Filing a Complaint

Part of the TTB mission is to ensure that alcohol beverage products in the marketplace are safe for consumption. Complaints generally involve the quality of the products, such as spoilage, unusual taste, low alcohol, and the presence of foreign objects. As a consumer you have a right and responsibility to report a product that you suspect may be contaminated or unsafe for consumption.

Tips on Making a Consumer Complaint

  • Contact the seller or retailer first
  • Contact third parties
  • Seek dispute resolution

Who to Contact

If for any reason you suspect an alcohol beverage product you have purchased or consumed is contaminated or adulterated, please contact the following:

  • Manufacturer or producer of the product
  • Federal Trade Commission regarding a particular company or organization
  • Food and Drug Administration regarding suspected product-tampering or other criminal activities
  • TTB Fraud Hotline at 855-TTB-TIPS (855-882-8477) or Contact Us Online.
  • TTB's Market Compliance Office at 202-453-2251 (option 1), or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alcohol Activities

With the exception of labeling, advertising, and containers, TTB does not enforce laws about selling or serving spirits, wine, or beer to consumers. Usually, State governments regulate those laws, including sales to minors. See more information.

Unlawful Trade Practices

Report information regarding trade practices between businesses selling or purchasing beverage alcohol products (spirits, wine, or beer) to TTB's Market Compliance Office at 202-453-2251 (option 2), by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail to:

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Trade Investigations Division - MCO
1310 G Street, NW, Box 12
Washington, DC 20005

Suspected Illegal Activities

Contact your local law enforcement agency to report information about illegal activities that do not involve beverage alcohol products (e.g., drug sales or prostitution.) If you have information about illegal activities involving firearms, explosives, arson, or tobacco products, report it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Tobacco Diversion Activities

If you suspect illegal activity regarding the diversion of tobacco products or cigarette papers or tubes outside the legal distribution chain, please contact the TTB Intelligence Division. Diversion includes tax evasion, theft, distribution of counterfeit products, and distribution in the United States of products marked for export or for use outside the U.S. Diversion may also include Internet sales of tobacco products not in compliance with federal, state, or local laws.

Under federal law and regulations, dealers must sell cigarettes or other tobacco products from packages in which the manufacturer or importer originally placed them. Dealers must not remove the cigarettes or other tobacco products from their original package until the customer removes them, or until the dealer removes them in the presence of the customer. For example, dealers are prohibited from selling loose or single cigarettes that have been removed from their packages and placed in a jar for sale. You may check with your state agency for additional restrictions.

For information on the federal laws that apply to the unlawful transportation, shipment, or sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, please refer to Industry Circular 99-2, or contact the Intelligence Division at:

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Attn: Intelligence Division
1310 G Street, NW, Box 12
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 877-TTB-FAQS (877-882-3277)
Online: Contact Us Form

If you suspect illegal sales of cigarettes, such as sales to or by minors, or if you wish to report smoking in establishments that have State or local laws against such activities, please contact the appropriate State or local agency. These issues are NOT regulated by TTB.

Page last reviewed: September 5, 2017
Page last updated: February 14, 2018
Maintained by: Trade Investigations Division, Intelligence Division

Alcohol Beverage Labeling and Advertising

The Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act sets forth standards for regulating the labeling and advertising of wine (containing at least 7 percent alcohol by volume), distilled spirits, and malt beverages. TTB’s regulations are written to prevent the deception of the consumer and provide them with "adequate information" as to the identity and quality of the product, to prohibit false or misleading statements, and to provide information as to the alcohol content of the product.


What to Expect from an Alcohol Beverage Label

For more details on what information is required on labels, please refer to the Beverage Alcohol Manuals specifically for:

Reading a Label

The information below describes the contents of an alcohol beverage label and what it means to you as a consumer.

Organic Labels

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides standards for the production, handling, processing, labeling, and marketing of products labeled with organic claims. While these rules were not written or implemented by TTB, they do apply to alcohol beverages. For this reason, TTB has worked closely with USDA to ensure that the alcohol beverage industry has been provided with current and accurate information regarding organic claims on labels. Learn more about the National Organic Program.

Major Food Allergens Labeling

Current regulations under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) do not require the disclosure of major food allergens on alcohol beverage labels. However, TTB has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, Notice No. 62, 71 FR 42329, which proposes to make the labeling of major food allergens mandatory. In addition, we have published an interim rule, T.D. TTB-53, 71 FR 42260, which sets forth standards for optional allergen labeling statements. The interim rule went into effect on July 26, 2006.

