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Performance Standards for Ionizing Radiation Emitting Products; Fluoroscopic Equipment; Correction

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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.


Direct final rule.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending a Federal performance standard for ionizing radiation to correct a drafting error regarding fluoroscopic equipment measurement. We are taking this action to ensure clarity and improve the accuracy of the regulations.


This rule is effective August 26, 2015. Submit electronic or written comments on this direct final rule or its companion proposed rule by June 29, 2015.


You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic comments in the following way:

Written Submissions

Submit written comments in the following ways:

  • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0828 for this rulemaking. All comments received may be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. For additional information on submitting comments, see the “Comments” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

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Scott Gonzalez, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4641, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5889.

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I. What is the background of this Rule?

FDA is correcting a drafting error regarding fluoroscopic equipment measurement in § 1020.32 (21 CFR 1020.32). We are publishing this direct final rule because it is intended to make a noncontroversial amendment to § 1020.32, and we do not anticipate any significant adverse comments. Specifically, this amendment changes the words “any linear dimension” in the current regulation to read “every linear dimension” (§ 1020.32(b)(4)(ii)(A)). The alternative performance standard, § 1020.32(b)(4)(ii)(B), currently contains the same phrase but remains unchanged. We are amending the language to make the performance standards mutually exclusive. This will ensure clarity and improve the accuracy of the regulations.

FDA first proposed the performance standards in the Federal Register of December 10, 2002 (67 FR 76056), to account for technological changes in fluoroscopic equipment. The proposed rule did not specify which measurement of the visible area of an image receptor determined the applicable performance standard (67 FR 76056 at 76092). When we addressed comments to the proposed rule in the Federal Register of June 10, 2005, we agreed with one comment that adding the words “any linear dimension” would clarify the determination of the performance standard (70 FR 33998 at 34007).

FDA ultimately incorporated the phrase in two places, potentially reducing the clarity of the rule (70 FR 33998 at 34040). Section 1020.32(b)(4)(ii) sets performance standards based on a threshold, so the language for each standard should be mutually exclusive. That is, only one standard, and not the other, should apply to the image receptor in question. However, some image receptors may have linear dimensions that are both greater than and less than 34 cm, for example, receptors with a hexagonal shape. In such cases, the performance standards may not be mutually exclusive, so both standards may appear to apply. This direct final rule amends § 1020.32(b)(4)(ii)(A) to read “every linear dimension” to ensure the standards are mutually exclusive. The amendment will improve the clarity and accuracy of the regulations.Start Printed Page 19531

II. What are the procedures for issuing a direct Final Rule?

In the Federal Register of November 21, 1997 (62 FR 62466), FDA announced the availability of the guidance document entitled “Guidance for FDA and Industry: Direct Final Rule Procedures” that described when and how we will employ direct final rulemaking. We believe that this rule is appropriate for direct final rulemaking because it is intended to make a noncontroversial amendment for a minor correction to an existing regulation. We anticipate no significant adverse comments.

Consistent with FDA's procedures on direct final rulemaking, we are publishing a companion proposed rule elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. That proposed rule is identical in substance to this direct final rule. The companion proposal will provide a procedural framework to finalize a new rule in the event we withdraw this direct final rule because we receive significant adverse comment. The comment period for this direct final rule runs concurrently with the comment period of the companion proposed rule. We will consider any comments that we receive in response to the companion proposed rule to be comments also regarding this direct final rule and vice versa.

If FDA receives any significant adverse comments, we will withdraw this direct final rule before its effective date by publishing a notice in the Federal Register within 30 days after the comment period ends. A significant adverse comment is one that explains why the rule would be inappropriate (including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach), ineffective, or unacceptable without change. In determining whether an adverse comment is significant and warrants withdrawing a direct final rule, we consider whether the comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process in accordance with section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553). Comments that are frivolous, insubstantial, or outside the scope of the rule will not be considered a significant adverse comment, unless the comment states why the rule would be ineffective without the additional change. In addition, if a significant adverse comment applies to part of a rule and that part can be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those parts of the rule that are not the subject of a significant adverse comment.

If we withdraw this direct final rule, FDA will consider all comments that we received regarding the companion proposed rule as we develop a final rule through the usual notice-and-comment procedures of the APA (5 U.S.C. 552a, et seq.). If we receive no significant adverse comments during the specified comment period regarding this direct final rule, we intend to publish a confirmation document in the Federal Register within 30 days after the comment period ends.

III. What is the legal authority for this Rule?

This rule, if finalized, would amend § 1020.32. FDA's authority to modify § 1020.32 arises from the same authority under which FDA initially issued this regulation, the device and general administrative provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 351, 352, 360e-360j, 360hh-360ss, 371, and 381).

IV. What is the environmental impact of this Rule?

FDA has determined under 21 CFR 25.30(h) and 25.34(a) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

V. What is the economic analysis of impact of this Rule?

FDA has examined the impacts of the final rule under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct Agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Agency believes that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant impact of a rule on small entities. Because this rule does not add any additional regulatory burdens, the Agency certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires that Agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before proposing “any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year.” The current threshold after adjustment for inflation is $141 million, using the most current (2013) Implicit Price Deflator for the Gross Domestic Product. This final rule would not result in a 1-year expenditure that meets or exceeds this amount.

The purpose of this final rule is to correct a drafting error regarding fluoroscopic equipment measurement in a performance standard for ionizing radiation. The amendment will improve the clarity and accuracy of the regulations. Because this final rule is a technical correction and would impose no additional regulatory burdens, this regulation is not anticipated to result in any compliance costs, and the economic impact is expected to be minimal.

VI. How does the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 apply to this Rule?

This final rule contains no collection of information. Therefore, clearance by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is not required.

VII. What are the Federalism implications of this Rule?

FDA has analyzed this final rule in accordance with the principles set forth in Executive Order 13132. FDA has determined that the rule does not contain policies that have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Accordingly, the Agency has concluded that the rule does not contain policies that have federalism implications as defined in the Executive order and, consequently, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

VIII. How do you submit comments on this Rule?

Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division Start Printed Page 19532of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at

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List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1020

  • Electronic products
  • Medical devices
  • Radiation protection
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Television
  • X-rays
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Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 1020 is amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1020 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 21 U.S.C. 351, 352, 360e-360j, 360hh-360ss, 371, 381.

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2. Revise § 1020.32(b)(4)(ii)(A) to read as follows:

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Fluoroscopic equipment.

(b) * * *

(4) * * *

(ii) * * *

(A) When every linear dimension of the visible area of the image receptor measured through the center of the visible area is less than or equal to 34 cm in any direction, at least 80 percent of the area of the x-ray field overlaps the visible area of the image.

* * * * *
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Dated: April 7, 2015.

Leslie Kux,

Associate Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2015-08360 Filed 4-10-15; 8:45 am]