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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

November 2, 2018


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! This week’s top news includes two grape varieties that have been approved for use on American wine labels, information about service delays in our TTB call centers, an invitation to apply for the Assistant Director position in the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division, and another permit suspension resulting from a trade practice investigation.

REGENT AND SOMERSET SEEDLESS GRAPE VARIETIES APPROVED FOR DESIGNATING AMERICAN WINE

We recently granted administrative approval for the use of two new grape variety names on American wine labels:  Regent and Somerset Seedless.  Wine bottlers may use these names, as well as others granted administrative approval, to label American wines pending the results of our next rulemaking to revise the list found in 27 CFR 4.91 of grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines.

Visit our American Grape Variety Names page at TTB.gov for additional information about the regulation of grape variety names.

“WE ARE EXPERIENCING UNUSUALLY HIGH CALL VOLUMES”

These are words no one wants to hear because you need assistance now.  One of TTB’s core values is accessibility. We take pride in assisting industry members, and our goal is to do so in a timely fashion. We acknowledge that our NRC and ALFD call centers are not always performing up to the levels you expect, and we ask for your patience as we take steps to address our internal challenges.

We are currently working through a sizeable backlog of calls and emails, which means we may not be able to provide immediate assistance, but we will return all calls and respond to all emails in the order in which they were received.  In the meantime, here are some tips:

  • Try searching our Web site, www.TTB.gov, for the answers to your questions.  We recently updated the Permits Online Help Center and Alcohol Beverage Formula Approval pages with lots of useful information.
  • You can check the status of your TTB application by logging into the applicable system at any time of day. If the status is “received” or “review in progress” chances are we haven’t started working on it yet, and our call center staff won’t have any additional details to share with you.  Once a specialist begins reviewing your application it won’t be long before you hear from us.
  • Speaking of applications, check our TTB Application Processing Times pages to get an idea of how long the current wait time is for each application type.
  • Avoid getting locked out of your Permits Online account by changing your password before it expires. Government IT security protocols mandate that passwords expire every 60 days and your account will be locked if you don’t change your password in time.
  • We currently have two call centers and each handles different areas of TTB workload.  Be sure to call the right call center, based on your question:
  • If your request isn’t urgent, leave us a message instead of waiting on hold, and we’ll get back to you, usually within 2 to 3 business days.
  • Refrain from leaving or sending multiple messages on the same topic.  Since we currently have a backlog of calls and emails to return this actually makes things harder for call center staff.

LOOKING FOR CANDIDATE TO FILL ASSISTANT DIRECTOR POSITION IN THE ALCOHOL LABELING AND FORMULATION DIVISION

TTB is recognized as one of the federal government’s best places to work. If you’re interested in working for TTB as the supervisor over the Malt Beverage/Distilled Spirits Labeling Office in the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division, consider applying by November 8, 2018, for the Supervisory Alcohol, Labeling and Formulation Specialist position. This position is located in TTB Headquarters in Washington, DC.

For more details, view the vacancy announcement: 19-TTB-5-P

TTB INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN PERMIT SUSPENSION FOR MARCOWINE

On October 26, 2018, MarcoWine, LLC, a wholesaler in Calistoga, California, served a one day suspension of its basic permit.  This is the third stipulated suspension of a Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA) basic permit to develop out of the joint operation that TTB conducted with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in March 2018.

Specifically, between 2008 and 2018, MarcoWine, LLC engaged in consignment sales of wine to a trade buyer that was not obligated to pay for the wine until after it had been sold to retailers. Consignment sales arrangements, like other unlawful trade practices, are used to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding industry members and ultimately limit consumer choice.

Relevant documents related to this suspension can be found on our Field Operations Administrative Cases page.

Please visit www.ttb.gov for additional information on prohibited trade practices.

 

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