MY PAYING ADS

Monday, March 16, 2009

Making tobacco non-deliverable by USPS

Here's some news for smokers who buy tobacco online, including MYO tobacco. Politicians trying to force USPS to stop delivering tobacco products (MYO tobacco included) for money reasons...what else?

CLICK THIS to view the actual page.

To amend title 39, United States Code, to make cigarettes and certain other tobacco products nonmailable, and for other purposes. (Introduced in House)

HR 1400 IH

111th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. R. 1400

To amend title 39, United States Code, to make cigarettes and certain other tobacco products nonmailable, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 9, 2009

Mr. MCHUGH introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


A BILL

To amend title 39, United States Code, to make cigarettes and certain other tobacco products nonmailable, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. NONMAILABILITY OF CERTAIN TOBACCO PRODUCTS.

    (a) In General- Chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 3002a the following:

`Sec. 3002b. Nonmailability of certain tobacco products

    `(a) In General- Except as provided in subsections (g) and (h), cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and roll-your-own-tobacco--
      `(1) are nonmailable matter;
      `(2) shall not be--
        `(A) deposited in the mails; or
        `(B) carried or delivered through the mails; and
      `(3) shall be disposed of as the Postal Service directs.
    `(b) Civil Penalty-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Any person who violates subsection (a)(2)(A) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $100,000 for each violation.
      `(2) HEARINGS-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Postal Service may determine that a person has violated subsection (a)(2)(A) only after notice and an opportunity for a hearing. Proceedings under this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with section 3001(m).
        `(B) PENALTY CONSIDERATIONS- In determining the amount of a civil penalty under this paragraph, the Postal Service shall consider--
          `(i) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;
          `(ii) with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, ability to pay, and any history of prior violations; and
          `(iii) such other matters as justice may require.
      `(3) CIVIL ACTIONS- The Postal Service may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court of the United States, in accordance with section 409(g)(2), to enjoin violations of subsection (a)(2)(A), to collect a civil penalty under this section, or to seek such other relief with respect to violations of subsection (a)(2)(A) as the court may deem appropriate.
      `(4) DISPOSITION OF AMOUNTS- Amounts received in payment of any civil penalties under this subsection shall be deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States.
    `(c) Orders- Upon evidence satisfactory to the Postal Service that any person is engaged in the sending of mail matter which is nonmailable under this section, the Postal Service may issue an order which--
      `(1) directs any postmaster, to whom any mailing originating with such person or his representative is tendered for transmission through the mails (other than a mailing that consists only of one or more sealed letters), to refuse to accept any such mailing, unless such person or his representative first establishes to the satisfaction of the postmaster that the mailing does not contain any matter which is nonmailable under this section; and
      `(2) requires the person or his representative to cease and desist from mailing any mail matter which is nonmailable under this section.
    `(d) Prima Facie Evidence- For the purposes of this section, prima facie evidence that a person is engaged in the mailing of matter which is nonmailable under this section may include a statement on a publicly available website, or an advertisement, by any person that such person will mail matter which is nonmailable under this section in return for payment or other consideration.
    `(e) Coordination of Efforts- In the enforcement of this section, the Postal Service shall cooperate with, and coordinate its efforts with related activities of, any other Federal agency or any State or local government, whenever appropriate.
    `(f) Actions by States Relating to Certain Tobacco Products-
      `(1) AUTHORITY OF STATES- Whenever the attorney general of a State has reason to believe that any person has engaged or is engaging in mailings to residents of that State in violation of subsection (a)(2)(A), the State may bring, in an appropriate district court of the United States, a civil action--
        `(A) to enjoin such mailings;
        `(B) to carry out paragraphs (1) and (4) of subsection (b) with respect to such mailings; or
        `(C) to carry out subparagraphs (A) and (B).
      In the course of any such action, the State may seek damages equal to the amount of any unpaid taxes on tobacco products mailed in violation of subsection (a)(2)(A) to residents of the State and such other relief as the court may deem appropriate.
      `(2) RIGHTS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE- The State shall serve prior written notice of any action under paragraph (1) upon the Postal Service and provide the Postal Service with a copy of its complaint, except in any case in which such prior notice is not feasible, in which case the State shall serve such notice immediately upon instituting such action. The Postal Service, in accordance with section 409(g)(2), shall have the right (A) to intervene in the action, (B) upon so intervening, to be heard on all matters arising therein, and (C) to file petitions for appeal.
      `(3) EFFECT ON STATE COURT PROCEEDINGS- Nothing contained in this section shall be considered to prohibit an authorized State official from proceeding in State court on the basis of an alleged violation of any general civil or criminal statute of such State.
      `(4) LIMITATION- Whenever the Postal Service institutes a civil action under subsection (a)(3) for a violation of subsection (a)(2)(A), no State may, during the pendency of such action, institute a separate civil action for any violation of subsection (a)(2)(A) against any defendant named in the Postal Service's complaint.
    `(g) Mailings Between Legal Tobacco Industry Businesses and Government Agencies-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Tobacco products otherwise made nonmailable by subsection (a) may, beginning on the effective date of regulations prescribed under paragraph (2), be mailed--
        `(A) for business purposes between businesses that--
