SCS/SB 326 - The act makes various revisions to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
The act relieves any person licensed or required to affix a tax stamp on cigarette packages or any retailer who in good faith sells cigarettes that do not comply with state law, from being subject to any administrative, civil or criminal penalties associated with such act. However it does not relieve a wholesaler or retailer from any penalty imposed by law if the tax stamp has not been lawfully applied.
Declarations of non-compliant cigarettes must be posted on the website of both the Attorney General and the Department of Revenue. The director of the department of revenue must notify all wholesalers in writing via U.S. Mail of the manufacturers and cigarette brands that are no longer lawful to sell in the state. Within five days of such notification, the wholesaler must provide the director with a count of said manufacturers cigarette brands that the wholesaler is holding in inventory for sale in this state.
The cigarette manufacturer shall have the right to remedy any reason the director or attorney general gives for making it unlawful to sell such cigarette brands in this state and in the event said manufacturer provides such remedy, the director and attorney general shall cease any impending action to make such manufacturers brands unlawful for sale. Any tobacco product manufacturer aggrieved by a declaration of non-compliance has a right to seek relief in a court of competent jurisdiction.
All tobacco manufacturers whose cigarettes are sold in Missouri are required to report and certify to the Department of Revenue and the Attorney General's office by April 30 of each year that they are in compliance with the Tobacco Settlement Model Statute currently in Missouri law and that they are registered to do business in the state of Missouri or they have appointed a registered agent for service of process. In addition to the certification, participating manufacturers must also provide a list of "brand families" of cigarette types. Nonparticipating manufacturers must submit their brand families, the number of units sold for each family at any time during the year, the name and address of any other manufacturer of their brand families in the preceding or current calendar year, and other information to verify compliance with the model statute.
Each nonresident or foreign tobacco product manufacturer must be registered to do business in the state or maintain an agent within the state for the purpose of service of process relating to the enforcement of the act. By June 1, 2006, the Director of the Department of Revenue must make available for public inspection or publish on the department's web site a list of all tobacco product manufacturers that have satisfied the certification requirements established in the act.
Stamping agents (persons authorized to affix cigarette tax stamps to cigarette packages) are required to submit to the director an e-mail address for the receipt of notifications as required by the bill and to submit various reports and documents as required by the department.
Various penalties and actions for failure to comply with the requirements of the act are included.
The act contains an emergency clause.