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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

March 10, 2017


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! This week's top news includes a system outage notification, information about our success in reducing alcohol beverage formula requirements, an announcement that Karen Welch is the acting director of our International Affairs Division, the call for applications for the Chemist Certification Program, and information about two adverse actions resulting from field cases.


TTB ONLINE SYSTEM OUTAGES

TTB's COLAs Online and Permits Online systems were unavailable this week due to technical difficulties. Permits Online is now operational, and we expect that COLAs Online will be available on Monday, March 13. We apologize for the inconvenience and will make every effort to ensure timely processing of any applications affected by these systems outages.

TTB SHOWS RESULTS IN EFFORT TO REDUCE ALCOHOL BEVERAGE FORMULA REQUIREMENTS

For fiscal year 2017, we set goals to reduce the turn-around times for responding to applications for approval of required formulas.  As part of this effort, we are reviewing our formula submission requirements and working to remove any unnecessary requirements.  At the end of fiscal year 2016, we published two TTB rulings (TTB Ruling 2016-3 and TTB Ruling 2016-2) to allow for general-use formulas for certain distilled spirits products and for certain agricultural wines.  Industry members making products in accordance with the rulings' general-use formulas do not need to submit a formula for TTB approval.  An earlier ruling, TTB Ruling 2015-1, exempts from the formula submission requirements malt beverages made with certain ingredients.  Since we published these rulings, fewer formulas have been submitted, as shown below.

 

FY 2016, Q1

FY 2017, Q1

Percent Change

Distilled Spirits

1,705

1,472

-13.7%

Wine

1,009

962

-4.7%

Malt Beverage

735

526

-28.4%

TOTAL

3,449

2,960

-14.2%

We also re-designed the Formulation Web page to provide quick and easy access to information and help answer industry members' questions.  We continue to enhance and improve Formulas Online, (the online system for submitting formulas for approval) by adding system checks and more help features to assist industry members in submitting more successful applications the first time. Register for Formulas Online today.

We will also hold several webinars to help industry members better understand and navigate the formula application and approval process.  The webinars will be announced in an upcoming issue of the TTB Newsletter, along with sign-up instructions.

ACTING DIRECTOR SELECTED FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION

With the recent retirement of John Lom, Director of the International Affairs Division (IAD), Karen Welch has been selected to act as director of IAD from March 6, 2017 through June 9, 2017.  Karen has been at TTB since 2008, and has worked in a position that is split between IAD and the Regulations and Rulings Division.

Karen graduated from Boston University with a double major in international relations and history. She received her law degree from American University Washington College of Law and a master's degree in international affairs from American University's School of International Service.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE SPRING 2017 ROUND OF CERTIFICATION FOR EXPORT ANALYSIS PROGRAM

We are accepting applications for the spring 2017 round of the Chemist Certification Program until April 1, 2017.

To apply, applicants must submit a request to participate in the certification program on company letterhead, signed by the applicant, to chemistcertification@ttb.gov/. The request should include the following:

For more information on this program, including eligibility requirements and certification timelines, please refer to the Chemist Certification Program page at TTB.gov/.

TTB ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

We accepted a $1.5 million offer in compromise from Inter-Continental Trading USA, Inc. for alleged violations of the tobacco tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Inter-Continental allegedly failed to file accurate reports and pay excise tax on the tobacco products that they manufactured and removed. In addition, Inter-Continental allegedly failed to correctly calculate excise tax on cigars that the company imported.

We also accepted a $450,000 offer in compromise from California Cider Co., Inc. for allegedly incorrectly reporting and taxpaying product at the hard cider tax rate even though the products did not qualify for that classification. California Cider Co. also allegedly failed to timely file or timely pay excise tax.

Please visit TTB.gov/ to see these and other offers in compromise that have been accepted.

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