As a matter of state law, a person cannot engage in the business of a distributor or subjobber, including shipping and transporting tobacco products, without first having received a license. A person outside of the state who ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in Iowa, to be sold by those retailers, may apply for a license as a distributor and be granted a license. Additional information about licensing in Iowa is available at the Operating Your Business link above.
At each licensed place of business, every distributor is required to keep complete and accurate records for that place of business, including itemized invoices of tobacco products brought in or caused to be brought in from outside of the state, or shipped or transported to retailers in-state.
Records of all deliveries or shipments of tobacco products from any public warehouse of first destination in-state must be kept by the warehouse and be available for inspection. The record must show the name and address of the consignee, the date, and the quantity of tobacco products delivered.
In addition, the transportation of tobacco products into Iowa by means other than common carrier must be reported within thirty days to the Director of the Department of Revenue with the following exceptions:
The transportation of not more than fifty cigars, not more than ten ounces of snuff or snuff powder, or not more than one pound of smoking or chewing tobacco or other tobacco products;
Transportation by a person with a place of business outside the state, who is licensed as a distributor under Iowa state law, or tobacco products sold by such person to a retailer in Iowa.
Common carriers transporting tobacco products into Iowa must file reports of all such shipments other than those which are delivered to public warehouses of first destination.
In addition, federal PACT Act requirements concerning cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products apply. The federal PACT Act requires any person who sells, transfers, or ships cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco into a state to register with the tobacco tax administrator of the state. The federal PACT Act requires delivery sellers to comply with shipping requirements.
Iowa does not have any specific age verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products. However, the federal PACT Act age verification requirements for the shipping of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products apply.
Iowa imposes a tax on all tobacco products in the state and on any person engaged in business as a distributor of tobacco products. The tax is imposed at the time the distributor: brings, or causes to be brought into Iowa, tobacco products for sale; or ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in Iowa, to be sold by those retailers.