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Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

Industry Circular

Number: 2003-5
Date: May 8, 2003

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TTB Form 5100.31, Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval (COLA)

To: Distilled Spirits Plants, Breweries, Wineries, Taxpaid Wine Bottling Houses, Importers and Others Concerned with the Alcohol Beverage Industry

What is the purpose of this circular?

This circular announces that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) released an updated version of TTB Form 5100.31, Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval (COLA). This form supersedes all previous versions of ATF Form 5100.31.

When should I start to use the new form?

You should begin to use the new form now.

Where can I get copies of TTB Form 5100.31, Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval?

We have attached a copy of TTB Form 5100.31 to this Circular. To obtain more forms, visit us on our Web site at www.ttb.gov/forms/index.shtml or contact the TTB Distribution Center at P.O. Box 5950, Springfield, Virginia 22150-5950 or telephone 703-455-7801.

Why did you revise ATF Form 5100.31?

  • In September 2000, we received a petition from the National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI) requesting that we expand the list of changes that may be made to a label that do not require a new COLA to include allowing the addition, deletion or modification of any non-mandatory wording, illustrations, representation, etc. In February 2002, we published in the Federal Register proposed changes to this form. Comments supported allowing the deletion only of non-mandatory items.

  • We also knew that as we implemented e-filing with COLAs Online that we would need to make some revisions to the form in order to facilitate that process. We also took this opportunity to make some changes to the form that makes it easier for you to fill out and easier for us to track and process it.

What is COLAs Online?

COLAs Online, a facet of TTB's electronic-government initiative, is a system that:

  • Provides the option of electronic filing, processing, and approval of TTB Form 5100.31.

  • Provides the alcohol industry with a streamlined, more expedient, and paperless means to submit and obtain a COLA.

  • Enables TTB personnel to process applications electronically.

  • Notifies applicants of approval or rejection of e-filed COLAs.

For more information on COLAs Online see our website at: http://www.ttb.gov/alfd/colasonline.shtml.

What did you change on the form?

We eliminated the:

  • Vendor code requirement, as we will begin tracking applications by your registry, permit, or brewer's notice number and by the TTB ID number in the upper left corner of the form.

  • Class and type requirement.

  • Age statement for distilled spirits.

We added:

  • Space for you to identify the commodity (wine, spirit, malt beverage) (Item 4).

  • Space for you to provide your e-mail address (Item 8).

  • Space for you to identify the appellation of origin when it is displayed on wine labels (Item 13).

  • A space for you to enter the TTB ID number when you resubmit applications that were previously rejected (Item 17 d).

We also:

  • Expanded the conditions that allow a certificate to be revised without re-approval (see section V, Allowable Revisions to Approved Labels). You may now delete any non-mandatory information or graphic without TTB approval.

  • Used plain language consistent with a Presidential memorandum that requires all Federal agencies to write documents using logical organization and easy-to-read design features, in other words plain language.

  • Included detailed instructions so you and others can prepare an accurate form.

  • Changed the abbreviation "ATF" to "TTB" due to our recent reorganization. Effective January 24, 2003, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 divided the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) into two new agencies, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the Department of the
    Treasury and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in the Department of Justice. The Federal taxation and regulatory control of alcohol and tobacco products remain functions of the Department of the Treasury and are our responsibility.

Must I submit the instructions from TTB Form 5100.31?

No, it is not necessary for the instructions to accompany the COLA form. However, if you fail to follow them, we may reject your application. When you sign the front of the form you certify that you have read, understood, and complied with the instructions.

May I still submit the old version of ATF Form 5100.31?

We will continue to accept the older version for a short period. The previous version has been made obsolete by the new edition, and after July 31, 2003 we will reject your application if you submit the old version.

Who can answer my questions about TTB Form 5100.31?

If you have a question about this new form, you may contact the Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division at 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 5200, Washington, DC 20226 or telephone 1-866-927-2533 or via email at: alfd@ttb.gov.

Signature of Arthur J. Libertucci
Arthur J. Libertucci
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