SB 0362 Requires tobacco product manufacturers to file certain certifications
LR Number:1232S.02I Fiscal Note:1232-02
Committee:Pensions and General Laws
Last Action:05/16/03 - S Inf Calendar S Bills for Perfection Journal page:
Effective Date:Emergency Clause
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Current Bill Summary

SB 362 - This act requires all tobacco product manufacturers who sell cigarettes in this state to file an annual form with the Attorney General stating they are in compliance with the Master Settlement Agreement. Participating manufacturers must certify a list of its brand families. Nonparticipating manufacturers must provide additional information as indicated including a more detailed listing of brand families and units sold and that the nonparticipating manufacturer is registered to do business in the state, maintains a qualified escrow fund (including specific information regarding the account), is in full compliance with the Master Settlement. Tobacco product manufacturers must maintain information used to compile the certification for five years.

By January 1, 2004, the Attorney General shall publish or make available on its website a list of all tobacco product manufacturers who have filed certifications. It shall be unlawful to any person to affix a stamp to a package of cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family that is not included in the directory or to offer those cigarettes for sale.

Foreign nonparticipating manufacturers who are not registered to do business in the state must designate an agent for service of process as a condition precedent to being listed in the directory.

Stamping agents are required to submit a quarterly report to the Attorney General the equivalent stick count for which the stamping agent affixed stamps or otherwise paid the tax due for the cigarettes. The stamping agent must maintain documentation used to compile the report for five years. The Director of Revenue and the Attorney General may share information for the purposes of enforcement of the provisions of this act.

The Attorney General may require nonparticipating manufacturers, stamping agents and tobacco product manufacturers to provide certain additional information necessary to determine compliance.

Upon determination of a violation, the Director of the Department of Revenue may suspend the license of a stamping agent. Each stamp affixed and each sale or offer to sell cigarettes shall constitute a separate violation. The Director of the Department of Revenue may also impose a civil penalty of the greater of 500% of the retail value of the cigarettes or $5,000. Cigarettes sole, offered for sale or possessed for sale that are in violation are deemed contraband and subject to seizure and forfeiture. The Attorney General may seek and injunction for threatened or actual violations.

It is a Class A misdemeanor to sell or distribute cigarettes, or acquire, hold, own, possess, transport, import or cause to be imported cigarettes that the person knew or should have known were intended for distribution in the State which are in violation of the stamping provisions. Violations of the stamping provisions shall also be deemed to be engaged in unfair merchandising practices pursuant to Chapter 407, RSMo.

Decisions regarding maintenance of the directory by the Attorney General shall be subject to review by the Administrative Hearings Commission. Effective dates for implementation of the provisions are provided. The Attorney General may promulgate necessary rules. The State shall be entitled to recover costs of enforcement actions including reasonable attorneys fees. If a court determines that a violation has occurred, the court shall order any profits be disgorged and paid into the Tobacco Control Special Fund which is created.

This act has an emergency clause.