior notice will not 
be

[[Page 66334]]

timely. Finally, one comment suggests that a new prior notice should 
not be required when errors are made and that an easier way should be 
created to provide for corrections.
    (Response) In the case of a prior notice submitted after the food 
has arrived, the prior notice is inadequate because of no prior notice 
and the food may be refused. The post-refusal prior notice (i.e., the 
prior notice submitted after arrival) may only be submitted via PNSI 
until such time as ACS or its successor system can accommodate such 
transactions. The changes to the system requested by the comments 
cannot be accommodated since such revisions would require programming 
changes to ACS, which CBP is currently only maintaining, and not 
enhancing since its replacement system (ACE) is being developed.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that because errors in the ABI 
system need to be corrected in a timely manner to facilitate 
transmission of prior notice, CBP should be required to be available 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week to allow for correction of these clerical 
errors.
    (Response) Inasmuch as the filer has submitted a certified summary 
that the filer wishes to change, the cancellation of the entry is more 
than just a simple correction to an ABI transmission. This change 
requires review because it affects the integrity of cargo release. 
Accordingly, any corrections to certified entry information must be 
done during normal business hours.
    (Comments) Several comments suggest that PNSI, in its validation 
processes, should include a check to see if other notices are already 
on file for the same article and that a warning message should be 
established to indicate a duplicate prior notice is being filed.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The prior notice submission process 
allows for transmission through either ABI/ACS or PNSI. The prior 
notice confirmation number is unique to a transmission through either 
system but cannot be matched against other transmissions at this time. 
Programming PNSI to locate duplicate prior notices would require a 
considerable amount of resources, which would yield minimal benefit 
since the submitter would know about the duplicate submission after 
transmitting the prior notice.
    (Comments) Several comments request resolution of a PN/ABI system 
interface obstacle that requires that CBP entry and prior notice be 
made at the same time. The comment contends that prior notice must be 
submitted before entry can be made (e.g., for quota class merchandise 
subject to CBP ``live entry'' requirements) and current system 
configurations can make it impossible to comply with both CBP and prior 
notice requirements. The comment recommends that CBP and FDA create a 
procedure in ABI/ACS that allows the CBP entry to be generated, but not 
filed, at the time a prior notice is submitted.
    Another comment states that filers are insisting on submitting the 
entry information to CBP via ABI at the same time that they are 
submitting the prior notice information to the FDA. This apparently 
creates situations where the food is loaded and ready for shipment 
before there is a form of electronic release and this situation negates 
CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Free 
and Secure Trade (FAST) program requirements. The proximity of certain 
border points means that although the timeframe has been met with CBP 
for electronic release via CBP's PAPS, it is difficult to meet the 
present timeframes of the prior notice as the filer takes a longer time 
to submit both entries via ABI.
    (Response) We disagree. Prior notice and entry need not be made at 
the same time. Prior notice is a precondition of entry and must be made 
first but may be done independently of the entry by use of FDA's PNSI 
or CBP's ``WP'' transaction in ABI. These systems allow for an 
independent submission of prior notice even if no entry has been filed. 
The entry filer may then provide the prior notice confirmation number 
to CBP as part of the entry. The entry will be validated in the CBP/FDA 
interface and will be allowed if the prior notice has been completed. 
The importer and filer may make a business decision to file the prior 
notice with the entry, and FDA and CBP's systems can accommodate this 
practice.
    Because the entry and prior notice submissions may be completed 
independently, the timeframes are dependent on how the parties at 
interest choose to file entry and prior notice: The one-step (prior 
notice with entry) or two-step (independent prior notice followed by 
entry) process. This allows them to meet both timeframes, which 
represent two agencies, two processes, and two different sets of 
requirements.
    (Comments) One comment contends that the lack of uniformity between 
the PNSI and CBP requirements for transmission of carrier information 
causes confusion to filers and FDA/CBP staff. The comment contends that 
providing the Standard Carrier Abbreviated Code (SCAC) code for the 
carrier in lieu of the carrier's name and country is only available 
when transmitting via PNSI because the CBP system, which is how the 
majority of prior notices are being transmitted, requires the name and 
country and does not provide the SCAC option.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The SCAC or International Air 
Transportation Association (IATA) codes can be transmitted via ABI/ACS 
via an Affirmation of Compliance. The CBP requirement to provide the 
name and country of the carrier is for purposes other than prior 
notice.
    (Comments) Several comments recommend an interface between the CBP 
manufacturer identity (MID) codes and the FDA food facility 
registration numbers. Specific recommendations include that: (1) CBP 
allow the MID system to be updated via prior notice submissions; (2) 
FDA develop an interface with CBP that allows for validation and 
coordination of data between these two systems; (3) ABI provide a 
notification to the filer if the information from the MID does not 
match the facility registration information on file with FDA; and (4) 
the agencies permit incorrect and duplicate MID information to be 
corrected though a secure CBP system. Another comment recommends the 
establishment of a system that validates data and resolves any conflict 
between CBP and FDA data.
    (Response) With respect to correcting and updating MIDs, CBP does 
not believe it is possible to eliminate all differences between MIDs 
and related FDA manufacturing facility registration numbers. The same 
manufacturer may have numerous MIDs, and conversely, a MID may identify 
more than one manufacturer due to the nature of the algorithm that is 
employed.
    With respect to the comment that asks that FDA develop an interface 
with CBP to allow for validation and coordination of data, FDA and CBP 
currently exchange facility data electronically as part of the prior 
notice and 801(a) processes. CBP sends FDA the MID and facility 
information (including registration number, when applicable). FDA 
performs edits to ensure that the MID matches the firm represented by 
the registration number. In certain cases, FDA will reject a prior 
notice submission that does not match a MID submission. Filers will 
receive an ABI rejection communication identifying the mismatch when 
this occurs. Once the facility and all other required information has 
been received and validated, FDA will confirm the prior notice 
submission.
    (Comments) Several comments suggest that when a prior notice is 
transmitted via ABI/ACS and confirmed for review by FDA, the data 
should be

[[Page 66335]]

moved from ACS to OASIS regardless of the estimated time of arrival 
(ETA) date.
    (Response) The ABI/ACS system is not configured to certify 
information nor transfer information to FDA in real-time as PNSI does. 
ACS is programmed to collect data in batch mode and does not transmit 
the data to FDA instantaneously. Therefore, prior notices submitted via 
PNSI will continue to receive a real-time system response when the 
prior notice is confirmed for review by FDA. However, prior notices 
submitted via ABI/ACS will continue to be transmitted in a batch mode 
and to receive systematic confirmation responses in the pre-arranged 
timeframes developed by CBP. For those prior notices submitted via ABI 
on the anticipated date of arrival, users can expect to receive a 
response message (confirmation number or rejection) within 15 minutes 
of submission. For ABI submissions submitted prior to the anticipated 
date of arrival, users can expect to receive a response message no 
later than midnight (Eastern Time) on the anticipated date of arrival, 
i.e., the message generally is sent before 11:59 p.m. on the day before 
the anticipated date of arrival.
    (Comments) Several comments state that although PNSI is designed to 
not require changes in the location of the anticipated port of arrival 
(thus allowing a shipment to be diverted to a port other than the 
intended port of arrival transmitted in the prior notice), the CBP ABI 
system precludes the CBP entry from being accepted at other than the 
reported port of entry. When this occurs, the CBP entry and original 
prior notice must be deleted and a new entry must be submitted with a 
new prior notice creating a new timeframe. The comments recommend that 
the requirement be consistently applied and that the ABI/ACS system be 
revised to allow for changes to the port of entry without causing 
cancellation of the CBP entry.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The prior notice rule does not require a 
new prior notice when the anticipated port of arrival changes after the 
prior notice has been confirmed for review by FDA. CBP does require 
cancellation of entry documentation for entry purposes when the port of 
entry changes. The cancellation of an electronic ABI entry for CBP 
results in the cancellation of any associated prior notices filed with 
the entry in ABI. Amending ABI/ACS to allow amendments, such as when 
the port of entry changes, would entail substantial and costly 
revisions to the system; such technical changes are not cost-effective 
or a good use of limited resources given the development of the 
Automated Commercial Environment, which will replace ACS.
    (Comments) One comment recommends that for a short trial period, 
the full prior notice edits, with warning messages, should be turned on 
without rejection of CBP entry processing. The comment reasons that 
this would be a method of alerting ABI/ACS transmitters to errors 
without jeopardizing the movement of the food. Another comment suggests 
that a significant reason for a high rate of noncompliance on data 
submissions is the lack of the automated systems' capability to advise 
filers of data inadequacies.
    (Response) The systems provide for error messages to be transmitted 
to filers that identify the reasons for errors in prior notice 
submissions that can be determined during the data entry process (e.g., 
certain required data elements are missing or product code submitted is 
invalid). Over time, the agencies have seen the prior notice rejection 
rate go down. Both agencies have been providing industry with 
information regarding error messages.
    (Comments) One comment points out that the PNSI Web portal has 
changed to allow multiple containers to be reported against a single 
prior notice line but that CBP has not changed their specifications to 
allow more than a single container to be reported on a prior notice 
line in ABI. The comment recommends that this change to the FDA Web 
portal be communicated to CBP so they may change their ABI 
specifications.
    (Response) ABI currently allows filers to submit multiple container 
numbers per FDA line by sending multiple FD05 records containing 
affirmation of compliance code ``CNO.'' The first affirmation goes in 
the FD01 record, with subsequent affirmations in the FD05 record which 
can be repeated as often as necessary. Filers are able to submit 
multiple records using the affirmation of compliance code ``CNO'' and 
provide a different container number in each record.
5. PNSI
    (Comments) One comment suggests that to more effectively screen 
shipments entering the United States, FDA must work to integrate OASIS 
with the prior notice system.
    (Response) FDA's OASIS has always been an integral part of the 
prior notice process as OASIS provides for internal systematic 
screening of prior notice submissions in order to assist the agency in 
making a determination regarding inspection of the food at the border. 
OASIS also provides for systematic screening to assist FDA in making 
admissibility decisions.
    (Comments) Several comments request extension of the time one is 
permitted to be logged into a session using PNSI. Comments state that 
it is difficult to complete entering data before the system times out. 
Several comments suggest that completing the process in time was 
difficult for many persons whose native language is not English.
    (Response) For security reasons, PNSI is currently configured with 
a 30-minute time-out. FDA notes that Internet commerce systems are 
typically configured with a similar, or more stringent, time-out 
setting. FDA also notes that the time-out setting applies only to a 
period of user inactivity; no limit is set on the total amount of time 
the user may be logged into a particular session, nor is there a limit 
to the amount of time taken to prepare and save or submit a specific 
Web entry or prior notice. Users are ``timed-out'' only if their 
session remains inactive for longer than the time-out setting.
    Users may also save their entry while it is partially completed. 
The data are retained and will be available when the user logs back 
into the system.
    (Comments) Several comments express concern about the capacity of 
the FDA computer systems to process the volume of submissions. These 
comments suggest that the system needs additional capacity to meet the 
loads expected when full enforcement is instituted. Several comments 
also believe that performance issues (e.g., slow response) are 
hampering their usage of the system.
    (Response) FDA recognizes these concerns and is committed to 
providing systems that will meet user needs. FDA designed the prior 
notice systems to process a volume of users far in excess of the 
projected usage. Prior to implementation, FDA thoroughly tested the 
performance of its system against loads in excess of that anticipated. 
These tests have shown the system capable of maintaining acceptable 
response even at these loads. Currently, FDA handles approximately 
167,000 prior notices each week and could handle a much higher volume 
without a capacity problem.
    Many factors influence the responsiveness of an Internet based 
system, including factors beyond the FDA's control, such as the user's 
computer system (hardware, software, and Internet connection) and 
traffic on the Internet as a whole. Since prior notice was implemented 
in December 2003, FDA has carefully monitored both PNSI and OASIS 
system usage and

[[Page 66336]]

performance. During this period, no issues related to load on these 
systems have been identified. FDA has worked to resolve specific 
issues, such as hardware failures, which have hampered system 
performance and availability for short periods.
    FDA and CBP also have increased the capacity of the communications 
link between their systems to ensure that additional bandwidth is 
available for future increases in load. FDA continues to monitor its 
system and to test for performance as the system is upgraded and 
enhanced. Users may obtain current system status information for PNSI 
at the FDA Industry Systems home page (http://www.access.fda.gov) and 
are requested to contact the Help Desk if they encounter any 
performance issues currently not identified on the system status page.
    (Comments) Several comments recommend that FDA develop an alternate 
system that supports batch submission of prior notices. The comments 
suggest that a batch system would save submitters a vast amount of 
input time and allow the agency faster processing capability. The 
comments also assert that a batch system would reduce the costs 
incurred due to double entry between the user's existing systems, e.g., 
for order entry and filing with FDA. One comment proposes that they be 
given a defined quantity of registration numbers at their disposal for 
printing onto their dispatch labels (presumably by registration number 
they are referring to the prior notice confirmation number). The 
comment says they would like a fully automated process, where all data 
relevant for prior notice would be created and then transmitted 
electronically to CBP and FDA, instead of the current procedure of 
manual input of all details.
    (Response) FDA agrees that a mechanism to facilitate batch/fully 
automated filing would provide some advantage to certain filers. 
However, FDA believes that the existing systems (PNSI and ABI) 
currently provide substantial capabilities in this area. PNSI offers 
several features that make prior notice data entry faster and reduces 
the amount of redundant data entry such as the Copy Web Entry feature, 
Copy Prior Notice feature and other shortcuts. Please refer to Time 
Saving Tips from FDA's PNC for PNSI (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
pntips.html) for a description of these features. ABI software can 
often provide similar copying features, depending on the ABI software 
package used by the transmitter.
    FDA also recognizes that the resources to develop and maintain an 
additional system would be significant. Therefore, FDA is not prepared 
to undertake the development of a batch system at this time; following 
completion of any system upgrades that will be released in conjunction 
with implementation of the final rule, FDA will reassess the need for 
and feasibility of developing a batch submission system. FDA notes that 
some submitters have created their own internal programs that are 
designed to organize data in ``batch'' mode, which in turn submits 
their prior notices to PNSI in rapid succession.
    (Comments) One comment states that they frequently ship the same 
article of food in multiple containers. The comment believes that since 
there is only one article of food, only one prior notice should be 
required. The comment notes that the FDA Web Portal only allows the 
input of one container per prior notice; therefore, they have to submit 
multiple prior notices instead of only one. The comment requests that 
the FDA Web Portal be changed to allow for the input of multiple 
containers per article of food.
    (Response) FDA agrees. The FDA Web Portal has been changed to allow 
multiple containers to be reported against a single prior notice line 
in the above situation.
    (Comments) One comment states that most of their orders contain 
multiple food items in one box and the process of filing prior notice 
in PNSI for each item is very time consuming because one can only enter 
one item at a time. The comment suggests updating PNSI to allow users 
to enter multiple items on one screen (i.e., the user creates a Web 
entry for each shipment and the system then allows them to specify all 
items in that shipment on one screen).
    (Response) A prior notice contains information on not just the 
article of food being imported, but also the facilities related to that 
article such as the manufacturer, shipper, owner and ultimate 
consignee. Since this information can be unique for each article, it 
must be provided for each article individually. PNSI does offer several 
features that make prior notice data entry faster and reduce the amount 
of redundant data entry such as the Copy Web Entry feature, Copy Prior 
Notice feature and other shortcuts. Please refer to Time Saving Tips 
from FDA's PNC for PNSI (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pntips.html) for 
a description of these features.
    (Comments) One comment states that FDA's Web Portal does not accept 
the input of CBP entry numbers. The comment further states that there 
are times when an entry number is not required for an article of food 
that requires prior notice. The comment questions why the FDA Web 
Portal does not accept an entry number when a CBP entry is required and 
known at the time of filing prior notice. Another comment recommends 
that the Web Portal software be redesigned in order for filers to 
receive the relevant entry identifier information with the prior notice 
confirmation number.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. PNSI does accept the CBP entry number. If 
there is no entry number or other entry identifier, PNSI will provide a 
system-generated entry identifier to the prior notice submission. We 
also posted guidance on FDA's Web site at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
pnentgui.html that describes the entry types and the entry identifiers. 
(See also discussion infra on the CBP entry identifier in section 
III.H.5 of this document.)
    (Comments) Several comments express concern about system outages 
for PNSI and/or ABI. These comments suggest that one or both systems 
had not been available for extended periods in the past or were 
frequently unavailable. Comments also recommend that FDA provide an 
alternate method, such as facsimile, for submission during periods when 
the systems are not available. One comment notes that PNSI has not been 
functioning properly. The comment states that the System Status update 
pages indicates that the system is operating as ``normal,'' but the 
system is really down.
    (Response) FDA recognizes that system outages could have the 
potential to disrupt trade. To minimize outages, FDA has built 
redundancy into these computer systems (e.g., multiple servers and 
backup systems) and, to the extent possible, combined planned 
maintenance activities to be accomplished during a single outage. 
Planned outages are scheduled for a timeframe with the minimum possible 
impact to users and notice is provided as far in advance as possible, 
allowing users to plan their access to the system. System status 
information, including planned outages, is posted at http://www.access.fda.gov and at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/fisstat.html. 
Users are requested to contact the Help Desk if any performance issues 
not identified on the system status page are encountered.
    FDA also provides alternate options for users to file prior notice 
during system outages. Filers who use CBP's ABI/ACS system can utilize 
PNSI when ABI, ACS, and/or OASIS are unavailable. In addition, FDA has 
provided a method for filing via facsimile or e-mail when PNSI is

[[Page 66337]]

unavailable for an extended period (see the Contingency Plan for System 
Outages at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pndguid.html). These 
contingency plans are designed to ensure that the flow of trade is not 
interrupted when system outages cannot be avoided (see also the 
discussion on contingency plans below).
    (Comments) One comment notes that companies continue to report 
technical difficulties when using PNSI, including the inability to 
access reliable technical advice through the hot-line. Another comment 
indicates that the waiting time for the helpline is very long, with a 
minimum wait time of 15 minutes.
    (Response) FDA has made a number of enhancements and has fixed 
several issues with earlier releases of PNSI. FDA also continues to 
work to provide the best possible service addressing technical issues 
through the Help Desk. Users are encouraged to continue to contact the 
Help Desk for technical assistance. The Help Desk is available Monday 
through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Users may leave 
a message or send e-mail at other times, which will be addressed on the 
next business day.
    (Comments) Several comments address the complexity of PNSI. The 
comments state that the system requires the complete re-creation of all 
data for each prior notice even when shipments are repetitive with 
minimal variables in information; that the full address should not be 
necessary for registered facilities; and that PNSI should allow 
submitters to save and store data for replication or provide for self-
populating fields. One comment, however, notes that their users have 
had relatively little problem using PNSI.
    (Response) FDA continues to provide, to the extent possible, a 
``user-friendly'' PNSI application. Several features have been added 
since the initial release (PNSI 1.0) to assist users, including a 
feature that allows users to copy individual prior notices and Web 
Entries, with or without the associated prior notices. Where possible, 
lists of standard values (e.g., entry types, SCAC & IATA Codes, firm 
types, quantity and packaging descriptions) are provided to facilitate 
entry of these values. These enhancements minimize the need for users 
to enter repetitive information. Similar to the IFR, the prior notice 
final rule does not require the full address in all cases. When a 
registration number is provided, name, city and country can usually be 
provided instead of the name and full address (e.g., Sec.  
1.281(a)(6)). FDA continues to work to enhance the system, in response 
to user comments, as well as to changing business requirements.
    (Comments) One comment asks if PNSI will provide guidance on 
formatting of the information for identification of the submitter, 
transmitter, and manufacturer. The comment is concerned that PNSI may 
only accept certain formatting, without providing guidance to the 
submitter, thereby, causing problems with PNSI accepting and processing 
prior notice.
    (Response) PNSI is supported by several tutorials and help screens 
which lead the user through correct inputting of data.
    (Comments) Several comments address specific issues with the PNSI 
software (potential ``bugs'') or suggestions for enhanced capabilities. 
Examples include questions about the completeness of the lists of 
values (drop-down lists), issues with browser settings and 
compatibility, and suggestions for additional bar code printouts.
    (Response) FDA welcomes user suggestions for improvements to the 
PNSI system. Discrepancy reports are investigated thoroughly to ensure 
the system meets both FDA's requirements and user needs to the extent 
possible. Suggested improvements are also prioritized and reviewed by a 
Change Control Board who continue to determine appropriate and feasible 
improvements to the system. FDA encourages users to continue to contact 
the Help Desk with any technical questions, issues, or suggestions.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that PNSI should be revised to 
create a view screen similar to the printed confirmation with all the 
information in one place before submission. The comment also suggests 
that when creating a prior notice for different commodities, the system 
should not have all commodities default onto prior notice, but should 
allow the user to use a check box to choose a commodity, rather than to 
cancel the commodity.
    (Response) FDA agrees. The PNSI software has been enhanced to 
provide a screen that includes all of the information about the prior 
notice prior to a transmitter completing the submission step. PNSI also 
has been enhanced to allow copying of prior notices within a Web Entry 
and copying of a Web Entry, with or without the associated prior 
notices. A user thus can copy a Web Entry with all associated prior 
notices, then use the cancel function to remove any prior notices not 
required for the new entry.
    FDA welcomes any additional comments or suggestions on how to 
improve PNSI; these can be submitted to the Help Desk using the 
telephone number or e-mail provided at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/
helpf.html.
6. Security of the Systems
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA create a mechanism whereby 
interested parties may assert protection from public disclosure under 
FOIA for information contained in prior notices that they believe is 
confidential business information.
    (Response) We believe that there is no need to create such a 
mechanism because the agencies would review the prior notice 
information to determine if it is protected by a FOIA exemption before 
disclosure to the public.
    (Comments) One comment states that in order to complete the PNSI 
submission, several security settings on their respective computers had 
to be disabled.
    (Response) PNSI is designed to work with the browsers listed at 
http://www.access.fda.gov/, using standard settings. PNSI requires that 
the browser be set to accept cookies. FDA does not believe that these 
settings present a security risk to users. Users are encouraged to 
contact the Help Desk for assistance with specific issues regarding 
access and system settings.
7. Contingency Plans
    In Sec.  1.280(b), (c), (d), and (e) of the IFR, FDA requires that 
if a custom broker's or self-filer's system is not working or if the 
ABI/ACS interface is not working, prior notice must be submitted 
through PNSI. It further states that if the PNSI is not working and/or 
OASIS is not working, FDA will issue an Internet notification, and 
submission of prior notice must be by e-mail or by facsimile to FDA. 
FDA posts the e-mail or facsimile information on its Web site. The 
prior notice information will only be accepted at the posted e-mail or 
facsimile locations if FDA determines that PNSI or OASIS is not 
working.
    On August 12, 2004, FDA and CBP published guidance covering a 
Contingency Plan for System Outages (see http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
pndguid.html/). FDA and CBP identified seven potential system downtime 
scenarios that could impact transmission, confirmation, and processing 
of prior notice submissions and developed alternative submission 
options for each of the identified scenarios.
    (Comments) One comment states that FDA and CBP need to formulate 
and communicate a realistic contingency plan for commercial 
importations that takes into account CBP ABI downtime, FDA OASIS 
downtime, and broker

[[Page 66338]]

downtime. Two comments express concern that contingency plans include a 
dependency on PNSI and their experience has shown that PNSI was 
intended for the casual importer and never intended for commercial 
operations. The comment states that significant delays will be 
experienced if 80 percent of the transactions are suddenly routed from 
the ABI/ACS system to the PNSI system.
    (Response) FDA is committed to providing systems that will meet 
user needs. FDA designed PNSI to process a volume of users far in 
excess of the projected usage, and tested performance at these volumes. 
As noted previously, FDA and CBP published guidance covering a 
Contingency Plan for System Outages (see http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
pndguid.html/) and anyone may submit comment on it.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA and CBP provide guidance 
that defines an appropriate timeframe to wait for prior notice 
confirmation before assuming the system is down and/or that 
resubmission is required.
    (Response) Generally, for prior notice submissions via PNSI, the 
user should receive a confirmation number immediately upon submission 
of the correctly completed form. For those prior notices submitted via 
ABI on the anticipated date of arrival, users can expect to receive a 
response message (confirmation number or rejection) within 15 minutes 
of submission. For ABI submissions submitted prior to the anticipated 
date of arrival, users can expect to receive a response message no 
later than midnight (Eastern Time) on the anticipated date of arrival, 
i.e., the message generally is sent before 11:59 p.m. on the day before 
the anticipated date of arrival.
    The FDA/CBP Contingency Plan states that ``notice advising of any 
available downtime specifics will be posted at http://www.access.fda.gov, http://www.fda.gov, http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
~furls/fisstat.html, and http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnoview.html, and 
through messages in ABI/ACS (see 21 CFR 1.280(d)).'' Section 1.280(c), 
(d), and (e) of the IFR also lists three of these four Web sites to 
advise of system downtimes, and specifies in what form prior notice 
should be submitted during certain system outages (i.e., e-mail or 
fax). In order to simplify the Web addresses for these notifications 
and the instructions for submitting prior notice when PNSI or OASIS is 
not working, the final rule has been revised by providing the outage 
notification at one Web address (http://www.fda.gov). In order to 
provide more flexibility to respond to various contingencies, the final 
rule has also been revised by stating that FDA will accept prior notice 
submissions in the format it deems appropriate during the system(s) 
outage.
    FDA has posted information on the Systems Status Web site located 
at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/fisstat.html regarding system 
downtime that states ``Most problems will be temporary. Try accessing 
the system again in 15 minutes.'' This site also provides information 
about scheduled maintenance, which states that ``Periodically FDA 
Industry Systems will need to undergo maintenance and upgrades. All 
scheduled maintenance will take place on Saturdays 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. 
Eastern Time (Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. GMT). If you are having trouble 
accessing FDA Industry Systems during that time, please try again after 
8 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday (1 p.m. GMT).'' This site also provides 
a status history of the system.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA should develop and publish 
a form that could be used if it were ever necessary to file prior 
notice by fax. The comment asserts that a form also would assist 
importers in gathering the information necessary to file a prior notice 
and also would clear up the confusion that currently exists in foreign 
countries. The comment believes that it was obvious that FDA 
contemplated issuing a form when it first proposed the prior notice 
regulations and complains that no explanation has been given by FDA for 
not producing the form.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. A form to be used during contingencies is 
posted on FDA's Web site only when an applicable system outage is 
encountered. During a system outage when fax submissions are being 
accepted, FDA will publish the fax telephone number for the PNC at 
http://www.access.fda.gov, http://www.fda.gov, http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/fisstat.html, and http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
~pn/pnoview.html, as well as through messages in ABI/ACS. Fax 
transmission is not allowed except when posted and submitted during 
PNSI downtimes or specified emergencies. FDA believes that if the form 
was available and posted even as a reference, there is the potential 
for misuse or confusion. Our experience with use of the fax form is 
that submitters will continue to fax the form even after they have been 
instructed that the form will not be accepted.
    (Comments) Some comments express concern that submission of all 
prior notices relies on electronic systems (even the fax). The comments 
suggest that the usual flow of goods should be allowed to continue 
unhindered, with the paperwork sorted out afterwards. One comment 
further suggests that rather than providing for PNSI as a contingency 
system when ABI is down, prior notice submissions should function 
according to all other submissions processed through ABI when CBP 
declares either a ``national snow day'' or ``power outage.'' The 
comment recommends that if ABI is not working, the shipment should be 
allowed to proceed, pending later issuance of a prior notice 
confirmation via ABI.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that if ABI is not working the 
shipment should be allowed to proceed. In that instance, prior notice 
can, and therefore should, be submitted via PNSI.
    In all contingency situations, except for power failure, some 
electronic means of prior notice submission is required, either by 
PNSI, e-mail, or fax. However, in the case of a localized or regional 
power failure, the Contingency Plan guidance recommends that filers 
should submit the required prior notice information to FDA at the port 
of arrival, or if there is no FDA officer at a given port, to CBP via a 
paper copy of the prior notice e-mail contingency form (FDA 3540) at 
the time of cargo release.
    (Comments) One comment explains that various companies are 
organizing contingency plans whereby the prior notice confirmation 
number will be included in the delivery order, which then will be faxed 
to the office of the steamship line at the port of entry so that the 
requisite paperwork is in hand when the product is offloaded from the 
carrier. The comment further explains that this contingency plan takes 
into account the unique circumstances posed by transporting goods by 
steamship line insofar as the customs broker or purchaser may not 
always be able to send the prior notice confirmation number to the 
carrier prior to the carrier's arrival. The comment asserts that the 
procedure satisfies FDA's requirements that the prior notice 
confirmation number must accompany the food when it ``arrives in the 
United States'' and be provided to CBP or FDA ``upon arrival.'' The 
comment further urges FDA to include this course of action in its 
guidance documents.
    (Response) FDA agrees that the described scenario satisfies the 
requirement under Sec.  1.279(g) that the prior notice confirmation 
number must accompany any article of food for which the prior notice 
was submitted through PNSI when the article arrives in the United 
States and must be provided to

[[Page 66339]]

CBP or FDA upon arrival. FDA does not believe, however, that it is 
necessary to include this specific business practice in its guidance 
documents, as there are various means that private entities may choose 
to use to comply with the regulation.
    As described in the contingency plan guidance, if prior notice 
already has been submitted via ABI/ACS prior to an interface outage, 
and confirmation from FDA already has been received, then the submitter 
may proceed with prior notice using the standard process under the 
following scenarios:
     ACS, OASIS, and PNSI are all operational, but the link 
between ACS and OASIS is down on FDA's or CBP's side of the system 
interface;
     ACS, PNSI, and the link between ACS and OASIS are 
operational, but OASIS is non-operational;
     ACS and the link between ACS and OASIS are operational, 
but OASIS is non-operational and PNSI is non-operational or unavailable 
due to Internet service interruptions;
     OASIS, PNSI and the link between ACS and OASIS are 
operational but ACS is non-operational; or
     ACS is non-operational, PNSI is non-operational or 
unavailable due to Internet service interruptions, and OASIS and the 
link between ACS and OASIS are either operational or non-operational.
    The standard process does not include presentation of the prior 
notice confirmation number to FDA or CBP upon arrival if the prior 
notice was submitted by ABI/ACS.
    If prior notice already has been submitted via ABI/ACS and 
confirmation from FDA has not been received prior to the interface 
outage, FDA and CBP recommend that rather than resubmitting via PNSI, 
submitters should provide to CBP officers, at the time of cargo 
release, an endorsed (signed) copy of the ABI transmission or some 
other evidence adequate to show that prior notice has been submitted 
via ABI/ACS.
    If prior notice has been submitted via PNSI prior to the system 
outage and a confirmation number already has been received, the 
confirmation number must accompany the article of food (Sec.  
1.279(g)). In addition, FDA and CBP recommend that the submitter also 
provide the PNSI confirmation page, including the prior notice 
confirmation number and time stamp, to CBP officers for cargo release. 
If the prior notice confirmation page is not provided, this may delay 
cargo release while the CBP officer contacts FDA for verification of 
the prior notice confirmation number(s) and time of submission.
    (Final rule) The final rule in Sec.  1.280(a) requires that prior 
notice must be submitted electronically to FDA in the English language, 
except that an individual's name, the name of a company, and the name 
of a street may be submitted in a foreign language. All information, 
including these items, must be submitted using the Latin (Roman) 
alphabet.
    Section 1.280(a)(1) and (a)(2) of the final rule provides for two 
methods of electronic submission of prior notice: (1) The CBP Automated 
Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS); or (2) 
The FDA PN System Interface (PNSI) at http://www.access.fda.gov. We 
corrected a reference in paragraph (a) to state that unless Sec.  
1.280(c) applies, prior notice must be submitted through either ABI/ACS 
or PNSI.
    The final rule requires submission of prior notice via PNSI for 
articles of food imported or offered for import by international mail, 
and other transaction types that cannot be made through ABI/ACS. Prior 
notice for articles of food that have been refused under section 
801(m)(1) of the act must be submitted through PNSI until such time as 
ACS or its successor system can accommodate such transactions.
    The final rule also provides for contingencies if involved systems 
were not working, e.g., a custom broker's or self-filer's system, ABI/
ACS, PNSI, or OASIS. The final rule requires that prior notice must be 
submitted through PNSI if a customhouse broker's or self-filer's system 
or if the ABI/ACS interface is not working. The final rule states that 
if PNSI or OASIS is not working, FDA will post prominent notification 
and instructions at http://www.fda.gov. FDA will accept prior notice 
submissions in the format it deems appropriate during the system(s) 
outage. The final rule does not exempt any specific categories of food 
articles from prior notice if systems are not performing.

H. What Information Must Be in a Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.281)

    The Bioterrorism Act requires the submission to the Secretary of a 
notice providing the identity of each of the following: The article; 
the manufacturer and shipper of the article; if known within the 
specified period of time that notice is required to be provided, the 
grower of the article; the country from which the article originates; 
the country from which the article is shipped; and the anticipated port 
of entry for the article.
    The IFR requires in Sec.  1.281(a), (b), and (c) that specific 
information be submitted in prior notice: Section 1.281(a) covers 
general information requirements which apply to all shipments except 
those arriving by international mail; section 1.281(b) covers limited 
information requirements for food arriving by international mail; and 
section Sec.  1.281(c) covers information requirements for food refused 
under section 801(m) of the act (e.g., food that has already arrived in 
the United States).
    The preamble to the IFR discusses the term, ``an article of food,'' 
and states that ``the description of an `article' of food is not the 
same as the definition of `food' in Sec.  1.276(b)(5). An `article' 
refers to a single food that is associated with the same complete FDA 
Product Code, the same package size, and the same manufacturer or 
grower. These requirements are found in the information required in the 
IFR in Sec.  1.281(a)(5), (a)(6), or (a)(7) and again in Sec.  1.281(b) 
and (c)'' (68 FR 58974 at 59003).
    The comments are discussed in order of the information requirement 
in the IFR, beginning with comments generally addressing the 
information requirements.
1. General Comments
    (Comments) Several comments express concern that the IFR requires 
significantly more information than the Bioterrorism Act requires and 
ask that FDA reduce the number of data elements. One comment notes that 
the Bioterrorism Act names only six or seven specific items that must 
be provided. One comment indicates that the information required for 
prior notice is far in excess of that required in the Codex Committee 
on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems 
Guidelines for Generic Official Certificate Formats and the Production 
and Issuance of Certificates (CAC/GL 38-2001). One comment adds that 
the required information far exceeds what is necessary to enable FDA to 
identify articles of food that need to be inspected. Another comment 
suggests that some of the information required for a prior notice is 
already ``covered'' by the registration requirement of section 305 of 
the Bioterrorism Act (see the Registration of Food Facilities Under the 
Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act 
of 2002 interim final rule, 21 CFR part 1, subpart H, confirmed 70 FR 
57505, October 3, 2005), so FDA will already have this information. 
Another comment suggests that the prior notice could be simplified, 
thus reducing the possibility of errors and potential trade 
disruptions, by quoting the registration number and only adding 
information

[[Page 66340]]

specific to a particular shipment. One comment notes that CBP's data 
fulfill FDA's needs; therefore, the IFR's duplicate system is a waste 
of resources, and FDA should use CBP's system.
    (Response) FDA disagrees with the comments that ask for a reduction 
in the number of required data elements. FDA has selected those data 
elements that will allow FDA to meet its statutory obligation to 
receive, review, and respond to prior notices efficiently and 
effectively. In addition to the Bioterrorism Act's requirements of the 
identities of the article of food, the manufacturer and shipper, the 
grower, if known, the country from which the article originates, the 
country from which the article is shipped, and the anticipated port of 
entry for the article, FDA determined that certain additional 
information is required for efficient enforcement of the Bioterrorism 
Act, primarily for the means of identifying the article of food and 
effective enforcement of refusals. For example, the identification of 
the individual and the firm, if applicable, submitting the prior notice 
is needed so that FDA knows who is responsible for the information in 
the prior notice and can communicate with them when necessary via mail, 
phone, or e-mail. The information also is necessary to follow up when 
audits, inspections, or enforcement are necessary. Therefore, FDA does 
not agree with one of the comment's assertions that the prior notice 
rule should only require the registration number and other information 
specific to a particular shipment.
    The goals of the Bioterrorism Act and the Codex Committee differ, 
and thus, the requirements of the prior notice rule will differ from 
that of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and 
Certification Systems. The purpose of prior notice is to enable FDA to 
conduct inspections of imported foods at U.S. ports upon arrival and 
target foods that may pose a significant risk to public health, based 
on the information submitted. The Codex Committee on Food Import and 
Export Certification and Inspection Systems is charged with developing 
principles and guidelines for food import and export certification and 
inspection systems.
    We also do not agree with the comment's assertion that FDA should 
use CBP's data to fulfill FDA's needs under the Bioterrorism Act. 
Information that is submitted at the time of CBP entry processing is 
not useful for prior notice as this information can be submitted or 
changed after the food has already arrived in the United States and 
thus does not fulfill the express intent of the Bioterrorism Act that 
FDA receive information about a shipment before it arrives in the 
United States.
    FDA also does not agree that some of the prior notice information 
is already ``covered'' by the food facility registration requirement. 
For example, facilities typically provide general product categories as 
part of the registration process. This generalized information would 
not provide the identity of the article being imported or offered for 
import and, therefore, would not meet the prior notice requirements as 
defined in section 801(m) of the act. Therefore, we do not agree that 
some of the registration information could be used to meet the prior 
notice information needs. Moreover, a facility's registration contains 
all of the general food product categories the facility manufactures, 
processes, packs or holds; and would not allow FDA to know specifically 
which article of food is the subject of the prior notice, which 
precludes an effective assessment of risk.
    (Comments) Several comments recommend that the limited information 
requirements associated with food arriving by international mail in 
Sec.  1.281(b) be applied to all importations. One comment suggests 
that by eliminating such data as the entry type and identifier, the 
port of entry, the FDA Product code, and the HTS code, all prior 
notices could be submitted via FDA's PNSI at an earlier time. The 
comment further asserts that the requirement for these types of data is 
the primary reason that 80 to 90 percent of prior notices are submitted 
via ABI/ACS rather than PNSI. Another comment reasons that as the 
manufacturer and facility identification numbers are not provided for 
homemade food or postal shipments, the necessity of providing this 
information for other types and modes should be examined. Another 
comment recommends that the notification procedure should be 
simplified, and that the data elements should be limited to the 
minimum, such as the shipper's name and its contact point, the food 
facility registration number, and food product codes.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The type of information required for 
prior notice submissions of food arriving by international mail are 
limited because of the process by which international mail enters the 
United States. For international mail shipments, the IFR and the final 
rule requires the identification of the U.S. recipient rather than the 
importer, owner, or ultimate consignee because mail is sent only to a 
U.S. recipient rather than the multiple entities that may be involved 
in a traditional commercial importation. The final rule does not 
require an entry identifier because international mail will always 
receive a system-generated identifier, as international mail shipments 
cannot be submitted via ABI/ACS. Because the port of entry and time and 
date of entry are completely subject to the international mail process, 
the IFR requires only that the submitter identify the date of shipment, 
i.e., the date the food is shipped, which provides the most information 
possible to satisfy the anticipated port of entry. Moreover, since 
international mail is always in the custody of CBP until it is released 
for delivery to the recipient, no additional shipment information is 
necessary for communication between FDA and CBP.
    FDA also disagrees that information, such as the entry type and 
identifier, the port of entry, and the FDA Product Code should be 
eliminated from the prior notice requirements. The anticipated port of 
entry is specifically required by the statute and FDA has determined 
that the best possible method of determining product identity is the 
FDA Product Code. We have eliminated the HTS code in the final rule 
because it has not been a necessary factor for enhancing communication 
between FDA and CBP for the purpose of inspection at the port of 
arrival. However, the entry type and identifier are critical elements 
in communications between FDA and CBP so that the appropriate food is 
either held at the port of arrival as appropriate, or allowed to 
proceed.
    FDA also disagrees with the suggestion that the manufacturer and 
facility registration numbers are not provided for homemade food or 
postal shipments and, therefore, should not be required for other types 
of shipments. The IFR excludes homemade food from prior notice 
requirements entirely, and this exclusion also is in the final rule. 
Both the IFR and the final rule require submission of the identity of 
the manufacturer and the manufacturer's registration number in the 
prior notice for food arriving by international mail.
    FDA agrees with the comments that prior notice requirements should 
be limited to the minimum, and has selected those data elements that 
will allow FDA to expeditiously meet its statutory obligation to 
receive, review, and respond to prior notices. FDA, however, does not 
agree with the comments that the shipper's name and its contact point, 
the registration number of food facility, and food product codes are 
the only data elements FDA needs to fulfill this mandate. In addition 
to the Bioterrorism

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Act requirements of the identities of the article of food, the 
manufacturer and shipper, the grower, if known, the country from which 
the article originates, the country from which the article is shipped, 
and the anticipated port of entry for the article, FDA determined that 
certain additional information is required for efficient enforcement of 
the Bioterrorism Act, primarily for the means of identifying the 
article of food and effective enforcement of refusals.
    FDA also notes that it is not surprising that 80 to 90 percent of 
prior notices are submitted via ABI/ACS. Numerous comments on the 
proposed rule urged FDA to use the existing ACS-OASIS interface between 
CBP and FDA to accept prior notice information. As stated in the IFR, 
FDA and CBP agreed with the recommendation that the agencies provide a 
single point of data entry for CBP and FDA for as many kinds of entries 
as possible, and modified our systems to allow prior notice to be filed 
by either CBP's ABI/ACS or FDA's PNSI beginning with the December 12, 
2003, effective date of the IFR. FDA also noted at that time that it 
expected approximately 90 percent of prior notice submissions for all 
importations of foods to be transmitted by a customs broker or self-
filer through the ABI/ACS interface to FDA. (See 68 FR 58974 at 58976, 
October 10, 2003.) Since implementation, this estimate has proven true, 
as approximately 83 percent of all prior notices are filed through the 
ABI/ACS interface.
    (Comments) Several comments suggest that all prior notice 
information requirements that are duplicative of information 
requirements for CBP via AMS for Advanced Electronic Information or in 
ABI/ACS for Entry should be eliminated. One comment recommends that 
prior notice be aligned with CBP ``ACI'' rules, for both timing and 
data elements. The comment believes that this could lead to a possible 
reduction in data elements.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Information that is submitted for CBP 
entry processing is not useful for prior notice as this information can 
be submitted or changed after the food already has arrived in the 
United States and prior notice is required before the food arrives.
    Moreover, no interface currently exists between AMS and the 
existing interface with FDA's OASIS through the ABI/ACS entry 
processes, which means FDA does not have access to AMS data. FDA and 
CBP have discussed interfacing with AMS for manifest data and 
determined that the general cargo data in AMS are not suitable to 
accommodate the detailed information requirements of section 801(m) of 
the act. For example, its collection of the identities of the article 
of food and its manufacturer differs from the way those are collected 
under the prior notice interim final and final rules in such a way that 
the data would not meet our needs in carrying out the purpose of 
section 801(m) of the act.
    (Comments) Many comments suggest that submitters consolidate 
similar prior notices into one prior notice based on a variety of 
reasons, e.g., one prior notice per consignee with all food products 
consolidated; one prior notice per shipment with all information 
consolidated; one prior notice per commodity regardless of the 
quantity, size, color or species; one prior notice per bill of lading; 
one prior notice per truck or conveyance and one prior notice for the 
same food type regardless of brand.
    (Response) The Bioterrorism Act requires notice for each article of 
food and requires in that notice, for each article of food, certain 
information. As stated in the IFR, an ``article'' refers to a single 
food that is associated with the same complete FDA Product Code, the 
same package size, and the same manufacturer or grower (68 FR 58974 at 
59003). This is consistent with how entry is filed with CBP. An article 
of food is a unique item related to a specific manufacturer or grower 
and a specific process or size. All of these pieces of information are 
critical for a risk-based assessment of the food. The ABI/ACS system 
provides the capability to submit information for multiple food items 
as lines in a single entry, when entry level information is consistent 
for a number of articles in a shipment. For example, shipment level 
information, such as estimated time of arrival, can be captured once 
for all articles within a shipment. The ability to minimize data entry 
by copying specific information from one article, or line, to another 
depends upon the sophistication of the software being used by the 
submitter to create the submission to CBP. The FDA PNSI allows for 
simplified submission of similar articles of food by allowing the 
submitter to easily repeat common information (e.g., FDA product code, 
manufacturer, etc.) while entering different quantities (e.g., amount 
and package size). Both systems thus significantly reduce the amount of 
repetitive entry. The prior notice requirements in the IFR or the final 
rule do not require the submission of the brand for the article of 
food.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that different programs should not 
require different information requirements. The comment particularly 
focuses on FAST and C-TPAT and recommends that prior notice submissions 
for those participating in these programs should be subject to fewer 
information requirements.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. All of the information required in a 
prior notice is necessary for determining what articles to inspect upon 
arrival and otherwise carrying out section 801(m) of the act. The 
information is initially screened electronically in order to expedite 
the PNC's review. If less information is provided, regardless of 
whether the food is covered by some other program, then the result of 
that screening would be less reliable. This issue is discussed further 
in section III.D.6.a of this document (``Additional Exclusions 
Requested--Special Programs (C-TPAT/FAST) and Flexible Alternatives--
General Comments'')
    (Comments) Two comments refer to submission of ``blanket'' prior 
notices; one referencing repetitive shipments of analytical samples and 
the other suggesting a summary of daily shipments.
    (Response) FDA disagrees that it should change its approach from 
the IFR. As stated in the preamble to the IFR (see 68 FR at 59003), an 
article of food is a unique item related to a specific manufacturer or 
grower and a specific process or size. All of these pieces of 
information are critical for a risk-based assessment of the food. FDA 
currently receives most of this information from customs brokers or 
self-filers via ABI/ACS. The ABI/ACS system also provides the 
capability to submit information for multiple food items as lines in a 
single entry, when entry level information is consistent for a number 
of articles in a shipment. For example, shipment level information, 
such as estimated time of arrival, can be captured once for all 
articles within a shipment. The ability to minimize data entry by 
copying specific information from one article, or line, to another 
depends upon the sophistication of the software being used to create 
the submission to CBP. The FDA PNSI is designed to allow for simplified 
submission of similar articles of food by allowing the submitter to 
easily repeat common information (e.g., FDA product code, manufacturer, 
etc.) while entering different quantities (e.g., amount and package 
size). Both systems will thus significantly reduce the amount of 
repetitive entry of information while preserving the identity of each 
article of food. Moreover, the purpose of prior notice is for FDA to 
receive, prior to arrival, information about each article of food being 
imported or offered for

[[Page 66342]]

import for the purpose of enabling such article to be inspected at 
ports of entry into the United States. Receiving blanket prior notices 
would not provide the necessary information nor would a daily summary, 
which by definition would be after-the-fact, not prior to arrival.
2. The Submitter
    In Sec.  1.281(a)(1), (b)(1), and (c)(1), the IFR requires 
submission of the name of the individual submitting the prior notice 
and his/her business address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail 
address, and the name and address of the submitting firm, if 
applicable. If a registration number is provided, city and country may 
be provided instead of the full address.
    (Comments) Several comments assert that it is duplicative and 
unnecessary to require not only the corporate name and address of the 
submitter but an individual's name, telephone number, fax number and e-
mail address as well. The comments contend that this information 
already should exist in the FDA registration database and that the name 
of the submitting firm should be sufficient. The comments assert that 
in today's job market, individuals change jobs more frequently, thereby 
making the maintenance of this level of specificity in a database time 
consuming with minimal benefit.
    However, another comment states that the regulatory provisions in 
the prior notice IFR are silent regarding which person(s) will be 
contacted by FDA and/or CBP when an issue or problem arises regarding a 
prior notice and urge FDA to clarify that in refusal circumstances, the 
agency will contact the person who submitted the prior notice (i.e., 
the submitter or the transmitter.) The comment further states that by 
reason of his or her knowledge and/or access to the necessary 
information, as well as having the implicit authority and 
responsibility to properly file the prior notice, the submitter or 
transmitter typically will be in the best position to take corrective 
action as expeditiously as possible.
    (Response) FDA has determined that a fax number is not necessary 
for communication with the submitter. However, the identification of 
the individual and the firm, if applicable, submitting the prior notice 
is needed so that FDA knows who is responsible for the information in 
the prior notice and can communicate with them when necessary via mail, 
phone, or e-mail. The information submitted must provide sufficient 
information to enable FDA to communicate questions, concerns, or 
enforcement information with the submitter. See section III.J.1 of this 
document regarding inadequate prior notice (Sec.  1.283(a)(1)) for a 
discussion of communication of refusals.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that there should be an option to 
identify whether or not the submitter is C-TPAT certified.
    (Response) As we previously explained in the discussion under our 
assessment of timeframes (see section III.F of this document), C-TPAT 
participation will not affect timeframes, the amount of information 
required to be submitted under prior notice, or decisions made during 
the prior notice review process. Thus, the costs to submitters and the 
government of submitting such information would not provide benefits. 
FDA will continue to coordinate with CBP for administration of C-TPAT 
as it applies to FDA-regulated products, particularly as it relates to 
admissibility decisions under section 801(a) of the act. However, the 
prior notice final rule will not require that the submitter self-
declare as C-TPAT certified or not C-TPAT certified.
    (Comments) One comment asks if it is possible for a submitter to 
have his/her legal residence in the country of origin.
    (Response) Neither the IFR nor the final rule limits the residence 
or location of the submitter. Section 1.278 of the final rule states 
that any person with the knowledge of the required information may 
submit a prior notice.
    (Final rule) The final rule requires in Sec.  1.281(a)(1), (b)(1), 
and (c)(1) the submission of the name of the individual submitting the 
prior notice and his/her business address, telephone number, and e-mail 
address, and the name and address of the submitting firm, if 
applicable. We reworded the last sentence of these paragraphs for 
clarity to state that if the business address of the individual 
submitting the prior notice is a registered facility, then the 
facility's registration number, city, and country may be provided 
instead of the facility's full address.
3. The Transmitter
    Section 1.281(a)(2), (b)(2), and (c)(2) of the IFR requires the 
submission of the identity of the transmitter, if different from the 
submitter. The IFR requires the name of the individual and firm, if 
applicable, transmitting the prior notice on behalf of the submitter 
and his/her business address, and phone number, fax number, and e-mail 
address. If a registration number is provided, city and country may be 
provided instead of the full address.
    (Comments) A comment states that the regulatory provisions in the 
prior notice IFR are silent regarding which person(s) will be contacted 
by FDA and/or CBP when an issue or problem arises regarding a prior 
notice and urges FDA to clarify that in refusal circumstances, the 
agency will contact the person who submitted the prior notice (i.e., 
the submitter or the transmitter.) The comment further states that due 
to his or her knowledge and/or access to the necessary information, as 
well as the implicit authority and responsibility for properly filing 
the prior notice, the submitter or transmitter typically will be in the 
best position to take corrective action as expeditiously as possible.
    (Response) FDA agrees. The identification of the individual or the 
firm, if applicable, transmitting the prior notice is needed so that 
FDA knows who is responsible for transmitting the information in the 
prior notice and can communicate with them when necessary via mail, 
phone, fax, or e-mail. Moreover, the information submitted must provide 
sufficient information to enable FDA to communicate questions, 
concerns, or enforcement information with the transmitter. See section 
III.J.1 of this document regarding inadequate prior notice (Sec.  
1.283(a)(1)) for a discussion of communication of refusals.
    (Comments) Some comments ask if FDA would clarify what 
distinguishes the submitter from a transmitter and if it is possible 
for an authorized transmitter to have his/her legal residence in the 
USA.
    (Response) The submitter is any person with knowledge of the 
required information. The transmitter is the person who transmits the 
required information on behalf of the submitter. The submitter and 
transmitter may be the same person. (See Sec.  1.278) The final rule 
does not limit the residence or location of the transmitter.
    (Final rule) If the prior notice is transmitted by a person other 
than the submitter, the final rule in Sec.  1.281(a)(2), (b)(2), and 
(c)(2) requires the name of the individual and firm, if applicable, 
transmitting the prior notice on behalf of the submitter and his/her 
business address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address. We 
reworded the last sentence of these paragraphs for clarity to state 
that if the business address of the individual transmitting the prior 
notice is a registered facility, then the facility's registration 
number, city, and country may be provided instead of the facility's 
full address.
4. The CBP Entry Type
    Section 1.281(a)(3), (b)(3), and (c)(3) of the IFR require 
submission of the

