Saké Resources

Saké (pronounced sah-kay) is an interesting product in terms of our regulations. Generally, for matters relating to production and tax, saké is treated as beer under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). For labeling and advertising, saké is treated as wine under the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. Thus, saké is subject to provisions in both 27 CFR part 25 (beer production) and 27 CFR part 4 (wine labeling and advertising).

View Additional Saké Resources under Key Saké Topics below for a few exceptions to the saké regulations highlighted above.

phone icon NOTE
Anyone wishing to produce saké must qualify as a brewery, and also must file an application for basic permit to produce and blend wine. For more details, we have saké brewery information listed under Alcohol Producers and Manufacturers on our Applying for a Permit and/or Registration page.

 

        

Key Saké Topics

 

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For questions about saké production, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For questions about saké tax payments or applications, contact the National Revenue Center online or toll free at 877-882-3277.

For questions about saké labeling and advertising, contact the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division online or toll free at 866-927-2533.

  • Option 5 for alcohol advertising questions, or
  • Option 6 for technical questions about labeling or status of wine applications

 
Page last updated: January 26, 2017
Page last updated: October 2, 2019
Maintained by: Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division

How Do I Import Saké?

Saké is a wine for purposes of importation and you must qualify as an importer if you plan to import saké.

The Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act, which governs permit and labeling requirements, divides alcohol beverages into three categories; distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverages. In the FAA Act, the definition of wine expressly includes saké in § 211(a)(6) and again under the meaning of terms in 27 CFR 4.10.

Additionally, 27 CFR Part 1 requires a basic permit for importation and wholesaling of saké, as defined in § 1.10(b). You must apply for Importer Permit to include importation of wine.

Imported saké with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits that is bottled and ready for individual sale can be labeled as saké, provided it is fortified with alcohol derived from rice. Imported imported saké that has had brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits added during any stage of manufacturing is taxed at the distilled spirits rate of $13.50 per proof gallon.

You cannot bring imported bulk saké with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits onto a saké brewery. Imported bulk saké that is fortified with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits can only be brought onto a distilled spirits plant.

Additionally, you must contact the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division about the labeling of imported bulk saké fortified with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits.

See Part 27-Importation of Distilled Spirits, Wines, and Beer for more information.

Page last reviewed/updated: 01/11/2019

Additional Saké Information

Standard of Fill
Standard of fill requirements found in 27 CFR § 4.70 through 4.73 do not apply to saké.

Saké with Added Alcohol
We tax saké that has had brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits added during any stage of manufacturing at the distilled spirits rate of $13.50 per proof gallon.

Imported saké with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits that is bottled and ready for individual sale can be labeled as saké, provided it is fortified with alcohol derived from rice. You cannot import bulk saké with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits to a saké brewery. You must import bulk saké fortified with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits to a distilled spirits plant.

Additionally, you must contact the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division about the labeling of imported bulk saké fortified with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits.

Non-Beverage Saké
Nonbeverage saké may be removed from brewery premises without payment of tax under 27 CFR 25.191. For saké to be considered nonbeverage, the product may not have less than 1.5 grams of salt per 100 milliliters of product (12.5 pounds of salt per 100 gallons of product). Any variation of this ratio may change the classification of nonbeverage saké.

Page last reviewed/updated: 01/11/2019