With less than a week and a half remaining to avert a government shutdown, Congress appears no closer to finding a solution. This means that a shutdown could occur as early as October 1, 2023. Alcohol industry members should understand what this means for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
While TTB would continue to provide essential services during a shutdown, the agency would not process formula approvals, permit applications or Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) applications. If a shutdown materializes, the length of the shutdown may determine the downstream impacts on the industry, but significant delays and backlogs within TTB are possible (and have occurred with previous government shutdowns).
Industry members should begin to plan for these shutdowns and/or delays as much as possible. For example, we recommend expediting the submission of seasonal labels traditionally submitted later in the fall in order to secure a COLA prior to a shutdown (TTB’s current label processing time is between 3 and 8 days, depending on the commodity).
We also recommend industry members communicate with their trade organizations about the business impacts of a shutdown and urge Congress to fund the government to avoid a shutdown altogether.