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Article IV. Revenue Stamps

§ 54:40A-11. Director to provide revenue stamps

  • a. The taxes imposed and levied by this act shall be paid through the use of stamps, except as provided in section 205 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-7) in the case of a licensed consumer.
  • b. The director shall secure stamps of such designs and denominations as the director shall prescribe, suitable to be affixed to packages, and provide for the sale thereof to licensed distributors.
  • c.
    • (1) The director may implement a program requiring the affixation of counterfeit resistant tax stamps pursuant to this subsection beginning not later than the first day of the twelfth month next following the director’s notice of the implementation of the program to all licensed distributors and other licensees under section 202 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-4). On and after the date of implementation of the program, no metering of evidence of tax payment in lieu of stamps, as otherwise allowed pursuant to section 407 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-17), shall be authorized; provided, however, that in the event that full implementation of the provisions of this act, including but not limited to the procurement of equipment or machinery, if any, necessary to ensure the integrity of the encrypted tax stamp program and the continuity of cigarette tax collections by the State, is not achieved on or before the first day of the twelfth month next following the director’s notice of implementation, the director shall notify the Legislature and provide a full and complete report explaining the reason or reasons for the delay, and metering of evidence of tax payment in lieu of stamps, as otherwise permitted pursuant to section 407 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-17) shall continue to be authorized for an additional period not to exceed six months, as determined by the director.
    • (2) Stamps shall be counterfeit-resistant and encrypted to identify, at a minimum (a) the name and address of the distributor affixing the stamp; (b) the date the stamp was affixed to the cigarette package; and (c) the denominated value of the stamp. The stamp shall be readable and traceable from the point of stamp production to the point of sale and shall be readable by a scanner or similar device that may be utilized by the director or licensed cigarette distributor, wholesalers and retailers.
    • (3) The stamp shall be produced in a secure manner and shall incorporate such encryption, security, and counterfeit-resistant features as the director may prescribe.
    • (4) Distributors or other parties approved by the director shall acquire either by lease, lease-to-own or purchase, equipment or machinery, including equipment to affix stamps and equipment to read or scan information from stamps, that is approved by the director and necessary to carry out the requirements set forth in this section.
    • (5) The encrypted data collected from stamps shall be provided by distributors and retained by the State in a secure data collection, management and decision support system.
  • d. Only licensed distributors shall affix and cancel stamps and no distributor shall affix or cancel any stamp except at the tax rate in effect on the date of such affixing or cancellation; except that on the effective date of a tax rate increase imposed under this act, licensed distributors and wholesale dealers shall take a physical inventory of cigarettes on hand at the close of business prior to the date of the tax increase imposed under this act and must pay any additional tax for all cigarettes bearing stamps at the rate in effect prior to the tax increase. The director shall prescribe the method of collecting the additional tax. The director shall not authorize any person to sell revenue stamps except the director’s duly constituted agents and assistants.
  • e. On sales of revenue stamps the director shall allow, as compensation for the services and expenses of the distributor in affixing and handling of such stamps, a discount of 1.80% of the face amount of any sale of 1,000 stamps or more; provided, that the distributor has complied with all the provisions of this act; and, provided, further, however, that the director shall be empowered to adjust such discount to provide equivalent compensation with respect to the face value of each 1,000 stamps or more. No discount shall be allowed on any sale of less than 1,000 stamps and stamps shall not be sold in blocks of less than 100 stamps.

§ 54:40A-11.1. Cost study

Within six months following the effective date of this 1987 amendatory and supplementary act and not less than every two years thereafter, the director shall conduct a study of the cost of stamping cigarettes in New Jersey. The results of each study shall be transmitted to the Governor and to the Legislature and may serve as the basis for any further modifications of the stamping discount, except insofar as the director is empowered to administratively adjust the discount pursuant to section 401 of P.L. 1948, c. 65 (C. 54:40A-11). Except for adjustments made by the director, no further modification of the stamping discount shall be permitted until the first cost study required by this section is completed.

In conducting this study, the licensed cigarette distributors of the State of New Jersey shall provide the director access to their books and records so that the director has all information necessary to accurately calculate the distributors’ cost of stamping a unit of cigarettes. The distributors’ projected cost shall also be considered for the purposes of this study.

§ 54:40A-12. Distributors shall not sell stamps; exceptions

Licensed distributors shall not sell, borrow, loan, buy or exchange unstamped cigarettes or stamps to, from or with other licensed distributors; except cigarettes bearing the cigarette revenue stamps of other States.

§ 54:40A-13. Credit sales of revenue stamps

The director, in his discretion, may permit a licensed distributor to pay for revenue stamps within thirty days after the date of purchase; provided, a bond or an irrevocable letter of credit, issued by a State or federally chartered bank, that is satisfactory to the director in an amount not less than the sales price of such stamps shall have been filed with the director. The bond, conditioned to secure payment for such stamps, shall be executed by the licensed distributor, as principal, and by a corporation duly authorized to engage in business as a surety company in the State of New Jersey, as surety.

§ 54:40A-14. Manner of affixing stamps

The director shall regulate and prescribe the manner of affixing and canceling stamps.

