North Dakota

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner
(701) 328-3470
Email

North Dakota Secretary of State
Elections Unit
(800) 366-6888
(701) 328-3413 fax
Email

PCA Contact

Brett Mecum brett@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

North Dakota imposes an excise tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes. Any person who first purchases, sells, or brings tobacco products into North Dakota for resale is required to pay the tax. Retail dealers are also liable for the tax on untaxed tobacco products purchased in another state and brought into North Dakota by the dealer for sale at retail. In addition, a tax is imposed on the use or storage by consumers of untaxed cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products in North Dakota.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-25: Cigars and pipe tobacco; excise tax on the wholesale purchase price; other tobacco products; excise tax on weight; penalty; reports; collection; allocation of revenue

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-26: Cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products; excise tax payable by dealers; reports; penalties; collection; allocation of revenue

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-28: Consumer’s use tax; Cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products; reports; remittances

Office of State Tax Commissioner staff reported that North Dakota localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.

The tax on cigars and pipe tobacco is 28% of the wholesale purchase price at which such cigars and pipe tobacco are purchased by distributors. “Wholesale purchase price” means the established price for which a manufacturer sells cigars or pipe tobacco to a distributor exclusive of any discount or other reduction.

The tax on snuff is $0.60 per ounce and a proportionate tax on all fractional parts of an ounce. The tax on chewing tobacco is $0.16 per ounce and a proportionate tax on all fractional parts of an ounce. These taxes are computed based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-25: Cigars and pipe tobacco; excise tax on the wholesale purchase price; other tobacco products; excise tax on weight; penalty; reports; collection; allocation of revenue

North Dakota SB 2257 (2019) allows the governor to enter a tobacco product wholesale tax agreement with tribes if the agreement complies with existing law.

Each licensed wholesaler must, on or before the 15th day of each month, file with the Office of State Tax Commissioner a Cigarette & Tobacco Tax Return (Form 44CT), a Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Return for Standing Rock Indian Reservation (Form 44SR), all applicable schedules, and payment for taxes due. On or before the 10th day after each calendar quarter, every consumer who during the preceding quarter has acquired untaxed tobacco products must submit a Cigarette and Tobacco Use Tax Form (Form 44UT), along with payment for taxes due. 

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-09: Records to be kept by distributors and reports made; penalty

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner: Cigarette and Tobacco FormsCigarette and Tobacco Forms
Cigarette & Tobacco Tax ReturnForm 44CT
North Dakota Cigarette & Tobacco Accounts: E-File in TAPE-File in TAP
Cigarette and Tobacco Use Tax FormForm 44UT

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, in any manner or in any form. Smoking also includes the use of an e-cigarette which creates a vapor, in any manner or any form or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-09(15)

Other tobacco products” means snuff and chewing tobacco.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(10)

Cigar” means any roll of tobacco wrapped in tobacco.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(2)

Chewing tobacco” means any leaf tobacco that is intended to be placed in the mouth.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(1)

Pipe tobacco” means any processed tobacco that, because of its appearance, type, packaging, or labeling, is suitable for use and likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as tobacco to be smoked in a pipe.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(12)

Snuff” means any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco that is intended to be placed in the mouth.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(14)

A “distributor” is any person engaged in the business of producing or manufacturing cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, pipe tobacco, or other tobacco products, or importing into this state cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, pipe tobacco, or other tobacco products, for the purpose of distribution and sale thereof to dealers and retailers.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(7)

A “dealer” is any person other than a distributor who is engaged in the business of selling cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, pipe tobacco, or other tobacco products, or any product of a cigarette-making machine.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(6)

Sale” or “sell” applies to gifts, exchanges, and barter.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-01(13)

