• For Inquiring Minds We Present, The PACT Act.

    We wanted to make sure all lovers of Swedish snus had access to the PACT Act in it's entirety! So, for all to read, here's the entire bill:

    Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009 (PACT Act)

    1. The PACT Act applies specifically to cigarettes (defined to include ryo cigarette tobacco) and smokeless tobacco. Cigars are specifically excluded. The Attorney General of the United States is charged with administering and enforcing the Act, which is effective 90 days after the President signs it into law.

    2. Purposes:

    (1) require Internet and other remote sellers of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to comply with the same laws that apply to law-abiding tobacco retailers;
    (2) create strong disincentives to illegal smuggling of tobacco products;
    (3) provide government enforcement officials with more effective enforcement tools to combat tobacco smuggling;
    (4) make it more difficult for cigarette and smokeless tobacco traffickers to engage in and profit from their illegal activities;
    (5) increase collections of Federal, State, and local excise taxes on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; and
    (6) prevent and reduce youth access to inexpensive cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through illegal Internet or contraband sales.

    3. The PACT Act amends the Jenkins Act (15 U.S.C. 375), a 1949 federal law requiring those shipping cigarettes into a state to other than a licensed distributor to first register with the state and then file reports on a monthly basis. The PACT Act amends the Jenkins Act to:

    a.) Re-define “cigarette” to include ryo cigarette tobacco. The Act specifically states “The term `cigarette' does not include a cigar (as defined in section 5702 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).”

    b.) Broaden coverage to include smokeless tobacco.

    c.) Require reports be filed with state tobacco tax administrators, the Attorney General of the United States, the state attorneys general or chief law enforcement officers of the local Governments, and Indian tribes operating within the borders of the State that impose their own local or tribal taxes on cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.

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    d.) Define “delivery sale” to mean the sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to a consumer if the consumer submits the order by means of a telephone, FAX, the mails, or the Internet or the seller is not in the physical presence of the buyer. Delivery sellers are required to comply with shipping and recordkeeping requirements and all State, local, tribal and other laws generally applicable as if the delivery sale occurred entirely within the specific State and place, including laws imposing—

    (A) excise taxes;
    (B) licensing and tax-stamping requirements;
    (C) restrictions on sales to minors; and
    (D) other payment obligations or legal requirements relating to the sale, distribution, or delivery of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco; and

    e.) Require delivery sellers to pay the appropriate state and local excise taxes in advance of the sale or delivery. (Does not apply to a delivery sale of smokeless tobacco if the law of the State or local government where the smokeless tobacco is to be delivered requires delivery sellers to collect the excise tax from the consumer and remit the excise tax to the State or local government, and the delivery seller complies with that requirement.)

    f.) Impose shipping and packaging requirements:

    (1) REQUIRED STATEMENT- For any shipping package containing cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, the delivery seller shall include on the bill of lading, if any, and on the outside of the shipping package, on the same surface as the delivery address, a clear and conspicuous statement providing as follows:

    CIGARETTES/SMOKELESS TOBACCO: FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES THE PAYMENT OF ALL APPLICABLE EXCISE TAXES, AND COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE LICENSING AND TAX-STAMPING OBLIGATIONS'.

    (2) FAILURE TO LABEL- Any shipping package that is not labeled will be treated as nondeliverable matter by a common carrier or other delivery service, if the common carrier or other delivery service knows or should know the package contains cigarettes or smokeless tobacco. If a common carrier or other delivery service believes a package is being submitted for delivery in violation of paragraph (1), it may require the person submitting the package for delivery to establish that it is not being sent in violation of paragraph (1) before accepting the package for delivery. The common carrier or other delivery service is not required to open any package to determine its contents.
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    (3) WEIGHT RESTRICTION- A delivery seller shall not sell, offer for sale, deliver, or cause to be delivered in any single sale or single delivery any cigarettes or smokeless tobacco weighing more than 10 pounds.

    (4) AGE VERIFICATION- Delivery sellers cannot sell or deliver tobacco products (cigarettes and smokeless tobacco) to persons under the minimum age.

    The delivery seller must use a method of mailing or shipping that requires that the purchaser placing the order or an adult to sign for the delivery contained at the delivery address, and the person who signs to accept delivery must provide proof, in the form of a valid, government-issued identification bearing a photograph of the person, that the person is at least the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products.

    The seller shall not accept a deliver sale order from a person without obtaining the person’s full name, birth date, and residential address. That information must be verified through the use of a commercially available database or aggregate of databases consisting primarily of data from government sources that are regularly used by government and businesses for the purpose of age and identity.

    The database being used for age and identity verification must not be in the possession or under the control of the delivery seller.

    g.) Require delivery sellers to keep records for four years of their sales organized by State, and within a State, by city or town and by zip code. They must be available to State tobacco tax administrators, local governments and Indian tribes that apply local or tribal taxes, state attorneys general and the Attorney General of the U.S.

    h.) Require the U.S. Attorney General to compile a list of delivery sellers of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco that have either not registered with the U.S. attorney general or who are not in compliance with the requirements of the PACT Act and distribute that list to the all state attorneys general and every state tax administrator, common carriers and other firms that deliver small packages to consumers in interstate commerce (including the U.S. Postal Service). He/she must also publicize and make the list available to any other person engaged in the business of interstate and intrastate deliveries.

