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Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Administrative Procedures for CLIA Categorization; Availability

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.




The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of the guidance entitled “Administrative Procedures for CLIA Categorization.” The guidance describes FDA's current practices concerning the administrative aspects of categorizing commercially available in vitro diagnostic tests under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). The guidance discusses what manufacturers should submit to help expedite CLIA categorization by FDA.


Submit written or electronic comments on this guidance at any time. General comments on agency guidance documents are welcome at any time.


Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance document entitled “Administrative Procedures for CLIA Categorization” to the Division of Small Manufacturers, International, and Consumer Assistance (HFZ-220), Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 1350 Piccard Dr., Rockville, MD 20850. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your request, or fax your request to 240-276-3151. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for information on electronic access to the guidance.

Submit written comments concerning this guidance to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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Carol Benson, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (HFZ-440), Food and Drug Administration, 2098 Gaither Rd., Rockville, MD 20850, 240-276-0491, ext. 117.

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I. Background

On February 28, 1992, the Department of Health and Human Services published the final laboratory standards regulations (57 FR 7002) implementing CLIA (42 U.S.C. 263a). The implementing regulations are codified at 42 CFR part 493. CLIA regulates laboratory testing and requires that clinical laboratories obtain a certificate Start Printed Page 25753before accepting materials derived from the human body for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any disease or the impairment of, or assessment of the health of human beings. The type of CLIA certificate a laboratory obtains depends upon the complexity of the tests it performs. CLIA regulations describe three levels of test complexity: Waived tests, moderate complexity tests, and high complexity tests.

On January 31, 2000, the responsibility for categorization of commercially marketed in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests was transferred from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to FDA (64 FR 73561, December 30, 1999). This allows IVD test manufacturers to submit premarket (510(k)) notifications or applications and requests for complexity categorization under CLIA to one agency. This notice announces the availability of a guidance document that describes the general administrative procedures FDA uses to assign a device's complexity category under CLIA.

The draft of this guidance was issued August 14, 2000, and the comment period closed on November 13, 2000. FDA did not receive any comments concerning the “Draft Guidance on Administrative Procedures for CLIA Categorization.” In preparing the final guidance, however, FDA needed to obtain an approval for a new collection of information from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). We obtained this approval (see section IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995) and are now issuing the final guidance. Updates added to the guidance include a revised background section and procedures for CLIA categorization for 510(k) submissions submitted electronically. The guidance also notes that manufacturers who wish to request CLIA waiver for a device (other than those devices already waived under 42 CFR 493.15), should refer to the guidance entitled “Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff: Recommendations for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) Waiver Applications for Manufacturers of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices,” issued in January 2008.

II. Significance of Guidance

This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the agency's current thinking on administrative procedures for CLIA categorization. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statute and regulations.

III. Electronic Access

Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the guidance may do so by using the Internet. To receive “Administrative Procedures for CLIA Categorization,” you may either send an e-mail request to to receive an electronic copy of the document or send a fax request to 240-276-3151 to receive a hard copy. Please use the document number 1143 to identify the guidance you are requesting.

CDRH maintains an entry on the Internet for easy access to information including text, graphics, and files that may be downloaded to a personal computer with Internet access. Updated on a regular basis, the CDRH home page includes device safety alerts, Federal Register reprints, information on premarket submissions (including lists of approved applications and manufacturers' addresses), small manufacturer's assistance, information on video conferencing and electronic submissions, Mammography Matters, and other device-oriented information. The CDRH web site may be accessed at​cdrh. A search capability for all CDRH guidance documents is available at​cdrh/​guidance.html. Guidance documents are also available at

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This guidance contains information collection provisions that are subject to review by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in this guidance were approved under OMB control number 0910-0607.

V. Comments

Interested persons may submit to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) written or electronic comments regarding this document. Submit a single copy of electronic comments or two paper copies of any mailed comments, except that individuals may submit one paper copy. Comments are to be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please note that on January 15, 2008, the FDA Division of Dockets Management Web site transitioned to the Federal Dockets Management System (FDMS). FDMS is a Government-wide, electronic docket management system. Electronic comments or submissions will be accepted by FDA only through FDMS at

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Dated: April 30, 2008.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning.

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[FR Doc. E8-10178 Filed 5-6-08; 8:45 am]