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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE IX TAXATION
  • CHAPTER 64C CIGARETTE EXCISE
  • Section 2E Sale of cigarettes in violation of testing and performance standard requirements; civil penalties; inspections; action by attorney general; inclusion in directory of tobacco product manufacturers

Section 2E. (a) Any manufacturer, wholesale dealer, agent or any other person or entity who knowingly sells cigarettes, other than through retail sale, in violation of section 2B shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per each such sale of such cigarettes for a first violation and a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 per each such sale of cigarettes for a second or subsequent violation. Any retail dealer who knowingly sells cigarettes in violation of section 2B shall be subject to the following: (i) a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for a first violation, and a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for a second or subsequent violation, per each such sale or offer for sale of cigarettes, if the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale in a transaction does not exceed 1,000 cigarettes; and (ii) to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for a first violation and a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for a second or subsequent violation, per each such sale or offer for sale of cigarettes if the total number of cigarettes sold or offered for sale in a transaction is 1,000 cigarettes or more. In addition to any penalty prescribed by law, any corporation, partnership, sole proprietor, limited partnership or association engaged in the manufacture of cigarettes that knowingly makes a false certification pursuant to section 2C shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for a first violation, and a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 for a subsequent violation, for each such false certification made. Any person violating any other provision in this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for a first violation and a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for a second or subsequent violation, for each such violation. Any cigarettes that have been sold or offered for sale that do not comply with the safety standard required by section 2B shall be deemed contraband and subject to seizure and disposal by the commonwealth.

(b) The secretary shall enforce sections 2B to 2F, inclusive and promulgate regulations as necessary to implement and administer said sections.

(c) The secretary may, in consultation with the commissioner of revenue and the attorney general, promulgate regulations to conduct random inspections of wholesale dealers, agents and retail dealers to ensure that only cigarettes complying with sections 2B to 2E, inclusive, are sold in the commonwealth.

(d) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general may file an action in state court for a violation of sections 2B to 2E, inclusive, including petitioning for injunctive relief or to recover any costs or damages suffered by the commonwealth due to a violation of such sections, including enforcement costs relating to the specific violation and attorney’s fees. In any such action, the attorney general shall have the same authority to investigate and to obtain remedies as if the action were brought under chapter 93A. Each violation of sections 2B to 2E, inclusive, or of regulations adopted under this section constitutes a separate civil violation for which the attorney general may obtain relief.

(e) Each cigarette that is subject to sections 2B to 2E, inclusive, for which a certification in accordance with section 2C has not been filed, and the manufacturer thereof shall not be eligible for inclusion in the directory of tobacco product manufacturers and cigarette brand families maintained pursuant to chapter 94F and no person shall: (1) affix an excise stamp to a package or other container of such cigarettes; or (2) sell, offer or possess for sale such cigarettes, unless and until certification in compliance with section 2C has been filed for such cigarettes and all penalties, costs or fees resulting from a violation of sections 2B to 2E, inclusive, relative to such cigarettes have been paid.