Tag Archives: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

Permits Moving to the Permits Online System this Fall Could Cause Substantial Delays

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently notified holders of permits that were originally filed in paper of plans to move all permits to the Permits Online (PONL) system this fall. This could lead to substantial delays due to the volume of permits included.  Industry members who wish to submit requests ahead of … Continue Reading

The BA’s Growing Influence on Capitol Hill

How is it that the Brewers Association—an organization that has no political action committee, has employed a staff lobbyist for only 18 months, and has only had a strong presence in Washington since 2009—has gained significant traction among policymakers in the nation’s capital? The BA is now a serious player in Washington. That is not … Continue Reading

FDA Brewery Inspections

Most breweries have numerous deal­ings with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and un­derstand the need to comply with TTB regulations; this includes preparation for TTB audits and inspections. But the TTB is not the only federal agency with the authority to con­duct a brewery inspection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) … Continue Reading

Tied House Laws and Category Management: A Continuing Quandary

On March 16, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a list of frequently asked questions expanding further on a ruling issued in February on application of the federal “tied house law” to industry promotional activities, specifically category management practices employed by retailers. TTB claims that a formal rulemaking to revise … Continue Reading

TTB Publishes Projected Regulatory Agenda as Part of Government’s Unified Agenda

As it does twice per year, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently published its projected Regulatory Agenda as part of the federal government’s “Unified Agenda.”  Links to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s portions of the Unified Agenda appear below. TTB’s latest contribution to the Unified Agenda lists six priority projects that … Continue Reading

Product Recalls

Potential product recall situations rank among the most stressful that a producer can face. Things move fast and decisions must be made with less-than-perfect information. While no preparation will render such situations easy or routine, a producer can reduce the stress level and help navigate this “worst-case” scenario by understanding the process and taking certain … Continue Reading

TTB Publishes List of Exempt Ingredients

Yesterday, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published Ruling 2015-1. It re-states and supersedes Ruling 2014-4, notably by adding more than 50 new ingredients that a brewer can use in beer without the need to obtain an approved formula (or a pre-import approval for imported beer) from TTB. With this new Ruling, … Continue Reading

False Advertising Claims

Industry members should take note of several false advertising lawsuits against brewers and distillers. Several industry members are grappling with class action lawsuits, including at least three craft distillers. Compared to national ad campaigns from larger competitors, most small producer advertising is limited. But do not make the mistake of believing that modest advertising efforts … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Important Administrative Law Issue

On December 1, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that will have significant implications for federal regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The case is Mortgage Bankers Ass’n v. Harris, 720 F.3d 966 (D.C. … Continue Reading

TTB Issues Expanded List of Allowable Changes to Approved Labels

On Monday, September 29 2014, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued Industry Circular 2014-2, which expands the list of Allowable Revisions to Approved Alcohol Beverage Labels. Industry Circular 2014-2 permits the following changes to already-approved malt beverage, wine and distilled spirits labels without the need for a new certificate of label … Continue Reading

Join Marc Sorini and Art DeCelle at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Law Conference – September 18-19, 2014

Wine, Beer & Spirits Law 19th Annual National Conference The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel Washington, D.C. September 18-19, 2014 Click here to register. View the conference brochure. McDermott Speakers Marc E. Sorini, Partner, Program Co-chair Arthur J. DeCelle, Counsel Please join McDermott partner and program co-chair, Marc Sorini, at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Law 19th … Continue Reading

TTB Issues Ruling on Formulas for Beer

On June 5, 2014 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued TTB Ruling 2014-4, exempting from TTB’s formula  and pre-import approval (PIA) submission requirements beer made with dozens ingredients as well as beer subjected to wood aging processes.  TTB now finds these ingredients and processes to be traditionally used in the production … Continue Reading

Proposed FDA Labeling Revisions Would Impact Wines Below 7 Percent ABV and Certain Non-Malt Beers

On March 3, 2014, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that, if and when finalized, would make important changes to the labeling of all foods subject to FDA’s primary labeling jurisdiction.  While most alcohol beverages fall under the primary labeling authority of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and … Continue Reading

Impact of Government Shutdown

With the possibility of a government shutdown fast approaching, it is important to note that this will affect operations at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  TTB falls under the U.S. Department of Treasury and as a result the processing of all formula and COLA submissions will cease during the shutdown.  In … Continue Reading

TTB Can Assert a Plethora of Penalties That Are Stated In the Internal Revenue Code

As part of its audit of taxpayers’ excise tax compliance, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) may impose several different types of financial penalties stated in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).  Indeed, TTB can impose more than one penalty with respect to the same excise tax liability, and the total combined effect … Continue Reading

Alcohol Advertising in Digital Media, Part 2: Federal Regulation

This past year brought examples of federal regulation and oversight of social media.  Both illustrate the general policy concerns of federal agencies that regulate alcohol beverage advertising. TTB Industry Circular 2013-1, reviews the application of TTB regulations to beer, wine and spirits advertising in social media and other forms of digital advertising.  TTB’s primary concerns … Continue Reading

TTB Modifies Mandatory Information for Wine Labels

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently amended its regulations regarding the mandatory labeling requirements for wine.  Effective August 9, 2013, TTB regulations (27 C.F.R. § 4.32) no longer require that the alcohol content appear on the brand (front) label.  The alcohol content may now appear on other labels for wine products.  … Continue Reading

Alcohol Advertising in Digital Media, Part 1: Overview

Tremendous opportunities exist for advertising brands, events and other promotional activities in digital media, which includes traditional web sites, social networks and integrated advertising platforms.  Properly executed marketing efforts provide great flexibility to reach and interact with adults of legal drinking age on a range of devices.  “Properly executed” is the key, particularly in digital … Continue Reading

Recent TTB Announcements Effecting Label and Formula Applications

Several recent Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announcements impact label and formulation applications. First, as of March 8, 2013, TTB revised the turnaround times for labeling and formulation applications.  TTB’s current goals are to review label applications within 30 days and formula applications within 45 days of receipt.  It is important to … Continue Reading
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