Yesterday word began to spread that several cigar companies were having a hard time getting product into the USA. Rumor spread that the FDA was prohibiting product into the USA at their point of entry. However, those rumors were only partially true.
According to several customs brokers, many cigar companies were caught off guard when they were informed that there was an entry submission process that must be followed. The lack of knowledge highlights the poor job the FDA has done in informing people of procedure and requirements.
According to the FDA Website, “Products regulated by FDA are subject to review by the FDA when they are offered for entry into the U.S. FDA electronically reviews all FDA-regulated entries submitted through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). FDA-regulated products imported into the U.S. must comply with all FDA laws and regulations. The importer is responsible for making sure these products comply with all U.S. requirements. Products which do not comply with U.S. requirements at the time of importation are subject to refusal of admission. Below you will find additional information about the submission process for FDA-regulated products.”
While the filings are without charge, many customs agents charge for the filing as part of their fees.
More information is available via the FDA website.