Consistent with the provisions of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, FALCPA, the interim rule defines a "major food allergen" to mean any of the following: milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts and soybeans, as well as any food ingredient that contains protein derived from one of these food sources.

Labeling Approval

TTB implements and enforces a broad range of statutory and compliance provisions to ensure that alcohol products are created, labeled, and marketed in accordance with Federal laws and regulations.

Alcohol producers must apply for a Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval (COLA) and follow the labeling and advertising regulations. Read more.

Labeling Claims

TTB uses the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) and TTB methods when reviewing labeling and advertising claims by taking samples of alcohol beverage products to validate calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein statements. These methods of analysis meet the definitions referenced in Section III of TTB Procedure 2004-1. We consider an advertising or labeling claim acceptable if, when we evaluate the product using these methods, we find that it falls within the tolerance levels specified in Section V of that procedure.

Alcohol Beverage Advertising

TTB's Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program monitors the market place to ensure compliance with the alcohol beverage advertising regulations.

TTB's Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program

TTB monitors the advertising of alcohol beverages through a combination of:

  • Preclearance of advertising material - At the industry member's request, we review the member's advertisement for compliance with the appropriate advertising regulations. This service is offered at no charge.
  • Referrals and/or complaints - Review of advertisements for compliance when the general public, other government agencies, an employee within TTB, or another industry member refers to us an advertisement that they believe is in violation of our laws and regulations.
  • Internal Selections for Review - TTB market compliance specialists independently select advertisements from a variety of media and review those advertisements for compliance with the advertising regulations.

Advertising Reviews

Examples of advertising areas that TTB will review include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The presence of mandatory information, such as the name and address of the responsible advertiser and product class/type information;
  • Statements or depictions that are inconsistent with approved product labels;
  • Statements that are false, misleading, or deceptive;
  • Statements, designs, or the use of subliminal representations that are obscene or indecent;
  • False or misleading statements that are disparaging of a competitor’s product;
  • Prohibited uses of the word "pure" for distilled spirits products;
  • Misleading or false curative or therapeutic claims;
  • The form and use of mandated and optional alcohol content statements;
  • Misleading references to carbohydrates, calories, fat, protein, and other macronutrients or "components;" and
  • Specific health claims and health related statements.

TTB will select industry members for advertising examination based on various indicators such as prior compliance history, advertising methods, and market impact, as well as random sampling factors. We will also continue to respond to specific complaints and referrals. TTB specialists will work individually with industry members to answer questions and to ensure the correction and/or removal of any improper advertising currently in use.

Page last reviewed/updated: 04/19/2019

Alcohol Abuse Prevention

TTB does not regulate beverage alcohol sales or establish the legal drinking age. Those laws and regulations are written and enforced by State regulators and local law enforcement agencies. We do not conduct studies or maintaininformation about alcohol consumption because we do not enforce laws or regulations relating to the effects from consuming alcohol.

More information on alcohol consumption and abuse prevention may be found at:

Also, you may contact associations that represent beverage alcohol products industries such as the Wine Institute, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, and the Beer Institute.

Effects of Tobacco Use and Dependency

In general, TTB regulates tobacco products to collect federal excise taxes. TTB does not provide information about the effects of using tobacco. We have provided a list of some federal websites containing information about the effects of tobacco use.

Additionally, TTB does not administer or enforce any laws regulating the age of individuals who can purchase, use, possess, sell, or otherwise deal in, tobacco products. Each State government usually enforces any such laws orregulations. You may contact your State government to determine such laws and regulations and the agency that enforces them.

Page last reviewed: February 25, 2016
Page last updated: April 12, 2017
Maintained by: Office of Communications

Environmental Issues

A person must meet the Federal requirements under the Internal Revenue Code and/or the Federal Alcohol Administration Act to lawfully engage in alcohol or tobacco operations. In addition, TTB collects information from alcohol and tobacco producers about the environmental impact of their operations. This information includes:

  • Location of operations,
  • Type of heat and power to be used,
  • Air pollution control equipment,
  • Solid waste and method(s) of disposal,
  • Liquid waste and method(s) of disposal, and
  • Operational noise.

Other Federal Resources

Page last reviewed/updated: 03/30/2017