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Notice

Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (Accreditation of Laboratories, Transactions, and Exemptions)

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AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to request a renewal of the approved information collection regarding accreditation of laboratories, transactions, and exemptions. The approval for this information collection will expire on January 31, 2018. There are no changes to the existing information collection.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before October 30, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.
  • Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
  • Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2017-0029. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250; (202) 720-5627.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Accreditation of Laboratories, Transactions, and Exemptions.

OMB Number: 0583-0082.

Expiration Date of Approval: 1/31/2018.

Type of Request: Renewal of an approved information collection.

Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). These statutes provide that FSIS is to protect the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS is requesting a renewal of the approved information collection regarding accreditation of laboratories, transactions, and exemptions. The approval for this information collection will expire on January 31, 2018. There are no changes to the existing information collection.

FSIS requires meat and poultry establishments and import facilities to apply for a grant of inspection before receiving Federal inspection (9 CFR 304.1 & 381.17). FSIS also requires plants that wish to receive voluntary inspection to apply for service (9 CFR 350.5, 351.4, 352.3, & 362.3). Establishments that wish to export or import product must also submit certain documents to the Agency.

The FMIA (21 U.S.C. 642), the PPIA (21 U.S.C. 460(b)), and the EPIA (21 U.S.C. 1040) require certain parties to keep records that fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in their businesses related to relevant animal carcasses and parts and egg products.

FSIS requires accredited non-Federal analytical laboratories to maintain certain paperwork and records (9 CFR 439.20 & 590.580). The Agency uses this collected information to ensure that meat and poultry establishments and egg products plants provide safe, wholesome, and not adulterated product, and that non-Federal laboratories act in accordance with FSIS regulations.

In addition, FSIS also requires establishments to keep records to ensure that meat and poultry products exempted from Agency inspection are not commingled with inspected meat and poultry products (9 CFR 303.1(b)(3) & 381.175), and that firms qualifying for a retail store exemption who have violated the provisions of that exemption are no longer in violation (9 CFR 303.1(d)(3) & 381.10(d)(3)).

FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment:

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of .034 hours per response.

Respondents: Official meat and poultry establishments, official egg plants, and foreign establishments.

Estimated No. of Respondents: 27,743.

Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 122.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 114,339.4 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence SW., 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250; (202) 720-5627.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS's Start Printed Page 41392estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

Responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

Additional Public Notification

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​federal-register.

FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/​sites/​default/​files/​docs/​2012/​Complain_​combined_​6_​8_​12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email: Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, Fax: (202) 690-7442, Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

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Done at Washington, DC, on: August 28, 2017.

Paul Kiecker,

Acting Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2017-18490 Filed 8-30-17; 8:45 am]

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