TTB Takes Action to Reduce Regulatory Burden and Improve Formula and Label Processing Times

Posted 09/29/2016

TTB Takes Action to Reduce Regulatory Burden and Improve Formula and Label Processing TimesOn September 29, 2016, we took a major step toward meeting our commitment to reducing label, formula, and lab analysis processing times, with the goal of averaging 10 days for each approval type by the end of 2017.

We issued two Rulings establishing general-use formulas for certain wine and distilled spirits products, which eliminate the need to apply for formula approval for products made using those general-use formulas. We also published an Industry Circular eliminating pre-Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) formula and laboratory analysis requirements for some imported wines and distilled spirits.  These actions follow our publication of Ruling 2015-1 in December, which exempted certain ingredients and processes used in the production of beer from TTB formula requirements.

We encourage all industry members to review these Rulings and the Industry Circular to determine whether formula approvals are still required for your products. Industry members who have formulas with TTB awaiting review or approval for products affected by the new rulings should withdraw those applications immediately. If they are not withdrawn, we will reject those formula applications with a comment that formula submission is not required for that product. Industry members who receive this message may proceed to apply for label approval through COLAs Online.

This comes on the heels of recent improvements to COLAs Online and Formulas Online that will make filing label and formula applications quicker and easier.

These steps, together with the recent hiring of additional label and formula specialists, will enable us to meet our commitment to reduce delays in the label and formula approval processes that can present challenges to your business operations.

For detailed information on the Rulings and Industry Circular:

For detailed information about improvements to COLAs Online and Formulas Online:


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Page last reviewed: September 1, 2016
Page last updated: November 16, 2018
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