New Rules for Cigars in the US

From August 8 premium handmade tobacco leaf cigars will be subject to the same regulation as cigarettes manufactured with additives.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A group of tobacco companies in Nicaragua will be holding meetings in the US with local companies who have invested in tobacco plantations and cigar factories in order to assess the impact of the entry into force of the new regulation. 

If the measure is applied, the impact on the Central American tobacco industry will be felt significantly, because Nicaragua alone exports 75% of its tobacco production to the northern country.

See statement from the FDA on new tobacco measures in the US

Juan Ignacio Martinez, president of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco Growers (CNT) said that cigars marketed in the United States must be registered with the FDA, as well as other products derived from tobacco". This will generate additional costs for companies exporting to the northern market.   

"... 'These costs are for registration with the FDA for the products that are sent to that market, this is an application that must be submitted to the FDA and has a very high cost because it must be done for each presentation exported and the FDA has the authority to decide whether or not to approve it', explains Martinez. "

See "Nicaragua: Investment in Tobacco Plant" reports that "...According to estimates by the CNT the registration fee can range between 6,500 and 25,000 dollars, 'for each presentation taken to the market'; and the 23 companies that belong to the CNT alone have 3,270 presentations which from August 8 will be subject to the new regulations."


More on this topic

Tobacco: Booming Industry in Nicaragua

June 2019

There are 70 cigar factories in the country that produce close to 5,000 brands, and the sales they make to the U.S. surpassing the sales made in that country by companies from the Dominican Republic and Honduras.

Figures from the Cigar Association of America indicate that in 2018 Nicaragua exported 140 million cigars to the North American country, a figure surpassing the 95 million sold by companies in the Dominican Republic and the 75 million exported by Honduras. However, the goal of the Nicaraguan industry is to gain a greater presence in Europe, a market that until now has been dominated by products from Cuba.

Nicaragua: Tobacco Exports Up 19%

October 2017

Premium cigars led Nicaraguan tobacco sales abroad in the first half of the year, registering a 19% increase over the same period in 2016.

Due in part to the promotion of several cigar brands that entered the US market before the first half of last year, tobacco sales increased from $81.7 million in the first half of 2016 to $96.9 million in the same period this year. 

USA Could Change Rules for Tobacco Imports

March 2016

The FDA is analysing changing the rules in order to apply the same rules for cigarettes manufactured with additives to premium handmade cigars and tobacco leaves.

Tobacco industry entrepreneurs from Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as the ambassadors of both countries to the United States, have expressed concern over the announcement that the FDA is preparing changes in regulation in order to treat cigars in the same way as cigarettes. If the measure is applied, the impact on the Central American tobacco industry would be felt significantly, because Nicaragua only exports 75% of its tobacco production to the northern country.

Nicaraguan vs. Cuban Cigars

January 2015

The main export market for Nicaraguan cigars could change after the eventual reopening of trade between Cuba and the United States.

Nicaraguan cigars are consumed in over 70 countries worldwide, where they already faces competition from Cuban tobacco. Nicaraguan tobacco manufacturers believe that if the trade embargo is lifted and Cuban tobacco starts to enter the US market, increased competition will open up opportunities for increasing productivity in the sector and improving the product in terms of variety and quality.

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