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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

March 27, 2015


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had a lucky and lighthearted week! This week's top stories include information about the TTB Systems Maintenance Calendar, a reminder that kombucha may be subject to regulation as an alcohol beverage, information about the TTB Tip Line, and a list of the past week's top Tobacco pages at TTB.gov/.

STAY UP TO DATE WITH OUR TTB SYSTEMS MAINTENANCE CALENDAR

Our website, TTB.gov/, and our online filing systems (COLAs Online, COLA Public Registry, Formulas Online, and Permits Online) require periodic maintenance to keep them up to date and operating well. We try to perform system maintenance outside of normal business hours to limit the impact on the public.

We perform routine maintenance on TTB.gov/ and the TTB online filing systems every day from 4 to 6 a.m. ET. Additional routine maintenance is performed on the first and third Thursdays of each month. That maintenance starts at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday evening and ends by 6 a.m. ET on Friday morning. While we are performing maintenance, our website and the TTB online filing systems are not accessible.

You can stay informed about routine and other maintenance on the TTB online filing systems by checking the TTB Systems Maintenance Calendar. You can also sign up to receive an email when we make updates to the calendar.

REMINDER – KOMBUCHA MAY BE SUBJECT TO REGULATION AS AN ALCOHOL BEVERAGE

While there is variation among kombucha products, the term "kombucha" generally refers to a fermented beverage produced using a mixture of steeped tea and sugar. Some kombucha products also have fruit juice or other flavors added during production. This mixture is typically combined with a culture consisting of yeast strains and bacteria.

In the past, our tests of kombucha in the marketplace revealed that many of these products contained at least 0.5 percent alcohol by volume. These products are alcohol beverages and are subject to TTB regulation.

Regardless of the alcohol content of the finished beverage when it leaves the manufacturing facility, when kombucha contains 0.5 percent alcohol or more by volume at any time, it must be produced on qualified premises subject to TTB regulation.

REPORTING SUSPECTED FRAUD, DIVERSION, AND OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

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At TTB, we investigate alcohol and tobacco diversion, which refers to the movement of alcohol and tobacco products into domestic commerce without the payment of taxes. Federal law also prohibits the production of alcohol and tobacco products without the necessary TTB permits.

If you suspect alcohol or tobacco diversion, or believe a TTB permittee is not operating in compliance with federal requirements, you can contact us using the TTB Tip Line, either by phone at 855-882-8477, or email at Tips@ttb.gov/.

One example of diversion is manufacturing alcohol (such as moonshine) or tobacco products without a permit and without payment of applicable taxes. Other examples of alcohol and tobacco diversion include manufacturing products in excess of the quantity reported to TTB, smuggling products, distributing counterfeit products, and domestic distribution of products intended for export.

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Please visit the homepage of TTB.gov/ for the most recent news, or visit the Contact Us page if you have any questions.