Tobacco tax is added to the cost of tobacco products purchased in PEI, including cigarettes, cigars, tobacco sticks and fine-cut tobacco. Retailers pay the tax to the manufacturer or wholesaler and are reimbursed when they collect the tax from the consumer.
All tobacco manufacturers wholesalers, and retailers operating in PEI must be licensed with the Provincial Tax Commissioner. It is illegal to sell or offer tobacco in PEI if you are not licensed and it is illegal to purchase tobacco products from someone who is not a licensed retailer. For licensing information refer to Tobacco Vendor Licence and Taxation. (Link to new content)
Contraband (illegal) tobacco
In PEI, all tobacco products must be marked with a valid federal or NS tobacco excise stamp. Tobacco products without this marking are considered to be illegal or contraband tobacco. Possession of contraband tobacco in PEI is subject to penalties and fines under the Tobacco Tax Act.
Legal pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigars are marked with the Federal tobacco excise stamp. All other tobacco products legally sold in PEI are marked with the Nova Scotia tobacco excise stamp, a modified federal stamp which has NS printed on a pantone purple background.
Purchase and possession limits on tobacco
There are limits to the amount of legal tobacco you can purchase or possess in PEI. Unless you are a transporter with all proper documentation or a licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer, you may be penalized if you have more than:
- 1,000 cigarettes or cigar sticks;
- 1,000 grams of loose tobacco, cigars or cigarellos, pipe tobacco or smokeless tobacco; or
- Any combination of the above.
Visitors to the province may possess tobacco for personal consumption that is not marked as legal in PEI providing it is properly marked from another jurisdiction or legally imported and declared through customs and the quantity does not exceed limits as follows:
- 200 cigarettes;
- 50 cigars or cigarellos;
- 200 grams of manufactured tobacco;
- 200 tobacco sticks; or
- Any combination thereof.
Transporting tobacco products
A carrier transporting tobacco products into or through Prince Edward Island must have proper documentation to support the quantity and type of tobacco they are transporting, i.e. bill of lading and documentation specifying ownership, origin and destination. A driver in possession of tobacco exceeding the allowable limits without documentation is subject to fines and seizure of the tobacco and the vehicle.