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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of September 19, 2019

Title 21Chapter ISubchapter BPart 117 → Subpart E


Title 21: Food and Drugs
PART 117—CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE, HAZARD ANALYSIS, AND RISK-BASED PREVENTIVE CONTROLS FOR HUMAN FOOD


Subpart E—Withdrawal of a Qualified Facility Exemption


Contents
§117.251   Circumstances that may lead FDA to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.
§117.254   Issuance of an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.
§117.257   Contents of an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.
§117.260   Compliance with, or appeal of, an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.
§117.264   Procedure for submitting an appeal.
§117.267   Procedure for requesting an informal hearing.
§117.270   Requirements applicable to an informal hearing.
§117.274   Presiding officer for an appeal and for an informal hearing.
§117.277   Timeframe for issuing a decision on an appeal.
§117.280   Revocation of an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.
§117.284   Final agency action.
§117.287   Reinstatement of a qualified facility exemption that was withdrawn.

§117.251   Circumstances that may lead FDA to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.

(a) FDA may withdraw a qualified facility exemption under §117.5(a):

(1) In the event of an active investigation of a foodborne illness outbreak that is directly linked to the qualified facility; or

(2) If FDA determines that it is necessary to protect the public health and prevent or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak based on conditions or conduct associated with the qualified facility that are material to the safety of the food manufactured, processed, packed, or held at such facility.

(b) Before FDA issues an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption, FDA:

(1) May consider one or more other actions to protect the public health or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak, including a warning letter, recall, administrative detention, suspension of registration, refusal of food offered for import, seizure, and injunction;

(2) Must notify the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility, in writing, of circumstances that may lead FDA to withdraw the exemption, and provide an opportunity for the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility to respond in writing, within 15 calendar days of the date of receipt of the notification, to FDA's notification; and

(3) Must consider the actions taken by the facility to address the circumstances that may lead FDA to withdraw the exemption.

§117.254   Issuance of an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.

(a) An FDA District Director in whose district the qualified facility is located (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition), or an FDA official senior to either such Director, must approve an order to withdraw the exemption before the order is issued.

(b) Any officer or qualified employee of FDA may issue an order to withdraw the exemption after it has been approved in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) FDA must issue an order to withdraw the exemption to the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the facility.

(d) FDA must issue an order to withdraw the exemption in writing, signed and dated by the officer or qualified employee of FDA who is issuing the order.

§117.257   Contents of an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.

An order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption under §117.5(a) must include the following information:

(a) The date of the order;

(b) The name, address, and location of the qualified facility;

(c) A brief, general statement of the reasons for the order, including information relevant to one or both of the following circumstances that leads FDA to issue the order:

(1) An active investigation of a foodborne illness outbreak that is directly linked to the facility; or

(2) Conditions or conduct associated with a qualified facility that are material to the safety of the food manufactured, processed, packed, or held at such facility.

(d) A statement that the facility must either:

(1) Comply with subparts C and G of this part on the date that is 120 calendar days after the date of receipt of the order, or within a reasonable timeframe, agreed to by FDA, based on a written justification, submitted to FDA, for a timeframe that exceeds 120 calendar days from the date of receipt of the order; or

(2) Appeal the order within 15 calendar days of the date of receipt of the order in accordance with the requirements of §117.264.

(e) A statement that a facility may request that FDA reinstate an exemption that was withdrawn by following the procedures in §117.287;

(f) The text of section 418(l) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and of this subpart;

(g) A statement that any informal hearing on an appeal of the order must be conducted as a regulatory hearing under part 16 of this chapter, with certain exceptions described in §117.270;

(h) The mailing address, telephone number, email address, and facsimile number of the FDA district office and the name of the FDA District Director in whose district the facility is located (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the same information for the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition); and

(i) The name and the title of the FDA representative who approved the order.

[80 FR 56145, Sept. 17, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 3716, Jan. 22, 2016]

§117.260   Compliance with, or appeal of, an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.

