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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 19, 2014

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter BPart 1101 → Subpart C


Title 16: Commercial Practices
PART 1101—INFORMATION DISCLOSURE UNDER SECTION 6(b) OF THE CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY ACT


Subpart C—Procedure for Providing Notice and Opportunity To Comment Under Section 6(b)(1)


Contents
§1101.21   Form of notice and opportunity to comment.
§1101.22   Timing: request for time extensions.
§1101.23   Providing less than 15 days notice before disclosing information.
§1101.24   Scope of comments Commission seeks.
§1101.25   Notice of intent to disclose.
§1101.26   Circumstances when the Commission does not provide notice and opportunity to comment.

§1101.21   Form of notice and opportunity to comment.

(a) Notice may be oral or written. The Commission will generally provide to manufacturers or private labelers written notice and opportunity to comment on information subject to section 6(b)(1). However, when the Commission publishes a finding that the public health and safety requires a lesser period of notice pursuant to section 6(b)(1) of the CPSA, the Commission may determine that it is necessary to provide the notice and opportunity to comment orally, either in person or by telephone.

(b) Content of notice. The Commission will provide the manufacturer or private labeler with:

(1) Either the actual text of the information to be disclosed or, if appropriate, a summary of the information.

(2) A general description of the manner in which the Commission will disclose the information, including any other relevant information the Commission intends to include with the disclosure. If the Commission advises that the form of disclosure will be by press release, for example, the Commission need not provide further notice to disclose a summary of the press release.

(3) A request for comment with respect to the information, including a request for explanatory data or other relevant information for the Commission's consideration.

(4) A statement that, in the absence of a specific request by a firm that its comments be withheld from disclosure, the Commission will release to the public the firm's comments (or a summary thereof prepared by the firm or, if the firm declines to do so, by the Commission).

(5) A statement that a request that comments be withheld from disclosure will be honored.

(6) Notice that the firm may request confidential treatment for the information, in accordance with section 6(a)(3) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 2055(a)(3) (see §1101.24(b)).

(7) A statement that no further request for comment will be sought by the Commission if it intends to disclose the identical information in the same format, unless the firm specifically requests the opportunity to comment on subsequent information disclosures.

(8) The name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom comments should be sent and the time when any comments are due (see §1101.22).

[48 FR 57430, Dec. 29, 1983, as amended at 73 FR 72335, Nov. 28, 2008]

§1101.22   Timing: request for time extensions.

(a) Time for comment. (1) Generally firms will receive ten (10) calendar days from the date of the letter in which the Commission transmits the notice to furnish comments to the Commission. Firms that receive requests for comments by mail will receive an additional three (3) days to comment to account for time in the mail.

(2) Upon his or her own initiative or upon request, the Freedom of Information Officer may provide a different amount of time for comment, particularly for firms that receive voluminous or complex material. In addition, the Commission may publish a finding that the public health and safety requires a lesser period of notice and may require a response in a shorter period of time (see §1101.24).

(b) No response submitted. (1) If the Commission has not received a response within the time specified and if it has received no request for extension of time, the Commission will analyze the information as provided in subpart D. If no comments are submitted the Commission will not give the further notice provided in section 6(b)(2).

(2) Unless the Commission publishes a finding that the public health and safety requires a lesser period of notice (see §1101.23), the Commission will not disclose the information in fewer than 15 days after providing a manufacturer or private labeler notice and opportunity to comment.

(c) Requests for time extension. (1) Requests for extension of time to comment on information to be disclosed must be made to the person who provided the Commission's notice and opportunity to comment. The request for time extension may be either oral or written. An oral request for a time extension must be promptly confirmed in writing.

(2) Requests for extension of time must explain with specificity why the extension is needed and how much additional time is required.

(3) The Commission will promptly respond to requests for extension of time.

[48 FR 57430, Dec. 29, 1983, as amended at 73 FR 72335, Nov. 28, 2008]

§1101.23   Providing less than 15 days notice before disclosing information.

There are two circumstances in which the Commission may disclose to the public information subject to section 6(b)(1) in a time less than 15 days after providing notice to the manufacturer or private labeler.

(a) Firm agrees to lesser period or does not object to disclosure. The Commission may disclose to the public information subject to section 6(b)(1) before the 15-day period expires when, after receiving the Commission's notice and opportunity to comment, the firm involved agrees to the earlier disclosure; notifies the Commission that it has no comment; or notifies the Commission that it does not object to disclosure.

