(a) Any person who ships, sells, or distributes any quantity of cigarettes in excess of 10,000, or any quantity of smokeless tobacco in excess of 500 single-unit consumer-sized cans or packages, in a single transaction shall maintain such information about the shipment, receipt, sale, and distribution of cigarettes as the Attorney General may prescribe by rule or regulation. The Attorney General may require such person to keep such information as the Attorney General considers appropriate for purposes of enforcement of this chapter, including–

Terms Used In 18 USC 2343

  • Attorney General: means the Attorney General of the United States. See 18 USC 2341
  • interstate commerce: as used in this title , includes commerce between one State, Territory, Possession, or the District of Columbia and another State, Territory, Possession, or the District of Columbia. See
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • smokeless tobacco: means any finely cut, ground, powdered, or leaf tobacco that is intended to be placed in the oral or nasal cavity or otherwise consumed without being combusted. See 18 USC 2341
  • State: means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. See 18 USC 2341
  • United States: as used in this title in a territorial sense, includes all places and waters, continental or insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, except the Canal Zone. See 18 USC 5
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
  • whoever: include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals. See 1 USC 1

(1) the name, address, destination (including street address), vehicle license number, driver’s license number, signature of the person receiving such cigarettes, and the name of the purchaser;

(2) a declaration of the specific purpose of the receipt (personal use, resale, or delivery to another); and

(3) a declaration of the name and address of the recipient’s principal in all cases when the recipient is acting as an agent.


Such information shall be contained on business records kept in the normal course of business.

(b) Any person, except for a tribal government, who engages in a delivery sale, and who ships, sells, or distributes any quantity in excess of 10,000 cigarettes, or any quantity in excess of 500 single-unit consumer-sized cans or packages of smokeless tobacco, or their equivalent, within a single month, shall submit to the Attorney General, pursuant to rules or regulations prescribed by the Attorney General, a report that sets forth the following:

(1) The person’s beginning and ending inventory of cigarettes and cans or packages of smokeless tobacco (in total) for such month.

(2) The total quantity of cigarettes and cans or packages of smokeless tobacco that the person received within such month from each other person (itemized by name and address).

(3) The total quantity of cigarettes and cans or packages of smokeless tobacco that the person distributed within such month to each person (itemized by name and address) other than a retail purchaser.


(c)(1) Any officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives may, during normal business hours, enter the premises of any person described in subsection (a) or (b) for the purposes of inspecting–

(A) any records or information required to be maintained by the person under this chapter; or

(B) any cigarettes or smokeless tobacco kept or stored by the person at the premises.


(2) The district courts of the United States shall have the authority in a civil action under this subsection to compel inspections authorized by paragraph (1).

(3) Whoever denies access to an officer under paragraph (1), or who fails to comply with an order issued under paragraph (2), shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000.

(d) Any report required to be submitted under this chapter to the Attorney General shall also be submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury and to the attorneys general and the tax administrators of the States from where the shipments, deliveries, or distributions both originated and concluded.

(e) In this section, the term “delivery sale” means any sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in interstate commerce to a consumer if–

(1) the consumer submits the order for such sale by means of a telephone or other method of voice transmission, the mails, or the Internet or other online service, or by any other means where the consumer is not in the same physical location as the seller when the purchase or offer of sale is made; or

(2) the cigarettes or smokeless tobacco are delivered by use of the mails, common carrier, private delivery service, or any other means where the consumer is not in the same physical location as the seller when the consumer obtains physical possession of the cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.


(f) In this section, the term “interstate commerce” means commerce between a State and any place outside the State, or commerce between points in the same State but through any place outside the State.