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TITLE 34PUBLIC FINANCE
PART 1COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
CHAPTER 3TAX ADMINISTRATION
SUBCHAPTER JJCIGARETTE AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS REGULATION
RULE §3.1203Approved Seller Training Programs

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms when used in this section shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Application--The form provided by the comptroller's office for use by persons interested in performing training under this section.

  (2) Cigarettes--Has the meaning assigned by Tax Code, Chapter 154.

  (3) Second party sales--A sale which results in the provision of tobacco products to a minor, even though the purchaser of the tobacco product is not necessarily a minor.

  (4) Seller--Any person who sells cigarettes or tobacco products in this state.

  (5) Tobacco products--Has the meaning assigned by Tax Code, Chapter 155.

(b) Application process. In order for a vendor to be certified to provide employers and employees engaged in the retail sales of cigarettes or tobacco products with training regarding provisions in the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 161 and in the Tax Code, Chapters 154 and 155, regarding regulation of sales, distribution, and use of tobacco products, the vendor's training program must meet the minimum curriculum requirements established by the comptroller and be certified by the comptroller. Vendors must make application to the comptroller's office on a prescribed application form. The comptroller's office will review qualified applications and certify vendors interested in providing a seller training program.

(c) Curriculum information. Vendors interested in obtaining certification must apply in writing and provide a written description detailing curriculum information, including:

  (1) the presentation;

  (2) specific course objectives;

  (3) academic content;

  (4) learning activities;

  (5) audio-visual materials, if any;

  (6) written materials (including instructor manual and participant workbook); and

  (7) course evaluation or feedback forms.

(d) Curriculum requirements. The curriculum of the training program presented should include, but is not limited to, the following components.

  (1) Component One--tobacco-related health hazards. Statistical information regarding tobacco-related health hazards as published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must be included in this component.

  (2) Component Two--federal and state laws. Discussion and comparison of the provisions of current federal law with the provisions of current state law pertaining to minors and tobacco must be included in this component. In particular, this component must include a review and explanation of all provisions relating to:

    (A) prohibiting the distribution of cigarettes or tobacco products to minors;

    (B) prohibiting the purchase, possession, or consumption of cigarettes or tobacco products by minors (citing examples of tobacco products included);

    (C) the warning notice signs for retail locations;

    (D) statistics on tobacco usage by adults and minors; and

    (E) the placement of tobacco products in retail locations.

  (3) Component Three--detection of minors. This component must identify and discuss:

    (A) observation techniques for determining when a customer is a minor;

    (B) common physical and behavioral signs of underage status; and

    (C) behaviors indicative of adolescence, including current clothing trends and fads, and physical appearance preferences, according to generally recognized experts in the field.

  (4) Component Four--personal identification. This component must:

    (A) identify, discuss, and provide actual samples of acceptable forms of identification, including, but not limited to:

      (i) a valid state driver's license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety; and

      (ii) other state or U.S. government issued forms of identification (with photograph);

    (B) identify, discuss, and provide actual samples of unacceptable forms of identification including, but not limited to:

      (i) a temporary state driver's license;

      (ii) a birth certificate;

      (iii) a school or work ID;

      (iv) a social security card; and

      (v) a professionally printed identification card.

    (C) explain how to detect invalid identification documents used in attempts to establish proof of age and provide examples of the following:

      (i) unofficial documents that look similar to official documents;

      (ii) types of document counterfeiting and alteration; and

      (iii) warning signs of document counterfeiting and alterations.

  (5) Component Five--second party sales. This component must:

    (A) explain and define second party sales; and

    (B) provide examples of second party sales including, but not limited to, the following:

      (i) a minor loitering outside a store in the store parking lot;

      (ii) a minor loitering around a store, either inside or outside, after having been refused a tobacco purchase; and

      (iii) a minor randomly approaching an adult customer to solicit the adult customer to purchase tobacco products and giving the adult customer money.

  (6) Component Six--refusing a sale. This component must:

    (A) identify and discuss techniques to prevent an illegal sale of tobacco products to a minor or second party;

    (B) identify and discuss techniques to terminate an illegal sale of tobacco products to a minor or second party; and

    (C) provide examples of words and actions that may be used by a seller to amicably avoid or terminate illegal attempts to purchase tobacco by a minor.

(e) Class length. The time length of the seller training class should be a minimum of two actual clock hours, including class breaks.

(f) Notice of certification or denial. The comptroller shall notify each applicant with a letter of certification or denial, including reasons for the denial, within 15 business days from the date the application is received by the comptroller. The certification or denial letter will be mailed to the address on the vendor's application.

(g) Certification. A qualified vendor is certified to provide seller training unless the certification is revoked or suspended by the comptroller.

(h) Denial. Applications for certification will be denied based on the following factors:

  (1) the curriculum information submitted does not meet the minimum requirements set out in subsection (d) of this section;

  (2) the application is incomplete;

  (3) the applicant is currently delinquent in the payment of any tax or fee collected by the comptroller.

(i) Administrative hearing. If the comptroller determines that an applicant is not eligible for certification, the applicant will be notified, in writing, that the application has been denied. The notice will state the reasons for the denial. The applicant may, within 15 days of the date of the notice of denial, make a written request for an oral hearing to contest the denial. If the applicant does not request a hearing within 15 days of the date of the notice of denial, the hearing is waived and the denial is final. The hearing will be governed by the provisions of §§1.1-1.42 of this title (relating to Practice and Procedure).

(j) Certification revocation or suspension. The comptroller may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, revoke or suspend a vendor's certification upon finding that the seller training classes provided by a vendor fail to comply with the comptroller's standards and requirements for seller training programs described in subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section, or the vendor becomes delinquent in the payment of any tax or fee collected by the comptroller. If the comptroller determines that certification should be suspended or revoked, the comptroller will notify the vendor, in writing, that the certification will be suspended or revoked and will state the reasons for the action. The vendor may, within 15 days of the date of the notice of suspension or revocation, make a written request for an oral hearing to contest the action. If the vendor does not request a hearing within 15 days of the date of the notice of suspension or revocation, the hearing is waived and the suspension or revocation becomes effective.

(k) Certification reinstatement. The comptroller may reinstate the vendor's certification after receiving proof that the vendor has satisfied all the comptroller's standards and requirements for seller training as provided under subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section, and the vendor is current in the payment of any tax or fee obligation due the comptroller.

(l) Notice of classes scheduled. Vendors must provide the comptroller's office written notification of the date, time, and location of scheduled training classes at least five business days prior to the date training classes will be conducted.

(m) Vendor reporting requirements.

  (1) By the 15th day of the month, each certified vendor must report data for each training class completed during the previous month. The data must include:

    (A) a class roster with the name, driver's license number, and date of birth of each participant;

    (B) the total number of classes conducted for the month;

    (C) the total number of participants that attended each class; and

    (D) the total number of participants that successfully completed the class.

  (2) The reports must be mailed to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 111 East 17th Street, Austin, Texas 78774-0100.

(n) Class cancellations. Vendors must notify the comptroller's office by telephone of any training class cancellations prior to the actual training session date by calling 1-800-531-5441, extension 65946 or the local number in Austin (512) 936-5946.

(o) Class monitoring. Training classes may be monitored unannounced by the comptroller or a comptroller's representative to evaluate the curriculum presentation and the classroom environment.


Source Note: The provisions of this §3.1203 adopted to be effective January 22, 1998, 23 TexReg 422.

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