Information Release

XT 2003-07 - Excise And Motor Fuel Tax Division Information Release – Notice About Master Cigarette Settlement Agreement (MSA) - July 3, 2003

DEFAULT JUDGMENTS ISSUED

The Franklin County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas, at the request of the Ohio Attorney General, granted default judgments against GTC Industries, Ltd. and M/S Mohanlal Hargovinddas Bidi Udyog Private, Ltd. The judgments prohibit the companies from selling cigarettes to consumers within Ohio, whether directly or through a distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary or intermediaries. The judgment against GTC Industries, Ltd. includes, but is not limited to, the Double Diamond, Miss Diamond, A-One, Esquire, and Chancellor brands and is effective immediately and lasts until June 13, 2005. The judgment against M/S Mohanlal Hargovinddas Bidi Udyog Private, Ltd. includes, but is not limited to, the Sher, Guru, and Pahelwan brands and is effective immediately and lasts until May 21, 2005.

The default judgments prohibit the sale, but not the possession, of brands manufactured or distributed by GTC Industries, Ltd. and M/S Mohanlal Hargovinddas Bidi Udyog Private, Ltd. 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 (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas against the following companies for failure to make payments to a qualified escrow account.

Manufacturer Brands
Tabacalers Nacional S.A.A.  Argent, Golden Beach, Unify
Grand River Enterprises Six Nations, Ltd. Seneca, Opal

The complaints seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief ordering them not to sell cigarettes to consumers in Ohio either directly or through a distributor, retailer, or other similar intermediary or intermediaries includes, but is not limited to, the above brands.

Any injunction 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 injunctions are issued.

New Signatory

Bekenton, S.A. is a new signatory to the Cigarette Master Settlement Agreement. Their cigarette brand, The Brave, should no longer be reported on your Master Settlement Agreement Report (Form ET-60). This change is effective immediately and is retroactive to July 1, 2000.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Ohio Department of Taxation
Motor Fuel and Excise Tax Section
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (855) 466-3921
Fax: (206) 350-6722
Web site: http://tax.ohio.gov/