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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter FPart 996Subpart B → §996.10


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 996—QUALITY ASSURANCE AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR NOAA HYDROGRAPHIC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Subpart B—The Quality Assurance Program for Hydrographic Products


§996.10   Submission and selection of hydrographic products for the development of standards and compliance tests.

(a) Any non-Federal entity may submit a hydrographic product to be considered for the development of standards and compliance tests under this Quality Assurance Program.

(b) Submission shall be made to the Quality Assurance Program address below, or to such other address as may be indicated in the future: Director (N/CS), ATTN: Hydrographic Product Quality Assurance Program, Office of Coast Survey, NOAA, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

(c) The submission shall include

(1) Name and description of the proposed hydrographic product.

(2) The non-Federal entity submitting the product for the development of standards and compliance tests, and contact information for that entity. This non-Federal entity shall be known as the sponsor.

(3) The names and contact information of proposed representatives of the affected communities who have committed to participate substantively in the writing of standards and compliance tests. Affected communities might include: manufacturers, users, regulators, resellers, developers of products that use certified hydrographic products such as datasets, and manufacturers of competing or substitute products.

(4) The names and contact information of the standards setting body, and the compliance testing body under whose authority it is proposed that the standards and compliance tests be written and adopted.

(5) Information deemed relevant by the sponsor for NOAA to consider in deciding whether to proceed with the development of standards, compliance tests, and certification. Such information should address at a minimum:

(i) The type and magnitude of the public benefits and enhancement of public safety that would be achieved;

(ii) The breadth of support for standards and certification among all the affected communities;

(iii) The practicality of writing and enforcing an effective and appropriate standard;

(iv) The availability of suitable, similar products that may already meet the needs of the public; and

(v) The required expertise needed to write an appropriate standard.

(d) NOAA may, at its option, define a hydrographic product class of which the proposed hydrographic product is a specific instance. Standards and compliance tests may then be prepared for the class rather than for an individual non-Federal entity's specific product.

(e) NOAA shall publicize, in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, the hydrographic product or class in order to solicit comments on the proposal that standards and compliance tests be written and certification be offered for that hydrographic product or class. Comments might include, but are not limited to, general information; statements of interest in participating in the development of standards and compliance tests; or objections to acceptance of the hydrographic product or class into this Quality Assurance Program. Instructions for commenting and the duration of the comment period will be included in the announcement.

(f) NOAA shall decide, if its other obligations permit, within 60 calendar days of the close of the comment period whether to proceed with the development of standards, compliance tests, and certification for the proposed hydrographic product or class. NOAA may request further information, and shall have additional time as required to consider the information once received. NOAA's decision on whether to proceed shall be based on the following criteria:

(1) The magnitude of the public benefit and enhancement of public safety that would be achieved compared to the commitment of federal resources that would be required;

(2) The breadth of support for standards and certification among all the affected communities;

(3) The practicality of writing and enforcing an effective and appropriate standard;

(4) The availability of suitable, similar products that may already meet the needs of the public;

(5) NOAA's expertise related to the expertise needed to write an appropriate standard;

(6) Availability of resources; and

(7) Other relevant criteria as they become apparent.

(g) NOAA's decision as to whether the proposed hydrographic product or class is accepted into the Quality Assurance Program shall be publicly announced in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, and a written notification shall be provided to the sponsor. The response shall include NOAA's reason for its decision based on the criteria enumerated above.

(h) Any party, including the sponsor, shall have an opportunity to request reconsideration of NOAA's decision. Said request shall be submitted in writing, to the Quality Assurance Program address, postmarked within 30 days of NOAA's announcement of its decision, and shall contain written material supporting the requestor's position. NOAA shall have, if its other obligations permit, 60 calendar days from the receipt of a request for reconsideration to either deny the request, or to reconsider and announce its decision.

(i) NOAA's decision, either the original decision if unappealed within 30 days, or the decision after the request for reconsideration, shall be considered final.

(j) NOAA itself may choose to identify a hydrographic product or class, which may or may not yet exist, but for which it intends to adopt standards, compliance tests, and to offer certification. In such cases, NOAA will be considered the sponsor. The procedures to be followed for NOAA-sponsored hydrographic products or classes shall be the same as for those sponsored by non-Federal entities, including the procedures for announcement, comment, and reconsideration.

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