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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

June 24, 2016


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had a flawless and commendable week! This week's top stories include a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the labeling wine that is covered by a certificate of exemption from label approval, proposed regulations that would streamline the import process for alcohol and tobacco products, a final regulatory action regarding permit and other requirements for TTB-regulated tobacco businesses, and a list of the past week's top International Affairs Division pages at TTB.gov.


TTB PROPOSES REVISIONS TO WINE LABELING AND RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS

We are accepting comments until August 22, 2016, on Notice No. 160, Proposed Revisions to Wine Labeling and Recordkeeping Requirements, which published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. In that notice, we propose to amend our labeling and recordkeeping regulations in 27 CFR part 24 to provide that any standard grape wine containing 7% or more alcohol by volume that is covered by a certificate of exemption from label approval may not be labeled with-

  • A varietal (grape type) designation,
  • A type designation of varietal significance,
  • A vintage date, or
  • An appellation of origin, unless the wine is labeled in compliance with the standards set forth in the appropriate sections of 27 CFR part 4 for that label information. 

We are also proposing to amend our part 4 wine labeling regulations to include a reference to the new part 24 requirement.

We are taking this action in response to concerns raised by wine industry members and members of Congress about the accuracy of label information on certain wines covered by certificates of exemption from label approval, particularly the labeling of certain wines that may not meet the part 4 regulatory requirements for using American viticultural area (AVA) names.

You may comment on Notice No. 160 and view copies of the proposed rule and any comments we receive on it at Regulations.gov, within Docket No. TTB-2016-0005. A link to that docket is available on our Wine Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page at TTB.gov. Instructions for submitting comments by U.S. mail or hand delivery are included in Notice No 160.

TTB PROPOSES REGULATORY AMENDMENTS TO STREAMLINE IMPORTATION AND FACILITATE USE OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE DATA SYSTEM

We are accepting comments through August 22, 2016, on Notice No. 159, Proposed Amendments to Streamline Importation of Distilled Spirits, Wine, Beer, Malt Beverages, Tobacco Products, Processed Tobacco, and Cigarette Papers and Tubes and Facilitate Use of the International Trade Data System, which we published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2016.

In this notice, we propose to amend our regulations governing the importation of distilled spirits, wine, beer and malt beverages, tobacco products, processed tobacco, and cigarette papers and tubes. The proposed amendments are intended to clarify and streamline import procedures, and support the implementation of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) and the filing of import information electronically in conjunction with an electronic import filing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The proposed amendments include the option for importers to file import-related data electronically when filing entry or entry summary data electronically with CBP, as an alternative to the current TTB requirements that importers submit paper documents to CBP upon importation.

We are taking this action in response to section 405 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act; Pub. L. 109–347), which mandates the use of ITDS by all federal government agencies that require documentation for clearing or licensing the importation or exportation of cargo.

You may comment on Notice No 159 and view copies of the proposed rule and any comments we receive on it at Regulations.gov, within Docket No. TTB-2016-0004. A link to that docket is available on our All Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page at TTB.gov. Instructions for submitting comments by U.S. mail or hand delivery are included in Notice No 159.

TTB PUBLISHES FINAL RULE ABOUT PERMIT AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR TTB-REGULATED TOBACCO BUSINESSES

On Tuesday, June 16, 2016, we published a final rule, T.D. TTB-137, in the Federal Register, adopting as a final rule, without change, a temporary rule, T.D. TTB-115 (published June 27, 2013), about permit and other requirements related to importers and manufacturers of tobacco products and processed tobacco.

The regulatory amendments adopted in this final rule include –

  • An extension in the duration of new permits for importers of tobacco products and processed tobacco from 3 years to 5 years,
  • A technical correction amending the definition of “Manufacturer of tobacco products” to reflect a statutory change, and
  • A technical correction related to references to the sale price of large cigars.

This final rule also permanently incorporates and reissues other TTB regulations pertaining to importer permit requirements for tobacco products, as well as minimum manufacturing and marking requirements for tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes that also were incorporated in the 2013 temporary rule.

This final rule will be effective on July 21, 2016. You may view the relevant rulemaking documents within Docket No. TTB-2013-0006 at the Regulations.gov website.  A link to that docket is available on our Treasury Decisions page at TTB.gov.

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