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Chapter 70.158 RCW

TOBACCO PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS

RCW Sections

70.158.010Findings.
70.158.020Definitions.
70.158.030Tobacco product manufacturers -- Certification -- Attorney general to publish directory -- Violations.
70.158.040Nonresident, nonparticipating manufacturers -- Agent for service of process.
70.158.050Reports, records -- Confidentiality, disclosures, voluntary waivers -- Escrow payments.
70.158.060Penalties -- Application of consumer protection act.
70.158.070Attorney general's directory decision to be final agency action -- Due dates for reports, certifications, directory -- Rules -- Costs -- Penalties.
70.158.900Conflict of law -- Severability -- 2003 c 25.
70.158.901Effective date -- 2003 c 25.


70.158.010
Findings.

The legislature finds that violations of RCW 70.157.020 threaten the integrity of the tobacco master settlement agreement, the fiscal soundness of the state, and the public health. The legislature finds the enacting procedural enhancements will help prevent violations and aid the enforcement of RCW 70.157.020 and thereby safeguard the master settlement agreement, the fiscal soundness of the state, and the public health. The provisions of chapter 25, Laws of 2003 are not intended to and shall not be interpreted to amend chapter 70.157 RCW.

[2003 c 25 § 1.]




70.158.020
Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

     (1) "Brand family" means all styles of cigarettes sold under the same trademark and differentiated from one another by means of additional modifiers or descriptors, including, but not limited to, "menthol," "lights," "kings," and "100s," and includes any brand name alone or in conjunction with any other word, trademark, logo, symbol, motto, selling message, recognizable pattern of colors, or any other indicia of product identification identical or similar to, or identifiable with, a previously known brand of cigarettes.

     (2) "Board" means the liquor control board.

     (3) "Cigarette" has the same meaning as in RCW
70.157.010(d).

     (4) "Director" means the director of the department of revenue except as otherwise noted.

     (5) "Directory" means the directory to be created and published on a web site by the attorney general pursuant to RCW 70.158.030(2).

     (6) "Distributor" has the same meaning as in *RCW 82.26.010(3), except that for purposes of this chapter, no person is a distributor if that person does not deal with cigarettes as defined in this section.

     (7) "Master settlement agreement" has the same meaning as in RCW 70.157.010(e).

     (8) "Nonparticipating manufacturer" means any tobacco product manufacturer that is not a participating manufacturer.

     (9) "Participating manufacturer" has the meaning given that term in section II(jj) of the master settlement agreement.

     (10) "Qualified escrow fund" has the same meaning as in RCW 70.157.010(f).

     (11) "Stamp" means "stamp" as defined in **RCW 82.24.010(7) or as referred to in RCW 43.06.455(4).

     (12) "Tobacco product manufacturer" has the same meaning as in RCW 70.157.010(i).

     (13) "Units sold" has the same meaning as in RCW 70.157.010(j).

     (14) "Wholesaler" has the same meaning as in RCW 82.24.010.

[2003 c 25 § 2.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 82.26.010 was alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k), changing subsection (3) to subsection (8).

     **(2) RCW 82.24.010 was amended by 2012 2nd sp.s. c 4 § 1, changing subsection (7) to subsection (11).




70.158.030
Tobacco product manufacturers — Certification — Attorney general to publish directory — Violations.

(1) Every tobacco product manufacturer whose cigarettes are sold in this state, whether directly or through a wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary or intermediaries, shall execute and deliver on a form prescribed by the attorney general a certification to the attorney general, no later than the thirtieth day of April each year, certifying under penalty of perjury that, as of the date of such certification, the tobacco product manufacturer is either a participating manufacturer; or is in full compliance with RCW 70.157.020(b)(1), including all payments required by that section or chapter 25, Laws of 2003.

     (a) A participating manufacturer shall include in its certification a list of its brand families. The participating manufacturer shall update the list thirty calendar days prior to any addition to or modification of its brand families by executing and delivering a supplemental certification to the attorney general.

     (b) A nonparticipating manufacturer shall include in its certification: (i) A list of all of its brand families and the number of units sold for each brand family that were sold in the state during the preceding calendar year; (ii) a list of all of its brand families that have been sold in the state at anytime during the current calendar year; (iii) indicating, by an asterisk, any brand family sold in the state during the preceding calendar year that is no longer being sold in the state as of the date of such certification; and (iv) identifying by name and address any other manufacturer of brand families in the preceding or current calendar year. The nonparticipating manufacturer shall update the list thirty calendar days prior to any addition to or modification of its brand families by executing and delivering a supplemental certification to the attorney general.

