Tank truck carriers generally exempt from FDA registration
Dec 17, 2003 12:00 PM
No Federal Drug Administration (FDA) registration is required for tank truck terminals where trailers used to transport food only are serviced and parked, but not spotted, according to information from the tank truck industry.
Charles "Shorty" Whittington, president of Grammer Industries, says he is pleased with the FDA decisions, and credits the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) for their efforts in meeting with FDA officials on the issue. Whittington serves as ATA chairman for the Agricultural Transporters Conference.
He pointed out that sometimes federal officials don't understand the complicated relationship between carrier and shipper, and the NTTC and ATA helped to clarify those difficulties. At the same time, he added that the FDA regulations were developed to protect the American consumer.
Cliff Harvison, NTTC president, said that if carriers transfer food products to or from trailers at their terminals, they are required to register with FDA. However, Harvison suggested that carriers hold off from registering until FDA issues the final word.
The information from NTTC came after the FDA and Bureau of Customs and Border Protection issued a compliance policy guide that describes the strategy for maintaining an uninterrupted flow of food imports while improving their safety in accordance with the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
The act became effective December 12, 2003, and requires that FDA receive prior notification of all human and animal food, drinks, and dietary supplements imported or offered for import to the United States. Another requirement of the act mandates that all facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for consumption registered with FDA.
"We heard from Leslye Fraser, associate director for regulations, FDA, regarding our request for guidance on whether or not certain foodgrade trucking terminals are required to register as food facilities under the Bioterrorism Act," Harvison noted. "She said FDA is still considering this issue and expects to have an answer within the next few weeks.
"She also directed us to a compliance policy guide issued December 11 that states that FDA will primarily rely on educating affected firms and individuals over the next eight months. Enforcement actions will be taken only in response to repetitive, flagrant, and other serious violations.”
Harvison said failure to register by December 12 while awaiting further guidance from FDA would not be considered a violation.
The compliance policy guide and registration information can be found by clicking here for cfsan.fda.gov. To get a copy from NTTC, call 703-838-1960 for a copy.