Industry News

Testing Deadline Delayed

IPCPR and CRA Efforts Lead to Victory for Premium Cigar Industry

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The FDA today delayed a Nov. 8, 2019 deadline for reporting the results of testing for harmful and potentially harmful constituents in every cigar and pipe tobacco product sold in the United States.

This was a huge problem because the technology for testing premium cigars does not exist, and the FDA had provided no guidance on how it was supposed to be accomplished for cigars and pipe tobacco.

The new deadline is now six months for large manufacturers, and nine months for small manufacturers, after the FDA releases guidance on how the testing should occur. There is no indication that such guidance will be released during 2019, although we will keep members abreast of developments.

The FDA’s delay of the testing reporting deadline follows several presentations to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of IPCPR, CRA and CAA on the unfairness of requiring testing and reporting to occur in the absence of guidance and rules defining the process.

"IPCPR is pleased that we now have some clarity and the uncertainty for this looming deadline has been addressed," said Executive Director Scott Pearce. "Our retail members can now operate their businesses with more confidence about the future."

The FDA acted in advance of a Monday, March 11 deadline, by which IPCPR and CRA had promised to move for an injunction against the November 8, 2019 deadline if FDA had not delayed it.

CRA and IPCPR will continue to engage with the courts and the FDA regarding the HPHC reporting requirement and deadlines and regarding next steps in the litigation process.

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