     (c) In the case of a nonparticipating manufacturer, the certification shall further certify:

     (i) That the nonparticipating manufacturer is registered to do business in the state or has appointed a resident agent for service of process and provided notice as required by RCW 70.158.040;

     (ii) That the nonparticipating manufacturer: (A) Has established and continues to maintain a qualified escrow fund; and (B) has executed a qualified escrow agreement that has been reviewed and approved by the attorney general and that governs the qualified escrow fund;

     (iii) That the nonparticipating manufacturer is in full compliance with RCW 70.157.020(b)(1) and this chapter, and any rules adopted pursuant thereto; and

     (iv)(A) The name, address, and telephone number of the financial institution where the nonparticipating manufacturer has established a qualified escrow fund required pursuant to RCW 70.157.020(b)(1) and all rules adopted thereunder; (B) the account number of the qualified escrow fund and any subaccount number for the state of Washington; (C) the amount the nonparticipating manufacturer placed in the fund for cigarettes sold in the state during the preceding calendar year, the date and amount of each deposit, and evidence or verification as may be deemed necessary by the attorney general to confirm the foregoing; and (D) the amount and date of any withdrawal or transfer of funds the nonparticipating manufacturer made at any time from the fund or from any other qualified escrow fund into which it ever made escrow payments pursuant to RCW 70.157.020(b)(1) and all rules adopted thereunder.

     (d) A tobacco product manufacturer may not include a brand family in its certification unless: (i) In the case of a participating manufacturer, the participating manufacturer affirms that the brand family is to be deemed to be its cigarettes for purposes of calculating its payments under the master settlement agreement for the relevant year, in the volume and shares determined pursuant to the master settlement agreement; and (ii) in the case of a nonparticipating manufacturer, the nonparticipating manufacturer affirms that the brand family is to be deemed to be its cigarettes for purposes of RCW 70.157.020(b)(1). Nothing in this section limits or otherwise affects the state's right to maintain that a brand family constitutes cigarettes of a different tobacco product manufacturer for purposes of calculating payments under the master settlement agreement or for purposes of RCW 70.157.020.

     (e) A tobacco product manufacturer shall maintain all invoices and documentation of sales and other information relied upon for such certification for a period of five years, unless otherwise required by law to maintain them for a greater period of time.

     (2) Not later than November 1, 2003, the attorney general shall develop and publish on its web site a directory listing all tobacco product manufacturers that have provided current and accurate certifications conforming to the requirements of this section and all brand families that are listed in these certifications, except as noted below:

     (a) The attorney general shall not include or retain in the directory the name or brand families of any nonparticipating manufacturer that has failed to provide the required certification or whose certification the attorney general determines is not in compliance with subsection (1)(b) and (c) of this section, unless the attorney general has determined that the violation has been cured to the satisfaction of the attorney general.

     (b) Neither a tobacco product manufacturer nor brand family shall be included or retained in the directory if the attorney general concludes, in the case of a nonparticipating manufacturer, that: (i) Any escrow payment required pursuant to RCW 70.157.020(b)(1) for any period for any brand family, whether or not listed by the nonparticipating manufacturer, has not been fully paid into a qualified escrow fund governed by a qualified escrow agreement that has been approved by the attorney general; or (ii) any outstanding final judgment, including interest, for a violation of RCW 70.157.020(b)(1) that has not been fully satisfied for the brand family or manufacturer.

     (c) The attorney general shall update the directory as necessary in order to correct mistakes and to add or remove a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family to keep the directory in conformity with the requirements of this chapter. The attorney general shall transmit, by e-mail or other practicable means to each wholesaler or distributor, notice of any addition to or removal from the directory of any tobacco product manufacturer or brand family. Unless otherwise provided by agreement between the wholesaler or distributor and a tobacco product manufacturer, the wholesaler or distributor shall be entitled to a refund from a tobacco product manufacturer for any money paid by the wholesaler or distributor to the tobacco product manufacturer for any cigarettes of the tobacco product manufacturer still held by the wholesaler or distributor on the date of notice by the attorney general of the removal from the directory of that tobacco product manufacturer or the brand family of the cigarettes. The attorney general shall not restore to the directory the tobacco product manufacturer or the brand family until the tobacco product manufacturer has paid the wholesaler or distributor any refund due.

     (d) Every wholesaler and distributor shall provide and update as necessary an electronic mail address to the attorney general for the purpose of receiving any notifications as may be required by this chapter.

     (e) A tobacco product manufacturer included in the directory may request that a new brand family be certified and added to the directory. Within forty-five business days of receiving the request, the attorney general will respond by either: (i) Certifying the new brand family; or (ii) denying the request. However, in cases where the attorney general determines that it needs clarification as to whether the requestor is actually the tobacco product manufacturer, the attorney general may take more time as needed to clarify the request, to locate and assemble information or documents needed to process the request, and to notify persons or agencies affected by the request.

