Tobacco Tax Compliance

This section provides information for consumers, manufacturers and vendors on the purchase, sale, possession and distribution of tobacco products.

What is legal tobacco?

All tobacco, except for pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigars, sold in Prince Edward Island is required to be specifically marked with a Nova Scotia tobacco stamp. The Nova Scotia tobacco stamp is a modified federal tobacco excise stamp with a background colour of Pantone purple and the letters “NS” printed on the stamp. Pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigars sold in Prince Edward Island are required to be specifically marked with the Federal tobacco stamp.

These stamps indicate that all required taxes have been paid.

Tobacco products that have tobacco stamps, as required, are legal tobacco in Prince Edward Island.

What is contraband or illegal tobacco?

All tobacco except for pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigars sold in Prince Edward Island is required to be specifically marked with a Nova Scotia tobacco stamp. The Nova Scotia tobacco stamp is a modified federal tobacco excise stamp with a background colour of Pantone purple and the letters “NS” printed on the stamp. Pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigars sold in Prince Edward Island are required to be specifically marked with the Federal tobacco stamp.

These stamps indicate that all required taxes have been paid.

Tobacco that has not been marked for sale in Prince Edward Island or tobacco on which the Prince Edward Island Tobacco Tax has not been paid is illegal in Prince Edward Island.

If I am visiting Prince Edward Island can I legally possess any quantity of tobacco that is not marked as legal in Prince Edward Island?

Yes, a person can possess tobacco for personal consumption that is not marked as legal in Prince Edward Island as long as the quantity does not exceed the following limits:

Properly-marked tobacco products from other jurisdictions:

  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 50 cigars or cigarillos;
  • 200 grams of loose tobacco;
  • 200 tobacco sticks, or;
  • a combination thereof.

Tobacco products that have been legally imported and declared through a port of entry (customs):

  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 50 cigars or cigarillos;
  • 200 grams of manufactured tobacco;
  • 200 tobacco sticks; or
  • a combination thereof.

Are there limits on the purchase or possession of legal tobacco?

Yes, unless you are a licensed by the province as a tobacco manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer, the purchase or possession of legal tobacco is limited to:

  • 1,000 cigarettes; or
  • 1,000 tobacco sticks; or
  • 1,000 grams of loose tobacco, or
  • 1,000 grams of cigars or cigarillos; or
  • 1,000 grams of pipe tobacco; or
  • 1,000 grams of smokeless tobacco; or
  • a combination thereof.

Who can sell tobacco products in Prince Edward Island?

It is illegal to sell or offer to sell tobacco in Prince Edward Island unless you are a licensed wholesaler or retailer.

Who can I buy tobacco from in Prince Edward Island?

It is illegal to purchase tobacco products, taxed under the Tobacco Tax Act in Prince Edward Island, unless you purchase them from a licensed retailer.  

What if I am transporting tobacco?

When a carrier is transporting tobacco products into or through Prince Edward Island, the carrier must have proper documentation (i.e. bill of lading) in their possession to support the quantity and type of tobacco products being transported. Documentation must also specify ownership, origin and destination of the tobacco product.

If the driver is stopped and found to be in possession of tobacco in amounts exceeding limits allowed without the appropriate shipping documents, they would in violation of the Tobacco Tax Act and subject to fines, seizure of the tobacco and seizure of the vehicle.

What are the fines associated with transporting illegal tobacco?

The minimum fine is $200 plus an additional fine equal to five times the value of the provincial tobacco tax on the tobacco.

How are changes regarding Tobacco Tax compliance communicated?

A formal Tobacco Tax Notice – Compliance is produced and posted on our website whenever there is important information regarding compliance to be communicated to Tobacco Tax manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. If applicable, notices are also forwarded by email and/or mail to respective tobacco tax manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.

 

Disclaimer: This page is prepared for information purposes only, and should not be considered a substitute for the applicable statutes. Should there be any conflict between the contents of this page and the statutes, the statutes shall prevail.
Published date: 
April 20, 2017
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Taxation and Property Records
1st Floor Shaw South, 95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Phone: (902) 368-4070
Fax: (902) 368-6164

taxandland@gov.pe.ca