United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 20, 2024

§ 371.
Regulations and hearings
Authority to promulgate regulations

The authority to promulgate regulations for the efficient enforcement of this chapter, except as otherwise provided in this section, is vested in the Secretary.

Regulations for imports and exports

The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall jointly prescribe regulations for the efficient enforcement of the provisions of section 381 of this title, except as otherwise provided therein. Such regulations shall be promulgated in such manner and take effect at such time, after due notice, as the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine.

Conduct of hearings

Hearings authorized or required by this chapter shall be conducted by the Secretary or such officer or employee as he may designate for the purpose.

Effectiveness of definitions and standards of identity

The definitions and standards of identity promulgated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be effective for the purposes of the enforcement of this chapter, notwithstanding such definitions and standards as may be contained in other laws of the United States and regulations promulgated thereunder.

Procedure for establishment
Any action for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of any regulation under section 343(j), 344(a), 346, 351(b), or 352(d) or (h) of this title, and any action for the amendment or repeal of any definition and standard of identity under section 341 of this title for any dairy product (including products regulated under parts 131, 133 and 135 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations) shall be begun by a proposal made (A) by the Secretary on his own initiative, or (B) by petition of any interested person, showing reasonable grounds therefor, filed with the Secretary. The Secretary shall publish such proposal and shall afford all interested persons an opportunity to present their views thereon, orally or in writing. As soon as practicable thereafter, the Secretary shall by order act upon such proposal and shall make such order public. Except as provided in paragraph (2), the order shall become effective at such time as may be specified therein, but not prior to the day following the last day on which objections may be filed under such paragraph.
On or before the thirtieth day after the date on which an order entered under paragraph (1) is made public, any person who will be adversely affected by such order if placed in effect may file objections thereto with the Secretary, specifying with particularity the provisions of the order deemed objectionable, stating the grounds therefor, and requesting a public hearing upon such objections. Until final action upon such objections is taken by the Secretary under paragraph (3), the filing of such objections shall operate to stay the effectiveness of those provisions of the order to which the objections are made. As soon as practicable after the time for filing objections has expired the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register specifying those parts of the order which have been stayed by the filing of objections and, if no objections have been filed, stating that fact.
As soon as practicable after such request for a public hearing, the Secretary, after due notice, shall hold such a public hearing for the purpose of receiving evidence relevant and material to the issues raised by such objections. At the hearing, any interested person may be heard in person or by representative. As soon as practicable after completion of the hearing, the Secretary shall by order act upon such objections and make such order public. Such order shall be based only on substantial evidence of record at such hearing and shall set forth, as part of the order, detailed findings of fact on which the order is based. The Secretary shall specify in the order the date on which it shall take effect, except that it shall not be made to take effect prior to the ninetieth day after its publication unless the Secretary finds that emergency conditions exist necessitating an earlier effective date, in which event the Secretary shall specify in the order his findings as to such conditions.
Review of order
In a case of actual controversy as to the validity of any order under subsection (e), any person who will be adversely affected by such order if placed in effect may at any time prior to the ninetieth day after such order is issued file a petition with the United States court of appeals for the circuit wherein such person resides or has his principal place of business, for a judicial review of such order. A copy of the petition shall be forthwith transmitted by the clerk of the court to the Secretary or other officer designated by him for that purpose. The Secretary thereupon shall file in the court the record of the proceedings on which the Secretary based his order, as provided in section 2112 of title 28.
Upon the filing of the petition referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court shall have jurisdiction to affirm the order, or to set it aside in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently. If the order of the Secretary refuses to issue, amend, or repeal a regulation and such order is not in accordance with law the court shall by its judgment order the Secretary to take action, with respect to such regulation, in accordance with law. The findings of the Secretary as to the facts, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive.
The judgment of the court affirming or setting aside, in whole or in part, any such order of the Secretary shall be final, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon certiorari or certification as provided in section 1254 of title 28.
Any action instituted under this subsection shall survive notwithstanding any change in the person occupying the office of Secretary or any vacancy in such office.
The remedies provided for in this subsection shall be in addition to and not in substitution for any other remedies provided by law.
Copies of records of hearings

A certified copy of the transcript of the record and proceedings under subsection (e) shall be furnished by the Secretary to any interested party at his request, and payment of the costs thereof, and shall be admissible in any criminal, libel for condemnation, exclusion of imports, or other proceeding arising under or in respect to this chapter, irrespective of whether proceedings with respect to the order have previously been instituted or become final under subsection (f).

Guidance documents
The Secretary shall develop guidance documents with public participation and ensure that information identifying the existence of such documents and the documents themselves are made available to the public both in written form and, as feasible, through electronic means. Such documents shall not create or confer any rights for or on any person, although they present the views of the Secretary on matters under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.
Although guidance documents shall not be binding on the Secretary, the Secretary shall ensure that employees of the Food and Drug Administration do not deviate from such guidances without appropriate justification and supervisory concurrence. The Secretary shall provide training to employees in how to develop and use guidance documents and shall monitor the development and issuance of such documents.
For guidance documents that set forth initial interpretations of a statute or regulation, changes in interpretation or policy that are of more than a minor nature, complex scientific issues, or highly controversial issues, the Secretary shall ensure public participation prior to implementation of guidance documents, unless the Secretary determines that such prior public participation is not feasible or appropriate. In such cases, the Secretary shall provide for public comment upon implementation and take such comment into account.
With respect to devices, if a notice to industry guidance letter, a notice to industry advisory letter, or any similar notice sets forth initial interpretations of a regulation or policy or sets forth changes in interpretation or policy, such notice shall be treated as a guidance document for purposes of this subparagraph.
For guidance documents that set forth existing practices or minor changes in policy, the Secretary shall provide for public comment upon implementation.
In developing guidance documents, the Secretary shall ensure uniform nomenclature for such documents and uniform internal procedures for approval of such documents. The Secretary shall ensure that guidance documents and revisions of such documents are properly dated and indicate the nonbinding nature of the documents. The Secretary shall periodically review all guidance documents and, where appropriate, revise such documents.
The Secretary, acting through the Commissioner, shall maintain electronically and update and publish periodically in the Federal Register a list of guidance documents. All such documents shall be made available to the public.
The Secretary shall ensure that an effective appeals mechanism is in place to address complaints that the Food and Drug Administration is not developing and using guidance documents in accordance with this subsection.
Not later than July 1, 2000, the Secretary after evaluating the effectiveness of the Good Guidance Practices document, published in the Federal Register at 62 Fed. Reg. 8961, shall promulgate a regulation consistent with this subsection specifying the policies and procedures of the Food and Drug Administration for the development, issuance, and use of guidance documents.
(June 25, 1938, ch. 675, § 701, 52 Stat. 1055; June 25, 1948, ch. 646, § 32, 62 Stat. 991; Apr. 15, 1954, ch. 143, § 2, 68 Stat. 55; Aug. 1, 1956, ch. 861, § 2, 70 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 85–791, § 21, Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 948; Pub. L. 86–618, title I, § 103(a)(4), July 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 398; Pub. L. 101–535, § 8, Nov. 8, 1990, 104 Stat. 2365; Pub. L. 102–300, § 6(b)(1), June 16, 1992, 106 Stat. 240; Pub. L. 103–80, §§ 3(y), (dd)(1), 4(c), Aug. 13, 1993, 107 Stat. 778, 779; Pub. L. 103–396, § 3(b), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4155; Pub. L. 105–115, title IV, § 405, Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2368; Pub. L. 112–144, title VI, § 619, July 9, 2012, 126 Stat. 1063.)
cite as: 21 USC 371