14-401.18. Sale of certain packages of cigarettes prohibited.

(a) Definitions. - The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Cigarette. - Defined in G.S. 105-113.4.

(2) Package. - Defined in G.S. 105-113.4.

(b) Offenses. - A person who sells or holds for sale (other than for export to a foreign country) a package of cigarettes that meets one or more of the following descriptions commits a Class A1 misdemeanor and engages in an unfair trade practice prohibited by G.S. 75-1.1:

(1) The package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. 1331, for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States.

(2) The package is labeled "For Export Only," "U.S. Tax Exempt," "For Use Outside U.S.," or has similar wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States.

(3) The package was altered by adding or deleting the wording, labels, or warnings described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection.

(4) The package was imported into the United States after January 1, 2000, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 5754.

(5) The package violates federal trademark or copyright laws, federal laws governing the submission of ingredient information to federal authorities pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1335a, federal laws governing the import of certain cigarettes pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1681 and 19 U.S.C. 1681b, or any other provision of federal law or regulation.

(c) Contraband. - A package of cigarettes described in subsection (b) of this section is contraband and may be seized by a law enforcement officer. The procedure for seizure and disposition of this contraband is the same as the procedure under G.S. 105-113.31 and G.S. 105-113.32 for non-tax-paid cigarettes. (1999-333, s. 5; 2002-145, s. 4.)