(1) On and after October 1, 1959, all taxable malt beverages packaged in individual containers possessed by any person in the state for the purpose of sale or resale in the state, except operators of railroads, sleeping cars, steamships, buses, and airplanes engaged in interstate commerce and licensed under this section, shall have imprinted thereon in clearly legible fashion by any permanent method the word “Florida” or “FL” and no other state name or abbreviation of any state name in not less than 8-point type. The word “Florida” or “FL” shall appear first or last, if imprinted in conjunction with any manufacturer’s code. A facsimile of the imprinting and its location as it will appear on the individual container shall be submitted to the division for approval.
(2) Nothing herein contained shall require such designation to be attached to individual containers of malt beverages which are transported through this state and which are not sold, delivered, or stored for sale therein, if transported in accordance with such rules and regulations as adopted by the division; nor shall this requirement apply to malt beverages packaged in individual containers and held on the premises of a brewer or bottler, which malt beverages are for sale and delivery to persons outside the state.
(3) Possession by any person in the state, except as otherwise provided herein, of more than 41/2 gallons of malt beverages in individual containers which do not have the word “Florida” or “FL” as herein provided, shall be prima facie evidence that said malt beverage is possessed for the purpose of sale or resale.
(4) Except as otherwise provided herein, any malt beverages in individual containers held or possessed in the state for the purpose of sale or resale within the state which do not bear the word “Florida” or “FL” thereon shall, at the direction of the division, be confiscated in accordance with the provisions of the Beverage Law.
(5)(a) Nothing contained in this section shall require that malt beverages packaged in individual containers and possessed by any person in the state for purposes of sale or resale in the state have imprinted thereon the word “Florida” or “FL” if the manufacturer of the malt beverages can establish before the division that the manufacturer has a tracking system in place, by use of code or otherwise, which enables the manufacturer, with at least 85 percent reliability by July 1, 1996, and 90 percent reliability by January 1, 2000, to identify the following:
1. The place where individual containers of malt beverages were produced;
2. The state into which the individual containers of malt beverages were shipped; and
3. The individual distributors within the state which received the individual containers of malt beverages.
(b) Prior to shipping individual containers of malt beverages into the state which do not have the word “Florida” or “FL” imprinted thereon, the manufacturer must file an application with the division to claim the exemption contained herein and must obtain approval from the division to ship individual containers of malt beverages into the state which do not have the word “Florida” or “FL” imprinted thereon. Information furnished by the manufacturer to establish the criteria contained within paragraph (a) may be subject to an annual audit and verification by the division. The division may revoke an approved exemption if the manufacturer refuses to furnish the information required in paragraph (a) upon request of the division, or if the manufacturer fails to permit a subsequent verification audit, or if the manufacturer fails to fully cooperate with the division during the conducting of an audit.
(c) When a distributor has information that malt beverages may have been shipped into Florida on which payment of Florida excise taxes has not been made, such information may be provided to the division and the division shall investigate to ascertain whether any violations of Florida law have occurred.
(6) All malt beverages packaged in individual containers sold or offered for sale by vendors at retail in this state shall be in individual containers containing no more than 32 ounces of such malt beverages; provided, however, that nothing contained in this section shall affect malt beverages packaged in bulk or in kegs or in barrels or in any individual container containing 1 gallon or more of such malt beverage regardless of individual container type.
(7) Any person, firm, or corporation, its agents, officers or employees, violating any of the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; and the license, if any, shall be subject to revocation or suspension by the division.