TITLE 30

State Taxes

Commodity Taxes

CHAPTER 53. TOBACCO PRODUCT TAX

Subchapter IV. Penalties and Enforcement


(a) Whoever sells any pack of tobacco products which does not have affixed thereto the proper amount of Delaware tobacco product tax stamps; or

(b) Whoever being a dealer refuses to permit the Department to examine such dealer's books and records, stock of tobacco products or premises and equipment in order to verify the accuracy of the tax payments imposed by this chapter; or

(c) Whoever falsely or fraudulently makes, forges, alters or counterfeits any stamp prescribed by the Department under this chapter or causes or procures to be falsely or fraudulently made, forged, altered or counterfeited any stamp, or knowingly and wilfully utters, publishes, passes or tenders as true any such false, altered, forged or counterfeited stamp, or uses more than once any stamp provided for and required by this chapter for the purpose of evading the tax hereby imposed and assessed;

shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 5341; 54 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Except as authorized by this chapter, no person, not being an affixing agent or not holding an unexpired exemption certificate, shall have in such person's possession within this State 10 or more packs or packages (or an equivalent amount unpackaged) of tobacco products upon which the Delaware tobacco product tax has not been paid, or to which Delaware tobacco product tax stamps are not affixed in the amount required.

(b) Whenever any tobacco products are found at the place of business of a dealer, whether a stamp affixing agent or not, and such tobacco products do not have the proper amount of stamps affixed and cancelled, or it is determined that the Delaware tobacco product tax has not been paid on such tobacco products, and the boxes, cartons or other containers have not been marked as having been received within 72 hours, such dealer shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, any violation of § 5317(b) of this title shall be punishable as a violation of subsection (b) of this section, except that the Superior Court in and for the county in which any element of the offense occurred shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over offenses under this subsection.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 5342; 54 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 55 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 27; 67 Del. Laws, c. 280, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 336, § 1.;

Whoever violates any provision of this chapter for which a specific penalty is not otherwise provided, and whoever violates any regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 5343; 54 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 55 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 2.;

Whenever a duty or liability is imposed under this chapter on the owner or operator of tobacco product vending machines, the owner and operator shall be jointly and severally liable for the performance of such duty or satisfaction of such liability.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 5344; 54 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 23.;

(a) Employees of the Department of Finance who are designated "tobacco product tax-enforcement officers" shall be peace officers and shall have the same police power and authority as constables throughout the State.

(b) Such officers may arrest on view, except in private homes, without warrant, any person actually engaged in the unlawful sale of unstamped tobacco products, or unlawfully having in such person's possession unstamped tobacco products, contrary to this chapter.

30 Del. C. 1953, § 5345; 54 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 23; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 16C; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No tobacco product tax stamp may be affixed to or made upon any package of cigarettes if:

(1) The package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act for the placement of labels, warnings or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States;

(2) The package is labeled "For Export Only," "U.S. Tax Exempt," "For Use Outside U.S.," or similar wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States;

(3) The package, or a package containing individually stamped packages, has been altered by adding or deleting the wording, labels or warnings described in paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section, including by the placement of a sticker on such package;

(4) Any person with respect to the cigarettes in such package is not in compliance with 15 U.S.C. § 1335a (relating to the submission of ingredient information to federal authorities);

(5) The package has been imported into the United States after January 1, 2000, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5754 or 19 U.S.C. §§ 1681 through 1681b; or

(6) The package in any way violates federal trademark or copyright laws or any law of this State.

(b) Any person who sells, acquires, holds, owns or possesses for sale or distribution in this State a cigarette package to which is affixed a tax stamp in violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both. Each cigarette package sold or held for sale shall be a separate violation.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may revoke any license issued under this chapter to any person who sell or holds for sale a cigarette package to which is affixed a tobacco product tax stamp in violation of subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall seize and destroy packages that do not comply with subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of subsection (a) of this section is a deceptive practice under the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (subchapter III of Chapter 25 of Title 6).

72 Del. Laws, c. 301, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 112, §§ 1-7; 73 Del. Laws, c. 286, § 1.;