3PL - Third Party Logistics
Licensing for Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PLs)
Effective July 1, 2019 all 3PLs that ship or transport drugs into or within Minnesota must
be licensed by the Board.
Until the Board can make changes to its licensing database and applications, 3PLs licenses and online license verifications will appear as follows:
- 3PLs who have previously been registered as a wholesaler have a license number that starts with the number “3”; like wholesalers do. This will remain the case until a complete 3PL application is processed for the entity. These entities will need to complete the process for 3PL applications prior to the May 31 license expiration date. See “Application Process” below for more information.
- 3PLs that have already completed the processing of a valid 3PL application will possess license numbers that start with a number “9”.
- 3PL license cards will indicate “Third Party Logistics License Number: ###### (license status)” on the actual license. Note that license status will vary depending on the status of the entity.
- Upon license verification on the board website, a valid 3PL license will be in date and will have a license number beginning with the number “9”, but the verification will still indicate it is licensed as a wholesaler despite being a 3PL.
3PLs That Are Not Currently Licensed as a Wholesaler by the Board
3PLs that are not currently licensed by the Board will have until January 30, 2020 to apply for licensure. After that date, 3PLs not licensed by the Board are not authorized to do business in Minnesota. Entities that continue to operate in this category could be subject to discipline.
Existing 3PLs License as a Wholesaler
If you are a third-party provider and are currently licensed as a wholesaler, fill out the applicable application forms for a new license. On the bottom of page three, indicate that you are transferring your current wholesale license to a 3PL license under the “Applicant Facility Business Operations” section. Your current wholesale license will be closed once you are issued a new 3PL license. There is no fee to complete this.
Fees will apply if one of the following occur:
- You keep your current wholesaler license and open a 3PL. This is considered a new license and a fee applies, even if you are in the same facility.
- You close your wholesaler license and relocate as a 3PL. This is considered a new license and a fee applies.
Complete the application form for Third-Party Logistics Providers in its entirety and mail all requested documents together with a non-refundable payment to the Board offices.
Minnesota statutes require an authorized representative of wholesalers and 3PLs to be designated and to have a criminal background check completed. However, the Board will exercise enforcement discretion and will issue initial licenses to wholesalers and 3PLs, without the completion of criminal background checks, until the Minnesota Health Licensing Boards Criminal Background Check Program develops policies and procedures to meet this requirement; or the Board arranges an alternative process.
All non-resident 3PL firms shipping into Minnesota must be licensed by their home state and provide an inspection report and proof of home state licensure for ongoing licensure renewals. If a home state does not provide licensure for 3PL, certain accreditations that are approved by the Board or proof of a valid federal licensure as per United States Code title 21 section 360 may be provided.
- Applicants will be notified of missing items from the application within four weeks of receiving the application packet.
- Required documents must be submitted with each application. Duplicate documents sent in with similar or related applications will not be retrieved for the completion of this application.
- Applications are considered withdrawn if they are found to be missing items or if they are not submitted to complete an application within one year of the original application submission date.
- The application will be cancelled and a new application packet, including applicable fee(s), must be submitted if a change in ownership or location occurs while the application is under review by the Board.
- Allow a minimum of 60 days from the time your application packet is complete, along with all missing items received by the Board, for review and final license issuance.
License Checklist and Application
Facility Manager or Designated Representative Affidavit Form
If applicant facility is owned by a Partnership or Sole Proprietor, then complete this form.
If applicant facility is a Corporation/LLC, then complete this form.
License Expiration and Renewal Dates
Renewal payments for 3PL licenses will be due no later than October 1 of each year. Licenses will expire at midnight on October 31. If the 3PL license is not renewed by October 31, a 50% late fee will be assessed and the 3PL will no longer be allowed to operate in Minnesota.
Wholesaler licenses expire on May 31 of each year. Only a wholesaler may be licensed as such. After May 31, 2020 all entities who are 3PL providers will be required to possess a valid 3PL license in order to do business within Minnesota or to ship into Minnesota.
Q: Where are the official licensing requirements and related regulations available for review?
A: The Office of the Registrar of the State of Minnesota publishes statutes at this website: Notable Minnesota statutes for 3PL include all references in 151.43 to 151.471
Q: Does a manufacturer’s own label distribution warehouse need to be licensed?
A: If the activities at the distribution warehouse only involve distribution of that manufacturers’ own products and not repackaging and relabeling, the facility does not need to be licensed (not as a manufacturer and not as a wholesaler).
Q: Does a third-party logistics provider that coordinates logistic services of over-the-counter drugs need to be licensed?
A: The definition of a 3PL as defined in Minnesota Statute 151.441, was taken directly from federal law and it uses the word “product” not the word “drug.” Consequently, a 3PL that handles only OTC products
, does not need to be licensed. Note that the definition of wholesaler distribution uses the word “drug”, so wholesalers of OTC drugs do have to be licensed.
Q: What are the requirements for a ‘designated person’ as it pertains to 3PLs?
A: The designated person requirements are found in Minnesota statute 151.471 Subd. 2 (h) 5 and subsequent related parts. The designated person must complete a criminal background check and must not have been convicted of certain felonies. This person is responsible for the quality, safety, and security of drugs and has other clear responsibilities as defined in that statute. The person should be regularly employed, actively engaged in operations, and have the ability to control functions to meet the requirements listed.
Q: I represent a 3PL who currently holds a valid wholesaler license in Minnesota. Is it necessary to obtain the 3PL license or may we continue to operate under the wholesaler license?
A: See the definitions of “wholesaler” and “third-party logistics provider” in Minnesota Statute 151.441. If the activities are consistent with the definition of a “third-party logistics provider” then the firm should be licensed as a 3PL. If the activities are consistent with the definition of a “wholesaler” then the firm should be licensed as a wholesaler. Minnesota Statute 151.47 Subd. 1a indicates (in part, emphasis added) that “The board shall not license a person as a wholesale distributor unless
the person is engaged in wholesale distribution.” The board is currently using enforcement discretion on this item for the firm described until 5/31/2020 due to licensing system changes and other processing requirements necessary to license 3PLs as a new category of licensure.