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Tobacco Importers

The law requires that anyone who wishes to import tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipe tobacco, roll your own tobacco) into the United States for *personal or business purposes must first obtain this permit.

Wondering how to get started as a tobacco importer? Visit our industry startup guide: Getting Started in TTB-Regulated Industry. Have a permit to operate in the tobacco industry and looking for next steps? See our industry compliance guide: Maintaining Compliance in a TTB-Regulated Business.

*Note – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines acceptable limits for personal importation.

Getting Started

To apply for a permit, you must submit an application and the required documentation. We encourage you to use Permits Online to file your original and amended applications with us for FREE! With Permits Online, we can process your application more quickly. Avoid delay in processing your applications by seeing our permit application Q&As about frequently overlooked items.

Read the brief introductory information letter before submitting your application. This letter describes TTB’s requirements to import tobacco products and provides a printable checklist so you can track the steps of the application process as they are completed.


Key Tobacco Importer Topics

More information on Types of Permits

Types of Permits

Packets for importers of tobacco products and importers of processed tobacco. You can apply online!

More information on Tobacco Laws and Regulations

Tobacco Laws and Regulations

Public guidance including FAQs, procedures, rulings and industry circulars

More information on Requirements for Importers

Requirements for Importers

Information explaining the requirements you must meet to maintain your business
More information on Bonds and Consents of Surety

Bonds and Consents of Surety

Bond Forms, approved surety companies, purchasing a security for a collateral bond

More information on Taxes and Filing

Taxes and Filing

SOT, tax rates and due dates, and help with filing and preparing excise tax returns

More information on Submission of Tobacco Samples for Tax Classification

Submission of Tobacco Samples for Tax Classification

How and where to send your tobacco samples, and TTB’s
methods and procedures


Top Questions about the Tobacco Industry

How Do I...?

Determine Special Occupational Tax Liability Determine and Pay Taxes
Report an Illegal Tobacco Sale Get More Tobacco Questions
Submit a Tobacco Sample  


Description: CONTACT US

For general tobacco inquiries contact a tobacco specialist at 202-453-2273.  For tobacco permits, applications, and taxes contact the National Revenue Center by email at or by phone at 877-882-3277 (Toll Free).  For more information contact a TTB tobacco expert.

Page last reviewed: March 20, 2019
Page last updated: March 20, 2019
Maintained by: National Revenue Center

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