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Shipping Tobacco

Shipments containing Tobacco Products (“Tobacco Product Shipments”) are accepted for transportation only from Shippers who are licensed and authorized to ship Tobacco Products pursuant to applicable laws. UPS does not provide service to any person or entity listed in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives PACT Act – Non-Compliant List. UPS prohibits the shipment of Cigarettes or Little Cigars (as defined below) to consumers. To make other Tobacco Product Shipments, the Shipper must sign, agree to, and comply with the provisions set forth in an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of Tobacco Products. Shippers and receivers must comply with all applicable federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations, and all Tobacco Product Shipments must conform to the terms, conditions, restrictions, and prohibitions set forth on this page at the time of shipping. It is the responsibility of the Shipper to ensure that a Shipment tendered to UPS, including a Tobacco Product Shipment, does not violate any federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations applicable to the Shipment.

UPS reserves the right to refuse to accept, transport, or deliver any Tobacco Product Shipment that UPS, in its sole and unlimited discretion, determines does not comply with UPS requirements for the shipment or any applicable law or regulation, and to discontinue any or all service to any Shipper for, among other reasons, tendering such a Shipment. UPS reserves the right to dispose of any Tobacco Product Shipment that Shippers are prohibited from shipping, that UPS is not authorized to accept, that UPS states that it will not accept, or that UPS has a right to refuse.

For purposes of UPS’s tobacco policy:

“Tobacco Products” means tobacco or tobacco products, as those terms are variously defined in the Food and Drug Administration’s Final Rule Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, dated August 8, 2016 (“FDA’s Final Rule”). Without limiting the complete definition found in the FDA’s Final Rule, the term “Tobacco Products” includes any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product; the term includes, without limitation, e-cigarettes, ehookah, e-cigars, vape pens, advanced refillable personal vaporizers, and electronic pipes.

The FDA’s Final Rule can be found at UPS has posted the FDA’s Final Rule on this website only as a convenience for the Shipper, but it remains the Shipper’s responsibility to determine whether packages it tenders to UPS for transportation contain Tobacco Products as defined therein. To the extent any federal, state, provincial, or local law or regulation regulates a product as a tobacco product beyond the definition used in the FDA’s Final Rule, the Shipper bears the responsibility for complying with any such law or regulation.

“Cigarette” means (a) any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance not containing tobacco or (b) any roll of tobacco wrapped in any substance containing tobacco which, because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging and labeling, is likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as a cigarette described in (a).
“Little Cigar” means any roll for smoking made of tobacco, wrapped in either paper or any form of tobacco (including homogenized tobacco or natural leaf tobacco), that either (a) weighs 4 pounds or less per 1,000 rolls or (b) has a filter made of cellulose acetate or any other integrated filter.

While shippers are responsible for reviewing all federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations applicable to a Shipment to determine the legality of the shipment, general restrictions applicable in all states (whether by law or by UPS policy) include:

  • Cigarettes or Little Cigars are not accepted for transportation to consumers, regardless of destination state.
  • Federal law requires shippers to use age-verification services for any permissible tobacco shipment. See 18 U.S.C. § 376a.
  • Federal law imposes labelling and packaging, record-keeping, and tax-collecting obligations relating to permissible tobacco shipments. See 18 U.S.C. § 376a.
  • Federal law limits the quantity of tobacco that may be permissibly shipped. See 18 U.S.C. § 376a.
  • Most states require that some or all Tobacco Products bear tax stamps; shippers are responsible for reviewing state or local laws governing the required tax stamps for any Tobacco Products they tender to UPS for shipment, to ensure that UPS is not carrying any Tobacco Products that do not bear the requisite tax stamps.