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Importing and Exporting Beer


By on Mar 26, 2020
Posted In Food Safety and FDA, Import/Export, TTB COLAs and Formulas

Importing and exporting beer or other alcohol beverages involves multiple levels of government regulation and taxation. Some regulations, taxes, and reporting requirements mirror your existing compliance obligations as a brewery. Other obligations are unique and include government agencies that are not involved in regulating domestic producers, such as US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and...

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Mississippi Supreme Court Rejects ‘Passage of Title’ DTC Theory


By on Mar 6, 2020
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, Distribution

Last week, the Supreme Court of Mississippi handed down an opinion in Fitch v. Wine Express Inc., No. 2018-SA-01259-SCT. A state court decision on the rather dry subject of personal jurisdiction often merits little comment, but the Fitch opinion features an emphatic rejection of the legal theory relied upon by many direct-to-consumer retail alcohol sellers...

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Oklahoma Supreme Court Strikes Down New Distribution Statute as Unconstitutional


By on Jan 24, 2020
Posted In Distribution, Legislation

In a win for alcohol beverage suppliers, on Wednesday the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued an opinion in The Institute For Responsible Alcohol Policy v. State ex rel. Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement Comm’n. In a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down as unconstitutional a statute requiring the top 25 wine and spirits brands in the state,...

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Federal Alcohol Excise Taxes 101


By on Jan 2, 2020
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, Legislation

There are many laws at both the federal and state level that govern the production and distribution of distilled spirits. For example, craft distillers must comply with licensing and permitting requirements, trade practice laws, advertising restrictions, and, depending on the jurisdiction, alcohol franchise law. One of the most fundamental—and most complex—areas of law governing distilled...

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Court Dismisses Challenge to TTB’s Rejection of Health Claims on Vodka


By on Sep 5, 2019
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Food Safety and FDA, TTB COLAs and Formulas

In August, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued its final decision in Bellion Spirits, LLC v. United States, Civ. No. 17-2538 (JEB). The Bellion case was brought by spirits company Bellion Spirits after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) refused to approve a series of health claims advanced...

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TTB Publishes New Nonbeverage Product Formula Form


By and on Aug 19, 2019
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, Non-Beverage Alcohol, TTB COLAs and Formulas

On August 12, 2019, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published its updated Formula and Process for Nonbeverage Product, TTB Form 5154.1. The Nonbeverage Product approval process is critical to obtain “drawback” (a refund) on most of the alcohol excise tax on distilled spirits used to make such products deemed “unfit for...

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Cannabis and Hemp Update


By and on Jul 29, 2019
Posted In Cannabis, Distribution, Food Safety and FDA, General Interest, TTB COLAs and Formulas

Cannabis legalization receives widespread popular support. According to opinion polls, more than two-thirds of Americans support full legalization—a steep rise in support considering that as recently as 2005, almost two-thirds of Americans opposed legalization. The country appears on the path to full cannabis legalization, but until that time, citizens and companies should be aware of...

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Implications of the Supreme Court’s Tennessee Retailers Decision


By on Jul 8, 2019
Posted In Distribution, General Interest, Trade Practices

As virtually everyone in the US alcohol beverage industry knows, last week the US Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Assn. v. Thomas, S.Ct. No. 18-96 (June 26, 2019). Now that over a week has passed since the release of that decision, it’s time to reflect on what it...

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TTB Publishes NPRMs to Repeal Standards of Fill for Wine and Distilled Spirits


By on Jul 3, 2019
Posted In Alcohol Excise Taxes, TTB COLAs and Formulas

On Monday, July 1, 2019, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published two eagerly anticipated notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) to largely repeal the standards of fill for wine and distilled spirits containers. The highlights:

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Data Breach: How to Prepare for What Experts Have Deemed Is Inevitable


By on Jun 24, 2019
Posted In General Interest

Data security experts often say there are two types of businesses: those that have been hacked and those who will be hacked. Many small business owners believe they are too small to attract a hacker or fall victim to a breach, but this is not true. Given the costs and broad reach of data breaches,...

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