Minnesota has requirements for the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. A tobacco retailer shipping tobacco products must clearly mark the outside of the package of tobacco products to be shipped “tobacco products – adult signature required” and show the name of the tobacco retailer. Tobacco retailers must also utilize a delivery service that comply with age verification requirements. Age verification requirements also apply to the acceptance of an order for a delivery sale of tobacco products.
If an order is made as a result of advertisement over the Internet, a tobacco retailer is required to request the e-mail address of the purchaser and must receive payment by credit card or check prior to shipping.
In addition, prior to making delivery sales or shipping tobacco products in connection with any sales, an out-of-state retailer must file a statement with the Department of Revenue setting forth the out-of-state retailer’s name, trade name, and the address of the out-of-state retailer’s principal place of business and any other place of business.
Further, the transportation of tobacco products into Minnesota by means other than common carrier must be reported to the commissioner within 30 days with the following exceptions:
transportation of not more than 50 cigars, not more then ten ounces of snuff or snuff powder, or not more than one pound of smoking or chewing tobacco or other tobacco products not specifically mentioned;
transportation by a person with a place of business outside the state, who is licensed as a distributor under this chapter, of tobacco products sold by the person to a retailer in this state.
Common carriers transporting tobacco products into Minnesota must file reports of all shipments other than those which are delivered to public warehouses of first destination in Minnesota.
Records of all deliveries or shipments of tobacco products from any public warehouse of first destination in Minnesota must be kept by the warehouse and made available for inspection.
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.
In Minnesota, all distributors and subjobbers, including those located outside Minnesota, must be licensed before they can sell or distribute tobacco products. A separate license is required for each location from which tobacco products are sold at retail.
A tobacco distributor is defined to include a person who:
brings tobacco products into Minnesota;
ships or transports tobacco products to Minnesota retailers to be sold by those retailers.
A tobacco subjobber is defined to include a person who:
acquires tobacco products from a distributor to sell to retailers; or
is a licensed distributor who delivers, sells or distributes tobacco products from a business not covered in a distributor’s license.
Additional information about licensing in Minnesota is available at the Operating Your Business link above.
A tobacco retailer must utilize a delivery service that imposes the following requirements:
An adult must sign for the delivery; and
The person signing for the delivery must show valid government-issued identification that contains a photograph of the person signing for the delivery and indicates that the person signing for the delivery is of legal age to purchase tobacco products and resides at the delivery address.
The retailer must provide delivery instructions that clearly indicate the above requirements and must declare that state law requires compliance with the requirements.
In addition, when accepting the first order for a delivery sale from a consumer, a tobacco retailer must obtain the following information from the person placing the order:
A copy of a valid government-issued document that provides the person’s name, current address, photograph, and date of birth; and
An original written statement signed by the person documenting that the person:
is of legal age to purchase tobacco products in the state;
has made a choice whether to receive mailings from a tobacco retailer;
understands that providing false information may be a violation of law; and
understands that it is a violation of law to purchase tobacco products for subsequent resale or for delivery to persons who are under the legal age to purchase tobacco products.
Minnesota imposes a tax on all tobacco products in the state and on any person engaged in business as a distributor. For shipping purposes, the tax is imposed at the time the distributor: brings, or causes to be brought into the state from outside the state tobacco products for sale; or ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in this state, to be sold by those retailers.
For sales beginning July 1, 2015: For tobacco received by a distributor located in Minnesota: The distributor is liable for the tobacco excise tax. For tobacco sales from a distributor located outside Minnesota: The distributor is liable for the tobacco excise tax when selling to a retailer in Minnesota, but is not liable when selling to a distributor located in Minnesota.
Tobacco distributors and wholesalers are required to file monthly tax returns. This requirement applies to licensed distributors outside of Minnesota as well. All tobacco tax returns and payments are due on the 18th day of the month following the end of the reporting month. A return must be filed even if there is no tax liability for that month.