[[Page 66343]]

entry type, which for Sec.  1.281(b)(3) will be a mail entry.
    (Comments) Two comments ask for clarification of the CBP entry type 
data element and request a list of all of the options for entry type.
    (Response) FDA needs this information both for screening to 
identify the appropriate articles for inspection and for communication 
between the FDA and CBP staff at the port. Also, the entry type 
determines which entry identifiers should be used (entry number, in-
bond number) to identify the shipment. In addition, the CBP entry type 
tells us if the article of food is for consumption in the United States 
or is for export or other uses.
    Some examples of CBP entry types are: consumption entries, 
warehouse entries, and temporary importation bond entries. Each of 
these types has a designated CBP code. For prior notice submissions 
made through ABI/ACS, the entry type will consist of the CBP entry code 
specific for that type of entry; e.g., ``01'' for a consumption entry, 
``21'' for a warehouse entry, ``23'' for a temporary importation bond 
entry, etc. These codes are ones customs brokers and self-filers 
provide to CBP at entry.
    For prior notice submissions made through the FDA PNSI, applicable 
entry types will be provided for selection in a drop-down menu; e.g., 
consumption, IT, T&E, mail, FTZ, etc. Explanations of the different 
entry types are available on PNSI to help the transmitter choose the 
right one. There also is guidance posted on FDA's Web site located at 
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnentgui.html that describes the entry 
types and the entry identifiers (Sec.  1.281(a)(4) and (c)(3)) 
associated with those entry types.
    (Final Rule) The final rule in Sec.  1.281(a)(3), (b)(3), and 
(c)(3) requires submission of the entry type. For articles arriving by 
international mail (Sec.  1.281(b)(3)), the entry type will always be a 
mail entry.
5. The CBP Entry Identifier (e.g., the Customs ACS Entry Number or In-
Bond Number)
    Sections 1.281(a)(4) and (c)(4) of the IFR require the submission 
of the CBP entry identifier (e.g., CBP entry number or in-bond number), 
if available. This requirement does not apply to articles arriving by 
international mail, nor to those carried by or accompanying an 
individual, unless entry is otherwise required by CBP and an associated 
CBP entry identifier has been assigned. In these cases, the FDA PNSI 
will apply a system-generated entry identifier.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that PNSI should be modified to 
allow for use of the house air waybill as a CBP identifier.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The CBP entry identifier information is 
necessary for proper identification of the information in a prior 
notice with the appropriate articles for inspection. The submission of 
the entry identifier also is critical for matching the prior notice to 
the corresponding CBP entry, which is necessary to assess the adequacy 
of the prior notice when shipments arrive and are presented for review.
    For in-bond entries and FTZ admissions, and for prior notices 
submitted through the FDA PNSI, an entry identifier is critical for 
matching the prior notice to the corresponding CBP entry if a 
consumption entry is submitted so FDA and CBP can ensure that prior 
notice requirements were satisfied. FDA does not agree that the 
waybill/Bill of Lading can be used as a CBP identifier, nor do we 
believe that there is a problem with obtaining a CBP identifier. If the 
submitter does not have a CBP identifier, a system-generated entry 
identifier can be provided upon request. The Airway Bill number and 
Bill of Lading number is a separate data element found in the planned 
shipment information (Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(i)). A Bill of Lading number 
is not always assigned to a shipment at the time of prior notice 
submission. For certain shipments, such as those sent by international 
mail, no Bill of Lading may exist. Thus, FDA has determined that we 
cannot allow for the use of the house air waybill number as a CBP 
identifier.
    (Comments) Two comments request clarification of the CBP entry 
identifier data element and where it can be located.
    (Response) For transmitters submitting prior notice with CBP entry 
information through the ABI/ACS interface, the CBP entry number 
assigned by CBP is also the entry identifier. For customs brokers or 
self-filers submitting prior notice for a food entering the United 
States as an IT entry, a T&E entry, or FTZ admission, the CBP in-bond 
number or FTZ admission number assigned by CBP also is the entry 
identifier. If prior notice is being submitted through PNSI, the entry 
identifier will depend on the entry type and the reason for the Web 
submission. If available to the transmitter (e.g., the prior notice is 
for a CBP entry but the ABI/ACS interface is not available), the CBP 
entry number must be used. When appropriate, the in-bond number must be 
used as the entry identifier. If one of the entry identifiers described 
above does not exist, the transmitter can request a system-generated 
entry identifier.
    There is guidance posted on FDA's Web site at http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnentgui.html that describes the entry types and 
the entry identifiers (Sec.  1.281(a)(4) and (c)(4)) associated with 
those entry types.
    (Final rule) The final rule requires in Sec.  1.281(a)(4) and 
(c)(4) the CBP entry identifier (e.g., CBP entry number or in-bond 
number), if available.
6. The Product Identity
    Section 801(m)(1) of the Bioterrorism Act requires that a prior 
notice must contain the identity of the article of food being imported 
or offered for import. Section 1.281 (a)(5), (b)(4), and (c)(5) of the 
IFR requires the identity of the article of food being imported or 
offered for import, as follows: the complete FDA product code; the 
common or usual name or market name; the estimated quantity of food 
that will be shipped, described from largest container to smallest 
package size; and the lot or code numbers or other identifier of the 
food if required by the act or FDA regulations; e.g., low-acid canned 
foods, at Sec.  113.60(c) (21 CFR 113.60(c)); acidified foods, at Sec.  
114.80(b) (21 CFR 114.80(b)); and infant formula, at Sec.  106.90 (21 
CFR 106.90).
    (Comments) One comment suggests that the definition of ``article of 
food'' should be amended to eliminate quantity and product code as 
distinguishing factors that require a separate prior notice and that 
separate prior notices should be based on the uniformity of entry level 
food data. The comment further asserts that the integrity, or lack 
thereof, of the food product will not be compromised based on the 
product type, size and/or quantity.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA continues to believe that estimated 
quantity, including base units and total quantity, is a necessary 
component of product identity. This information is important for 
communications with FDA and CBP staff at the border and for 
examinations to determine whether the amount ordered matches the amount 
received. For example, as discussed in the preamble to the IFR, if more 
was received than was ordered, FDA guidance recommends an investigation 
to determine the cause of the discrepancy as additional and unwanted 
articles may have been added to intentionally contaminate the shipment 
(68 FR 58974 at 59005). If less product is received than ordered or 
than shipped, some of the product may have been intentionally diverted. 
Moreover, the agency's risk-based decisions are based upon the food 
type and size of that product as many foods are

[[Page 66344]]

processed differently and the health-based problems result from these 
differences. For example, a manufacturer may have two different low 
acid canned food (LACF) production lines that are used for filling and 
sealing different size cans. A problem with pulling a vacuum on one 
LACF line may cause the food in those size cans to become adulterated; 
this would not apply to the cans sealed on the other LACF line. FDA 
would be able to target shipments from this manufacturer for the size 
cans that may similarly be adulterated. As stated previously, the PNSI 
system also allows for automatic repeating of like information (e.g., 
identity of the manufacturer), which decreases repetitive entry of 
information that is the same for multiple articles of food within a 
shipment. This also can be accomplished with submission via ABI/ACS, 
dependent on the filer's own software.
    (Comments) One comment requests clarification of the interpretation 
pertaining to gift packs. The comment asserts that CBP currently 
processes gift packs according to the description of the entire gift 
pack as an entity. The comment asks if prior notice is required on the 
individual items within the gift pack. Another comment recommends that 
FDA show flexibility and further develop policies that do not create 
excessive costs for exporters who are shipping multiple food products 
in the same package.
    (Response) A gift pack may contain various articles of food subject 
to prior notice requirements. In addition, a gift pack may also contain 
various nonfood articles that are not subject to prior notice 
requirements. A package with multiple food products, though not a gift 
pack, is another example of various articles of food. A prior notice is 
required for each article of food, even when multiple articles of food 
are designated as a gift pack or are otherwise packaged together.
    There is no CBP rule or regulation nor is there a General Rule of 
Interpretation (GRI) under which gift packs are classified for tariff 
purposes. In the case of ``gift packs'' that contain multiple products, 
for entry purposes, CBP will try to classify the gift pack using the 
concept of a set. That is, if the products included in a gift pack are 
part of a common activity, the gift pack may be classified under the 
HTS code that is most applicable. However, CBP does not consider eating 
to be a common activity even when all items in a gift pack are to be 
consumed. Therefore, unless there has been an applicable CBP ruling, 
entries of gift packs should be declared to CBP using the HTS code for 
each item included with the gift pack. This would apply even when there 
are food and nonfood items in the pack; e.g. a soup mug and a can of 
soup, as well as for make-your-own gift packs; e.g., if you created a 
gift pack by selecting individual items from a list of available 
products.
    The final rule requires a prior notice submission for each article 
of food. As we explained in the preamble to the IFR, an ``article'' 
refers to a single food that is associated with the same complete FDA 
Product Code, the same package size, and the same manufacturer or 
grower (68 FR 58974 at 59003). Moreover, the ``packer'' of a gift pack 
is not the facility that manufactured/processed the food pack. 
Therefore, each article of food in a gift pack must be covered by a 
separate prior notice. However, the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, describes 
our proposed enforcement policy for gift packs purchased or otherwise 
acquired by an individual and imported or offered for import for 
nonbusiness purposes. This draft guidance states that for these types 
of gift packs FDA and CBP staff should typically consider not taking 
regulatory action if there is a prior notice violation because a single 
prior notice is submitted for a gift pack and the identity of the 
facility that packed the gift pack is submitted in lieu of the identity 
of the manufacturer(s) and/or grower(s) for each article of food within 
the gift pack.
    (Comments) One comment states that the regulations should require a 
separate prior notice for each HTS number in the container and that a 
detailed description of the product is not necessary.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. For prior notice to accomplish its 
intended purpose and help FDA protect American consumers, a more 
precise description of the product is necessary than that provided by 
the HTS number. As we explained in the preamble to the IFR, although 
the HTS codes are currently utilized by CBP and FDA to identify 
generally which imports are subject to an FDA admissibility review, 
these codes are often not sufficient to specifically identify a product 
for FDA decisionmaking. For example, in many cases, the tariff code 
does not describe how the product was processed (e.g., commercially 
sterile or shelf-stable) or how the product is packaged. Thus, several 
products that FDA considers different from each other (because these 
differences affect the potential safety of the food) may be combined 
under one HTS code. (See 68 FR 58974 at 59004.) Moreover, the HTS code 
has never been sufficient for FDA admissibility decisions; at entry, 
the FDA product code has been required on FDA-regulated products. 
Therefore, the FDA product code should be familiar to most submitters 
of prior notice. Prior notice requires that we now get this information 
before arrival of the article of food into the United States.
    (Comments) One comment asserts that FDA has issued an interim final 
regulation that requires prior notice needlessly. The comment provides 
an example of a container containing red wine, under 14 percent alcohol 
and in multiple varietals and sizes from the same manufacturing 
facility and asserts that multiple prior notice submissions should not 
be required.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. For prior notice to accomplish its 
intended purpose and help FDA protect American consumers, a prior 
notice must be submitted for each article of food. If the food is 
identified by a single FDA product code, size, and manufacturer, then 
only one prior notice is required. Currently there are only seven FDA 
product code designations covering wine: White/still, red/still, rose/
still, naturally carbonated sparkling, artificially carbonated 
sparkling, Champagne, and wine coolers. The identity of the size of the 
article of food is covered under the requirement to submit the 
estimated quantity of the article of food (see Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(iii), 
(b)(4)(iii), and (c)(5)(iii)). In the previous example, although the 
shipment contains only red wine from the same manufacturer, there are 
different sizes of bottles within the container and each package size 
requires a separate prior notice. The reason is that a problem in 
sealing one size bottle of wine, but not the other size bottles, may 
result in serious adverse health consequences. As we explained in the 
preamble to the IFR, FDA believes that package size is necessary and 
part of product identity. Moreover, the base unit of measure is a 
characteristic of product identity and is thus necessary for effective 
review of the prior notice information. Base unit is critical to 
processing safety requirements and is particularly important when 
evaluating the safety of low-acid canned foods (68 FR 58974 at 59005).
    (Comments) One comment requests that a single prior notice should 
cover one commodity and alternately suggests that a single prior notice 
be required for each FDA Product Code. As an example, the comment 
suggests that a separate prior notice is required for each size of 
apples in a load with 10 sizes of apples representing one FDA Product 
Code.

[[Page 66345]]

Another comment suggests that all products covered by the same FDA 
product code should require a single prior notice entry.
    (Response) A separate prior notice is required for each article of 
food represented in a shipment or a load. In the example of different 
sizes of apples, because apples are identified by one FDA Product Code, 
and assuming that all the apples represent the same grower, if known, 
and the remainder of the required information is the same for all the 
apples, then one prior notice would be sufficient. However, if the 
articles of food represent the same FDA product code but contain 
different package sizes, then these are different articles of food and 
a separate prior notice is required for each.
    (Comments) One comment states that prior notice would need to be 
submitted for each brand, and then each bottle size and format.
    (Response) In response to comments to the proposed rule, FDA 
determined that the brand is not critical for risk-based screening and 
the IFR did not require identification of the brand of the article of 
food. This determination has been retained in the final rule. 
Identification of the size of the article of food is covered under the 
requirement to submit the estimated quantity of the article of food 
(see Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(iii), (b)(4)(iii), and (c)(5)(iii)).
    a. The complete FDA product code. FDA's product code is a unique 
numeric code currently used by FDA and customs brokers and self-filers 
to describe food products, as well as other products regulated by FDA. 
The IFR requires in Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(i), (b)(4)(i), and (c)(5)(i), the 
complete FDA Product Code be submitted.
    (Comments) Several comments ask for clarification about the 
appropriate FDA product code to use for specific products and for 
guidance concerning specific types of products. Several comments 
request that the FDA Product Code Builder be translated into various 
foreign languages. Two comments request clarification regarding the 
appropriate product code for gift packs. One comment requests that 
submitters be advised of the correct product code for foods subject to 
prior notice requirements.
    (Response) The final rule does not attempt to clarify appropriate 
coding for specific products. The FDA product codes are frequently 
updated, revised and changed. The active codes are available in the FDA 
Product Code Builder at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/SCRIPTS/ORA/PCB/PCB.HTM. The FDA Product Code Builder also contains many synonyms for 
foods covered by the same product code designations; e.g., Rice Flour 
(FDA Product Code 02C-01) has the synonyms of Bot Gao (Vietnamese rice 
flour), Harina De Arroz (Latin American rice flour), and Joshinko 
(Japanese fine, white rice flour, used to make taffy-like sweets). At 
this time due to resource constraints, FDA does not plan to translate 
the FDA Product Code Builder into foreign languages. A product code 
builder tutorial is available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pcb-
tut.html.
    As stated previously (see the discussion on the identity of the 
article of food being imported or offered for import), a gift pack is 
not a single article of food, but multiple articles of food packed 
together. Each article of food in a gift pack must be covered by a 
separate prior notice with an FDA product code for each article. 
However, FDA is proposing an enforcement policy whereby FDA should 
typically not take regulatory action if a single prior notice is 
submitted for a gift pack. More details about this proposed enforcement 
policy are described in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    b. The common or usual or market name. The IFR in Sec.  
1.281(a)(5)(ii), (b)(4)(ii), and (c)(5)(ii) requires the submission of 
the common or usual name or market name of the article of food as an 
element of the identity of the article of food. (See 21 CFR 102.5 for 
additional information about common or usual names.)
    (Comments) Several comments ask for clarification about the 
appropriate common, usual, or market name to use for specific products 
and for guidance concerning specific types of products. One comment 
asks if a sufficient common, usual, or market name would be the name or 
names of products listed in the FDA Product Code Builder.
    (Response) The final rule does not attempt to clarify appropriate 
common, usual, or market names for specific products. The FDA Product 
Code Builder contains many synonyms, which are common, usual, or market 
names, for foods covered by the same product code designations; e.g., 
FDA Product Code 16A--4 Ocean Perch is also known as Pacific Perch, Red 
Perch, Red Rockfish, and Rosefish. Therefore, anyone needing 
information about the appropriate common, usual or market name to use 
should consult the FDA Product Code Builder, which is accessible at 
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pcb-tut.html.
    c. The estimated quantity of food. The IFR in Sec.  
1.281(a)(5)(iii) and (b)(4)(iii) requires the estimated quantity of 
food that will be shipped, described from largest container to smallest 
package size and for articles of food that have been refused under 
section 801(m) of the act in Sec.  1.281(c)(5)(iii), the quantity of 
food that was shipped, described from largest container to smallest 
package size.
    (Comments) Several comments recommend elimination of the submission 
of quantity for each article of food, and recommend that such 
situations involving various sizes and quantities of similar articles 
of food (e.g., same FDA product code and same manufacturer) be covered 
by one prior notice submission.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA continues to believe that quantity is 
a necessary component of product identity. FDA also believes that 
package size is a necessary part of product identity. The base unit of 
measure is a critical characteristic of product identity and is thus 
necessary for effective review of the prior notice information. Base 
unit also is critical to processing safety requirements and is 
particularly important when evaluating the safety of low-acid canned 
foods. Both base unit and total quantity (which includes knowing the 
smallest ``package size'') are necessary for response (examination) and 
communication with FDA and CBP staff at the port. As noted in FDA's 
``Food Security Preventive Measures Guidance for Importers'' 
(``Guidance for Industry, Importers and Filers, Food Security 
Preventive Measures Guidance,'' March 2003), these elements are also 
critical for food security examinations to determine if the amount 
ordered is the amount received. For example, if more was received than 
was ordered, the guidance recommends an investigation to determine the 
cause of the discrepancy, as additional and unwanted articles may have 
been added to intentionally contaminate the shipment. If less is 
received than ordered or than shipped, some of the food may have been 
intentionally diverted. Both base unit and total quantity are currently 
data elements that can be submitted via ABI/ACS to OASIS.
    (Comments) One comment asks for clarification as to the 
requirements in Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(iii) and (b)(4)(iii) for estimated 
quantity and the requirement in Sec.  1.281(c)(5)(iii) for the actual 
quantity.
    (Response) The requirement for providing estimated quantity in 
Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(iii) and (b)(4)(iii) apply to those prior notices 
provided in accordance with the requirements in the final rule; i.e., 
those submitted before the food arrives at the port of arrival in

[[Page 66346]]

the United States as required in Sec.  1.279. The requirement for 
providing the actual quantity in Sec.  1.281(c)(5)(iii) applies only to 
those articles of food refused under section 801(m) of the act, i.e., 
prior notices submitted after the article of food has arrived at the 
port of arrival without adequate prior notice and has been refused. In 
this case, since the article of food already has arrived, the quantity 
is set and the actual quantity can be determined and submitted in the 
post-refusal prior notice.
    (Comments) One comment asserts that a slide entitled ``Article of 
Food vs. Shipment of Food'' in an FDA presentation about the IFR 
provides a conflict of interpretation about the requirement to provide 
the estimated quantity. The comment asserts that the illustration 
suggests a separate prior notice is required for each and asks that FDA 
clarify this presentation.
    (Response) The illustration in question (see http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fsbtac17/sld014.htm) provides the following 
example:

         Table 1A.--``Article of Food'' vs. Shipment of Food\1\
Tuna           24/12 oz. cans      2,000 cases        Company 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuna           48/6 oz. cans       1,000 cases        Company 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuna           24/12 oz. cans      300 cases          Company 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuna           6/66 oz. cans       2,400 cases        Company 3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ One shipment; 4 different products; 4 prior notices

    FDA reiterates that the previously shown chart illustrates a 
situation with four different articles of food, each requiring a 
separate prior notice. The example provides three different 
manufacturers of the canned tuna; thus, canned tuna from each of these 
manufacturers requires a separate prior notice submission. Further, the 
12 ounce (oz) cans and the 6 oz cans manufactured by Company 1 are 
different sizes and thus are different articles of food. Accordingly, 
each requires a separate prior notice submission.
    The final rule continues to require submission of the estimated 
quantity of food that will be shipped, described from largest container 
to smallest package size. A prior notice will not be inadequate if the 
estimated quantity changes between the confirmation of prior notice and 
the time of arrival. Similar to the IFR, the final rule does not 
require that a prior notice be cancelled and resubmitted if the 
estimated quantity changes after confirmation.
    d. The lot or code numbers or other identifier. The IFR in Sec.  
1.281(a)(5)(iv), (b)(4)(iv), and (c)(5)(iv) requires the submission of 
the lot or code numbers or other identifier of the food if required by 
the act or FDA regulations; e.g., low-acid canned foods, at Sec.  
113.60(c); acidified foods, at Sec.  114.80(b); and infant formula, at 
Sec.  106.90.
    (Comments) One comment requests clarification concerning when a lot 
or code number or other identifier is required for an article of food.
    (Response) The lot or code numbers are the identification numbers 
or code of a production lot, which can more specifically identify a 
product for screening and examination purposes and for communication 
within FDA and with CBP and the manufacturer, etc. For example, recalls 
involving serious health risks are often associated with a specific 
production lot, such as counterfeit infant formula or under-processed 
canned food. FDA screening can target these food products for 
examination based on information of public health emergencies or 
recalls in foreign countries.
    FDA regulations require lot/code identifiers for certain foods. 
Currently, low acid canned foods, acidified foods, and infant formula 
are required to bear lot codes or other identifiers (see Sec.  
113.60(c) (low-acid canned foods); Sec.  114.80(b) (acidified foods); 
and Sec.  106.90 (infant formula low-acid canned foods)). The interim 
final and final rules require lot/code or other identifiers only for 
these kinds of articles of foods. Many other foods may have lot or code 
identifiers that are not required by FDA regulation; submission of 
these identifiers is optional under the final rule.
    Submission of the required lot/code identifier is accommodated by 
ABI/ACS as an affirmation of compliance or through PNSI as a production 
identifier. ACS currently allows for submission of more than one 
affirmation of compliance per article of food. PNSI also accepts more 
than one lot identifier per article of food.
    (Final rule) The final rule requires in Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(i), 
(b)(4)(i), and (c)(5)(i) the complete FDA product code. The final rule 
in Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(ii), (b)(4)(ii), and (c)(5)(ii) requires the 
submission of the common or usual name or market name of the article of 
food as an element of the identity of the article of food. The final 
rule in Sec.  1.281(a)(5)(iii) and (b)(4)(iii) requires the estimated 
quantity described from the largest container to the smallest package 
size. For articles of food that have been refused under section 801(m) 
of the act, the final rule in Sec.  1.281(c)(5)(iii) requires 
submission of the quantity of food that was shipped, described from 
largest container to smallest package size. The final rule in Sec.  
1.281(a)(5)(iv), (b)(4)(iv), and (c)(5)(iv) requires the submission of 
lot or code numbers or other identifiers for articles of food if 
required to bear such numbers by the act or by FDA regulations.
7. Identity of the Manufacturer
    Section 801(m)(1) of the act states that a prior notice must 
contain the identity of the manufacturer of the article of food being 
imported or offered for import. Section 1.281(a)(6), (b)(5), and (c)(6) 
of the IFR requires that prior notice for an article of food that is no 
longer in its natural state include the name and address of the 
manufacturer and the registration number assigned to the facility that 
is associated with the article of food. The IFR further states that a 
registration number is not required for a facility associated with an 
article of food if the article is imported or offered for import for 
transshipment, storage, and export, or further manipulation and export. 
The IFR also provides that if the article of food is sent by an 
individual as a personal gift (i.e., for nonbusiness reasons) to an 
individual in the United States, he or she may provide the name and 
address of the firm that appears on the label under 21 CFR 101.5 
instead of the name, address, and registration number of the 
manufacturer. If a registration number is provided, city and country 
may be provided instead of the full address.
    FDA received many comments on the requirement to provide the name, 
address and registration number, when applicable, as the identity of 
the manufacturer. For ease in discussing these comments, we are 
presenting the issues they raise into the following general categories:
     Does ``the manufacturer'' in section 801(m) of the act 
mean the place where the food was actually manufactured or can it 
include other entities? What if more than one entity was involved in 
the manufacture of the article of food?
     Does FDA have the authority to require the registration 
number of the manufacturer of the article of food being imported or 
offered for import as a data element in prior notice?
     Assuming FDA can require the manufacturer's registration 
number in a prior notice submission, should FDA continue to do so in 
the final rule and/or should FDA provide an alternative means for 
submitters to provide the identity of the manufacturer? and

[[Page 66347]]

     Questions Seeking Clarification.
    a. Does ``the manufacturer'' in section 801(m) of the act mean the 
place where the food was actually manufactured or can it include other 
entities? What if more than one entity was involved in the manufacture 
of the article of food? (Comments) Section 1.281(a)(6) of the IFR 
requires the submission of the identity of the manufacturer of each 
article of food no longer in its natural state. Several comments 
recommend that the final rule define ``the manufacturer.'' Some 
comments note that for ``gray market'' or ``parallel market'' 
importations (food purchased outside the manufacturer's distribution 
chain and imported to the United States), the only identifiable product 
information is that which is on the product itself. The comments 
suggest that in lieu of the name, address, and registration number of 
the manufacturer of the food, the prior notice submission should 
include the name and address of the entity that appears on the label on 
the food. A comment notes that while this information is not as 
detailed as that required for other imports, it relieves importers of 
``gray market'' foods from having to provide information that in most 
instances would never be available to them. Other comments suggest that 
shipments of gifts to individuals but with a commercial purpose, such 
as business gifts to generate goodwill among colleagues, should be 
permitted to reference the manufacturer's name and address as shown on 
the label in lieu of the registration number of the manufacturer.
    Several comments request that FDA provide guidance regarding how to 
complete prior notice for imported food from multiple manufacturing 
facilities. One comment suggests that the final rule should define the 
manufacturer as the last entity to conduct a processing operation; 
e.g., including bottling, but excluding labeling. Another comment 
provides an example of wine that is produced and bottled at winery 
``X'' and sent to winery ``B'' for labeling, which sends the wine to 
another facility for storage, which then transfers the wine to the 
freight forwarder ``F'' who stores and consolidates the wine with other 
wines for shipment to the United States. Another comment provides an 
example of fresh fruit that is processed in one facility in a foreign 
country and then is transported to one or several other facilities that 
re-palletize the fruit, resulting in a finished pallet containing boxes 
that have been packaged at several packing facilities.
    (Response) These comments address, directly or indirectly, the 
meaning of ``the manufacturer'' in section 801(m) of the act. In 
construing the prior notice provision of the Bioterrorism Act, FDA is 
confronted with the question of whether Congress has directly spoken to 
the precise question presented (``Chevron step one''). Chevron, U.S.A., 
Inc. v. NRDC, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842 (1984). To find no ambiguity, 
Congress must have clearly manifested its intention with respect to the 
particular issue. Young v. Community Nutrition Institute, 476 U.S. 974, 
980 (1986). If Congress has spoken directly and plainly, the agency 
must implement Congress's unambiguously expressed intent. Chevron, 467 
U.S. at 842-843. If, however, the Bioterrorism Act is silent or 
ambiguous as to the meaning of ``the manufacturer,'' FDA may define 
this term in a reasonable fashion (``Chevron step two''). Chevron, 467 
U.S. at 842-843; FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120, 
132 (2000).
    We have determined that in enacting section 801(m) of the act, 
Congress did not clearly manifest its intention with respect to the 
meaning of ``the manufacturer.'' When an article of food is made from 
one or more raw ingredients, there could be several entities involved 
in its manufacture. For example, boxed macaroni and cheese might 
involve preparing the dried macaroni, preparing the dried cheese, 
combining these materials, and packaging and labeling the finished 
product. Where multiple steps are carried out by multiple entities, the 
act does not directly and plainly set forth which entity or entities 
Congress intended as the manufacturer to be submitted as part of the 
prior notice. Another question regarding ``the manufacturer'' whose 
answer is not clearly manifested in the act is whether the manufacturer 
means the specific facility where the article is manufactured or the 
entity that owns, or contracts with, the manufacturing facility. 
Additionally, Congress did not plainly address whether the entity 
listed on a product's label could be considered the manufacturer. The 
entity listed on a product's label can be, as provided by 21 CFR 101.5, 
the packer or distributor. Additionally, under that regulation, the 
label may state the principal place of business of the manufacturer, 
packer, or distributor in lieu of the actual place where the food was 
manufactured or packed or is to be distributed, unless the statement 
would be misleading.
    For the reasons given in the following paragraphs, we have 
determined that, for purposes of section 801(m) of the act, the phrase, 
``the identity of the manufacturer,'' should be interpreted to mean the 
place where the food was actually manufactured/processed (i.e., the 
site-specific manufacturing facility). We believe that this 
interpretation is reasonable and consistent with the goals of the 
Bioterrorism Act.
    In considering whether it is reasonable to interpret the 
manufacturer as being the actual place where the food was manufactured, 
we considered the language and purpose of the prior notice provision, 
as well as the other provisions of the Bioterrorism Act. The purpose of 
the Bioterrorism Act is ``to improve the ability of the United States 
to prevent, prepare for, and respond to bioterrorism and other public 
health emergencies'' (Public Law 107-188). The prior notice provision 
contributes to this goal by providing the agency with the information 
it needs to determine whether, due to significant concerns about an 
article of imported food, it should inspect the food upon arrival in 
the United States. Having the identity of the actual place where the 
food was manufactured (i.e., the site-specific manufacturing facility) 
will inform these risk-based decisions much better than having the 
identity of the packer or distributor or even the name and address of 
the manufacturer's principal place of business.
    Information about the manufacturer contributes to FDA's inspection 
decisions under prior notice in two principal ways. One way is that 
when FDA receives intelligence regarding potential areas of concern 
about food shipments, this intelligence is often linked to a site-
specific manufacturing facility. For example, FDA received intelligence 
regarding alleged contamination with a harmful chemical substance of 
certain imported food products from a certain specific foreign 
manufacturing facility. FDA flagged shipments from this facility for 
further PNC review, and subsequently recommended the examination and 
sampling of several shipments from the site specific facility due to 
the significant public health threat posed by the articles of food. 
Because the identity of the site-specific manufacturing facility was 
included in the prior notices, FDA was able to match the intelligence 
with the relevant food shipments, without affecting the importation of 
similar products from other manufacturers. If prior notice only 
included the name and address listed on the label, FDA could not have 
confidence that it could flag shipments of the food manufactured at the 
specific facility, either for further PNC review or for inspection. 
Matching a third-party distributor or packer with the actual 
manufacturer that FDA wants to flag

[[Page 66348]]

based on intelligence would be very difficult and time consuming, and 
may even be impossible to do with the information available to the 
agency. If prior notice included the principal place of business of the 
manufacturer (e.g., the corporate headquarters location) instead of the 
site-specific manufacturing facility, FDA's ability to correctly target 
shipments would not be much better. More often than not, when FDA 
receives intelligence regarding a manufacturer, it is specific to the 
site-specific manufacturing facility and not just the manufacturer's 
corporate identity. In these situations, if the prior notice that has 
been submitted contains only corporate-level information, FDA would 
have to target every relevant shipment from every plant the firm owns 
or contracts with, which could be dozens, or even hundreds. As a 
result, much time would be spent unnecessarily reviewing many shipments 
that may not be of interest but whose risk could not be discounted 
based on the supplied manufacturer information.
    The other way information about the manufacturer contributes to 
FDA's inspection decisions under prior notice is the agency's use of 
this information during its manual review of a prior notice. Regardless 
of the reason a shipment is flagged for manual review by the PNC, the 
identity of the manufacturer is one of the key elements FDA relies on 
in further assessing the potential risk a shipment poses to the United 
States. FDA does this by using the identity of manufacturer, as 
provided in prior notice, to gather additional information from a 
variety of sources, such as FDA's and other government agencies' 
databases and research using publicly available information. For 
example, FDA will often try to determine whether the article of food 
being imported is consistent with the type or types of food the 
facility usually makes and ships to the United States, whether the 
facility's owners, agents, or workers have potential ties to security 
concerns, and whether FDA has found problems with prior shipments from 
the facility. The more closely that this information is tied with the 
site-specific manufacturing facility, the more reliable the risk 
assessment will be. If prior notice could include the name and address 
of the firm on the label (in lieu of the site specific manufacturer), 
and this firm is the product's distributor, then FDA would be able to 
gather additional information about the distributor but not the 
manufacturer. A risk assessment based on information concerning the 
distributor would be much less meaningful than one based on the actual 
manufacturer because the actual manufacturer has much more control over 
the product's quality and security than the product's distributor.
    For example, when researching the site-specific manufacturer listed 
in a prior notice to investigate potential security concerns, FDA found 
information in a government database suggesting the facility had ties 
to terrorism. Based on this and other information, FDA decided to 
examine the product covered by the prior notice. If the name and 
address of a different firm, such as the distributor, had been provided 
in the prior notice instead, it is unlikely that FDA's research would 
have turned up this association and unlikely that this shipment would 
have been flagged for inspection. In its experience under the IFR, when 
prior notice has not included the identity of the actual manufacturer, 
FDA has had to attempt to determine the site-specific manufacturer by 
using alternative means such as inspection, contacting the submitter, 
and/or contacting the firm listed on the label, a process that in some 
cases has taken days and even weeks. The only other way to be sure that 
the subject article of food is not a threat is to have the food stopped 
and examined at the port of arrival to determine if it is a threat. 
Stopping shipments while FDA conducts additional research or an 
inspection would require significant agency resources and could create 
inefficiencies for the agency, CBP, industry, and consumers as food 
shipments back-up at the border.
    Similarly, if the prior notice included the principal place of 
business of the manufacturer rather than the specific manufacturing 
facility, this information is likely to be too broad to be helpful, 
particularly if it is a large company. Each manufacturing facility is 
different, in terms of its employees, the food it manufactures for the 
United States, its manufacturing processes, and its security standards 
and procedures. One location of a company may have a higher standard 
for the security of its employees and manufacturing processes than 
another location. In those cases where the parent company owns or 
contracts with multiple manufacturing facilities, FDA would have to 
determine the risk associated with each of these facilities to ensure 
our review is adequate. Because FDA is under strict timeframes to 
review, assess risk, and respond to the prior notices, conducting such 
wide-ranging research is not practical. Not only would this be 
prohibitively time-consuming (which would have a detrimental impact on 
trade), in many situations FDA may not be able to ascertain the 
identity of each of the firm's manufacturing facilities. Alternatively, 
FDA could attach a risk to the headquarters location, but doing so 
would result in a less meaningful prior notice risk assessment and may 
result in articles of food being assigned a lower or higher risk than 
they should have based on the specific manufacturing facility.
    Our interpretation of ``the manufacturer'' to mean the actual place 
where the food was manufactured also furthers the purposes of the 
Bioterrorism Act by helping to ensure that imported food is from 
registered facilities. Under section 801(l) of the act, food that is 
imported or offered for import is subject to being held if it ``is from 
a foreign facility for which a registration has not been submitted to 
[FDA] under section 415'' of the act. FDA checks the information about 
the site-specific manufacturing facility provided in prior notice to 
verify that facility's registration status. If the prior notice 
provided only the name and address listed on the label of the food 
rather than the actual manufacturing facility, FDA would have no 
practicable means to readily determine whether the manufacturing 
facility is registered. As explained previously, the name and address 
on the label could be, for example, the distributor or the parent 
company of the facility.
    Collecting information regarding the manufacturing facility of an 
imported product and its registration status goes back to well before 
prior notice. As part of the admissibility review process for the 
various types of imported goods it regulates, FDA collects, among other 
information, the ``FDA Manufacturer'' and applicable registration 
numbers. (See, for example, 70 FR 69576, November 16, 2005.)
    The Bioterrorism Act expanded the registration requirement with 
respect to food facilities. New section 415 of the act requires 
domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or 
hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States to be 
registered with FDA, unless the facility is exempted. Under new section 
801(1) of the act, food from a foreign facility that has not registered 
under section 415 of the act is subject to being held until the foreign 
facility has registered. It could be argued that FDA should make its 
determination about the food manufacturing facility's registration 
status as part of the entry and admissions process. The reason it is 
necessary to make this determination at the time FDA is reviewing prior 
notice

[[Page 66349]]

is that if the article of food is held under section 801(l) of the act, 
it may not be delivered to the importer, owner, or consignee and cannot 
be moved under bond under section 801(b) of the act. Operationally, the 
only way to implement these movement restrictions is to conduct the 
registration status review before entry is filed, which is when the 
prior notice review is conducted.
    The comments recommending that the prior notice rule be expanded to 
allow the identity of the entity shown on the product label in lieu of 
the identity of the manufacturer are generally based on the argument 
that information about the manufacturer, especially its registration 
number, is not always available to the submitter, such as when food is 
purchased outside the manufacturer's distribution chain. The statute 
indicates that Congress considered the issue of whether it would be 
difficult or impossible to provide the identity of the manufacturer but 
chose to require it nonetheless. Among the data required by prior 
notice are the identity of the manufacturer and, for food in its 
natural state, the identity of the grower, if known. Section 801(m) of 
the act expressly provides that the identity of the grower does not 
need to be submitted if it is not known within the prior notice 
timeframes; however, the act does not include this exemption for the 
identity of the manufacturer. This indicates that this information 
about the manufacturer must be submitted regardless of any potential 
difficulties in obtaining it. With respect to the comments that were 
concerned about situations where the person submitting prior notice 
does not know the registration number of the manufacturer, as discussed 
elsewhere in this preamble, FDA and CBP are modifying the final rule 
such that the identity of the manufacturer can be submitted as the name 
of the manufacturer and either the registration number, city, and 
country of the manufacturer, or both the full address of the 
manufacturer and the reason the registration number is not provided.
    Regarding situations where multiple steps are carried out by 
multiple entities, we have determined that ``the manufacturer'' can 
reasonably be interpreted to mean the last facility that manufactured/
processed the article. A facility is the last facility that 
manufactured/processed the food if the food does not undergo further 
manufacturing/processing, other than the addition of labeling or any 
similar activity of a de minimis nature. This interpretation is based 
on the definition of a foreign manufacturer under the food facility 
registration provision, section 415(b)(3) of the act, and our 
implementing rule, 21 CFR part 1, subpart H (see specifically 
Sec. Sec.  1.227(b)(2) and 1.226(a)). It also is consistent with the 
definition of FDA manufacturer collected as part of the entry and 
admissibility process, which states that if more than one party 
processed the article, then the manufacturer is the last party who 
substantially transformed the product. (See, for example, 70 FR 69576, 
November 16, 2005.)
    Applying this definition to the example pertaining to wine in the 
comments, the manufacturer for purposes of prior notice would be winery 
``X'' since this is the facility that produced and bottled the wine. 
The other facilities involved in this example perform either 
manufacturing activities of a de minimis nature, such as labeling, or 
other activities not related to manufacturing, such as storing and 
consolidating the wine. Thus, although some of these facilities might 
have to register with FDA as required by 21 CFR part 1, subpart H as 
holders or packers of food intended for consumption in the United 
States, the facilities in the example other than winery ``X'' are not 
considered the last facility under the prior notice final rule's 
definition of ``manufacturer.'' Regarding the comment on fresh fruit, 
FDA assumes that the comment is using the term ``processed'' to mean an 
activity (such as treatment against pests or polishing) that leaves the 
food still in its natural state, as explained in the definition of ``no 
longer in its natural state'' under Sec.  1.276(b)(10). Although 
subsequent facilities palletize the fruit, these would not be 
manufacturers because they only pack the food and packing is not 
considered manufacturing/processing. Under this scenario, no 
information for any manufacturers would be required for the prior 
notice. Instead, under Sec.  1.281(a)(7) of the final rule, the prior 
notice would require the name and address of the grower, if known.
    Consistent with the interpretation that the identity of the 
manufacturer requires site-specific information, we are removing the 
provision in the IFR stating that if the article of food is sent by an 
individual as a personal gift to an individual in the United States, 
then the name and address of the firm that appears on the label could 
be submitted instead of the identity of the facility that manufactured 
the food. We note, however, that under the enforcement policy 
contemplated in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, FDA and CBP 
would typically consider not taking regulatory action when no prior 
notice is submitted with respect to gifts that are shipped by an 
individual to an individual.
    Given the importance of having the site-specific manufacturer, we 
are also proposing a change to the CPG regarding the identity of the 
manufacturer. The Prior Notice Interim Final Rule CPG had a policy that 
covered situations where, after a good faith effort, the person 
submitting prior notice did not know the name and address of the 
facility that manufactured the food. It stated that if the submitter 
provided certain alternative information, such as the identity of the 
facility's headquarters, FDA and CBP should typically consider not 
taking any regulatory action despite this noncompliance with the prior 
notice requirements. The Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG does not 
continue this policy because, as described above, FDA and CBP believe 
that knowing the identity of the facility involved in the food's 
production is critical to ensuring that FDA can effectively target food 
for inspection at the border upon arrival and can effectively determine 
whether food should be held because it is from an unregistered 
manufacturing facility.
    Accordingly, section 1.276(b)(9) of the final rule defines 
manufacturer for the purpose of prior notice submission as the last 
facility, as that word is defined in Sec.  1.227(b)(2), that 
manufactured/processed the food. A facility is considered the last 
facility even if the food undergoes further manufacturing/processing 
that consists of adding labeling or any similar activity of a de 
minimis nature. If the food undergoes further manufacturing/processing 
that exceeds an activity of a de minimis nature, then the subsequent 
facility that performed the additional manufacturing/processing is 
considered the manufacturer. We have removed in the final rule the 
option that was in the IFR to provide the label information in Sec.  
101.5 instead of the name, address, and registration number of the 
manufacturer for food sent by an individual as a personal gift (i.e., 
for nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the United States. Unless 
excepted elsewhere in the regulation, the identity of the manufacturer 
must be submitted for an article of food that is no longer in its 
natural state.
    b. Does FDA have the authority to require the registration number 
of the manufacturer of the article of food being imported or offered 
for import as a data element in prior notice? (Comments) Many comments 
state that the Bioterrorism Act does not require registration numbers 
to be submitted in prior notice. Some comments further assert that the 
statute clearly states that the ``identity of the manufacturer'' must

[[Page 66350]]

be included for prior notice but it does not allude to nor require the 
registration number. Another comment explains that if Congress intended 
FDA to require the registration number, it would have specifically 
articulated this requirement as it did in section 321 of the 
Bioterrorism Act for drug and device imports. The comment concludes 
that the failure of the Congress to include registration numbers in the 
enumerated statutory elements of prior notice is powerful evidence that 
Congress did not intend for FDA to require it. Another comment states 
that the act does not prescribe how the identity of the manufacturer 
must be provided, and therefore Congress has not spoken to this issue. 
Accordingly, FDA is entitled to deference in crafting a permissible 
construction of the statutory requirements.
    One comment notes that all wineries producing wine for consumption 
in the United States are required under section 415 of the Bioterrorism 
Act to provide to FDA their name, the street addresses of their 
facilities and the trade names under which they do business. It further 
states that as long as the importer provides the name and address of 
the manufacturer of the wine, this will be sufficient for FDA to 
identify whether the manufacturer is registered with the FDA, and that 
additionally requiring the importer to furnish a registration number is 
unnecessary to implement the Bioterrorism Act.
    Another comment asserts that the obligation to verify that the 
manufacturer of a food article imported or offered for import into the 
United States is registered, or is required to do so, is an obligation 
imposed upon the FDA by Congress under the Bioterrorism Act, not upon 
the importer. The comment further asserts that for FDA to shift its 
burden to importers who are not related to the facilities required to 
be registered is, at the very least, unjust and certainly was not the 
intent of Congress. The comment further states that FDA has the ability 
and access to the information necessary to verify registration status 
of manufacturers; unaffiliated importers do not. Another comment 
asserts that FDA's overly broad interpretation of the prior notice 
provision of the Bioterrorism Act results in an anticompetitive 
business environment that is contrary to the spirit of the Bioterrorism 
Act. Another comment emphasizes that to enforce the registration 
requirement through the means of prior notice requirements, which 
affect persons that are completely unrelated to the party responsible 
for registering the facility, is inappropriate.
    Another comment states that the U.S. Congress placed the burden 
upon the FDA to ensure that a facility's owner, operator or agent in 
charge complies with the registration requirements established under 
the Bioterrorism Act and while it is reasonable for the FDA to request 
that importers assist them in this task by asking for facility 
registration numbers on prior notice submissions, the agency must not 
condition lawful entry on the provision of this number that may, for a 
variety of reasons, be unavailable to the importer.
    Another comment claims that FDA has no jurisdiction to enforce the 
registration requirements upon the affected foreign facilities. Another 
comment asserts that domestic food manufacturers are not faced with 
this dilemma because they are already within the United States, and 
there are no equivalent requirements to verify that domestic foods are 
produced at facilities that are properly registered with FDA.
    (Response) FDA's position remains that it has the authority to 
require the registration of the manufacturer as a data element in prior 
notice. Under section 801(m) of the act, prior notice must include the 
identity of the manufacturer. The manufacturer's registration number is 
an identifier, just as, for example, Employer Identification numbers, 
Social Security numbers, and driver's license numbers are regularly 
used to help identify establishments and individuals. Such numerical 
identifiers are much better for matching than name and address 
information alone. For example, names and addresses often do not have 
standardize formats, there can be alternative spellings and 
abbreviations, and misspellings are not uncommon. In addition, many 
facilities have similar names, even facilities in the same country or 
city. Unique identifiers are all the more important given the high 
volume of prior notices that FDA needs to process, FDA's goal of 
processing them expeditiously, and the need to ensure that FDA can 
accurately flag shipments of potential concern.
    As contemplated by the Registration of Food Facilities rule, Sec.  
1.241(c), FDA also uses the identity of the manufacturer collected as 
part of prior notice to ensure that imported food is from registered 
facilities. Section 801(l) of the act, which was enacted as part of the 
Bioterrorism Act, states that if an article of food is being imported 
or offered for import into the United States, and such article is from 
a foreign facility for which a registration has not been submitted 
under section 415 of the act, such article shall be held at the port of 
entry for the article, and may not be delivered to the importer, owner, 
or consignee of the article, until the foreign facility is so 
registered. In the preamble to the IFR, we described how we would use 
registration in concert with prior notice to carry out our 
responsibilities under section 801(l) of the act ``Registration is 
designed to work in concert with prior notice at the border, as 
reflected in new section 801(l) of the FD&C Act, which provides that 
food from facilities that must register may not be admitted into 
distribution for consumption in the United States unless the relevant 
facilities have been registered. To enforce section 801(l) of the FD&C 
Act as intended by Congress, FDA has determined that it must review 
registration status of manufacturers and shippers as part of prior 
notice. The information provided by registration will allow FDA to 
check prior notice submissions against registration data to confirm the 
identity. Moreover, the information provided by prior notice 
submissions can serve as a crosscheck as to whether these facilities 
are registered as required and have provided the necessary updates * * 
*. FDA does not agree that it should confirm registration without 
requiring that the number be submitted. Each registered facility will 
be assigned a unique registration number by FDA. Thus, the registration 
number will help identify the manufacturer. Without a registration 
number, it may be difficult to determine exactly which registered 
facility to associate with the article: Different firms may have the 
same or similar names and more than one firm may operate from a 
particular location.'' (68 FR 58974 at 59001). FDA continues to believe 
that it should use the information in prior notice to verify the 
manufacturer's registration status, and that the registration number is 
the simplest and fastest way for us to do this. FDA further notes that 
it verifies the registration status of both domestic and foreign 
facilities. FDA's procedures for enforcing the registration 
requirements for domestic facilities are explained in FDA's 
``Compliance Policy Guide--Guidance for FDA Staff, Registration of Food 
Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism 
Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.'' See http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
~furls/cpgreg2.html.
    c. Assuming FDA can require the manufacturer's registration number 
in a prior notice submission, should FDA continue to do so in the final 
rule and/or should FDA provide an alternative means for submitters to 
provide the identity of the manufacturer other than