(a) If you receive an order under §117.254 to withdraw a qualified facility exemption, you must either:

(1) Comply with applicable requirements of this part within 120 calendar days of the date of receipt of the order, or within a reasonable timeframe, agreed to by FDA, based on a written justification, submitted to FDA, for a timeframe that exceeds 120 calendar days from the date of receipt of the order; or

(2) Appeal the order within 15 calendar days of the date of receipt of the order in accordance with the requirements of §117.264.

(b) Submission of an appeal, including submission of a request for an informal hearing, will not operate to delay or stay any administrative action, including enforcement action by FDA, unless the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, as a matter of discretion, determines that delay or a stay is in the public interest.

(c) If you appeal the order, and FDA confirms the order:

(1) You must comply with applicable requirements of this part within 120 calendar days of the date of receipt of the order, or within a reasonable timeframe, agreed to by FDA, based on a written justification, submitted to FDA, for a timeframe that exceeds 120 calendar days from the date of receipt of the order; and

(2) You are no longer subject to the modified requirements in §117.201.

§117.264   Procedure for submitting an appeal.

(a) To appeal an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption, you must:

(1) Submit the appeal in writing to the FDA District Director in whose district the facility is located (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition), at the mailing address, email address, or facsimile number identified in the order within 15 calendar days of the date of receipt of confirmation of the order; and

(2) Respond with particularity to the facts and issues contained in the order, including any supporting documentation upon which you rely.

(b) In a written appeal of the order withdrawing an exemption provided under §117.5(a), you may include a written request for an informal hearing as provided in §117.267.

[80 FR 56145, Sept. 17, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 3716, Jan. 22, 2016]

§117.267   Procedure for requesting an informal hearing.

(a) If you appeal the order, you:

(1) May request an informal hearing; and

(2) Must submit any request for an informal hearing together with your written appeal submitted in accordance with §117.264 within 15 calendar days of the date of receipt of the order.

(b) A request for an informal hearing may be denied, in whole or in part, if the presiding officer determines that no genuine and substantial issue of material fact has been raised by the material submitted. If the presiding officer determines that a hearing is not justified, written notice of the determination will be given to you explaining the reason for the denial.

§117.270   Requirements applicable to an informal hearing.

If you request an informal hearing, and FDA grants the request:

(a) The hearing will be held within 15 calendar days after the date the appeal is filed or, if applicable, within a timeframe agreed upon in writing by you and FDA.

(b) The presiding officer may require that a hearing conducted under this subpart be completed within 1-calendar day, as appropriate.

(c) FDA must conduct the hearing in accordance with part 16 of this chapter, except that:

(1) The order withdrawing an exemption under §§117.254 and 117.257, rather than the notice under §16.22(a) of this chapter, provides notice of opportunity for a hearing under this section and is part of the administrative record of the regulatory hearing under §16.80(a) of this chapter.

(2) A request for a hearing under this subpart must be addressed to the FDA District Director (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) as provided in the order withdrawing an exemption.

(3) Section 117.274, rather than §16.42(a) of this chapter, describes the FDA employees who preside at hearings under this subpart.

(4) Section 16.60(e) and (f) of this chapter does not apply to a hearing under this subpart. The presiding officer must prepare a written report of the hearing. All written material presented at the hearing will be attached to the report. The presiding officer must include as part of the report of the hearing a finding on the credibility of witnesses (other than expert witnesses) whenever credibility is a material issue, and must include a proposed decision, with a statement of reasons. The hearing participant may review and comment on the presiding officer's report within 2-calendar days of issuance of the report. The presiding officer will then issue the final decision.

(5) Section 16.80(a)(4) of this chapter does not apply to a regulatory hearing under this subpart. The presiding officer's report of the hearing and any comments on the report by the hearing participant under §117.270(c)(4) are part of the administrative record.

(6) No party shall have the right, under §16.119 of this chapter to petition the Commissioner of Food and Drugs for reconsideration or a stay of the presiding officer's final decision.

