Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
December 16, 2009 - State Fire Marshal Ronald R. Farr today announced the online registration process approving manufacturers to sell cigarettes in Michigan which must meet new fire safe standards. Cigarette manufacturers must now certify all cigarette brand styles to be able to continue to sell those brand styles in Michigan after January 1, 2010.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed into law Public Act 56 of 2009, the Fire Safety Standard and Firefighter Protection Act, which provides for the regulation of the sale and distribution of fire safe cigarettes. These cigarettes are specifically manufactured to self-extinguish if left unattended. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2010.
"This law will have a significant impact on reducing the number of fires, associated deaths, injuries, and property damage caused by discarded or unattended smoking materials," said Farr. "Because these cigarettes are less likely to ignite fires, this law is a big step in fire protection for Michigan citizens. In addition, this online system enables us to meet the requirements of the law, while reducing an administrative burden on those doing business in our state."
Combustion of discarded smoking materials is the second leading cause of home fire-related deaths and injuries in the United States. In 2008, Michigan had 319 fires caused by discarded smoking materials. These fires resulted in four people losing their lives, 33 people injured, of which seven were fire fighters, and property loss of more than $8.4 million. The United States Fire Administration reported that states that have passed fire safe cigarette legislation such as New York have seen a 33 percent reduction in the number of fire-related deaths and injuries caused by discarded smoking materials.
Under the new law, cigarette manufacturers are required to register their cigarette brand families and pay a fee of $1,250 for each brand family in order to sell these cigarettes in Michigan. Beginning January 1, 2010, it will be unlawful to sell non-compliant cigarettes in Michigan that have tax stamps affixed after that date.
All cigarettes sold or offered for sale in Michigan must have written certification by the manufacturer indicating the cigarettes have been tested in accordance with ASTM E2187-04,
"Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes", and have met the performance requirements of ASTM E2187-04. An alternative test method may be approved if a cigarette cannot be tested in accordance with ASTM E2187-04 due to the unique characteristics of the cigarette.
New brand family cigarette styles being introduced for sale in Michigan after the initial brand family approval must have written manufacturer certification along with the test results that indicate that the cigarettes of the new style have been tested in accordance with ASTM E2187-04. The manufacturer then goes online, using their unique user ID and password and enters the information of the new style under the approved brand family. There are no costs to the manufacturer associated with making these changes.
Packaging for these cigarettes is required by law to have a special Fire Standard Compliant (FSC) mark indicating that the cigarettes meet certified laboratory low ignition standards. The FSC marking must be uniformly applied on all packages, including packs, cartons and cases of cigarettes marketed by that manufacturer. A manufacturer must use only one marking on all brands approved for sale in Michigan.
In order to complete the certification approval for each brand for sale of fire standard compliant cigarettes in Michigan manufacturers must first submit the following information to the Bureau of Fire Services via email.
The State Fire Marshal will provide approval of the FSC packaging mark to the cigarette manufacturer within five (5) business days.
Starting today, manufacturers will be able to complete the certification of their brand families, associated styles and pay the $1,250 registration fee online. Payment may be made using MasterCard or Visa effective December 16, 2009; payment using an electronic check will be available in early January 2010.
Manufacturers, distributors and retailers who knowingly continue to sell non- fire-safe cigarettes in Michigan after January 1 will be subject to a fine of $100 per pack and/or product seizure. Wholesalers/distributors/retailers will be allowed to sell their existing inventory if they can prove the state tax stamp was affixed to the cigarettes before January 1, 2010, in a quantity that is comparable to the quantity of cigarettes they purchased during 2009.
Complete information on certification procedures can be found at www.michigan.gov/firesafecigarettes
To register brand families and associated styles go to www.michigan.gov/fscregistration
For a complete copy of the law go to http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2009-2010/publicact/pdf/2009-PA-0056.pdf
For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara
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