[[Page 66351]]

the registration number? (Comments) Several comments recommend 
elimination of the registration number as a requirement for identifying 
the manufacturer of a food no longer in its natural state. One comment 
suggests that inclusion of a food facility registration number does not 
ensure the legitimacy of the shipment and that a black market for 
certain foods could result if registration numbers continue to be 
required for prior notice. Many others comments recommend elimination 
of the requirement for the manufacturer's registration number in 
various situations:
     The food facility is not required to register because 
ingredients or finished goods manufactured by it are not consumed in 
the United States, and thus it has no registration number;
     The manufacturer that has gone out of business and does 
not have a facility registration number;
     Samples for:
    Any reason/any type of sample;
    Any product samples not intended for public consumption or for 
retail sale;
    Quality control;
    Research;
    Analytical samples that are not intended for human or animal 
consumption;
    Quality assurance samples that will be used for taste testing or 
quality control that includes human consumption;
     Fine wines;
     Registration numbers of the parties in possession of the 
wine over the past 2 years;
     All wines and distilled spirits, when a registration 
number is not available;
     Wine produced more than 5 years prior to the date of its 
import (the year of production is typically indicated on the bottle's 
label, and label approvals are required under U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau 
regulations);
     All food produced prior to December 12, 2003;
     All food sent into the country for the personal 
consumption of the recipient and not for business use or 
redistribution;
     Gifts arriving in the United States from one individual to 
another in a business setting; and
     Consumer-to-consumer shipments.
    Some comments state that the requirement to provide the 
manufacturer's registration number in the prior notice is overly 
burdensome and unreasonable for some segments of the food industry. The 
comments suggest that there are numerous legitimate reasons that food 
companies may seek to import food products from manufacturers whose 
registration number is unknown or which are not required to register 
with FDA.
    Other comments recommend alternatives to the requirement to submit 
the manufacturer's registration number. The most commonly recommended 
alternative to submission of the manufacturer's registration number is 
to allow submitters to identify the manufacturer by providing the name 
and address of the facility with an accompanying reason as to why the 
registration number was not submitted. One comment specifically 
recommends a drop-down menu that allows the submitter to explain the 
reason for the lack of a registration number, such as ``product was not 
obtained from the manufacturer.'' The comment reasons that this 
optional approach allows FDA to continue to require registration 
numbers, but does not per se invalidate a prior notice based on the 
absence of this single piece of information. Another comment suggests 
that the submitter affirm that it believes, to the best of its 
knowledge, that the manufacturer is registered with FDA. One comment 
recommends that only the manufacturer's name for a ``gray market'' food 
should be sufficient for the prior notice when the submitter does not 
know the manufacturer's registration number.
    Another comment asserts that FDA must consider alternative means 
for ensuring that all facilities subject to the Registration of Food 
Facilities Rule (21 CFR part 1, subpart H) have an updated registration 
on file with FDA that has been verified. The comment further suggests 
that taking such action will allow the FDA to ensure that the 
regulations are not implemented in a manner that prevents the lawful 
import of safe and healthy food products based solely upon the 
unavailability of the confidential facility registration number. 
Several comments assert that confirmation that a facility is registered 
can be made without obtaining the registration number of the facility.
    One comment states that, though FDA has indicated that it wants the 
new facility registration requirement to be enforced through the prior 
notice regime, enforcement can be accomplished without requiring that 
the facility registration numbers be included in the prior notice. With 
the name and address of the manufacturer included, FDA can look up the 
manufacturer in its database of registered manufacturers. If the 
manufacturer has not registered, then the FDA could deny entry to the 
articles of food in question. The manufacturers therefore already have 
a strong incentive to register with the FDA, since that is the only way 
their products can gain entry into the United States.
    Other comments suggest inspection of a food shipment to ensure its 
safety when the prior notice submission lacks the required registration 
number, rather than refusal of that food as an acceptable alternative. 
The comments state that this approach will avoid situations where 
shipments are rejected while still preserving FDA's regulatory 
discretion. Another comment states that importers who obtain food from 
parties other than the original food manufacturers are willing to bear 
the burden of increased inspections when they do not provide a 
manufacturer's registration number in the prior notice. Other comments 
agree that the manufacturer's registration number should be required in 
prior notice submissions, but that the prior notice should not be 
deemed inadequate (i.e., the food should not be refused under 801(m) of 
the act) if the manufacturer is identified by name and address of the 
facility and a reason for lack of submission of the manufacturer's 
registration number is provided.
    Another comment suggests that the final rule should be amended to 
provide that the prior notice only need to include such information 
about the manufacturers of older vintage wines that is readily 
available to the importer, together with registration numbers for all 
persons who have owned the wine and all facilities that have stored the 
wine over the preceding 2 years.
    One comment suggests that FDA permit the importation of quality 
assurance samples that will be used for taste testing or quality 
control that includes human consumption without the facility 
registration number of the foreign manufacturer or processor. The 
comment further suggests that in lieu of the registration number, the 
prior notice should include the manufacturer's name and location along 
with the identification of the person sending the samples.
    While most comments state that the name and address of the 
manufacturer could be submitted in prior notice, one comment states 
that re-sellers will not normally supply the name of their supplier or 
the name of the manufacturer of a particular product to their 
customers. The comment asserts that supplying the name of the 
manufacturer would allow that customer to circumvent the re-seller and 
attempt to make direct contact with the supplier or manufacturer, thus 
taking business away from the re-seller. Another comment states that if 
only the

[[Page 66352]]

name of the manufacturer is submitted in a prior notice, the prior 
notice should not be considered inadequate.
    Other comments support requiring the registration number of the 
original processor on prior notice submissions, particularly when a 
third-party is exporting the product to the United States. One comment 
further recommends that FDA should revise its rules regarding the use 
of registration numbers in general, and in the prior notice rule in 
particular, to protect legitimate buyers and distributors from 
unauthorized ``gray market'' imports. Several comments suggest that the 
manufacturer's registration number should be required and that only the 
registration number be submitted, not the name and country. 
Additionally, some comments suggest that if manufacturer and facility 
registration numbers are provided and the numbers provided are specific 
to a particular facility location, the requirement to complete the 
address information should be removed to avoid duplication of 
information.
    (Response) To effectively implement the prior notice and 
registration provisions in the Bioterrorism Act, the final rule 
requires the registration number of the manufacturer or, if the 
registration number is not provided, the facility's full address and 
reason the registration is not provided. Reasons for not providing a 
registration number include, for example, the manufacturing facility is 
out of business; the manufacturing facility is a private residence and 
thus is not a ``facility'' for the purposes of the registration 
requirements; and the submitter is unable to determine the registration 
number of the manufacturing facility.
    Matching of facilities is vital for making an initial assessment on 
the accuracy of the prior notice; assessing the risk of the associated 
article of food based on the associated manufacturing facility, its 
operations, and history of importations; and verifying registration 
status. Without the registration number, PNC reviewers have to conduct 
this matching using the name and address submitted in a prior notice. 
Due to the potential for human error during data input or deviations in 
the spelling or format of a facility's name, address or city, FDA may 
incorrectly think it has found a match between the facility described 
in the prior notice and a facility in the registration database. 
Similarly, the facility described in the prior notice may be close, but 
not exact, to several facilities listed in the registration database, 
causing uncertainty as to which, if any, is the correct match. This is 
complicated by the fact that the manufacturing facility submitted as 
part of prior notice might not be registered. At best this matching 
process may take significantly longer (depending on the number of 
manufacturers, products, and other factors involved), impeding FDA's 
ability to complete its review within the prior notice timeframes. At 
worst, a facility mismatch will result in FDA conducting its risk 
assessment based on incorrect information.
    The information provided in a registration thus enables FDA to 
better assess risk of the product itself, as it gives the PNC more 
information upon which to base its assessment. PNC reviewers use the 
registration information to verify whether the articles of food in the 
shipment match the food product categories that the owner, operator, or 
agent-in-charge of the facility listed in the site-specific facility's 
registration with FDA. The registration information also provides 
alternate names for a facility, lists the parent company and 
subsidiaries of the facility, verifies addresses, and provides the 
identity of the officers of the facility and/or their U.S. Agents. This 
additional information may identify potential terrorist threats (e.g., 
a facility and/or facility official has ties with a terrorist 
organization). Not providing the registration number in a prior notice 
leads to prolonged or incomplete searches, which in turn could lead to 
additional cargo delays or examinations at the port of arrival as the 
PNC completes its intensive review (see earlier discussion under 
timeframes). We also note that registered facilities generally do not 
make their registration numbers public, so they generally have to be 
obtained directly from the manufacturer or its designee during the 
importation process as part of completing a prior notice. Thus it is 
harder to falsify registration information than the facility's name and 
address, deterring the submission of false manufacturer identification 
information.
    In some cases, the registration number of the manufacturer is not 
available to the submitter, and therefore, we have revised the rule to 
provide an alternate means for satisfying the requirement to provide 
the identity of the site-specific manufacturer in prior notices. For 
purposes of the prior notice final rule, the identity of the 
manufacturer is the name of the manufacturer and either: (1) The 
registration number, city, and country of the manufacturer or (2) both 
the full address of the manufacturer and the reason the registration 
number is not provided (see Sec.  1.281(a)(6), (b)(5), (c)(6)). One of 
the following reasons may be submitted when no manufacturer 
registration number is provided:
     Situations where the facility is out of business, as 
stated in Sec.  1.235(a);
     Private residence, as stated in Sec.  1.227(b)(2);
     The facility is a restaurant, as defined in Sec.  
1.227(b)(10), and qualifies for the restaurant exemption in Sec.  
1.226(d);
     The facility is a retail food establishment, as defined in 
Sec.  1.227(b)(11), and qualifies for the retail food establishment 
exemption in Sec.  1.226(c);
     The facility is a nonprocessing fishing vessel, as stated 
in Sec.  1.226(f);
     Nonbottled drinking water collection and distribution 
establishment, as stated in Sec.  1.227(b)(2);
     The manufacturer satisfies the definition of ``farm'' in 
Sec.  1.227(b)(3), and qualifies for the farm exemption in Sec.  
1.226(b); or
     The submitter is unable to determine the registration 
number of the manufacturer. The full address of the manufacturer has 
been provided by the submitter.
    The Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG that is announced elsewhere 
in this issue of the Federal Register lists these reasons to use when 
the registration number is not provided and describes our proposed 
enforcement policies.
    As discussed previously, without the registration number, it will 
be more difficult and/or may take more time for us to verify the 
identity of the manufacturing facility and its registration status and 
to determine whether the article of food is subject to being held under 
section 801(l) of the act. Thus, it is in the interest of the parties 
involved in the import to provide the manufacturer's name and 
registration number, and not simply the manufacturer's name and full 
address, because the registration number will help us process the 
shipment more expeditiously. The submitter should exercise a reasonable 
amount of effort to obtain and provide the registration number before 
using the reason ``the submitter is unable to determine the 
registration number of the manufacturer.''
    FDA does not agree with the comments asserting that the 
registration number is sufficient by itself to ``identify'' a facility 
in a prior notice submission. The additional information is needed to 
verify that the registration number, which is comprised of eleven 
digits, is accurate. Without additional information, there is a 
significant possibility of typographical errors, leading to 
misidentification of facilities, which could lead to foods being 
stopped

[[Page 66353]]

at the port for inadequate prior notice and registration. There also is 
the possibility of someone entering data in an attempt to ``guess'' at 
a registration number. Having identifying information in addition to 
the registration number helps prevent such guessing. Having this 
confirmatory information also allows us to notify submitters of a 
mismatch before the prior notice is accepted and confirmed for review, 
which allows them to correct any inadvertent errors before the food 
arrives at the port, where it otherwise may be subject to refusal for 
an inadequate (inaccurate) prior notice.
    If the prior notice does not contain either the manufacturer's 
registration number or the reason and name and full address, the food 
is subject to refusal of admission under section 801(m)(1) of the act 
for failure to provide adequate prior notice, as the identity of the 
manufacturer is incomplete. The food also may be subject to a hold 
under section 801(l) of the act if the food is from a foreign 
manufacturer that is not registered under section 415 of the act.
    In response to comments from those who are importing food from a 
facility that is not registered because food manufactured by it is not 
intended to be consumed in the United States, FDA notes that these 
shipments are subject to hold under 801(l) of the act. Under section 
801(l) of the act, food is subject to being held if it is imported or 
offered for import into the United States and it is from a foreign 
facility that has not registered. This provision applies regardless of 
whether the food was intended for consumption in the United States at 
the time it was manufactured, for example where an article of food is 
made in Country X for consumption in Country X, but is purchased by a 
third party who re-labels the product for import and resale in the 
United States.
    (Comments) One comment recommends that inter-company gifts be 
exempt from the requirement to provide the manufacturer's registration 
number on the prior notice because these items have no commercial value 
and are sent as business gifts. The comment suggests that FDA use the 
same approach for business and nonbusiness gifts, by allowing a listing 
of the manufacturer's name and address as it appears on the product's 
label.
    (Response) The provisions in the final rule regarding the 
registration number are being revised, and these revised provisions 
apply to both business and nonbusiness shipments. The final rule no 
longer allows for submission of the name and address as it appears on 
the label in any situation. However, the rule also is being changed 
such that the submitter may submit either the manufacturer's 
registration number, city, and country or both the manufacturer's full 
address and the reason why the registration number is not provided.
    d. Questions seeking clarification.
    i. Designation of grower. (Comments) Two comments state that they 
are exempt from the registration requirements because they are farms; 
however, they want guidance regarding the steps these farms should 
follow to ensure that their products move through the prior notice 
system without delays at the port.
    (Response) If the article of food is no longer in its natural 
state, such that the identity of the manufacturer is required, the 
submitter can submit a reason for why the registration number was not 
provided; i.e., facility is a grower, meets farm exemption. These 
reasons also are listed in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG 
announced elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. If the 
article of food is in its natural state, the identity of the 
manufacturer is not required and the systems will know that they do not 
need to verify the manufacturing facility's registration status.
    ii. Manufacturer cancels registration. (Comments) A comment asks 
what designation is appropriate for the scenario where at the time of 
production the manufacturing/processing facility was legitimately 
registered with the FDA, but cancelled its registration prior to the 
importer submitting prior notice.
    (Response) If the manufacturing facility still is operational, but 
chooses to cancel its registration with FDA, then the food from this 
facility is subject to refusal under 801(l) of the act. As stated 
therein, ``If an article of food is being imported or offered for 
import into the United States, and such article is from a foreign 
facility for which a registration has not been submitted to [FDA], such 
article shall be held at the port of entry for the article, and may not 
be delivered to the importer, owner, or consignee of the article, until 
the foreign facility is so registered.'' If the facility has canceled 
its registration because it has gone out of business, then this reason 
may be entered on the prior notice.
    iii. Identity of manufacturer for samples. (Comments) One comment 
states that there are some circumstances involving market survey and 
consumer complaint samples where the manufacturing facility is unknown 
to the submitter of prior notice and the manufacturing facility may not 
have a registration number because it does not do business in the 
United States. One comment provides the example of when shoppers are 
hired to collect company trademark products, package these according to 
company-established protocol, enclose purchase information and ship 
these to designated laboratories in the United States. and the shoppers 
often have no way of knowing the identity of the specific manufacturing 
facility. One comment states that it is not likely that a 
manufacturer's registration number would be available for competitive 
product samples and for finished product samples used for evaluation 
purposes, as well as for articles used for research and development 
purposes. The comment states that the registration number does not fall 
under the Freedom of Information Act and in some cases, the 
manufacturer's facility may not be required to register since the 
article of food was not intended for consumption in the United States. 
Another comment provides the example of when a consumer expresses a 
concern about either the quality or safety of a purchased food, and the 
consumer is instructed to ship that product to the U.S.-based franchise 
company laboratory for a timely analytical assessment.
    (Response) We have revised the final rule such that the identity of 
the manufacturer must include the name of the manufacturer and either 
the registration number, city, and country of the manufacturer or both 
the full address of the manufacturer and the reason the registration 
number is not provided. Relevant to these comments, one of the reasons 
for not providing the registration number is that the submitter is 
unable to determine it. However, as described above, if the article of 
food is from an unregistered facility, it is subject to being held 
under section 801(l) of the act. Moreover, without the registration 
number, it will be more difficult and/or may take more time for FDA to 
verify the identity of the manufacturing facility and its registration 
status. As a result, the food may be delayed until the verification is 
completed.
    While the final rule requires prior notice, including the identity 
of the manufacturer, for shipments of samples, under the enforcement 
policy proposed in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, FDA and CBP 
should typically consider not taking any regulatory action with respect 
to prior notice violations when an article of food is imported or 
offered for import for quality assurance, research or analysis purposes 
only, not for human or animal consumption without prior notice.
    iv. U.S. manufacturer of product being imported. (Comments) Two

[[Page 66354]]

comments express concern that FDA would reject a prior notice for 
imported food that contains a U.S. manufacturing facility and that 
facility's registration number.
    (Response) Both ABI/ACS and PNSI accept the identity of a 
manufacturing facility from any internationally recognized country 
designation, including the United States. FDA recognizes that some food 
imported into the U.S. is manufactured in the U.S., exported, and then 
re-imported. Prior notice applies to these articles of food and 
identification of the U.S. facility as the manufacturer is correct.
    v. Require manufacturer to reveal or conceal the registration 
number. (Comments) Two comments recommend that FDA compel manufacturers 
to divulge their food facility registration numbers upon inquiry. 
Another comment requests that FDA issue guidance stating that: FDA does 
not require the registration number on commercial documents; the 
inclusion of a registration number on commercial documents will not 
facilitate clearance by CBP or FDA of the shipment; and FDA recommends 
that companies reveal this confidential information once only in a 
formal letter and ensure by all possible means that their customer 
(e.g., distributor, importer, or customs broker) also respect the 
confidentiality of this information. One comment cautions about 
reported abusive and misleading declaration of a registration number in 
a prior notice for shipments that are unconnected with the food 
facility that actually owns that registration number. Another comment 
suggests that FDA should revise both the prior notice and registration 
rules to clarify that those doing business with the owner of a facility 
should not and have no reason to demand the facility registration 
number.
    Several comments suggest that FDA provide a means for importers and 
others to verify a facility's registration, even if such verification 
does not disclose any information beyond affirmation or denial. One 
comment suggests that FDA compare Manufacturer Identity (MID) data 
submitted through ABI/ACS to the FDA Food Facility Registration 
database and notify the transmitter of a MID mismatch while keeping 
actual registration information secure. The comment reasons that this 
process would give the submitter and transmitter of a prior notice a 
noncompliance alert and also would alert the agency of possible 
additional intensive review requirements even before the prior notice 
submission has been completed. Another comment encourages the agency to 
allow American importers to query a database that would do nothing more 
than confirm whether the details provided are accurate. Another comment 
suggests that FDA make the registration database available to 
authorized customs brokers only.
    (Response) FDA does not intend to direct registered food facilities 
to divulge their registration numbers on documents or upon request. 
However, FDA does agree that guidance regarding divulging registration 
numbers and prior notice submissions may help to clarify the process, 
and provided this guidance in our ``Guidance for Industry, Questions 
and Answers Regarding Registration of Food Facilities Final Guidance'' 
available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ffregui4.html.
    vi. Exporting facility. (Comments) One comment requests that FDA 
accommodate the importation of previously manufactured food products 
that were purchased at retail outlets outside the United States and 
recommends that FDA require only the registration number of the 
exporting facility and information identifying the company responsible 
for the product. The comment reasons that this information, along with 
other identity information required by prior notice, should be 
sufficient for FDA and CBP to make risk decisions about a particular 
import.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The Bioterrorism Act requires the 
identity of the manufacturer as well as the shipper. The identity of 
the shipper or the exporting facility alone is not sufficient to 
satisfy the requirements of the statute. The facility that manufactured 
the food must be identified.
    vii. Food imported or offered for import for transshipment, 
storage, and export, or further manipulation and export. In the IFR, a 
registration number is not required for a facility associated with an 
article of food if the article is imported or offered for import for 
transshipment, storage, and export, or further manipulation and export. 
We have removed this exception in the final rule because we have 
determined that section 801(m) of the act requires the identity of the 
manufacturer for food imported or offered for import into the United 
States, regardless of whether that food will be consumed in the United 
States. Likewise, under section 801(l) of the act, food is subject to 
being held if it is imported or offered for import into the United 
States and it is from a foreign facility that has not registered. This 
provision applies even if the food is not for consumption in the United 
States. As noted previously, if the submitter is unable to determine 
the registration number of the manufacturer, the submitter may provide 
a reason along with the name and full address of the manufacturer.
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(6), (b)(5), and (c)(6) of the final 
rule requires for an article of food that is no longer in its natural 
state, the identity of the manufacturer, as follows: the name of the 
manufacturer; and either the registration number, city, and country of 
the manufacturer or both the full address of the manufacturer and the 
reason the registration number is not provided.
8. The Grower, if Known
    The Bioterrorism Act requires the submission of the identity of the 
grower of the article, if that identity is known within the specified 
period of time that notice is required to be provided. Section 
1.281(a)(7), (b)(6), and (c)(7) of the IFR requires for an article of 
food that is in its natural state, submission of the name and growing 
location address of the grower, if known. If the submitter does not 
know the identity of the grower or, if the article has been 
consolidated, and the submitter does not know the identity of any of 
the growers, the submitter may provide the name and address of the firm 
that has consolidated the articles of food from different growers or 
different growing locations.
    (Comments) One comment asks that the requirement to identify the 
grower not be mandatory in the final rule and suggests exempting the 
growers and providing the information of growers on a voluntary basis. 
Another comment asserts that it is virtually impossible to identify 
each grower once grain is commingled at the country elevator.
    (Response) The Bioterrorism Act requires the identity of the 
grower, if known, in the submission of prior notice. Therefore, we 
cannot eliminate the requirement to provide the identity of the grower 
in all cases, as suggested by the comment. If the identity of the 
grower is not known at the time of submission of the prior notice, and 
the food has been consolidated, then the submitter may, but is not 
required to, provide the name and address of the consolidator (Sec.  
1.281(a)(7), (b)(6), and (c)(7)).
    (Comments) Another comment states that a single shipment of fresh 
fruit may represent hundreds of growers, all of whom are known by the 
submitter of the prior notice. The comment asserts that requiring 
submission of an individual prior notice for each article represented 
by a single grower seems unnecessarily burdensome. The comment suggests 
that in lieu of requiring identification of all

[[Page 66355]]

known growers in the prior notice, the rule should require the 
submitter of the prior notice to retain a complete list of growers and 
to make this list available to FDA for inspection and copying upon 
request.
    (Response) We do not agree. Periodic access, inspection, and 
copying of a complete listing of all growers of an article of food does 
not satisfy the requirement to identify the grower of the article of 
food, if known, within the specified period of time that notice is 
required to be provided. FDA responded to a similar comment in the 
prior notice IFR and explained that FDA does not agree that a list 
would satisfy the statutory requirement, as it would not tell FDA which 
grower was associated with the particular article of food as envisioned 
by the statute (68 FR 58974 at 59006). We affirm the view here.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA reconsider the requirement 
to submit the names of multiple growers, if known, in the prior notice. 
The comment notes that submitters of prior notices must provide 
separate notices for each grower in the case of consolidated shipments 
(if the growers are known), which it asserts is onerous and costly for 
exporters of consolidated shipments of horticulture products. The 
comment believes that the proposed recordkeeping rules will cause the 
names of the growers to be recorded and available and the prior notice 
information is a duplication of effort. The comment asks that, for 
consolidated shipments, FDA permit the submission of one prior notice 
providing the name of the consolidator or one notice with the names of 
all the growers.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Adding the capability to accept a list of 
growers would add considerable complexity to both the data entry 
software (PNSI and/or ABI) and the screening programs. FDA responded to 
a similar comment in the prior notice IFR and explained that FDA does 
not agree that a list would satisfy the statutory requirement, as it 
would not tell FDA which grower was associated with the particular 
article of food as envisioned by the statute (68 FR 58974 at 59006). 
And as we explained in the previous response, periodic access, 
inspection, and copying of a complete listing of all growers of an 
article of food does not satisfy the requirement to identify the grower 
of the article of food, if known, within the specified period of time 
that notice is required to be provided. FDA notes that users of PNSI 
can create a prior notice for one grower, copy that prior notice, and 
edit just the grower information and the quantity and packaging 
information, assuming the imports for each grower are distinctly 
packaged.
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(7), (b)(6), and (c)(7) of the final 
rule requires for an article of food that is in its natural state, the 
submission of the name and growing location address of the grower, if 
known. If the submitter does not know the identity of the grower or, if 
the article has been consolidated and the submitter does not know the 
identity of any of the growers, the name and address of the firm that 
has consolidated the articles of food from different growers or 
different growing locations may be submitted.
9. FDA Country of Production
    The Bioterrorism Act requires the submission of the identity of the 
country from which the article originates. The IFR in Sec.  
1.281(a)(8), (b)(7) and (c)(8), requires that a prior notice contain 
the FDA Country of Production of the article of food being imported or 
offered for import into the United States. As set out in the IFR 
definition at Sec.  1.276(b)(4), the FDA Country of Production is, for 
an article of food in its natural state, the country where the article 
of food was grown, including harvested or collected and readied for 
shipment to the United States. If, however, an article of food is wild 
fish, including seafood, that was caught or harvested outside the 
waters of the United States by a vessel that is not registered in the 
United States, the FDA Country of Production is the country in which 
the vessel is registered. For a food that is no longer in its natural 
state, the FDA Country of Production is the country where the article 
of food was made. However, if an article of food is made from wild 
fish, including seafood, that was made aboard a vessel, the FDA Country 
of Production is the country in which the vessel is registered. The IFR 
also provides that the FDA Country of Production of food grown and 
harvested or collected or made in a U.S. Territory is the United 
States.
    (Comments) One comment asks what is required as the country of 
production in a case where spirits are exported in bulk to a third-
country for local bottling and subsequent export from that third-
country for consumption in the United States.
    (Response) For a food that is no longer in its natural state (e.g. 
spirits), the FDA Country of Production is the country where the 
article of food was made (e.g. bottled). For an article of food that 
undergoes multiple manufacturing steps, as in this comment, the FDA 
Country of Production would be country where the last facility performs 
a manufacturing/processing step that exceeds an activity of a de 
minimis nature.
    (Final rule) The final rule retains without change the provisions 
in Sec.  1.281(a)(8), (b)(7), and (c)(8) of the IFR.
10. Shipper
    The Bioterrorism Act requires the submission of the identity of the 
shipper of the article. The IFR at Sec.  1.281(a)(9), (b)(8), and 
(c)(9) requires that the shipper be included in a prior notice. The IFR 
defines shipper (Sec.  1.277(b)(12)) as the owner or exporter who 
consigns and ships the article of food from a foreign country or the 
person who sends an article of food in international mail to the United 
States.
    (Comments) One comment states that the FDA has augmented section 
307 of the Bioterrorism Act to require not only supply chain party 
identification but also the registration number of the shipper. The 
comment further states that the requirement to submit the shipper's 
registration number is easily met. There were no other comments 
received on this issue.
    (Response) We revised certain sections pertaining to the identity 
of the shipper. The IFR required the registration number of the 
shipper, if the shipper is required to be registered. The final rule 
requires the identity of the shipper only if the shipper is different 
from the manufacturer. Moreover, the final rule eliminates the 
requirement to submit the registration number of the shipper, if the 
shipper is required to be registered, and made the submission of the 
registration number optional. The identity of the shipper in the final 
rule is satisfied by submission of the name and full address of the 
shipper.
    (Final rule) The final rule in Sec.  1.281(a)(9), (b)(8), and 
(c)(9) requires the name and full address of the shipper, if the 
shipper is different from the manufacturer. If the address of the 
shipper is a registered facility, the submitter may submit the 
registration number of the shipper's registered facility.
    FDA revised this requirement to require the shipper's information 
only when the shipper is different from the manufacturer in order to 
eliminate duplicative requirements. Moreover, we eliminated the 
requirement to provide the registration number of the shipper, if the 
shipper is required to be registered, and made the submission of the 
registration number optional.
    In the IFR, the shipper's registration number is not required for a 
facility associated with an article of food if the article is imported 
or offered for import for transshipment, storage, and export,

[[Page 66356]]

or further manipulation and export. We have removed this exception in 
the final rule since the shipper's registration number is now optional.
11. The Country From Which the Article is Shipped
    The Bioterrorism Act requires the submission of the identity of the 
country from which the article is shipped. The IFR requires in Sec.  
1.281(a)(10) and (c)(10) submission of the identity of the country from 
which the article is shipped. In Sec.  1.281(b)(9), the IFR requires 
submission of the identity of the country from which the article is 
shipped (i.e., mailed).
    (Comments) There were no comments received on this issue.
    (Final Rule) The final rule retains without change the provisions 
in Sec.  1.281(a)(10), (b)(9), and (c)(10) of the IFR.
12. Anticipated Arrival Information
    Section 1.281(a)(11) of the IFR requires the submission of 
anticipated arrival information to include the anticipated port of 
arrival and anticipated border crossing; the anticipated date on which 
the article of food will arrive at the anticipated port of arrival; and 
the anticipated time of that arrival. In Sec.  1.281(c)(11), the IFR 
requires the submission of the actual port of arrival. Anticipated 
arrival information is not required for food arriving by international 
mail.
    A prior notice will not be inadequate if the anticipated port of 
arrival, the anticipated date of arrival, or the anticipated time of 
arrival changes between the time of confirmation of prior notice and 
the time of arrival, as provided by Sec.  1.282(a) of the IFR.
    The anticipated arrival information must specify the anticipated 
port of arrival and, if there is more than one border crossing location 
within that port, the specific anticipated border crossing where the 
food will be brought into the United States.
    (Comments) One comment suggests the elimination of the anticipated 
arrival information as a data element. Another comment suggests that in 
light of the MOU between FDA and CBP, arrival data are no longer 
important, as CBP can provide the personnel to conduct the necessary 
inspections.
    (Response) Section 801(m) of the act requires the submission of the 
identity of the anticipated port of entry for the article of food, 
therefore, this data element cannot be eliminated. The anticipated time 
and date of arrival are needed for planning resources because it 
relates to when the food will first become available for examination at 
the border. The coordination procedures between FDA and CBP should not 
be construed to mean that arrival information is no longer important 
nor that we will not, whenever possible, conduct necessary inspections 
at the port. Moreover, FDA's working with CBP personnel does not negate 
our need for anticipated time and date of arrival since headquarters 
and field staff still need to know when articles of food plan to 
arrive.
    (Comments) One comment states that the arrival information should 
be linked to the ABI entry filing at the port of entry because the FDA 
prior notice requirement is inconsistent with the existing entry 
clearance processes of CBP. The comment contends that requiring prior 
notice at the port of arrival will result in severe disruption to 
flight schedules, with the possible consequence of aircraft offload for 
any affected food shipment for which prior notice was not submitted.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The Bioterrorism Act requires 
notification about articles of food prior to arrival in the United 
States. Although prior notice and entry information can be submitted 
together through ABI/ACS, prior notice cannot be substituted by the 
entry process, which legally can occur well after the food has arrived 
in the United States. Since implementation of the IFR, FDA and CBP have 
noted no severe disruptions, including to flight schedules due to lack 
of prior notice of some articles of food within an aircraft, truck, or 
vessel load. FDA points out that in December 2003, CBP issued and began 
implementation of the Advance Electronic Cargo Information rule, which 
also requires information about cargo before it arrives in the United 
States and allows for prohibition of landing authorization if such 
information is not provided in advance of arrival. (See 19 CFR 
122.12(c) (international airports), 19 CFR 122.14(d)(4) (landing rights 
airports); and 19 CFR 122.15(a) (user fee airports).)
    (Comments) One comment recommends that FDA ask CBP to change their 
ABI system to provide for port diversion functionality. The comment 
acknowledges that, although the FDA prior notice system is designed to 
allow a shipment to be diverted to a port other than the intended port 
of entry reported in the prior notice, CBP's ABI system precludes the 
CBP entry from being accepted at other than the reported port of entry. 
Another comment requests that when a prior notice is transmitted via 
either the Cargo or Border Cargo Selectivity application, the data 
should be moved from ACS to OASIS regardless of the estimated time of 
arrival date.
    (Response) Such changes to the ABI system are not feasible at this 
time given resource constraints, and the development of CBP's new 
Automated Commercial Environment. Moreover, CBP transfers information 
to FDA at 8 p.m. on the day before arrival for truck shipments and 9 
p.m. on the day before arrival for air shipment. Information is 
transferred to FDA on the same day if that information is submitted the 
same day as anticipated arrival of the shipment. CBP and FDA believe 
that this is sufficient for meeting the timeframes for receipt, review, 
and response to prior notice submission.
    (Comments) Two comments address the difficulty of obtaining exact 
arrival information, including a specific time of arrival for air 
shipments, because many airlines are often closed at night. The comment 
also states that including a specific date and time for arrivals by 
ocean vessel is difficult.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. From FDA's standpoint, ``time of 
arrival'' relates to when the food will first become available for 
examination at the port. For vessels, this would be when the vessel 
docks in the port. For planes, this would be when the plane lands. For 
land vehicles, such as trucks, buses, and trains, this would be when 
they cross the border. FDA believes that someone involved in importing 
or offering for import an article of food has an indication of 
anticipated arrival into the United States of that food and can inform 
the submitter and/or transmitter of the prior notice. FDA also 
emphasizes that the information being requested is ``anticipated'' 
information, not ``exact'' or ``specific'' information as the comment 
incorrectly describes.
    (Final rule) FDA and CBP have determined that for the purposes of 
communication, the identity of the border crossing within the port of 
arrival is no longer necessary. Therefore, that information is not 
required in the final rule. The final rule requires in Sec.  
1.281(a)(11) the anticipated arrival information, including the 
anticipated port of arrival, the anticipated date on which the article 
of food will arrive at the anticipated port of arrival, and the 
anticipated time of that arrival. If the article of food is arriving by 
express consignment operator or carrier, and neither the submitter nor 
transmitter is the express consignment operator or carrier, and the 
prior notice is submitted via PNSI, the express consignment operator or 
carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the anticipated 
arrival information. This revision is being made because anticipated 
arrival

[[Page 66357]]

information is often not available to people who ship food using an 
express consignment operator or courier (see also the discussion in 
section III.E of this document describing the shipper as it relates to 
who is authorized to submit prior notice). For food that has been 
refused under section 801(m) of the act, Sec.  1.281(c)(11) of the 
final rule requires the port of arrival. We revised this provision in 
the final rule to require the actual date on which the article of food 
arrived at the port of arrival. This information is important for 
shipments where no previous prior notice was filed so that FDA knows 
how long it has been since the refused food shipment arrived in the 
United States. For shipments where a previously refused prior notice 
was filed, the actual arrival date will help FDA to connect the refused 
prior notice to the post-refusal prior notice submission. Anticipated 
arrival information is not required for food arriving by international 
mail.
13. The Importer, Owner, Ultimate Consignee, and U.S. Recipient
    In Sec.  1.281(a)(12) and (c)(12), the IFR requires the name and 
address of the importer. In Sec.  1.281(a)(13) and (c)(13), the IFR 
requires the name and address of the owner if different from the 
importer or ultimate consignee. In Sec.  1.281(a)(14) and (c)(14), the 
IFR requires the name and address of the ultimate consignee. However, 
the identity of the importer, owner, and ultimate consignee are not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a T&E entry.
    The identity of the importer, owner, or ultimate consignee is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
via international mail. Instead, Sec.  1.281(b)(11) of the IFR requires 
the name and address of the U.S. recipient.
    a. Importer. (Comments) There were no comments received on this 
issue.
    (Final rule) The final rule in Sec.  1.281(a)(12) and (c)(12) 
requires the name and full address of the importer. FDA continues to 
require the identity of the importer so that FDA can take steps to 
ensure that food refused admission under section 801(m) of the act is 
not delivered to the importer illegally. FDA is inserting the word 
``full'' in front of ``address'' in the final rule to make clear that 
the complete address is required. Consequently, FDA also is revising 
the subsequent sentence of this paragraph to state that if the business 
address of the importer is a registered facility, then the facility's 
registration number also may be provided in addition to the facility's 
full address. Providing the registration number will facilitate FDA's 
review. The identity of the importer is not required for an article of 
food that is imported or offered for import for transshipment through 
the United States under a T&E entry.
    b. Owner. (Comments) One comment asks that FDA clarify what it 
means by owner and provide examples.
    (Response) In the preamble to the IFR, in response to a comment, we 
explained that the ``owner'' is the entity who owns the article of food 
at the time of arrival (68 FR 58974 at 59011). However, if a prior 
notice is given after the article is refused under section 801(m)(1) of 
the act, then the owner is the entity who owns the article of food at 
the time the prior notice is submitted (Id.).
    (Final rule) The final rule in Sec.  1.281(a)(13) and (c)(13) 
requires the name and full address of the owner if different from the 
importer or ultimate consignee. FDA is continuing to require the 
identity of the owner so that FDA can take steps to ensure that food 
refused admission under section 801(m) of the act is not delivered to 
the owner illegally. FDA is inserting the word ``full'' in front of 
``address'' in the final rule to make clear that the complete address 
is required. Consequently, FDA is revising the subsequent sentence to 
state that if the business address of the owner is a registered 
facility, then the facility's registration number may be provided in 
addition to the owner's full address. The identity of the owner is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a T&E entry.
    c. Ultimate consignee. (Comments) One comment states that the 
ultimate consignee, as defined by CBP (Customs Directive No. 3550-
079A), is not necessarily the party to whom the merchandise is 
delivered and asks who is the ultimate consignee for purposes of this 
rule. Another comment notes that there are a number of manufacturers in 
Canada who ship their product to public warehouses in the United States 
to have product available on a just-in-time basis for their customers. 
The comment states that at the time the product crosses the border, it 
is still the property of the manufacturer and it does not have a 
specific customer (consignee) in the United States other than the 
manufacturer because the consignee is still to be determined. The 
comment asks for guidance as to how to comply and fill out the prior 
notice for these types of shipments.
    (Response) FDA intends to interpret the ``ultimate consignee'' 
consistent with CBP's use of that term in regards to the entry of 
merchandise. In a case where a customer or consignee has not been 
identified, as described in the previous comment, the public storage 
warehouse where the merchandise will be delivered and stored should be 
identified as the ultimate consignee in the prior notice submission.
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(14) and (c)(14) of the final rule 
requires the name and full address of the ultimate consignee. FDA is 
continuing to require the identity of the ultimate consignee so that 
FDA can take steps to ensure that food refused admission under section 
801(m) of the act is not delivered to the ultimate consignee illegally. 
FDA is inserting the word ``full'' in front of ``address'' in the final 
rule to make clear that the complete address is required. Consequently, 
FDA is revising the subsequent sentence to state that if the business 
address of the ultimate consignee is a registered facility, then the 
facility's registration number also may be provided in addition to the 
facility's full address. The identity of the ultimate consignee is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a T&E entry.
    d. U.S. recipient. (Comments) There were no comments received on 
this issue.
    (Final rule) The identity of the importer, owner, or ultimate 
consignee is not required for an article of food that is imported or 
offered for import via international mail. Instead, the final rule 
requires in Sec.  1.281(b)(11) the name and address of the U.S. 
recipient. FDA is continuing to require the identity of the U.S. 
recipient so that FDA can take steps to ensure that food refused 
admission under section 801(m) of the act is not delivered to the U.S. 
recipient illegally.
14. Mode of Transportation
    Section 1.281(a)(15) and (c)(15) of the IFR requires submission of 
the identity of the mode of transportation.
    (Comments) There were no comments received on this issue.
    (Final rule) The final rule retains without change the provisions 
in Sec.  1.281(a)(15) and (c)(15) of the IFR. The mode of 
transportation data element is necessary to calculate whether prior 
notice is timely, as well as for identification of the article of food 
at the time of arrival for the purposes of planning examinations and 
communicating with CBP for enforcement and examination.

[[Page 66358]]

15. Carrier
    Section 1.281(a)(16) and (c)(16) of the IFR requires the SCAC or 
IATA code of the carrier which is, or will be, carrying the article of 
food from the country from which the article is shipped to the United 
States, or if codes are not applicable, then the name and country of 
the carrier.
    (Comments) Several comments ask for clarification of identification 
of the carrier and provide examples of when the article of food is 
transferred from one carrier to another both prior to arrival in the 
United States and after arrival in the United States.
    (Response) In the prior notice proposed rule, we had proposed to 
require the identity of each carrier or transporter firm that 
transports the article of food from the country from which the article 
was shipped into the United States. We agree with the comments we 
received to the proposed rule that asked FDA to eliminate the 
requirement to identify multiple carriers, and revised the proposed 
provisions to require in the IFR the submission of the identity of the 
carrier that is or will be carrying the article of food from the 
country from which the article is shipped to the United States. In 
doing so, FDA acknowledged the suggestion that the only pertinent 
carrier is the one arriving at the U.S. port. The final rule clarifies 
that the carrier is the carrier which is, or will be, carrying the 
article of food from the country from which the article is shipped to 
the United States to the port of arrival.
    (Final rule) FDA and CBP have determined that identity of the 
country of the carrier is not necessary when the SCAC or IATA codes are 
not provided; the name alone of the carrier is sufficient for 
communication between the two agencies. However, FDA and CBP have 
determined that the license plate number of a privately owned vehicle 
as well as the State or Province that issued the license plate number 
is necessary for such communication.
    While identity of the license plate number and State or Province 
that issued the license is needed to identify the carrier of the food 
at the port of arrival, it is more properly categorized as part of the 
identity of the carrier than as part of the identity of the planned 
shipment information. Therefore, the requirement for the submission of 
the license plate number (and State or Province that issued the 
license) for food arriving by privately owned vehicle has been moved to 
Sec.  1.281(a)(16) and (c)(16). FDA has found that the identification 
of the privately owned vehicle as the carrier, when applicable, is such 
a critical factor in the identification of the article of food for 
examination and communication, that we have included this information 
in Sec.  1.281(a)(16) and (c)(16) of the final rule.
    Section 1.281(a)(16) and (c)(16) of the final rule requires the 
identity of the carrier by submission of the SCAC or IATA code of the 
carrier which is, or will be, carrying the article of food from the 
country from which the article is shipped to the United States to the 
port of arrival, or if these codes are not applicable, then the name of 
the carrier. If the carrier is a privately owned vehicle, the final 
rule requires the submission of the license plate number of the vehicle 
and the State or Province that issued the license plate number. 
Identification of the carrier is not required for an article of food 
that is imported or offered for import via international mail.
    Identification of the carrier is necessary to enable FDA and CBP to 
identify the appropriate article of food for inspection or holding when 
the food arrives in the United States. FDA notes that a carrier 
typically is a different firm than the shipper. The broker or self-
filer currently submits carrier information to ABI/ACS when entry is 
made, and it later is transmitted to OASIS.
16. Planned Shipment Information
    In Sec.  1.281(a)(17) and (c)(17), the IFR requires submission of 
planned shipment information as it exists when the prior notice is 
submitted. FDA recognized that some of this information may change 
after the prior notice has been submitted and addressed this in the IFR 
in Sec.  1.282(a), which specifies when changes require resubmission to 
FDA.
    Many comments addressed the planned shipment information. These 
comments are discussed in order of appearance of the specific data 
elements in the IFR and preceded by a discussion of general comments.
    a. General comments. (Comments) One comment suggests that a 
complete list of ABI mandatory and optional data elements be 
immediately published via the CBP Administrative Message system. The 
comment asserted that some planned shipment information, such as the 
vessel carrier flag, is not necessary when the carrier code is 
submitted.
    (Response) The ``vessel carrier flag'' is not part of the planned 
shipment information. For food arriving by ocean vessel, the vessel 
name and voyage number are part of the planned shipment information. 
The preamble to the final rule contains a table of information required 
at the end of this section (table 2 of this document). Each information 
requirement listed in the table 2 of this document is annotated to 
indicate when that information is required.
    (Comments) One comment suggests an additional requirement for 
planned shipment information. The comment suggests that a number 
assigned through CBP's PAPS be required and that the PAPS number could 
be added after the prior notice is submitted, but before the truck 
arrives at the border. The comment asserts that this amendment of a 
confirmed prior notice, would greatly decrease a truck's waiting time 
at the border and aid in quickly clearing trucks through CBP.
    (Response) PAPS is a CBP border cargo release mechanism that 
utilizes barcode technology to expedite the release of commercial 
shipments. FDA at this time has no plans to utilize PAPS in reviewing 
prior notices or otherwise administering the prior notice program, and 
therefore, FDA is not adding the PAPS number as an additional data 
element.
    (Comments) One comment requests clarification as to whether the 
additional requirement for planned shipment information, as applicable 
(carrier, vessel name, voyage flight numbers and bill of lading 
number), will require a resubmission of prior notice when those details 
change due to transportation arrangements outside of the control of the 
supplier.
    (Response) When we issued the IFR, we recognized that some of this 
information may change after the prior notice has been submitted, and 
addressed this in Sec.  1.282(a) of the IFR, which specifies when 
changes require resubmission to FDA. If planned shipment information 
required in Sec.  1.281(a)(17) changes after you receive notice that 
FDA has confirmed your prior notice submission for review, you are not 
required by the IFR to resubmit prior notice. The final rule retains 
this provision.
    b. Airway bill number(s) and bill of lading number(s)--Sec.  
1.281(a)(17)(i) and (c)(17)(i). (Comments) One comment stated that FDA 
should simplify the data requirements and make the requirements more 
manageable. The comment states that one data element should link all 
information secured by prior notice, which would be beneficial for 
locating shipments in the event of a possible crisis. The comment 
suggests that the waybill/bill of lading number be utilized as a single 
reference point because all shipments that are moved are repeatedly 
covered by this number.

[[Page 66359]]

    (Response) FDA does not agree that the waybill/Bill of Lading can 
be used as a single reference point for all shipments instead of the 
prior notice confirmation number. A Bill of Lading number is not always 
assigned to a shipment at the time of prior notice submission. For 
certain shipments, such as those sent by international mail, no Bill of 
Lading may exist. Thus, FDA has determined that it is better to use a 
unique confirmation number provided by the FDA system to transmitters.
    (Final rule) The Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s) 
have been valuable information for identification, examination and 
communication; however, this information is generally not available to 
an individual submitter of an article of food that is arriving via 
express consignment operator or carrier. The express consignment 
operator or carrier tracking number is available to those individuals 
who send an article of food via express courier. Therefore, we have 
amended the final rule to allow the submission of the express 
consignment operator or carrier tracking number in lieu of the Airway 
Bill or Bill of Lading numbers when the article of food is arriving by 
express consignment operator or carrier and the submitter is not the 
express consignment operator or carrier.
    Section 1.281(a)(17)(i) and (c)(17)(i) of the final rule requires 
submission of the Bill of Lading number(s) or the Airway Bill 
number(s), as applicable to the mode of transportation and when it 
exists. This information is not required for an article of food that is 
imported or offered for import via international mail or when carried 
by or otherwise accompanying an individual when entering the United 
States. For food arriving by express consignment operator or carrier 
when the submitter is not the express consignment operator or carrier, 
the tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the Bill of Lading or 
Airway Bill number.
    c. Vessel name and voyage number--Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(ii) and 
(c)(17)(ii). (Comments) One comment asks the purpose of this 
requirement because the vessel name and voyage number are provided to 
other U.S. agencies, such as CBP and U.S. Coast Guard, at an even 
earlier stage than required for the prior notice.
    (Response) The planned shipment information is necessary to ensure 
the effective enforcement of section 801(m) of the act. Submission of 
the vessel name and voyage number in prior notice associates that 
information with the article of food and enables FDA to effectively 
communicate with CBP regarding examination of that article of food 
prior to arrival of that food. It is one of the means that FDA and CBP 
use to match the prior notice review to the food when it arrives at the 
port; e.g., what conveyance is carrying the article of food. The final 
rule will continue to require the vessel name and voyage number for 
food arriving by ocean vessel. As we discussed in the preamble to the 
IFR, while we are dedicated to increasing information sharing 
capabilities with other agencies, it is generally difficult to have the 
required information readily accessible if we need to coordinate with 
other agencies or governments to obtain from them the information 
necessary to respond to bioterrorism incidents or other food-related 
emergencies (68 FR 58974 at 58992).
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(17)(ii) and (c)(17)(ii) of the final 
rule requires submission of the vessel name and voyage number for food 
arriving by ocean vessel, when they exist.
    d. Flight number--Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(iii) and (c)(17)(iii). 
(Comments) There were no comments received on this issue.
    (Final rule) The final rule requires the flight number for food 
arriving by air carrier. The flight number has been valuable 
information for identification, examination and communication; however, 
this information is generally not available to an individual submitter 
of an article of food that is arriving via express consignment operator 
or carrier. The express consignment operator or carrier tracking number 
is available to those individuals who send an article of food via 
express consignment operator or carrier. Therefore, Sec.  
1.281(a)(17)(iii) and (c)(17)(iii) of the IFR have been amended to 
allow the submission of the express consignment operator or carrier 
tracking number in lieu of the flight number when the article of food 
is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier and the 
submitter is not the express consignment operator or carrier.
    e. Trip number--Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(iv) and (c)(17)(iv). (Comments) 
Several comments request clarification of the definition of trip 
numbers. One comment reasons that the load tender numbers or manifest 
numbers should be used as trip numbers for food arriving by truck 
because loads are tendered to carriers with these numbers, and the 
carrier uses the numbers for billing reference. Another comment reasons 
that trip number appears to refer to a number that relates to the 
particular trip or journey rather than the vehicle. Another comment 
asserts that the trip number should identify the conveyance, everything 
onboard a trailer or container entering the United States. One comment 
recommends elimination of the mandatory requirement for trip number.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Land carriers use the ``Trip'' number to 
signify a train number, bus route number, and/or a truck route number. 
This number normally designates a repetitive route between two 
locations (e.g., Washington, DC to New York, NY) and may signify the 
specific truck, bus, or train route (e.g., Train  138 or Bus 
 4411). This information is necessary for communication 
between FDA and CBP, and thus, the final rule continues to require a 
trip number for food arriving by truck, bus, or rail.
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(17)(iv) and (c)(17)(iv) of the final 
rule requires submission of the trip number for food arriving by truck, 
bus, or rail, as applicable to the mode of transportation and when it 
exists. This information is not required for an article of food that is 
imported or offered for import via international mail.
    f. Container number(s)--Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(v) and (c)(17)(v). 
(Comments) One comment suggests that FDA should allow for multiple 
container submissions on one prior notice.
    (Response) Multiple container numbers can be submitted for one 
prior notice on screen via PNSI submission or through use of multiple 
qualifiers for the Affirmation of Compliance code for container number 
via ABI/ACS submission.
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(17)(v) and (c)(17)(v) of the final 
rule requires the identification of container numbers for food arriving 
as containerized cargo by water, air, or land, as applicable to the 
mode of transportation and when it exists. This information is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
via international mail or when carried by or otherwise accompanying an 
individual when entering the United States.
    g. Car number--Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(vi) and (c)(17)(vi). (Comments) 
No comments were received on this issue.
    (Final rule) The final rule retains the provisions of the IFR and 
requires submission of the identity of the car number for food arriving 
by rail, when it exists. This information is not required for an 
article of food that is imported or offered for import via 
international mail or when carried by or otherwise accompanying an 
individual when entering the United States.
    h. License plate number and State or Province--Sec.  
1.281(a)(17)(vii) and (c)(17)(vii). (Comments) No comments were 
received on this issue.