(b) Commission finding a lesser period is required. Section 6(b)(1) provides that the Commission may publish a finding that the public health and safety requires a lesser period of notice than the 15 days advance notice that section 6(b)(1) generally requires. The Commission may find that the public health and safety requires less than 15 days advance notice, for example, to warn the public quickly because individuals may be in danger from a product hazard or a potential hazard, or to correct product safety information released by third persons, which mischaracterizes statements made by the Commission about the product or which attributes to the Commission statements about the product which the Commission did not make.

(c) Notice of finding. The Commission will inform a manufacturer or private labeler of a product which is the subject of a public health and safety finding that the public health and safety requires less than 15 days advance notice either orally or in writing, depending on the immediacy of the need for quick action. Where applicable, before releasing information, the Commission will comply with the requirements of section 6(b) (1) and (2) by giving the firm the opportunity to comment on the information, either orally or in writing depending on the immediacy of the need for quick action, and by giving the firm advance notice before disclosing information claimed by a manufacturer or private labeler to be inaccurate (see §1101.25).

[48 FR 57430, Dec. 29, 1983, as amended at 73 FR 72335, Nov. 28, 2008]

§1101.24   Scope of comments Commission seeks.

(a) Comment in regard to the information. The section 6(b) opportunity to comment on information is intended to permit firms to furnish information and data to the Commission to assist the agency in its evaluation of the accuracy of the information. A firm's submission, therefore, must be specific and should be accompanied by documentation, where available, if the comments are to assist the Commission in its evaluation of the information. Comments of a general nature, such as general suggestions or allegations that a document is inaccurate or that the Commission has not taken reasonable steps to assure accuracy, are not sufficient to assist the Commission in its evaluation of the information or to justify a claim of inaccuracy. The weight accorded a firm's comments on the accuracy of information and the degree of scrutiny which the Commission will exercise in evaluating the information will depend on the specificity and completeness of the firm's comments and of the accompanying documentation. In general, specific comments which are accompanied by documentation will be given more weight than those which are undocumented and general in nature.

(b) Claims of confidentiality. If the manufacturer or private labeler believes the information involved cannot be disclosed because of section 6(a)(2) of the CPSA (15 U.S.C. 2055(a)(2)), which pertains to trade secret or other confidential material, the firm may make claims of confidentiality at the time it submits its comments to the Commission under this section. Such claims must identify the specific information which the firm believes to be confidential or trade secret material and must state with specificity the grounds on which the firm bases it claims. (See Commission's Freedom of Information Act regulation, 16 CFR part 1015, particularly 16 CFR 1015.18.)

(c) Requests for nondisclosure of comments. If a firm objects to disclosure of its comments or a portion thereof, it must notify the Commission at the time it submits its comments. If the firm objects to the disclosure of a portion of its comments, it must identify those portions which should be withheld.

§1101.25   Notice of intent to disclose.

(a) Notice to manufacturer or private labeler. In accordance with section 6(b)(2) of the CPSA, if the Commission, after following the notice provisions of section 6(b)(1), determines that information claimed to be inaccurate by a manufacturer or private labeler in comments submitted under section 6(b)(1) should be disclosed because the Commission believes it has complied with section 6(b)(1), the Commission shall notify the manufacturer or private labeler that it intends to disclose the information not less than 5 days after the date of the receipt of notification by the firm. The notice of intent to disclose will include an explanation of the reason for the Commission's decision, copies of any additional materials, such as explanatory statements and letters to Freedom of Information Act requesters, which were not previously sent to the firm.

(b) Commission finding a lesser period is required. The Commission may determine that the public health and safety requires less than 5 days advance notice of its intent to disclose information claimed to be inaccurate. For example, the Commission may determine it is necessary to warn the public quickly because individuals may be in danger from a product hazard or a potential hazard, or to correct product safety information released by third persons, which mischaracterized statements made by the Commission about the product or which attributes to the Commission statements about the product which the Commission did not make.

(c) Notice of findings. The Commission will inform a manufacturer or private labeler of a product which is the subject of a public health and safety finding that the public health and safety requires less than 5 days advance notice either orally or in writing, depending on the immediacy of the need for quick action.

[48 FR 57430, Dec. 29, 1983, as amended at 73 FR 72335, Nov. 28, 2008]

§1101.26   Circumstances when the Commission does not provide notice and opportunity to comment.

(a) Notice to the extent practicable. Section 6(b)(1) requires that “to the extent practicable” the Commission must provide manufacturers and private labelers notice and opportunity to comment before disclosing information from which the public can ascertain readily their identity.

(b) Circumstances when notice and opportunity to comment is not practicable. The Commission has determined that there are various circumstances when notice and opportunity to comment is not practicable. Examples include the following:

(1) When the Commission has taken reasonable steps to assure that the company to which the information pertains is out of business and has no identifiable successor.

(2) When the information is disclosed in testimony in response to an order of the court during litigation to which the Commission is not a party.



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