843. Use of stamps or meter impression required; limitations
A. Cigarette tax stamps. (1) In order to enforce the collection of the tax levied by this Chapter, the secretary shall design and have printed or manufactured stamps of such size and denomination as may be determined by him and so prepared as to permit them to be easily affixed to or stamped on containers of cigarettes subject to the tax according to this Chapter. As an alternative method to enforce the collection of the tax levied by this Chapter, the secretary may permit dealers, as defined in this Chapter, to use metered stamping machines or devices by which each container or package may be clearly and legibly stamped with an impression showing the character and amount of the tax.
(2) No individual package of cigarettes shall be sold or distributed in, into, or from the state in individual packages containing fewer than twenty cigarettes. No smoking tobacco intended for use as roll-your-own smoking tobacco for cigarettes shall be sold or distributed in individual packages containing less than six-tenths of one ounce of smoking tobacco.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, all packages of cigarettes sold in or into the state shall bear a stamp as required by this Chapter and no person may sell, transport, or cause to be transported unstamped cigarettes in, into, or from, or possess unstamped cigarettes in the state.
B. Discounts. The secretary of the Department of Revenue shall allow wholesale tobacco dealers of other states who have a direct purchasing contract with a manufacturer and serving a trade area of retail dealers in this state to purchase Louisiana stamps with benefit of a five percent discount.
C. Purchase of stamps.
(1) All cigarette stamps shall be purchased from and sold by the secretary of the Department of Revenue.
(2) Any person other than the secretary of the Department of Revenue who sells or traffics in cigarette tax stamps not affixed to cigarettes, whether the stamps are genuine or counterfeit, shall be guilty of a felony and punishable as set out in R.S. 47:858 .
(3) Cigarette tax stamps shall be sold by the secretary of the Department of Revenue to bonded registered Louisiana tobacco dealers in the state of Louisiana who hold a valid stamping agent designation in accordance with R.S. 26:902(2)(a) and who have a direct purchasing contract with a manufacturer at a discount of five percent from the face value, when purchased in quantities of not less than one hundred dollars face value, and the same provisions and discount shall apply where the metered stamping machine or device is used.
(4) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, the stamps shall be sold by the secretary of the Department of Revenue in less quantity at face value to any and all persons, firms, partnerships, corporations, and associations of person who hold a valid stamping agent designation in accordance with R.S. 26:902(2)(a) and are qualified to purchase stamps hereunder.
(5) Every dealer registered with the state of Louisiana shall be entitled to receive every month cigarette tax stamps in an amount equal to the amount of his bond furnished pursuant to R.S. 47:848 , without the necessity of paying for the stamps at the time of purchase. All stamps so advanced shall be paid for not later than thirty days after the date on which they were advanced.
(6) Any wholesale dealer who fails to timely file the reports and pay the taxes due on an open account shall forfeit the discount allowed at the time of purchase of such tax stamps and meter impressions and shall be subject to a penalty of five percent on the amount of the tax due if the period of delinquency is ten days or less, or twenty percent on the amount of the tax due if the period of delinquency is greater than ten days, plus any interest due.
(7) Should any dealer fail to timely pay the tax due on any purchase of tax stamps or meters as provided in R.S. 47:843(C)(5) , all outstanding credit sales of tobacco stamps, whether delinquent or not, shall become due and payable if the delinquent tax due on the purchase is not paid within two days after the receipt by the taxpayer of a written demand sent by the secretary by certified mail. Payment must be made with a cashier's check, certified check, or cash. If payment is not received within ten days after the mailing of written demand, the secretary may proceed to effect collection through the taxpayer's bonding company, or as otherwise provided by Chapter 18, Subtitle II of this Title. 1
(8) Should any wholesale dealer fail to pay the taxes due as described above, the secretary of the Department of Revenue may require such dealers to remit the tax due on purchases of tax stamps and meter impressions upon receipt of such stamps.
(9) The transfer or disposal by a qualified dealer of any benefit herein conferred is prohibited.
(10) As an additional method of refunding the cost of stamps affixed to damaged goods as provided in R.S. 47:857 , the secretary shall allow a wholesale dealer to present affidavits evidencing the cost of stamps, less previous discount allowed, affixed to goods returned to the manufacturer as payment for all or a portion of the price of tax stamps purchased under this Section. The credit must be in an amount less than or equal to the cost of stamps or meters purchased per individual invoice.
D. Affixing stamps. (1) No person other than a dealer holding a valid stamping agent designation under R.S. 26:902(2) may affix a stamp to any package of cigarettes. Stamps shall be affixed by the dealer, on the smallest container or package of cigarettes that is subject to the tax, to permit the secretary to readily ascertain by an inspection of any dealer's stock on hand, whether or not the tax has been paid. The dealer shall cause to be affixed on every package of cigarettes on which a tax is due, stamps of an amount equaling the tax due thereon, before any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or association of persons sells, offers for sale, removes, or otherwise distributes the cigarettes. The stamps shall be affixed in such a manner that their removal will require continued application of steam or water and shall be canceled by placing thereon the license number of the dealer.
(2) A dealer shall not affix a stamp to a package of cigarettes if the package:
(a) Does not comply with the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act ( 15 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. ) for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information for a package of cigarettes to be sold within the United States.
(b) 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.
(c) Has been altered by adding or deleting wording, labels, or warnings described in Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this Paragraph.
(d) Has been imported into the United States after January 1, 2000, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 5754 .
(e) In any way violates federal trademark or copyright laws.
(f)(i) Is manufactured by a tobacco product manufacturer, pursuant to Part XIII of Chapter 32 of Title 13 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, who:
(aa) Is not a participating manufacturer in the Master Settlement Agreement as defined in R.S. 13:5062 ; and
(bb) Failed to create a qualified escrow account in accordance with R.S. 13:5063 , as certified by the attorney general's office, for any cigarettes the dealer sold or distributed for that tobacco product manufacturer.
(ii) For purposes of this Subparagraph, “tobacco product manufacturer” shall have the meaning ascribed to that phrase by R.S. 13:5062 .
(3) Selling a package of cigarettes described in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, with or without a stamp, shall be an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law ( R.S. 51:1401 et seq. ).
(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or distribute in this state, to acquire, hold, own, possess, or transport, for sale or distribution in this state, or to import or cause to be imported, into this state for sale or distribution in this state, any cigarettes that do not comply with all applicable requirements imposed by or pursuant to federal law and federal implementing regulations.
E. Disposition of funds. After all lawful revenues are paid over to the municipalities as their portion of the tobacco tax, as provided by R.S. 47:869 , and after deduction of the costs of collection as provided by R.S. 47:868 , the remainder of the avails of the tax, increased by Act No. 252 of the 1970 Regular Session 2 of the Legislature of Louisiana, shall be transmitted by the collector to the state treasurer for credit to the state general fund and, notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the amount so credited to the state general fund shall be utilized for the implementation of the express purposes listed and specifically enumerated in the provisions of House Bill No. 1643 adopted as Act No. 211 of the 1970 Regular Session 3 of the Legislature of Louisiana.
F. Authority to issue rules and regulations. The secretary is hereby authorized to issue rules and regulations not in conflict herewith in order to make effective the provisions of this Section.