    The U.S. Attorney General is also required to update and distribute the list at least once every 4 months. Any noncomplying delivery sellers identified by any State,

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    local, or tribal government are required to be on the list. The Attorney General must distribute the list to the state attorneys general, the state tax administrator of any state government submitting any such information, and any common carriers or other persons who deliver small packages to consumers.

    PROHIBITION ON DELIVERY: 60 days after distribution of the list, no person who receives it and no person who delivers cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to consumers shall knowingly complete, cause to be completed, or complete its portion of a delivery of any package for any person whose name and address are on the list, unless—

    (i) the person making the delivery knows or believes in good faith that the item does not include cigarettes or smokeless tobacco;

    (ii) the delivery is made to a person lawfully engaged in the business of manufacturing, distributing, or selling cigarettes or smokeless tobacco; or

    (iii) the package being delivered weighs more than 100 pounds and the person making the delivery does not know or have reasonable cause to believe that the package contains cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.

    EXEMPTIONS: The Act pre-empts the states, local government and tribes – or any political authority of 2 or more states, local governments or tribes – from enacting or enforcing their own laws or regulations relating to delivery sales that restrict deliveries of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to consumers by common carrier or other delivery services by

    (i) requiring that the common carrier or other delivery service verify the age or identity of the consumer accepting the delivery by requiring the person who signs to accept delivery of the shipping container to provide proof, in the form of a valid, government-issued identification bearing a photograph of the individual, that the person is at least the minimum age required for the legal sale or purchase of tobacco products, as determined by either State or local law at the place of delivery;

    (ii) requiring that the common carrier or other delivery service obtain a signature from the consumer accepting the delivery;

    (iii) requiring that the common carrier or other delivery service verify that all applicable taxes have been paid;

    (iv) requiring that packages delivered by the common carrier or other delivery service contain any particular labels, notice, or markings; or
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    (v) prohibiting common carriers or other delivery services from making deliveries on the basis of whether the delivery seller is or is not identified on any list of delivery sellers maintained and distributed by any entity other than the Federal Government.

    i) Impose criminal penalties for violating the Jenkins Act including imprisonment for not more than 3 years, fines or both. In addition, civil penalties include – the greater of $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for any other violation, or for any violation, 2% of the gross sales of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco of the delivery seller during the one-year period ending on the date of the violation. Penalties also include the payment of any unpaid taxes.

    4. STATE LAWS PROHIBITING DELIVERY SALES: Nothing in the PACT Act or in any other Federal statute shall be construed to preempt, supersede, or otherwise limit or restrict State laws prohibiting delivery sales of cigarettes or other tobacco products to individual consumers or personal residences.

    5. In general, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are prohibited from being deposited in or carried through the mails. The United States Postal Service
    shall not accept for delivery or transmit through the mails any package that it knows or has reasonable cause to believe contains any cigarettes or smokeless
    tobacco. Cigars are specifically excluded from this ban. The ban will not apply to mailings within the State of Alaska or within the State of Hawaii.

    The ban will not apply to tobacco products mailed for business purposes between legally operating businesses that have all the applicable State and Federal government licenses or permits and are engaged in tobacco product manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, export, import, testing, investigation or research. Nor will it apply for regulatory purposes between such businesses and an agency of the Federal government or a state government. There are also provisions allowing individuals to return damaged or unacceptable product to the manufacturer, and for cigarette manufacturers to mail tax paid cigarettes to verified adult smokers solely for business testing purposes, but not into those states which prohibit the delivery of cigarettes to consumers in that state.

    The Postmaster General will issue a final rule establishing the standards and requirements pertaining to the ban 180 days after the PACT Act becomes law.

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    6. Enforcement: The US Attorney General is charged with administering and enforcing the PACT Act. Jurisdiction lies within US District Courts. State attorneys general and local governments who levy tobacco taxes can bring actions in federal and state courts. In addition, any permitted manufacturer or importer of tobacco products may bring action in federal district court to prevent and restrain violations of the PACT Act, though they must inform the US Attorney General of the action.

    7. ATF Inspections: ATF officers are allowed to enter the premises of cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies during normal business hours for inspection purposes.

    8. Coordination of Law Enforcement: The PACT Act permits coordinated law enforcement efforts by 1 or more States or other jurisdictions that provide for the administration of tobacco product laws pertaining to interstate sales or other sales of tobacco products and the establishment of cooperative programs for the administration of such laws.

    9. Sense of Congress Concerning the Precedential Effect of the Act: The Act is “intended to help collect cigarette excise taxes, to stop tobacco sales to underage youth, and to help the States enforce their laws that target the online sales of certain tobacco products only. This Act is in no way meant to create a precedent regarding the collection of State sales or use taxes by, or the validity of efforts to impose other types of taxes on, out-of-State entities that do not have a physical presence within the taxing State.”

    Cigar Association of America
    March 18, 2010
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