Streamlining state-level regulatory processes in the USA

Kelly Rahn was recently promoted to the newly created role of Managing Director for our fast-growing State Affairs business. This division deals with the registration and renewal of products including pesticides, fertilizers, pet food and animal feed at the state-level in the US. As Kelly expands and strengthens her team in readiness for further growth, we asked about her vision and the secret to TSG’s success in this space.

Scientific, commercial, and regulatory knowledge

Kelly says the ability to draw on wide-ranging experience and expertise makes product registration and renewal processes more straightforward. It means clients benefit from carefully planned regulatory activity that aligns with their commercial goals. Her own academic background is in chemistry, and professionally she’s held senior regulatory positions within industry and as a consultant.

“Our State Affairs team is 15-strong and includes recent graduates as well as consultants with many years’ experience,” Kelly explains. “Across TSG, we have consultants who came from industry, from the government and from other consultancies. This powerful blend of scientific, commercial, and regulatory insight means we add significant value to client work. As well as ensuring documentation is properly completed and submitted on time, we offer strategic guidance. We also bring an energy and enthusiasm to product registration and renewals that you rarely find in-house. The team here thrives on overcoming the many challenges that can frustrate and hinder regulatory processes.”

Meet two of our state renewals and reporting specialists here.

TSG’s State Affairs team has two branches, one dedicated to the registration of new products and the other handling renewals. Shannon Bryant-Spas, Senior Regulatory Consultant and Team Leader, has headed up registrations for several years. Working alongside her is Luke Cartwright who recently relocated from the UK to head up renewals.

“Much of the time we’re working with chemical regulations, so understanding chemical names and classes really helps. Shannon and Luke both have a scientific background as well as a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape. They apply this knowledge to ensure their teams’ submissions include data and supporting information that facilitates swift regulator decisions and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.”

Making clients lives easier

Outsourcing the responsibility for state-level product registration and renewal offers many benefits. Kelly’s clients say that the recruitment and retention of high-caliber staff for routine tasks can be an ongoing challenge. Working with TSG eases the load and eradicates the risk of substandard performance which could potentially lead to non-compliance. It also allows clients to dedicate more internal resource to value-adding business activities.

“Many of our clients struggle with staffing challenges, so shifting state-level regulatory matters to us makes life easier. Renewals can be especially hard to handle in-house due to their tight timeframes and workflow fluctuations. Even handling fee payments for the different states creates an administrative burden – the full process can take 30-45 minutes per transaction. Working with us gives clients peace of mind. They know that these important but arduous tasks are being managed by experts who have a lot of experience with regulatory systems.”

Category and sector expertise

TSG’s State Affairs business has a strong track record helping clients secure product registrations and renewals in categories that face stringent regulations. There can be great variations between individual states, as well as between federal and state requirements. Kelly’s team navigates this complexity strategically and cost-effectively, maximizing the number of states where products can be sold:

Pesticides: We handle state-level regulatory matters for antimicrobial, biopesticide, microbial and conventional chemical pesticide products. This includes seeds treated with pesticide.

Fertilizers and amending materials: We can determine whether a product qualifies as a fertilizer or an amending material, then offer regulatory guidance accordingly.

Feeds: We provide support in all categories of animal feed, including pet food (for cats and dogs) and specialty pet food (for exotic pets, such as birds) as well as farm animal feed.

Find out more about our state services here.

A robust and adaptive service

Our State Affairs business has enjoyed double-digit growth for several years, reflecting the quality and value of our service. Kelly’s goal is to continue this trajectory, extending the team and increasing our capacity to handle complex regulatory processes. The flexibility of our offering means it can be tailored to individual organizations’ specific needs. Some companies engage with us as a long-term regulatory partner whereas others carve out a particular project or business area for us to handle.

A recent $250,000 investment in a custom-built database further enhances our ability to monitor renewal deadlines and requirements on clients’ behalf. We keep track of product status in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The system automates the renewals process by issuing prompts for documentation and data when required by authorities.

As Kelly explains: “The database is tailored to the unique requirements of state renewals. It gives our clients added assurance that nothing will be missed and that document submissions will happen in a timely manner. This is especially beneficial for larger organizations with extensive product portfolios. Combining our regulatory muscle with this technology ensures we are efficient, effective, and reliable.”

Harnessing regulatory insight to deliver commercial edge

Ultimately, clients need to get, and keep, their products on the market in as many states as possible. This is the guiding principle of our State Affairs work, and Kelly says her team’s ‘triple pull’ of science, commercial and regulatory expertise is a critical success factor.

“Tell us what you want to achieve commercially, and we’ll give you the best chance of making it happen. If you want to be on Walmart’s shelves, we know exactly what needs to happen to achieve that. If your agricultural product needs to be available for the next growing season, we’ll advise on the best way forward. Our depth and breadth of expertise in state regulations will give you a commercial edge.”

Get in touch if you’d like to talk to Kelly about your state-level product registration and renewal requirements: [email protected]

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