§ 54:40A-15. Distributors to affix stamps

  • a. Unless stamps have been previously affixed, the stamps required by this act shall be affixed to packages of cigarettes and canceled by the licensed distributor within twenty-four hours of the receipt of all unstamped cigarettes, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, and prior to any and all deliveries except deliveries to points outside the State, deliveries by manufacturers to licensed distributors and those deliveries which this State is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution or the statutes of the United States.
  • b. Cigarette packages to which stamps shall not be affixed.
  • A distributor shall not affix a stamp to a package of cigarettes if the package:
    • does not comply with all requirements imposed by or pursuant to federal law regarding warnings and other information on packages of cigarettes manufactured, packaged or imported for sale, distribution or use in the United States, including but not limited to the permanent imprinting on the primary packaging of such cigarettes of the package warning labels in the text and formats specified by subsections (a) and (b), respectively, of section 4 of the “Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act,” Pub.L. 89-92, 15 U.S.C. 1333, and the rotation of such labels in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of that section;
    • is labeled “For Export Only,” “U.S. Tax Exempt,” “For use Outside U.S.,” or other wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States;
    • has been altered, through placement of a sticker on the package or other means, by adding or deleting wording, labels, or warnings described in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of this subsection;
    • contains cigarettes with respect to which no list of ingredients used in their manufacture has been provided to the Secretary of Health and Human Services as required by subsection (a) of section 7 of Pub.L. 89-92, 15 U.S.C. 1335a;
    • has been imported into the United States after January 1, 2000 in violation of 19 U.S.C. 1681a or 26 U.S.C. 5754; or
    • in any way violates federal trademark or copyright laws.

§ 54:40A-16. Nonacceptance of unstamped, illegally stamped cigarettes

Wholesale dealers and retail dealers shall not accept deliveries of unstamped or illegally stamped cigarettes. All packages of cigarettes shall be examined by wholesale and retail dealers immediately upon their receipt and they shall immediately return any and all unstamped and illegally stamped cigarettes to the vendor or consignor thereof or to a common carrier for return to such vendor or consignor. Unless substantial evidence to the contrary be shown, the possession of any unstamped or illegally stamped cigarettes by a wholesale or retail dealer shall be prima facie evidence that such cigarettes were possessed in violation of the provisions of this act. The director may, however, in the director’s discretion and subject to such conditions as the director may prescribe, authorize wholesale dealers and retail dealers to acquire and have in their possession cigarettes bearing cigarette revenue stamps of other states, provided such cigarettes are intended for sale or other disposition in those states.

§ 54:40A-17. Use of stamp metering machines

The director, if the director shall determine that it is practicable in any case to permit licensed distributors to impress on or attach to each package of cigarettes, evidence of tax payment, by means of a metering machine, in lieu of stamps, may, except as provided by paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 401 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-11), authorize any licensed distributor to use any metering machine approved by the director, such machine to be sealed by the director before being used and used in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the director. Any licensed distributor authorized by the director to affix evidence of tax payment to packages of cigarettes by means of a metering machine shall either make a prepayment, allowing for the discount, if any, provided for herein and subject also to the same conditions as in the case of the sale of stamps, covering the amount of the tax for which the meter is set; or if prepayment is not made, subject to the same conditions as in the case of the consignment of stamps.

§ 54:40A-18. Sale of stamps to out-of-State distributors

In case the director shall find that the collection of any tax imposed by this act would be facilitated thereby, he may authorize, under reasonable conditions, any person resident or located outside this State, engaged in the business of selling and shipping cigarettes into the State, upon complying with the requirements of the director, to affix or cause to be affixed on behalf of any purchaser of cigarettes who would otherwise be taxable therefor, the stamps required by this act, or may authorize the use of a machine by such persons as herein provided, except that the delivery of stamps or meterings to such persons shall be made upon a prepayment basis. Any such nonresident person shall be required to agree to submit his books, accounts, and records to reasonable examination, by the director or his duly authorized agent. Each such nonresident person, other than a foreign corporation which is authorized by law to transact business in this State shall, by a duly executed instrument filed in the office of the Secretary of State, constitute the Secretary of State his lawful attorney in fact upon whom any original process in any action or legal proceeding against such nonresident person may be served, and therein agree that any original process against him so served shall be of the same force and effect as if served on him within this State, and that the authority thereof shall continue in force irrevocably so long as any such nonresident person shall remain liable for any taxes, interest and penalties under this act. Service of process against any such nonresident person shall be made by leaving the process, with a fee of two dollars ($2.00) in the office of the Secretary of State. Upon the receipt of any such process the Secretary of State shall send forthwith by registered mail to such nonresident person a notice of such service and a copy of the process. Any nonresident person who shall comply with the provisions of this section may be licensed as a distributor.

§ 54:40A-19. Redemption and refund of stamps

The director shall redeem any unused or mutilated, but identifiable, stamps that any distributor or dealer may present for redemption, and refund therefor the face value of said stamps, less the discount allowed by the director at the time of the purchase of the stamps by said distributor or dealer. In the event any stamped cigarettes are shipped out of this State, or are sold to those agencies or instrumentalities which this State is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution or the statutes of the United States, by any distributor or dealer, a refund of the face value of said stamps, less the discount allowed by the director at the time of the purchase of the stamps by said distributor or dealer, shall be made upon the application of the distributor or dealer on forms prescribed by the director together with such evidence and proof of sale as the director shall require.

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