California Cigarette & Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003

Tobacco Products Manufacturer/Importer License

Who is required to obtain and maintain a tobacco products manufacturer/importer license?

The law requires all manufacturers or importers of tobacco products such as all forms of cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff, as well as other products containing at least 50 percent tobacco, to obtain and maintain a license under the Licensing Act of 2003 (AB 71) to engage in the sale of tobacco products.

What are the requirements to obtain and maintain a Tobacco Products Manufacturer/Importer License?

In order to be eligible for obtaining and maintaining a license, a manufacturer or importer is required to do all of the following in the manner specified by the Board of Equalization (Board):

  • Submit to the Board a list of all tobacco products they manufacture or import.
  • Update the list of all tobacco products they manufacture or import whenever a new or additional product is manufactured or imported or a listed product is no longer manufactured or imported.
  • Consent to jurisdiction of the California courts for the purpose of enforcement of this division and appoint a registered agent for service of process in this state and identify the registered agent to the Board.
  • Require manufacturers or importers of tobacco products holding a license to file a monthly report with the Board, in a manner specified by the Board, which may be, but not limited to, electronic media.

Is there a fee for a manufacturer or importer license?

Yes. A manufacturer or importer of chewing tobacco or snuff is required to submit an application with a one-time license fee of ten thousand dollars ($10,000). A manufacturer or importer of tobacco products, excluding chewing tobacco or snuff, is required to submit an application with a one-time license fee of two thousand dollars ($2,000). However, the one-time license fee for a manufacturer or importer of tobacco products is limited to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

How do I apply for a manufacturers and Importers license?

You must complete and submit the BOE-400-LT, Application for a Manufacturer/Importer Tobacco Product License.

Will I need to apply for any other permits?

You may also need to obtain a seller's permit from the Board of Equalization's Sales and Use Tax Department or a distributor's permit from the Excise Taxes Division before we can issue your manufacturer/importer license. For more information, call our Information Center at 800-400-7115 and select the Cigarette and Tobacco Products option. You may also need to comply with the Master Settlement Agreement or related statutes.

What are the filing requirements?

As a manufacturer and/or importer you are required to file monthly reports with us. The reports are required to include:

  • A list of all licensed distributors that received the manufacturer’s or importer’s tobacco products.
  • The total wholesale cost of the products.
  • Other information as requested by the Board.
  • Manufacturers and importers of tobacco products will be subject to the same invoicing and record-keeping requirements, and penalty provisions for violations of the licensing Act as manufacturers and importers of cigarettes, as provided in existing law.