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Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness knows all there is to know about TTB and the regulated industries. Take a look below to see his answers to popular questions.


“What are the certification requirements for imported wine?”

Certification is a statement that the practices and procedures used to produce the imported wine constitute proper cellar treatment. The certification requirement emanates from Section 2002 of the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004, which amended section 5382(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Section 5382(a) sets forth standards regarding what constitutes proper cellar treatment of natural wine. The Act added new certification requirements regarding production practices and procedures for imported natural wine.
If you import a natural wine produced after December 31, 2004, you must have the required certification for the wine.
These imported natural wines are not subjected to certification because of enological practices agreements with the U.S.—

  • Grape wine containing 7 to 22 percent alcohol by volume from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand; and
  • Grape wine containing 0.5 to 22 percent alcohol by volume from Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are not subject to certification.

There is no TTB certification form; however, the format for certification is available on the Wine pages of www.TTB.gov. Click on the “Certification of Imported Wines” link to find the Recommended Certification Format.

Certificates sent in after you’ve received label approval must be sent to:
Director, International Affairs Division
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Attention: Wine Certification Docket
1310 G Street, NW., Box 12
Washington, DC  20005
Or you may e-mail the certificates to: winecertificationdocket@ttb.gov
Or fax the certification to: 202-453-2970

For more information see Certifications on file with TTB and TTB's Wine Certification Page.


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Page last reviewed/updated: 10/20/2011