Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

May 01, 2012 09:33 ET

Federal Excise Stamp Mandatory on Tobacco Products as of July 1, 2012

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2012) -

Editors' Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Government of Canada announced today that, effective July 1, 2012, all tobacco products for sale anywhere in the Canadian market must carry the federal excise stamp. No person shall sell, offer for sale, or possess these tobacco products unless they are stamped in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001. Any person who contravenes this requirement is liable to a fine, imprisonment, or both.

The excise stamp indicates that federal excise duty has been paid and that the product was manufactured legally. It has state-of-the-art visible and hidden identifiers and security features similar to those found on Canadian banknotes, such as unique colour-shift ink that changes from red to green when the stamp is tilted. The stamp also has hidden security features that only federal and provincial law enforcement agencies can detect.

These features allow law enforcement agencies, retailers, and consumers to more easily identify counterfeit and contraband tobacco products. The federal excise stamp is distributed through a secure process administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Since April 1, 2011, the new excise tobacco stamp has been mandatory on all new tobacco products destined for the Canadian duty-paid market. However, for a limited transition period following that date, tobacco products in the market place were still allowed to have the former tear-tapes or paper stamps until inventories of the older products were depleted.

As of July 1, 2012, the transition period will be over, and cigarettes, tobacco sticks, and fine-cut tobacco products for sale anywhere in the Canadian market must carry the federal excise stamp to be legal. To accommodate the longer shelf life of cigars, tear-tapes or paper stamps can continue to be used for a limited period of time.

Along with the new federal stamp, mandatory provincial tear-tape markings may continue to appear on tobacco product packages. However, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta will participate in a combined tobacco stamping regime, which introduces stamps that display both federal and provincial requirements. Other provinces and/or territories may join as well. Information about provincial or territorial participation and implementation dates will be communicated by the relevant provincial or territorial authority.

For more details on the excise stamp, go to www.cra.gc.ca/stampingregime.

For broadcast use:

The Government of Canada announced today that, effective July 1, 2012, all cigarettes, tobacco sticks and fine-cut tobacco for sale anywhere in the Canadian market must carry the federal excise tobacco stamp. The stamp's visible and hidden identifiers and security features allow law enforcement agencies, retailers, and consumers to more easily identify counterfeit and contraband tobacco products. After that date, any person who sells, offers for sale, or possesses tobacco products without the stamp is liable to a fine, imprisonment, or both.

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To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120501-stamp_800.jpg

Contact Information

  • Noel Carisse
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency
    613-952-9184