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November 16, 2012

Greetings! We hope you are having a light-hearted and effective week! This edition invites comments on revisions to Brewer's Report of Operations and Brewpub Report of Operations and provides notice that the Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Marketing Service is issuing final rule regarding periodic residue testing of organic products.

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In the TTB Newsletter, we compile the top TTB news of the week and other helpful information about the Bureau and the Federal alcohol and tobacco laws and regulations we enforce.

Please send any questions or comments to the Executive Liaison for Industry Matters at IndustryLiaison@ttb.gov and/or StateLiaison@ttb.gov.

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REVISIONS TO BREWER'S REPORT OF OPERATIONS FORM AND QUATERLY BREWER'S REPORT OF OPERATIONS

TTB is seeking comments on its proposal to revise two forms, TTB F 5130.9, Brewer's Report of Operations, and TTB F 5130.26, Brewpub Report of Operations. We propose to revise both of these operations reports in order to reduce the burden on brewers, particularly small brewers.

Currently, TTB F 5130.26 is filed on a quarterly basis by those brewers who produce not more than 5,000 barrels per year and who do not bottle or keg beer for removal from their brewery. The more detailed TTB F 5130.9 is filed by all other brewers, typically on a monthly basis, although TTB regulations currently allow all brewers who produce fewer than 10,000 barrels per year to file a report of operations quarterly rather than monthly, regardless of which form applies.

To reduce the reporting burden on small brewers, we propose to allow brewers who produce fewer than 10,000 barrels per year to use TTB F 5130.26 to report quarterly. We also propose to change the name of that form from "Quarterly Brewer's Report of Operations" to "Small Brewer's Report of Operations." In addition, on both forms, TTB proposes to remove two parts, "Part 2-Report Period Tax Payments" and "Part 3-Summary of Materials Used and Wort Produced," and to add instructions to the forms for filing them electronically through the Pay.gov system.

TTB estimates these changes will reduce the time it takes brewers to complete either form by 15 minutes. We also believe that the changes regarding TTB F 5130.26 will significantly increase its use, which would reduce a qualifying brewer’s reporting requirements from 12 times a year to just 4.

For details concerning this proposal, including instructions on how and where to comment, see TTB's Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request notice in the Federal Register of Friday, November 9, 2012.

Proposed revised forms:

Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Marketing Service Issues Final Rule Regarding Periodic Residue Testing of Organic Products

Beginning January 1, 2013, accredited organic certifying agents must test samples from at least 5 percent of the operations they certify on an annual basis. While the Organic Foods Production Act already requires periodic testing, this action specifies the minimum amount of testing that must occur.

The USDA rule is as follows:

This final rule clarifies a provision of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the regulations issued thereunder that requires periodic residue testing of organically produced agricultural products [including alcohol beverages] by accredited certifying agents. The final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to make clear that accredited certifying agents must conduct periodic residue testing of agricultural products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as "100 percent organic," "organic," or "made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))." The final rule expands the amount of residue testing of organically produced agricultural products by clarifying that sampling and testing are required on a regular basis. The final rule requires that certifying agents, on an annual basis, sample and conduct residue testing from a minimum of five percent of the operations that they certify. This action will help further ensure the integrity of products produced and handled under the NOP regulations.

Visit the NOP Web site for additional information.