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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

October 10, 2014


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had a jaunty and intriguing week! This week's top stories include announcements about the new acting director of our Regulations and Rulings Division, the publication of two viticultural area rulemaking documents, additional allowable revisions to approved alcohol beverage labels, a USTR notice seeking comments on notorious markets, an FDA notice regarding tobacco products, and a list of the past week's top Tobacco pages at TTB.gov/.

ANGELA JEFFRIES NAMED ACTING DIRECTOR REGULATIONS AND RULINGS DIVISION

With the recent retirement of Rochelle Stern, Director, Regulations and Rulings Division (RRD), Angela Jeffries has been selected to act as the director of RRD for up to 120 days, starting October 6, 2014.  Angela has served as deputy director of the division for the last four years, and she will ensure a seamless transition as we work to fill the permanent director position for RRD.

TTB ISSUES TWO VITICULTURAL AREA RULEMAKING DOCUMENTS

11 New Viticultural Areas Within the Paso Robles Viticultural Area: On October 9, 2014, we published a final rule,T.D. TTB-125, in the Federal Register establishing 11 new American viticultural areas within the existing Paso Robles viticultural area in San Luis Obispo County, California. The 11 new viticultural areas are Adelaida District, Creston District, El Pomar District, Paso Robles Estrella District, Paso Robles Geneseo District, Paso Robles Highlands District, Paso Robles Willow Creek District, San Juan Creek, San Miguel District, Santa Margarita Ranch, and Templeton Gap District. We issued this regulation in response to petitions from local vintners and grape growers.

This final rule is effective on November 10, 2014. To view all relevant rulemaking documents and public comments, see docket numberTTB-2013-0009 at Regulations.gov/.

Eagle Peak Mendocino County Viticultural Area: On October 9, 2014, we published a final rule, T.D. TTB-124, in the Federal Register establishing the 26,260-acre Eagle Peak Mendocino County viticultural area in Mendocino County, California. The new viticultural area is located within the larger North Coast viticultural area. This final rule also modifies small portions of boundaries of the existing Mendocino and Redwood Valley viticultural areas to eliminate overlaps with the newly-established viticultural area. We issued this regulation in response to petitions from local vintners and grape growers.

This final rule is effective on November 10, 2014. To view all relevant rulemaking documents and public comments, see docket number TTB-2013-0004 at Regulations.gov/.

INDUSTRY CIRCULAR 2014-2: EXPANSION OF ALLOWABLE REVISIONS TO APPROVED ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LABELS

TTB Industry Circular 2014-2 further expands the list of changes you can make to approved labels without being required to resend those labels to us for review.

You may make certain changes to approved alcohol beverage labels without submitting a new COLA (TTB Form 5100.31, Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval), under the guidelines outlined on the form in Section V, "Allowable Revisions to Approved Labels." There are currently 28 allowable revisions listed on the COLA form. Additionally, we have announced in various rulings and guidance documents that you may make specific changes to labels without resubmitting the labels for approval.

With IC 2014-2, we've added 6 additional revisions you can make to your approved labels without getting a new COLA.

** If you are considering making changes to previously approved labels, please review the complete list of allowable revisions before you submit your COLA application—you may not need to send us the revised labels at all! **

USTR SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON "NOTORIOUS MARKETS"

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is soliciting comments from the public to identify Internet and physical markets based outside the United States that should be included in the 2014 Notorious Markets List. The list identifies select online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

This USTR comment solicitation may be of interest to you if you are a TTB-regulated industry member whose products are counterfeited or whose brand names are misused or stolen. Comments are due to USTR by October 24, 2014.
See the USTR notice published in the Federal Register on September 29, 2014, for details on this solicitation and on how and where to comment.

FDA ISSUES GUIDANCE ON ESTABLISHING "GRANDFATHERED" TOBACCO PRODUCTS

The FDA has announced the availability of a new guidance document: Establishing That a Tobacco Product Was Commercially Available in the United States as of February 15, 2007. Such "grandfathered" tobacco products are not subject to the premarket requirements for new tobacco products in section 910 of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act at 21 U.S.C. 387j).

A grandfathered tobacco product also may serve as the predicate product for a new but substantially equivalent tobacco product (see 21 U.S.C. 387e(j)(1)(A)(i)). The guidance includes descriptions of the types of evidence needed to demonstrate that a tobacco product was commercially marketed in the United States as of February 15, 2007, such as dated copies of advertisements, catalog pages, and promotional materials.

You may submit comments to the FDA on this guidance document at any time. See the FDA notice of September 29, 2014 for details.

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