Late yesterday afternoon (December 27), the DEA reversed its decision and posted a notice that it is retaining its current policy and procedures, with one minor change, regarding registration renewals. The revised announcement states the following:
REVISED ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING RENEWAL APPLICATIONS
Starting January 2017, DEA will no longer send its second renewal notification by mail. Instead, an electronic reminder to renew will be sent to the email address associated with the DEA registration.
At this time, DEA will otherwise retain its current policy and procedures with respect to renewal and reinstatement of registration. This policy is as follows:
- If a renewal application is submitted in a timely manner prior to expiration, the registrant may continue operations, authorized by the registration, beyond the expiration date until final action is taken on the application.
- DEA allows the reinstatement of an expired registration for one calendar month after the expiration date. If the registration is not renewed within that calendar month, an application for a new DEA registration will be required.
- Regardless of whether a registration is reinstated within the calendar month after expiration, federal law prohibits the handling of controlled substances or List 1 chemicals for any period of time under an expired registration.
So, the good news is that registration numbers will not automatically be retired if renewal applications are filed within the one-month grace period after the expiration date.
However, there are a few issues that need clarification from the DEA, including whether the filing of a renewal application during the one-month grace period automatically reinstates the registration number or whether DEA must adjudicate the renewal application before the number becomes valid. It also is not clear whether a registration number remains valid if the registrant files a renewal application during the grace period and DEA fails to adjudicate the application before the end of the month.
AMS will continue to monitor this and keep members updated on any further changes.