PMTA Included in White House Rules Freeze

    Photo: David Mark from Pixabay

    The new U.S. administration has frozen all new and pending rules introduced in the last days of the Trump administration. Included in the freeze are the new finalized rules for premarket tobacco product applications (PMTA) and substantial equivalence (SE) that were announced on Jan. 19, the last full day of the Trump administration.

    The Food and Drug Administration’s CBD enforcement policy draft guidance, which had been under review at White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since July, was also withdrawn.

    Stakeholders and lawmakers have been anticipating the guidance for two years, since the 2018 Farm Bill gave the FDA authority over hemp-derived CBD. Representatives from the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and the National Industrial Hemp Council, both of which met with OMB to discuss the draft guide in late July, say the lack of regulatory clarity from FDA has led to uncertainty in the hemp and CBD industry.

    A memo, issued by White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain, calls on the heads of executive departments and agencies to “propose or issue no rule in any manner—including by sending a rule to the Office of the Federal Register [OFR]—until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the president after noon on January 20, 2021, reviews and approves the rule.” Previous administrations, including those of Trump and Barack Obama, issued similar memos to stop last-minute actions by the outgoing administration.

    What this means for the nicotine business is unclear. It does not change the rules concerning the Sept. 9 deadline to submit a PMTA to be eligible to stay on the market for year. Because the rule was not formally published in the Federal Register by the U.S. FDA before the end of Trump’s presidency, the Biden administration could move forward with the rule as is, make changes to the rule or scrap the rules entirely.

    An note on the Federal Register website reads,” The Food and Drug Administration withdrew this document while it was on public inspection. It will remain on public inspection until the close of business on January 27, 2021. A copy of the withdrawal request is available at the Office of the Federal Register.”

    The White House memo also explains that it does not strictly apply to “rules” but also to “any substantive action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and any agency statement of general applicability and future effect that sets for a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue.”