     (f) The web site will state that chapter 25, Laws of 2003 applies only to cigarettes including, pursuant to the definition of "cigarettes" in chapter 25, Laws of 2003, roll-your-own tobacco.

     (3) It is unlawful for any person (a) to affix a stamp to a package or other container of cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory, or to pay or cause to be paid the tobacco products tax on any package or container; or (b) to sell, offer, or possess for sale in this state or import for sale in this state, any cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory.

[2003 c 25 § 3.]




70.158.040
Nonresident, nonparticipating manufacturers — Agent for service of process.

(1) Any nonresident or foreign nonparticipating manufacturer that has not registered to do business in the state as a foreign corporation or business entity shall, as a condition precedent to having its brand families included or retained in the directory, appoint and continually engage without interruption the services of an agent in this state to act as agent for the service of process on whom all process, and any action or proceeding against it concerning or arising out of the enforcement of this chapter and RCW 70.157.020(b)(1), may be served in any manner authorized by law. The service shall constitute legal and valid service of process on the nonparticipating manufacturer. The nonparticipating manufacturer shall provide the name, address, phone number, and proof of the appointment and availability of the agent to the satisfaction of the attorney general.

     (2) The nonparticipating manufacturer shall provide notice to the attorney general thirty calendar days prior to termination of the authority of an agent and shall further provide proof to the satisfaction of the attorney general of the appointment of a new agent no less than five calendar days prior to the termination of an existing agent appointment. In the event an agent terminates an agency appointment, the nonparticipating manufacturer shall notify the attorney general of the termination within five calendar days and include proof to the satisfaction of the attorney general of the appointment of a new agent.

     (3) Any nonparticipating manufacturer whose cigarettes are sold in this state, who has not appointed and engaged an agent as required in this section, shall be deemed to have appointed the secretary of state as the agent and may be proceeded against in courts of this state by service of process upon the secretary of state. However, the appointment of the secretary of state as agent shall not satisfy the condition precedent for having the brand families of the nonparticipating manufacturer included or retained in the directory.

[2003 c 25 § 4.]




70.158.050
Reports, records — Confidentiality, disclosures, voluntary waivers — Escrow payments.

(1) In addition to the reporting requirements under *RCW 70.157.010(j) and the rules adopted thereunder, not later than twenty-five calendar days after the end of each calendar month, and more frequently if directed by the director, each wholesaler and distributor shall submit information the director requires to facilitate compliance with this chapter, including, but not limited to, a list by brand family of the total number of cigarettes, or, in the case of roll-your-own, the equivalent stick count for which the wholesaler or distributor affixed stamps during the previous calendar month or otherwise paid the tax due for the cigarettes. Each wholesaler and distributor shall maintain and make available to the director, all invoices and documentation of sales of all nonparticipating manufacturer cigarettes and any other information relied upon in reporting to the attorney general or the director for a period of five years.

     (2) Information or records required to be furnished to the department, the board, or the attorney general are confidential and shall not be disclosed. However, the director and the board are authorized to disclose to the attorney general any information received under this chapter and requested by the attorney general for purposes of determining compliance with and enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The director, the board, and the attorney general may share with each other the information received under this chapter, and may share information with other federal, state, or local agencies, including without limitation the board, only for purposes of enforcement of this chapter, RCW 70.157.020, or corresponding laws of other states. If a tobacco product manufacturer that is required to establish a qualified escrow fund under RCW 70.157.020 disputes the attorney general's determination of what that manufacturer needs to place into escrow, and the attorney general determines that the dispute can likely be resolved by disclosing reports from the relevant distributors and wholesalers indicating the sales or purchases of the tobacco manufacturer's products, then the attorney general shall request voluntary waivers of confidentiality so that the reports may be disclosed to the tobacco product manufacturer to help resolve the dispute. If the waivers are provided, then the director and the attorney general are authorized to disclose the waived confidential information collected on the sales or purchases of cigarettes to the tobacco product manufacturer. However, before the attorney general or the director discloses the waived confidential information, the tobacco product manufacturer must provide to the attorney general all records relating to its sales or purchases of cigarettes in dispute. The information provided to a tobacco product manufacturer pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be limited to brands or products of that manufacturer only, may be used only for the limited purpose of determining the appropriate escrow deposit, and may not be disclosed by the tobacco product manufacturer.

     (3) The attorney general may require at any time from the nonparticipating manufacturer proof, from the financial institution in which the manufacturer has established a qualified escrow fund for the purpose of compliance with RCW 70.157.020(b)(1), of the amount of money in the fund, exclusive of interest, the amount and date of each deposit to the fund, and the amount and date of each withdrawal from the fund.

