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Ruling 70-145

Rev. Ruling 70-145

Advice has been requested whether, under the Internal Revenue code and implementing regulations, a manufacturer of tobacco products who operates factories at several locations may show the address of one of his factories on all cartons of his cigarettes regardless of the factory where manufactured. The manufacturer wishes to minimize costs and have full flexibility to interchange preprinted carton flats between factories by showing a single location on all, while complying with certain States' requirements that cartons for cigarettes show the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.

Section 5723 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 provides that the Secretary or his delegate shall prescribe by regulations the packages in which cigars and cigarettes shall be put up, before removal, as well as the marks, labels, and notices which each package shall bear. Regulations in 26 CFR Parts 270, 275, 290, and 295 which implement these provisions of the Code define the package as the containers in which tobacco articles are put up by the manufacturer and importer and in which the articles are offered for sale or delivery to the consumer. The regulations specify that cigars and cigarettes shall, before removal, be put up in packages which shall be of such construction as will securely contain the product therein and maintain the required mark, label, and notice.

With certain exceptions not directly pertinent, the Code and implementing regulations do not require a mark, label, or notice on any container of cigars or cigarettes other than the immediate consumer "package," nor do they preclude inclusion of the usual information on larger containers such as cartons and shipping cases. (The exceptions referred to above include the prohibition against lottery, indecent, or immoral materials; the requirements for some shipping cases to bear serial numbers; the offering to consumers as cigarettes certain products wrapped in reconstituted tobacco; etc.)

Consequently, an address other than that of the factory of production or removal, or other usual business information, may be shown on overwraps, cartons, shipping cases, or other containers which enclose cigar or cigarette packages which bear the required marks, labels, and notices. Internal revenue officers are authorized to open any sealed outer container or remove overwraps when necessary to inspect the products and packages so contained or overwrapped.

Revenue Ruling 67-184, C.B. 1967-1, 414, is hereby superseded.

26 U.S.C. 5723; 27 CFR 270.211

Last updated: May 2, 2024