ALFD Announcements

New COLA Forms Released
TTB has just released two updated forms – a new version of TTB F 5100.31, Application for Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval (COLA) and an updated version of TTB F 5013.2, COLAs Online Access Request form. Read more.

Wine Industry Reminder
TTB reminds the wine industry that the use of "Temecula" as an approved viticultural area on domestic wine labels will soon expire. Read more.

TTB Issues Guidance for Retention of COLAs by Alcohol Wholesalers
TTB explains its COLAs retention requirements for alcohol beverages kept on wholesalers' premises. Read more.

COLAs Online 1999 to the Present
ALFD is pleased to announce the online availability of approved COLAs issued in 1999 through the present. Images of new COLAs are available 48 hours after they have been approved. The electronically approved and paper images are available for viewing and printing through the Public COLA Registry link.

Russian Imperial Stout Deemed Generic Type of Malt Beverage.
TTB has determined that "Russian Imperial Stout" and "Imperial Russian Stout" by usage and common knowledge have lost their geographical significance to such an extent that they have become a generic type of malt beverage. Read more.

Imaged Paper COLAs -- Making Life Easier with Viewable and Printable Paper COLAs.
Ever wish that you could print a copy of a COLA from the Internet? Well now you can! You may of course print any COLA that was approved using COLAs Online since its inception in May 2003, but now the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division (ALFD) is working on imaging 5 years of paper COLAs. Read more.

Industry Concerns Regarding Varietal Authentication Testing Addressed.
Recently the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau embarked on a program to develop scientific methods to authenticate the varietal designations of grapes used in the production of wine by testing samples from finished, bottled wine. View letters TTB sent to the Wine Institute and Wine America explaining the program and its purpose.

Industry Circular 2004-6, Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program Due to the high volume of new alcohol beverage products entering the market place, TTB plans to take a more proactive approach towards monitoring and reviewing alcohol advertising for compliance with the mandatory and prohibited statement requirements of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. In particular, we will request that alcohol beverage producers and importers provide us with selected advertising materials for compliance review. We will also continue to review voluntary submissions of advertising materials from industry members. Read Industry Circular 2004-6 for more details.

Coming soon … A more effective way to direct your inquiries.
To better serve you, callers to the Customer Service line at the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division of TTB (202-927-8140 or 866-927-2533) will be channeled directly to the team best suited to answer your questions. Read more.

TTB Hemp Policy.
TTB wants to remind you of our policy concerning alcohol beverages containing hemp or a hemp component. We have specific requirements for formulas/statments of process, imported hemp products, and label approval. Read the policy.

Experience the Excitement of COLAs Online
TTB is excited about our recently implemented electronic filing system for COLA. This new system, COLAs Online, is web-based and entirely paperless!

COLAs Online Hot Topic
Often times we encounter problems viewing label images submitted through COLAs Online. Please be sure to preview your uploaded images before submitting your eApplication. Need further assistance? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions

TTB Issues Industry Circular 2004-1, COLAs Online--eApplication Process. This circular provides information to guide users through the COLAs Online eApplication process for filing Certificates of Label Approval for alcohol beverages using the Internet. The circular provides helpful hints, discusses common errors on eApplications, and includes answers to frequently asked questions concerning the COLAs Online system. (2/09/04)

Past Announcements

Page last reviewed/updated: 03/30/2017

Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval (COLA)

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (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 found below.



  • TTB F 5100.31, Application for Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval (COLA)
  • TTB F 5013.2, COLAs Online Access Request form

Apply Using COLAs Online

Processing Time


Please visit the labeling and formulation FAQs for further information.

Page last reviewed/updated: 04/07/2017

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COLAs Online eNews

July 2011
Special Edition


Welcome to another Special Edition of the COLAs Online eNews, sent to inform you of recent updates and news for COLAs Online users.

Great NEWS!  COLA Processing Time Information NOW Available via and the ALFD Customer Service Call Center Phone Line

Recently, Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) processing times have increased for a number of reasons, including steep growth in the number of applications received by TTB and reductions in staff available to process applications.  As a result, we have also seen a sharp increase in the number of inquiries that we receive regarding the status of COLA applications.

In order to help manage expectations regarding your COLAs, we are now providing the current average processing times for each commodity (wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages) on our Website and customer service call center phone line.  You now have the ability to check the average number of business days that it is taking TTB to respond to COLA applications. 

Average COLA processing times may be accessed in the following ways:

  • on our Web site at, or
  • by calling our Customer Service Call Center at 1-866-927-2533. 
    • Press 4 for malt beverage and distilled spirits labels, and
    • press 6 for wine labels.

Since responding to status inquiries diverts resources away from processing COLAs, we request that you refrain from contacting TTB about the status of applications unless we exceed the current average processing time for your commodity.  Compliance with this request will allow the label specialists to focus their attention on reducing COLA backlogs and processing times. 

Finally, it is likely that COLA processing times will remain longer than you have experienced in the past and we strongly suggest that you build in extra time for receiving label approval from TTB.


View past editions

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