ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
Non-Beverage Alcohol
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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 it hopes to publish rulemaking notices on in 2016: Revise TTB’s import and export regulations to make them compatible with the International Trade Data System (ITDS).  ITDS aims to create a single electronic exchange portal for all import and export activities.  TTB expects to propose these new regulations by March 2016. Revise TTB’s labeling regulations for wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages (beer) to eliminate outmoded, ineffective and excessively burdensome regulations.  TTB plans to propose these revised regulations for industry and public comment sometime before the end of 2016. Finalize new...

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TTB Publishes Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda with Plans and Goals for the Coming Year

Late last year, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) published its semi-annual regulatory agenda in the Federal Register.  The agenda provides useful insights into TTB’s regulatory plans and goals for the coming year.  As in prior years, however, observers should recognize that TTB often announces ambitious regulatory plans and deadlines that it does not meet. TTB identified five priority projects for 2015.  First, TTB wishes to update and modernize its regulations on the labeling and advertising of wine (Pt. 4), distilled spirits (Pt. 5) and beer (Pt. 7).  In describing the initiative, TTB seems most interested in simplification and streamlining, not in the imposition of significant new labeling and advertising requirements.  Second, TTB seeks to further de-regulate and streamline its oversight of denatured alcohol and rum, a move that could help the competitiveness of U.S. industrial operations that employ alcohol.  Third, TTB wishes to...

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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 Annual National Conference on September 18-19, 2014.  This year’s program will bring direct access to experts in the alcohol beverage industry, including speakers from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Beam Suntory, BLDS, the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, Diago North America, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, E&J Gallo Winery, the Federal Trade Commission, Ippolito Christon & Co., New Belgium Brewing Company, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law and Public, Safety, Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Precision Economics,...

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FDA to Regulate Brewers and Distillers That Sell Waste Grain for Animal Feed

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will publish its Preventive Control Rule for Feed next Tuesday, October 29, 2013.  The FDA’s Fact Sheet about the proposed rule can be found here.  The comment period is 120 days and comments accordingly should be due on or around February 26, 2014.  More information is available on the following FDA webpage: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm366510.htm. Quite notably, the FDA rule proposes to cover breweries and distilleries if they sell spent grain to farmers for use in animal feed.  This aspect of the rule could regulate hundreds of breweries, distilleries and ethanol plants as animal feed producers.  The rule does propose exempting smaller companies, suggesting between $.5 and $2.5 million in feed sales as the appropriate threshold for regulation. Among other things, application of the proposed rule to a facility would require: a written food safety plan; hazard analysis; preventive controls for...

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FDA Issues New Rules on Gluten Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule that defines what characteristics a food has to have to bear a label that proclaims it “gluten- free,” “without gluten,” “free of gluten” and “no gluten.”  The rule applies to all FDA-regulated alcohol beverages, which include wines (and ciders) below 7 percent alcohol by volume, and malt beverages that are not made with both barley and hops; but does not apply to alcohol beverages regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), including all distilled spirits, wines that contain 7 percent or more alcohol by volume, and malted beverages that are made with both malted barley and hops.  The notice includes a commitment by the FDA to work with TTB to harmonize labeling issues.  The two agencies consult as needed under an interagency Memorandum of Understanding, and TTB may develop new guidance based on the FDA final rule. For brewers, FDA intends to issue a proposed rule on...

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TTB Proposal on Industrial Alcohol

On June 27, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on specially denatured alcohol (SDA), completely denatured alcohol (CDA) and related amendments to federal regulations governing non-beverage "industrial" alcohol.  In the NPRM, the TTB makes a host of proposals to reduce regulatory burdens on the industrial alcohol industry and update regulations to align with current practice. The NPRM contains a great many recommendations that you or someone on your staff should review with care.  Primary among the changes, however, are the following: Reclassifying two often-used SDA formulas, SDA # 12-A and SDA #35, as CDA formulas.  This change considerably reduces the regulatory burden associated with using these formulas. Issuing "general use" formulas for articles made with any of 15 SDA formulas.  Again, this change greatly reduces the regulatory burdens associated with using these SDA formulas. Issuing...

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