GENERAL CERTIFICATION INFORMATION
In 2003, the Washington State Legislature passed a law (RCW 70.158) requiring tobacco product manufacturers to annually certify cigarettes and loose “roll your own” tobacco to be sold in the State of Washington. The law requires all tobacco product manufacturers who intend to sell cigarettes and loose “roll-your-own” tobacco within the state of Washington as defined in RCW 70.157.010 – to file a Certification of Enrollment with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
Initial certification must be filed prior to doing business in the state and must be re-filed by April 30 of each year in order to continue doing business. The Certification of Enrollment must be filed whether the manufacturer intends to sell cigarettes directly or through a distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary. This Certification is in addition to any Certificate of Compliance for payments that may be required pursuant to RCW 70.157. One of the requirements for certification is a Permit from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Information regarding TTB permits is available on the TTB website. Another requirement is approval by the Washington Fire Marshal for every individual brand style of every cigarette as Fire Safe. Further information about Fire Safe cigarettes is available on the Fire Marshal’s website. Verification of this Fire Safe approval must be submitted with the initial certification of enrollment application, and with the annual re-certification application due by April 30 of each year.
See here for Certification of Enrollment form.
See here for Instructions and Definitions for Certification of Enrollment form.
Blank spaces in the forms on this page may be completed by electronically entering the requested information into the fillable PDF. The form should then be printed, signed before a notary (if applicable), notarized, and sent to the NPM Coordinator at the address shown in the forms or instructions. (updated 2.15.2019)
Non-participating Manufacturers: A nonparticipating manufacturer (“NPM” defined in RCW 70.158.020) must either register to do business in the state, or appoint a registered agent for service of process. If the NPM is registered to do business in Washington, it must provide a copy of its Certificate of Authority to the Attorney General. If the NPM is not registered to do business in Washington, it must complete the Statement of Registered Agent form, which must be signed by the NPM and the appointed Registered Agent, and that signed form must be provided to the Attorney General. Execution of the Revised Model Escrow Agreement is required for certification. RCW 70.158.030(1)(c)(ii) requires execution of a "qualified Escrow Agreement that has been reviewed and approved by the attorney general and that governs the qualified escrow fund."
List of Certified Tobacco Manufacturers: Those who offer cigarettes for sale in this state must check the directory of certified tobacco product manufacturers -- by brand or by manufacturer – to see if the tobacco product manufacturer and the cigarette brand family may be sold in this state. It is unlawful for any person to affix a stamp to a package or other container of cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory. RCW 70.158.030(3)(a).
It is also unlawful for any person to sell, offer, or possess for sale in this state or import for sale in this state, any cigarettes of a tobacco product manufacturer or brand family not included in the directory. Failure to comply can result in a civil penalty, revocation of the wholesaler license, injunction, and criminal charges. Additionally, such cigarette products may be seized as contraband. RCW 70.158.030(3)(b).
After an initial Certification of Enrollment application has been approved, Non-Participating Manufacturers must submit quarterly and annual report forms and verification of payments (if necessary).
INFORMATION REGARDING RYO CIGARETTE MACHINES (updated 11/25/2013)
It is unlawful for a commercial roll-your-own cigarette machine establishment to sell, offer, or possess for sale any tobacco to be purchased by consumers as tobacco for making cigarettes, regardless of its label, unless it appears on the Washington Attorney General’s Certified Tobacco Products Directory. RCW 82.24. Manufacturers of tobacco suitable for making cigarettes whose tobacco is sold to Washington RYO cigarette-making retail establishments must comply with RCW 70.157 and RCW 70.158, regardless of how the tobacco is labeled. Further information regarding the necessary licenses required for operation of a Commercial Cigarette-making Machine is available from the Washington Department of Revenue.