Restrictions

North Dakota law prohibits smoking: in public places, including publicly owned buildings, vehicles, or offices, bars, bingo facilities, gambling and gaming facilities, child care and adult day care facilities, convention facilities, educational facilities, both public and private, facilities primarily used for exhibiting a motion picture, stage, drama, lecture, musical recital, or other similar performance, financial institutions, health care facilities, hotels and motels, laundromats, any common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, mobile home parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes, and other multiple-unit residential facilities, private and semiprivate nursing home rooms, museums, libraries, galleries, and aquariums, polling places, professional offices, public transportation facilities, including buses, trains, airplanes and similar aircraft, taxicabs and similar vehicles such as town cars and limousines when used for public transportation, and ticket, boarding, and waiting areas of public transit facilities, including bus and train stations and airports, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, including tobacco and hookah establishments, rooms, chambers, places of meeting or public assembly, including school buildings, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms; in places of public employment, including work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference rooms, elevators, employee cafeterias, employee lounges, hallways, meeting rooms, private offices, restrooms, temporary offices, vehicles, and stairs; and within 20 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes, and ventilation systems of enclosed areas in which smoking is prohibited.

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-10: Smoking restrictions; exceptions; retaliation; application

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-09: Smoking in public places and places of employment; definitions


The owner, operator, manager, or another person in control of a public place or place of employment where smoking is prohibited must clearly and conspicuously post no-smoking signs or the international no-smoking symbol in that place and at every entrance to that place and remove all ashtrays from any area where smoking is prohibited.

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-10.4(1): Responsibility of proprietors; reimbursement of costs of compliance


A city or county ordinance, a city or county home rule charter, or an ordinance adopted under a home rule charter may not provide for less stringent provisions than those provided under the Act. Nothing in the Act preempts or otherwise affects any other state or local tobacco control law that provides more stringent protection from the hazards of secondhand smoke.

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-10.2(2): Complaints and enforcement; city and county ordinances and home rule charters

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private residences, except when used as a childcare, adult daycare, or health care facility
  • Outdoor areas of places of employment
  • Any area that is not commonly accessible to the public and that is part of an owner-operated business having no employee other than the owner-operator
  • Smoking as part of a traditional American Indian spiritual or cultural ceremony

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-10(3-4): Smoking restrictions; exceptions; retaliation; application

North Dakota law does not contain exemptions from the smoking ban for bars, restaurants, or retail tobacco stores.

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot purchase, possess, smoke, use, or present or offer to another individual purported proof of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually the minor’s own proof of age for the purposes of attempting to purchase or possess cigarettes, cigars, cigarette papers, snuff, or tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing. Similarly, it is an infraction for any person to sell or furnish to a minor, or procure for a minor, cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, snuff, or tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing.

N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-03(1-2): Sale of tobacco to minors and use by minors prohibited


Department of Labor and Human Rights staff reported that North Dakota law does not contain any provisions concerning the minimum age for a minor to work in a retail tobacco store. The minimum age to work in North Dakota is 14.

A city or county may adopt an ordinance or resolution regarding the sale of tobacco to minors and use of tobacco by minors that includes prohibitions in addition to those in state law. Any ordinance or resolution adopted must include provisions deeming violations by minors to be noncriminal violations and must provide for a fee of not less than $25 for minors 14 years of age or older who has been charged with an offense.

N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-03(4): Sale of tobacco to minors and use by minors prohibited

Office of State Tax Commissioner staff reported that the distribution of tobacco samples in North Dakota is prohibited.

In North Dakota, it is an infraction for any person to furnish to a minor, or procure for a minor, cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, snuff, or tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing.

N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-03(1-2): Sale of tobacco to minors and use by minors prohibited


North Dakota law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

Operating Your Business

Each person engaged in the business of selling cigarettes, cigarette papers, snuff, cigars, or tobacco in North Dakota, including any wholesaler or retailer, must secure a license from the Attorney General before engaging or continuing to engage in business. A separate application and license are required for each wholesaler at each outlet or place of business in North Dakota, and a separate retailer’s license is required for each retail outlet when a person owns or controls more than one place of business dealing in cigarettes, cigarette papers, snuff, cigars, or tobacco. To obtain a license, wholesalers and retailers must submit the Application for New License to Sell Cigarettes, Cigarette Papers, Snuff, Cigars, or Tobacco in North Dakota and the applicable fee ($15 for retailers and $25 for wholesalers). Wholesalers are also required to submit a Bond for Cigarettes, Cigarette Papers, Snuff, Cigars, or Tobacco Distributor in the amount of $1,000. Licenses expire every year on June 30th and must be renewed annually by filing the same forms.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-02: Distributors and dealers to be licensed