[[Page 66360]]

    (Final rule) FDA has determined that while identity of the license 
plate number and State or Province that issued the license is needed to 
identify the carrier of the food at the port of arrival, it is more 
properly categorized as part of the identity of the carrier than as 
part of the identity of the planned shipment information. Therefore, 
the requirement for the submission of the license plate number (and 
State or Province that issued the license) for food arriving by 
privately owned vehicle has been moved to Sec.  1.281(a)(16) and 
(c)(16). The final rule requires the submission of the license plate 
number of the vehicle and the State or Province that issued the license 
plate number, if the carrier is a privately owned vehicle. By including 
the identification of the privately owned vehicle as a carrier 
information requirement, when applicable, you must resubmit the prior 
notice in accordance with this subpart (see Sec.  1.282) if the 
privately owned vehicle information changes after the prior notice has 
been confirmed by FDA for review. Identification of the license plate 
number and State or Province that issued the license is not required 
for an article of food that is imported or offered for import via 
international mail.
    i. Harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) codes--Sec.  1.281(a)(17)(viii) 
and (c)(17)(viii). (Comments) One comment suggests the use of the HTS 
codes in lieu of FDA product codes and asserts that the HTS codes 
provide all the information that the FDA would need for prior notice.
    (Response) The HTS codes often are not sufficient to specifically 
identify a product for FDA decisionmaking. For example, in many cases, 
the tariff code does not describe how the product was processed (e.g., 
commercially sterile or shelf-stable) or how the product is packaged, 
which is indicated in the Process Indicator Code (PIC) element of FDA's 
product code. Several products that FDA considers different from each 
other (because these differences affect the potential safety of the 
food) may be combined under one HTS code. Therefore, the HTS codes do 
not provide all the information that is required to identify the food.
    Additionally, at the time that FDA and CBP issued the IFR, we 
believed that the HTS code was needed for communication between FDA and 
CBP and that the identification of the HTS would assist CBP in the 
efficient processing of prior notice through ACS. We also thought that, 
for prior notices submitted through the FDA's PNSI, the HTS numbers 
were needed to ensure that the data collected from the CBP entry when 
it is transmitted through ABI/ACS could be matched to prior notice. We 
have found that the HTS code is neither critical for communication with 
CBP nor for identification of the food for examination purposes. 
Accordingly, we have removed the requirement to submit the HTS code as 
a part of prior notice planned shipment information.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA and CBP upgrade the flags 
associated with HTS numbers. The comment also states that prior notice 
cannot be submitted through ABI/ACS if the HTS code does not have a FDA 
flag. One comment states that FDA should not rely solely upon HTS flags 
to implement the prior notice requirements.
    (Response) FDA agrees and monitors and updates the HTS flags. 
Guidance about the HTS flags is posted at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
~dms/htsguid3.html. Prior notice can be submitted on any product 
because of intended use, regardless of the HTS flag. Not having a FDA 
flag associated with the HTS code does not prevent submission of prior 
notice via ABI/ACS or PNSI.
    (Final rule) Section 1.281(a)(17) and (c)(17) of the final rule 
requires submission of the following planned shipment information, as 
applicable, based on the mode of transportation:
     Bill of lading number(s), Airway bill number(s), or 
express consignment operator or carrier tracking number when the 
article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier 
and the submitter is not the express consignment operator or carrier 
(not applicable to food carried by or otherwise accompanying an 
individual);
     For food arriving by ocean vessel, vessel name and voyage 
number;
     For food arriving by air carrier, flight number or the 
express consignment operator or carrier tracking number when the 
article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier 
and the submitter is not the express operator or carrier;
     For food arriving by truck, bus, or rail, the trip number;
     For food arriving as containerized cargo by water, air, or 
land, the container number(s) (not applicable to food carried by or 
otherwise accompanying an individual); and
     For food arriving by rail, car number (not applicable to 
food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual).
    We also added the phrase ``to the mode of transportation and when 
it exists'' after ``as applicable'' in the opening sentence of Sec.  
1.281(a)(17) and (c)(17) to clarify that the data elements under 
planned shipment information are applicable by mode of transportation 
and when the data element exists. For example, rail car number, 
container number, and train trip number may be applicable for rail 
shipments, and vessel name, voyage number, and container number may be 
applicable for food arriving by ocean vessel.
    The final rule does not require that prior notice be cancelled and 
resubmitted if this planned shipment information changes after FDA has 
confirmed the prior notice for review. A prior notice will not be 
inadequate if any of the planned shipment information changes between 
the confirmation of prior notice and the time of arrival.
    j. Refused articles. (Comments) One comment requests clarification 
of the process for resubmission if a prior notice is refused for 
reasons other than failure to satisfy prior notice requirements. The 
comment asks once the failure is rectified, should companies use the 
PNSI or ABI/ACS to resubmit the load for clearance?
    (Response) A food may be refused under 801(m) of the act only if it 
is imported or offered for import with inadequate prior notice; i.e., 
no prior notice, untimely prior notice, or inaccurate prior notice. To 
resolve a refusal, prior notice or a revised prior notice must be 
submitted via PNSI until such time as ACS or its successor system can 
accommodate such transactions.
    The following table 2 summarizes the information required under 
Sec.  1.281(a), (b), and (c):

[[Page 66361]]



                             Table 2.--Prior Notice Information Required by Category
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Information      Transshipment     Carried By or    Food Not in      Food in          Mail      After Section
------------------------------------ Accompanying an  Natural State  Natural State --------------- 801(m) of the
                                        Individual   ------------------------------                 Act Refusal
  Sec.   1.281                      -----------------
  paragraph(s)       (a) and (c)                           (a)            (a)            (b)      --------------
                                           (a)                                                          (c)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Submitter         Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Transmitter       Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Entry type        Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Entry identifier  Y                  Y                Y              Y              N              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FDA product code  Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Common, usual,    Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
 or market name
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Estimated         Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Actual
 quantity
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lot/Code 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Manufacturer      Y                  Y                Y              N              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grower, if known  Y                  Y                N              Y              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Country of        Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
 production
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shipper           Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Country from      Y                  Y                Y              Y              Y              Y
 which article
 is shipped
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Port of arrival   Anticipated\1\     Anticipated\1\   Anticipated\1  Anticipated\1  N              Actual\1\
                                                       \              \
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date of arrival   Anticipated\1\     Anticipated\1\   Anticipated\1  Anticipated\1  N              Actual
                                                       \              \
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Time of arrival   Anticipated\1\     Anticipated\1\   Anticipated\1  Anticipated\1  N              N
                                                       \              \
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date of mailing   N                  N                N              N              Anticipated    N
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Importer          N                  Y                Y              Y              N              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Owner             N                  Y                Y              Y              N              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ultimate          N                  Y                Y              Y              N              Y
 consignee
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. recipient    N                  N                N              N              Y              N
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mode of           Y                  Y                Y              Y              N              Y
 transport
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Carrier           Y                  Y                Y              Y              N              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill of lading/   Planned\1\         N                Planned\1\     Planned\1\     N              Actual\1\
 airbill
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vessel/Voyage     Planned            Planned          Planned        Planned        N              Actual
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flight   Planned\1\         Planned\1\       Planned\1\     Planned\1\     N              Actual\1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trip     Planned            Planned          Planned        Planned        N              Actual
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Container 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Car      Planned            N                Planned        Planned        N              Actual
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hold information  N                  N                N              N              N              Y
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ If the article of food is arriving by express consignment carrier or operator, and the submitter and/or
  transmitter is not the express consignment operator or carrier, and the prior notice is submitted via the FDA
  PNSI, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of this
  information.


[[Page 66362]]

I. What Must You Do If Information Changes After You Have Received 
Confirmation of a Prior Notice From FDA? (Sec.  1.282)

    In Sec.  1.282 (a)(1) of the IFR, if any of the information 
required in Sec.  1.281(a) except the quantity information, the 
anticipated arrival information, or the planned shipment information, 
changes after FDA has confirmed the prior notice submission for review, 
you must resubmit prior notice. For food arriving by international 
mail, if any of the information required in Sec.  1.281(b), except the 
anticipated date of mailing, changes after FDA has confirmed the prior 
notice submission for review, you must resubmit prior notice.
    The IFR also states that the original prior notice should be 
cancelled in PNSI or if originally submitted via ABI/ACS, the entry 
should be deleted.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA revisit the concepts 
outlined in Sec. Sec.  1.289 through 1.294 of the proposed rule, which 
allowed amendments to be made to product identity, estimated quantity, 
and arrival information, without having to cancel the entry and 
resubmit the prior notice under a new entry. The comments contend that 
such amendments were acceptable and would not taint the adequacy of a 
prior notice or compromise food security, if the amendments are made 
within the applicable 2-, 4-, or 8-hour timeframes per mode of 
transportation at issue. The comments suggest that amendments allow for 
a degree of flexibility in the prior notice system and acknowledge a 
well-known fact in the industry that this type of information may 
change after prior notice has been submitted. Some comments suggest 
that allowing the submitter or filer to update or correct information 
provided in a prior notice will facilitate the steady flow of prior 
notice submissions, without jeopardizing the security and safety of the 
food supply.
    (Response) Unlike the proposed rule, the IFR does not allow for 
amendments relating to the product identity. After considering the 
comments on whether the final rule should allow amendments, and based 
on our experience with the IFR, we believe the approach in the IFR is 
sound. The reduced timeframes in the IFR, which are continued in the 
final rule, provide very little leeway in the time FDA has to receive, 
review, and respond to the prior notice submissions. Moreover, the 
timeframes are based, in part, on not receiving amendments because 
allowing amendments would increase the review time. In addition, ACS 
cannot accommodate changes in prior notice submissions that have been 
confirmed by FDA for review because CBP also needs finality so it can 
complete its own screening of the entry. Therefore, to keep the 
timeframes as short as possible, we are not permitting changes to prior 
notice without restarting the clock.
    Moreover, we believe that the prior notice information required by 
the final rule should be sufficiently fixed to be submitted within the 
timeframes. The final rule allows for estimates for some information--
estimated quantity, anticipated arrival information, and planned 
shipment information--and changes to any of these data elements does 
not require that the prior notice be resubmitted.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA create a mechanism to 
allow correction of errors in a manner that does not restart the prior 
notice clock. One comment requests the final rule provide for 
correction of errors within the timeframe of the 2-, 4-, or 8-hour 
deadline. The comments suggest that a streamlined process, possibly 
through electronic means, of making clerical corrections or correcting 
errors in timely filed prior notice should be a permanent feature of 
the integrated FDA-CBP process. Some comments contend that without the 
opportunity to correct the error post-submission, shippers may find 
their shipments frozen in an extended period of delay, which would 
frustrate the purpose of the FDA-CBP Integration Plan that is aimed at 
reducing such timeframes. Comments also suggest this would create an 
unintended legislative loop between the two regulatory frameworks meant 
by the Integration Plan to be seamlessly and efficiently integrated.
    Some comments object to the IFR's requirements because after the 
CBP entry or entry summary has been certified, there currently is no 
mechanism for making corrections, including corrections of simple 
clerical errors, without canceling the entry and submitting a new 
entry. Comments state that the requirement to cancel and resubmit a 
prior notice when submitted information changes or to correct a 
clerical error creates additional work in an already overburdened 
environment. According to the comments, in the air and truck 
environment where cargo is processed on weekends and at off-hour 
operations, CBP is unavailable to process these entry cancellations. 
The comments state that in such circumstances, cargo could be forced 
into refused status due to CBP's inability to act in a timely manner.
    Similarly, other comments state that many imported articles of food 
are time sensitive and must be shipped in a temperature controlled 
environment. The comments note that clerical errors in the prior notice 
may not be corrected, and if an error is discovered after a CBP entry 
is certified, the entry must be cancelled. According to the comments, 
if CBP is not available to cancel the entry (e.g., the shipment arrives 
over the weekend), the delay may cause the shipment to be destroyed. 
The comments request that FDA and CBP find a way to address this 
problem, either by allowing clerical revisions after the entry has been 
certified, permitting entry deletions under certain circumstances, or 
ensuring CBP availability on a 24 hours/7 days a week/365 days a year 
schedule.
    (Response) Because we reduced the timeframes for submitting prior 
notice in the IFR to the least amount of time that we need to meet our 
statutory responsibility to receive, review, and respond to prior 
notice submissions, the IFR did not provide for amendments or updates. 
The timeframes in the final rule also provide the least amount of time 
we need to receive, review and respond to prior notice submissions and 
therefore, the final rule also does not provide for amendments or 
updates. The use of ABI/ACS precludes amendments and updates without 
substantial and costly revisions to the system; such technical changes 
are not cost-effective or a good use of limited resources given the 
development of the Automated Commercial Environment, which will replace 
ACS. Changes to ABI/ACS submissions that have been electronically 
transmitted to FDA's OASIS and confirmed by FDA for review are not 
feasible because CBP also needs finality so it can complete its own 
screening of the entry.
    Changes to confirmed prior notice submissions, other than those 
relating to estimated quantity, anticipated arrival information, and 
planned shipment information, must be processed by resubmission of 
prior notice unless the article of food will not be offered for import 
or imported into the United States. The responsibility is on submitters 
to provide accurate prior notice to FDA, and we encourage affected 
parties to take appropriate measures to verify entries for accuracy 
before sending. FDA notes that both ABI and PNSI systems allow for 
correction of errors that are revealed by the systems' validation 
process. In PNSI, a PN confirmation number will not be provided if it 
detects errors in the submitted data.
    Moreover, FDA notes that if CBP is unavailable to cancel a prior 
notice, submitters can create and submit new

[[Page 66363]]

replacement entries and prior notices using either ABI or a combination 
of ABI and PNSI even when the original entry has not yet been 
cancelled. However, the submitter should cancel the previously 
submitted inaccurate ABI entry (via request to CBP) at the first chance 
possible to avoid subsequent administrative and operational problems 
with entry release. This is a revision to the IFR in that Sec.  
1.282(c) of the final rule uses the correct term ``cancel'' versus 
``delete'' when describing what CBP should be requested to do in this 
case. When an entry is ``deleted'' versus ``cancelled'' in ABI, the 
filer is able to re-use the original entry number. However, PNSI will 
reject a prior notice submission that attempts to re-use a previous 
entry number. Therefore, we revised the final rule to provide for 
cancellation of the entry, rather than deletion of an entry.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA and CBP develop a process 
for reviewing amendments that do not affect the security of the cargo 
in less than the full eight hours, so that the shipments' release from 
the port is not delayed unduly.
    (Response) The requirements for amendments set forth in the 
proposed rule were eliminated from the IFR. This final rule provides 
that if required information (except estimated quantity, anticipated 
arrival information, including the anticipated date of mailing, and 
planned shipment information) changes after FDA has confirmed prior 
notice for review, the prior notice should be cancelled and a prior 
notice with the correct information must be submitted. The reduced 
timeframes in the IFR, which are continued in the final rule, provide 
very little leeway in the time FDA has to receive, review, and respond 
to the prior notice submissions. Moreover, the timeframes are based, in 
part, on not receiving amendments because allowing amendments would 
increase the review time. In addition, ACS cannot accommodate changes 
in prior notice submissions that have been confirmed by FDA for review 
because CBP also needs finality so it can complete its own screening of 
the entry. Because we are maintaining the IFR timeframes in the final 
rule, it is difficult to accommodate amendments.
    (Comments) Some comments state that changes to prior notice should 
be required for material changes only. Materiality would need to be 
determined.
    (Response) We agree. The final rule requires that, if certain 
required information changes after FDA has confirmed prior notice for 
review, the prior notice should be cancelled and a prior notice with 
the correct information must be submitted. Changes to other information 
(i.e., estimated quantity, anticipated arrival information, and planned 
shipment information) do not require the submitter to re-submit a 
revised prior notice.
    (Comments) Some comments suggest that entry deletions, rather than 
cancellations, should be permitted for legitimate reasons.
    (Response) FDA believes the comment misunderstands Sec.  1.282(c) 
of the IFR because that provision states, ``If you submitted the prior 
notice via ABI/ACS, you should cancel the prior notice via ACS by 
requesting that CBP delete the entry'' (emphasis added). However, the 
final rule now recommends that if you cancelled a prior notice 
submitted via ABI/ACS, you should cancel the prior notice via ACS by 
requesting that CBP cancel, rather than delete, the entry (Sec.  
1.282(c)). When an entry is ``deleted'' versus ``cancelled'' in ABI, 
the filer is able to re-use the original entry number. However, PNSI 
will reject a prior notice submission that attempts to re-use a 
previous entry number. Therefore, we revised the final rule to provide 
for cancellation of the entry, rather than deletion of an entry.
    (Comments) One comment requested clarification regarding whether 
the additional requirement for planned shipment information as 
applicable (carrier, vessel name, voyage flight numbers, and bill of 
lading number) will necessitate a resubmission when those details 
change due to transportation arrangements outside the control of the 
supplier.
    (Response) No. The final rule does not require resubmission of 
prior notice if the planned shipment information changes after prior 
notice has been submitted and confirmed for review by FDA.
    (Comments) One comment notes that part of the process of completing 
a prior notice is to obtain a CBP entry number, which many firms use a 
customs broker to do. The comment states that this works well in most 
cases, but can create problems for products arriving by boat. The 
comment further states that of all the modes of transportation, boats 
are the most unpredictable and can arrive earlier or later than 
expected. Early arrivals pose a problem because of the 8 hour notice 
period and the relatively short timeframe in which a company learns of 
an impending early arrival. Given the fact that customs brokers may not 
work a 24-hour, 7-day per week schedule, prior notice shipments that 
arrive on the weekend, holiday, or after normal business hours will be 
filed late and could be subject to civil penalties. The comment 
recommends that the prior notice system allow custom entry numbers to 
be updated after the customs entry has been filed by the customs 
brokers and that any penalty considerations be deferred under these 
circumstances.
    (Response) The type of updates recommended by this comment is not 
necessary because prior notice can be submitted without a customs entry 
number. In the situation described, where prior notice must be 
submitted before entry can be filed, prior notice may be submitted 
using PNSI without a CBP entry identifier (e.g., a CBP entry number). 
PNSI will provide a system-generated entry identifier. Once a customs 
broker is secured during normal business hours to file the entry, the 
prior notice confirmation number(s) can be given to the broker who can 
affiliate the prior notice(s) to the customs entry via the ABI 
submission.
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on what happens to 
the food if the information relating to product identity, estimated 
quantity, or anticipated arrival changes after prior notice is 
submitted.
    (Response) The final rule requires that if required information 
(except estimated quantity, anticipated arrival information, including 
the anticipated date of mailing, and planned shipment information) 
changes after FDA has confirmed prior notice for review, the prior 
notice must be resubmitted. As we explained in the preamble to the IFR, 
``FDA proposed to allow changes to certain information in the prior 
notice after a prior notice was submitted. * * *. Some comments stated 
that if the timeframe for submitting prior notice was changed, i.e., 
shortened to 4 hours for land and air and 8 hours for water, then 
amendments and updates would not be necessary. * * * FDA agrees with 
the comments that state that if the deadline for submission of prior 
notice were reduced, amendments and updates would not be necessary. FDA 
has chosen timeframes that provide it with very little leeway in the 
time it has to `receive, review and respond' to the prior notice 
submissions. Thus, we concluded that we could no longer permit changes 
to prior notice without restarting the clock. In addition, the use of 
ABI/ACS precludes amendments and updates: changes to ABI/ACS 
submissions that have been electronically transmitted to FDA's OASIS 
and confirmed by FDA for review are not feasible because CBP also needs 
finality so it can complete its own screening of the entry. Therefore, 
the interim final rule does not allow for

[[Page 66364]]

changes to a prior notice after the transmitter has been notified that 
FDA has confirmed the prior notice for review.'' (68 FR 58974 at 59013 
and 59014)
    We retain this view and therefore, changes in product identity 
require resubmission of a prior notice with the correct information. We 
do not require resubmission of a prior notice if the estimated 
quantity, anticipated arrival information, including the anticipated 
date of mailing, and planned shipment information changes, because 
these data elements are not firm in the first place. Moreover, such 
changes would not alter FDA's ability to review the prior notice or to 
examine the food.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA maintain the flexibility, 
as provided by the IFR, to provide anticipated port arrival information 
for date and time of arrival and point of crossing. The comments state 
that this flexibility is critical for minimizing trade disruption and 
note that times of arrival and entry locations often change and 
importers need the flexibility to accommodate these unanticipated 
changes without refiling entry information.
    (Response) Section 1.281(a)(11), which requires anticipated arrival 
information, has been revised in the final rule. The requirement to 
provide the identity of the border crossing within the anticipated port 
of arrival has been eliminated in the final rule. As with the IFR, in 
the final rule, changes in anticipated port of arrival, anticipated 
date of arrival, and anticipated time of arrival do not require 
cancellation and resubmission of the prior notice.
    (Comments) Some comments suggest that the requirement that all 
prior notice data be transmitted via the PNSI portal after the prior 
notice time limitations or refusal will increase the load on this 
limited system. The comments state that the PNSI system capacity must 
be dramatically increased before the August 2004 full enforcement 
deadline in order to ensure that legitimate trade is not impacted due 
to a failure of the system.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that post-refusal prior notice 
submissions have or will impact or overload PNSI. PNSI has operated 
effectively since the IFR took effect and has sufficient capacity for 
any increase in submissions after the effective date of this final 
rule. FDA has carefully monitored both PNSI and OASIS system usage and 
performance. No issues related to load on PNSI have been identified 
since the IFR took effect. Until such time as ACS or its successor 
system can accommodate such transactions, post-refusal prior notice 
must be submitted via PNSI (see Sec.  1.280(a)(2)).
    (Final Rule) Section 1.282 of the final rule requires that if 
required information (except estimated quantity, anticipated arrival 
information, including the anticipated date of mailing, and planned 
shipment information) changes after FDA has confirmed prior notice for 
review, the prior notice should be cancelled and a prior notice with 
the updated information must be submitted.

J. What Happens to Food That Is Imported or Offered for Import Without 
Adequate Prior Notice? (Sec.  1.283)

    The IFR in Sec.  1.283 identifies consequences and procedures for 
failure to provide adequate prior notice and describes the requirements 
and procedures for various situations.
    The comments received will be discussed below in the order each 
issue appears in Sec.  1.283 of the IFR, proceeded by comments 
generally addressing consequences.
1. General Comments
    (Comments) Some comments suggest that enforcement actions should be 
based on levels of culpability (e.g., negligent, grossly negligent, and 
fraudulent), number of infractions, and seriousness of infractions.
    (Response) FDA and CBP take various considerations, such as the 
seriousness of the violation, into account when deciding whether to 
take an enforcement action in response to violations of the prior 
notice rule and, if so, what actions to take. For areas in which we 
have established enforcement policies for prior notice, these are 
contained in, and communicated to the public through a Compliance 
Policy Guide (CPG). Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we 
are announcing the availability of the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft 
CPG, which describes our proposed enforcement policies for the final 
rule.
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on the penalties for 
inadvertent errors, such as clerical errors, in the prior notice 
submission.
    (Response) As described in the previous response, FDA and CBP take 
into account the nature of the violation in determining how to respond 
to prior notice violations. The validation process built into ABI and 
PNSI should assist in catching inadvertent errors, such as clerical 
errors, because the systems will not accept data with certain errors. 
This validation process then allows the submitter to correct errors 
before final submission of prior notice data.
    (Comments) Some comments ask if there are any measures that 
importers should undertake to avoid delays at the port of entry.
    (Response) FDA advises that most delays based on inaccurate and 
untimely submission of prior notice are avoidable and recommends that 
importers focus on measures to increase accurate and timely submissions 
of prior notice.
    (Comments) Some comments state that the ``Category 3'' refusal and 
fine provision is excessive for a shipment showing up at the border in 
advance of the 2-hour timeframe elapsing and FDA should consider 
lowering the penalty for this type of offense. Other comments request 
clarification about what will happen to trucks that arrive too early, 
i.e., will they be turned away or will they be allowed to wait in the 
compound?
    (Response) Section 1.283(a)(1)(iii) of the final rule provides that 
if an article of food arrives early (i.e., before the prior notice time 
has elapsed), its arrival will not be considered untimely if FDA 
already has reviewed the prior notice, determined its response to the 
prior notice, and advised CBP of that response. However, if FDA has not 
reviewed the prior notice submission and responded to CBP before the 
food arrives, the food is subject to refusal. As noted previously, in 
determining whether to refuse the food, assess a CBP civil monetary 
penalty, or take other regulatory action, we will take into account the 
seriousness of the violation and other considerations. Trucks arriving 
before FDA has processed the prior notice will be handled as 
appropriate under the individual circumstances.
    (Comments) Some comments state that the implementation plan for the 
prior notice rule must include a contingency plan to ensure that border 
traffic can still be cleared and does not come to a standstill as new 
systems are put in place and problems are resolved. Comments point out 
that it is essential for FDA and CBP to have appropriate mechanisms and 
procedures in place (such as referral to a secondary inspection, where 
appropriate) so that border congestion is not increased by the 
application of the rules.
    Some comments request clarification on arrangements between FDA and 
CBP, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the bridge authorities to 
address issues surrounding refusal of entry due to missing or 
incomplete prior notice information. The comments indicate that the 
relevant agencies on both sides of the border should have a plan in 
place to deal with the inevitable

[[Page 66365]]

problems posed by larger volumes of returning trucks to ensure that 
busy border crossings do not become a ``no man's'' land. Some comments 
indicate that local staff at busy border crossings, such as the Peace 
Bridge and Ambassador Bridge, have indicated that trucks will be turned 
back for missing/incomplete prior notice if secure storage cannot be 
arranged. Comments suggest that CBP could stamp a shipping document 
(such as the bill of lading) ``Refused--BTA'' or implement procedures 
that CBP had in place for refused trucks prior to the Bioterrorism Act.
    Some comments suggest that carriers should be permitted a variety 
of options when and if they are advised that one or more products 
within a shipment have been refused due to a failure to have an 
adequate prior notice. According to the comments, these options may 
include, permission to hold the cargo at the border while the proper 
information is submitted to the FDA and before mandatory notice of 
intended destination for delivery; returning the cargo to the exporting 
facility directly; holding the cargo at a designated carrier's closest 
facility; and/or holding the cargo at a designated FDA holding 
facility, not necessarily a general order bonded warehouse, near the 
port of entry.
    (Response) FDA and CBP have not experienced any major disruptions 
in border traffic as a result of the implementation of the IFR in 
December 2003. The agencies also have not made any significant 
revisions to the IFR in this final rule that cause us to believe there 
will be major disruptions in trade once the provisions in this final 
rule take effect, particularly since we are providing a 180-day period 
between publication of this rule and the effective date of its 
provisions. This period of time should allow for full understanding by 
affected parties of the requirements of the final rule.
    We also note that the automated validation process in ABI and PNSI 
will catch most missing and incomplete submissions before refusal 
because the systems will not accept submissions with certain errors or 
omissions. If refusal does occur, the carrier will have the option to 
segregate refused food from the rest of the shipment (Sec.  
1.283(a)(3)), the option to export after refusal with CBP concurrence 
(Sec.  1.283(a)(5)), and the option to have refused food held at the 
port of entry, unless directed otherwise by CBP or FDA (see Sec.  
1.283(a)(1)).
    (Comments) Some comments recommend establishing an electronic means 
to resolve the refused admission status.
    (Response) Both the IFR and the final rule provide for a response 
to an 801(m) refusal to be provided to FDA by mail, e-mail, fax, or 
courier. FDA will respond in kind, as we have not experienced any 
problems as a result of this flexibility.
2. Inadequate Prior Notice (Sec.  1.283(a)(1))
    (Comments) Several comments request that FDA notify the submitter, 
filer, importer, or ultimate consignee, either in lieu of or in 
addition to the carrier, about inadequacies in a prior notice 
submission that result in refusal of the food. The comments state that 
the carrier is not in a position to resolve the problem when the 
article of food is refused. The comments note that the carrier has 
temporary possession of the product, has minimal vested interest in the 
shipment, particularly if is offloaded, and has little, if any, 
resources or incentive to resolve the refusal. However, according to 
the comments, the exporter, importer, or ultimate consignee has an 
ownership interest in the refused food and a strong economic incentive 
to resolve the refusal swiftly, or to export or destroy the refused 
food if the prior notice defects cannot be corrected. The comments 
state that delaying notification to the submitter, importer, and 
ultimate consignee, unduly hinders the resolution of the problem.
    One comment specifies that the filer of the prior notice, who is in 
most cases the importer, supplier, owner of the merchandise, or a 
representative of one of these entities, should be notified directly, 
without any intermediate communication, so that the filer may promptly 
take corrective action and mitigate any possible adverse regulatory and 
commercial consequences. Some comments request that FDA or CBP notify 
the General Order Manager (GOM) when a shipment has been rejected or 
denied entry and also provide the rationale for that decision.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The IFR does not require FDA or CBP to 
provide notice about a refusal, and we continue to believe this is 
appropriate. As an operational matter, the carrier would have to be 
notified of the refusal. The carrier can then notify others, such as 
the entity that hired the carrier to transport the article of food, 
that there is a problem with the prior notice. It would be resource-
intensive for FDA or CBP to assume responsibility for notifying various 
other entities of the refusal. FDA notes that, although we collect the 
contact information for the submitter and transmitter, which we could 
use to contact parties about certain actions, including refusals, 
routinely notifying these and other parties about a refusal would take 
limited staff resources away from other functions, such as reviewing 
prior notices. FDA will try to notify other parties (e.g., submitter), 
in addition to the carrier, if feasible, and we often do contact these 
other parties as resources allow. FDA notes that for the future 
migration of ABI/ACS to the ITDS/ACE environment, FDA has requested the 
ability to provide electronic prior notice ``refusal'' messaging. This 
capability does not currently exist. If electronic prior notice refusal 
messaging is in place, it would significantly reduce the resources 
required to notify ITDS participants of these refusals.
    (Comments) Some comments express concern that trucking companies 
that pick up FDA-regulated freight in Canada or Mexico bound for the 
United States cannot ascertain that the importer, shipper, or customs 
broker has filed the appropriate prior notice. The comments ask what 
form of proof FDA (or other border regulatory agencies) will consider 
acceptable in order to release the motor carrier from responsibility if 
the prior notice was not filed appropriately. The comments state that 
it is not clear whether FDA will supply an official document that the 
importer, shipper, or customs broker would issue to the motor carrier 
to assure the carrier that prior notice has been filed.
    (Response) Under Sec.  1.279(d) of the final rule, FDA notifies the 
submitter when the prior notice has been confirmed for review, with a 
message containing a prior notice confirmation number. Section 1.279(g) 
of the final rule requires that the prior notice confirmation number 
must accompany any article of food for which the prior notice was 
submitted through PNSI when the article arrives in the United States 
and must be provided to CBP or FDA upon arrival. To address the concern 
in the comments, carriers may consider, as a matter of business 
practice, requesting from their customers proof of confirmation of 
prior notice submission prior to transporting the food to the United 
States, even when there is no requirement to provide the confirmation 
number to CBP or FDA upon arrival.
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on whether 
information for FDA clearance will be allowed to be transmitted via 
ABI, PNSI or either, for a shipment of food that will be entered after 
the arrival of a vessel or an aircraft. Comments ask what error message 
will be sent back to the transmitter for entry that is untimely filed, 
e.g., will the transmitter receive a refused admission

[[Page 66366]]

status or some other error message? In addition, comments ask what the 
mechanism is for communicating with the carrier on the disposition of 
the prior notice. The comment states that carriers cannot view the FDA 
``may proceed'' messages in CBP's AMS, and the ABI participant (usually 
the customs broker) is responsible for communicating freight holds to 
the various parties involved, including importers, container freight 
stations (CFS), and truckers.
    (Response) FDA clarifies that if an article of food subject to 
prior notice requirements arrives in the United States and prior notice 
has not been received for review by FDA in the timeframes prescribed in 
the final rule, the food is subject to refusal under section 801(m) of 
the act, unless FDA already reviewed the prior notice, determined its 
response, and advised CBP of that response. See also the discussion 
above regarding communication of refusal status.
    (Comments) One comment requests clarification as to how 
transmitters may confirm the validity and existence of registration 
numbers provided by the shippers, importers, and carriers. The comment 
states that the transmitter might bring in goods based on erroneous, 
but good faith information.
    (Response) FDA will identify anomalies in the initial submission of 
registration numbers based on review of the information prior to 
confirmation of receipt of the prior notice, and will respond 
accordingly. If our subsequent review, after the prior notice is 
confirmed for review, reveals problems with a submitted registration 
number that causes the prior notice submission to be deemed inaccurate, 
the food is subject to refusal under section 801(m) of the act. 
Subsequent corrections to the submitted information can be provided by 
resubmitting corrected information in a post-refusal prior notice (see 
Sec.  1.283(c)).
    If our subsequent review reveals problems with the submitted 
registration number such that an article of food is from a foreign 
facility that is not registered under section 415 of the act and 21 
CFR, part 1, subpart H, and is imported or offered for import into the 
United States, the food is subject to hold under section 801(l) of the 
act. To resolve a hold, the facility must register and obtain a 
registration number, and that number must be provided to FDA. This is 
covered under Sec.  1.285(i) of the final rule.
    As discussed in response to comments 157 and 158 in the preamble to 
the Registration of Food Facilities Interim Final Rule (68 FR 58894 at 
58931, October 10, 2003), section 305 of the Bioterrorism Act states 
that FDA's list of registered facilities and registration documents FDA 
receives under the rule are not subject to disclosure under FOIA. 
Furthermore, section 305 of the Bioterrorism Act provides that any 
information derived from the list of facilities or registration 
documents that would disclose the identity or location of a specific 
registered person is not subject to disclosure under FOIA. This does 
not preclude the registered facility from disclosing its registration 
number, such as to the submitter or others with whom it has a business 
relationship.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA clarify the penalties for 
inadequate prior notice. One comment asks about the consequences when 
foods are accidentally shipped without meeting the prior notice 
requirements, i.e. can they be transshipped?
    (Response) Prior notice is required for food imported or offered 
for import into the United States, including shipments intended for 
transshipment. If adequate prior notice is not provided, the food is 
subject to refusal. Refused food must be held, in accordance with the 
provisions of Sec.  1.283(a), unless CBP concurrence is obtained for 
export and the food is immediately exported from the port of arrival 
under CBP supervision. An article of food that has been refused is 
considered general order merchandise and can only be moved under 
appropriate custodial bond unless immediately exported under CBP 
supervision. If the food is held at a secure facility outside of the 
port, FDA must be notified of the location of the secure facility 
before the food is moved there. Post-refusal prior notice can be 
submitted as provided by Sec.  1.283(c).
    We also note that CBP may seize goods imported contrary to law, 
assess civil monetary penalties, including those under 19 U.S.C. 
1595a(b) against every person who directs, assists, financially or 
otherwise, or is in any way concerned in the importation of any 
merchandise contrary to law, and refer violations for criminal 
investigation and prosecution. Section 1.284 of the final rule lists 
other consequences for failure to submit adequate prior notice. For 
example, under 21 U.S.C. 335a, FDA can seek debarment of any person who 
has been convicted of a felony relating to importation of food into the 
United States or any person who has engaged in a pattern of importing 
or offering for import adulterated food that presents a threat of 
serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
    (Comments) Some comments ask whether an entry of food would be 
subject to detention if the product code does not precisely reflect the 
nature of the product.
    (Response) The final rule requires the submission of accurate 
information that is submitted in the prior notice, including the 
product code, which is required in Sec.  1.281 (a)(5)(i), (b)(4)(i), 
and (c)(5)(i) of the final rule. If the product code does not 
accurately identify the food, the food is subject to refusal. Section 
1.283(a)(1)(ii) of the final rule states that if prior notice has been 
submitted and confirmed by FDA for review, but upon review of the 
notice or examination of the article of food, the notice is determined 
to be inaccurate, the food is subject to refusal of admission under 
section 801(m)(1) of the act.
3. Status and Movement of Refused Food (Sec.  1.283(a)(2))
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA clarify the process for 
food that is refused and later deemed to be admissible.
    (Response) Section 1.283 of the final rule identifies the 
consequences and procedures for food that is refused because of 
inadequate prior notice. If the refused food is not immediately 
exported with CBP concurrence, it is considered general order 
merchandise and must be held until adequate prior notice is submitted 
and FDA has notified CBP and the transmitter that the food is no longer 
refused because of inadequate prior notice. If in response to a request 
for FDA review, FDA determines that the article is not subject to the 
prior notice requirements or that the prior notice submission is 
complete and accurate, it will notify the requester, the transmitter, 
and CBP that the food is no longer subject to refusal under section 
801(m)(1) of the act. A determination that an article of food is no 
longer refused under section 801(m)(1) of the act is different than, 
and may come before, determinations of admissibility under other 
provisions of the act or other U.S. laws. Moreover, a determination 
that an article of food is no longer refused under section 801(m)(1) 
does not mean that it will be granted admission under other provisions 
of the act or other U.S. laws (Sec.  1.283(g)). Further information 
regarding the process may be found in the preamble to the IFR (68 FR 
58974 at 59016 through 59022).
    (Comments) Some comments state that the holding period for prior 
notice should be no longer than the original required prior notice 
timeframe. The comments contend that exceeding this

[[Page 66367]]

time period does not increase the safety to the public and may cause a 
bottleneck for all freight movements if thousands of shipments are held 
at their port of arrival. Comments suggest that, before the holding 
period is fully implemented, FDA should determine the percentage of 
shipments that are still not in conformity with the prior notice rule 
and determine the potential for harming the movement of all freight 
into and out of the United States when prior notice is fully 
implemented.
    (Response) Section 1.283(a)(2) of the final rule states that 
refused food will be considered general order merchandise. In the first 
instance, it is not within our control how long it will take the 
parties associated with the article of food being held to satisfy the 
prior notice requirements. Moreover, CBP regulations address the length 
of time an imported product will be held in General Order (G.O.) Status 
(19 CFR part 127). Section 1.283(a)(1) of the final rule states that 
refused food that is not immediately exported must be held at the port 
of entry unless directed by CBP or FDA. Accordingly, the final rule 
does not require refused food to be held at the port of arrival unless 
so directed by CBP or FDA. In Sec.  1.283(c)(3), we state that FDA will 
try to review and respond to post-refusal prior notice submissions 
within the prior notice timeframes.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA establish procedures for 
handling refused merchandise. The comments contend that secure storage 
facilities and cargo movement procedures have not been established for 
refused merchandise. According to the comments, there is no mechanism 
to handle refused refrigerated or frozen shipments. The comments state 
that perishable food that is held or is not properly stored may no 
longer be commercially viable when it is released or sold at auction. 
Comments also state that highly perishable shipments that are held past 
their commercially viable time period and small shipments that have 
little commercial value will quickly fill any warehouse, including any 
G.O. warehouse, with no one to claim them. Other comments request that 
FDA and CBP develop a joint operational plan for handling refused 
merchandise with input from the importing and shipping industries. 
Another comment states that directions on executing CBP 6043 Permit to 
Transfer or CBP 7512 ``Restricted in-bond'' is needed to avoid major 
congestion.
    (Response) Section 1.283(a)(2)(i) of the final rule provides that 
food refused under section 801(m)(1) of the act has ``General Order'' 
status. Under CBP laws and regulations, general order merchandise must 
generally be held in a general order warehouse (19 CFR 127.1). CBP 
regulations also empower the port director, if merchandise requires 
specialized storage facilities that are unavailable in a bonded 
facility, to direct the storage of the merchandise by the carrier or by 
any other appropriate means (see 19 CFR 4.37(f), 122.50(f), or 
123.10(f)). Additionally, fruit and other perishables may be held by 
the port director in a bonded cold-storage warehouse for a reasonable 
period, if it is probable that entry will be made at an early date (19 
CFR 127.28(c)).
    FDA and CBP believe that general order storage qualifies as secure 
facilities for purposes of the Bioterrorism Act, as it is subject to 
the requirements set forth at 19 CFR part 19. In particular, 19 CFR 
19.9 contains controls that will ensure that refused food will be 
adequately controlled while in storage and will not be released from 
general order storage without CBP authorization.
    FDA also emphasizes that refusal under section 801(m) of the act 
occurs when no prior notice or inadequate or untimely prior notice is 
submitted, as required under the Bioterrorism Act for articles of food 
imported or offered for import into the United States. Costs and other 
consequences described by the comments due to refusal for inadequate 
prior notice should be avoided when adequate prior notice is submitted 
to FDA. The final rule also outlines procedures for satisfying the 
prior notice requirements after food has been refused and procedures 
for requesting an FDA review of the refusal.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA establish a clear 
definition of ``perishable'' shipments. The comment states that 
destroying or selling frozen, refrigerated, and fresh merchandise held 
at a secure facility after 3 days, for inadequate prior notice, is 
unreasonable and an excessive financial burden on international trade.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that it is necessary or pertinent to 
establish a definition of ``perishable'' for purposes of implementing 
the prior notice requirements of the Bioterrorism Act, which requires 
FDA to receive prior notice of food imported or offered for import into 
the United States. Financial burdens associated with merchandise 
directed to a secure facility because of inadequate, untimely or no 
prior notice generally can be avoided by ensuring FDA receives adequate 
prior notice in accordance with this final rule.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA consider the ``port of 
entry'' to be the port where legal entry is accomplished. The comments 
state that these ports have facilities for proper food storage, as well 
as the CBP and FDA processes and personnel to deal with any 
irregularities. The comments point out that international shipments are 
not legally ``entered'' with CBP at the port of arrival, but instead 
are moved under bond to a subsequent port where CBP entry is made. 
Further, shipments are not released at the port of entry until 
clearance is obtained from CBP, and carriers are under a strict 
obligation to retain control of shipments from the port of arrival to 
the legal entry port. The comments note that under the IFR, shipments 
of food will not be permitted to be moved from the port of first 
arrival to the port of legal entry if prior notice is not provided or 
is inadequate. According to the comments, express carriers may be 
required to unload and reload entire planes in order to find one or two 
shipments. The comments state that this is especially problematic 
because proper facilities for the storage of food may not be available 
at the ports of arrival. Comments further note that express consignment 
operators have invested millions of dollars to construct and operate 
dedicated sorting facilities that use state of the art automation and 
scanning equipment. These facilities are far better suited to 
identifying and detaining food shipments of concern to FDA than the 
ramps or conventional air freight handling facilities commonly found at 
the ports of arrival. Other comments state that there are no cold 
storage facilities currently available in San Diego/Otay Mesa. The 
comments contend that the Mexican authorities will not permit such 
shipments to be returned to Mexico.
    (Response) The IFR and the final rule at Sec.  1.283(a)(1) require 
that food refused due to inadequate prior notice food must be held 
within the port of arrival only if directed by CBP or FDA, and that 
otherwise refused food must be held within the port of entry.
    As we discussed in the preamble to the IFR, we defined ``port of 
arrival'' and ``port of entry'' to provide flexibility to ensure that 
``food that has been refused may move to the port of destination where, 
for example the consumption or warehouse entry will be filed, unless 
directed by CBP or FDA. Generally, we do not intend to hold shipments 
at the border unless our assessment of the situation leads us to 
believe it is warranted; e.g., the food may present a serious risk to 
public health or that the prior notice violation is egregious.'' (See 
68 FR 58974 at 58988.)

[[Page 66368]]

    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA notify public food storage 
warehouses when a shipment is being held, is not accepted for entry, or 
when such shipments are released. The comment points out that the 
warehouses receive shipments via multiple transport methods, store them 
for multiple customers, and should be officially informed of the status 
of the shipments, rather than relying on information from the owners of 
the articles of food.
    (Response) Under Sec.  1.283(a)(2), refused food shall not be 
entered and shall not be delivered to the importer, owner, or 
consignee. As discussed previously, FDA does not believe it should 
modify the rule to require notice of the refusal to any specific entity 
or entities. The entity moving the food to a warehouse can notify the 
warehouse of the food's status, and the warehouse can likewise ask or 
require that it be provided this information before accepting the food 
for storage.
    (Comments) Some comments state that the requirement in Sec.  
1.283(a)(2)(ii) for carriers to notify FDA regarding delivery of 
refused shipments within 24 hours of arrival and then to make delivery 
immediately imposes an unreasonable burden on carriers.
    (Response) We have changed the requirement to notify FDA of the 
location where the food has been or will be moved from within 24 hours 
of refusal to before the food is moved to that location. FDA needs this 
information before the food is moved to verify that the facility where 
the food is to be held is a secure facility. Moreover, because refused 
food shall not be delivered to the importer, owner, or ultimate 
consignee, before the food is moved, FDA needs to verify that the 
secure facility is not owned by any of these parties.
    For clarity and consistency, we also are changing the phrase 
``designated location'' to ``secure facility'' in Sec.  1.283(a)(2)(ii) 
and throughout the final rule. In addition, Sec.  1.283(a)(2)(ii) of 
the IFR states that refused food must be moved under appropriate 
custodial bond. We have revised this paragraph in the final rule to 
state that the refused food must be moved under appropriate custodial 
bond, unless immediately exported under CBP supervision. The final rule 
also clarifies that the refused food may be held at the port of entry 
or at a secure facility.
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on whether ``refused 
goods'' will have to be exported or destroyed.
    (Response) Articles of food that have been refused under section 
801(m) of the act because of inadequate prior notice must be held until 
prior notice requirements have been satisfied, unless the food is 
immediately exported with CBP concurrence from the port of arrival. The 
decision to export the refused food is not the responsibility of FDA or 
CBP. If no prior notice submission or request for FDA review is 
submitted in a timely fashion after a food is refused, the food will be 
dealt with as set forth in CBP regulations relating to general order 
merchandise. It may only be sold for export or destroyed as agreed to 
by CBP and FDA.
    (Comments) One comment requests clarification on the process for 
designating a ``secure facility'' after a shipment of food is refused 
admission status. The comment points out that the CF3461 entry document 
currently designates a CBP exam site in box 29 and requests 
clarification on whether refused goods will be sent automatically to 
the designated CBP exam site or if arrangements can be made to 
designate another facility.
    (Response) FDA clarifies that a refusal under section 801(a) of the 
act, relating to admissibility, differs from a refusal under section 
801(m) of the act, relating to prior notice. A food refused under 
section 801(m) of the act must be held within the port of entry for the 
article of food unless directed to another location by CBP or FDA. If 
CBP or FDA directs the food to be delivered to a secure facility, this 
will not necessarily be the CBP exam site designated in box 29 of the 
CF3461 entry document.
    (Comments) Some comments ask if FDA will publish a list of approved 
``secure facilities'' by port so that transmitters can designate these 
facilities.
    (Response) Early in our prior notice experience, FDA had indicated 
that we would publish a list of secure facilities. However, our 
experience has shown us that it is not practicable to maintain such a 
list since the secure status of facilities changes very rapidly. While 
we will not maintain such a list, FDA will verify whether a facility is 
secure on a case-by-case basis.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA and CBP jointly issue a 
guidance document explaining in greater detail how they intend to hold 
and store articles of food, particularly perishable food, refused 
admission into the United States. One comment requests that FDA clarify 
the process for food that is held and later deemed to be admissible.
    (Response) FDA agrees and, as resources permit, will publish a 
guidance document that will set out procedures for food refused for 
failure to meet prior notice requirements.
    (Comments) Some comments state that there are an insufficient 
number of general order warehouses to store the food articles that have 
been refused for noncompliance with these regulations.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Under CBP laws and regulations, general 
order merchandise must generally be held in a general order warehouse 
(19 CFR 127.1). However, in ports where there is no bonded warehouse 
authorized to accept general order merchandise, CBP regulations also 
empower the port director to direct the storage of the merchandise by 
the carrier or by any other appropriate means (see 19 CFR 4.37(f), 
122.50(f), or 123.10(f)). In addition, our experience has not shown 
that there are an insufficient number of general order warehouses to 
store food that has been refused under prior notice.
    (Comments) Some comments state that FDA must delay full enforcement 
of the prior notice regulations until it has done all that is necessary 
to equip the U.S. ports to handle refused perishable goods.
    (Response) FDA believes that the ports are equipped to handle 
refused perishable goods. Since the IFR took effect, we have not been 
aware of problems relating to perishable goods not being properly 
maintained while being held at the ports.
    (Comments) Some comments ask whether public storage warehouses will 
be stuck with unsaleable food items or whether they will be compelled 
to re-export at their own expense if the owner abandons a shipment that 
is refused entry because of inadequate prior notice. Comments indicate 
that a warehouse loses its lien abilities if a refused shipment is not 
allowed in interstate/intrastate trade and is re-exported. Thus, 
according to the comments, if the owner of the food does not pay 
storage and handling for the product, the warehouse has no collateral 
to compel payment. Comments also state that even if it does remain at 
the warehouse and the owner declines payment, the product has been 
refused entry so it cannot be sold to allow the warehouse to recoup its 
charges.
    (Response) Under the final rule, food refused under section 801(m) 
of the act is considered to be general order merchandise and generally 
must be held at a general order warehouse. If the refused food is not 
immediately exported and if no prior notice is submitted or resubmitted 
and no request for FDA review of the refusal is submitted, then the 
food will be dealt with as set forth in CBP regulations relating to 
general order merchandise (19 CFR part 127), except that, unless 
otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA,

[[Page 66369]]

the article may only be sold for export or destroyed (Sec.  
1.283(a)(6)).
    We made a minor change to the final rule by changing the last 
phrase of Sec.  1.283(a)(6) from ``* * * except that the article may 
only be sold for export or destroyed as agreed to by CBP and FDA'' to 
``* * * except that, unless otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA, the 
article may only be sold for export or destroyed.'' This change was 
needed because concurrence from FDA is not needed whenever a refused 
article of food is sold for export or destroyed, and no prior notice is 
submitted or resubmitted and no request for FDA review is submitted. We 
are adding the phrase ``unless otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA'' to 
allow for the improbable (but not impossible) scenario when a refused 
prior notice shipment would need to be transferred to another agency 
for examination or investigation; in these cases, we would want 
concurrence from both FDA and CBP.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA revise the requirement to 
store refused merchandise at local port facilities. One comment 
indicates that this provision of the IFR does not make sense and does 
not provide any measure of security or safety to the food supply. The 
comment points out that, before the IFR, shipments were allowed to be 
held at the importer's premises and suggested that this practice should 
be allowed to continue. According to the comment, ports and land 
borders do not have sufficient storage capacity to handle the possibly 
overwhelming demand for space that will be needed when the prior notice 
regulations are implemented.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. Section 801(m)(2)(B) of the act 
specifically requires that food refused under section 801(m) be held 
and not delivered to the importer, owner, or consignee. The IFR and the 
final rule require that refused food must be held within the port of 
entry for the article unless directed to another location by CBP or 
FDA. Therefore, an importer's premises, as suggested by the comment, 
would not be appropriate since the Bioterrorism Act specifically 
requires that the refused food not be delivered to the importer, owner, 
or consignee. Nor would such a location be adequate because it also may 
not be secure.
    (Comments) Some comments object because shipments of food for which 
prior notice has not been provided will not be permitted to be moved to 
the port of entry. According to the comments, the operator will be 
required to off-load these shipments and detain them at the port of 
arrival until the prior notice is provided.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The IFR and the final rule require that 
refused food must be held within the port of entry for the article 
unless directed to another location by CBP or FDA. Thus, refused food 
may be permitted to move to the port of entry; such food is not 
required to be held at the port of arrival.
    (Comments) Some comments express concern about the time it takes 
for FDA to release food offered for import into the United States, and 
request that FDA examine its inspection procedures and reduce the time 
to clear and release the food. The comments indicate that some 
shipments of food have been held at the port of entry for periods 
ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months, which has a serious economic impact 
on importers of perishable foods. The comments point out that there are 
already additional costs associated with the IFR, such as fees charged 
by custom brokers to file the prior notice. The comments further state 
that the delays are adding more costs that importers must bear, 
including the cost to store the food during this period, additional 
freight charges, and costs incurred due to spoilage of perishable 
products.
    (Response) We know of no instance where a food has been held at any 
port facility or secure location for an extended period of time as 
described in the comment (2 weeks to 2 months) due to FDA's review of a 
prior notice submission or due to FDA's refusal of food for failure to 
provide adequate prior notice. Perhaps the comment actually is 
referring to delays caused by FDA's admissibility review under section 
801(a) of the act. Nevertheless, FDA will make every effort to minimize 
the time necessary to perform prior notice assessments to minimize 
delays in releasing shipments.
4. Segregation of Refused Foods (Sec.  1.283(a)(3))
    (Comments) Some comments state that in an ``LTL'' (less-than-
truckload) environment, where an average trailer contains about 40 
shipments, there is a potentially serious impact on several parties 
when prior notice is not filed in a timely fashion for one of the 
articles of food. The comments point out that the motor carrier's 
potential loss of productivity from having equipment tied up when an 
article of food has been denied entry or is being held has a serious 
negative impact on the profitability of cross-border trucking 
operators. According to the comments, this kind of down time has a 
serious negative impact on truck drivers' compensation, when they are 
paid based on miles driven, and greatly reduces the number of allowable 
hours a driver is allowed to operate under Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
regulations. The comments also indicate that holding a trailer at a 
port of entry affects not only the motor carrier's operations, but also 
all of the shippers, importers, and consignees whose goods are on 
board. Some comments request that FDA require importers to provide 
motor carriers with proof that prior notice was transmitted to FDA. The 
comments state that currently FDA and CBP only suggest that motor 
carriers require proof of prior notice filing from customers, but this 
type of arrangement is not required by law or regulation. According to 
the comments, because FDA system's acknowledgement of receipt of a 
prior notice does not mean that the information received is correct or 
complete, carriers are still left vulnerable to carrying goods that 
could be turned back at the border. The comments indicate that this 
type of action by FDA would tie up a carrier's equipment, negatively 
affect driver wages, and have a serious effect on carrier productivity.
    (Response) Financial burdens associated with refused food because 
of inadequate or no prior notice generally can be avoided by ensuring 
FDA receives adequate prior notice in accordance with this final rule. 
For example, while the final rule requires only that the prior notice 
confirmation number accompany any food for which the prior notice was 
submitted through PNSI when the article arrives in the United States, 
it does not preclude the carrier from requiring proof of confirmation 
of prior notice submission prior to transporting the food to the United 
States when prior notice is submitted through ABI/ACS. Moreover, 
according to Sec.  1.283(a)(3) of the final rule, segregation may take 
place to separate food that has not been placed under hold from food 
refused for inadequate prior notice.
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on who is 
responsible for the physical segregation of the refused food from the 
rest of the shipment: The carrier, FDA or CBP, customs broker, or 
importer. Comments also ask whether FDA or CBP officials will always 
supervise the segregation.
    (Response) The IFR at Sec.  1.283(a)(3) states that segregation may 
take place to separate food that has not been placed under hold from 
food refused for inadequate prior notice. The final rule clarifies this 
paragraph by adding that other merchandise not subject to prior notice 
requirements may be segregated from refused food.

