Tobacco Products, Alternative Nicotine Products, and Vapor Products FAQ

Minimum Age Requirements, Registration and Licensing, Collection and Reporting of Excise Taxes, and Special Event Permits

 

New Minimum Age: The minimum age for the sale and/or distribution of cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco related objects, alternative nicotine products and vapor products has increased from 18 years of age to 21 years of age.

New Registration and Licensing Requirements for Alternative Nicotine Products and Vapor Products: Senate Bill 375 requires all manufacturers, importers, distributors and dealers/retailers of alternative nicotine products or vapor products to register and obtain a license from the Department of Revenue. Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retail dealers are required to submit an application and pay registration and/or licensing fees through the Georgia Tax Center application portal, which will be available beginning February 15, 2021. 

New Taxation of Vapor Products: Effective January 1, 2021, excise taxes on vapor products shall be collected and paid by the distributor or retail dealer upon the first transaction within the state. Listed below are the tax rates for various types of vapor products:

  • 5¢ per fluid milliliter - Consumable vapor products for use in a closed system.
  • 7% of the wholesale cost - Consumable vapor products for use in an open system.
  • 7% of the wholesale cost – Single use vapor device containing a consumable vapor product at the time of sale. A single use system is not designed to be refilled or reused.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products or vapor products?

    The minimum age has increased from 18 to 21 years of age.  It shall be unlawful for any retail dealer to sell tobacco products, alternative nicotine products or vapor products to any person younger than 21 years of age.  

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  • As a retail dealer, what additional duties are required to comply with the new minimum age law?

    Retail dealers are required to:

    • Post a minimum age for sale sign compliant with the new law in a clearly visible location.
    • Verify a purchaser’s age by inspecting a state issued driver’s license, identification card or government issued ID.
    • Train employees/staff on legal tobacco sales, internal policies and procedures.
    • Refuse to sell tobacco products, alternative nicotine products or vapor products to anyone under the age of 21.
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  • What are the registration and licensing fees for a manufacturer, importer or distributor starting a new business dealing in tobacco products, alternative nicotine products or vapor products?

    A manufacturer, importer or distributer of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and/or vapor products starting a new business must register through the Georgia Tax Center and pay a first-time registration fee of $250.00. An applicant who wishes to include vapor products on their license will be required to pay an additional $10.00 fee for a total fee of $260.00 for first-time registration. The GTC application portal will be available to apply for licenses that include vapor products beginning on February 15, 2021. 

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  • Are manufacturers, importers and distributors required to renew their license?

    Each year, manufacturers, importers and distributors are required to submit a renewal application at least 30 days prior to the expiration date. The licensing period begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th of the following year.  The annual renewal fee is $10.00 for licenses that include tobacco products and alternative nicotine products and will cost an additional $10.00 renewal fee for licenses that include vapor products.

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  • Are retail dealers required to register and pay a licensing fee to sell tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and/or vapor products?

    Yes, retail dealers must register through the Georgia Tax Center and pay a $10.00 initial licensing fee.  Beginning in 2021, dealers selling vapor products must pay an additional $10.00 fee, for a total initial licensing fee of $20.00. The GTC application portal will be available to apply for licenses that include vapor products beginning on February 15, 2021.

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  • Are retail dealers required to renew their license?

    Yes, retail dealers are required to annually renew their license at least 30 days prior to the expiration date. Dealer licenses are valid for a 12-month period beginning on the issue date of the initial license. The annual renewal fee is $10.00 for tobacco products and/or alternative nicotine products, and an additional $10.00 fee for vapor products.

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  • If I currently have a tobacco license, am I required to apply for a new license to include vapor products?

    Yes, beginning in 2021, a manufacturer, importer, distributer or retail dealer of tobacco products must amend its existing tobacco license in order to be licensed to sell alternative nicotine products and/or vapor products. To amend the license, the licensee shall submit an application through the Georgia Tax Center and pay the additional annual $10.00 vapor products license fee. The functionality to amend the license will be available beginning February 15, 2021. Detailed instructions will be provided on the Department’s website.

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  • Will I receive a single license for tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products?

    Yes, the Department will issue a single license for tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products or any combination of these products, although the fee will increase by $10 to include vapor products on the single license.

    The Department will issue a separate license to each manufacturer, distributor, or dealer.  Additionally, a license shall apply only to the premises for which it is issued. Therefore, a separate license is required for each location or place of business.

    Example: A dealer that sells tobacco products only or a dealer that sells tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and/or vapor products will be issued only one license. 

    However, if a person is requesting a manufacturer and a distributor license for the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and/or vapor products, two separate licenses will be issued (a manufacturer license and a distributor license).

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  • Are excise taxes on vapor products paid through the purchase of stamps?

    No, as authorized by statute, the Department has designated an alternate method for the payment of excise taxes on vapor products.  On or before the 10th of each month, a distributor or dealer is required to submit a tax return including the payment of excise taxes due on vapor products.  The functionality to submit returns and payments on the Georgia Tax Center will be available beginning February 15, 2021. No penalty or interest will be assessed on any vapor product excise tax return filing due by February 10, 2021 if the return is filed and the tax paid between February 15, 2021 and February 26, 2021.

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  • Who is responsible for the payment of excise taxes on the sale of vapor products?

    The distributor or retail dealer is generally responsible for collecting and remitting the excise tax; however, the excise tax shall be collected on the first transaction in the state. Distributors must pay the excise tax when selling products to retail dealers or any other person who is not a licensed distributor.

    When vapor products are shipped from outside the state to anyone other than the distributor, the person receiving the vapor products shall be deemed to be a distributor and is responsible for payment of the excise tax. A retail dealer who is deemed to be a distributor for purposes of this taxing rule is not required to get a distributor license.

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  • What are the excise tax rates on vapor products?

    The excise tax rates are as follows:

    • 5¢ per fluid milliliter - Consumable vapor products in a closed system
    • 7% of the wholesale cost - Consumable vapor products in an open system
    • 7% of the wholesale cost – Single use vapor device containing a consumable vapor product at the time of sale.
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  • What is a consumable vapor product in a closed system?

    A consumable vapor product used in a closed system is any disposable container which is prefilled and sealed by the manufacturer, commonly referred to as a pod or a cartridge. This product is dispensed by way of a vapor device and not intended or designed to be refilled.

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  • What is a consumable vapor product in an open system?

    A consumable vapor product used in an open system is a liquid solution that is intended to be heated into an aerosol state and inhaled by an individual and commonly referred to as e-juice, e-liquid or vape juice.  The liquid used in open systems can be customized to various nicotine levels, flavors, and container sizes.

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  • What is a single use vapor device?

    Single use vapor devices:

    • Contain consumable vapor product at the time of sale;
    • Are not designed or intended to be reused or refilled; and
    • Are commonly referred to as a disposable vapor device.
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  • Are excise taxes required to be collected and remitted for all vapor products?

    Excise taxes on vapor products apply to a liquid or other substance that functions as part of a vapor product or is sold with a vapor product as one packaged item including, but not limited to, e-liquid, pods, cartridges, or pre-filled /disposable vapor products.

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  • What is a special event tobacco permit?

    A special event tobacco permit is issued for the sale of cigars, cigarettes or loose or smokeless tobacco at a temporary off-site location.  The permit can be authorized for a period of one day up to a maximum of ten days.

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  • How do I obtain a special event tobacco permit?

    To qualify for a special event tobacco permit, the following requirements must be met:

    • The applicant must have a current tobacco retail dealer license;
    • The individual must submit an application through the Georgia Tax Center; and
    • The applicant must pay a special event permit fee of $10.00.
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