(a) If at any time, a type-approved EMTU/EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle fails to meet requirements at §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 or applicable VMS regulations and requirements in effect for the region(s) and Federal fisheries for which the EMTU/EMTU-C or MCS is type-approved, or if an MTU fails to meet the requirements under which it was type-approved, OLE may issue a Notification Letter to the type-approval holder that:
(1) Identifies the MTU, EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle that allegedly fails to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements;
(2) Identifies the alleged failure to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements, and the urgency and impact of the alleged failure;
(3) Cites relevant regulations and requirements under this subpart;
(4) Describes the indications and evidence of the alleged failure;
(5) Provides documentation and data demonstrating the alleged failure;
(6) Sets a response date by which the type-approval holder must submit to NMFS OLE a written response to the Notification Letter, including, if applicable, a proposed solution; and
(7) Explains the type-approval holder's options if the type-approval holder believes the Notification Letter is in error.
(b) NMFS will establish a response date between 30 and 120 calendar days from the date of the Notification Letter. The type-approval holder's response must be received in writing by NMFS on or before the response date. If the type-approval holder fails to respond by the response date, the type-approval will be revoked. At its discretion and for good cause, NMFS may extend the response date to a maximum of 150 calendar days from the date of the Notification Letter.
(c) A type-approval holder who has submitted a timely response may meet with NMFS within 21 calendar days of the date of that response to discuss a detailed and agreed-upon procedure for resolving the alleged failure. The meeting may be in person, conference call, or webcast.
(d) If the type-approval holder disagrees with the Notification Letter and believes that there is no failure to comply with the type-approval regulations and requirements, NMFS has incorrectly defined or described the failure or its urgency and impact, or NMFS is otherwise in error, the type-approval holder may submit a written objection letter to NMFS on or before the response date. Within 21 calendar days of the date of the objection letter, the type-approval holder may meet with NMFS to discuss a resolution or redefinition of the issue. The meeting may be in person, conference call, or webcast. If modifications to any part of the Notification Letter are required, then NMFS will issue a revised Notification Letter to the type-approval holder. However, the response date or any other timeline in this process would not restart or be modified unless NMFS decides to do so, at its discretion.
(e) The total process from the date of the Notification Letter to the date of final resolution should not exceed 180 calendar days, and may require a shorter timeframe, to be determined by NMFS, depending on the urgency and impact of the alleged failure. In rare circumstances, NMFS, at its discretion, may extend the time for resolution of the alleged failure. In such a case, NMFS will provide a written notice to the type-approval holder informing him or her of the extension and the basis for the extension.
(f) If the failure to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements cannot be resolved through this process, the NMFS OLE Director will issue a Revocation Letter to the type-approval holder that:
(1) Identifies the MTU, EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle for which type-approval is being revoked;
(2) Summarizes the failure to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements, including describing its urgency and impact;
(3) Summarizes any proposed plan, or attempts to produce such a plan, to resolve the failure;
(4) States that revocation of the MTU, EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle's type-approval has occurred;
(5) States that no new installations of the revoked unit will be permitted in any NMFS-managed fishery requiring the use of VMS;
(6) Cites relevant regulations and requirements under this subpart;
(7) Explains why resolution was not achieved;