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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

December 7, 2018


IN THIS ISSUE

This week's top news includes an offer in compromise accepted from Eagle Brands from a trade practice investigation, posting of the presentations used during our recent malt beverage and distilled spirits labeling webinars, publication of three rulemaking documents related to American viticultural areas, and request for comments on TTB information collections.

TTB ACCEPTS $1.5 MILLION OFFER IN COMPROMISE FROM EAGLE BRANDS FOR TRADE PRACTICE VIOLATIONS

We have accepted a $1.5 million offer in compromise from QAC, LLC (DBA Eagle Brands), a wholesaler in Miami, Florida, for alleged violations of the trade practice provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA).  This case developed out of the joint operation that we conducted with Special Agents from the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT), Miami District Office, targeting alleged "pay to play" schemes in the greater Miami area.

Specifically, TTB alleges that Eagle Brands paid retailers to carry and promote its products to the exclusion of competing products and hid those payments as banquet events, credit card payments for rebates, or consumer samplings.  TTB also alleges that Eagle Brands employees provided retailers with draft systems that were to be used exclusively for Eagle Brands products.

Read the press release for additional details.

TTB MALT BEVERAGE AND DISTILLED SPIRITS WEBINAR PRESENTATIONS POSTED ON TTB.GOV

We recently added the presentations we used for our Malt Beverage Labeling Webinar and Distilled Spirits Mandatory Labeling Webinar. These presentations cover the basics of labeling for those two commodities.

Bookmark the TTB Presentations page and use it as a resource when you’ve got questions about TTB requirements on a variety of topics.

TTB ESTABLISHES THE UPPER HUDSON AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREA

On Thursday, December 6, 2018, we published T.D. TTB–152 in the Federal Register to establish the 1,500 square-mile “Upper Hudson” American viticultural area in portions of Albany, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington Counties in New York, effective on January 7, 2019.  The Upper Hudson viticultural area is not located within any other established viticultural area.

TTB issued this regulation in response to a petition submitted by a local wine industry member on behalf of local vineyard owners and vintners.  We designate viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

See Docket No. TTB–2018–0005 on Regulations.gov for all documents and public comments related to this rulemaking.

Read the press release.

TTB PROPOSES ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS IN CALIFORNIA AND NORTH CAROLINA

Also on Thursday, December 6, 2018, we published two notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register requesting comments on proposals to establish new American viticultural areas in California and North Carolina:

  • Notice No. 177, Proposed Establishment of the West Sonoma Coast Viticultural Area. This proposed viticultural area covers approximately 141,846 acres in Sonoma County, California, and is located within the existing North Coast and Sonoma Coast viticultural areas, and it would contain the existing Fort Ross–Seaview viticultural area.  We are making this proposal in response to a petition filed on behalf of the West Sonoma Coast Vintners organization. 

You may electronically submit comments on this proposal and view copies of the proposed rule, selected supporting materials, and any comments we receive about this proposal at Regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB–2018–0008.  A link to that docket is posted at our Wine – Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page at TTB.gov under Notice No. 177.

Comments on this proposal are due on or before February 4, 2019. (Note: The Federal Register incorrectly states this date as January 7, 2019. TTB is working with the Federal Register to correct this error.)

Read the press release.

  • Notice No. 178, Proposed Establishment of the Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County Viticultural Area. This proposed viticultural encompasses approximately 215 square miles in Henderson County, North Carolina. It is not located within, nor does it contain, any existing viticultural area. We are making this proposal in response to a petition filed by the executive director of Agribusiness Henderson County and the county extension support specialist for North Carolina Cooperative Extension on behalf of local vineyard and winery owners. 

You may electronically submit comments on this proposal and view copies of the proposed rule, selected supporting materials, and any comments we receive about this proposal at Regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB–2018–0009.  A link to that docket is posted at our Wine – Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page at TTB.gov under Notice No. 178.

Comments on this proposal are due on or before February 4, 2019.

Read the press release.

PROPOSED INFORMATION COLLECTION; COMMENT REQUEST (NO. 72).

On November 27, 2018, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, we published in the Federal Register a notice requesting public comments on eight existing TTB information collections (forms, recordkeeping requirements, labeling requirements, surveys, etc.).  The information collections described in this notice and open for comment are:

  • OMB No. 1513–0004:  Authorization to Furnish Financial Information and Certificate of Compliance (TTB F 5030.6).
  • OMB No. 1513–0057:  Letterhead Applications and Notices Relating to Wine (TTB REC 5120/2).
  • OMB No. 1513–0074:  Airlines Withdrawing Stock from Customs Custody (TTB REC 5620/2).
  • OMB No. 1513–0088:  Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Related Documents for Tax Returns and Claims (TTB REC 5000/24).
  • OMB No. 1513–0089:  Records Supporting Drawback Claims on Eligible Articles Brought into the United States from Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands (TTB REC 5530/3).
  • OMB No. 1513–0114:  Beer for Exportation (TTB F 5130.12).
  • OMB No. 1513–0116:  Bond for Drawback Under 26 U.S.C. 5111 (TTB F 5154.3).
  • OMB No. 1513–0131:  Certificate of Taxpaid Alcohol (TTB F 5100.4).
To view this public notice and any comments received in response to it, go to Docket No. TTB–2018–0001 at Regulations.gov.  To submit a comment electronically, use the Regulations.gov comment form for this notice.  To submit comments by postal mail or hand delivery, see the instructions in the notice.  Comments on the information collections described in this notice are due to TTB by January 28, 2019.

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