CERTIFICATES OF ANALYSIS DENOTING
DIETHYLENE GLYCOL TESTING OF
IMPORTED AUSTRIAN WINES
Importers and Others Concerned.
Purpose. The Bureau is issuing this circular to advise
industry members of the acceptance of Austrian
certificates of analysis denoting diethylene glycol (DEG)
Background. In July 1985, information was received that
Austrian wines had been found in Europe containing DEG.
DEG, a chemical commonly used for industrial purposes, is
not allowed as a direct food additive under Food and Drug
laws. Therefore, DEG added to any food product (wine) is
not authorized and any such imported food would be
considered illegal and a hazard to health.
Thus armed with the health risk information supplied to us
by FDA and the knowledge that DEG was not a permissible
additive, we initiated a DEG testing program.
To ensure the safety of the American consumer, ATF, in
cooperation with the United States Customs Service, placed
an embargo on all Austrian wines entering the
United States. This embargo entailed detention and
testing of Austrian wines prior to release.
Since the discovery of DEG contaminated Austrian wines,
the Austrian Government has instituted a strict new wine
law. According to the new wine law, Austrian vintage
wines can only be exported in bottles. Only government
laboratories are entitled to issue export certificates.
Wines that are bottled outside of Austria cannot be
guaranteed by the Austrian Government. No Austrian
certificate will be issued for these wines.
During the past few months, we have been holding technical
discussions with the Austrian Government regarding
analytical certification of Austrian wines imported into
the United States. We have recently agreed to accept the
Austrian Certificate of analysis depicting DEG test
results. Therefore, we have requested and Customs has
agreed to lift the embargo in place at this time and
replace it with the following procedures:
Release shipments of Austrian wines entering the
United States accompanied by a certificate of analysis
from one of the following Austrian Government
laboratories indicating that the wine in question does
not contain DEG:
Landwirtschaftlich-Chemische Bundesanstalt with
laboratories in Vienna and Eisenstadt
Hoehere Bundeslehr - und Versuchsanstalt,
Bundesanstalt fuer Lebensmitteluntersuchung und -
Bundesanstalt fuer Lebensmitteluntersuchung Linz
Bundesanstalt fuer Lebensmitteluntersuchung Graz
Bundesanstalt fuer Lebensmitteluntersuchung Innsbruck
Detain shipments of all Austrian wines entering the
United States without a certificate of analysis from
one of the above mentioned Austrian Government
laboratories and submit, at least, one sample of each
brand to ATF's National Laboratory, 1401 Research
Blvd., Rockville, Maryland 20850.
Inquiries. Inquiries concerning this circular should
refer to its number and should be addressed to:
Chief, Alcohol Import-Export Branch
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
ATTN: Industry Circular
P.O. Box 385
Washington, DC 20226