ATF Ruling 79-3

Industry members have asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to state its position regarding multicase sales in monopoly states by representatives of distilled spirits suppliers to industrial accounts that are not trade buyers. Such sales occur when a supplier's salesperson solicits and takes an order from an industrial buyer, transmitting the order for acceptance to the supplier's sales office where a retailer's special occupational tax stamp is held. Upon acceptance of the order by the supplier, the salesperson purchases the spirits to fill the order from a state liquor store, then delivers the order directly to the industrial buyer. (Each supplier's sales office where orders are accepted is subject to liability for special occupational tax as a retail liquor dealer, and a special tax stamp must therefore be secured at such offices. Orders that are not transmitted to a sales office for acceptance will subject the supplier to liability for special tax at each location where the supplier's salesperson accepts an order.)

These transactions are consistent with Federal law and regulations. However, certain procedures must be observed in these transactions to provide information necessary for compliance with regulations.

Through their participation in these transactions, state liquor stores sell liquors to trade buyers (suppliers). (A supplier's salesperson who tenders payment for and picks up liquor at a state store is simply acting as an agent for the supplier.) Therefore, since state stores in this instance sell to retail dealers (suppliers), the state stores are obliged to record the disposition of the liquors so sold pursuant to 27 CFR 194.223, in a manner that will enable ATF officers to readily trace the physical movement of the liquors.

Held, in their participation in the transactions described here, suppliers' representatives must identify themselves to state liquor store officials as agents of a retail dealer, since state liquor store personnel would not otherwise be aware of the nature of the transactions. Such identification is necessary to enable the state officials to prepare the required record of wholesale disposition prescribed in 27 CFR 194.223.

Held further, with respect to retail liquor dealer records requirements, suppliers must keep at each office where a special tax stamp is held the retail records prescribed in 27 CFR 194.239 for each purchase of spirits received from a state liquor store by their representatives who act as their agents in these transactions.

27 CFR 194.223 and 194.239.