(a) An accredited third-party certification body may submit a request to FDA to waive the requirements of § 1.650(c) preventing an audit agent from conducting a regulatory audit of an eligible entity if the audit agent (or, in the case that the third-party certification body is an individual, the third-party certification body) has conducted a food safety audit of such entity during the previous 13 months. The accredited third-party certification body seeking a waiver or waiver extension must demonstrate there is insufficient access to audit agents and any third-party certification bodies that are comprised of an individual in the country or region where the eligible entity is located.
(b) Requests for a waiver or waiver extension and all documents provided in support of the request must be submitted to FDA electronically, in English. The requestor must provide such translation and interpretation services as are needed by FDA to process the request.
(c) The request must be signed by the requestor or by any individual authorized to act on behalf of the requestor for purposes of seeking such waiver or waiver extension.
(d) FDA will review requests for waivers and waiver extensions on a first in, first out basis according to the date on which the completed submission is received; however, FDA may prioritize the review of specific requests to meet the needs of the program. FDA will evaluate any completed waiver request to determine whether the criteria for waiver have been met.
(e) FDA will notify the requestor whether the request for a waiver or waiver extension is approved or denied.
(f) If FDA approves the request, issuance of the waiver will state the duration of the waiver and list any limitations associated with it. If FDA denies the request, the issuance of a denial of a waiver request will state the basis for denial and will provide the address and procedures for requesting reconsideration of the request under § 1.691.
(g) Unless FDA notifies a requestor that its waiver request has been approved, an accredited third-party certification body must not use the audit agent to conduct a regulatory audit of such eligible entity until the 13-month limit in § 1.650(c) has elapsed.