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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

June 5, 2020


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! This week’s top news includes the establishment of two new AVAs, the deactivation of an ALFD email address, the finalization of bond and filing frequency temporary regulations, and the 30-day suspension of a tobacco manufacturer’s permit.

TUALATIN HILLS AND LAURELWOOD DISTRICT AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS ESTABLISHED

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020 we published T.D. TTB-160 in the Federal Register to establish the approximately 144,000-acre Tualatin Hills American viticultural area and the approximately 33,600-acre Laurelwood District American viticultural area in Oregon. The Tualatin Hills viticultural area is located in portions of Multnomah and Washington Counties, and the Laurelwood District viticultural area is located in portions of Washington and Yamhill Counties. The final rule is effective on July 6, 2020. Both viticultural areas are located within the established Willamette Valley viticultural area, and the Laurelwood District viticultural area is also located within the established Chehalem Mountains viticultural area.

We are issuing this regulation in response to two petitions submitted by local wine industry members on behalf of themselves and other local vineyard owners and vintners. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

See Docket No. TTB-2019-0003 at Regulations.gov for all documents and public comments related to this rulemaking.

UPDATE ON OPTIONS FOR COMMUNICATING WITH ALFD

In order to improve cyber security, the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division (ALFD) is deactivating the email address alfd@ttb.gov on June 15, 2020.

If you have questions or need information from ALFD and prefer to communicate electronically, you may use one of these two options:

We thank you for your cooperation as we work to maintain the security and safety of our systems.

TTB FINALIZES CHANGES TO CERTAIN BOND REQUIREMENTS AND TAX RETURN FILING PERIODS FOR ELIGIBLE TAXPAYERS

On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, TTB published T.D. TTB-159, which adopted, with minor technical corrections, temporary regulations published in January 2017 relating to excise taxes imposed on distilled spirits, wines, and beer. These regulatory amendments implemented changes made to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (or PATH Act), which removed bond requirements and changed tax return due dates for certain eligible excise taxpayers.

Specifically, this rulemaking generally finalizes regulatory changes made in 2017 that removed bond requirements for Federal excise taxpayers who reasonably expect to be liable for not more than $50,000 in taxes imposed on beverage distilled spirits, wine, and beer for a calendar year, who were liable for not more than $50,000 in such taxes during the preceding calendar year. The amendments made in 2017 and finalized June 2, 2020, also implemented a new annual return period for those paying taxes imposed on distilled spirits, wines, and beer who reasonably expect to be liable for not more than $1,000 in such taxes imposed for a calendar year and who were liable for not more than $1,000 in such taxes in the preceding calendar year.

The temporary rule, the final rule and the comments received in response to the related notice of proposed rulemaking may be viewed at Regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB-2016-0013.

TOBACCO MANUFACTURER SERVES 30-DAY PERMIT SUSPENSION

Azuma Corporation out of Alturas, California agreed to serve a 30-day permit suspension. The suspension, which was served from April 11 through May 10, 2020, was predominantly a result of Azuma Corporation conducting unauthorized activities at their permitted premises.  You can read about this and other administrative cases here.

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