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Participating Manufacturers
Non-Participating Manufacturers
In 1998, the State of New Jersey along with 45 other states, the District of Columbia and 5 United States Territories entered into the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) to settle claims against the four largest tobacco manufacturers. Under the MSA, the manufactures agreed to certain restrictions on their marketing and the payment of compensation to offset State costs arising from the health problems associated with the use of their tobacco products. In addition, the MSA effectively changed how tobacco companies that sell cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco can do business in New Jersey.
Tobacco manufacturers who wish to sell their product in New Jersey are subject to two important statutes. Initially, in June 1999, the New Jersey Legislature enacted the Model Statute, N.J.S.A. 52:4D-1 et seq. Under the Model Statute, tobacco manufacturers must either become a party to the MSA and comply with its terms, or establish an escrow account and pay into such escrow account as a "non-participating manufacturer" in accordance with N.J.S.A. 52:4D-1 et seq. A tobacco manufacturer who fails to comply with either of these two requirements and sells its products in New Jersey, is subject to litigation and civil penalties.
Subsequently, in February 2003, the New Jersey Legislature enacted another statute entitled "An Act Concerning Certain Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.” N.J.S.A. 52:4D-4 et seq. This statute mandates that all manufacturers who wish to sell their product in New Jersey must first certify to the State to be included on one of the following approved Directories issued by the Attorney General: (1) the Participating Manufacturers Directory, for members of the MSA; and (2) the Non-Participating Manufacturers Directory, for non-members of the MSA. Each Directory includes the "brand families" that are allowed to be sold within New Jersey. The term "brand family" means all styles sold under the same trademark and differentiated from one another by means of additional modifiers or descriptors, such as menthol, lights, kings, or 100's, as defined in N.J.S.A. 52:4D-5.
It is unlawful for any person to stamp, sell, offer or possess for sale a package or container of cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or a brand family that is not published in the Attorney General’s Directories. Those who violate this legislation may face criminal and civil penalties. The maximum civil penalty is $5,000.00 per violation, or 500% of the retail value of the product sold, whichever is greater. In addition, persons who stamp, sell or possess for sale in New Jersey, a brand not included on the Attorney General’s Directories, may have their licenses suspended or revoked and any product found in their possession will be deemed contraband and will be seized and destroyed. Finally, profits gained in violation of this legislation will be disgorged and paid to the State Treasurer.
If a tobacco product manufacturer wishes to be added to these Directories, it should contact the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, Division of Law's Tobacco Enforcement Unit at 973-648-4846.
Please see the links below for certification forms and the Directories of approved brands.
Participating Manufacturers
Non-Participating Manufacturers
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