FDA Expected to Announce Registration Deadline Extension for Food Facilities Impacted by Storm Sandy
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff have indicated that the agency will provide a deadline extension to food and beverage firms facing a looming facility registration deadline including those facing disaster recovery in the wake of “super storm” Sandy.
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) President and CEO Craig Wolf wrote to Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., November 1 asking the agency to consider regulatory relief efforts for industry firms impacted by the storm while simultaneously facing a food facility registration deadline earlier imposed by FDA. The agency communicated today to WSWA staff that an announcement related to this request was expected this week. Many of the firms in the wine and spirits wholesale industry are required to regularly register with FDA as food facilities.
Wolf’s letter to Commissioner Hamburg pointed out that in the wake of storm Sandy, hundreds of thousands of workers, businesses and entire cities were without power and basic operational capabilities. He also noted that regulatory relief of this type had been undertaken by other wine and spirits industry regulatory agencies such as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) which provided preliminary relief by waiving penalties and fees for certain late excise tax filings due to complications related to Sandy.
“By taking this action, FDA will provide practical and reasonable steps that will assist the community of businesses it regulates and demonstrate understanding of the severe challenges facing so many businesses and workers in the storm impact zone,” Wolf said. “FDA’s action to extend its filing deadline will help minimize potential disputes between businesses and the agency over Sandy-related late filings and will help ensure that businesses can continue to remain focused first and foremost on the recovery of their companies and employees,” he added.
The FDA’s biennial food facility registration period was to have opened October 1 and run through December 31. This year, however, the agency was unable to accept registrations until October 22. FDA staff reported to WSWA staff that the agency would be issuing guidance this week including a deadline extension well into January. Affected businesses can visit http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/default.htm where an announcement will be posted or http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/default.htm where regulated entities can sign-up to receive “constituent updates” which will also note the deadline extension when issued. Member firms can also contact WSWA staff for assistance at 202-371-9792.
A copy of Wolf’s November 1 letter to Commissioner Hamburg is available here.
WSWA is a national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. With more than 350 member companies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, WSWA is the voice for wholesalers in Congress, the administration, the courts, with the news media and in communities across America.
Information about WSWA is available at www.wswa.org.
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