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June 14, 2013

Greetings! We hope you are having a fruitful and rewarding week! This week's top stories include a press release about a man charged with tobacco tax evasion, a newly published final rule that amends our wine labeling regulations, and details about the Commerce Department's District Export Council nomination process.

In the TTB Newsletter, we compile the top TTB news of the week and other helpful information about the Bureau and the Federal alcohol and tobacco laws and regulations we enforce.

Please send any questions or comments to the Executive Liaison for Industry Matters at

TTB Newsletter Archives

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North Carolina Man Charged with Tobacco Tax Evasion

William Bradford Ellis, Sr., of High Point, NC, was charged in a one-count Indictment with evasion of tobacco tax. The maximum penalty Ellis could receive is five years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The case was investigated by agents of TTB and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney T. DeWayne Pearson of the Columbia office for prosecution.

Modification of Mandatory Label Information for Wine

On June 10, 2013, we published a final rule in the Federal Register amending our regulations regarding the mandatory labeling requirements for wine.  The regulatory change permits alcohol content to appear on other labels affixed to the container rather than requiring it to appear on the brand label.  This regulatory change provides greater flexibility in wine labeling, and will conform the TTB wine labeling regulations to the Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labeling reached by members of the World Wine Trade Group regarding the presentation of certain information on wine labels.  This final rule is effective on August 9, 2013.

A new certificate of label approval (COLA) is not required when you move the mandatory alcohol content statement to another label as it is authorized under item #2 on the list of allowable revisions ("Reposition any label information, including text, illustrations, graphics, etc."). 

NOTE TO INDUSTRY MEMBERS:  Even though we made this change to our regulations, you should check applicable state laws where you are located or where you intend to ship your wine to ensure the labeling rules in those states allow the alcohol content to appear on any label.

Commerce Department Seeks District Export Council Nominations

The Commerce Department is currently seeking membership nominations for the 59 nationwide District Export Councils.  The Councils are closely affiliated with the U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), and play a key role in the planning and coordination of export activities in their communities.  Council members include exporters, export service providers, and others whose profession supports U.S. export promotion efforts. 

  • Nominees will be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce
  • Nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must reside in or conduct the majority of their business in the territory that the District Export Council covers
  • Membership is not open to federal government employees, registered lobbyists, or persons representing foreign governments

Nominations are due by July 15, 2013.

For details on the nomination process, see the Commerce Department notice in the Federal Register.