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swan

New member
Dec 9, 2018
13
7
NYC
Hello everybody, I had a question and I haven't been able to find a reply.

I email the FDA but I haven't received a reply so far. I checked with my local Business Department but it seems there is not full clarity.
The question is: to sell pipes (online or offline) is a tobacco retail license needed or not?
So if I want to sell pipes and not tobacco, do I have to apply for a tobacco license or not?

I know that NY has for instance age requirements to purchase pipes and tobaccos and that is fine but I am not able to find a clear answer about the license as well.
Is anybody able to help or has some experience?
thanks!

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,555
1,131
Are you selling pipes online through eBay or etsy? Then I don't think so. If you have a proper physical store then maybe.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,549
3,403
I wouldn't have known or thought to ask. I can dream up an explanation, like protecting the under-age, but it seems far-fetched overreach. Perhaps it's so?

 

swan

New member
Dec 9, 2018
13
7
NYC
I called the FDA and they are reviewing my question.

I also reached the local Small Business Services for help.
I was thinking about selling online, maybe on a website but entirely as a side job just out of my passion.

So I don't think ebay or etsy vs brick and mortar or ecommerce website makes the difference.
As per the age verification, it is just a matter of putting a pop up, terms and conditions and verify at purchase (pipes and cigars asked me my ID the first time I ordered from them)

But if you also have to apply for a Tobacco Retail License to sell pipes well, that is just on a different level...
Anyway I will keep you posted about the outcome of my inquiry

 

zack24

Preferred Member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
I called the FDA and they are reviewing my question.
Don't be surprised to see a couple of FDA inspectors to show up and inspect your tobacco product manufacturing facility (pipe shop). There was a forum post about Jeff Gracik enduring a half day inspection.
From what I understand, companies like Smoking Pipes .com handle the process with the FDA for the pipemakers they represent. If you have a significant online presence, you might want to jump through the hoops required by the FDA. At thsi point, I have not heard of any pipemakers being busted by the FDA and hauled off in handcuffs....:)
There was a big concern about this maybe 18 months ago, but it seems to have largely died down...

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,555
1,131
Sorry, I read your question as if you were selling estates and not carving your own.

 

swan

New member
Dec 9, 2018
13
7
NYC
I am not carving mine nor I am selling anything, I was just considering the idea and I am gathering all the info before doing anything.
Thank you, I will search the post about the inspection to have a better understanding but at this point if it is that difficult I will just drop the idea and give up :(

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,549
3,403
A local pipe shop owner commented that not much information is forthcoming. Perhaps it's come to the point where people don't want to ask. No news is good news, and all that. For the number of pipe smokers, it seems like a labor intensive waste of time. Right now, all the excitement is around vaping, and the huge high school student customer base for that.

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,555
1,131
Well anyone can post estate pipes for sale on kijiji or ebay so I don't think a business license is required. Might depend on your volume though, are you selling 10 or 1000?

 

craig61a

Preferred Member
Apr 29, 2017
565
1,383
Having to register with the FDA to make and sell pipes makes about as much sense to me as having to register with the FDA in order to make coffee mugs... just my 2 cents.

 

swan

New member
Dec 9, 2018
13
7
NYC
Probably I didn't explain myself well, and I apologize for that.
According to the FDA rule pipes are considered "tobacco products".

Some states require a license to sell tobacco products.

Some cities have a cap in the number of licenses.

Question is: do States have to define "tobacco products" what the FDA considers as such or they can define it in a different way?

The question I am trying to answer is: in case somebody wants to sell new pipes (and only pipes) is it supposed to apply for a tobacco retail license or not (As he/she would not sell pipe tobacco or anything similar)?
I am still waiting for a reply from FDA and my local Business Services office.. I will keep you posted

 

cwpiperman

Member
Jun 15, 2018
240
39
States can and do define "tobacco products" any way they want. In my state, one cannot buy tobacco products on the internet, mail order, by phone, or by driving to another state to buy them and bring them home. "Tobacco products" means, in my state legislation, "Cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and loose tobacco (pipe tobacco)." That's the definition and as you can see it doesn't include pipes as does the FDA's definition.