In March FDA halted compliance checks -- sometimes called stings -- because of the Coronavirus or COVID-19. This halt continued until recently when the FDA announced a change. On July 10, FDA announced plans to resume domestic inspections for FDA-regulated businesses with a goal of restarting during the week of July 20.
It’s important to note that FDA said the restart will depend on a variety of COVID-19 related safety measures, including data about the virus in states and localities and various federal, state and local guidelines. This means that it all depends on where you live and how things are going with COVID-19.
FDA indicated that given the nature retail tobacco inspections, FDA does not intend to pre-announce when they will re-start since these inspections are undercover operations where retailers are unaware inspections are occurring.
In late March, when FDA paused domestic inspections due to COVID-19, We Card recommended retailers continue their responsible retailing efforts to identify and deny underage attempts to purchase tobacco and vaping products during COVID-19 — see “Carding" During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We Card continues to work with retailers throughout the COVID-19 crisis to train employees, adapt to the new 21 year minimum-age federal law announced last December, and encourage retailers to embrace ID scanning as a preferred method of age calculation.
Further, We Card encourages retailers to engage mystery shopping services like ID Check Up to keep on top of employee carding and help your store avoid costly fines and penalties.
Information based upon FDA’s release: