The Preventing All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) was created by Congress in 2010 and it authorizes ATF to prevent criminal organizations from profiting from the illegal sales of tobacco products and imposes penalties for avoiding sales tax payments.
The PACT Act has four major requirements:
- Regulate the mailing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to consumers through the U.S. Postal Service.
- Identify new requirements for registration, reporting, delivery, and recordkeeping including a List of Unregistered or Non-Compliant Delivery Sellers which is kept and compiled by ATF.
- Raises criminal penalties for felony violations to up to 3 years imprisonment.
- Provides ATF with inspection authority to examine any records required to be maintained and any cigarettes or smokeless tobacco kept on the premises.
PACT Act Amendment
On March 27, 2021, Congress amended the PACT Act to include new regulations regarding the delivery and sales of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which Vapes and e-Cigarettes, flavored and smokeless tobacco.
Individuals or businesses that sell, transfer or ship for profit any ENDS in interstate commerce, must now register with ATF in accordance with 15 U.S.C. §§ 375 and 376. They must also register with any states that they ship vapes into.
As part of the enforcement mission, ATF regularly collaborates with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Food and Drug Administrations’ Tobacco 21 enforcement teams to prevent sales and shipments of Vapes and e-Cigarettes to minors.
Delivery and Shipping Mandates
In accordance with 15 U.S.C. § 376a, anyone who engages in a “delivery sale” must comply with all of the following:
- Shipping and packaging requirements
- Recordkeeping requirements; and
- State and local laws, including imposed excise tax laws
- Native American sellers/distributors are also required to comply with the PACT Act. This also applies to transactions conducted between tribal nations.
Updated PACT Act Registration Requirements
Under the PACT Act, per 15 U.S.C. § 376, any person who sells, transfers or ships cigarettes or smokeless tobacco into a jurisdiction that taxes the sale or use of those commodities, or advertises such in interstate commerce shall:
- Register with ATF and with the tobacco tax administrators of each state and/or locality into which such shipments are made;
- File monthly reports with the tobacco tax administrators of each state and/or locality into which one or more shipments of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco were made during the previous calendar month.
- Verify state and local tobacco tax administrators’ required forms and procedures for each jurisdiction the seller operates in. Potential registrants are encouraged to verify their state and locality PACT Act requirements to make sure they are compliant with all laws.
Tobacco Sellers Reporting, Shipping and Tax Compliance Requirements
Tobacco sellers are required by federal, state, and local laws to meet sales reporting, tobacco product shipping and tax requirements to ensure they are compliant with cigarette regulations. View the information on Tobacco Sellers Reporting, Shipping and Tax Compliance Requirements page.
Report Suspected Violations
PACT Act violations and nominations for the PACT Act non-compliant list may be reported to email@example.com.
Submit all questions and comments about tobacco trafficking/diversion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PACT Act Information Guide
- PACT Act Law
- Registering as a Foreign Manufacturer Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. Section 376(September 4, 2013)
- TTB Ruling 2010-4 - Cigarette-making Machines in Retail Establishments (November 4, 2010 - please read notice)
- State’s Excise Taxes on Cigarette Packs
Submit Registration to:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
99 New York Ave. NE
c/o 90 K Street NE, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20226
Send your alcohol and tobacco enforcement questions and comments to: ATEBMailbox@atf.gov.