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e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter FPart 996Subpart C → §996.23

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Subpart C—Certification of a Hydrographic Product and Decertification.

§996.23   Audit and decertification of hydrographic products.

(a) NOAA may audit hydrographic products it has certified. NOAA may conduct audits without advance notification. However, visits to companies' facilities will be scheduled. Audits may include, but are not limited to:

(1) The producing companies as it may affect the certified product;

(2) Certified products;

(3) Processes used in making, distributing, and marketing certified products;

(4) Use of the NOAA emblem;

(5) Examination of manufacturers' public claims about certified hydrographic products;

(6) Other relevant criteria as they become apparent.

(b) NOAA may decertify a hydrographic product based on the findings of an audit. In general, a hydrographic product may be decertified if:

(1) The results of an audit indicate that the product no longer meets the standards under which it was certified;

(2) The product has been substantively changed from the product that was tested and certified;

(3) Implied or actual claims about the product, and/or other data or products linked to the product, are judged by NOAA to be untrue or misleading;

(4) The NOAA emblem was improperly or inappropriately displayed;

(5) Other relevant reasons as they become apparent.

(c) A producing company may decline to reveal information during an audit that it declares to be proprietary or for other reasons. In this eventuality, NOAA reserves the right to decertify based on lack of information should it deem that action appropriate.

(d) The entity producing the certified hydrographic product shall be notified in writing of NOAA's intent to decertify that product. Said entity shall have 30 days to request reconsideration of that intended action in writing to the Quality Assurance Program address. Said request shall contain the identification of the hydrographic product, the requestor, and sufficient information for NOAA to make a determination on the request for reconsideration. Alternatively, the entity may correct the deficiencies cited by NOAA within 30 days, notify NOAA in writing at the Quality Assurance Program address of the corrective action taken, and provide sufficient evidence for NOAA to judge the correctness and effectiveness of the corrective action taken.

(e) If a request for reconsideration is submitted, or if the producing entity asserts that the deficiencies have been corrected, NOAA shall have 60 calendar days, if its other obligations permit, to consider the request for reconsideration or the corrective action, at which time NOAA shall issue its decertification decision. The decision and NOAA's reason for its action shall be made public in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, and the producing entity shall be notified in writing.

(f) NOAA's decertification, if unappealed or uncorrected within 30 days, shall be considered final. NOAA shall notify the producing entity of this action in writing, and announce the decertification in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means.

(g) Upon decertification, manufacturers shall discontinue all claims of certification, and shall discontinue use of the NOAA emblem.

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