[[Page 66370]]

    The segregation may be done by any person as long as the refused 
food is held as required and not delivered to the importer, owner, or 
consignee. Neither FDA nor CBP is responsible for segregation. However, 
the IFR and final rule state that FDA or CBP may supervise the 
segregation. If FDA or CBP determine that supervision is necessary, 
segregation must not take place without supervision.
    (Comments) Some comments indicate that carriers should have the 
option of unloading refused articles of food so they can deliver the 
rest of their load without being detained any longer than necessary. 
The comments point out that carriers do not have title or financial 
interest in the goods they transport and they cannot provide 
information to provide or correct an inadequate prior notice.
    (Response) Carriers already have the option to segregate food so 
that they can deliver the rest of their load. As discussed previously, 
the IFR and the final rule at Sec.  1.283(a)(3) state that segregation 
may take place to separate food that has not been placed under hold 
from food refused for inadequate prior notice.
5. Costs (Sec.  1.283(a)(4))
    (Comments) Some comments ask who is responsible for costs 
associated with FDA verification of a shipment that is initially 
refused and then it is later determined that the shipment's 
documentation fulfills all requirements and complies with regulations; 
i.e., the shipment was improperly refused.
    (Response) Section 1.283(a)(4) of the final rule provides that 
neither FDA nor CBP will be responsible for transportation, storage, or 
other expenses resulting from refusal.
6. Export After Refusal (Sec.  1.283(a)(5))
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on procedures for 
exporting fresh vegetables after refusal. The comments indicate that 
some ports of arrival do not have cold storage facilities.
    (Response) The procedures for exporting fresh vegetables after a 
refusal under section 801(m) of the act are no different than other 
exports, with the following qualifications: Food refused under section 
801(m) must be immediately exported from the port of arrival with CBP 
concurrence and under CBP supervision.
7. Post-Refusal Prior Notice Submissions (Sec.  1.283(c))
    In Sec.  1.283(c)(2) of the final rule, FDA revised the text to 
read ``the prior notice should be canceled'' instead of ``you should 
cancel'' to indicate that the cancellation of the prior notice can be 
done by CBP, upon request by the filer, if originally submitted in ABI/
ACS or by the transmitter if originally submitted in PNSI.
    (Comments) Some comments object because the current ABI system 
cannot accept prior notice after the articles of food arrive in the 
United States. Instead, filers must use the PNSI system. The comments 
suggest there is no valid reason for this limitation and request 
modifications to allow filers to use the ABI system for submitting 
prior notice, even after cargo has arrived in the United States. Other 
comments request removal of edits for date sensitive prior notice in 
ABI and PNSI. Some comments point out that if prior notice is 
transmitted after the articles of food arrive, the filer must enter an 
incorrect anticipated date of arrival, which is on or after the actual 
date of arrival. According to the comments, this skews FDA information, 
prevents FDA from determining whether prior notice was filed timely, 
and gets the filer in the habit of submitting false information. The 
comments also ask that if prior notice is submitted in this manner, how 
FDA can determine if the date was filed timely or not? The comments 
also state that because ABI will not accept prior notice on articles of 
food that have already arrived, this leads to the more time consuming 
filing of prior notice in PNSI and also leads to a corruption of the 
correct data.
    (Response) Prior notice submitted after the food has arrived in the 
United States is a post-refusal submission. Under Sec.  1.280(a)(2) of 
the IFR, post-refusal submission of prior notice must be completed via 
PNSI. The final rule retains this provision, but re-worded the text to 
state that post-refusal submissions must be submitted in PNSI until 
such time as ACS or its successor system can accommodate such a 
transaction. Post-refusal information requirements are found at Sec.  
1.281(c). Among other data elements, a post-refusal submission requires 
the location and address where the article of refused food will be or 
is being held, the date the article has arrived or will arrive at that 
location, and identification of a contact at that location (Sec.  
1.281(c)(18)). The final rule now also requires the date the article of 
food arrived at the port of arrival.
    Post-refusal submissions cannot be submitted via ABI/ACS because 
CBP's system cannot be modified at this time to accept information 
about the location where the article of refused food will be or is 
being held and the actual date of arrival of the article of refused 
food. Amending ABI/ACS would entail substantial and costly revisions to 
the system; such technical changes are not cost-effective or a good use 
of limited resources given the development of the Automated Commercial 
Environment, which will replace ACS.
    PNSI programming changes should address the concern raised in the 
comment about ``submitting false information.'' These same concerns 
should not arise under the final rule since the final rule requires the 
actual date of arrival for post-refusal submissions.
    FDA made a minor change in the text of Sec.  1.283(a)(6) by 
replacing the phrase, ``in a timely fashion,'' with the phrase, ``in 
accordance with paragraph (d) of this section,'' to clarify that the 
timeliness of a request for FDA review is found at paragraph (d). We 
made a similar change in Sec.  1.285(g).
8. FDA Review After Refusal (Sec.  1.283(d))
    (Comments) One comment requests that the final regulations make it 
clear that the request for the review and/or the participation in the 
review can be conducted by any of the parties named in Sec.  1.283(d) 
of the IFR or by a designated representative, such as a customs broker, 
freight forwarder, or attorney.
    (Response) Section 1.283(d)(2) of the final rule provides that the 
carrier, submitter, importer, owner, or ultimate consignee may submit a 
written request asking FDA to review whether the article of food is 
subject to the requirements of this subpart under Sec.  1.277. FDA has 
added carrier in the final rule since the carrier is often the entity 
notified of the refusal. Although not explicitly stated in the rule, a 
designated representative of any of the parties listed (carrier, 
submitter, importer, owner, and ultimate consignee) may act on behalf 
of that party.
    Furthermore, FDA revised Sec.  1.283(d)(1) to state that the 
request for FDA review may include whether the information submitted in 
a prior notice is complete, in addition to accurate. (In the IFR, we 
also cited Sec.  1.276(b)(5), but we deleted it in the final rule 
because it is redundant.) FDA revised Sec.  1.283(d)(5) to be 
consistent with the changes made to Sec.  1.283(d)(1). In Sec.  
1.283(d)(3), FDA revised the final rule to delete acceptance of 
requests for review by mail and express courier. We are limiting 
delivery to fax and e-mail to ensure that requests are expeditiously 
received and directed to the appropriate staff.

[[Page 66371]]

9. International Mail (Sec.  1.283(e))
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on the disposition 
of mail for which prior notice is required, but is not provided. 
Comments also ask about the U.S. Postal Service's responsibilities for 
mail lacking prior notice.
    (Response) In the case of food arriving by international mail, if 
prior notice is inadequate or if the prior notice confirmation number 
is not affixed, the article will be held by CBP for 72 hours for FDA 
inspection and disposition. If the article is refused and there is a 
return address, the parcel may be returned to the sender. If there is 
no return address or the food in the shipment appears to present a 
hazard, FDA may dispose of or destroy the parcel at its expense. If FDA 
does not respond within 72 hours of the CBP hold, CBP may return the 
parcel back to the sender or, if there is no return address, destroy 
the parcel, at FDA expense. Under the prior notice final rule, only FDA 
and CBP have responsibilities for the destruction or return of refused 
foods that arrive via international mail.
    FDA revised Sec.  1.283(e) and Sec.  1.285(k) in the final rule to 
change the word ``stamped `No Prior Notice--FDA Refused''' to ``marked 
`No Prior Notice--FDA Refused''' to more accurately describe the 
marking that is placed on international mail packages arriving with 
inadequate prior notice or without the prior notice confirmation number 
affixed as required. In certain cases, the package cannot be stamped 
and a label/sticker is placed on the package.
    We also note that the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG proposes an 
enforcement policy for foreign-to-foreign mail. Under the proposed 
policy, if there is no prior notice FDA and CBP should typically 
consider not taking any regulatory action in the case of international 
mail where the recipient is not in the United States since the sender 
does not have control over the transportation route that the foreign-
to-foreign mail will transit.
10. Prohibitions on Delivery and Transfer (Sec.  1.283(f))
    (Comments) Some comments ask whether CBP will put a manifest 
``hold'' on food cargo until the prior notice confirmation is received. 
The comments state that, at the present time, cargo can be moved inland 
on an IT or T&E entry without FDA review. The comments ask if FDA will 
remind the transmitters that products should remain intact until a 
``may proceed'' message is received. The comments further ask if ocean 
carriers will be advised of the FDA status of the articles of food when 
the shipment involves ``doors moves'' beyond 50 miles from the port of 
entry.
    (Response) Food arriving as an IT or T&E entry is subject to FDA 
review of prior notice before it arrives in the United States. Food 
that arrives with no prior notice is subject to refusal and must be 
held within the port of entry for the article unless directed to 
another location by CBP or FDA. Food that is refused under section 
801(m) of the act is considered G.O. merchandise and cannot be entered 
or delivered to the importer, owner, or consignee.
    For clarity, FDA revised Sec.  1.283(f)(2) of the final rule to 
state that an article of food refused under section 801(m)(1) of the 
act may not be transferred by any person from the port or other 
designated secure facility.
11. Relationship to Other Admissibility Decisions (Sec.  1.283(g))
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA integrate the section 
801(m) and the section 801(a) clearance processes and develop 
mechanisms to expedite the release of imported food for sale and use in 
domestic commerce. One comment states that currently numerous shipments 
that are offered for import are cleared for section 801(m), but are 
held pending section 801(a) review. The comments indicate that little 
is gained if shipments with adequate prior notice under section 801(m) 
are permitted to move promptly across the borders of the United States, 
only to encounter delays arising from the release process under section 
801(a). The comments further note that in many cases, the shipments 
held for section 801(a) review are eventually released without another 
further examination or sampling. The comments suggest that a concurrent 
section 801(a) and section 801(m) review would eliminate rework, 
decrease unnecessary holds on shipments, and decrease the burden on 
both the importing community and FDA.
    Another comment also suggests that FDA integrate the prior notice 
information collection system with the existing OASIS (section 801(a) 
of the act) information management system as fully as possible. The 
comment states that these systems currently function separately, 
essentially creating two sequential FDA reviews. The comment believes 
that by merging these systems and resources, food security would be 
enhanced and productivity for FDA and the industry will be improved. In 
addition, the comment states that such a merger would be a natural 
extension of the ongoing integration efforts with CBP.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that doing the OASIS review under 
section 801(a) of the act concurrently with the prior notice review 
under section 801(m) of act would reduce the burden on the industry or 
FDA. Under section 801(m), prior notice for imported food shipments 
must be provided to FDA before the arrival, and an article of food is 
subject to refusal of admission if adequate prior notice has not been 
provided. Section 801(m) also provides that refused food must be held 
until adequate notice is given and may not be delivered to the 
importer, owner, or consignee. Thus, the refusal standard under section 
801(m) is based on whether the requisite information has been provided 
in a timely fashion.
    The refusal standard in section 801(a) of the act is based on, 
among other things, whether the article appears to be adulterated or 
misbranded. Admissibility decisions under section 801(a) may be made 
after entry has been made. Thus, if prior notice is adequate, requests 
for further information, examination, or sampling of the food that is 
necessary to determine admissibility under section 801(a) may occur. 
The article of food need not be held at the port for FDA to accomplish 
its section 801(a) review.
    Because the section 801(m) review must occur prior to arrival, 
concurrent section 801(a) and section 801(m) reviews also would have to 
occur prior to arrival. FDA also notes that section 801(a) reviews 
typically take longer to complete than section 801(m) reviews. FDA 
believes such a concurrent process would be inefficient and impractical 
and would likely increase congestion at the ports of arrival. Thus, FDA 
generally intends to continue with its current practice of reviewing 
prior notice prior to arrival to decide whether to inspect the food at 
the time of arrival, based on information that suggests that the food 
is a potential significant risk to public health, and to allow 
shipments to proceed beyond the point of arrival to conduct section 
801(a) reviews.
    (Comments) One comment asks FDA to clarify expectations at the port 
regarding ``may proceed'' decisions. The comment notes that the IFR 
indicates that ``the system will transmit a message back through OASIS 
to ABI/ACS interface for CBP that the article of food may be 
conditionally released.'' The comments continue to state that the IFR 
indicates that staff operating ``24 hours a day, seven days a week'' 
will review at the port of arrival or closest examination site. The 
comment notes that this implies decisions were to be

[[Page 66372]]

made at the port of entry. However, companies have reported that since 
December 12, 2003, conditional release messages have not consistently 
been received at entry. The comment asks that FDA clarify when this 
message should be received and the implications for companies that 
enter the United States within the ``release.''
    (Response) The IFR states, ``If the FDA system does not indicate 
that further evaluation of or action on the notice or article of food 
is necessary for prior notice purposes, the system will transmit a 
message back through the OASIS to ABI/ACS interface for CBP that the 
article of food `may be conditionally released under section 801(b) of 
the act.' However, if additional evaluation of the prior notice 
information is necessary, FDA headquarters staff, operating 24 hours a 
day, 7 days a week, will review and assess the information and may 
initiate an examination or other action by FDA or CBP of the article of 
food at the port of arrival or elsewhere, or in the case of rail 
shipments, within the confines of the closest appropriate examination 
site.'' (68 FR 58974 at 58976) The IFR clearly states that the 
conditional release message is sent from FDA to CBP, not to any other 
person. This is to ensure that CBP staff will know when the food 
arrives if prior notice has been satisfied and that no further 
examination by FDA is necessary. This conditional release does not 
provide information about FDA's section 801(a) admissibility decision. 
Further, the IFR clearly states that FDA headquarters staff operates 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week and will review the prior notice and make 
the decision regarding further action on the prior notice submission. 
FDA and CBP do not intend to change these procedures for implementation 
of the final rule.
    (Comments) One comment encourages FDA to consider low risk status 
to expedite its section 801(a) deliberations.
    (Response) FDA does use a risk based approach when making prior 
notice and admissibility decisions. FDA screening under section 801(a) 
is separate from the subject of the final rule, FDA's screening under 
section 801(m) of the act. Therefore, this comment is outside the scope 
of the final rule.
    (Final rule) Section 1.283 of the final rule describes the 
consequences for an article of food that is imported or offered for 
import with inadequate prior notice. The final rule sets out procedures 
for resolving the inadequacy as well as for the movement and status of 
the refused food.

K. What Are the Other Consequences of Failing to Submit Adequate Prior 
Notice or Otherwise Failing to Comply With This Subpart? (Sec.  1.284)

    Section 1.284 of the IFR provides that failure of a person who 
imports or offers for import an article of food to submit prior notice 
is a prohibited act under section 301(ee) of the act (21 U.S.C. 
331(ee)) and sets out the civil, criminal, and debarment actions that 
the United States may bring against persons who are responsible for the 
commission of a prohibited act.
    (Comments) One comment states that many of the mistakes made during 
the initial implementation of the prior notice IFR can be attributed to 
difficulties with both government and industry computer systems. The 
comment indicates that such mistakes should not be part of an 
importer's record.
    (Response) FDA acknowledges that some mistakes in prior notice 
submissions may have occurred because changes were needed in PNSI and 
CBP's ABI/ACS or because industry needed to develop appropriate 
software to facilitate the submission of prior notice. During the 
initial implementation of the IFR that extended for more than 8 months 
after the IFR took effect, FDA and CBP exercised enforcement discretion 
to accommodate that situation. During this period, the two agencies 
focused their resources on education to achieve compliance with the 
prior notice requirements, escalating imposition of civil monetary 
penalties, and ultimately refusal of shipments. This final rule will 
take effect 180 days after today's publication date to allow affected 
parties time to understand the requirements that differ from those in 
the IFR, and make appropriate changes, including changes that may be 
needed to filers' software. In enforcing prior notice, we will continue 
to take into account the circumstances, such as whether a violation is 
due to mistakes that can be attributed to difficulties in government 
and industry computer systems during initial implementation.
    (Comments) Some comments request clarification on the penalties 
that apply for food that arrives without proper prior notice. Some 
specifically request clarification of civil monetary penalties and an 
explanation of the mechanism and criteria for application of these 
penalties. One comment notes that, in the absence of clearly defined 
procedures for assessing penalties, the current policy of liquidated 
damages would apply, which has always been unacceptable with the 
community and sureties.
    (Response) CBP, in consultation with FDA, may assess civil monetary 
penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1595a(b) against any person who directs, 
assists, financially or otherwise, or is in any way concerned in the 
importation of any merchandise contrary to law. During the early 
implementation phase, FDA recommended to CBP that civil monetary 
penalties (CMPs) be assessed only to those parties who failed to submit 
prior notice. The parties were notified via e-mail regarding their 
failure to submit prior notice before FDA recommended CMPs. As of May 
2008, CBP has pursued CMPs on a total of 29 PNC related cases. Any CMPs 
that CBP brings are subject to the administrative proceedings described 
in 19 U.S.C. 1618 and 19 CFR part 171. Furthermore, liquidated damages 
would not apply in the case of prior notice violations because no bond 
obligations would vest under the basic importation bond.
    (Comments) Some comments note that there are few options available 
in the current penalty structure to assist FDA in enforcing compliance 
other then civil and criminal charges. Comments suggest that some form 
of monetary consequences, in lieu of civil and criminal charges, should 
be available to allow FDA more flexibility in application.
    (Response) Section 1.284 of the final rule provides consequences of 
failing to comply with the requirements for submitting prior notice. 
These are the primary enforcement options, aside from refusal of the 
food, available to FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. 
In addition, CBP can seize goods imported contrary to law, assess civil 
monetary penalties or take other enforcement action, including referral 
to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as provided for 
under its laws in lieu of or in addition to refusal of the food or 
other civil and criminal penalties.
    (Comments) Some comments suggest that failure to provide prior 
notice in a timely fashion should result in refused entry and the 
movement of the food to a secure facility where the prior notice can be 
secured. The comments state that failure to enter U.S. commerce should 
be considered a sufficient deterrent and that monetary penalties would 
be counterproductive. The comments suggest that this arrangement would 
avoid instances where businesses find themselves unable to trade or 
constantly in situations of being in violation, and consequently 
subject to criminal action.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that refusal and movement of the food 
to a secure facility will provide a sufficient

[[Page 66373]]

deterrent in all cases. CBP may assess civil monetary penalties under 
19 U.S.C. 1595a(b) and will, in consultation with FDA, continue to 
assess those penalties when warranted. FDA may further use the civil, 
criminal, and debarment provisions provided by the Bioterrorism Act. 
These statutory penalties are used only when warranted, and to date 
have been used relatively infrequently.
    (Comments) One comment notes that importers receive conflicting 
information as to the enforcement guidelines at individual crossing 
points and/or from individual FDA and CBP enforcement officers. The 
comment recommends extension of the full enforcement date, which would 
allow FDA and CBP to upgrade their current training efforts with the 
officers at all ports of entry to ensure uniform and consistent 
enforcement of the IFR.
    (Response) FDA and CBP will continue to coordinate staff training 
and industry outreach activities to ensure consistent enforcement of 
the final rule. FDA believes that the effective date of 180 days after 
publication of the final rule provides sufficient time to communicate 
and implement changes to the final rule. As we establish enforcement 
policies, these will be made publicly available through our compliance 
policy guides. These policies and other information about the final 
rule may be found through links on FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov. FDA notes that the communication issues experienced when 
the prior notice IFR initially took effect have been addressed and we 
generally have found the prior notice process to be proceeding 
smoothly.
    (Comments) Some comments state that serious inconsistencies in 
interpretation or application of the prior notice requirements at 
multiple ports have caused confusion, delayed shipments, and increased 
shipment costs. Examples provided by the comments include: the shifting 
percentage of shipments that are physically held at the port due to 
incomplete or inaccurate prior notice submissions during the initial 
phases of enforcement, varying information regarding whether the 
carrier must be in possession of the actual prior notice confirmation 
number at the time of arrival regardless of whether the submission was 
made via an ABI transmission, conflicting information as to whether 
submissions of bonded freight will be allowed through the ABI system, 
and failure to notify importers of specific errors pertaining to their 
submissions. Some comments request that FDA establish a national office 
with authority to resolve various field and port interpretations and 
actions. Comments note the importance of a timely resolution to 
disputes because of the potential financial impact to commerce if food 
shipments are detained needlessly.
    (Response) The initial source for resolving all perceived conflicts 
is the final rule, and related information, including the responses to 
comments in this preamble, the Prior Notice Final Rule CPG, and the 
Prior Notice of Imported Food Questions and Answers, which may be found 
through links on FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov. FDA's PNC, which 
directs all prior notice activities, has been operating since the prior 
notice IFR took effect on December 12, 2003. The PNC is available 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to answer questions and 
resolve, as appropriate, operational concerns. The PNC can be reached 
at 866-521-2297 for calls originating in the United States and 703-621-
7728 for calls originating from outside the United States. In addition, 
FDA notes that based on the current PNC call/inquiry volume levels as 
compared to those experienced during the initial 18 months of 
implementation, repetitive prior notice submitters have now been 
experiencing fewer difficulties in submitting prior notice.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA outline what actions will 
be taken against a company that is not complying with prior notice 
requirements, but has committed the error only by acting on incorrect 
advice from an FDA representative. The comment wants to know what 
recourse is available to industry when a company faces large fines due 
to inaccurate FDA guidance.
    (Response) The PNC is responsible for resolution of these actions, 
on a case-by-case basis. The advice that a submitter may have received 
from an agency representative is considered when determining whether an 
enforcement action is warranted. FDA notes that under the proposed 
enforcement policy in the Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, we intend 
to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding a violation, 
including the seriousness of the violation and flagrant and repeat 
violations.
    (Comments) One foreign government agency requests access to the 
quantity and identity of the industries that are not complying with the 
prior notice IFR so that they could help bring these industries into 
compliance. The comment suggests creating a mechanism to notify foreign 
governments of any noncompliance related to the Bioterrorism Act to 
enable them to provide a faster and more efficient response.
    (Response) FDA has established mechanisms for working cooperatively 
with foreign government regulatory authorities on issues of mutual 
concern, including matters relating to compliance with the prior notice 
regulations. When requested and as resources allow, FDA/PNC personnel 
have continued to participate in briefings for foreign governments and 
organizations and at industry trade meetings. These have included 
presentations to European Community visitors to the United States, 
joint FDA-Canadian Food Inspection Agency import meetings, and other 
foreign government and industry outreach events widely attended by both 
industry and other government agencies, e.g., WESCCON (Western Cargo 
Conference). FDA continues to work with foreign governments to develop 
more efficient and effective communications. In addition, information 
about compliance with prior notice requirements is posted at http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnsum.html.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA provide a sufficient 
period of time for implementation of the final rule so that affected 
parties can prepare for any changes in the rule.
    (Response) FDA agrees and is providing 180 days after publication 
of the final rule, which should be sufficient time for implementing 
changes necessary to comply with the final rule.
    (Comments) One comment states that FDA and CBP categorize some 
articles of food differently; i.e., some articles that are ``drugs'' 
for FDA purposes are classified by CBP as ``foods.'' The comment 
indicates that such products should not be denied entry or assessed 
monetary penalties and suggests that the final rule provide for 
immediate release and cancellation of monetary penalties for such 
articles that are not ``food,'' as defined by the FDA.
    (Response) FDA does not agree that a change in the final rule would 
alleviate the concern expressed by the comment. The scope of the final 
rule is stated explicitly in Sec.  1.277. Situations involving 
discrepancies between FDA and CBP classification of an imported article 
as a food or drug are best resolved on a case-by-case basis as they 
arise. However, because FDA and CBP have worked closely to identify and 
resolve such issues, the agencies believe that such situations will be 
rare. In cases of doubt, the submitter should contact the PNC to 
determine whether a product is an article of food subject to prior 
notice requirements.

[[Page 66374]]

    FDA uses a list of HTS codes to indicate which products FDA 
believes prior notice is or may be required under the prior notice 
regulations. FDA has provided this list to CBP so that CBP can ``flag'' 
the HTS codes in its entry systems to screen for foods for which prior 
notice to FDA is required and to ensure that, as appropriate, prior 
notice has been provided. FDA publishes this list to inform the food 
industry which HTS codes have been ``flagged'' in CBP entry systems 
with prior notice indicators. Guidance about the HTS flags is posted at 
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/htsguid3.html.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA consider the importer's 
circumstances when denying entry or assessing penalties. The comment 
states that, although it is reasonable to expect a company whose 
principal business is importing food to abide by regulations applicable 
to food imports, companies that rarely import food products will likely 
have greater difficulty in complying with the requirements. The comment 
further states that although these companies should be required to 
comply before their entries are released, blanket denials of entry or 
assessments of monetary penalties are not appropriate.
    (Response) Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we are 
announcing our Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG which describes our 
policies for enforcing prior notice. Under the CPG, we are proposing to 
take into consideration the circumstances surrounding a violation, 
including the seriousness of the violation and flagrant and repeat 
violations.
    (Final rule) Section 1.284 of the final rule states that the 
importing or offering for import into the United States of an article 
of food in violation of the requirements of section 801(m) of the act, 
including the requirements of this subpart, is a prohibited act under 
section 301(ee) of the act and sets out the civil, criminal, and 
debarment actions that the United States may bring against persons who 
are responsible for the commission of a prohibited act.

L. What Happens to Food That is Imported or Offered for Import From 
Unregistered Facilities That Are Required to Register Under Subpart H 
of This Part? (Sec.  1.285)

    Section 1.285 of the IFR outlines the consequences for food 
arriving at the port of arrival from facilities that are not registered 
as required under section 415 of the act and 21 CFR part 1, subpart H. 
These are similar to provisions in the IFR for handling food that is 
refused for inadequate prior notice. The IFR states that if an article 
of food from a foreign manufacturer that is not registered as required 
under section 415 of the act and subpart H is imported or offered for 
import into the United States, the food is subject to being held at the 
port under section 801(l) of the act and refusal under section 801(m) 
of the act and Sec.  1.283 for failure to provide adequate prior 
notice. Under the IFR, the failure to provide the correct registration 
number of the foreign manufacturer, if registration is required under 
section 415 of the act and 21 CFR part 1, subpart H, renders the 
identity of that facility incomplete for purposes of prior notice.
    (Comments) Several comments state that FDA should increase 
inspections of imported food when they arrive at the port, rather than 
denying admission based on lack of the manufacturer's registration 
number.
    (Response) If the prior notice does not include a registration 
number, it can instead include the full address of the manufacturer and 
the reason why the registration number is not provided. In this 
situation, the article of food will not be refused admission solely 
because of the lack of the manufacturer's registration number. We agree 
with the comments it is appropriate to consider the fact that the 
registration number is not provided in determining whether FDA should 
inspect the food, either upon arrival or as part of the admissions 
process.
    While an article of food will not be refused admission solely 
because of the lack of the manufacturer's registration number, the food 
is nonetheless subject to being held under section 801(l) of the act if 
the manufacturer has not registered under section 415 of the act. It 
may take FDA more time to determine the registration status of the 
manufacturer if the name and full address, but not the registration 
number, is provided as part of prior notice. Thus, if the registration 
number is not provided, this may delay the food at the border until 
this verification is completed.
    (Comments) Some comments state that, although the prior notice 
regulations clearly indicate that the manufacturer's registration 
number is required on the prior notice, even for U.S. Goods Returned, 
they do not expressly indicate that refusal will result when the 
registration number is not provided. Rather, according to the comments, 
Sec.  1.285(a) of the regulations only indicates that articles of food 
arriving from an unregistered foreign facility will be subject to 
refusal, as will articles of food arriving with an inaccurate 
registration number in the prior notice. In more general terms, under 
Sec.  1.283(a)(1)(ii), articles of food arriving with an ``inaccurate'' 
prior notice are subject to the same possibility of refusal upon 
arrival. The comments state that the language of the regulations does 
not guarantee refusal, but provides for flexibility and discretionary 
enforcement. Comments suggest that FDA should not refuse entries for 
which the importer does not know and cannot determine the registration 
number.
    (Response) As discussed in the previous response, if the prior 
notice does not include a registration number, it can instead include 
the full address of the manufacturer and the reason why the 
registration number is not provided. In this situation, the article of 
food will not be refused admission solely because of the lack of the 
manufacturer's registration number, although the food is nonetheless 
subject to being held under section 801(l) of the act if the 
manufacturer has not registered under section 415 of the act.
    Because this is a change from the IFR, in the final rule we have 
deleted the text in ' 1.285(a) that states that failure to provide the 
manufacturer's registration number renders the identity of the facility 
incomplete for purposes of prior notice. We have also clarified the 
text in ' 1.285(b) by removing the phrase ``imported or offered for 
import from a foreign facility that is not registered as required under 
section 415 of the act'' because it is redundant.
    As part of our effort to develop policies for enforcing prior 
notice and section 801(l) of the act, we are publishing the Prior 
Notice Final Rule Draft CPG, announced elsewhere in this issue of the 
Federal Register.
    (Final rule) Section 1.285 of the final rule describes the 
consequences and processes for food imported or offered for import in 
the United States that is from a facility that is not registered under 
section 415 of the act and 21 CFR part 1, subpart H. The food is 
subject to being held and cannot be delivered to any importer, owner, 
or consignee.
    FDA also made other minor changes in this section.
     We revised the requirement in Sec.  1.285(c)(2) to notify 
FDA of the location where the food has been or will be moved from 
within 24 hours of refusal to before the food is moved to the hold 
location. FDA needs this information before the food is moved to verify 
that the facility where the food is to be held is a secure facility. 
Moreover, because refused food shall not be delivered to the importer, 
owner, or ultimate consignee, before the food is moved, FDA needs to 
verify that the

[[Page 66375]]

hold location is not owned by any of these parties. In addition, Sec.  
1.285(c)(2) of the IFR states that food under hold must be moved under 
appropriate custodial bond. We have revised this paragraph in the final 
rule to state that the refused food must be moved under appropriate 
custodial bond, unless immediately exported under CBP supervision. The 
final rule also clarifies that the refused food may be held at the port 
of entry or at a secure facility.
     We revised Sec.  1.285(g) for clarity by adding the word, 
``number,'' after the word, ``registration.'' We also changed the last 
phrase of Sec.  1.285(g) from ``* * * except that the article may only 
be sold for export or destroyed as agreed to by CBP and FDA'' to ``* * 
* except that, unless otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA, the article 
may only be sold for export or destroyed.'' Similar to Sec.  
1.283(a)(6), this change was needed because concurrence from CBP and 
FDA is not needed whenever an article of food placed under hold under 
section 801(l) of the act is sold for export or destroyed, and no 
registration number or request for FDA review is submitted. We are 
adding the phrase ``unless otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA'' to 
allow for the improbable (but not impossible) scenario when such a 
shipment would need to be transferred to another agency for examination 
or investigation; in these cases, we would want concurrence from both 
FDA and CBP.
     In Sec.  1.285(h), we added the phrase, ``is not for 
personal use,'' after the phrase, ``food carried by or otherwise 
accompanying an individual arriving in the United States,'' because if 
it is for personal use, then it is not subject to prior notice as 
provided by Sec.  1.277(b)(1).
     We deleted references and provisions in Sec.  1.285(i) and 
(l) relating to refusals, because the process for resolving a prior 
notice submission for an article of food from a facility that is not 
registered as required is based on holds under section 801(l) of the 
act and not refusals under section 801(m) (see discussion above for 
Sec.  1.285(a)). Under Sec.  1.285(i)(2), we are allowing submission of 
the notification resolving the hold by fax and e-mail only, and 
deleting the option to submit the notification by mail and express 
courier. We also made other minor revisions to this Sec.  1.285 to 
simplify the text.
     We revised Sec.  1.285(j)(2) of the final rule to allow 
the carrier to submit a request for review after hold. Under Sec.  
1.285(j)(3), we revised the final rule to allow submission of the 
request for review after hold by fax and e-mail only, and deleted the 
option to submit the notification by mail and express courier.

M. Outreach and Enforcement

    As discussed in the IFR, FDA directed outreach to both domestic and 
international stakeholders after publication of the IFR (68 FR 58974). 
Our outreach activities included many methods of communication:
     Dissemination of materials to guide affected domestic and 
international food facilities through the new processes established to 
implement prior notice requirements;
     Numerous domestic and international outreach meetings to 
the food industry, trade organizations, and State and foreign 
government regulators;
     A series of videoconferences and a satellite downlink 
video broadcast to more than 1,000 sites around the world;
     Materials provided for and events targeted to the media;
     Presentations by FDA officials and exhibits at 
professional and trade conferences and meetings to inform industry and 
State and local government representatives of the new requirements;
     Presentations by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) 
and U.S. embassy officials who disseminated materials and answered 
questions in various countries;
     Cooperative arrangements with CBP and other Federal 
agencies to ensure that information on the interim final regulations 
and their requirements is disseminated to affected companies and 
individuals; and
     Issuance of several guidance documents (all available on 
the Internet) that explain the prior notice requirements, including, 
``Prior Notice of Imported Food: Questions and Answers,'' ``What You 
Need to Know About Prior Notice of Imported Food Shipments,'' and 
numerous Web-based tutorials for PNSI. Many of these guidance documents 
are available in foreign languages; e.g., Arabic, French, Hindi, 
Japanese, Malay, Portuguese, and Spanish.
    Specifics regarding each of these activities are included on FDA's 
Web site. In addition, FDA also provided training in new or revised 
procedures for its field personnel, as well as CBP field personnel. FDA 
included an initial transition period in the December 2003 prior notice 
CPG for more than 8 months, during which the agencies emphasized 
education to achieve compliance, rather than refusal of articles of 
food with inadequate prior notice.
    Shortly after publication of the IFR, FDA began disseminating at 
U.S. ports flyers and posters summarizing the new requirements and 
informing representatives of affected entities how to provide prior 
notice to FDA. We also provided (and continue to provide) online 
assistance and the FDA Help Desk to deal with technical issues 
involving PNSI after the IFR became effective.
    When FDA reopened the comment period on the IFR in the Federal 
Register of April 14, 2004, under discussion of Flexible Alternatives 
in question 7, we asked: ``Should FDA offer a prior notice submission 
training program for submitters and transmitters, including brokers, to 
ensure the accuracy of the data being submitted?'' Many comments 
address various issues concerning outreach and enforcement. Discussion 
of these issues by subject follows, proceeded by a discussion of 
general issues.
1. General Outreach and Enforcement Issues
    (Comments) Several comments acknowledge that the outreach 
activities conducted by FDA and CBP were of tremendous assistance to 
affected persons with the implementation of the PNSI and encourage 
continued communication between the trade community and FDA and CBP. 
Several other comments state that FDA and CBP's outreach efforts were 
ineffective and encourage continued efforts toward education and 
outreach.
    (Response) FDA received praise from the Small Business 
Administration for our efforts to address regulatory flexibility and 
the impact on small business of the interim final rule. FDA and CBP 
will continue outreach efforts to affected industry and other 
governments, as resources allow. These efforts will focus on changes to 
and implementation of the final rule. The PNC also will continue to 
answer questions and provide technical assistance upon request, and FDA 
and CBP will issue and update guidance as policies change or need 
clarification.
2. Prior Notice Submission Training Program From Flexible Alternative 
Question 7
    (Comments) Many comments believe that a training program will 
improve the accuracy of the data being submitted under the regulations 
and that a training program would resolve many of the other problems 
being encountered with the present rules. One comment suggests that, 
following a detailed analysis of compliance issues, FDA should target 
its training to specific problems and their solutions, and to entities 
new to the process. One comment suggests that FDA offer a training 
program for brokers and other transmitters and submitters. Other

[[Page 66376]]

comments recommend that specific outreach and training should be 
conducted for each mode of transportation. Another comment cautions 
that the FDA and CBP should have resources to implement an educational 
campaign before initiating another training and outreach program.
    (Response) FDA and CBP will conduct training focused on changes 
between the final rule and the IFR. Depending on resources, the 
education and outreach may take the form of public meetings, Web-based 
interactive training, or posting on our Web sites of guidance and other 
outreach materials. As resources permit, we also may translate our 
guidance and other outreach materials into other languages.
3. Requests for Additional Outreach
    (Comments) There were many comments that request additional 
outreach and training, as well as some comments that suggest specific 
outreach programs, such as:
     Providing an expanded program that would educate and train 
all stakeholders, including substantially more and varied educational 
programs before the full enforcement of the IFR, and escalating 
training efforts in the area of shipper and carrier education and 
compliance;
     Establishing an effective mechanism for disseminating 
answers to specific questions to affected persons;
     Providing enforcement guidance that addresses specific 
enforcement issues, such as enforcement of the food facility 
registration requirements at the time of prior notice submission and 
describing enforcement procedures in detail;
     Providing guidelines on the procedures to submit prior 
notice either via FDA's PNSI or CBP's ABI, such as instructions on 
cancellation or change of a prior notice and descriptions on what is 
meant by identifying goods by the common, usual or market name;
     Explaining procedures of the rule in foreign languages and 
establishing point of contacts in foreign countries;
     Publicizing the rule to individual Americans who will 
travel abroad, and making compliance with it a simple, practicable, and 
straight forward process;
     Providing a Web-based tutorial;
     Using CBP's ABI Administrative Messages to announce 
changes in PNSI;
     Establishing an FDA and CBP agency-industry working group 
and/or a more formal advisory committee with representatives of various 
industry groups;
     Improving staffing on the ``hotline'' and/or creation of 
an exclusive Help Line staffed with individuals with the requisite 
technical expertise and the ability to resolve operational problems as 
they arise;
     Creating dedicated e-mail addresses within FDA to which 
specific questions can be addressed and/or specific e-mail addresses 
for different technical and operations areas;
     Providing prompt information to submitters regarding 
inadequacies or inaccuracies in prior notice, including shipment level 
feedback to the filer; and
     Holding public meetings before the final rule takes effect 
to ensure that all affected parties understand the rule and can be 
heard.
    (Response) We will provide outreach and training on the final rule 
as resources permit. At a minimum, we will provide guidance and 
instructions on the process for filing prior notice on our Web site. 
This guidance, along with detailed instructions on the use of PNSI, 
including step-by-step help, is available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
~furls/helpf.html.
    We agree with the recommendation to establish an effective 
mechanism for disseminating answers to specific questions to industry, 
and have issued guidance documents for each of the rules we have issued 
to implement the authorities in the Bioterrorism Act that provide our 
response to the frequently asked questions (FAQs), including the prior 
notice IFR. We anticipate doing the same for this final rule. These 
guidance documents are designed to help affected parties comply with 
the legal requirements established by the various rules. We intend to 
issue additional guidance as new questions arise and as resources 
permit.
    In terms of providing enforcement guidance, in December 2003, FDA 
and CBP issued a CPG that stated that, until August 12, 2004, the two 
agencies generally would utilize communication and education strategies 
with escalating imposition of civil monetary penalties rather than 
refusal of shipments. The two agencies revised the CPG in June 2004, 
August 2004 (August 16, 2004, 69 FR 50389), November 2004, March 2005, 
and November 2005 (November 14, 2005, 70 FR 69160), as our enforcement 
policies changed and evolved. Published elsewhere in this issue of the 
Federal Register is a notice of availability for the Prior Notice Final 
Rule Draft CPG, which describes FDA's and CBP's proposed policies for 
enforcing this final rule. A copy of the CPG may be found at http://www.fda.gov/ora under ``Compliance References.''
    Generally, FDA enforcement procedures regarding imports are 
provided in FDA's Regulatory Procedures Manual, Chapter 9. This 
guidance is posted at http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/rpm_new2/ch9/default.htm.
    FDA agrees, in part, with the recommendation about providing user 
guidelines and has provided guidance and instructions on the process 
for filing prior notice. This guidance, along with detailed 
instructions on the use of the PNSI, including step-by-step help, is 
available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/helpf.html. Instructions 
for contacting FDA with questions about prior notice are also available 
at that Web site.
    FDA cannot provide specific instructions on the use of ABI software 
to file prior notice, as that software is developed and made available 
through private vendors. Users should contact their vendor for specific 
instructions on the use of their ABI software. CBP does regularly issue 
to filers ABI Administrative Messages which provide instruction and 
guidance regarding submission of prior notice through ABI/ACS.
    As part of our outreach efforts for the prior notice IFR, we issued 
a number of documents explaining the requirements of the IFR and/or 
PNSI and provided them on our Web site in English and one or more other 
languages, including:
     FDA Industry Systems, Index of Help Pages at http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/helpol.html) (also available in Spanish);
     HELP: Getting Started: Create New Account Quick Start 
Guide) (also available in Spanish);
     OUTREACH: Overview of Prior Notice Interim Final Rule 
(Slide Presentation) (also available in Arabic, French, Malay and 
Spanish);
     Booklet: What You Need to Know About Prior Notice of 
Imported Food Shipments (also available in French and Spanish); and
     Fact Sheet on the Interim Final Rule--Prior Notice of 
Imported Food Shipments (also available in French, Malay, Polish, 
Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and Japanese).
    We also have an ``FDA Food and Cosmetic International/Foreign 
Language Documents and Videos,'' which is a list of all food (and 
cosmetic) documents that have been translated and the languages in 
which they are available on our Web site at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
~mow/internat.html. Many of the documents describing prior notice 
requirements and guidance have been translated into foreign languages.
    FDA does not currently maintain staff in foreign countries. 
However, FDA has

[[Page 66377]]

developed the Beyond our Borders initiative, which includes plans to 
build an on-the-ground presence for FDA in Asia, Europe, Latin America, 
and the Middle East. In March of 2008, we received approval from the 
U.S. Department of State to establish eight full time permanent FDA 
positions at U.S. diplomatic posts in the People's Republic of China, 
pending authorization from the Chinese government. Furthermore, CBP, 
U.S. Department of State, and USDA Food Agricultural Service staff are 
located at U.S. Embassies in many foreign countries. These U.S. 
government entities frequently provided assistance to foreign 
stakeholders, including foreign government officials and private 
companies, in understanding the requirements of various U.S. 
regulations, including those provided in our Bioterrorism Act 
regulations. We will routinely update these U.S. officials abroad about 
changes to and implementation of this prior notice final rule.
    As resources permit, we also will continue to translate guidance 
documents and system instructions into other languages.
    FDA agrees with the comment requesting publicizing the rule to 
individual Americans who will travel abroad, and making compliance with 
it a simple, practicable, and straight forward process. CBP Publication 
 0000-0512, revised January 13, 2005, Know Before You Go--
Regulations for U.S. Residents, is posted at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/. This publication is the primary CBP 
guidance document concerning import regulations targeted to travelers 
and contains information about the prior notice final rule's 
requirements for importation of food. In addition to providing 
information about prior notice requirements, the publication also 
provides a link to FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html.
    FDA also agrees with the comment that requests us to provide a Web-
based tutorial. Since October 2003, FDA has provided a PNSI tutorial in 
the form of step-by-step help on its Web site (http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/helpf.html). FDA welcomes any additional 
comments or suggestions on how to improve the help information; these 
can be submitted to the PNC using the phone number or e-mail provided 
on that Web page.
    FDA and CBP agree that operational issues impacting ABI filers 
should be announced using Administrative Messages, and intend to 
continue to use that system, as we have routinely done since December 
2003. When appropriate, information about the PNSI system will also be 
announced both on the FDA Web site and through CBP's Administrative 
Messages.
    CBP also has established avenues of communication with trade 
working groups and ensures FDA's participation when the subject for 
discussion is prior notice. FDA does not plan to establish a formal 
advisory committee to address prior notice.
    FDA agrees with the comment to improve help desk staffing, as 
resources permit. Our Web site contains a tutorial on how to submit a 
registration for a facility subject to the requirements at 21 CFR part 
1, subpart H. In addition, the PNC staff can answer questions about how 
to submit prior notice. Questions regarding clarification of the rule 
that are not addressed in this preamble or existing publications should 
be submitted to FDA at [email protected]. We will generally not 
provide an individual response to these questions, but will answer them 
in Question and Answer Guidance Documents so the information will be 
broadly available.
    FDA has included features in PNSI to inform submitters of many 
types of inadequacies in the information provided, such as missing 
required fields. FDA also has coordinated with CBP to provide prompt 
messaging back to users when Prior Notice is filed through ACS. FDA 
notes that certain inaccuracies cannot be identified electronically, 
but could be detected in an intensive prior notice review (e.g., the 
packaging of an actual shipment (12 oz cans of tuna fish) does not 
match the prior notice data submitted for that shipment (e.g., 6 oz 
cans of tuna fish)).
    With respect to holding public meetings to provide an opportunity 
for parties to voice their opinions on the IFR, FDA and CBP published 
the IFR on October 10, 2003, and opened the comment period through 
December 24, 2003. We reopened the comment period from April 14, 2004, 
through July 13, 2004. We reviewed 320 timely comments that raised 
multiple issues, and have considered those comments as we developed 
this final rule. We also held numerous outreach meetings both 
domestically and abroad--in person and by video conferencing--to 
explain the requirements of the IFR to affected parties and answer 
questions of clarification to ensure all were able to provide 
meaningful comment to FDA and CBP. The comment period was the time for 
all parties to be heard on the provisions of the IFR. While the 
agencies welcome discussion and wanted to ensure that all stakeholders 
understand their obligations under the statute and the IFR, the comment 
period ended July 13, 2004, and the agencies did not consider comments 
submitted outside of the open comment periods.
    (Comments) Several comments recommend that FDA provide feedback to 
the industry detailing areas of noncompliance and compliance. One 
foreign government stated its willingness to work with FDA to increase 
the level of industry compliance within their country through outreach 
and education activities. It requests that FDA provide it on a timely 
basis detailed information concerning noncompliance by their industry. 
Another comment suggests that FDA could post on its Web site a 
description of the types of errors most commonly observed in filed 
prior notices.
    (Response) We agree, and have been posting on our Web site summary 
information about submission of prior notice, including data on the 
types of errors. See http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnsum.html. We stated 
that this information will also be analyzed to help FDA take 
appropriate enforcement action when necessary. FDA presented the 
Summary Information in two categories: (1) General interest--
Information about the number and types of prior notices that are being 
submitted, and which systems are being used to submit them; and (2) 
Specific requirements--Information about submission of the required 
information. We provided an initial posting of the summary information 
and two subsequent updates. The August 2004 update included some 
summary information from December 2003 through April 2004 and some 
snapshots of activity in July 2004, along with information on specific 
information requirements such as registration number and carrier 
information.
    We also posted information summarizing the number of facilities 
registered pursuant to 21 CFR part 1, subpart H at: http://
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/ffregsum.html. This summary includes a 
breakdown of the number of registered facilities by country and U.S. 
State.
4. Enforcement Timeframe
    (Comments) Many comments state that because FDA and CBP have not 
informed prior notice submitters of specific deficiencies in their 
submissions, FDA must extend the enforcement date of the rule to allow 
more time to communicate errors and allow adequate time to fix them. 
One comment suggests that the agencies should develop and implement a 
notice-

[[Page 66378]]

specific informational system that provides detailed feedback to 
submitters when a prior notice is deemed to be noncompliant. Another 
comment states that exporters should be advised of noncompliant 
shipments in order to take corrective action prior to the shift to full 
enforcement. One comment believes that part of the phase-in period 
should include a feedback program to let brokers know which importers 
and corresponding transactions are handled with inadequate or no prior 
notice. The comment states that this program should be developed in 
conjunction with the industry to define measurements (history profile 
and/or transactional), and determine what the notification process 
should be. One comment encourages FDA to expeditiously publish a notice 
that it intends to continue outreach and delay enforcement of the 
regulation so that the business community may have a greater 
opportunity for education, training, and continued dialogue with the 
agencies. Other comments recommend a delay in the final phase of 
enforcement until all systems are fully operational.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The obligation to comply with applicable 
regulations is on the parties subject to a regulation as specified 
therein; FDA does not have an obligation to inform all prior notice 
submitters of specific deficiencies in their submissions before 
beginning enforcement of a rule. FDA and CBP, however, were cognizant 
of the potential effect the prior notice IFR could have on trade and 
thus, after publication of the IFR, FDA published guidance that 
included a transition period during which we emphasized education to 
achieve compliance, rather than general refusal of noncompliant 
shipments (the December 2003 Prior Notice Interim Final Rule CPG) (68 
FR 69708). In addition, during the prior notice transition periods from 
April 2004 through April 2005, we provided compliance summaries that 
informed submitters, and those who transmit on their behalf, of the 
major areas of deficiencies with respect to missing data elements. 
These represented the general deficiencies we were seeing in prior 
notice submissions during the educational transition period (see http:/
/www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnsum.html). The compliance summaries also 
generally described the deficiencies in prior notices that are not 
confirmed for review (e.g., failure to provide a valid registration 
number). However, we do not plan to communicate submission deficiencies 
to other than the submitter and transmitter. FDA believes that the 
effective date of 180 days after publication of the final rule provides 
sufficient time for the business community to become familiar with all 
the provisions of the final rule. Moreover, we plan to conduct outreach 
after publication of the final rule to affected industry and other 
governments, as resources allow. These efforts will focus on changes to 
the final rule. Given the delayed effective date, the fact that the 
changes in the final rule are not very extensive, and the public's 
experience in complying with the IFR, FDA believes there is no need for 
a phased-in enforcement approach similar to what was done for the IFR.
    (Comments) One comment states that if FDA discovers that a large 
number of problems are experienced during the grace period between 
publication of this final rule and the effective date, FDA should 
consider extending the effective date, especially for first time 
offenders.
    (Response) FDA believes that the 180 day delay in effective date is 
adequate for affected parties to become familiar with all the 
provisions in the Prior Notice Final Rule. While we do not anticipate 
extending the effective date past 180 days, we intend to take into 
account the circumstances of the violation in enforcing the final rule.
5. Enforcement Penalties
    (Comments) One comment requests that the agencies publish 
procedures that clearly define what types of penalties will be issued 
for failure to comply under Sec.  1.284 and to whom they will be 
issued.
    (Response) Sections 1.283 and 1.284 of the final rule describe the 
consequences for failing to submit adequate prior notice or otherwise 
failing to comply with the final rule. We believe these adequately 
describe the types of penalties. The Prior Notice Final Rule Draft CPG 
describes our proposed enforcement policies, and states, for example, 
that we intend to focus our resources on more serious violations and 
repeat or flagrant violations.
    Civil monetary penalties, which are issued by CBP, may also be 
assessed in response to a prior notice violation. CBP has posted a 
variety of publications that explain both the administrative process 
for fines, penalties, forfeitures, and liquidated damages, such as: 
``What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Customs 
Administrative Enforcement Process: Fines, Penalties, Forfeitures and 
Liquidated Damages,'' which is posted at: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/legal/informed_compliance_pubs/icp052.ctt/icp052.pdf, and ``What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know 
About: Mitigation Guidelines: Fines, Penalties, Forfeitures and 
Liquidated Damages,'' which is posted at http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/legal/informed_compliance_pubs/icp069.ctt/icp069.pdf. (FDA has verified the Web site addresses, but FDA is not 
responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web sites after this 
document publishes in the Federal Register.)

