Pursuant to Code of Alabama 1975, Title 6, Chapter 12A, the Tobacco Master Settlement Complimentary Legislation Act, the Alabama Department of Revenue has established a directory of those tobacco product manufacturers and cigarette (including roll-your-own tobacco) brands that are fully compliant with Alabama law. Only those brands and brand families listed in the directory can legally be stamped for sale, offered for sale, possessed for sale, imported for personal consumption, or sold in Alabama:
Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Brands Approved for Stamping/Sale in Alabama:
Non-Participating Manufacturers Escrow and Certification Provisions
Code of Alabama 1975, Title 6, Chapter 12A requires all tobacco product manufacturers who are not participants (NPMs) in the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) of November 23, 1998 to establish an escrow account with a qualified financial institution and fund the escrow account each year based on the number of tax-paid cigarettes or equivalent ounces of “roll-your-own” tobacco sold in Alabama in the previous year. By April 30 each year or by quarterly requirements, NPMs whose products were distributed tax-paid in Alabama, must provide certification to the Commissioner of Revenue stating the number of units sold in Alabama and the amount deposited into the escrow fund. Verification of the deposit must be evidenced by a statement from the financial institution.
Enforcement of Title 6, Chapter 12, Regarding Sales of Cigarettes
In 2003, the Alabama Legislature passed Act 2003-372, otherwise known as the Tobacco Master Settlement Complementary Legislation Act. This Act, to be found at Title 6, Chapter 12A, Code of Alabama 1975, requires all tobacco product manufacturers, including those participating in the MSA (PMs) and NPMs, whose cigarettes are sold in Alabama, to certify to the Commissioner of Revenue, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, that they are either a tobacco products manufacturer (TPM) participating in the MSA, or in full compliance with Alabama Non-participating Manufacturers Escrow provisions. This certification is due by April 30 each year.
*TPM Certification Form (TOB:TPM CERT) and Instructions.
Any wholesaler, distributor, or person who sells, stamps for sale, possesses for sale or offers to sell a brand that is not listed on the directory is subject to the penalties detailed in Alabama statutes Title 6, Chapter 12A up to and including:
- license suspension;
- license revocation;
- a civil penalty not to exceed the greater of 500% of the retail value of the cigarettes sold/offered for sale/held for sale, or $5000;
- seizure, forfeiture and destruction of contraband cigarettes sold, offered for sale, possessed for sale or imported for personal consumption in this state;
- an injunction against the sale of the product;
- prosecution for engaging in unlawful and deceptive trade practices; and
- surrender of any profit, gain or benefit from the violation.
Reports by Wholesalers and Distributors
Alabama law requires each wholesaler and distributor to file with the Alabama Department of Revenue a monthly report of non-participating manufacturer products stamped or sold tax-paid each month. The report is due by the 20th of each month reflecting the previous calendar month’s tax-paid sales activity. Failure to timely file the report may result in a failure to timely file penalty in the amount of $50.