     (4) In addition to the information required to be submitted pursuant to RCW 70.158.030, this section, and chapters 82.24 and 82.26 RCW, the director, the board, or the attorney general may require a wholesaler, distributor, or tobacco product manufacturer to submit any additional information including, but not limited to, samples of the packaging or labeling of each brand family, as is necessary to enable the attorney general to determine whether a tobacco product manufacturer is in compliance with this chapter. If the director, the board, or the attorney general makes a request for information pursuant to this subsection (4), the tobacco product manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler shall comply promptly.

     (5) A nonparticipating manufacturer that either: (a) Has not previously made escrow payments to the state of Washington pursuant to RCW 70.157.020; or (b) has not actually made any escrow payments for more than one year, shall make the required escrow deposits in quarterly installments during the first year in which the sales covered by the deposits are made or in the first year in which the payments are made. The director or the attorney general may require production of information sufficient to enable the attorney general to determine the adequacy of the amount of the installment deposit.

[2003 c 25 § 5.]

Notes:

     *Reviser's note: For rules and reporting requirements adopted pursuant to RCW 70.157.010, see WAC 458-20-264.




70.158.060
Penalties — Application of consumer protection act.

(1) In addition to or in lieu of any other civil or criminal remedy provided by law, upon a determination that a wholesaler has violated RCW 70.158.030(3) or any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter, the director or the board may revoke or suspend the license of the wholesaler in the manner provided by chapter 82.24 or 82.32 RCW. Each stamp affixed and each sale or offer to sell cigarettes in violation of RCW 70.158.030(3) shall constitute a separate violation. For each violation of this chapter, the director or the board may also impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed the greater of five hundred percent of the retail value of the cigarettes or five thousand dollars upon a determination of violation of RCW 70.158.030(3) or any rules adopted pursuant thereto. The penalty shall be imposed in the manner provided by chapter 82.24 RCW.

     (2) The attorney general may seek an injunction in superior court to restrain a threatened or actual violation of RCW 70.158.030(3) or 70.158.050 (1) or (4) by a person and to compel the person to comply with these sections. In any action brought pursuant to this section, the state shall be entitled to recover the costs of investigation, costs of the action, and reasonable attorney fees.

     (3) It is unlawful for a person to: (a) Sell or distribute cigarettes or (b) acquire, hold, own, possess, transport, import, or cause to be imported cigarettes, that the person knows or should know are intended for distribution or sale in the state in violation of RCW 70.158.030(3). A violation of this subsection (3) is a gross misdemeanor.

     (4) Any violation of this chapter is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and is an unfair and deceptive act or practice and an unfair method of competition in the conduct of trade or commerce in violation of RCW 19.86.020. Standing to bring an action to enforce RCW 19.86.020 for violation of this chapter shall lie solely with the attorney general. Remedies provided by chapter 19.86 RCW are cumulative and not exclusive.

[2003 c 25 § 6.]




70.158.070
Attorney general's directory decision to be final agency action — Due dates for reports, certifications, directory — Rules — Costs — Penalties.

(1) A determination of the attorney general not to include or to remove from the directory a brand family or tobacco product manufacturer shall be final agency action for purposes of review under RCW 34.05.570(4).

     (2) No person shall be issued a license or granted a renewal of a license to act as a wholesaler unless the person has certified in writing under penalty of perjury, that the person will comply fully with this section.

     (3) The first reports of wholesalers and distributors are due August 25, 2003. The certifications by a tobacco product manufacturer described in RCW 70.158.030(1) are due September 15, 2003. The directory described in RCW 70.158.030(2) shall be published or made available by November 1, 2003.

     (4) The attorney general, the board, and the director may adopt rules as necessary to effect the administration of this chapter.

     (5) In any action brought by the state to enforce this chapter, the state is entitled to recover the costs of investigation, expert witness fees, costs of the action, and reasonable attorney fees.

     (6) If a court determines that a person has violated this chapter, the court shall order any profits, gain, gross receipts, or other benefit from the violation to be disgorged and paid to the general fund. Unless otherwise expressly provided, the remedies or penalties provided by this chapter are cumulative to each other and to the remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this state.

[2003 c 25 § 7.]




70.158.900
Conflict of law — Severability — 2003 c 25.

If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that the provisions of chapter 25, Laws of 2003 and chapter 70.157 RCW conflict and cannot be harmonized, then the provisions of chapter 70.157 RCW shall control. If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of chapter 25, Laws of 2003 causes chapter 70.157 RCW no longer to constitute a qualifying or model statute, as those terms are defined in the master settlement agreement, then that portion of chapter 25, Laws of 2003 shall not be valid. If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of chapter 25, Laws of 2003 is for any reason held to be invalid, unlawful, or unconstitutional, the decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of chapter 25, Laws of 2003 or any part thereof.

[2003 c 25 § 8.]




70.158.901
Effective date — 2003 c 25.

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2003.

[2003 c 25 § 13.]