N. The Joint FDA-CBP Plan for Increasing Integration and Assessing the 
Coordination of Prior Notice Timeframes

    We stated in the preamble to the IFR (68 FR 58974 at 58995) that 
FDA and CBP would publish a plan, including an implementation schedule, 
to achieve the goal of a uniform, integrated system and to coordinate 
prior notice timeframes for air and truck modes of transportation with 
timeframes finalized by CBP when they finalize their rule entitled 
``Required Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information,'' all 
while fulfilling the Bioterrorism Act mandates. For this reason, as 
well as to obtain comments on other aspects of the rule, we issued an 
IFR, with an opportunity for public comment for 75 days. Moreover, to 
ensure that those who comment on this IFR would have had the benefit of 
actual experience with the systems, timeframes, and data elements, FDA 
also stated it intended to reopen the comment period for an additional 
30 days to coincide with the issuance of the plan by FDA and CBP 
relating to timeframes. We extended this comment period twice on April 
14, 2004, and May 18, 2004, thereby providing an opportunity for 
affected persons to comment for 165 days.
    In April 2004, FDA and CBP announced the Joint Food and Drug 
Administration-Customs and Border Protection Plan for Increasing 
Integration and Assessing the Coordination of Prior Notice Timeframes 
(the Plan).
    The comments addressing the Plan are discussed in the following 
paragraphs. Comments addressing our assessment of reducing the prior 
notice timeframes are found earlier in section III.F (``When must prior 
notice be submitted to FDA?'' (Sec.  1.279)) of this document. We 
respond to the other questions (e.g., special programs and flexible 
alternatives) raised in our April 14th reopening of the comment period 
in sections III.D (``What is the Scope of this subpart?'' (Sec.  
1.277)) and III.M (Outreach and Enforcement) of this document.

[[Page 66379]]

1. Increased Integration
    FDA and CBP have increased their integration and are continuing to 
do so in the following ways:
     Co-location of all FDA Prior Notice staff with CBP's 
targeting staff;
     Further refinement to FDA's targeting rule sets in CBP's 
targeting system, coupled with additional training in targeting 
techniques;
     Continued targeting support from CBP and other Federal law 
enforcement analysts; and
     Enhancement of communications and cooperation with CBP to 
facilitate information exchange and to ensure expeditious access and 
examination of food shipments FDA has decided to inspect upon arrival.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA should consider performing 
the OASIS review concurrently with the ``FDA BTA review'' to eliminate 
duplicative work and burdens on both the importing community and FDA. 
Another comment suggests that FDA coordinate the prior notice procedure 
with FDA's ``Hold Intact Notice'' so that FDA can avail itself of the 
opportunity to identify in advance shipments for inspection, sampling 
or detention, or permit the shipment to pass and be delivered without 
delay.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. As we previously explained in an earlier 
response in section III.J.11 of this document, FDA does not agree that 
doing the OASIS review under section 801(a) of the act concurrently 
with the prior notice review under section 801(m) of act would be 
beneficial to industry or FDA. Because the section 801(m) review must 
occur prior to arrival, concurrent section 801(a) and section 801(m) 
reviews also would have to occur prior to arrival. FDA believes such a 
concurrent process would be inefficient and impractical and would 
likely increase congestion at the ports of arrival.
    (Comments) Comments state that co-locating FDA PNC staff with CBP's 
targeting staff is a positive step because the two agencies' personnel 
are both accountable for the risk analysis process, and thus, both 
agencies' personnel can easily interact and share information, leading 
to increased efficiencies and integration of the risk analysis process.
    (Response) FDA agrees and has co-located the PNC with CBP's 
targeting staff.
    (Comments) Comments strongly support further refinement of FDA's 
targeting rule sets in order to maintain and improve the risk analysis 
system to flag specific shipments for security concerns. Comments 
further support the continuing plan to target shipments for which 
little is known, while maintaining expedited processing for those 
shipments and importers that are well known and have provided FDA and 
CBP with the means by which they can assure general compliance. These 
comments also argue that products subject to FDA's prior notice 
requirements should be eligible for full expedited processing and 
information transmission benefits allowed with C-TPAT, FAST, and any 
other similar programs established in the future. One comment 
specifically encourages FDA and CBP to incorporate the current 
information contained within these programs and allow for the removal 
of the maximum number of flags within the risk analysis system for 
those companies that demonstrate their compliance by participation in 
these additional security programs.
    (Response) FDA agrees that refining our targeting rule sets helps 
to improve both agencies' risk analysis systems. As we discussed 
previously, FDA has decided not to consider any special programs, such 
as C-TPAT and FAST, in implementing the prior notice rule.
    (Comments) All the comments favor initiatives to provide additional 
training of FDA staff in targeting techniques that will increase the 
efficiency and effectiveness of the border crossing systems. One 
comment particularly notes that additional training should be targeted 
towards those individuals and issues that will provide measurable 
additional value to the prompt and efficient release of compliant 
cargo.
    (Response) Any effective targeting technique allows for the 
identification of food likely to be at risk for adulteration based on a 
scientific risk assessment. Targeted training will be provided, as 
resources permit.
    (Comments) Comments support enhanced communications and cooperation 
with CBP to facilitate information exchange and ensure fast access to 
foods that are subject to prior notice holds. Comments state that this 
will be critical to the food industry, as any delays will translate 
into added costs and inefficiencies to their current supply chain. One 
comment encourages FDA and CBP to integrate technologies used for 
implementing the Bioterrorism Act with NEXUS, US VISIT, FAST, C-TPAT, 
and other programs at the border.
    (Response) FDA agrees that exchanging information between the 
agencies is important to evaluation of and response to food safety and 
security challenges.
    (Comments) One comment encourages FDA and CBP to work with their 
Canadian counterparts to ensure that information is shared and 
technologies are working in parallel to make crossing the border 
seamless, efficient, and safe.
    (Response) FDA agrees that exchange of information between its 
international counterparts, when feasible, is critical to evaluation 
and response to food safety and security challenges.
    (Comments) One comment notes that FDA recently announced the 
signing of an MOU with CBP to commission CBP officers in ports and 
other locations to conduct investigations and examinations of imported 
foods on behalf of FDA. The comment questions whether this would have 
any consequences on the selections for controls by CBP officials 
stationed in EU ports.
    (Response) Investigation and examination of food as a result of 
prior notice is conducted upon or after arrival of the food in the 
United States. Therefore, the MOU should not have any consequences on 
CBP operations at EU ports.
2. General Comments on the Plan
    The Plan as announced in April 2004 and revised in November 2004 
outlines the following:
     From November 1, 2004, to January 3, 2005, we plan to 
assess existing procedures and staffing needed to receive, review, and 
respond to the prior notices submitted in accordance with the Prior 
Notice IFR (i.e., 2 hours before arrival by land by road; 4 hours 
before arrival by air or by land by rail; and 8 hours before arrival by 
water).
     From January 4, 2005, to February 3, 2005, we intend to 
identify what changes to work practices and staffing would be necessary 
to determine if FDA could continue to receive, review, and respond to 
all prior notice submissions with reduced timeframes (e.g., 1 hour/30 
minutes before arrival by land by road; 2 hours before arrival by land 
by rail; and by ``wheels up'' for flights originating in North and 
Central America, South America (north of the Equator only), the 
Caribbean, and Bermuda; otherwise 4 hours before arrival by air).
     From February 4, 2005, to May 3, 2005, we plan to 
implement necessary changes and make appropriate adjustments to ensure 
we could receive, review, and respond to all prior notice submissions 
with reduced timeframes.
    Under the Bioterrorism Act, any timeframe must be sufficient to 
receive, review, and respond to prior notice submissions, as set out in 
section 801(m)(2)(A) of the act (21 U.S.C. 801(m)(2)(A)). The agencies 
emphasized that the evaluation of whether to reduce

[[Page 66380]]

the timeframes for prior notice review will depend on the level of 
compliance industry achieves during the assessment.
    (Comments) Numerous comments concur with the proposed joint FDA-CBP 
plan for increasing integration of both agencies' activities, as this 
would eliminate the requirement for importers to maintain two different 
timeframes for submission of data. One comment concurs with the joint 
plan and states that it would minimize procedures and costs for firms. 
One comment states that it was confident that, with proper planning and 
development, additional integration of the security processes and the 
differing timeframes can be coordinated through the actions outlined in 
the published joint plan.
    (Response) FDA agrees that increased integration of activities, 
including timeframes when appropriate and feasible, would be 
advantageous, provided FDA still is able to meet its statutory 
obligation to receive, review, and respond to prior notice. As 
discussed previously (see section III.F, When must prior notice be 
submitted to FDA? (Sec.  1.279)), FDA conducted an assessment of FDA 
response times with reduced timeframes and determined that if it 
changed the prior notice timeframes to be consistent with those of 
CBP's advance electronic information rule, the agency would not have 
adequate time to receive, review, and respond to the prior notices. 
Moreover, commerce actually would be adversely impacted by shorter 
prior notice timeframes for submission, because this would 
significantly increase the number of shipments where FDA would not be 
able to decide whether it should examine the food at the port of 
arrival by the end of the timeframe. Such shipments would be delayed at 
the port of arrival until FDA has either completed its review or 
decided to examine or not examine the food at the port or arrival 
without the benefit of a complete review. Accordingly, FDA has retained 
the timeframes in the IFR.
    (Comments) One comment requests that FDA explain why the maritime 
transportation timeframe was not considered in the joint plan.
    (Response) FDA did not include the maritime transportation 
timeframe because the CBP advance electronic information timeframe for 
cargo arriving by water is 24 hours, which is significantly greater 
than the time established by the prior notice IFR for this mode of 
transportation (8 hours before arrival).
    (Comments) One comment suggests that assessment of the resources 
encompass all potential resources available at the port, including 
those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to make 
better use of DHS resources at the border. Another comment states that 
any assessment taken up during this timeframe must take into account 
the problems inherent in the current systems, as well as the fact that 
not all submissions will be properly prepared or followed up on, as 
this could potentially translate into current practices or staffing 
appearing to be inadequate when, in fact, they may not be.
    Another comment asserts that some border crossings were not 
designed for today's traffic volumes or the post 9-11 environment and 
recommends that these physical resources be included in the assessment 
of existing procedures. This comment also encourages CBP to audit 
staffing levels at border crossings to determine if additional staff is 
needed.
    (Response) FDA agrees that any assessment must take into account 
the availability of all resources, including those resources of 
agencies with which we maintain MOU or other agreements covering 
inspection and sample collection, which can, or should, be devoted to 
the receipt, review, and response of prior notice. Accordingly, DHS 
resources are used in implementing this rule, as described elsewhere in 
this preamble.
    (Comments) Two comments noted that they are experiencing 
significant delays on shipments that cross the border on Fridays due to 
FDA's limited hours on that day. The comments are concerned about 
uncertainty regarding transit times and that customers' date-sensitive 
orders will not be received on time. Another comment noted that waiting 
times due to traffic volume has increased at the bridge at Detroit 
because of the inability to move prior notice shipments through the 
tunnel. The comment states that these delays have made it very 
difficult to deliver to U.S. facilities that do not operate 24 hours 
and that these delays will continue to cost exporters and importers and 
may cause U.S. processing facilities to have unplanned downtime due to 
a lack of raw material. Another comment notes that different FDA 
locations ask for more information than the Bioterrorism regulations or 
systems can process, thereby holding up shipments that move freely at 
other border crossing locations.
    (Response) Prior notice is submitted electronically through ABI/ACS 
or PNSI. There is no ability for individual ports to require different 
information as part of the prior notice submission process. The PNC 
directs all prior notice activities for FDA and ensures consistent 
review of submitted prior notices. If industry is having difficulties 
with a specific port, they should contact the PNC to have the issues 
resolved. FDA believes it is likely that the concerns raised in the 
comments relate to admissibility decisions being made under section 
801(a) of the act, which is a separate review than the one made under 
section 801(m) of the act, as described previously.
    (Comments) One comment states that FDA personnel should be assigned 
to all arrival ports, particularly those where high risk shipments may 
arrive.
    (Response) FDA does not have the personnel to cover all possible 
ports of arrival. Accordingly, under the authority of section 314 of 
the Bioterrorism Act, FDA and CBP signed an MOU in December 2003 that 
allowed FDA to commission thousands of CBP officers in ports and other 
locations to conduct, on FDA's behalf, investigations and examinations 
of imported foods. This FDA-CBP collaboration significantly strengthens 
the implementation of the Bioterrorism Act to assure the security of 
imported foods. The MOU enables FDA to work more efficiently with CBP 
and builds upon FDA's and CBP's long history of close cooperation. 
Additionally, the MOU enhances the two agencies' teamwork in training, 
day-to-day operations, and information sharing. As part of the MOU, FDA 
and CBP provide specialized training for the commissioned CBP employees 
who will carry out this work, and both agencies have expanded their 
existing cooperative arrangements to directly share information 
affecting the safety and security of imported foods. (See http://www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/moucustoms.html.)
    (Comments) One comment states that there were connection problems 
with FDA's computer system, perhaps as a result of submission overloads 
to the system, with session ``timeouts'' occurring. The comment notes 
that it is crucial that an infrastructure with the capacity to deal 
with the information being required by FDA be in place in order for 
stakeholders to meet the requirements of prior notice.
    (Response) As discussed in section III.G, How must you submit the 
prior notice? (Sec.  1.280), FDA has carefully monitored both PNSI and 
OASIS system usage and performance since prior notice was implemented 
in December 2003. During this period, no issues related to load on 
these systems have been identified. Both systems have experienced 
occasional outages (including planned down times for maintenance and 
upgrades). During

[[Page 66381]]

these outages, messages between the CBP and FDA systems are held in a 
queue, resulting in a backlog. Initially, we did experience some 
difficulties when trying to clear the queue after returning to normal 
operations, but these issues have been resolved. FDA and CBP also have 
increased the capacity of the communications link between their systems 
to ensure that additional bandwidth is available for future increases 
in load. FDA continues to monitor the production system and to test for 
performance as the system is upgraded and enhanced.
    (Comments) One comment suggests that FDA and CBP take the 
integrated timeframes further and require only one notification that 
should meet both FDA and CBP requirements and prevent confusion and 
delays in the case of a bioterrorism event.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The Bioterrorism Act and the Trade Act 
have different statutory requirements. In implementing these laws, the 
agencies require different information and use different targeting and 
screening tools. FDA and CBP have discussed interfacing with AMS (the 
module of ACS through which carriers, port authorities, or service 
bureaus transmit electronically the cargo declaration portion of the 
inward foreign manifest to CBP) for manifest data and determined that 
the general cargo data in AMS are not suitable to accommodate the 
detailed information requirements of section 801(m) of the act. For 
example, AMS does not collect the country of origin. In addition, its 
collection of the identities of the article of food and its 
manufacturer differs from the way those are collected under the prior 
notice interim final and final rules in such a way that the data would 
not meet our needs in carrying out the purpose of section 801(m) of the 
act.
    (Comments) One comment asserts that it is redundant for FDA to 
repeat a feasibility analysis of submission timeframes because CBP has 
clearly addressed those issues. Another comment proposes that FDA 
accelerate the schedule for implementing the joint plan, and make this 
evaluation with CBP as quickly as possible. One comment supports the 
plan and suggested that any short term assessment take into account the 
problems involved with the current systems. Another comment expresses 
concern that full enforcement of the IFR will be in effect during the 
proposed review period and that consequently, industry will be placed 
in the difficult position of trying to comply with timeframe 
requirements that are not synchronized. Another comment suggests that 
other reasons for noncompliance, such as the need for additional 
discretion on data and education, be included in the evaluation.
    In response to the agencies' statement that the evaluation of 
timeframes will depend on the level of compliance industry achieves 
during the assessment, one comment asserts that it is not appropriate 
for the agencies to place the burden of compliance entirely on the 
trade. The comment further states that the trade's ability to provide 
the information required also depends on the systems working properly, 
the efficiencies of the government personnel involved, the educational 
outreach levels and the feedback individual importers receive in 
relation to their current processes. These are areas that are 
controlled and managed by the agencies, so they also must be considered 
when assessing the probability of reducing timeframes. One comment 
expresses concern that the implementation schedule of the Plan may be 
delayed due to industry noncompliance with the IFR. Another comment 
asserts that this lack of communication from the agencies to submitters 
regarding errors could negatively impact the assessment of compliance 
of the trade and subsequently, the agencies' decisions regarding the 
trade's future ability to provide a high level of compliance.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The obligation to comply with applicable 
regulations is on the parties subject to a regulation as specified 
therein; FDA does not have an obligation to inform all prior notice 
submitters of specific deficiencies in their submissions before 
beginning enforcement of a rule. Nonetheless, after publication of the 
IFR, FDA published guidance that included a transition period during 
which we emphasized education to achieve compliance, rather than 
general refusal of noncompliant shipments (the December 2003 Prior 
Notice Interim Final Rule CPG) (68 FR 69708). In addition, we have 
provided compliance summaries that inform submitters, and those who 
transmit on their behalf, of the major areas of deficiencies, in 
general, that we were seeing in prior notice submissions during this 
educational transition period (see http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/
pnsum.html), and generally advise the submitter of deficiencies in 
prior notices that are not confirmed for review (e.g., failure to 
provide a valid registration number). Moreover, FDA and CBP believe 
that the level of compliance was sufficiently high during the 
assessment period. The assessment period began almost a year after the 
IFR went into effect. During that time, we resolved initial problems 
with the government's prior notice systems and processes. Our extensive 
outreach and focus on education instead of refusals and other 
enforcement actions helped ensure that industry submission rates were 
at or near 100 percent for most prior notice information by November 
2004. In certain circumstances, such as with the manufacturer's 
registration number, FDA and CBP continued to provide flexible 
enforcement. With these measures, prior notice was operating smoothly 
during the assessment period.
    (Comments) One comment fully supports this process and encourages 
FDA to provide for any changes that may be needed to allow the timing 
reductions that are critical to economic prosperity. The comment 
suggests that once the program has been operational for a time, and the 
systems glitches worked out from past experience, the assessment would 
translate into a faster processing time.
    (Response) As stated previously, the prior notice timeframes must 
ensure that we have sufficient time to receive, review, and respond to 
the prior notice.
    (Comments) Several comments encourage both agencies to ensure that 
they allow for the proper communications with the trade prior to 
planning for or implementing any changes as a result of the previously 
mentioned assessments, so that the interests of all parties involved 
can be assessed and the best changes can be implemented. One comment 
requests that sufficient resources be allocated by FDA and CBP to 
implement the Plan.
    (Response) The IFR included an extended public comment period, and 
comments were received and reviewed during the development of this 
final rule. We also held numerous outreach meetings both domestically 
and abroad--in person and by video conferencing--to explain the 
requirements of the IFR to affected parties and answer questions of 
clarification to ensure all were able to provide meaningful comment to 
FDA and CBP. The final rule will not take effect until 180 days 
following publication. The agencies plan additional outreach and 
guidance during that 180-day period.
    (Comments) Some comments request that FDA issue a final prior 
notice rule only after there has been a period of full enforcement 
followed by an additional comment period. These comments argue that 
both FDA and industry need the benefit of experience with active and 
full enforcement before fine-tuning the prior notice regulation into a 
final rule.

[[Page 66382]]

Comments suggest that FDA reopen the comment period for 60 days after 
full enforcement has been in place for 90 to180 days or for at least 6 
months. In the interim, the comments recommend that the rule should be 
maintained as an IFR for a longer period of time with phased 
implementation, as one comment suggests, while developing the final 
rule.
    (Response) FDA reopened the comment period for a total period of 
almost 6 months to allow parties an opportunity to provide meaningful 
comment based on their experiences in complying with the IFR. FDA also 
extended the initial eight-month transition period from August 2004 to 
November 2004 for several of the data elements that our review 
indicated had higher error submission rates while continuing 
educational outreach activities. The implementation date for this final 
rule is 180 days after publication. The IFR remains in effect until the 
time the final rule takes effect. No comment period is associated with 
the publication of the final rule.
    (Comments) One comment urges the FDA to build into the final rule 
the capability to administratively amend the prior notice provisions 
quickly, if needed. The comment notes that this would be particularly 
important for imports from any country with which the FDA has reached a 
bilateral arrangement. This arrangement would serve as the basis for 
having different (e.g., more efficient, effective, or risk based) prior 
notice requirements. The comment further notes that this ability to 
administratively amend the rule would be important so that FDA could 
adjust procedures quickly and efficiently to reflect actual reductions 
in risks through such arrangements.
    (Response) FDA disagrees. The Bioterrorism Act requires that FDA 
receive prior notice for every article of food imported or offered for 
import into the United States. There are no exceptions based on the 
country of production or the country from which the article of food is 
shipped.
    To the extent that FDA and CBP believe that changes in our policies 
related to enforcing this final rule are needed, we will announce those 
as revisions to the Prior Notice Final Rule Compliance Policy Guide, a 
draft of which we are announcing elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register.

IV. Analysis of Economic Impacts

A. Final Regulatory Impact Analysis

    FDA has examined the impacts of the final rule under Executive 
Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), and 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4). Executive 
Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of 
available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to 
select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including 
potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The agency believes that 
this final rule is not a significant regulatory action under the 
Executive order.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires agencies to analyze 
regulatory options that would minimize any significant impact of a rule 
on small entities. The requirements of this final rule have not changed 
significantly from the IFR, although there are changes, such as those 
relating to the identity of the manufacturer. Because of these changes, 
FDA has determined that this final rule may have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Under the 
requirements of the RFA, and as explained in section IV.B of this 
document, FDA has analyzed the economic impacts of this rule on small 
entities.
    Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires 
that agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment 
of anticipated costs and benefits, before proposing ``any rule that 
includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year.'' The current threshold after adjustment 
for inflation is $130 million, using the most current (2007) Implicit 
Price Deflator for the Gross Domestic Product. FDA does not expect this 
final rule to result in any 1-year expenditure that would meet or 
exceed this amount as compared to the IFR.
    In this regulatory impact analysis for the prior notice final rule 
we: (1) Respond to comments on the economic analysis of the IFR, (2) 
revise the economic analysis of the IFR using new data, (3) present an 
economic analysis of the leading alternative to the IFR using new data, 
and (4) explain the marginal benefits and costs of the final rule 
itself, relative to the IFR.
1. Need for Regulation
    Section 307 of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 requires prior notice 
of all food imported or offered for import into the United States. 
Before the prior notice requirement was instituted in 2003, there were 
no security assessments made specifically on imported food products, 
and all such shipments were allowed to move into the United States 
prior to FDA being notified of their existence, which legally could 
have occurred up to 15 days after the food had arrived in the United 
States and been moved to its final destination. Requiring prior notice 
of imported foods allows FDA to target food that may pose a significant 
risk to public health and inspect it upon arrival. The prior notice 
submission requirement protects the Nation's food supply against actual 
or threatened terrorist acts and other food-related emergencies. It 
helps ensure that imported food shipments that appear to pose a 
significant threat to public health are stopped at the border upon 
arrival before they are allowed to move into the United States. This 
final rule replaces the IFR that is already in effect.
2. Final Rule Coverage
    This final rule applies to all food for humans and other animals 
that is imported or offered for import into the United States for use, 
storage, or distribution in the United States, including food for gifts 
and trade and quality assurance or quality control samples, food for 
transshipment through the United States to another country, food for 
future export, and food for use in a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone.
    This final rule does not apply to food for an individual's personal 
use when it is carried by or otherwise accompanies the individual when 
arriving in the United States; food that was made by an individual in 
his or her personal residence and sent by that individual as a personal 
gift to an individual in the United States; or food that is imported 
then exported without leaving the port of arrival until export.
    This final rule also does not apply to meat food products that at 
the time of importation are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of 
USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); 
poultry products that at the time of importation are subject to the 
exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the Poultry Products Inspection 
Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.); or egg products that at the time of 
importation are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the 
Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.).
    Finally, prior notice is not required for articles of food subject 
to Art. 27(3) of The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), 
i.e., shipped as baggage or cargo constituting the diplomatic bag.
    As required by the Bioterrorism Act, prior notice submissions must 
provide

[[Page 66383]]

the identity of the article, manufacturer, shipper, and grower (if 
known), the FDA Country of Production, the country from which the 
article is shipped, and the anticipated port of arrival. In addition, 
the notification must provide the identity of the person who submits 
and transmits the prior notice, the importer, the owner, the consignee, 
the carrier, the CBP entry identifier, the anticipated time and date of 
arrival, anticipated shipment information, and, if the food has been 
refused admission and required to be held, the location where it is 
held. For food shipments arriving in the United States through 
international mail, notification of the import must be sent before the 
article is mailed. Only the prior notice information that is relevant 
to that type of shipment must be submitted for articles of food 
arriving by international mail.
3. Comments on the Interim Final Regulatory Impact Analysis
    (Comment) The extra work of completing prior notices because each 
separate food line in an entry needs a prior notice has forced brokers 
to raise their fees to clients and forced manufacturers to raise their 
prices to U.S. consumers.
    (Response) FDA agrees this is a possible impact of the rulemaking, 
and noted in the IFR regulatory impact analysis that the costs of prior 
notice would likely be partially passed on to consumers in the form of 
higher retail prices for some foods (68 FR 58974 at 59024).
    (Comment) One comment states that smaller U.S. importers cannot 
afford the additional costs charged by a broker to submit the FDA 
information via the ABI system. As a result, they are having their 
foreign suppliers submit prior notice. Some small companies estimate 
that, including Web site disruptions, 80 packages would take 40 to 80 
hours for prior notice. The comment believes that this is totally 
unmanageable.
    (Response) We account for increase in broker costs due to prior 
notice in our analysis; the comment estimate of the time it takes to 
complete prior notice is accurately reflected in the IFR and final rule 
analysis. FDA expects importers to modify their business practices to 
find the most cost effective way to deal with prior notice 
requirements. In this case, the small importer can avoid higher broker 
fees by having the foreign supplier submit the prior notice. Another 
alternative would be for the small importer to submit prior notice 
themselves through PNSI. We would expect small firms would comply in 
whichever manner is most cost effective. It is also possible some of 
the costs of prior notice could be passed on to consumers in the form 
of higher retail prices for some foods; in this case the small importer 
would not feel the complete impact of the higher broker submission 
costs.
    (Comment) The costs of the IFR were underestimated because some 
types of imported fruits and vegetables were not included in the ``loss 
of freshness, loss in value'' calculation.
    (Response) Some fruits and vegetables are regulated by USDA's APHIS 
regulations (certain types of citrus, tomatoes, avocados, and other 
products) and already have to be inspected or checked at the port of 
entry regardless of the prior notice regulation. For importers of these 
fruits and vegetables, the requirement to have certain documentation 
available at the port of entry and coordinating times to be at the port 
of entry is not new. Thus, persons importing fruits and vegetables 
subject to APHIS' requirements are not included in the ``loss of 
freshness'' calculation as these costs of doing business are already 
taken into account when scheduling importation of the produce. FDA 
believes we have accounted for every other type of possible instance 
where a fruit or vegetable regulated under this rulemaking could 
experience a loss in freshness or value.
    Several fresh produce importers commented on the IFR that they 
considered prior notice redundant as their produce shipments already 
have to be inspected at the port of entry by USDA. These comments 
further support the exclusion of some fruits and vegetables from the 
``loss of freshness'' cost calculations presented here and in the IFR's 
regulatory impact analysis.
    (Comment) The cost to complete a prior notice to send food by mail, 
for companies that ship low volumes of inexpensive food products, is 
higher than the value of the product being shipped and therefore 
shipping to the United States may be discontinued.
    (Response) FDA stated in the analysis of the IFR that the costs of 
completing prior notice submissions may be partially passed along to 
the consumer in the form of higher retail prices for some foods (68 FR 
58974 at 59024). FDA's IFR analysis also acknowledged the possibility 
that companies in the business of sending small shipments of food to 
private individuals in the United States may stop shipping to U.S. 
addresses (68 FR 58974 at 59067).
    (Comment) A number of postal services take issue with the requiring 
of filing prior notice for personal food items. The comments state that 
the labor-intensive process of mailing personal food items will cause a 
decrease in the items being shipped, thus decreasing the business of 
the mail system.
    (Response) When the cost of shipping increases, the number of items 
shipped is indeed likely to decrease. Although some of the reduction in 
postal revenues would represent a dead-weight loss, it is primarily a 
transfer, not a social cost and therefore is not included in the cost 
estimates for this analysis.
    (Comment) Several comments express concern about their continued 
ability to import fine wine because although they can obtain the name 
and address of the site-specific manufacturer of the wine, obtaining 
the manufacturers' (i.e., the wineries') registration numbers for these 
products often is difficult to those not in the winery's direct 
distribution chain. The comments state that smaller importers, 
wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, clubs or hotels will be negatively 
affected by not having the registration number for the manufacturer of 
the fine wine. The comments further state that the prior notice rule 
will negatively impact small producers by reducing the number of 
potential representatives and sales venues as secondary fine wine 
market importers disappear.
    (Response) FDA does not believe that the fine wine industry will be 
negatively affected by the prior notice final rule. The final rule at 
Sec.  1.281(a)(6) requires the identity of the manufacturer as follows: 
The name of the manufacturer and either: (1) The registration number, 
city, and country of the manufacturer or (2) both the full address of 
the manufacturer and the reason the registration number is not provided 
(hereafter ``the identity of the manufacturer''). Even if a wine 
importer, retailer, or wholesaler cannot obtain the registration number 
(e.g., the winery refuses to disclose its registration number because 
the importer, retailer, or wholesaler is outside the winery's 
distribution chain), the prior notice can include the name and full 
address of the winery, which comments stated is obtainable. We do not 
include additional costs to fine wine manufacturers or importers in 
this final rule analysis; however, we do refine the estimate of the 
difference between the IFR requirements and this final rule 
modification.
    (Comment) Smaller importers that buy from brokers and wholesalers 
because they are too small to buy directly from larger food 
manufacturers will be put out of business. These smaller importers 
allege that they will not be able to provide the

[[Page 66384]]

manufacturers' registration numbers on their prior notices as required 
by the final rule. The comments argue that the registration number 
requirement interferes with small businesses' rights to free trade 
because now only larger businesses that deal with the manufacturers 
directly, rather than buying through brokers and wholesalers, will be 
able to obtain the manufacturer's information that is required for 
prior notice.
    (Response) The final rule provides an alternative for submitters to 
provide the identity of the manufacturer when the manufacturer's 
registration number is not obtainable. Under the final rule, submitters 
may provide the name and full address of the site-specific 
manufacturing facility along with a reason as to why the registration 
number was not used in the prior notice.
    (Comment) While most comments state that the name and address of 
the manufacturer could be submitted in prior notice, one comment states 
that re-sellers will not normally supply the name of their supplier or 
the name of the manufacturer of a particular product to their 
customers. The comment asserts that supplying the name of the 
manufacturer would allow that customer to circumvent the re-seller and 
attempt to make direct contact with the supplier or manufacturer, thus 
taking business away from the re-seller. Another comment states, 
however, that smaller importers buy from brokers and wholesalers 
specifically because they are too small to buy directly from larger 
manufacturers and other corporations, as large entities typically would 
not find it cost-effective to deal with smaller importers.
    (Response) Depending on the business atmosphere, FDA believes that 
it is likely that many resellers will be willing to supply the name and 
the address of the manufacturers of the products they sell. Unlike the 
manufacturer's registration number, which many may view as confidential 
business information that is to be disclosed only on a ``need to know'' 
basis, the name and full address of a facility is public information 
that not only is typically in phone books and on the Internet, but it 
also often is provided on documents typically exchanged between buyers 
and sellers (e.g., receipts, purchase orders, and bills of lading). The 
issues discussed in these comments are addressed further in Options 1 
and 3.
4. Regulatory Options Considered
    In the analysis of the IFR, FDA analyzed 12 options. The 12 options 
focused on varying timeframes for prior notice submission and prior 
notice submission by transport type. The options regarding shorter 
submission timeframes by transport type are similar to the options 
presented in this analysis; we do not analyze those options with longer 
minimum submission timeframes (e.g. 8 hours, 12 hours) or options that 
do not vary prior notice submission timeframe by transport type again 
here, although this final rule analysis updates the analysis of the 
chosen IFR option. The costs and benefits of all twelve options 
analyzed for the prior notice IFR can be found in the Federal Register 
of October 10, 2003 (68 FR 58974 at 59025).
    This final regulatory impact analysis emphasizes the differences 
between the IFR and final rule, and compares new options against the 
IFR. Each option covers all food subject to the final rule that is 
imported or offered for import into the United States; the mode of 
transportation for the food is specifically addressed in options where 
minimum prior notice time constrains importation.
    Option 1 (IFR). The minimum prior notice time will be 2 hours for 
articles of food arriving by land by road, 4 hours for articles of food 
arriving by land by rail and by air, and 8 hours for articles of food 
arriving by water, with electronic submission of information. Most 
changes in prior notice information require resubmission of corrected 
or new information.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ You do not have to resubmit your prior notice if there are 
changes in: (1) The estimated quantity of product, (2) the 
anticipated arrival information, (3) the planned shipment 
information, or (4) the anticipated date of mailing for shipments by 
mail.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Option 2. This option includes all components of Option 1, but 
would reduce the minimum prior notice time for food arriving by land by 
road to 1 hour for general entries and 30 minutes for FAST\7\ 
participants, reduce minimum prior notice time for food arriving by 
land by rail to 2 hours, and reduce the minimum prior notice time for 
food arriving by air on flights originating in North and Central 
America, South America (north of the equator only), the Caribbean, and 
Bermuda to ``wheels-up''. This option would integrate FDA's prior 
notice timeframes with the timeframes required by CBP's Advance 
Manifest Rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program is a Border Accord 
Initiative between the United States, Mexico, and Canada designed to 
ensure security and safety of imported and exported products. 
Eligibility for the FAST program requires participants (carrier, 
drivers, importers, and southern port of entry manufacturers) to 
submit an application, agreement, and security profile depending on 
their role in the Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terrorism 
(C-TPAT) and FAST programs. The FAST program allows known low risk 
participants to receive expedited CBP entry processing. (Ref. 2)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Option 3 (Final Rule). This option includes all components of 
Option 1, except the final rule now allows, when the submitter is 
unable to determine the registration number of the manufacturer, the 
site-specific facility name and full address instead of the facility's, 
name, partial address, and registration number.
Option 1: Minimum prior notice time is 2 hours for articles of food 
arriving by land by road, 4 hours for articles of food arriving by land 
by rail and by air, and 8 hours for articles of food arriving by water; 
information is submitted electronically, most changes in information 
require resubmission.
    This option is already in place as the IFR and will be compared 
against other options for assessing costs and benefits of the changes 
between the IFR and final rule.
    a. Option 1--Prior Notice IFR. In the economic analysis of the IFR 
we calculated the number of entities that would submit prior notice and 
the costs to those entities of: Learning prior notice, computer 
acquisition, information coordination, submitting prior notice, 
creating the PNSI, not being able to use CBP's BRASS\8\ system, and 
loss of value to fresh produce that waits longer at the port of arrival 
than before prior notice was required.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Border Release Advance Screening and Selectivity (BRASS) is 
a CBP program that allows expedited arrival processing for high-
volume, repetitive shipments that have been judged by CBP to be low 
risk.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    i. Number of entities affected. Prior Notice for an article of food 
may be submitted by any person with knowledge of the required 
information, e.g., a foreign food manufacturer, a food exporter or 
importer, a consignee. The flexibility of the identity of the prior 
notice submitter makes it difficult to get a precise count of the 
number of unique people or firms who submit at least one prior notice 
annually. In the IFR we estimated, based on FDA OASIS data from 2001, 
that there were 77,427 unique people or firms who submitted prior 
notice. To update the number of prior notice submitters in the final 
rule we use two sources of data: U.S. Census data and data from OASIS.
    First we use U.S. Census data by North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) codes. Six-digit NAICS codes for 
Industry, 42-Food Wholesalers, indicates that there are 68,651 U.S. 
businesses registered under this code. We use this information because, 
in general, establishments importing products into the United States 
are classified in Wholesale Trade

[[Page 66385]]

(Ref. 3) (http://www.naics.com). Thus the number of U.S. businesses 
engaged in the wholesale food industry could likely be the number of 
persons who submit prior notice for the goods they receive. Table 3 of 
this document shows a breakdown of business by six-digit NAICS code for 
food wholesalers.

    Table 3.--Updated Estimate for Number of Prior Notice Submitters
     NAICS Codes for Wholesale Trade Related to Food From the NAICS
                             Association\1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Numbers of
 6 digit NAICS                                                 U.S.
     Code                                                   Businesses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
424210          Drugs and Druggists' Sundries Merchant             8,288
                 Wholesalers\2\
424410          General Line Grocery Merchant                      8,061
                 Wholesalers
424420          Packaged Frozen Food Merchant                      1,250
                 Wholesalers
424430          Dairy Product (except Dried or Canned)             2,195
                 Merchant Wholesalers
424440          Poultry and Poultry Product Merchant                 899
                 Wholesalers
424450          Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers                 3,202
424460          Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers              4,157
424470          Meat and Meat Product Merchant                     3,299
                 Wholesalers
424480          Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Merchant                 5,494
                 Wholesalers
424490          Other Grocery and Related Products                14,763
                 Merchant Wholesalers
424510          Grain and Field Bean Merchant                      5,217
                 Wholesalers
424520          Livestock Merchant Wholesalers                     5,106
424590          Other Farm Product Raw Material Merchant           2,158
                 Wholesalers
424810          Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers                  2,181
424820          Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage              2,381
                 Merchant Wholesalers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Number of Businesses                                        68,651
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Source of original data: NAICS Association, September 29, 2008,
  available online at http://www.naics.com/naics42.htm.
\2\ This category is included to capture wholesale merchants of
  botanicals, herbs, and vitamins.

    Next, using OASIS data, we are able to estimate that there were 
123,063 unique manufacturers and 25,929 unique importers of food in FY 
2007. Combining the OASIS data with the Census data we estimate that 
the number of prior notice submitters annually ranges from 68,000 to 
149,000. We use the average of this range, 108,500, as the number of 
entities likely affected by having to submit prior notice.
    ii. Costs to entities. We update the cost calculations to the new 
number of entities affected for learning prior notice, buying 
computers, and information coordination. We do not update the costs of 
FDA information technology here. Table 4 of this document shows these 
cost calculations; for a complete discussion of how these costs were 
calculated refer to the preamble in the prior notice IFR (68 FR 58974 
at 59025).

  Table 4.--Cost Calculations for Learning PN, Information Technology,
             Information Coordination, and FDA System Costs
Cost to Learn About the Prior Notice Requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Manager cost   Admin. Worker cost
                                                         (two workers)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of firms                       108,500         108,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wage rate per hour for manager and    $56.74          $25.10
 admin. worker (including overhead)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-day learning seminar                8 hours         8 hours
------------------------------------------------------------------------
First year one time learning costs    $49,250,320     $21,786,800
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total first year learning costs for learning          $71,037,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual learning costs for new entrants                $7,103,700
������������������������������������������������������
Facilities and Responsible Parties Without Initial Internet Access
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Number of facilities                                4,340
  Computer equipment cost per facility                $2,000
  Annual cost of Internet access ($20 per month x     $240
   12)
  Search costs for equipment and access ($25.10 x 8   $201
   hours)
  Total first year one time cost of electronic        $10,593,940
   transmitting capacity
  Annual one time cost of electronic transmitting     $1,059,394
   capacity for firms entering industry in
   subsequent years
������������������������������������������������������
Information Gathering and Coordination Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Number of firms submitting notices                  108,500
  Administrative worker wage rate (doubled to         $25.10
   include overhead)
  Time to coordinate existing accounts                16 hours

[[Page 66386]]

 
  First year cost of coordination of information on   $43,573,600
   current accounts
  Annual cost of coordination of information on new   $4,357,360
   accounts
������������������������������������������������������
FDA Prior Notice System Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Infrastructure design and implementation            $7,400,000
  Contractor services                                 $5,100,000
  FDA PN system interface cost                        $12,500,000
  CBP ABI/ACS system modification costs               $500,000
  Total prior notice system cost                      $13,000,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We also have new data on the number of prior notices submitted 
based on 2007 data collected by FDA's PNC. Therefore, we do update, for 
the IFR and all other options, the costs of submitting prior notices, 
the costs of not being able to use CBP's BRASS system, and the lost 
value of fresh produce and seafood.
    Also, due to an oversight in the calculation of the costs for the 
IFR, FDA did not calculate the costs to importers of providing the 
imported product's manufacturer registration number and full facility 
address on prior notice. We correct that oversight here.
    b. Updated annual costs to submit prior notice. FDA's PNC received 
9,804,050 prior notices for FY 2007, which is about 3 million more 
prior notices than we estimated in the analysis of the IFR. The 
difference in number of submissions is in part due to an increase in 
the number of prior notices submitted for each imported food entry. In 
the IFR analysis, we estimated that there were about 2.6 lines (prior 
notices) submitted for each food shipment.\9\ New OASIS shipment data 
show that for 2007, the average number of lines per entry for food, 
food related, infant food, and food additive industry codes is 3.6 
lines per entry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ As explained in more detail in the economic analysis of the 
interim final rule, OASIS data indicate there are typically more 
than two different articles of food per import entry; e.g., 100 
cases of canned tuna and 50 cases of canned peaches in the same 
shipment. A prior notice must be filed for each of the lines in an 
entry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We use these new data on entry lines to estimate that FDA receives 
9,804,050 prior notices per year, which translates into approximately 
2.7 million imported food entries (based on 3.6 lines per entry\10\) 
annually. Table 5 of this document shows that the annual costs to 
complete a prior notice will be $202.5 million instead of the $187.5 
million estimated in the IFR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ This is likely a slight overestimate of prior notices per 
entry because food-related items (such as eating utensils) are not 
subject to prior notice.

   Table 5.--Cost to Complete a Prior Notice by Import Entry (Must be
                               Electronic)
Broker cost per entry to submit prior notice  $75
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Entry total based on 9.8 million lines        2,700,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total annual costs of all prior notices,      $202,500,000
 including updates to the information
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c. Updated costs to BRASS users. Under the prior notice rule, no 
food product shipments imported into the United States are eligible to 
take advantage of CBP's BRASS system. We update the number of entries 
that used the BRASS system in FY 2002 (242,000) to estimate the number 
of imported food entries that would have used the BRASS system in FY 
2007 (305,000) if it would have been available to them. Table 6 of this 
document shows that the updated costs to BRASS users are $61 million 
annually; the previous estimate was about $48 million annually.

           Table 6.--Updated Additional Costs for BRASS Users
Additional Submission Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Cost per import entry                    $75
FY2002 BRASS line total for FDA-regulated      1,098,054
 products
BRASS yearly entry total (3.6 lines per        305,015
 entry)
Additional annual costs of submissions for     $22,876,125
 BRASS users
������������������������������������������������������������������������
Additional Border Wait Time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost per half hour                             $125
BRASS yearly entry total                       305,015
Additional annual border wait costs for        $38,126,875
 former BRASS users
Total Annual additional food importing costs   $61,003,000
 for BRASS users
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    d. Updated costs to submit prior notice by mode of transport.
    i. 2-hour minimum prior notice time for food arriving by land by 
road. Prior notices for perishable articles of food from Canada and 
Mexico that arrive in the United States by land by road must be 
submitted at least 2 hours before the food arrives in the United 
States. In the analysis of the IFR, we assumed that this minimum 
submission time should eliminate the probability of having to resubmit 
prior notice (due to proximity to the U.S. port of entry) for all but 5 
percent of those perishable products imported from Canada and Mexico.
    Data from the FDA PNC for 2007 indicate that 85 percent of the 
articles of food arriving from Canada enter the United States by land 
by road; and approximately 94 percent of the articles of food arriving 
from Mexico enter the United States by land by road.\11\ Using these 
updated estimates, we calculate the proportion of the total retail 
value of highly perishable produce and seafood from Canada and Mexico 
that arrive in the United States by land by road. We then calculate the 
lost product value for the 5 percent of highly perishable produce and 
seafood from Canada and Mexico for which importers may have to resubmit 
the prior notice when the minimum submission time is 2 hours. Table 7 
of this document shows the revised estimated loss in value caused by 
the cancelled and resubmitted prior notice information for the 5 
percent of imported Mexican and Canadian perishable seafood and produce 
affected.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ The mode of transportation field in prior notice is user 
defined; thus, the person submitting the prior notice is responsible 
for informing FDA by what mode of transport the food will enter the 
United States. As mode of transport is user defined, there is a 
possibility of error.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We do not include the lost value for perishable seafood and produce 
imported from Central America because perishable products from Central 
America are most likely to arrive by air into the United States. We 
also do not include the cost of additional truck time

[[Page 66387]]

with this option because the minimum prior notice time for articles of 
food arriving by vehicle is only 2 hours.

 Table 7.--Loss in Value Caused by Resubmitted Prior Notice Under Option
 1 for Articles of Food Arriving by Land by Road (2-hour Minimum Notice
                              Requirement)
Perishable Produce                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican produce total retail value          $3,458,525,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
94% of total retail value for Mexican produce             $3,251,014,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.2% Reduction in value for 5% of Mexican produce             $1,951,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian produce total retail value           $401,826,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
85% of total retail value for Canadian produce              $341,552,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.2% Reduction in value for 5% of Canadian produce              $205,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for produce                                  $2,156,000
������������������������������������������������������������������������
Perishable Seafood                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican seafood total retail value            $112,277,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
94% of total retail value for Mexican seafood               $105,540,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.2% Reduction in value for 5% of Mexican seafood               $222,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian seafood total retail value         $1,863,218,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
85% of total retail value for Canadian seafood            $1,583,735,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.2% Reduction in value for 5% of Canadian seafood            $3,326,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for seafood                                  $3,548,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ii. 4-hour minimum prior notice time for food arriving by land by 
rail and by air. The 4-hour minimum submission time for prior notice 
applies to articles of food imported or offered for import by land by 
rail and by air. A 4-hour minimum prior notice time for railroads and 
airplanes could constrain products arriving from the countries 
bordering the United States. Data from the PNC for 2007 show that about 
4 percent of the articles of food arriving from Canada were imported 
into the United States by land by rail and only about 2 percent of the 
articles of food arriving from Mexico were imported into the United 
States by land by rail. Similarly, about 8 percent of the articles of 
food arriving from Canada were imported into the United States by air, 
while only about 3 percent of the articles of food arriving from Mexico 
were imported into the United States by air.
    To estimate potential lost value for produce imported from Canada 
and Mexico by rail and air, we adjust the total retail value of highly 
perishable produce and seafood from Canada and Mexico to account for 
the 12 percent from Canada and the 5 percent from Mexico that are 
imported by land by rail or by air. Table 5 of this document shows the 
articles of food arriving by rail and air from Canada and Mexico that 
may have to resubmit prior notice when the minimum prior notice 
timeframe is 4 hours before arrival in the United States.
    For Central American and Caribbean countries, most, if not all, of 
their perishable products are imported to the United States by air. 
Table 8 of this document shows the loss of value for the estimated 20 
percent of air shipments from Central America for which prior notice 
needs to be resubmitted under Option 1.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ The estimated 20 percent cancellation and resubmission rate 
for prior notices when the minimum submission time is 4 hours is 
used in the IFR analysis. (See 68 FR 58974 at 59045.)

