[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 235 (Friday, December 7, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63052-63053]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-26526]



Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 317 and 381

[Docket No. FSIS-2018-0049]
RIN 0583-AD77

Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling Regulations

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is establishing 
January 1, 2022, as the uniform compliance date for new meat and 
poultry product labeling regulations that will be issued between 
January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020. FSIS periodically announces 
uniform compliance dates for new meat and poultry product labeling 
regulations to minimize the economic impact of label changes.

DATES: This rule is effective December 7, 2018. Comments on this final 
rule must be received on or before January 7, 2019.

ADDRESSES: FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this 
final rule. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the 
ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this 
web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for 
submitting comments.
     Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-
     Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to 1400 
Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must 
include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2018-0049. Comments 
received in response to this docket will be made available for public 
inspection and posted without change, including any personal 
information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

[[Page 63053]]

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, 
call (202)720-5627 to schedule a time to visit the FSIS Docket Room at 
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins, Director, 
Labeling and Program Delivery Staff, Office of Policy and Program 
Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Telephone: 301-504-0879.



    On December 14, 2004, FSIS issued a final rule establishing January 
1, 2008, as the uniform compliance date for new meat and poultry 
labeling regulations issued between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 
2006. The 2004 final rule also provided that the Agency would set 
uniform compliance dates for new labeling regulations in 2-year 
increments and periodically issue final rules announcing those dates. 
Consistent with the 2004 final rule, the Agency has since published six 
rules establishing the uniform compliance dates of January 1, 2010, 
January 1, 2012, January 1, 2014, January 1, 2016, January 1, 2018, and 
January 1, 2020 (72 FR 9651, 73 FR 75564, 75 FR 71344, 77 FR 76824, 79 
FR 71007 and 81 FR 91670).

The Final Rule

    The new uniform compliance date will apply only to final FSIS 
regulations that require changes in the labeling of meat and poultry 
products and that are published after January 1, 2019, and before 
December 31, 2020. For each final rule that requires changes in 
labeling, FSIS will specifically identify January 1, 2022, as the 
compliance date. All meat and poultry food products that are subject to 
labeling regulations issued between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 
2020, will be required to comply with these regulations on products 
introduced into commerce on or after January 1, 2022. If any food 
labeling regulation involves special circumstances that justify a 
compliance date other than January 1, 2022, the Agency will determine 
an appropriate compliance date and will publish that compliance date in 
the rulemaking.
    Two-year increments increase industry's ability to make orderly 
adjustments to new labeling requirements without exposing consumers to 
outdated labels. This approach allows meat and poultry producers to 
plan for the use of label inventories and to develop new labeling 
materials that meet the new requirements. It also serves to reduce the 
economic impact of changing labels on both producers and consumers.
    In the May 4, 2004, proposed rule on uniform compliance dates for 
labeling requirements, FSIS provided notice and solicited comment (69 
FR 24539). In the March 5, 2007, final rule, FSIS received only four 
comments in response to the proposal, all in support. In the March 5, 
2007, final rule, FSIS determined that further rulemaking for uniform 
compliance dates for labeling requirements is unnecessary (72 FR 9651). 
The Agency received no comments on the 2007 final rule, the comments 
FSIS received on the 2012 final rule were outside the scope (77 FR 
76824), and FSIS received no comments on the 2014 final rule (79 FR 
71007) or the 2016 final rule (81 FR 91670). Consistent with its 
statement in 2007, FSIS finds that further rulemaking on this matter is 
unnecessary. However, FSIS is providing an opportunity for comment on 
the uniform compliance date established in this final rule.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety benefits, distributive impacts, and equity). 
Executive Order (E.O.) 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying 
both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and 
of promoting flexibility. This final rule has been designated as a 
``non-significant'' regulatory action under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. 
Accordingly, the final rule has not been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under E.O. 12866.
    This rule does not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities; consequently, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required (5 U.S.C. 601-612).

Additional Public Information

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal 
Register publication online through the FSIS web page located at: 
    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through 
the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information 
regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register 
notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that 
could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and 
stakeholders. The Constituent Update is available on the FSIS web page. 
Through the web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much 
broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email 
subscription service, which provides automatic and customized access to 
selected food safety news and information. This service is available 
at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to 
export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can 
add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password 
protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds 
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual 
orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, 
income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, 
exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to 
discrimination any person in the United States under any program or 
activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program 
Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your 
authorized representative.
    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, 
or email:
    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of 
Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410.
    Fax: (202) 690-7442.
    Email: [email protected].
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC.
Paul Kiecker,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-26526 Filed 12-6-18; 8:45 am]