California Cigarette & Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003 – Cigarette Manufacturer/Importer License

Who is required to obtain and maintain a Cigarette Manufacturer/Importer License?

In accordance with the Act, commencing January 1, 2004, every cigarette manufacturer and importer must obtain and maintain a license from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) in order to engage in the sale of cigarettes in California.

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

In order to be eligible for a license under this Act, every manufacturer or importer shall do all of the following:

  1. Register for a license using online registration.
  2. Submit to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration a completed Application and Certification for Manufacturer/Importer License (form CDTFA-400-LMI), and a list of all brand families that it manufacturers or imports.
  3. Update the list of brand families that it manufacturers or imports whenever it manufactures or imports a new brand or additional brand, or stops manufacturing or importing a listed brand.
  4. Consent to the jurisdiction of the California courts for the purpose of enforcing the Act, appoint a registered agent for service of process in this state, and identify that agent to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
  5. Certify when the license is granted and each year upon license renewal that all packages of cigarettes the licensee manufactures or imports and distributes in this state fully comply with subdivision (b) of Section 30163 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and that the cigarettes contained in those packages are the subject of filed reports that fully comply with all requirements of the federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 13355a et seq.) for the reporting of ingredients added to cigarettes.
  6. A manufacturer or importer that is a "tobacco product manufacturer" as defined in Health and Safety Code section 104556, subdivision (i) must certify to the CDTFA that it is a "participating manufacturer" as defined in subsection II(jj) of the "Master Settlement Agreement" (MSA), or is in full compliance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 104557 of the Health and Safety Code.

Will I need to apply for any other permits?

You may need to obtain a seller's permit or distributor's permit from the CDTFA's Business Tax and Fee Division before we can issue your cigarette manufacturer/importer license. For more information, call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 and select the Cigarette and Tobacco Products option. You may also need to comply with the Master Settlement Agreement or related statutes.

For more information, you may contact The Office of the Attorney General:

By telephone
1-916-565-6486 or fax 1-916-323-0813,

By Mail
The Office of the Attorney General,
Tobacco Litigation and Enforcement Section:
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.