(7) If FDA grants a request for an informal hearing on an appeal of an order withdrawing an exemption, the hearing must be conducted as a regulatory hearing under a regulation in accordance with part 16 of this chapter, except that §16.95(b) of this chapter does not apply to a hearing under this subpart. With respect to a regulatory hearing under this subpart, the administrative record of the hearing specified in §§16.80(a)(1) through (3) and (a)(5) of this chapter and 117.270(c)(5) constitutes the exclusive record for the presiding officer's final decision. For purposes of judicial review under §10.45 of this chapter, the record of the administrative proceeding consists of the record of the hearing and the presiding officer's final decision.

§117.274   Presiding officer for an appeal and for an informal hearing.

The presiding officer for an appeal, and for an informal hearing, must be an Office of Regulatory Affairs Program Director or another FDA official senior to an FDA District Director.

[82 FR 14146, Mar. 17, 2017]

§117.277   Timeframe for issuing a decision on an appeal.

(a) If you appeal the order without requesting a hearing, the presiding officer must issue a written report that includes a final decision confirming or revoking the withdrawal by the 10th calendar day after the appeal is filed.

(b) If you appeal the order and request an informal hearing:

(1) If FDA grants the request for a hearing and the hearing is held, the presiding officer must provide a 2-calendar day opportunity for the hearing participants to review and submit comments on the report of the hearing under §117.270(c)(4), and must issue a final decision within 10-calendar days after the hearing is held; or

(2) If FDA denies the request for a hearing, the presiding officer must issue a final decision on the appeal confirming or revoking the withdrawal within 10 calendar days after the date the appeal is filed.

§117.280   Revocation of an order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption.

An order to withdraw a qualified facility exemption is revoked if:

(a) You appeal the order and request an informal hearing, FDA grants the request for an informal hearing, and the presiding officer does not confirm the order within the 10-calendar days after the hearing, or issues a decision revoking the order within that time; or

(b) You appeal the order and request an informal hearing, FDA denies the request for an informal hearing, and FDA does not confirm the order within the 10-calendar days after the appeal is filed, or issues a decision revoking the order within that time; or

(c) You appeal the order without requesting an informal hearing, and FDA does not confirm the order within the 10-calendar days after the appeal is filed, or issues a decision revoking the order within that time.

§117.284   Final agency action.

Confirmation of a withdrawal order by the presiding officer is considered a final agency action for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 702.

§117.287   Reinstatement of a qualified facility exemption that was withdrawn.

(a) If the FDA District Director in whose district your facility is located (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) determines that a facility has adequately resolved any problems with the conditions and conduct that are material to the safety of the food manufactured, processed, packed, or held at the facility and that continued withdrawal of the exemption is not necessary to protect public health and prevent or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak, the FDA District Director in whose district your facility is located (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) will, on his own initiative or on the request of a facility, reinstate the exemption.

(b) You may ask FDA to reinstate an exemption that has been withdrawn under the procedures of this subpart as follows:

(1) Submit a request, in writing, to the FDA District Director in whose district your facility is located (or, in the case of a foreign facility, the Director of the Office of Compliance in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition); and

(2) Present data and information to demonstrate that you have adequately resolved any problems with the conditions and conduct that are material to the safety of the food manufactured, processed, packed, or held at your facility, such that continued withdrawal of the exemption is not necessary to protect public health and prevent or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak.

(c) If your exemption was withdrawn under §117.251(a)(1) and FDA later determines, after finishing the active investigation of a foodborne illness outbreak, that the outbreak is not directly linked to your facility, FDA will reinstate your exemption under §117.5(a), and FDA will notify you in writing that your exempt status has been reinstated.

(d) If your exemption was withdrawn under both §117.251(a)(1) and (2) and FDA later determines, after finishing the active investigation of a foodborne illness outbreak, that the outbreak is not directly linked to your facility, FDA will inform you of this finding, and you may ask FDA to reinstate your exemption under §117.5(a) in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

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