 Table 8.--Loss in Value Caused by Resubmitted Prior Notice Under Option
   1 for Shipments Arriving by Air and by Land by Rail (4-hour Minimum
                           Notice Requirement)
Perishable Produce                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican produce total retail value          $3,458,525,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% of total retail value for Mexican produce                $172,926,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.4% reduction in value for 20% of Mexican produce              $830,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian produce total retail value           $401,826,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 66388]]

 
12% of total retail value for Canadian produce               $48,219,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.4% reduction in value for 20% of Canadian                     $231,000
 produce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.4% reduction in value for 20% of Central                    $1,044,000
 American and Caribbean produce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for produce                                  $2,105,000
������������������������������������������������������������������������
Perishable Seafood                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican seafood total retail value            $112,277,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% of total retail value for Mexican seafood                  $5,614,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
8.3% reduction in value for 20% of Mexican seafood               $93,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian seafood total retail value         $1,863,218,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
12% of total retail value for Canadian seafood              $204,954,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
8.3% Reduction in value for 20% of Canadian                   $3,712,000
 seafood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Central American and Caribbean                $251,796,000
 seafood total retail value
------------------------------------------------------------------------
8.3% Reduction in value for 20% of Central                    $4,180,000
 American and Caribbean seafood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for seafood                                  $7,985,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    e. Updated IFR costs to include the costs of manufacturer name, 
registration number and partial address on prior notice. Section 
1.281(a)(6), (b)(5), and (c)(6) of the IFR requires that prior notice 
for an article of food that is no longer in its natural state include 
the name and address of the manufacturer and the registration number 
assigned to the facility that is associated with the article of 
food.\13\ This IFR requirement has not been fully enforced by FDA, as 
described in CPG Sec. 110.310; however, it is a requirement of the rule 
and therefore we evaluate it as a cost of the IFR. We correct an 
oversight in the calculation of the costs of the IFR by including the 
costs of submitting the food manufacturer registration number and 
facility address on prior notice here.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ The interim final rule further states that a registration 
number is not required for a facility associated with an article of 
food if the article is imported or offered for import for 
transshipment, storage, and export, or further manipulation and 
export. The interim final rule also provides that if the article of 
food is sent by an individual as a personal gift (i.e., for 
nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the United States, he or 
she may provide the name and address of the firm that appears on the 
label under Sec.  101.5 instead of the name, address, and 
registration number of the manufacturer. If a registration number is 
provided, city and country may be provided instead of the full 
address.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    f. How some importers will be affected. The November 2004 revision 
of the IFR CPG stated that if the manufacturer's registration number 
was not given on the prior notice, the submitter should select the 
appropriate reason identifying why the manufacturer's registration 
number and/or name and address was not provided. The reason codes 
provided by PNSI and ABI/ACS were:
     A--facility is out of business
     B--facility is a private residence
     C--facility is a restaurant
     D--facility is a retail food establishment
     E--facility is a nonprocessing fishing vessel
     F--Facility is nonbottled water collection and 
distribution establishment
     G--Individual gift-label name/address
     H--Grower-satisfies farm exemption
     I--Samples-quality assurance, research or analysis 
purposes only
     J--U.S. manufacturing facility that is not required to 
register
     K--Unable to determine the registration number of the 
manufacturer
     L--Unable to determine identity of manufacturer-providing 
identity of manufacturer's headquarters
     M--Unable to determine identity of manufacturer or 
headquarters-providing invoicing firm's identity
     O--Gift pack for nonbusiness purposes-providing single 
prior notice and identity of packer
    Prior notices submitted without manufacturer registration numbers 
but using reason codes A through F, H, and J would be compliant with 
IFR requirements because the manufacturer would be exempt from being 
registered according to the Registration of Food Facilities rule (21 
CFR part 1, subpart H). Prior notices submitted without manufacturer 
registration numbers but using reason code G would be compliant with 
IFR requirements because the prior notice IFR allows that if an article 
of food is sent by an individual as a personal gift (i.e., for 
nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the United States, the 
submitter may provide the name and address of the firm that appears on 
the label instead of the name, address, and registration number of the 
manufacturer. A prior notice submitted without the manufacturer name, 
address, and/or registration number but using reason code I, K through 
M, or O would not be compliant with IFR requirements. However, FDA's 
enforcement policy was that it should typically consider not taking any 
regulatory action for prior notice violations in these cases.
    We can use information from the PNC on the CPG code reasons given 
for FY 2007 to determine how many submitters had trouble providing the 
manufacturer registration number and facility address as is required by 
the IFR (submitters who used reason codes I, K through M, and O).

[[Page 66389]]

    The PNC was able to determine that about 92.5 percent of prior 
notices contained the manufacturer's name, address, and registration 
number as required by the IFR. Table 9 of this document shows that 
about 2.9 percent of prior notice submissions (2.91 percent) for 2007 
used reason codes I, K, L, M, and O.

        Table 9.--No Manufacturer Registration Number on Prior Notice, Reason Code Line Count for FY 2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    % of Total
        Reason Code                              Description                      PN Lines Count       Lines
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total prior notice submissions for fiscal year 2007                                    9,804,050  ..............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A                           Facility is out of business                                   43,479           0.44%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B                           Facility is a private residence                               30,801           0.31%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C                           Facility is a restaurant                                       5,146           0.05%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D                           Facility is a retail food establishment                       47,705           0.49%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E                           Facility is a nonprocessing fishing vessel                     2,488           0.03%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F                           Facility is a nonprocessing drinking water                     1,417           0.01%
                             collection and distribution establishment
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G                           Individual gift label name/address in lieu of                 36,808           0.38%
                             registration number
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
H                           Grower satisfies farm exemption                              267,369           2.73%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I                           Samples--quality assurance, research or analysis              55,374           0.56%
                             purposes only
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
J                           U.S. manufacturing facility that is not required to           15,142           0.15%
                             register
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
K                           Unable to determine the registration number of the           166,647           1.70%
                             manufacturer
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
L                           Unable to determine identity of the manufacturer--            15,674           0.16%
                             providing identity of manufacturer's headquarters
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
M                           Unable to determine identity of manufacturer or               15,839           0.16%
                             headquarters providing invoicing firms identity
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
O                           Gift pack for nonbusiness purposes--providing single          32,371           0.33%
                             prior notice and identity of packer
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total times a reason code was given (includes submission for PNSI and ABI/ACS)           637,153           7.51%
 for fiscal year 2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FDA posits that larger entities (e.g., medium to large importers) 
that deal directly with foreign manufacturers will not be impacted by 
this IFR requirement (are not part of the 2.91 percent) as they will be 
able to obtain the manufacturers' registration numbers and facility 
addresses for the products they are importing. Therefore, it is mostly 
the small U.S. retailers or individuals that buy from other wholesalers 
or retailers in foreign countries that may have a problem obtaining the 
registration number, city, and country of the actual food manufacturing 
facility.
    Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FDA was able to determine 
that for 2006, about $64.8 billion foods, feeds, and beverages were 
imported into the United States. Some of this value of imported food 
could be affected by the IFR requirement that the registration number, 
city, and country of the manufacturer be provided on prior notice; to 
assess how this imported value may be affected, we present best and 
worst case scenarios.
    In our best case scenario, few imported foods would be affected by 
manufacturer registration number, name and partial address being 
required on prior notice. For our best case scenario we subtract the 
full import value of the potentially ``unaffected'' categories listed 
in table 10 of this document from $64.8 billion, the total value of 
food, feeds, and beverages imported into the United States in 2006 
(Ref. 4). In essence, we subtract out those food categories that are 
likely comprised of foods that are still in their natural state such 
that a manufacturer is not required for the prior notice (e.g., green 
coffee). This is our ``best case'' scenario because not all foods 
imported from the categories below will come from facilities that are 
not required to be registered (i.e., vegetables could be farm 
commodities or could be processed). The remaining imported foods value, 
about $29 billion, represents the value of alcoholic beverages, bakery 
products, non-agricultural, and ``other'' imported foods, which are 
products from facilities more likely to be subject to the food facility 
registration requirements.
    About 2.91 percent of the prior notice submissions for FY 2007 
indicated that the importer could not provide the name, address, and/or 
registration number of the actual manufacturing facility. While we do 
not know the value of imported foods for each of the prior notice 
submissions in the 2.91 percent affected, in the absence of better 
information, for our best case scenario we reduce the value of imported 
foods affected to $843 million, or 2.91 percent of $29 billion. For the 
worst case scenario, we apply the 2.91 percent of import lines for 2007 
that could not provide the registration number, city, and country of 
the actual manufacturer to the entire value of FDA-regulated imported 
food shipments, $59 billion, giving us a possible $1.7 billion in 
imported foods value that could be affected by the prior notice IFR 
requiring the name, registration number, and partial address of the 
manufacturing facility on most prior notices.
    The estimated $843 million to $1.7 billion in imported food 
affected by the facility name, registration number, and partial address 
requirement for prior notice is an overestimate of the imported value 
likely affected for two

[[Page 66390]]

reasons. First, the 2.91 percent of prior notice submissions that could 
not supply the information required by the IFR are most likely goods 
imported by small or very small U.S. retailers or individuals. These 
goods are likely purchased for import not through the manufacturer but 
through middlemen, thus the importers often do not have access to, or 
knowledge of, the manufacturer registration number and facility 
address. These small U.S. retailers or individuals would not be 
importing large quantities of food; therefore, the value of their 
imported shipments should be small, much smaller in total than the $843 
million to $1.7 billion estimate.
    Second, we expect that most of those persons importing without 
knowledge of the manufacturing facility's registration number or 
address will adjust business practices, and perhaps their supply chain, 
to other entities in the supply chain that will provide them with this 
information for prior notice submissions. For the persons who can 
adjust business practices, the value of the food imported will be 
affected by prior notice, but not lost, because importation of those 
products will not cease. However, some of these businesses will find 
that the costs associated with changing business practices to supply 
the necessary information on prior notice will cause importing food 
products into the United States to no longer be profitable. These 
persons will cease importing and the value of these imported goods that 
is lost will be a cost of the rule. Thus we must adjust our value of 
imported food affected by the manufacturer identity requirement to 
reflect that: (1) Most importers will adjust business practices to 
continue importing and (2) some importers will cease doing so.
    To account for the businesses that cease importing food into the 
United States, we estimate that 3 percent of the possible $843 million 
to $1.7 billion of imported food value is lost. We do this because 
according to the Small Business Administration, about 3 percent of 
small businesses closed between 2003 and 2007 (Ref 5). We estimate this 
value to be $25 million to about $52 million.
    To account for the businesses that change importing practices, we 
estimate that 3,157 prior notice submitters (2.91 percent of the 
estimated 108,500 submitters) will spend 80 hours adjusting their 
supply chain.\14\ As with table 4 of this document, we use the manager 
wage rate, including overhead, of $56.74 per hour.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ These costs are costs incurred beyond the information 
gathering and coordination costs presented in table 4 of this 
document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Taking the midpoint of the lost value due to cessation of 
importation ($38.5 million) plus the costs to the 3,157 firms to change 
business practices, we estimate that the cost of the manufacturer 
identity requirement in the IFR to be about $52.8 million.

   Table 10.--Imports of Goods by End Use Category and Commodity (2006
                        Seasonally Adjusted Data)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Best Case          Worst Case
                                         Scenario           Scenario
                                        (Millions)         (Millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foods, feeds, and beverages (FFB)             $64,782            $64,782
 total\1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Categories of imported food
 products subtracted
  Meat products                                $5,611             $5,611
  Fish and shellfish                           $9,867  .................
  Vegetables                                   $4,943  .................
  Cane and beet sugar                          $1,121  .................
  Cocoa beans                                    $520  .................
  Tea, spices, etc.                              $715  .................
  Food oils, oilseeds                          $1,999  .................
  Feedstuff and food grains                    $1,577  .................
  Fruits, frozen juices                        $5,503  .................
  Nuts                                           $856  .................
  Green coffee                                 $2,035  .................
  Dairy products and eggs                      $1,070  .................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Remaining value of imports that               $28,965            $59,171
 may be affected by the IFR
 identity of the manufacturer
 requirement
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Imported value reduced further to                $843             $1,722
 represent that 2.91% of prior
 notice submissions could not
 provide registration number and
 site-specific information on
 prior notice for fiscal year 2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 percent of imported food value
 lost through cessation of
 importation into U.S.                     $25.3 to $51.7 million
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs that reflect change in
 business practices for 3,157
 submitters (80 hours x $56.74 per
 hour)                                          $14.3 million
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Value Affected                            $52.8 million
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Source of original data: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic
  Analysis, US DOC News, November 9, 2007, pages 12 and 15, available
  online at http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/2007/pdf/trad0907.pdf. (FDA has verified the Web site address, but FDA is not
  responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web site after this
  document publishes in the Federal Register.)


[[Page 66391]]

    Table 11 of this document presents a summary of the revised 
estimated costs associated with Option 1, including the marginal costs 
to importers who may be affected by the IFR requirement that a 
facility's name, registration number and partial address be provided on 
prior notice. Also included in the summary table 11 of this document 
are the discounted present value of the costs at the OMB-recommended 
discount rates of 3 and 7 percent.

          Table 11.--Summary of Updated Costs for Option 1--IFR
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     (In Thousands of
                                                         Dollars)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning costs                                   $71,037
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coordination costs                               $43,574
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Computer acquisition costs                       $10,594
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FDA prior notice system cost                     $13,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs to fill out prior notice screens    $202,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional costs for BRASS users                 $61,003
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for produce                           $4,261
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for seafood                           $11,533
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost for truck time                              $0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs of manufacturer registration number and    $52,800
 full facility address requirement
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total first year costs for Option 1              $470,302
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs after first year\1\                 $293,118
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 7% for 20 years                   $3,270,884
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 3% for 20 years                   $4,532,872
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Annual costs include the start-up costs of prior notice to the
  estimated 10 percent of new businesses that enter the market each
  year.

    g. Benefits of Option 1. FDA's prior notice system provides us with 
enhanced knowledge of what articles of food are being imported or 
offered for import into the United States. Requiring prior notice of 
imported food shipments and defining the required data information 
improves our ability to detect accidental and deliberate contamination 
of food and to deter deliberate contamination.
    Before prior notice was required, FDA received almost no advance 
notice information about food products entering the United States from 
foreign sources, or the location of the food's anticipated port of 
arrival. With the information required by prior notice, FDA does know 
what articles of food are being imported or offered for import before 
they arrive at the port. In the event of a credible threat for a 
specific product or a specific manufacturer or processor, for example, 
FDA will be able to mobilize and assist in the detention and removal of 
products that may pose a serious health threat to humans or animals.
    FDA's PNC reviews prior notices and assesses the risk related to 
imported food shipments. Personnel at the PNC decide on a case-by-case 
basis whether the article of food needs to be held for examination upon 
arrival at the port. Having notice of an article of food imported or 
offered for import into the United States before it reaches a U.S. port 
allows FDA personnel to be ready at any time to respond to shipments 
that appear to pose a significant health risk to humans or animals.
    h. Cost benefit summary table. Table 12 presents the costs of 
Options 1 annualized over 20 years.

       Table 12.--Updated Cost Benefit Summary Table for Option 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Annualized      Annualized
                                           Costs Over 20   Costs Over 20
                                            Years at 7%     Years at 3%
                                           Discount Rate   Discount Rate
                                            (Millions)      (Millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 1--2 hour prior notice for                   $304            $301
 vehicle, 4 hour for rail and air, 8
 hour for vessels (IFR)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benefits--FDA will know what articles of food are being imported or
 offered for import, before they arrive at the port. In the event of a
 threat of significant public health risk to humans or animals, FDA and
 CBP will be able to mobilize and assist each other in the detention and
 removal of those products.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option 2 (A and B): Minimum prior notice time frame would be 1 hour 
before arrival for articles of food arriving by land by road or 30 
minutes for FAST participants, 2 hours before arrival for articles of 
food arriving by land by rail, ``wheels-up'' for flights originating in 
North and Central America, South America (north of the equator only), 
the Caribbean, and Bermuda; 4 hours for all other flights, and 8 hours 
before arrival for vessels; information would be submitted 
electronically, most changes in information would require resubmission
    This option coordinates FDA minimum prior notice times with those 
of CBP for imports arriving by land by road, by land by rail, and by 
air.\15\ For this option's timeframes we present two scenarios: (1) The 
costs and benefits of Option 2 when FDA's PNC is staffed at its current 
level and must review and respond to prior notices received within the 
minimum timeframe required and (2) the costs and benefits of Option 2 
when the PNC has increased its staff to review and respond to prior 
notices received within the minimum timeframe required.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ We do not examine or integrate timeframes for products 
arriving by water. Persons that use vessels to import their products 
are usually dealing with merchandise that is not highly perishable 
in nature and thus less time-sensitive. FDA did not receive comments 
requesting the coordination of FDA and CBP timeframes for food 
arriving by water. FDA's current minimum prior notice timeframe for 
notification of food being imported by water is 8 hours before 
arrival; CBP's current minimum prior notice timeframe for articles 
being imported by water is 24 hours before arrival.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option 2A: PNC is Staffed at its Current Level and Must Review and 
Respond to Prior Notices Within the Minimum Timeframe Required
    a. Costs of Option 2A.
    i. 1-hour or 30 minute minimum prior notice time for food arriving 
by land by road. A significant portion (approximately 31 percent) of 
the prior notices reviewed by the PNC on a daily basis is for articles 
of food that arrive in the United States by land by road. The PNC 
conducts a more intensive security review on at least 225 to 250 prior

[[Page 66392]]

notices per day. Of these prior notices that are flagged as potentially 
high-risk and require a more intensive security review, about 77 (31 
percent of 250) are for articles of food arriving by land by road. 
Complicating matters further is that prior notice submissions and 
expiration times are not evenly distributed over an 8-hour shift or 24-
hour day; an overwhelming majority of prior notice submissions arrive 
during a certain 12-hour time period.
    The PNC has estimated using 2007 data that most prior notices 
submitted for land border entries took between 30 and 110 minutes to 
review. This range indicates that if the prior notice minimum 
submission time frames were reduced from 2 hours to 1 hour, 
approximately 27 percent of those high risk prior notices for articles 
of food arriving by land by road that are selected for a more intensive 
review would exceed the minimum prior notice timeframe and would have 
to be delayed at the port of arrival while the PNC completes its review 
and risk assessment, as discussed earlier in this document.
    If the minimum prior notice submission time for articles of food 
arriving by land by road is shortened to 30 minutes, the intensive 
security reviews (described previously) on approximately 69 percent of 
the high-risk targeted land border prior notices would not be completed 
within the prior notice timeframe. Again, as a result of the shorter 
timeframe, it would be necessary for the PNC to delay the movement of 
these shipments at the port of arrival in order to complete their 
review and risk assessment.
    The synopsis stated in the previous paragraph implies that the PNC 
likely will not be able to review and respond to all prior notices 
received for articles of food arriving by land by road within the 
minimum time if the minimum prior notice submission time for articles 
of food arriving by land by road is either 1 hour or 30 minutes. The 
loss of value to fresh produce and seafood calculated in table 8 of 
this document reflects that some articles of food (about 27 to 69 
percent of high risk prior notices) will be held at the port of arrival 
past the 30 minutes or 1 hour minimum prior notice submission time 
frame while the PNC completes its review.
    In table 13 of this document, we first calculate the lost value to 
fresh produce and seafood as if FDA had the additional staff necessary 
to receive, review, and respond to prior notices within the minimum 
prior notice submission time\16\ and then increase those costs (in 
terms of lost value to perishable produce and seafood arriving in the 
United States by land by road by 48 percent--the average of 27 and 69 
percent) to account for the fact that some of these articles of food 
will be held up at the port pending prior notice review completion 
given the current PNC staffing level.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ We use the same probability of resubmission structure 
established in the analysis of the IFR (68 FR 58974 at 59025). This 
minimum submission time should eliminate the probability of having 
to resubmit prior notice for all but 2.5 percent of those perishable 
products imported from Canada and Mexico by land by road.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We note that we base this analysis on the typical (average) prior 
notice review time. Given that most prior notices for land border 
entries took between 30 and 110 minutes to review, the typical article 
of food arriving by land by road should not have to wait longer than 2 
hours to enter; which is equivalent to the time that articles of food 
arriving by land by road will have to wait to enter the United States 
under Option 1. However, no matter what the minimum prior notice 
submission timeframes are, there will always be some articles of food 
whose review will take longer than the minimum allotted prior notice 
review timeframes.

Table 13.--Loss in Value Caused by Resubmitted Prior Notice Under Option
 2A for Shipments Arriving by Land by Road (1-Hour or 30-Minute Minimum
                           Notice Requirement)
Perishable Produce                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican produce total retail value          $3,458,525,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
94% of total retail value for Mexican produce             $3,251,014,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.6% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Mexican                     $488,000
 produce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
48% Increase in lost value due wait time past                   $234,000
 minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Mexican produce                            $722,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian produce total retail value           $401,826,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
85% of total retail value for Canadian produce              $341,552,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.6% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Canadian                     $51,000
 produce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
48% Increase in lost value due wait time past                    $24,000
 minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Canadian produce                            $75,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for produce                                    $797,000
������������������������������������������������������������������������
Perishable Seafood                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican seafood total retail value            $112,277,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
94% of total retail value for Mexican seafood               $105,540,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 66393]]

 
2.1% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Mexican                      $55,000
 seafood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
48% Increase in lost value due wait time past                    $26,000
 minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Mexican seafood                             $81,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian seafood total retail value         $1,863,218,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
85% of total retail value for Canadian seafood            $1,583,735,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.1% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Canadian                    $831,000
 seafood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
48% Increase in lost value due wait time past                   $399,000
 minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Canadian seafood                         $1,230,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for seafood                                  $1,311,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ii. 2-hour minimum prior notice time for food arriving by land by 
rail and ``wheels-up'' or 4-hour minimum prior notice time by air. The 
2-hour minimum submission time for food imported by land by rail should 
reduce the probability of having to resubmit prior notice for virtually 
all articles of food imported from Canada and Mexico by rail. However, 
with current staffing levels at the PNC, the possibility exists that 
some articles of food arriving by rail may be held at the minimum prior 
notice submission timeframe.
    Data from the PNC for 2007 show that only about 4 percent of the 
articles of food imported from Canada and only about 2 percent of the 
articles of food imported from Mexico are imported by land by rail. 
Thus, articles of food arriving by land by rail represent only a slight 
fraction of all prior notices received and are therefore not 
necessarily the constraining factor when the PNC is staffed at its 
current level. Although we cannot rule out the possibility that some 
additional effects may be associated with articles of food imported 
from by land by rail under Option 2A, we assume those effects would be 
negligible. We therefore do not estimate additional costs for articles 
of food arriving by land by rail for Option 2A.
    Reducing the prior notice submission timeframe to ``wheels-up'' for 
food imported by air on flights originating in North and Central 
America, South America (north of the equator only), the Caribbean, and 
Bermuda will eliminate the need for any resubmission of prior notice 
information for those shipments. Because prior notice does not need to 
be submitted until ``wheels-up,'' the probability of not having the 
correct prior notice information on the shipment is eliminated.
    However, according to 2007 data from the PNC, if the minimum prior 
notice submission time is reduced from 4 hours to ``wheels up'' for 
some articles of food arriving by air, approximately 5 percent of the 
prior notice reviews would not be completed in time if flight time was 
less than 3 hours given the current PNC staffing level. Perishable 
produce and seafood imported into the United States from the Bahamas, 
Belize, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, 
and Nicaragua can all be flown to Miami, Florida in less than 3 hours. 
Perishable produce and seafood imported by air from Canada and Mexico 
also can be flown into the United States in less than 3 hours.
    Table 14 of this document shows that while there is no value loss 
from perishable produce and seafood having to resubmit prior notice 
(because the minimum prior notice submission timeframe is ``wheels-
up''), there may be a loss of value for about 5 percent of perishable 
produce and seafood coming from the locations listed previously if the 
PNC does not have more than its current level of personnel to review 
and respond to prior notices when the minimum prior notice time frame 
is ``wheels-up.'' Even if the PNC cannot respond to all prior notices 
for articles of food arriving in the United States by air when the 
flight time is less than 3 hours, we would still not expect the costs 
(value loss on perishable produce and seafood) to importers of these 
articles of food to be less than the costs in Option 1 where the 
minimum prior notice time frame is 4 hours for articles of food 
arriving by air. Again we note that this analysis is based on the 
typical review time for prior notice for articles of food arriving by 
air. No matter what the minimum prior notice submission timeframe, 
there will always be some articles of food for which the PNC will not 
be able to respond and complete its risk assessment within the 
timeframe allotted.
    To estimate the potential loss in value for perishable products due 
to a delay in PNC review, we use the following information in table 14 
of this document: (1) The total retail value of the perishable products 
from Central America, adjusted to encompass perishable products coming 
from countries whose flight times to the United States are less than 3 
hours; (2) the total retail value of perishable products from Canada 
and Mexico, adjusted to reflect the proportion of these articles of 
food that arrive into the United States by air (8 percent for Canada 
and 3 percent for Mexico); and (3) the estimated loss for the delay in 
review, which we equate to 1 hour\17\ of the perishable product's 
lifespan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ We chose 1 hour as the loss in value because the PNC, 
staffed at its current level, will not complete its review for 
articles of food arriving by air when flights are less than 3 hours 
and prior notice is required at ``wheels-up,'' but generally will 
complete its review when the minimum prior notice time for articles 
of food arriving by air is 4 hours.

[[Page 66394]]



  Table 14.--Loss in Value Caused by Delayed Prior Notice Review Under
   Option 2A for Shipments Arriving by Air (``Wheels-Up Minimum Notice
                             Requirement'')
Perishable Produce                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican produce total retail value          $3,458,525,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
3% of total retail value for Mexican produce                $103,756,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% Experience a 0.6% loss in value due wait time
 past minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Mexican produce                             $31,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian produce total retail value           $401,826,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
8% of total retail value for Canadian produce                $32,146,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% Experience a 0.6% in value due wait time past
 minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost for Canadian produce                                  $10,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Central American produce total                 $62,510,000
 retail value (coming from countries that are less
 than 3 hours by air to U.S.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% Experience a 0.6% loss in value due wait time
 past minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Central American produce                    $19,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for produce                                     $60,000
������������������������������������������������������������������������
Perishable Seafood                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican seafood total retail value            $112,277,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
3% of total retail value for Mexican seafood                  $3,368,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% Experience a 2.1% loss in value due wait time
 past minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Mexican seafood                              $4,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian seafood total retail value         $1,863,218,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
8% of total retail value for Canadian seafood               $149,057,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% Experience a 2.1% loss in value due wait time
 past minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Canadian seafood                           $157,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Central American seafood total                 $73,021,000
 retail value (coming from countries that are less
 than 3 hours by air to U.S.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5% Experience a 2.1% loss in value due wait time
 past minimum submission timeframe
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for Central American seafood                    $77,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for seafood                                    $238,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 15 of this document presents a summary of the costs 
associated with Option 2A, including the costs of the option at the 
OMB-recommended discount rates of 3 and 7 percent.

                Table 15.--Summary of Costs for Option 2A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     (In Thousands of
                                                         Dollars)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning costs                                   $71,037
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coordination costs                               $43,574
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Computer acquisition costs                       $10,594
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FDA prior notice system cost                     $13,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs to fill out prior notice screens    $202,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional costs for BRASS users                 $0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for produce                           $857
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for seafood                           $1,549
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost for truck time                              $0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs of manufacturer registration number and    $52,800
 full facility address requirement
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 66395]]

 
Total first year costs for Option 2              $395,911
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs after first year                    $218,727
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 7% for 20 years                   $2,482,785
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 3% for 20 years                   $3,426,122
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    b. Implications for the benefits of Option 2A. If FDA cannot 
appropriately review and respond to submitted prior notices within the 
reduced submission times frames under Option 2A given current FDA PNC 
staffing, there are two possible outcomes:
    (1) Prior notice screening and risk assessment requirements will 
have to be relaxed so that fewer prior notices are forwarded to the PNC 
for intensive review. Taking this action will reduce the social 
benefits of the rule by increasing the probability that an article of 
food posing a significant health threat to humans or animals will enter 
the United States unchecked; or
    (2) The PNC will be unable to complete its intensive review process 
for some or all of the prior notices forwarded to it within the 
shortened timeframes, and will frequently cause an unpredictable delay 
in the movement of these articles of food at the port of arrival until 
the PNC completes its review. This additional time for review will 
result in higher private costs to individuals importing articles of 
food into the United States than implied by the prior notice times.
    Had the shortened review time frames in Option 2A been in effect in 
FY 2007, the PNC would have held at least 6,000 to 16,000 articles of 
food arriving by land by road. For air shipments, if the minimum prior 
notice submission time frame had been shortened to ``wheels-up'', 
approximately 728 prior notice reviews in FY 2007 would not have been 
completed for flights less than 3 hours. As a result, it would have 
been necessary for the PNC to delay the movement of these shipments at 
the port of arrival in order to complete their review and risk 
assessment.
    To be able to review prior notices within a 1 hour prior notice 
submission time for articles of food arriving by land by road (given 
the current number and dispersion of prior notices by land by road and 
by other modes of transportation), the PNC estimates that it would need 
more than twice its current level of resources. The additional 
resources needed would include increasing the number of permanent 
employees who review prior notices from 27 to at least 50 FTEs, an 
increase in the number of first line supervisors, a tripling of 
computer access to both FDA and CBP systems, and a tripling of the 
current number of telephone lines.
    If the minimum timeframe to submit prior notices for articles of 
food arriving by land by road was reduced to 30 minutes, the PNC may 
need 3 times the number of staff to handle the prior notice review 
volume within this timeframe.
    c. Cost benefit summary table. Table 16 presents the costs of 
Options 2A annualized over 20 years.

       Table 16.--Updated Cost Benefit Summary Table for Option 2A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Annualized Costs   Annualized Costs
                                     Over 20 Years at   Over 20 Years at
                                     7% Discount Rate   3% Discount Rate
                                        (Millions)         (Millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 2A--1 hour or 30 minute                   $230               $227
 prior notice for food arriving by
 land by road, 2 hours for rail,
 ``wheels-up'' or 4 hours for air,
 8 hour for vessels; The PNC is
 staffed at its current level
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benefits--FDA will know what articles of food are being imported or
 offered for import, before they arrive at the port. In the event of a
 potential threat of significant health risk to humans or animals, FDA
 will be able to mobilize and assist in the detention and removal of
 those products from U.S. commerce.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option 2B: PNC has Increased Staff to Review and Respond to Prior 
Notices within the Minimum Time Frame Required
    a. Costs of Option 2B. For Option 2B we assume the PNC staff has 
been at least doubled, if not tripled. As stated earlier in this 
analysis, the PNC estimates that it would need more than twice, and 
possibly three times its current number of permanent employees to 
review prior notices if the minimum submission timeframe was 1 hour or 
30 minutes before arrival for articles of food arriving by land by 
road, ``wheels-up'' for food arriving by air, and 2 hours for food 
arriving by land by rail. In addition to increasing prior notice 
permanent review staff from 27 to 50 or even 100 or more FTEs, an 
increase in the number of first line supervisors would be necessary, as 
would a corresponding increase in both computer access and telephone 
lines to FDA and CBP systems.
    Assuming that the costs to hire additional FTEs including overhead 
is $150,000 per FTE, then doubling the number of prior notice reviewers 
by adding an additional 27 permanent employees to the existing 27 
employees would cost at least $4,050,000; tripling the number of prior 
notice reviewers would cost at least $8,100,000. These costs could be 
higher if additional overhead is required. We include $6,075,000 in our 
summary cost table for Option 2B as this represents the midpoint in 
costs between doubling and tripling the number of permanent employees 
at the PNC. These costs could be higher if additional overhead is 
required.
    i. 1-hour or 30-minute minimum prior notice time for food arriving 
by land by road. Under this option, prior notices for perishable 
articles of food from Canada and Mexico that arrive in the United 
States by land by road must be submitted 1 hour or 30 minutes before 
the food arrives in the United States. Using the same probability of 
resubmission structure established in the analysis of the IFR (68 FR 
58974 at 59025), this minimum submission time should eliminate the 
probability of having to resubmit prior notice for all but 2.5 percent 
of those perishable products imported from Canada and Mexico by land by 
road.
    Using the same formula we used in the analysis of Option 1, we 
calculate the proportion of the total retail value of highly perishable 
produce and seafood from Canada and Mexico that arrives in the United 
States by land by road. We then adjust the new retail value, to 
calculate the lost product value (1 hour out of 168 hours for produce, 
1 hour out

[[Page 66396]]

of 48 hours for seafood) for the 2.5 percent of highly perishable 
produce and seafood from Canada and Mexico for which prior notices 
would have to be resubmitted due to changes in the shipment when the 
minimum submission time is 1 hour or 30 minutes.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ In the IFR, we assumed a 2.5 percent prior notice 
resubmission rate when the minimum notice submission time for food 
imported by land by road was 1 hour. In this option, that minimum 
submission timeframe is 1 hour or 30 minutes for participants of 
CBP's accelerated entry programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 17 of this document shows the loss in value caused by the 
cancelled and resubmitted prior notice information for the 2.5 percent 
of imported Mexican and Canadian perishable seafood and produce 
affected. We do not include the cost of truck time for this option, 
because the minimum prior notice time for articles of food arriving by 
vehicle is only 1 hour or 30 minutes.

Table 17.--Loss in Value Caused by Resubmitted Prior Notice Under Option
 2B for Shipments Arriving by Land by Road (1-Hour or 30-Minute Minimum
                           Notice Requirement)
Perishable Produce                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican produce total retail value          $3,458,525,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
94% of total retail value for Mexican produce             $3,251,014,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.6% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Mexican                     $488,000
 produce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian produce total retail value           $401,826,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
85% of total retail value for Canadian produce              $341,552,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.6% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Canadian                     $51,000
 produce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for produce                                    $539,000
������������������������������������������������������������������������
Perishable Seafood                                               Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Mexican seafood total retail value            $112,277,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
94% of total retail value for Mexican seafood               $105,540,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.1% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Mexican                      $55,000
 seafood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2001 Imported Canadian seafood total retail value         $1,863,218,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
85% of total retail value for Canadian seafood            $1,583,638,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.1% Reduction in value for 2.5% of Canadian                    $831,000
 seafood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total lost value for seafood                                    $886,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ii. 2-hour minimum prior notice time for food arriving by land by 
rail and ``wheels-up'' or 4-hour minimum prior notice time by air. The 
2-hour minimum submission time for food imported by land by rail should 
reduce the probability of having to resubmit prior notice for virtually 
all articles of food imported from Canada and Mexico by that mode of 
transport. Data from the PNC for 2007 show that only about 4 percent of 
the articles of food imported from Canada and only about 2 percent of 
the articles of food imported from Mexico are imported by land by rail. 
We do not calculate any lost value due to prior notice resubmission for 
products shipped by rail.
    Reducing the prior notice submission time frame to ``wheels-up'' 
for food imported by air on flights originating in North and Central 
America, South America (north of the equator only), the Caribbean, and 
Bermuda will eliminate the need for any resubmission of prior notice 
information for those shipments. Because prior notice does not need to 
be submitted until ``wheels-up'', the probability of not having the 
correct prior notice information on the shipment is eliminated.
    A 4-hour minimum prior notice time for flights not originating in 
North and Central America, South America (north of the equator only), 
the Caribbean, and Bermuda will not constrain these imports because 
flights from locations other than those listed will all take longer 
than 4 hours. Therefore, the probability of having incorrect shipment 
information is all but eliminated as the shipment information can be 
verified before the prior notice is sent.
    Table 18 of this document presents a summary of the costs 
associated with Option 2B, including the costs of the option at the 
OMB-recommended discount rates of 3 and 7 percent.

                Table 18.--Summary of Costs for Option 2B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     (In Thousands of
                                                         Dollars)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning costs                                   $71,037
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coordination costs                               $43,574
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Computer acquisition costs                       $10,594
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FDA prior notice system cost and cost of         $19,075
 additional FTEs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs to fill out prior notice screens    $202,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional costs for BRASS users                 $0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for produce                           $539
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for seafood                           $886
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost for truck time                              $0
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 66397]]

 
Costs of manufacturer registration number and    $52,800
 full facility address requirement
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total first year costs for Option 2              $401,005
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs after first year                    $218,353
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 7% for 20 years                   $2,483,938
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 3% for 20 years                   $3,425,873
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    b. Benefits of Option 2B. Importers will benefit from the shorter 
times for submitting prior notice under Option 2B because it is less 
likely that articles of food will need to ``wait'' longer than the 
minimum prior notice time frame before entering the United States. 
Submitting FDA's Prior Notice information at the same time as CBP's 
entry information may reduce costs for submitters.\19\ If FDA's Prior 
Notice and CBP submissions can be done simultaneously, submitters may 
be able to coordinate the two entry submissions so as to reduce total 
submission costs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ Comments on the IFR stated several reasons for recommending 
that prior notice timeframes be the same as CBP's advance electronic 
information timeframes for food arriving by air and by land (both by 
road and by rail): (1) It would minimize the complexity of the 
process by presenting a more streamlined flow of information and 
avoid unnecessary duplication, (2) it would result in fewer errors, 
(3) it would provide better compliance rates, (4) it would allow for 
fewer disruptions at the border, (5) it would significantly reduce 
the burden on the trade community without creating additional 
security risks, and (6) it would allow operators at close border 
points to load and verify truck loads and travel routes prior to 
submitting notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c. Cost benefit summary table. Table 19 presents the costs of 
Options 2B annualized over 20 years.

       Table 19.--Updated Cost Benefit Summary Table for Option 2B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Annualized Costs   Annualized Costs
                                     Over 20 Years at   Over 20 Years at
                                     7% Discount Rate   3% Discount Rate
                                        (Millions)         (Millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 2B--1 hour or 30 minute                   $229               $226
 prior notice for food arriving by
 land by road, 2 hours for rail,
 ``wheels-up'' or 4 hours for air,
 8 hour for vessels; the PNC has
 increased staff
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benefits--FDA will know what articles of food are being imported or
 offered for import, before they arrive at the port. In the event of a
 potential threat of significant health risk to humans or animals, FDA
 will be able to mobilize and assist in the detention and removal of
 those products.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option 3: Minimum prior notice time is 2 hours for articles of food 
arriving by land by road, 4 hours for articles of food arriving by land 
by rail and by air, and 8 hours for articles of food arriving by water; 
information is submitted electronically, most changes in information 
require resubmission; the manufacturer registration number is not 
required when the submitter is unable to determine it.
    Option 3 represents Option 1 but with a change to the requirement 
for providing the identity of the manufacturer.
    As stated in Option 1, smaller importers or individuals that buy 
food for import into the United States from brokers, wholesalers, or 
foreign retailers because they are too small to buy directly from food 
manufacturers may find it difficult to continue importing certain 
products when manufacturer name, registration number, and partial 
address is required on prior notice. However, the final rule provides 
an alternative for submitters in providing the identity of the 
manufacturer when they are unable to determine the manufacturer's 
registration number. Under the final rule, submitters may provide the 
name and full address of the site-specific manufacturing facility along 
with the reason why the registration number was not provided.
    Most of the comments concerned with the identity of the 
manufacturer were concerned about submitters not being able to provide 
registration number; a smaller percentage of the comments also raised 
concerns about being able to provide the name and address of the 
manufacturer. Unlike the manufacturer's registration number, which many 
may view as confidential business information that is to be disclosed 
only on a ``need to know'' basis, the name and full address of a 
facility is public information that not only is typically in phone 
books and on the Internet, but it also often is provided on documents 
typically exchanged between buyers and sellers (e.g., receipts, 
purchase orders, and bills of lading).
    Even with the flexibility of not requiring the manufacturer 
registration number on prior notice when the submitter is unable to 
determine it, there will likely be some adjustment costs for small 
importers and individuals. These adjustments to business practices 
should be less costly and occur less often than those in Option 1 
because importers no longer have to provide the manufacturer 
registration number but may instead provide only the site-specific 
facility name and full address and the reason the registration number 
is not provided.
    We adjust the costs of the final rule to now reflect the 
requirement that if the manufacturer's registration number is not 
available, then the name and full address of the site-specific 
manufacturing facility must be provided. For Option 1, using 
information from table 9 of this document, we estimated that about 2.91 
percent of prior notices submitted for FY 2007 did not contain the 
appropriate manufacturer name, address, and/or registration number as 
required by the codified of the IFR. With the extra flexibility in 
manufacturer identity allowed by Option 3, we expect the percentage of 
prior notices still affected by this requirement to be 1.21 percent 
(2.91 percent - 1.70 percent). We expect those who submitted prior 
notice under the IFR using reason code K--Unable to determine the 
registration number of the manufacturer (1.70 percent), should likely 
be able to submit the manufacturer site-specific name and full address 
as required by the prior notice final rule codified. We expect that 
those who submitted prior notice under the IFR using reason codes I, L, 
M, and O (0.56 percent, 0.16 percent, 0.16 percent, and 0.33 percent, 
respectively),

[[Page 66398]]

could still have problems submitting the identity of the manufacturer 
as required by the final rule.
    We must further adjust the 1.21 percent of prior notices expected 
to still be affected by the manufacturer identity requirement of prior 
notice to address the fact that the final rule is more restrictive than 
the IFR in regards to providing the identity of the manufacturer on 
prior notice for food sent by an individual as a personal gift.
    In cases of food sent by an individual as a personal gift, the IFR 
allows the name and address on the product label to substitute for the 
manufacturer's name, address, and registration number on prior notice. 
The final rule requires that if the manufacturer's registration number 
is not available, the full name and address of the site-specific 
facility that manufactured the gift must be included on prior 
notice.\20\ Therefore, we add 0.38 percent (for reason code G--
Individual gift label name/address in lieu of registration number from 
the November 2004 revision of the IFR CPG) to the 1.21 percent we 
expect may have problems with the manufacturer identity requirement of 
the final rule. Thus, we expect a total of 1.59 percent of all prior 
notices annually to be affected by the revised manufacturer identity 
requirement of the final rule as opposed to the 2.91 percent affected 
by the manufacturer identity requirement of the IFR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ FDA plans to continue its enforcement policy that it should 
typically consider not taking any regulatory action for prior notice 
violations relating to individual gifts; however, the final rule 
does require at least the name and full address of the site-specific 
facility where the gift was manufactured.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We can again use the data from table 10 of this document, adjusted 
now by 1.59 percent instead of 2.91 percent, to determine the potential 
imported food value affected by the final rule requirement that either 
the registration number or the name and address of the site-specific 
facility be included in prior notice. We repeat the data from table 10 
here in table 20 of this document. As with Option 1, we present the 
best and worst case scenarios to represent the possible range of 
imported foods value that may be affected by the final rule requirement 
and then adjust that value to reflect changes in business practices and 
businesses ceasing importing food into the United States. Taking the 
midpoint of the lost value due to cessation of importation ($21 
million) plus the costs to the 1,725 firms to change business 
practices, we estimate that the cost of the manufacturer identity 
requirement in the final rule to be about $28.8 million.

   Table 20.--Imports of Goods by End Use Category and Commodity (2006
                        Seasonally Adjusted Data)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Best Case          Worst Case
                                         Scenario           Scenario
                                        (Millions)         (Millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foods, feeds, and beverages (FFB)             $64,782            $64,782
 total\1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Categories of imported food
 products subtracted
  Meat products                                $5,611             $5,611
  Fish and shellfish                           $9,867  .................
  Vegetables                                   $4,943  .................
  Cane and beet sugar                          $1,121  .................
  Cocoa beans                                    $520  .................
  Tea, spices, etc.                              $715  .................
  Food oils, oilseeds                          $1,999  .................
  Feedstuff and food grains                    $1,577  .................
  Fruits, frozen juices                        $5,503  .................
  Nuts                                           $856  .................
  Green coffee                                 $2,035  .................
  Dairy products and eggs                      $1,070  .................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Remaining value of imports that               $28,965            $59,171
 may be affected by identity of
 the manufacturer requirement
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Imported value reduced further to                $461               $941
 represent that only 1.59% of
 prior notice submissions could
 not provide manufacturing
 facility site-specific
 information on prior notice for
 CY 2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 percent of imported food value
 lost through cessation of
 importation into U.S.                     $13.8 to $28.2 million
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs that reflect change in
 business practices for 1,725
 submitters (80 hours x $56.74 per
 hour)                                          $7.8 million
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Value Affected                            $28.8 million
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Source of original data: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic
  Analysis, US DOC News, November 9, 2007, pages 12 and 15, available
  online at http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/2007/pdf/trad0907.pdf. (FDA has verified the Web site address, but FDA is not
  responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web site after this
  document publishes in the Federal Register.)

    a. Changes in to the final rule that are not quantified. The final 
rule is more restrictive than the IFR in regards to providing the 
identity of the manufacturer on prior notice for the importation of 
transshipments. For transshipments, the IFR allows the name and full 
address of the manufacturer to substitute for the manufacturer's name 
and partial address, and registration number on prior notice. The final 
rule requires that if the manufacturer's registration number is not 
available, the site-specific full name and address of the facility that 
manufactured the article of food must be included on prior notice. We 
do not expect this requirement of the final rule to affect 
transshipments significantly as the final rule does allow the importer 
to provide the site-specific name and full address of the manufacturing 
facility instead of the registration number.
    Also, for the final rule, FDA removed a few of the prior notice 
data elements that are required in the IFR. Specifically, submitters no 
longer need to include the fax number of the submitter and transmitter, 
the anticipated border crossing, the country

[[Page 66399]]

of the carrier, or the 6-digit HTS code on their prior notices. Other 
changes include making the shipper's registration number optional but 
always requiring its full addresses; and the option of submitting the 
tracking number for articles of food arriving by express consignment 
instead of anticipated arrival information when the prior notice is 
submitted through PNSI. However, these and other changes in filing 
requirements, on net, are not large enough to affect the time needed to 
file prior notice or the costs charged by brokers to file prior notice; 
therefore, we do not update the estimated time needed or the estimated 
costs charged to file prior notice.
    Table 21 of this document presents a summary of the revised 
estimated costs associated with Option 3, the final rule, including the 
marginal costs to importers who may be affected by the identity of the 
manufacturer requirement. Also included in table 21 of this document 
are the discounted present value of the costs at the OMB-recommended 
discount rates of 3 and 7 percent.

        Table 21.--Summary of Costs for Option 3--The Final Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     (In Thousands of
                                                         Dollars)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning costs                                   $71,037
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coordination costs                               $43,574
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Computer acquisition costs                       $10,594
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FDA prior notice system cost                     $13,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs to fill out prior notice screens    $202,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional costs for BRASS users                 $61,003
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for produce                           $4,261
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for seafood                           $11,533
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost for truck time                              $0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs of change in manufacturer identity         $28,800
 requirement
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total first year costs for Option 3              $446,302
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs after first year1                   $293,118
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Present value (PV) of costs at 7% for 20 years   $3,248,454
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 3% for 20 years                   $4,509,571
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Annual costs include the startup costs of prior notice to the
  estimated 10 percent of new businesses that enter the market each
  year.

    b. Benefits of Option 3 (final rule). Option 3 allows for the 
submission of alternative manufacturer information that could be used 
to verify the registration status of the manufacturer. This is more 
flexible to importers than the requirements of Option 1, the IFR. Once 
the facility has been identified in the database and a valid 
registration has been verified, the manufacturer information required 
on prior notice for Option 3 provides the same level of security and 
assurance as the registration number required by Option 1.
    c. Cost benefit summary table. Table 22 presents the costs of 
Option 3 annualized over 20 years.

       Table 22.--Updated Cost Benefit Summary Table for Option 3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Annualized Costs   Annualized Costs
                                     Over 20 Years at   Over 20 Years at
                                     7% Discount Rate   3% Discount Rate
                                        (Millions)         (Millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 3--2-hour prior notice for                $655               $652
 vehicle, 4-hour for rail and air,
 8-hour for vessels; change in the
 identity of the manufacturer
 requirement (Final rule)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benefits--FDA will know what articles of food are being imported or
 offered for import, before they arrive at the port. In the event of a
 threat of significant public health risk to humans or animals, FDA will
 be able to mobilize and assist in the detention and removal of those
 products. The benefits of the final rule are enhanced by the change in
 the identity of the manufacturer requirement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summary Table of All Options Analyzed

                              Table 23.--Costs and Benefits of All Options Analyzed
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Option 1          Option 2A          Option 2B           Option 3
                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Costs                  In Thousands of    In Thousands of    In Thousands of    In Thousands of
                                           Dollars            Dollars            Dollars            Dollars
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning costs                                  $71,037            $71,037            $71,037            $71,037
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coordination costs                              $43,574            $43,574            $43,574            $43,574
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Computer acquisition costs                      $10,594            $10,594            $10,594            $10,594
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FDA prior notice system cost                    $13,000            $13,000            $19,075            $13,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs to fill out prior                 $202,500           $202,500           $202,500           $202,500
 notice screens
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional costs for BRASS users                $61,003                 $0                 $0            $61,003
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 66400]]

 
Lost value for produce                           $4,261               $857               $539             $4,261
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for seafood                          $11,533             $1,549               $886            $11,533
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost for truck time                                  $0                 $0                 $0                 $0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs of change in manufacturer                 $52,800            $52,800            $52,800            $28,800
 identity requirement
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total first year costs                         $470,302           $395,911           $401,005           $446,302
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs                                   $293,118           $218,727           $218,353           $293,118
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 7% for 20 years               $3,270,884         $2,482,785         $2,483,938         $3,248,454
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PV of costs at 3% for 20 years               $4,532,872         $3,426,122         $3,425,873         $4,509,571
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benefits for all options (benefits not quantified)
FDA will know what articles of food are being imported or offered for import, before they arrive at the port. In
 the event of a threat of significant public health risk to humans or animals, FDA will be able to mobilize and
 assist in the detention and removal of those products.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sensitivity Analysis
    The prior notice rule is unique in that the rule is published with 
an accompanying Compliance Policy Guide (CPG). The CPG provides 
guidance regarding enforcement of the prior notice requirements, 
including describing the circumstances where FDA and CBP should 
typically consider not taking any regulatory action even though certain 
requirements are not met. In some of these circumstances, the 
compliance policy applies when alternative information is submitted. If 
we estimate the costs of the IFR taking into account information from 
the IFR CPG and compare those costs to the final rule taking into 
account information from the final rule draft CPG, the main cost 
difference, as when comparing Option 1 and Option 3, is the cost of the 
change regarding providing the manufacturer identity.
    For Option 1 (the IFR) we estimated that this cost was about $52.8 
million and for Option 3 (the final rule) we estimated this cost was 
about $28.8 million. If information based on the CPG is included in the 
estimate of the cost of the IFR and final rule, then the rule costs 
regarding providing the identity of the manufacturer are $0 and $5.9 
million respectively. The costs regarding providing the identity of the 
manufacturer is $0 under the IFR taking into account information from 
the IFR CPG based on the assumption that the submitter would use one of 
the reason codes in table 9 (A through O) when the submitter is not 
able to satisfy some or all of the requirements regarding providing the 
identity of the manufacturer of the product. The same cost under the 
final rule taking into account information from the final rule draft 
CPG is about $5.9 million\21\ based on the assumption that if the 
submitter would otherwise use reason code L or M in table 9, because it 
was unable to determine the identity of the site-specific manufacturer, 
it would now change supply chains, find some other means to continue 
importing the food, or cease importing the food because it finds it 
unprofitable to attempt to continue to do so under the circumstances 
(0.32 percent or 31,513 of the 9.8 million entry lines for which prior 
notice was submitted in 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ We calculated this cost using the same method we used in 
Option 1 (table 10) and Option 3 (table 20) except we use 0.32 
percent for the reduction of imported value and to reduce the number 
of submitters from 108,500 to reflect changing business practices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed in more detail elsewhere in this document, the benefit 
of not including reason codes L and M in the final rule draft CPG is 
that knowing the identity of the facility involved in the food's 
production, as opposed to the identity of the facility's headquarters 
or the invoicing firm, is critical to ensuring that FDA can effectively 
determine whether food should be held because it is from an 
unregistered manufacturing facility.