Each licensed wholesaler must, on or before the 15th day of each month, file with the Office of State Tax Commissioner a Cigarette & Tobacco Tax Return (Form 44CT), a Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Return for Standing Rock Indian Reservation (Form 44SR), all applicable schedules, and payment for taxes due. On or before the 10th day after each calendar quarter, every consumer who during the preceding quarter has acquired untaxed tobacco products must submit a Cigarette and Tobacco Use Tax Form (Form 44UT), along with payment for taxes due. 

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-09: Records to be kept by distributors and reports made; penalty


North Dakota law does not contain exemptions from the smoking ban for bars or restaurants. These establishments, therefore, may not allow both smoking and drinking within their buildings.

Localities may require additional business licenses.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner: Cigarette and Tobacco FormsCigarette and Tobacco Forms
Cigarette & Tobacco Tax ReturnForm 44CT
North Dakota Cigarette & Tobacco Accounts: E-File in TAPE-File in TAP
Cigarette and Tobacco Use Tax FormForm 44UT

Political Involvement

Lobbyist” means any person who, in any manner whatsoever, directly or indirectly, performs any of the following activities:

  • Attempts to secure the passage, amendment, or defeat of any legislation by the legislative assembly or the approval or veto of any legislation by the governor of the state
  • Attempts to influence decisions made by the legislative management or by an interim committee of the legislative management

Lobbyist” does not include any person who is:

  • A legislator
  • A private citizen appearing on the citizen’s own behalf
  • An employee, officer, board member, volunteer, or agent of the state or its political subdivisions whether elected or appointed and whether or not compensated, who is acting in that person’s official capacity
  • Invited by the chairman of the legislative management, an interim committee of the legislative management, or a standing committee of the legislative assembly to appear before the legislative management, interim committee, or standing committee for the purpose of providing information
  • An individual who appears before a legislative committee for the sole purpose of presenting testimony on behalf of a trade or professional organization or a business or industry if the individual is introduced to the committee by the registered lobbyist for the trade or professional organization or the business or industry

N.D. Cent. Code § 54-05.1-02

Before engaging in any lobbying activities, an individual must register with the Secretary of State and receive a Certificate of Registration and a distinctive Lobbyist Identification Badge to be prominently worn by the lobbyist when engaged in any lobbying activities. To register, lobbyists must submit the following:

  • A Lobbyist Registration form
  • A Letter of Authorization for Lobbyist form, signed by the persons or official of the corporation, limited liability company, association, group, or organization employing the lobbyist, and
  • A filing fee of $25, made payable to the Secretary of State, for registering each lobbyist and the first person or entity represented by the lobbyist, and an additional fee of $15 for each subsequent person or entity represented

Registrations expire on June 30th of each year and must be renewed annually by filing the same forms.

N.D. Cent. Code § 54-05.1-03(1): Registration as a lobbyist; fee; filing of information; public inspection; certificate of registration


Each registered lobbyist must file a Lobbyist Expenditure Report on or before August 1st, following the expiration of the registration period.

N.D. Cent. Code § 54-05.1-03(2): Registration as a lobbyist; fee; filing of information; public inspection; certificate of registration

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
North Dakota Secretary of State: How to Become a LobbyistHow to Become a Lobbyist
Lobbyist RegistrationLobbyist Registration
Letter of Authorization for LobbyistLobbyist Letter of Authorization
North Dakota Secretary of State: Required Lobbyist ReportsLobbyist Reports
Lobbyist Expenditure ReportLobbyist Expenditure Report

Shipping Regulations

In North Dakota, it is unlawful for any person in the business of selling tobacco products to take an order for a tobacco product, other than from a person who is in the business of selling tobacco products, through the mail or through any telecommunications means, including by telephone, facsimile, or the internet, if in providing for the sale or delivery of the product pursuant to the order, the person mails the product or ships the product by carrier, and the person fails to comply with procedures concerning age verification.

