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TTB's Mission - What We Do

At TTB, we protect the public by enforcing the provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) to ensure that only qualified persons engage in the alcohol beverage industry. We are responsible for enforcing the laws regulating alcohol production, importation, and wholesale businesses; tobacco manufacturing and importing businesses; and alcohol labeling and advertising.

Visit our About TTB page for more information about our mission and functions.

TTB IS NOT responsible for enforcing the laws regulating:

  • Retail sales of alcohol products
  • Retail sales of tobacco products
  • Tobacco and alcohol abuse programs

Check with your state government regarding these laws and programs.

TTB IS responsible for enforcing the laws regulating:

The FAA Act provides for the regulation of those engaged in the alcohol beverage industry, and for the protection of consumers. To ensure the integrity of the industry, the FAA Act includes provisions to:

  • Require a permit for those who engage in the business as a producer, importer, or wholesaler of alcohol beverages;
  • Issue, suspend, and revoke permits;
  • Ensure the integrity of the industry by preventing persons who are not likely to operate in accordance with the law from entering the trade; and
  • Protect consumers and the revenue.

The Webb-Kenyon Act prohibits the shipment of alcohol beverages into a State in violation of the receiving State's laws. This statute provides additional authority to enhance enforcement of FAA Act requirements. Visit our Direct Shipping page for more information.

TTB enforces the provisions under Chapter 52 of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the United States Code). In general TTB deals mainly with the Federal excise taxes on tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes and other requirements, such as permits required for engaging in business related to the manufacturing, importation, and other operations involving these products.

A person does not need a TTB permit to sell tobacco products; however, there are other requirements that may impact the sale of tobacco products. Please refer to ATF Industry Circulars 99-2 and 2000-4 for additional information on this topic. NOTE - These references, while still applicable, are from prior years and some contact information may not be current. To contact TTB on these topics please visit our Contact Us page.

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 or regulations. You may contact your State government on tobacco laws and the agency that enforces them.

The FAA Act provisions:

  • Ensure that labeling and advertising of alcohol beverages provide adequate information to the consumer concerning the identity and quality of the product;
  • Require that alcohol beverage bottlers and importers must have an approved certificate of label approval (COLA) or an exemption certificate before the product may be sold in the United States; and
  • Prevent misleading labeling or advertising that may result in potential consumer deception regarding the product.

The FAA Act includes provisions to preclude unfair trade practices. These provisions:

The Alcohol Beverage Labeling Act mandates that a government health warning statement appear on all alcohol beverages for sale or distribution in the United States.

The only law which TTB enforces that relates to the advertising of tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes is a prohibition against lottery features and indecent, immoral pictures, print or representation attached to such packages. Refer to section 5723(c) of Title 26 of the United States.

For general advertising information related to tobacco products, the Federal Trade Commission may be helpful. The Federal Trade Commission enforces a variety of Federal antitrust and consumer protection laws.



TTB does not regulate the sales of alcohol or tobacco products at the retail level, including sales to minors. State and local authorities regulate those sales. For information about laws and regulations in your state, please contact your alcohol control board and/or local authorities.


For general inquiries contact us online or at 877-882-3277 / 877-TTB-FAQS. For other inquiries see our Contact Us page for specific topics.


Last reviewed: September 4, 2012
Last updated: April 27, 2018
Maintained by: Office of Communications