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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

November 30, 2018


IN THIS ISSUE

This week's top news includes personnel changes in the Trade Investigations Division, publication of rulemaking to update and modernize the alcohol beverage labeling and advertising regulations, a job posting for TTB labeling specialist, an FDA color additive petition about the use of aqueous extract of butterfly pea flower to color alcohol beverages (among other things), and a permit suspension resulting from a trade practice investigation.

TWO RECENT APPOINTMENTS IN THE TRADE INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION

Sandie Sisler was recently appointed as the Deputy Director of the Trade Investigations Division (TID), after the retirement of Steve Taylor.  Ms. Sisler was previously the Assistant Director, TID, Market Compliance Office.  Jim Neely was selected as the new Assistant Director, TID, Market Compliance Office, where he previously served as a program manager.

The Trade Investigations Division is part of the Office of Field Operations, and is comprised of field investigators and headquarters specialists who ensure industry compliance with the laws and regulations TTB administers.

TTB PUBLISHES PROPOSED RULE TO MODERNIZE ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LABELING AND ADVERTISING REGULATIONS

On Monday, November 26, 2018, we published Notice No. 176:  Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages in the Federal Register.  In this document, we are proposing to comprehensively amend the regulations governing the labeling and advertising of alcohol beverages in order to improve understanding of the regulatory requirements and to make compliance easier and less burdensome for industry members.

As proposed, 27 CFR parts 4, 5, and 7 continue to contain the labeling regulations for wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages, respectively, while the current subparts of parts 4, 5, and 7 that relate to advertising are removed from those parts and consolidated into a new part 14.

These revisions are intended to simplify and clarify alcohol beverage labeling and advertising regulatory standards, and incorporate changes in labeling standards that have come about as a result of statutory changes, international agreements, and recent case law.  The revisions also incorporate current TTB guidance and policy into the regulations.

In addition, to mirror a proposed change in the part 5 regulations, we are also proposing to amend 27 CFR part 19 to increase the alcohol content tolerance for distilled spirits to 0.3 percent alcohol by volume above or below the labeled alcohol content.  We believe that this proposal will allow greater flexibility and business efficiencies for bottlers.

To view the proposed rule and any comments related to this proposed rule, go to Docket No. TTB–2018–0007 at Regulations.gov. To comment on our proposals electronically, use the Regulations.gov comment form for Notice No. 176.  To submit comments by mail or hand delivery, see the instructions in the proposed rule.  You also may view the proposed rule as published in the printed Federal Register or as posted online at Federal Register 2.0.

We encourage public comments on these proposed regulatory amendments, particularly from consumers and affected industry members. In addition, we welcome suggestions for other changes to these regulations not specifically proposed in the rulemaking. We are accepting comments through March 26, 2019.

TTB JOB POSTING – LABELING SPECIALIST

TTB is recognized as one of the federal government’s best places to work. If you’re interested in working for TTB, consider applying by December 5, 2018, for the Labeling Specialist position. This position is located in Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division in TTB Headquarters in Washington, DC.

A TTB label specialist reviews applications for label approval submitted by regulated industry members to ensure that alcohol beverage labels contain all the mandatory information required to appear and do not contain any prohibited or misleading information. Extensive in-house training is provided, and no federal experience is necessary to apply.
For more details, view the vacancy announcement: 19-TTB-12-P.

FDA COLOR ADDITIVE PETITION: BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER EXTRACT

In its review of formula and label applications, TTB follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations regarding the color additives that may be used in alcohol beverages. FDA recently published in the Federal Register a “Notification of Petition” which proposes the use of an aqueous extract of butterfly pea flower (Clitoria ternatea) as a color additive in certain specified foods and alcohol beverages. The petition is currently under review at FDA.

SOURCE: Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 219 / Tuesday, November 13, 2018 / Rules and Regulations

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Notification of petition.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The petition proposes to amend the color additive regulations in 21 CFR part 73, ‘‘Listing of Color Additives Exempt From Certification,’’ to provide for the safe use of an aqueous extract of butterfly pea flower (Clitoria ternatea) as a color additive in: (1) Alcoholic beverages (liquor, liqueurs, and flavored alcoholic beverages); (2) ready-to-drink non-alcoholic beverages; (3) liquid coffee creamers (dairy and non-dairy); (4) ice cream and frozen dairy desserts; (5) fruit preparation in yogurt; (6) chewing gum; (7) coated nuts; (8) hard candy; and (9) soft candy, at levels consistent with good manufacturing practice.

For additional details, read the Federal Register Notice. If you have any questions about the notification of petition, please contact FDA at premarkt@fda.hhs.gov.

TTB INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN PERMIT SUSPENSION FOR B WISE VINEYARDS, LLC

On November 23, 2018, B Wise Vineyards, LLC, a winery in Napa, California, served a one day suspension of its basic permit. This is the fifth 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, B Wise Vineyards, LLC engaged in consignment sales of wine to multiple trade buyers who were 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 TTB.gov for additional information on prohibited trade practices.

 

 

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