N.D. Cent. Code Ch. 51-32


Each person engaged in the business of selling cigarettes, cigarette papers, snuff, cigars, or tobacco in North Dakota, including any wholesaler or retailer, must secure a license from the Attorney General before engaging or continuing to engage in business.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-02


Additional information about licensing in North Dakota is available under the Operating Your Business tab above.

It is unlawful for any person in the business of selling tobacco products to take an order for a tobacco product, other than from a person who is in the business of selling tobacco products, through the mail or through any telecommunications means, including by telephone, facsimile, or the internet, if in providing for the sale or delivery of the product pursuant to the order, the person mails the product or ships the product by carrier, and the person fails to comply with the following procedures: 

Before mailing or shipping the product, the person receives from the individual who places the order the following:

  • A copy of a valid government-issued document that provides the name, address, and date of birth of the individual; and
  • A signed statement from the individual providing a certification that the individual:
    • Is a smoker of legal minimum purchase age in the state;
    • Has selected an option on the statement as to whether the individual wants to receive mailings from a tobacco company; and
    • Understands that providing false information may constitute a violation of the law.

Before mailing or shipping the product, the person:

  • Verifies the date of birth or age of the individual against a commercially available database; or
  • Obtains a photocopy or other image of the valid, government-issued identification stating the date of birth or age of the individual placing the order.

Before mailing or shipping the product, the person provides to the prospective purchaser, by electronic mail or other means, a notice that meets the requirements of section 51-32-04.

In the case of an order for a product pursuant to an advertisement on the internet, the person receives payment by credit card, debit card, or check for the order before mailing or shipping the product

The person employs a method of mailing or shipping the product requiring that the individual purchasing the product:

  • Be the addressee;
  • Have an individual of legal minimum purchase age sign for the delivery of the package; and
  • If the individual appears to the carrier making the delivery to be under twenty-seven years of age, take delivery of the package only after producing valid government-issued identification that bears a photograph of the individual, indicates that the individual is not under the legal age to purchase cigarettes, and indicates that the individual is not younger than the age indicated on the government-issued document.
  • The bill of lading clearly states these requirements and specifies that state law requires compliance with the requirements.

The person notifies the carrier for the mailing or shipping, in writing, of the age of the addressee as indicated by the government-issued document.

N.D. Cent. Code § 51-32-01: Remote sales of tobacco products

North Dakota imposes an excise tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes. Any person who first purchases, sells, or brings tobacco products into North Dakota for resale is required to pay the tax. Retail dealers are also liable for the tax on untaxed tobacco products purchased in another state and brought into North Dakota by the dealer for sale at retail. In addition, a tax is imposed on the use or storage by consumers of untaxed cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products in North Dakota.

Each person accepting a purchase order for a delivery sale of any tobacco product shall remit to the tax commissioner any taxes due under chapter 57-36 with respect to the delivery sale. This section does not apply if the person has obtained proof, in the form of the presence of applicable tax stamps or otherwise, that the taxes already have been paid to this state.

Individuals who purchase for their own use tobacco products that do not include the North Dakota tobacco excise taxes must report and pay the taxes.

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-25: Cigars and pipe tobacco; excise tax on the wholesale purchase price; other tobacco products; excise tax on weight; penalty; reports; collection; allocation of revenue

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-26: Cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products; excise tax payable by dealers; reports; penalties; collection; allocation of revenue

N.D. Cent. Code § 57-36-28: Consumer’s use tax; Cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco products; reports; remittances

N.D. Cent. Code § 51-32-06: Taxes


Office of State Tax Commissioner staff reported that North Dakota localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.


Disclaimer: PCA believes the information on this site is accurate. However, tobacco laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. Statements above are not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. PCA does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this information, nor that this information complies with all federal laws or the laws of all 50 states. Parties acknowledge and agree it is not the intention of PCA to provide specific legal advice for particular individuals, but rather to provide users with general information to better understand these issues. Users shall neither construe any of these materials as legal advice nor make this site the primary basis for any legal decisions made by or on your behalf and agree to release and waive any claims against PCA for the same. You shall consult with legal advisors concerning any contemplated individual decision.