B. Small Entity Analysis (or Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis)

    FDA has examined the economic implications of this final rule as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). If a 
rule has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to analyze 
regulatory options that would lessen the economic effect of the rule on 
small entities consistent with statutory objectives. FDA finds that 
this final rule may have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. While this final rule provides more 
flexibility to small entities than the IFR because the final rule 
allows the full address of the site-specific manufacturer to be given 
instead of the partial address and registration number on prior notice, 
this information may still be difficult for some businesses to obtain.
Comments on the IFR Related to Small Businesses
    (Comment) One comment states that smaller U.S. importers cannot 
afford the additional costs charged by a broker to submit the FDA 
information via the ABI system. As a result, they are having their 
foreign suppliers submit prior notice. Some small companies estimate 
that, including Web site disruptions, 80 packages would take 40 to 80 
hours for prior notice. The comment believes that this is totally 
unmanageable.
    (Response) We account for increase in broker costs due to prior 
notice in our analysis; the comment estimate of the time it takes to 
complete prior notice is accurately reflected in the IFR and final rule 
analysis. FDA expects importers to modify their business practices to 
find the most cost effective way to deal with prior notice 
requirements. In this case, the small importer can avoid higher broker 
fees by having the foreign supplier submit the prior notice. Another 
alternative would be for the small importer to submit prior notice

[[Page 66401]]

themselves through PNSI. We would expect small firms would comply in 
whichever manner is most cost effective. It is also possible some of 
the costs of prior notice could be passed on to consumers in the form 
of higher retail prices for some foods; in this case the small importer 
would not feel the complete impact of the higher broker submission 
costs.
    (Comment) The cost to complete a prior notice to send food by mail, 
for companies that ship low volumes of inexpensive food products, is 
higher than the value of the product being shipped and therefore 
shipping to the United States may be discontinued.
    (Response) FDA stated in the analysis of the IFR that the costs of 
completing prior notice submissions may be partially passed along to 
the consumer in the form of higher retail prices for some foods (68 FR 
58974 at 59024). FDA's IFR analysis also acknowledged the possibility 
that companies in the business of sending small shipments of food to 
private individuals in the United States may stop shipping to U.S. 
addresses (68 FR 58974 at 59067).
    (Comment) A number of postal services take issue with the requiring 
of filing prior notice for personal food items. The comments state that 
the labor-intensive process of mailing personal food items will cause a 
decrease in the items being shipped, thus decreasing the business of 
the mail system.
    (Response) When the cost of shipping increases, the number of items 
shipped is indeed likely to decrease. Although some of reduction in 
postal revenues would represent a dead-weight loss, it is primarily a 
transfer, not a social cost and therefore is not included in the cost 
estimates for this analysis.
    (Comment) Several comments express concern about their continued 
ability to import fine wine because although they can obtain the name 
and address of the site-specific manufacturer of the wine, obtaining 
the manufacturers' (i.e., the wineries') registration numbers for these 
products often is difficult to those not in the winery's direct 
distribution chain. The comments state that smaller importers, 
wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, clubs, or hotels will be 
negatively affected by not having the registration number for the 
manufacturer of the fine wine. The comments further state that the 
prior notice rule will negatively impact small producers by reducing 
the number of potential representatives and sales venues as secondary 
fine wine market importers disappear.
    (Response) FDA does not believe that the fine wine industry will be 
negatively affected by the prior notice final rule. The final rule at 
Sec.  1.281(a)(6) requires the identity of the manufacturer as follows: 
The name of the manufacturer and either: (1) The registration number, 
city, and country of the manufacturer or (2) both the full address of 
the manufacturer and the reason the registration number is not provided 
(hereafter ``the identity of the manufacturer''). Even if a wine 
importer, retailer, or wholesaler cannot obtain the registration number 
(e.g., the winery refuses to disclose its registration number because 
the importer, retailer, or wholesaler is outside the winery's 
distribution chain), the prior notice can include the name and full 
address of the winery, which comments stated is obtainable. We do not 
include additional costs to fine wine manufacturers or importers in 
this final rule analysis; however, we do refine the estimate of the 
difference between the IFR requirements and this final rule 
modification.
    (Comment) Smaller importers that buy from brokers and wholesalers 
because they are too small to buy directly from larger food 
manufacturers will be put out of business. These smaller importers 
allege that they will not be able to provide the manufacturers' 
registration numbers on their prior notices as required by the final 
rule. The comments argue that the registration number requirement 
interferes with small businesses' rights to free trade because now only 
larger businesses that deal with the manufacturers directly, rather 
than buying through brokers and wholesalers, will be able to obtain the 
manufacturer's information that is required for prior notice.
    (Response) The final rule provides an alternative for submitters to 
provide the identity of the manufacturer when the manufacturer's 
registration number is not obtainable. Under the final rule, submitters 
may provide the name and full address of the site-specific 
manufacturing facility along with a reason as to why the registration 
number was not used in the prior notice.
    (Comment) While most comments state that the name and address of 
the manufacturer could be submitted in prior notice, one comment states 
that re-sellers will not normally supply the name of their supplier or 
the name of the manufacturer of a particular product to their 
customers. The comment asserts that supplying the name of the 
manufacturer would allow that customer to circumvent the re-seller and 
attempt to make direct contact with the supplier or manufacturer, thus 
taking business away from the re-seller. Another comment states, 
however, that smaller importers buy from brokers and wholesalers 
specifically because they are too small to buy directly from larger 
manufacturers and other corporations, as large entities typically would 
not find it cost-effective to deal with smaller importers.
    (Response) Depending on the business atmosphere, FDA believes that 
it is likely that many resellers will be willing to supply the name and 
the address of the manufacturers of the products they sell. Unlike the 
manufacturer's registration number, which many may view as confidential 
business information that is to be disclosed only on a ``need to know'' 
basis, the name and full address of a facility is public information 
that not only is typically in phone books and on the Internet, but it 
also often is provided on documents typically exchanged between buyers 
and sellers (e.g., receipts, purchase orders, and bills of lading). The 
issues discussed in these comments are addressed further in Options 1 
and 3.
Costs per Small Entity
    FDA does not have detailed information on the approximately 108,500 
persons (e.g. exporters, U.S. importers or U.S. purchasers or their 
agents) that will be primarily responsible for submitting the prior 
notice information; table 3 gives a description of some of these 
entities. Many of these submitters may have fewer than 100 
employees\22\, thus making them small businesses as defined by the 
Small Business Administration. Because many of the prior notice 
submitters are likely to be small businesses, all options considered in 
the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis in section IV.A of this document 
are regulatory relief options.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ For NAICS industry sector 42-Wholesale Trade, a business is 
defined as small by SBA if it has fewer than 100 employees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FDA does not have enough information about the 108,500 prior notice 
submitters to perform a detailed analysis of the costs per small 
business by industry sector. We do, however, update some of the costs 
per submitter that were presented in the IFR Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (68 FR 59066). Table 24 of this document shows the average 
costs per submitter to learn the rule, coordinate information, and 
submit prior notice. Table 24 also shows the average costs to the 
submitter to absorb the costs of not being able to use BRASS, to absorb 
costs of lost value of perishable products, and the cost regarding 
providing the identity of the manufacturer.

[[Page 66402]]



                         Table 24.--Costs per Submitter for PN Final Rule Chosen Option
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            Cost per importer (n
                              Activity                                     Total Costs           = 108,500)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning costs                                                                 $71,037,000                  $655
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coordination costs                                                             $43,574,000                  $402
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual costs to fill out prior notice screens                                 $202,500,000                $1,866
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs for BRASS users                                                          $61,003,000                  $562
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lost value for perishables                                                     $15,794,000                  $146
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs of change in manufacturer identity requirement                           $28,800,000                  $265
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total estimated average costs per submitter                                                               $3,896
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) 
Major Rule

    SBREFA (Public Law 104-121) defines a major rule for the purpose of 
Congressional review as having caused or being likely to cause one or 
more of the following: An annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more; a major increase in costs or prices; significant adverse 
effects on competition, employment, productivity, or innovation; or 
significant adverse effects on the ability of United States-based 
enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic or 
export markets. In accordance with the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act, OMB has determined that this final rule is 
not a major rule for the purpose of Congressional review.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The collection of information provisions of this final rule are 
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The 
collections of information in Sec. Sec.  1.280, 1.281, 1.282, 1.283, 
and 1.285 have been approved under OMB Control No. 0910-0520.
    From the IFR to the final rule, FDA removed a few of the required 
prior notice data elements. Specifically, submitters no longer need to 
include the fax number of the submitter and transmitter, the 
anticipated border crossing, the country of the carrier, or the 6-digit 
HTS code in their prior notices. Other changes include the addition of 
the registration number of the transshipper for articles of food for 
transshipment, storage and export, or manipulation and export; 
flexibility in submitting the registration number and the city and 
country of the manufacturer and shipper instead of full addresses of 
these entities; and the option of submitting the tracking number for 
articles of food arriving by express consignment instead of anticipated 
arrival information when the prior notice is submitted through PNSI. 
However, these and other changes in filing requirements, on net, are 
not large enough to affect the time needed to file prior notice or the 
costs charged by brokers to file prior notice. Therefore we do not re-
estimate a Paperwork Reduction Act burden for this final rule.

VI. Analysis of Environmental Impact

    The agency has carefully considered the potential environmental 
effects of this action. FDA has concluded under 21 CFR 25.30(h) that 
this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively 
have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither 
an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is 
required.

VII. Federalism

    FDA has analyzed this final rule in accordance with the principles 
set forth in Executive Order 13132. FDA has determined that the rule 
does not contain policies that have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the National Government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Accordingly, the agency has concluded 
that the rule does not contain policies that have federalism 
implications as defined in the Executive order and, consequently, a 
federalism summary impact statement is not required.

VIII. References

    The following references have been placed on display in the 
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 
5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, and may be seen by 
interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 
(FDA has verified the Web site addresses, but FDA is not responsible 
for any subsequent changes to the Web sites after this document 
publishes in the Federal Register.)
    1. Taube, Anthony C., Memorandum to file, November 13, 2006.
    2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/cargo_security/ctpat/fast/fast_ref_guide.ctt/fast_ref_guide.pdf.
    3. The NAICS Association, September 29, 2008, available online 
at http://www.naics.com.
    4. U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services September 
2007, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, US DOC 
News, November 9, 2007, pages 12 and 15, available online at http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/2007/pdf/trad0907.pdf.
    5. The Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, 
Frequently Asked Questions Updated September 2008, available online 
at http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/sbfaq.pdf.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1

    Cosmetics, Drugs, Exports, Food labeling, Imports, Labeling, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

0
Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under 
authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 
1 is amended as follows:

PART 1--GENERAL ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1453, 1454, 1455; 19 U.S.C. 1490, 1491; 21 
U.S.C. 321, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335a, 343, 350c, 350d, 352, 355, 
360b, 362, 371, 374, 381, 382, 393; 42 U.S.C. 216, 241, 243, 262, 
264.

0
2. Subpart I, consisting of Sec. Sec.  1.276 through 1.285, is revised 
to read as follows:

[[Page 66403]]

Subpart I--PRIOR NOTICE OF IMPORTED FOOD

General Provisions

Sec.
1.276 What definitions apply to this subpart?
1.277 What is the scope of this subpart?

Requirements to Submit Prior Notice of Imported Food

Sec.
1.278 Who is authorized to submit prior notice?
1.279 When must prior notice be submitted to FDA?
1.280 How must you submit prior notice?
1.281 What information must be in a prior notice?
1.282 What must you do if information changes after you have 
received confirmation of a prior notice from FDA?

Consequences

Sec.
1.283 What happens to food that is imported or offered for import 
without adequate prior notice?
1.284 What are the other consequences of failing to submit adequate 
prior notice or otherwise failing to comply with this subpart?
1.285 What happens to food that is imported or offered for import 
from unregistered facilities that are required to register under 
subpart H of this part?

General Provisions


Sec.  1.276  What definitions apply to this subpart?

    (a) The act means the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
    (b) The definitions of terms in section 201 of the act (21 U.S.C. 
321) apply when the terms are used in this subpart, unless defined in 
this section.
    (1) Calendar day means every day shown on the calendar.
    (2) Country from which the article originates means FDA Country of 
Production.
    (3) Country from which the article is shipped means the country in 
which the article of food is loaded onto the conveyance that brings it 
to the United States or, in the case of food sent by international 
mail, the country from which the article is mailed.
    (4) FDA Country of Production means: (i) For an article of food 
that is in its natural state, the country where the article of food was 
grown, including harvested or collected and readied for shipment to the 
United States. If an article of food is wild fish, including seafood 
that was caught or harvested outside the waters of the United States by 
a vessel that is not registered in the United States, the FDA Country 
of Production is the country in which the vessel is registered. If an 
article of food that is in its natural state was grown, including 
harvested or collected and readied for shipment, in a Territory, the 
FDA Country of Production is the United States.
    (ii) For an article of food that is no longer in its natural state, 
the country where the article was made; except that, if an article of 
food is made from wild fish, including seafood, aboard a vessel, the 
FDA Country of Production is the country in which the vessel is 
registered. If an article of food that is no longer in its natural 
state was made in a Territory, the FDA Country of Production is the 
United States.
    (5) Food has the meaning given in section 201(f) of the act, except 
as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section.
    (i) For purposes of this subpart, food does not include:
    (A) Food contact substances as defined in section 409(h)(6) of the 
act (21 U.S.C. 348(h)(6)); or
    (B) Pesticides as defined in 7 U.S.C. 136(u).
    (ii) Examples of food include fruits, vegetables, fish, including 
seafood, dairy products, eggs, raw agricultural commodities for use as 
food or as components of food, animal feed (including pet food), food 
and feed ingredients, food and feed additives, dietary supplements and 
dietary ingredients, infant formula, beverages (including alcoholic 
beverages and bottled water), live food animals, bakery goods, snack 
foods, candy, and canned foods.
    (6) Full address means the facility's street name and number; 
suite/unit number, as appropriate; city; Province or State as 
appropriate; mail code as appropriate; and country.
    (7) Grower means a person who engages in growing and harvesting or 
collecting crops (including botanicals), raising animals (including 
fish, which includes seafood), or both.
    (8) International mail means foreign national mail services. 
International mail does not include express consignment operators or 
carriers or other private delivery services unless such service is 
operating under contract as an agent or extension of a foreign mail 
service.
    (9) Manufacturer means the last facility, as that word is defined 
in Sec.  1.227(b)(2), that manufactured/processed the food. A facility 
is considered the last facility even if the food undergoes further 
manufacturing/processing that consists of adding labeling or any 
similar activity of a de minimis nature. If the food undergoes further 
manufacturing/processing that exceeds an activity of a de minimis 
nature, then the subsequent facility that performed the additional 
manufacturing/processing is considered the manufacturer.
    (10) No longer in its natural state means that an article of food 
has been made from one or more ingredients or synthesized, prepared, 
treated, modified, or manipulated. Examples of activities that render 
food no longer in its natural state are cutting, peeling, trimming, 
washing, waxing, eviscerating, rendering, cooking, baking, freezing, 
cooling, pasteurizing, homogenizing, mixing, formulating, bottling, 
milling, grinding, extracting juice, distilling, labeling, or 
packaging. Crops that have been cleaned (e.g., dusted, washed), 
trimmed, or cooled attendant to harvest or collection or treated 
against pests, or polished are still in their natural state for 
purposes of this subpart. Whole fish headed, eviscerated, or frozen 
attendant to harvest are still in their natural state for purposes of 
this subpart.
    (11) Port of arrival means the water, air, or land port at which 
the article of food is imported or offered for import into the United 
States. For an article of food arriving by water or air, this is the 
port of unloading. For an article of food arriving by land, this is the 
port where the article of food first crosses the border into the United 
States. The port of arrival may be different than the port where 
consumption or warehouse entry or foreign trade zone admission 
documentation is presented to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP).
    (12) Port of entry, in section 801(m) and (l) of the act (21 U.S.C. 
381(m) and (l)), means the port of entry as defined in 19 CFR 101.1.
    (13) Registration number means the registration number assigned to 
a facility by FDA under section 415 of the act (21 U.S.C. 350d) and 
subpart H of this part.
    (14) Shipper means the owner or exporter of the article of food who 
consigns and ships the article from a foreign country or the person who 
sends an article of food by international mail or express consignment 
operators or carriers or other private delivery service to the United 
States.
    (15) United States means the Customs territory of the United States 
(i.e., the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico), but not the Territories.
    (16) You means the person submitting the prior notice, i.e., the 
submitter or the transmitter, if any.


Sec.  1.277  What is the scope of this subpart?

    (a) This subpart applies to all food for humans and other animals 
that is imported or offered for import into the

[[Page 66404]]

United States for use, storage, or distribution in the United States, 
including food for gifts and trade and quality assurance/quality 
control samples, food for transshipment through the United States to 
another country, food for future export, and food for use in a U.S. 
Foreign Trade Zone.
    (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, this subpart 
does not apply to:
    (1) Food for an individual's personal use when it is carried by or 
otherwise accompanies the individual when arriving in the United 
States;
    (2) Food that was made by an individual in his/her personal 
residence and sent by that individual as a personal gift (i.e., for 
nonbusiness reasons) to an individual in the United States;
    (3) Food that is imported then exported without leaving the port of 
arrival until export;
    (4) Meat food products that at the time of importation are subject 
to the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
    (5) Poultry products that at the time of importation are subject to 
the exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the Poultry Products 
Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.);
    (6) Egg products that at the time of importation are subject to the 
exclusive jurisdiction of USDA under the Egg Products Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.); and
    (7) Articles of food subject to Article 27(3) of The Vienna 
Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), i.e., shipped as baggage or 
cargo constituting the diplomatic bag.

Requirements To Submit Prior Notice of Imported Food


Sec.  1.278  Who is authorized to submit prior notice?

    A prior notice for an article of food may be submitted by any 
person with knowledge of the required information. This person is the 
submitter. The submitter also may use another person to transmit the 
required information on his/her behalf. The person who transmits the 
information is the transmitter. The submitter and transmitter may be 
the same person.


Sec.  1.279  When must prior notice be submitted to FDA?

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, you must 
submit the prior notice to FDA and the prior notice submission must be 
confirmed by FDA for review as follows:
    (1) If the article of food is arriving by land by road, no less 
than 2 hours before arriving at the port of arrival;
    (2) If the article of food is arriving by land by rail, no less 
than 4 hours before arriving at the port of arrival;
    (3) If the article of food is arriving by air, no less than 4 hours 
before arriving at the port of arrival; or
    (4) If the article of food is arriving by water, no less than 8 
hours before arriving at the port of arrival.
    (b) Except in the case of an article of food imported or offered 
for import by international mail:
    (1) If prior notice is submitted via Automated Broker Interface/
Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS), you may not submit prior notice 
more than 30-calendar days before the anticipated date of arrival.
    (2) If prior notice is submitted via the FDA Prior Notice System 
Interface (FDA PNSI), you may not submit prior notice more than 15-
calendar days before the anticipated date of arrival.
    (c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, if the 
article of food is arriving by international mail, you must submit the 
prior notice before the article of food is sent to the United States.
    (d) FDA will notify you that your prior notice has been confirmed 
for review with a reply message that contains a Prior Notice (PN) 
Confirmation Number. Your prior notice will be considered submitted and 
the prior notice time will start when FDA has confirmed your prior 
notice for review.
    (e) The PN Confirmation Number must accompany any article of food 
arriving by international mail. The PN Confirmation Number must appear 
on the Customs Declaration (e.g., CN22 or CN23 or U.S. equivalent) that 
accompanies the package.
    (f) A copy of the confirmation, including the PN Confirmation 
Number, must accompany any article of food that is subject to this 
subpart when it is carried by or otherwise accompanies an individual 
when arriving in the United States. The copy of the confirmation must 
be provided to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or FDA upon 
arrival.
    (g) The PN Confirmation Number must accompany any article of food 
for which the prior notice was submitted through the FDA PNSI when the 
article arrives in the United States and must be provided to CBP or FDA 
upon arrival.


Sec.  1.280  How must you submit prior notice?

    (a) You must submit the prior notice electronically to FDA. You 
must submit all prior notice information in the English language, 
except that an individual's name, the name of a company, and the name 
of a street may be submitted in a foreign language. All information, 
including the items listed in the previous sentence, must be submitted 
using the Latin (Roman) alphabet. Unless paragraph (c) of this section 
applies, you must submit prior notice through:
    (1) The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Automated Broker 
Interface of the Automated Commercial System (ABI/ACS); or
    (2) The FDA PNSI at http://www.access.fda.gov. You must submit 
prior notice through the FDA Prior Notice System Interface (FDA PNSI) 
for articles of food imported or offered for import by international 
mail, and other transaction types that cannot be made through ABI/ACS. 
Prior notice for articles that have been refused under section 
801(m)(1) of the act and under this subpart must be submitted through 
the FDA PNSI until such time as FDA and CBP issue a determination that 
ACS or its successor system can accommodate such transactions.
    (b) If a customhouse broker's or self-filer's system is not working 
or if the ABI/ACS interface is not working, prior notice must be 
submitted through the FDA PNSI.
    (c) If FDA determines that FDA PNSI or the Operational and 
Administration System for Import Support (OASIS) is not working, FDA 
will post prominent notification and instructions at http://www.fda.gov. FDA will accept prior notice submissions in the format it 
deems appropriate during the system(s) outage.


Sec.  1.281  What information must be in a prior notice?

    (a) General. For each article of food that is imported or offered 
for import into the United States, except by international mail, you 
must submit the information for the article that is required in 
paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(17) of this section:
    (1) The name of the individual submitting the prior notice and his/
her business address, phone number, and e-mail address, and the name 
and address of the submitting firm, if applicable. If the business 
address of the individual submitting the prior notice is a registered 
facility, then the facility's registration number, city, and country 
may be provided instead of the facility's full address;
    (2) If different from the submitter, the name of the individual and 
firm, if applicable, transmitting the prior notice on behalf of the 
submitter and his/her business address, phone number, and e-

[[Page 66405]]

mail address. If the business address of the individual transmitting 
the prior notice is a registered facility, then the facility's 
registration number, city, and country may be provided instead of the 
facility's full address;
    (3) The entry type;
    (4) The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) entry identifier 
(e.g., CBP entry number or in-bond number), if available;
    (5) The identity of the article of food being imported or offered 
for import, as follows:
    (i) The complete FDA product code;
    (ii) The common or usual name or market name;
    (iii) The estimated quantity of food that will be shipped, 
described from largest container to smallest package size; and
    (iv) The lot or code numbers or other identifier of the food if 
required by the act or FDA regulations, e.g., low-acid canned foods, by 
Sec.  113.60(c) of this chapter; acidified foods, by Sec.  114.80(b) of 
this chapter; and infant formula, by Sec.  106.90 of this chapter;
    (6) For an article of food that is no longer in its natural state, 
the identity of the manufacturer, as follows:
    (i) The name of the manufacturer; and
    (ii) Either the registration number, city, and country of the 
manufacturer or both the full address of the manufacturer and the 
reason the registration number is not provided;
    (7) For an article of food that is in its natural state, the name 
and growing location address of the grower, if known. If the submitter 
does not know the identity of the grower or, if the article has been 
consolidated and the submitter does not know the identity of any of the 
growers, you may provide the name and address of the firm that has 
consolidated the articles of food from different growers or different 
growing locations;
    (8) The FDA Country of Production;
    (9) If the shipper is different from the manufacturer, the identity 
of the shipper, as follows:
    (i) The name of the shipper; and
    (ii) The full address of the shipper. If the address of the shipper 
is a registered facility, you also may submit the registration number 
of the shipper's registered facility;
    (10) The country from which the article is shipped;
    (11) Anticipated arrival information about the article of food 
being imported or offered for import, as follows:
    (i) The anticipated port of arrival;
    (ii) The anticipated date on which the article of food will arrive 
at the anticipated port of arrival;
    (iii) The anticipated time of that arrival; and
    (iv) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(11)(i) through (a)(11)(iii) of 
this section, if the article of food is arriving by express consignment 
operator or carrier, and neither the submitter nor transmitter is the 
express consignment operator or carrier, and prior notice is submitted 
via the FDA PNSI, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking 
number may be submitted in lieu of the information required in 
paragraphs (a)(11)(i) through (a)(11)(iii) of this section. Until such 
time as FDA and CBP issue a determination that ACS or its successor 
system can accommodate such transactions, the tracking number may not 
be submitted in lieu of information required in paragraphs (a)(11)(i) 
through (a)(11)(iii) of this section, if the prior notice is submitted 
via ABI/ACS.
    (12) The name and full address of the importer. If the business 
address of the importer is a registered facility, you also may submit 
the registration number of the importer's registered facility. The 
identity of the importer is not required for an article of food that is 
imported or offered for import for transshipment through the United 
States under a Transportation and Exportation entry;
    (13) The name and full address of the owner if different from the 
importer or ultimate consignee. If the business address of the owner is 
a registered facility, you also may submit the registration number of 
the owner's registered facility. The identity of the owner is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a Transportation and 
Exportation entry;
    (14) The name and full address of the ultimate consignee. If the 
business address of the ultimate consignee is a registered facility, 
you also may submit the registration number of the ultimate consignee's 
registered facility. The identity of the ultimate consignee is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a Transportation and 
Exportation entry;
    (15) The mode of transportation;
    (16) The Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code (SCAC) or International 
Air Transportation Association (IATA) code of the carrier which is, or 
will be, carrying the article of food from the country from which the 
article is shipped to the United States to the port of arrival, or if 
this code is not applicable, then the name of the carrier. If the 
carrier is a privately owned vehicle, the license plate number of the 
vehicle and the State or Province that issued the license plate number;
    (17) Planned shipment information, as applicable to the mode of 
transportation and when it exists:
    (i) The Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as 
applicable. This information is not required for an article of food 
when carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual when entering 
the United States. If the article of food is arriving by express 
consignment operator or carrier, and neither the submitter nor 
transmitter is the express consignment operator or carrier, and the 
prior notice is submitted via the FDA PNSI, the express consignment 
operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the 
Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as applicable. Until 
such time as FDA and CBP issue a determination that ACS or its 
successor system can accommodate such transactions, the tracking number 
may not be submitted in lieu of the Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of 
Lading number(s), if the prior notice is submitted via ABI/ACS;
    (ii) For food arriving by ocean vessel, the vessel name and voyage 
number;
    (iii) For food arriving by air carrier, the flight number. If the 
article of food is arriving by express consignment operator or carrier, 
and neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express consignment 
operator or carrier, and the prior notice is submitted via the FDA 
PNSI, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may 
be submitted in lieu of the flight number. Until such time as FDA and 
CBP issue a determination that ACS or its successor system can 
accommodate such transactions, the tracking number may not be submitted 
in lieu of the flight number, if the prior notice is submitted via ABI/
ACS;
    (iv) For food arriving by truck, bus, or rail, the trip number;
    (v) For food arriving as containerized cargo by water, air, or 
land, the container number(s). This information is not required for an 
article of food when carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual 
when entering the United States; and
    (vi) For food arriving by rail, the car number. This information is 
not required for an article of food when carried by or otherwise 
accompanying an individual.
    (b) Articles arriving by international mail. For each article of 
food that is imported or offered for import into the United States by 
international mail, you must submit the information for the article 
that is required in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(11) of this section:
    (1) The name of the individual submitting the prior notice and his/
her

[[Page 66406]]

business address, phone number, and e-mail address, and the name and 
address of the submitting firm, if applicable. If the business address 
of the individual submitting the prior notice is a registered facility, 
then the facility's registration number, city, and country may be 
provided instead of the facility's full address;
    (2) If different from the submitter, the name of the individual and 
firm, if applicable, transmitting the prior notice on behalf of the 
submitter and his/her business address, phone number, and e-mail 
address. If the business address of the individual transmitting the 
prior notice is a registered facility, then the facility's registration 
number, city, and country may be provided instead of the facility's 
full address;
    (3) The entry type (which will be a mail entry);
    (4) The identity of the article of food being imported or offered 
for import, as follows:
    (i) The complete FDA product code;
    (ii) The common or usual name or market name;
    (iii) The estimated quantity of food that will be shipped, 
described from largest container to smallest package size; and
    (iv) The lot or code numbers or other identifier of the food if 
required by the act or FDA regulations, e.g., low-acid canned foods, by 
Sec.  113.60(c) of this chapter; acidified foods, by Sec.  114.80(b) of 
this chapter; and infant formula, Sec.  106.90 of this chapter;
    (5) For an article of food that is no longer in its natural state, 
the identity of the manufacturer, as follows:
    (i) The name of the manufacturer; and
    (ii) Either the registration number, city, and country of the 
manufacturer or both the full address of the manufacturer and the 
reason the registration number is not provided;
    (6) For an article of food that is in its natural state, the name 
and growing location address of the grower, if known. If the submitter 
does not know the identity of the grower or, if the article has been 
consolidated and the submitter does not know the identity of any of the 
growers, you may provide the name and address of the firm that has 
consolidated the articles of food from different growers or different 
growing locations;
    (7) The FDA Country of Production;
    (8) If the shipper is different from the manufacturer, the identity 
of the shipper, as follows:
    (i) The name of the shipper; and
    (ii) The full address of the shipper. If the address of the shipper 
is a registered facility, you also may submit the registration number 
of the shipper's registered facility;
    (9) The country from which the article is shipped (i.e., mailed);
    (10) The anticipated date of mailing; and
    (11) The name and address of the U.S. recipient.
    (c) Refused articles. If the article of food has been refused under 
section 801(m)(1) of the act and under this subpart, you must submit 
the information for the article that is required in paragraphs (c)(1) 
through (c)(18) of this section. However, if the refusal is based on 
Sec.  1.283(a)(1)(iii) (Untimely Prior Notice), you do not have to 
resubmit any information previously submitted unless it has changed or 
the article has been exported and the original prior notice was 
submitted through ABI/ACS. If the refusal is based on Sec.  
1.283(a)(1)(ii), you should cancel the previous submission per Sec.  
1.282(b) and (c).
    (1) The name of the individual submitting the prior notice and his/
her business address, phone number, and e-mail address, and the name 
and address of the submitting firm, if applicable. If the business 
address of the individual submitting the prior notice is a registered 
facility, then the facility's registration number, city, and country 
may be provided instead of the facility's full address;
    (2) If different from the submitter, the name of the individual and 
firm, if applicable, transmitting the prior notice on behalf of the 
submitter and his/her business address, phone number, and e-mail 
address. If the business address of the individual transmitting the 
prior notice is a registered facility, then the facility's registration 
number, city, and country may be provided instead of the facility's 
full address;
    (3) The entry type;
    (4) The CBP entry identifier (e.g., CBP entry number or in-bond 
number), if available;
    (5) The identity of the article of food being imported or offered 
for import, as follows:
    (i) The complete FDA product code;
    (ii) The common or usual name or market name;
    (iii) The quantity of food that was shipped, described from largest 
container to smallest package size; and
    (iv) The lot or code numbers or other identifier of the food if 
required by the act or FDA regulations, e.g., low-acid canned foods, by 
Sec.  113.60(c) of this chapter; acidified foods, by Sec.  114.80(b) of 
this chapter; and infant formula, by Sec.  106.90 of this chapter;
    (6) For an article of food that is no longer in its natural state, 
the identity of the manufacturer, as follows:
    (i) The name of the manufacturer; and
    (ii) Either the registration number, city, and country of the 
manufacturer or both the full address of the manufacturer and the 
reason the registration number is not provided;
    (7) For an article of food that is in its natural state, the name 
and growing location address of the grower, if known. If the submitter 
does not know the identity of the grower or, if the article has been 
consolidated and the submitter does not know any of the growers, you 
may provide the name and address of the firm that has consolidated the 
articles of food from different growers or different growing locations;
    (8) The FDA Country of Production;
    (9) If the shipper is different from the manufacturer, the identity 
of the shipper, as follows:
    (i) The name of the shipper; and
    (ii) The full address of the shipper. If the address of the shipper 
is a registered facility, you also may submit the registration number 
of the shipper's registered facility;
    (10) The country from which the article is shipped;
    (11) Arrival information about the article of food being imported 
or offered for import, as follows:
    (i) The port of arrival; and
    (ii) The date on which the article of food arrived at the port of 
arrival.
    (iii) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(11) of this section, if the 
article of food arrived by express consignment operator or carrier, and 
neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express consignment 
operator or carrier, and the prior notice is submitted via the FDA 
PNSI, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may 
be submitted in lieu of the information required in paragraph (c)(11) 
of this section. Until such time as FDA and CBP issue a determination 
that ACS or its successor system can accommodate such transactions, the 
tracking number may not be submitted in lieu of information required in 
paragraph (c)(11) of this section, if the prior notice is submitted via 
ABI/ACS;
    (12) The name and full address of the importer. If the business 
address of the importer is a registered facility, you also may submit 
the registration number of the importer's registered facility. The 
identity of the importer is not required for an article of food that is 
imported or offered for import for transshipment through the United 
States under a Transportation and Exportation entry;
    (13) The name and full address of the owner, if different from the 
importer or

[[Page 66407]]

ultimate consignee. If the business address of the owner is a 
registered facility, you also may submit the registration number of the 
importer's registered facility. The identity of the owner is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a Transportation and 
Exportation entry;
    (14) The name and full address of the ultimate consignee. If the 
business address of the ultimate consignee is a registered facility, 
you also may submit the registration number of the ultimate consignee's 
registered facility. The identity of the ultimate consignee is not 
required for an article of food that is imported or offered for import 
for transshipment through the United States under a Transportation and 
Exportation entry;
    (15) The mode of transportation;
    (16) The SCAC or IATA code of the carrier which carried the article 
of food from the country from which the article is shipped to the 
United States to the port of arrival, or if this code is not 
applicable, then the name of the carrier. If the carrier is a privately 
owned vehicle, the license plate number of the vehicle and the State or 
Province that issued the license plate number;
    (17) Shipment information, as applicable to the mode of 
transportation and when it exists:
    (i) The Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as 
applicable; however, this information is not required for an article of 
food when carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual when 
entering the United States. If the article of food arrived by express 
consignment operator or carrier, and neither the submitter nor 
transmitter is the express consignment operator or carrier, and the 
prior notice is submitted via the FDA PNSI, the express consignment 
operator or carrier tracking number may be submitted in lieu of the 
Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of Lading number(s), as applicable. Until 
such time as FDA and CBP issue a determination that ACS or its 
successor system can accommodate such transactions, the tracking number 
may not be submitted in lieu of the Airway Bill number(s) or Bill of 
Lading number(s), if the prior notice is submitted via ABI/ACS;
    (ii) For food that arrived by ocean vessel, the vessel name and 
voyage number;
    (iii) For food that arrived by air carrier, the flight number. If 
the article of food arrived by express consignment operator or carrier, 
and neither the submitter nor transmitter is the express consignment 
operator or carrier, and the prior notice is submitted via the FDA 
PNSI, the express consignment operator or carrier tracking number may 
be submitted in lieu of the flight number. Until such time as FDA and 
CBP issue a determination that ACS or its successor system can 
accommodate such transactions, the tracking number may not be submitted 
in lieu of the flight number, if the prior notice is submitted via ABI/
ACS;
    (iv) For food that arrived by truck, bus, or rail, the trip number;
    (v) For food that arrived as containerized cargo by water, air, or 
land, the container number(s); however, this information is not 
required for an article of food when carried by or otherwise 
accompanying an individual when entering the United States; and
    (vi) For food that arrived by rail, the car number; however, this 
information is not required for an article of food when carried by or 
otherwise accompanying an individual;
    (18) The location and address where the article of refused food 
will be or is being held, the date the article has arrived or will 
arrive at that location, and identification of a contact at that 
location.


Sec.  1.282  What must you do if information changes after you have 
received confirmation of a prior notice from FDA?

    (a)(1) If any of the information required in Sec.  1.281(a), except 
the information required in:
    (i) Section 1.281(a)(5)(iii) (quantity),
    (ii) Section 1.281(a)(11) (anticipated arrival information), or
    (iii) Section 1.281(a)(17) (planned shipment information), changes 
after you receive notice that FDA has confirmed your prior notice 
submission for review, you must resubmit prior notice in accordance 
with this subpart unless the article of food will not be offered for 
import or imported into the United States.
    (2) If any of the information required in Sec.  1.281(b), except 
the information required in Sec.  1.281(b)(10) (the anticipated date of 
mailing), changes after you receive notice that FDA has confirmed your 
prior notice submission for review, you must resubmit prior notice in 
accordance with this subpart, unless the article of food will not be 
offered for import or imported into the United States.
    (b) If you submitted the prior notice via the FDA PNSI, you should 
cancel the prior notice via the FDA PNSI.
    (c) If you submitted the prior notice via ABI/ACS, you should 
cancel the prior notice via ACS by requesting that CBP cancel the 
entry.

Consequences


Sec.  1.283  What happens to food that is imported or offered for 
import without adequate prior notice?

    (a) For each article of food that is imported or offered for import 
into the United States, except for food arriving by international mail 
or food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual, the 
consequences are:
    (1) Inadequate prior notice--(i) No prior notice. If an article of 
food arrives at the port of arrival and no prior notice has been 
submitted and confirmed by FDA for review, the food is subject to 
refusal of admission under section 801(m)(1) of the act (21 U.S.C. 
381(m)(1)). If an article of food is refused for lack of prior notice, 
unless U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concurrence is obtained 
for export and the article is immediately exported from the port of 
arrival under CBP supervision, it must be held within the port of entry 
for the article unless directed by CBP or FDA.
    (ii) Inaccurate prior notice. If prior notice has been submitted 
and confirmed by FDA for review, but upon review of the notice or 
examination of the article of food, the notice is determined to be 
inaccurate, the food is subject to refusal of admission under section 
801(m)(1) of the act. If the article of food is refused due to 
inaccurate prior notice, unless CBP concurrence is obtained for export 
and the article is immediately exported from the port of arrival under 
CBP supervision, it must be held within the port of entry for the 
article unless directed by CBP or FDA.
    (iii) Untimely prior notice. If prior notice has been submitted and 
confirmed by FDA for review, but the full time that applies under Sec.  
1.279 for prior notice has not elapsed when the article of food 
arrives, the food is subject to refusal of admission under section 
801(m)(1) of the act, unless FDA has already reviewed the prior notice, 
determined its response to the prior notice, and advised CBP of that 
response. If the article of food is refused due to untimely prior 
notice, unless CBP concurrence is obtained for export and the article 
is immediately exported from the port of arrival under CBP supervision, 
it must be held within the port of entry for the article unless 
directed by CBP or FDA.
    (2) Status and movement of refused food. (i) An article of food 
that has been refused under section 801(m)(1) of the act and paragraph 
(a) of this section shall be considered general order merchandise as 
described in section 490 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 
U.S.C. 1490).

[[Page 66408]]

    (ii) Refused food must be moved under appropriate custodial bond 
unless immediately exported under CBP supervision. If the food is to be 
held at the port, FDA must be notified of the location where the food 
is held at that port before the food is moved there. If the food is to 
be held at a secure facility outside the port, FDA must be notified of 
the location of the secure facility before the food is moved there. The 
refused food shall not be entered and shall not be delivered to any 
importer, owner, or ultimate consignee. If the food is to be held at a 
secure facility outside a port, the food must be taken directly to that 
secure facility.
    (3) Segregation of refused foods. If an article of food that is 
refused is part of a shipment that contains articles of food that have 
not been placed under hold or other merchandise not subject to this 
subpart, the refused article of food may be segregated from the rest of 
the shipment. This segregation must take place where the article is 
held. FDA or CBP may supervise segregation. If FDA or CBP determines 
that supervision is necessary, segregation must not take place without 
supervision.
    (4) Costs. Neither FDA nor CBP are liable for transportation, 
storage, or other expenses resulting from refusal.
    (5) Export after refusal. An article of food that has been refused 
under paragraph (a) of this section may be exported with CBP 
concurrence and under CBP supervision unless it is seized or 
administratively detained by FDA or CBP under other authority. If an 
article of food that has been refused admission under paragraph (a) of 
this section is exported, the prior notice should be cancelled within 
5-business days of exportation.
    (6) No post-refusal submission or request for review. If an article 
of food is refused under section 801(m)(1) of the act and no prior 
notice is submitted or resubmitted, no request for FDA review is 
submitted in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, or export 
has not occurred in accordance with paragraph (a)(5) of this section, 
the article of food shall be dealt with as set forth in CBP regulations 
relating to general order merchandise (19 CFR part 127), except that, 
unless otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA, the article may only be sold 
for export or destroyed.
    (b) Food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual. If 
food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual arriving in the 
United States is not for personal use and does not have adequate prior 
notice or the individual cannot provide FDA or CBP with a copy of the 
prior notice (PN) confirmation, the food is subject to refusal of 
admission under section 801(m)(1) of the act. If before leaving the 
port, the individual does not arrange to have the food held at the port 
or exported, FDA or CBP may destroy the article of food.
    (c) Post-Refusal prior notice submissions. (1) If an article of 
food is refused under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section (no prior 
notice) and the food is not exported, prior notice must be submitted in 
accordance with Sec. Sec.  1.280 and 1.281(c).
    (2) If an article of food is refused under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of 
this section (inaccurate prior notice) and the food is not exported, 
the prior notice should be canceled in accordance with Sec.  1.282 and 
you must resubmit prior notice in accordance with Sec. Sec.  1.280 and 
1.281(c).
    (3) Once the prior notice has been submitted or resubmitted and 
confirmed by FDA for review, FDA will endeavor to review and respond to 
the prior notice submission within the timeframes set out in Sec.  
1.279.
    (d) FDA review after refusal. (1) If an article of food has been 
refused admission under section 801(m)(1) of the act, a request may be 
submitted asking FDA to review whether the article is subject to the 
requirements of this subpart under Sec.  1.277, or whether the 
information submitted in a prior notice is complete and accurate. A 
request for review may not be used to submit prior notice or to 
resubmit an inaccurate prior notice.
    (2) A request may be submitted only by the carrier, submitter, 
importer, owner, or ultimate consignee. A request must identify which 
one the requester is.
    (3) A request must be submitted in writing to FDA and delivered by 
fax or e-mail. The location for receipt of a request is listed at 
http://www.fda.gov--see Prior Notice. A request must include all 
factual and legal information necessary for FDA to conduct its review. 
Only one request for review may be submitted for each refused article.
    (4) The request must be submitted within 5-calendar days of the 
refusal. FDA will review and respond within 5-calendar days of 
receiving the request.
    (5) If FDA determines that the article is not subject to the 
requirements of this subpart under Sec.  1.277 or that the prior notice 
submission is complete and accurate, it will notify the requester, the 
transmitter, and CBP that the food is no longer subject to refusal 
under section 801(m)(1) of the act.
    (e) International mail. If an article of food arrives by 
international mail with inadequate prior notice or the PN confirmation 
number is not affixed as required, the parcel will be held by CBP for 
72 hours for FDA inspection and disposition. If FDA refuses the article 
under section 801(m)(1) of the act and there is a return address, the 
parcel may be returned to sender marked ``No Prior Notice--FDA 
Refused.'' If the article is refused and there is no return address or 
FDA determines that the article of food in the parcel appears to 
present a hazard, FDA may dispose of or destroy the parcel at its 
expense. If FDA does not respond within 72 hours of the CBP hold, CBP 
may return the parcel to the sender or, if there is no return address, 
destroy the parcel, at FDA expense.
    (f) Prohibitions on delivery and transfer. (1) Notwithstanding 
section 801(b) of the act, an article of food refused under section 
801(m)(1) of the act may not be delivered to the importer, owner, or 
ultimate consignee until prior notice is submitted to FDA in accordance 
with this subpart, FDA has examined the prior notice, FDA has 
determined that the prior notice is adequate, and FDA has notified CBP 
and the transmitter that the article of food is no longer refused 
admission under section 801(m)(1) of the act.
    (2) During the time an article of food that has been refused under 
section 801(m)(1) of the act is held, the article may not be 
transferred by any person from the port or other designated secure 
facility until prior notice is submitted to FDA in accordance with this 
subpart, FDA has examined the prior notice, FDA has determined that the 
prior notice is adequate, and FDA has notified CBP and the transmitter 
that the article of food no longer is refused admission under section 
801(m)(1) of the act. After this notification by FDA to CBP and 
transmitter, entry may be made in accordance with law and regulation.
    (g) Relationship to other admissibility decisions. A determination 
that an article of food is no longer refused under section 801(m)(1) of 
the act is different than, and may come before, determinations of 
admissibility under other provisions of the act or other U.S. laws. A 
determination that an article of food is no longer refused under 
section 801(m)(1) of the act does not mean that it will be granted 
admission under other provisions of the act or other U.S. laws.


Sec.  1.284  What are the other consequences of failing to submit 
adequate prior notice or otherwise failing to comply with this subpart?

    (a) The importing or offering for import into the United States of 
an article of food in violation of the requirements of section 801(m) 
of the act, including the requirements of this subpart, is a prohibited 
act under

[[Page 66409]]

section 301(ee) of the act (21 U.S.C. 331(ee)).
    (b) Section 301 of the act prohibits the doing of certain acts or 
causing such acts to be done.
    (1) Under section 302 of the act (21 U.S.C. 332), the United States 
can bring a civil action in Federal court to enjoin persons who commit 
a prohibited act.
    (2) Under sections 301 and 303 of the act (21 U.S.C. 331 and 333), 
the United States can bring a criminal action in Federal court to 
prosecute persons who are responsible for the commission of a 
prohibited act.
    (c) Under section 306 of the act (21 U.S.C. 335a), FDA can seek 
debarment of any person who has been convicted of a felony relating to 
importation of food into the United States or any person who has 
engaged in a pattern of importing or offering for import adulterated 
food that presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or 
death to humans or animals.


Sec.  1.285  What happens to food that is imported or offered for 
import from unregistered facilities that are required to register under 
subpart H of this part?

    (a) Consequences. If an article of food from a foreign facility 
that is not registered as required under section 415 of the act (21 
U.S.C. 350d) and subpart H of this part is imported or offered for 
import into the United States, the food is subject to being held under 
section 801(l) of the act (21 U.S.C. 381(l)).
    (b) Hold. Unless CBP concurrence is obtained for export and the 
article is immediately exported from the port of arrival, if an article 
of food has been placed under hold under section 801(l) of the act, it 
must be held within the port of entry for the article unless directed 
by CBP or FDA.
    (c) Status and movement of held food. (1) An article of food that 
has been placed under hold under section 801(l) of the act shall be 
considered general order merchandise as described in section 490 of the 
Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1490).
    (2) Food under hold under section 801(l) of the act must be moved 
under appropriate custodial bond unless immediately exported under CBP 
supervision. If the food is to be held at the port, FDA must be 
notified of the location where the food is held at the port before the 
food is moved there. If the food is to be held at a secure facility 
outside the port, FDA must be notified of the location of the secure 
facility before the food is moved there. The food subject to hold shall 
not be entered and shall not be delivered to any importer, owner, or 
ultimate consignee. If the food is to be held at a secure facility 
outside a port, the food must be taken directly to that secure 
facility.
    (d) Segregation of held foods. If an article of food that has been 
placed under hold under section 801(l) of the act is part of a shipment 
that contains articles that have not been placed under hold, the food 
under hold may be segregated from the rest of the shipment. This 
segregation must take place where the article is held. FDA or CBP may 
supervise segregation. If FDA or CBP determine that supervision is 
necessary, segregation must not take place without supervision.
    (e) Costs. Neither FDA nor CBP will be liable for transportation, 
storage, or other expenses resulting from any hold.
    (f) Export after hold. An article of food that has been placed 
under hold under section 801(l) of the act may be exported with CBP 
concurrence and under CBP supervision unless it is seized or 
administratively detained by FDA or CBP under other authority.
    (g) No registration or request for review. If an article of food is 
placed under hold under section 801(l) of the act and no registration 
number or request for FDA review is submitted in accordance with 
paragraph (j) of this section or export has not occurred in accordance 
with paragraph (f) of this section, the food shall be dealt with as set 
forth in CBP regulations relating to general order merchandise, except 
that, unless otherwise agreed to by CBP and FDA, the article may only 
be sold for export or destroyed.
    (h) Food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual. If an 
article of food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual 
arriving in the United States is not for personal use and is placed 
under hold under section 801(l) of the act because it is from a foreign 
facility that is not registered as required under section 415 of the 
act and subpart H of this part, the individual may arrange to have the 
food held at the port or exported. If such arrangements cannot be made, 
the article of food may be destroyed.
    (i) Post-hold submissions. (1) To resolve a hold, if an article of 
food is held under paragraph (b) of this section because it is from a 
foreign facility that is not registered, the facility must be 
registered and a registration number must be obtained.
    (2) The FDA Prior Notice Center must be notified of the applicable 
registration number in writing. The notification must provide the name 
and contact information for the person submitting the information. The 
notification may be delivered to FDA by fax or e-mail. The contact 
information for these delivery methods is listed at http://www.fda.gov--see Prior Notice. The notification should include the 
applicable CBP entry identifier.
    (3) If FDA determines that the article is no longer subject to 
hold, it will notify the person who provided the registration 
information and CBP that the food is no longer subject to hold under 
section 801(l) of the act.
    (j) FDA review after hold. (1) If an article of food has been 
placed under hold under section 801(l) of the act, a request may be 
submitted asking FDA to review whether the facility associated with the 
article is subject to the requirements of section 415 of the act. A 
request for review may not be submitted to obtain a registration 
number.
    (2) A request may be submitted only by the carrier, submitter, 
importer, owner, or ultimate consignee of the article. A request must 
identify which one the requestor is.
    (3) A request must be submitted in writing to FDA and delivered by 
fax or e-mail. The location for receipt of a request is listed at 
http://www.fda.gov--see Prior Notice. A request must include all 
factual and legal information necessary for FDA to conduct its review. 
Only one request for review may be submitted for each article under 
hold.
    (4) The request must be submitted within 5-calendar days of the 
hold. FDA will review and respond within 5-calendar days of receiving 
the request.
    (5) If FDA determines that the article is not from a facility 
subject to the requirements of section 415 of the act, it will notify 
the requestor and CBP that the food is no longer subject to hold under 
section 801(l) of the act.
    (k) International mail. If an article of food that arrives by 
international mail is from a foreign facility that is not registered as 
required under section 415 of the act and subpart H of this part, the 
parcel will be held by CBP for 72 hours for FDA inspection and 
disposition. If the article is placed under hold under section 801(l) 
of the act and there is a return address, the parcel may be returned to 
sender marked ``No Registration--No Admission Permitted.'' If the 
article is under hold and there is no return address or FDA determines 
that the article of food in the parcel appears to present a hazard, FDA 
may dispose of or destroy the parcel at its expense. If FDA does not 
respond within 72 hours of the CBP hold, CBP may return the parcel to 
the sender marked ``No Registration--No Admission Permitted'' or, if 
there is no return address, destroy the parcel, at FDA expense.
    (l) Prohibitions on delivery and transfer. Notwithstanding section 
801(b)

[[Page 66410]]

of the act, while an article of food is under hold under section 801(l) 
of the act, it may not be delivered to the importer, owner, or ultimate 
consignee. If an article of food is no longer subject to hold under 
section 801(l) of the act, entry may be made in accordance with law and 
regulation.
    (m) Relationship to other admissibility provisions. A determination 
that an article of food is no longer subject to hold under section 
801(l) of the act is different than, and may come before, 
determinations of admissibility under other provisions of the act or 
other U.S. laws. A determination that an article of food is no longer 
under hold under section 801(l) of the act does not mean that it will 
be granted admission under other provisions of the act or other U.S. 
laws.

    Dated: October 29, 2008.
Michael Chertoff,
Secretary of Homeland Security.

    Dated: July 1, 2008.
Michael O. Leavitt,
Secretary of Health and Human Services.
[FR Doc. E8-26282 Filed 10-31-08; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4160-01-S