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Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

Industry Circular

Number: 2014-01
Date: May 15, 2014

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New Argentine Wine Labeling Rules and Certificate of Label Approval Requirements

To:   Importers, Wholesalers, and Others Concerned

1.   Purpose.

This circular provides guidance to industry members and others regarding the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) position that a new certificate of label approval (COLA) is not required when adding the phrase “Vino Argentino Bebida Nacional,” a specific logo (shown below), or a two-dimensional barcode to labels that are covered by existing COLAs.

2.   Authority. 

Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), provides for the application for and issuance of COLAs for wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages sold or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce and authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of such products.  TTB administers the regulations promulgated under the FAA Act, which are set forth in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 4, 5, and 7 (27 CFR parts 4, 5, and 7).  The FAA Act requires that these regulations, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels, and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information about the identity and quality of the product.

We receive applications from alcohol beverage industry members either electronically, through COLAs Online, or in paper form on TTB Form 5100.31, “Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval.”  We are committed to minimizing the administrative burden of the COLA process on industry, while maintaining our mission to protect the public.

3.  Background. 

The Argentine government recently issued a resolution (Resolución C.49/2013) that requires additional information to appear on labels of all wine made in Argentina, including on the labels of exported wine.  One of the following three items must appear on wine made in Argentina:

  1. The phrase “Vino Argentino Bebida Nacional” (which translates as “Wine of Argentina, National Beverage”)
  2. The following logo:
  3. A two dimensional barcode, for example, a Quick Response (QR) code, that provides access to the company’s Web site, which must contain the logo.

For the specific requirements, for example, type size, placement, etc., please consult Resolución C.49/2013 or the Instituto National de Vitivinicultura of Argentina. 

4.  Use of this information on labels.

TTB has determined that the labeling information required by Resolución C.49/2013 is not prohibited under the wine labeling regulations in 27 CFR part 4, and it is not misleading when it appears on containers of wine produced in Argentina. TTB considers this information to be additional or optional label information, and as such, it must be truthful, accurate and specific and must not conflict with or qualify any of the mandatory information required to appear on the label. (See 27 CFR 4.38(f).)  While TTB is not enforcing this Argentine resolution, we will allow the labeling information to appear on labels of wine from Argentina.

If 2D or QR barcodes are used, all information viewable from use of the code must comply with all applicable advertising regulations found in 27 CFR 4.60 through 4.65.    

5. Certificates of Label Approval.

In line with our ongoing efforts to streamline the alcohol beverage label review and approval process, TTB will not require industry members to obtain a new certificate of label approval if an approved label is being changed only to add the phrase “Vino Argentino Bebida Nacional,” the logo shown above, or a two-dimensional barcode. This includes the addition of a new neck or strip label solely for that purpose.  

Additional label changes, for example, repositioning existing label information in order to accommodate the new information, must be made in compliance with TTB regulations and with the allowable revisions instructions listed on the COLA application form, TTB F 5100.31 (which also appear on COLAs Online for electronic submitters), and may require filing a new COLA application.

6.  Questions. 

If you have questions concerning this circular, please contact the Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division toll free at 1–866–927–2533 (option 6) or by email at alfd@ttb.gov.


John Manfreda

John J. Manfreda
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

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