PACT Act: Can We Still Ship Tobacco?

Has anyone heard of the PACT? Seems like another fancy acronym… Well, it stands for the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act which was signed into law by Congress on 3/31/2010 and became effective on 6/29/2010. This means that cigarettes, including roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco are “nonmailable” matter and cannot be shipped internationally using the U.S. Postal Service® or common carriers such as UPS and FedEx (unless your company has a standing injunction against this law).

Of course there are some exceptions such as:

  • Shipment of cigars is not prohibited under this Act, Shipments entirely within Alaska or Hawaii
  • Shipments transmitted between verified and authorized tobacco industry businesses for business purposes, or between such businesses and federal or state agencies for regulatory purposes
  • Infrequent, lightweight shipments mailed by age-verified adult individuals
  • Shipments of cigarettes sent by verified and authorized manufacturers to verified adult smokers age 21 and over for consumer testing purposes
  • Shipments sent by federal agencies for public health purposes

There was also a recent update to this ruling permitting the mailing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to APO/FPO/DPO destination addresses when using Priority Mail® with Delivery Confirmation. As always, if you are unsure about anything related to this ruling, please contact your USPS representative.

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