          `(i) have all government licenses or permits that are required in order to do business; and
          `(ii) are engaged in tobacco product manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, export, import, testing, investigation, or research; or
        `(B) for regulatory purposes between any business described in subparagraph (A) and any government agency.
      `(2) REGULATIONS- The Postal Service may prescribe regulations governing mailings under this subsection, including regulations to carry out the following:
        `(A) The Postal Service shall verify that any person depositing any otherwise nonmailable tobacco product into the mails under this subsection is a business or government agency permitted to make such mailing under this subsection.
        `(B) The Postal Service shall ensure that any recipient of any otherwise nonmailable tobacco product sent through the mails under this subsection is a business or government agency permitted to receive such mailing under this subsection.
        `(C) The mailing shall be sent using a method that provides for the tracking and confirmation of delivery.
        `(D) The identity of the business or government agency from which the mailing is sent, and the identity of the business or government agency to which the mailing is sent, shall be clearly set forth on the envelope or outside cover or wrapper in which such mailing is sent, and all of that information shall, for a period of at least 3 years from the date of the mailing, be kept in Postal Service records and made available to persons enforcing subsection (a)(2)(A).
        `(E) The mailing shall be marked with a Postal Service label or marking that makes it clear that such mailing--
          `(i) is a permissible mailing of otherwise nonmailable tobacco products; and
          `(ii) may be delivered only to a business described in paragraph (1)(A) or a government employee or entity.
        `(F) The mailing shall be delivered only to a verified employee or agent of the recipient business or government agency, who--
          `(i) has been duly authorized to accept such mailing; and
          `(ii) shall be required to sign for the mailing.
      `(3) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subsection shall be considered to subject a government agency or any government employee or agent to any penalty or other restriction in connection with any mailing made by such employee or agent, acting within the scope of his employment or agency.
    `(h) Mailings Between Individuals-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Tobacco products otherwise made nonmailable by subsection (a) may be mailed between individuals (other than in any of the circumstances to which subsection (g) applies), for non-moneymaking purposes, beginning on the effective date of regulations prescribed under paragraph (2).
      `(2) REGULATIONS- The Postal Service may prescribe regulations establishing the standards and requirements which shall govern all mailings under this subsection, including regulations to carry out the following:
        `(A) The Postal Service shall verify that the person depositing the otherwise nonmailable tobacco product into the mails is properly identified on the return address of the mailing.
        `(B) The Postal Service shall require the person depositing the otherwise nonmailable tobacco product into the mails to affirm that the recipient is an individual who is of legal age to purchase tobacco products.
        `(C) The Postal Service shall require the person depositing the otherwise nonmailable tobacco product into the mails to affirm that the product is not being sent for moneymaking purposes.
        `(D) The mailing shall weigh not more than 10 ounces.
        `(E) The mailing shall be sent using a method that provides for the tracking and confirmation of delivery.
        `(F) The Postal Service shall deliver the mailing only to the verified recipient (as described in subparagraph (B)) at the recipient's address, including an Air/Army Postal Office (APO) or Fleet Postal Office (FPO) address.
    `(i) Definitions- For purposes of this section--
      `(1) the terms `cigarette' and `roll-your-own-tobacco' have the meanings given them by section 5702 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
      `(2) the term `smokeless tobacco' has the meaning given such term by section 2341 of title 18; and
      `(3) the term `State' includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.'.
    (b) Administrative Subpoenas- Section 3016(a) of title 39, United States Code, is amended in paragraphs (1)(A) and (2) by inserting `3002b or' before `3005(a)'.
    (c) Enforcement of Postal Service Orders- Section 3012 of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in subsection (b), by striking `or (d)' each place it appears and inserting `(d), or (e)';
      (2) by redesignating subsections (e) and (f) as subsections (f) and (g), respectively; and
      (3) by inserting after subsection (d) the following:
    `(e) Any person who fails to comply with an order issued under section 3002b(c)(2) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty--
      `(1) not to exceed $10,000 for each mailing of fewer than 10 pieces;
      `(2) not to exceed $50,000 for each mailing of 10 to 50 pieces; and
      `(3) not to exceed $100,000 for each mailing of more than 50 pieces.'; and
      (4) in subsection (g) (as so redesignated by paragraph (2)), by inserting `3002b(c)(2) or' before `3005' each place it appears.
    (d) Semiannual Reports- Section 3013 of title 39, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting `3002b(b) or' before `3005';
      (2) in paragraph (2), by inserting `3002b(c) or' before `3005(e)'; and
      (3) in paragraph (3), by striking `section 3007 of this title' and inserting `section 3002b(c) or section 3007, respectively,'.
    (e) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3002a the following:
      `3002b. Nonmailability of certain tobacco products.'.
    (f) Effective Dates-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the 60th day after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to any mail matter mailed on or after such 60th day.
      (2) SEMIANNUAL REPORTS- The amendments made by subsection (d) shall apply beginning with the report submitted for the reporting period in which occurs the 60th day after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 2. TECHNICAL CORRECTION.

    (a) In General- Sections 3007(a)(1), 3012(b)(1), and 3018(f)(1) of title 39, United States Code, are amended by striking `409(d)' and inserting `409(g)(2)'.
    (b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (Public Law 109-435).



No comments: