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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News
September 25, 2015
IN THIS ISSUE
Greetings! We hope you had a stimulating and smiling week! This week's top stories include a TTB announcement containing important information for wineries and other businesses affected by western wildfires, TTB’s new kombucha page, FDA’s request for comments on draft guidance on menu labeling, a final rule issued by CBP pertaining to importations of merchandise bearing suspected counterfeit trademarks or trade names that are recorded with CBP, and a list of the past week's top Beer pages at TTB.gov/.
WHAT'S POPULAR ON TTB.gov/
Top Beer Pages for September 14-20, 2015
ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER
The TTB Newsletter compiles 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 and State Matters at Industry-StateLiaison@ttb.gov/.
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INFORMATION FOR WINERIES AND OTHERS AFFECTED BY WESTERN WILDFIRES
Due to the recent devastation caused by wildfires in the western United States, we have compiled some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as guidance for alcohol and tobacco businesses whose operations have been adversely affected. Information covered includes how to file claims and report losses and the destruction of unmerchantable goods.
See TTB Announcement: Wildfires: Frequently Asked Questions
TTB PUBLISHES NEW KOMBUCHA PAGE, INCLUDING NEW FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The term “kombucha” generally refers to a fermented beverage produced from a mixture of steeped tea and sugar, combined with a culture of yeast strains and bacteria. TTB continues to find kombucha products in the marketplace that are not properly labeled as alcohol beverages despite the fact that they contain 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume. As part of our outreach on this issue, we have created a new kombucha page on our website. This page includes our existing FAQs on kombucha, which have been reorganized for clarity, along with some new FAQs that specifically address testing methods to measure the alcohol content of kombucha.
If you produce kombucha that contains 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume, you, as the producer, are subject to the Internal Revenue Code provisions that apply to alcohol beverages and your product must be labeled with the health warning statement required by the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988. Depending on how your product is produced, the labeling provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act may apply as well.
To learn more, please visit our new kombucha page.
FDA ANNOUNCES PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON MENU LABELING GUIDANCE
September 15, 2015
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the public comment period for a draft guidance document for industry that will help covered establishments to comply with the menu labeling final rule.
Although comments can be submitted at any time starting September 16, 2015, to ensure that the Agency considers your comments on the draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by November 2, 2015. The draft guidance, when finalized, will help certain restaurants and similar retail food establishments comply with the menu labeling requirements, including the requirements to provide calorie and other nutrition information for standard menu items, including food on display and self-service food.
To submit comments electronically to the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/ starting September 16, 2015, and enter docket number FDA-2011-F-0172 in the search box.
To submit comments to the docket by mail, use the following address. Be sure to include docket number FDA-2011-F-0172 on each page of your written comments.
Division of Dockets Management
For more information
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION FOR CERTAIN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ENFORCED AT THE BORDER
AGENCIES: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Treasury.
SUMMARY: This document adopts as a final rule, with changes, interim amendments to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations pertaining to importations of merchandise bearing suspected counterfeit trademarks or trade names that are recorded with CBP.
Specifically, the amendments allow CBP, for the purpose of obtaining assistance in determining whether merchandise bears a counterfeit mark, to disclose to a trademark or other mark owner information appearing on merchandise or its retail packaging that may otherwise be protected by the Trade Secrets Act. This final rule also amends the CBP regulations to further enhance information-sharing procedures by requiring CBP to release to the importer an unredacted sample or image of the suspect merchandise or its retail packaging any time after presentation of the suspect goods for examination. This change is to reflect that an importer may not have complete information about the marks appearing on imported goods, and release of such unredacted information will assist the importer in providing CBP with a meaningful response to a detention notice. The amendments in this final rule also require CBP to release limited importation information to the mark owner no later than the time of issuance of the detention notice to the importer, rather than within 30 business days from the date of detention. Finally, these amendments require CBP to notify the mark owner that use of any information otherwise protected by the Trade Secrets Act that is disclosed by CBP to the mark owner is for the limited purpose of assisting CBP.
DATES: Effective on October 19, 2015.