Information Release

XT 2003-01 - Tax Division Information Release - Notice About Master Cigarette Settlement Agreement (MSA) - January 6, 2003

Default Judgments Issued

The Franklin County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas, at the request of the Ohio Attorney General, granted default judgments against Sable Waghire & Co., Ltd. (Sable Waghire), Southern Tobacco (Southern), and Sterling Tobacco International, Inc. (Sterling). The judgments prohibit Sable Waghire, Southern, and Sterling from selling cigarettes to consumers within Ohio, whether directly or through a distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary or intermediaries. The judgment against Sable Waghire includes, but is not limited to, the Shivsagar and Irie brands and is effective immediately and lasts until November 13, 2004. The judgment against Southern includes, but is not limited to, the Golden and Dynamic brands and is effective immediately and lasts until November 27, 2004. The judgment against Sterling includes, but is not limited to, the Camron brand and is effective immediately and lasts until December 12, 2004.

The default judgments prohibit the sale, but not the possession, of brands manufactured or distributed by the above companies. Wholesalers, if necessary, may apply for a refund of the Ohio cigarette tax if the stamped packages are returned to the manufacturer in accordance with Ohio Administrative Rule 5703-15-15 or sold out-of-state after the Ohio stamps are removed from the package.

Complaints

The Ohio Attorney General's Office filed complaints with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas against several companies for failure to make payments to a qualified escrow account. The complaints seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief ordering those companies not to sell cigarettes to con-sumers in Ohio either directly or through a distributor.

The companies are as follows:

  • Bulgartabac Holding Group
  • G.A. Keranis, S.A.
  • G.B. Tobacco International, LTD.
  • GTC Industries, LTD.
  • Sarda Group
    • d.b.a. Sinnar Bidi Udyog, LTD. and/or Kisanlal Bastiram Sarda
  • Third Millennium Cigars and Associates, Inc.
    • a.k.a. Third Millennium Tobacco Corp.

Any injunctions issued against these companies may prohibit the sale, but not the possession, of their products in the state of Ohio. Wholesalers, if necessary, may apply for a refund of the Ohio cigarette tax if the stamped packages are returned to the manufacturer in accordance with Ohio Administrative Rule 5703-15-15 or sold out-of-state after the Ohio stamps are removed from the package. We will notify you if any injunctions are issued.

New Signatory

Liberty Brands is a new signatory to the Master Cigarette Settlement Agreement. The covered brands are All Star, Always Save, Best Choice, Blue Star, Cabo Gold, Cajun Gold, Knights, Leawood, Lib-erty, Roscoe, and Zone. These brands should no longer be reported on your Master Settlement Agree-ment Report (Form ET-60). This change is effective immediately and is retroactive to July 1, 2000.

Alternative Notification

In our information release dated October 18, 2002, (XT 2002-07) you were told that the Department of Taxation has the ability to send information such as this and other tobacco tax information electronically. We experienced technical problems that have now been resolved. If you want to receive information electronically instead of a paper copy, simply send an e-mail to Tobacco_Taxes@tax.state.oh.us. In the comment area, enter your company name and the e-mail address or addresses to which you want future notifications sent. Please note that our electronic address has changed.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the Fuel Use and Excise Tax Unit at (614) 466-3410.