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70.158.020  <<  70.158.030 >>   70.158.040

RCW 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.]