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October 5, 2018


Greetings! This week’s top news includes recent enhancements we made to COLAs Online, information about how to correctly format a beer/malt beverage net contents label statement, and publication of updated procedures for our Chemist Certification Program.


TTB has to return a high percentage of COLA applications for correction.  Every time an application is sent back it delays your ability to get that product to market.  To help reduce application errors we’ve been analyzing ways that COLAs Online could help prevent the most common errors.  The latest version of COLAs Online, launched yesterday, contains a few of our ideas designed to help you submit applications that can be approved on the first try:

  • Confirmation when attaching a single label – When you complete the image upload stage with only one image uploaded, a pop-up window will display, asking for confirmation that you only intended to upload a single label image. You will then have a choice to move forward or proceed to upload additional labels.
  • Enhanced help text for DBA/Trade Name, Brand Name and Fanciful Name fields – The help/guidance for these fields, which appear in Step 1 of the application, has been redesigned to provide clearer and better information to assist you if you are unsure what to enter in those fields.
  • Mandatory Label information checklist added – You now see a pop-up list of mandatory label information (based on the commodity selected in Step 1), along with useful informational links, in the image upload screen of the COLA application.  Use the list as a last-minute check that the labels being submitted contain all the required information and that it’s on the label it’s required to appear on.  If you spot an issue, cancel the application and fix the label before you submit it to TTB.

This release also contains a few other enhancements we think you’ll like:

  • Qualification indicator added – A flag icon Flag Icon. now appears next to COLAs in your inbox when TTB has applied qualifications or conditions under which those labels may be used. Industry members are advised to carefully review the qualifications prior to using the labels.
  • Export all applications feature – From your inbox screen you may now download all the applications associated with your permit to a comma delimited file, regardless of date and status of the applications. This feature provides a quicker option for industry members to see all the applications submitted under a permit associated with their user account.

For details and additional changes, check out What’s New in COLAs Online 4.5.


One of the most common problems we see on beer/malt beverage labels that causes us to have to send those COLA applications back for correction is that the net contents are stated incorrectly on the label.

Here’s a chart to help you know how the mandatory net contents statement has to appear:

Beer/Malt Beverage Net Contents Statements

If the container size is:

Then the net contents must be shown in:


If the fluid ounces are:

Then the net contents statement must be:

Less than 1 pint

Fluid ounces or fractions of a pint

8 ounces

8 fluid ounces (fl. oz.) or
½ pint (pt.) or
0.5 pint (pt.)

1 pint


16 ounces

1 pint (pt.)

More than 1 pint but less than 1 quart

Pints and fluid ounces or fractions of a quart

20 ounces

1 pint (pt.), 4 fluid ounces (fl. oz.) or
5/8 quart (qt.) or
0.63 quart (qt.)

1 quart


32 ounces

1 quart (qt.)

More than 1 quart but less than 1 gallon

Quarts, pints and fluid ounces or
fractions of a gallon

60 ounces

1 quart (qt.), 1 pint (pt.), 12 fluid
ounces (fl. oz.) or
15/32 gallon (gal.) or
0.47 gallon (gal.)

1 gallon


128 ounces

1 gallon (gal.)

More than 1 gallon

Gallons and fractions of gallons

166 ounces

1 ¼ gallons (gals.) or
1.25 gallons (gals.)

Important Icon.

Note: When using ounces be sure to state “fluid ounces” or “fl. oz”


On September 24, 2018, we issued TTB Procedure 2018-2 regarding the procedures we follow for our Chemist Certification Program for the analysis of wine, distilled spirits, and beer for export. Under that program chemists in the private industry are certified to analyze specific tests as listed in TTB Procedure 2018-2. Many countries accept a report of analysis of alcohol beverages from a TTB-certified chemist accompanying the export shipment as a condition of entry. The certification is free of charge. Initial certification is valid for two years and re-certification is required at the expiration of the two-year period.

TTB Procedure 2018-2 revises TTB Procedure 2010-1 by:

  • incorporating certification guidelines and information for analyses of beer for export;
  • updating eligibility guidelines for applicants; and
  • establishing processes for TTB audits of certified chemists and revocation of certification.

Read TTB Procedure 2018-2 for full details.



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