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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

June 2, 2017


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! This week's top news includes an announcement that our 2017 satisfaction survey is now open, we are no longer requiring declarations from the French government regarding pinot noir wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, USDA has announced their annual meeting of the National Organics Standards Board, and thirty-five people have been indicted on Federal conspiracy charges.

TTB'S 2017 SATISFACTION SURVEY IS NOW OPEN!

Starting this week, emails are going out inviting a sample of our stakeholders to participate in the 2017 TTB Satisfaction Survey. If you receive the invitation, please go ahead and take the survey—it's hosted by SurveyMonkey® and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through June 30, 2017, or until our maximum allowable number of responses is reached.

Your feedback plays an important role in helping us understand your concerns, so we can shape our procedures and policies to better meet your needs.

Your responses are anonymous, and it shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to complete the survey. We look forward to hearing from you!

CANCELLATION OF DECLARATION REQUIREMENT FOR PINOT NOIR FROM THE LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON REGION OF FRANCE

We recently published TTB Industry Circular 2017-3, which serves as notice that, effective immediately, we are no longer requiring importers of certain bottled or bulk wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France to obtain a declaration from the Government of France.

We previously obtained information from French authorities about investigations of wine producers and merchants in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France who were suspected of selling wine labeled as pinot noir when the wine was not produced from pinot noir grapes.  These investigations resulted in criminal charges of fraud and subsequent convictions for certain producers and merchants associated with the fraud.  As a result, to help ensure the integrity of imported wines in the U.S. marketplace, we temporarily required U.S. importers of bottled or bulk wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France covered by a COLA naming pinot noir as the single grape varietal and an appellation of origin in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, to obtain a declaration from the Government of France.

We have remained in contact with France's General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) as the appeals process in those cases has proceeded. The DGCCRF informed us that the process was concluded and that new regulatory measures have been put into place to address the occurrence of such violations going forward.

Read TTB Industry Circular 2017-3.

NOTICE OF MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD

If a bottler or importer of alcohol beverages uses the word "Organic" on a label in any fashion likely to be perceived as claiming that a product is organically produced, contains organic ingredients, or was processed in an organic manner or facility, TTB considers this an organic claim and thus the requirements outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) at 7 CFR part 205 apply.

Source: Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 30, 2017

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, (5 U.S.C. App.), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to assist the USDA in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production and to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on any other aspects of the implementation of Organic Foods Production Act.

DATES: The Board will receive public comments via a webinar on October 24, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). If the number of commenters registered for the webinar exceeds the time allotted, a second webinar will be held on October 26 from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. ET. An in-person meeting will be held October 31-November 2, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 6:00 p.m. ET. Oral comments will be heard on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comment at either the webinar or face-to-face meeting is 11:59 p.m. ET, October 11, 2017.

Read the Federal Register Notice for more details.

THIRTY-FIVE PEOPLE INDICTED ON FEDERAL CONSPIRACY CHARGES FOR TRAFFICKING IN CONTRABAND CIGARETTES, DISTRIBUTING SYNTHETIC DRUGS, AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri announced that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging thirty-five individuals with various counts of conspiring to traffic in contraband cigarettes, conspiring to distribute controlled substances/analogues and money laundering.

If convicted, defendants are facing maximum penalties of 5 years to 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1,000,000.

A copy of the press release may be found on the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri website.

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