This issue of COMPLIANCE MATTERS introduces a new section entitled "Helpful Hints." This feature will provide tips to help you perfect your COLA application and to facilitate the processing of your submissions.
COMPLIANCE MATTERS also features an updated COLA work assignment list, the use of independent ATF certified laboratories to provide certificates of analysis for total sulfur dioxide in wines and the termination of the sample requirements for pre-import approvals for liqueurs.
This issue also contains the following Industry Circular:
Country of Origin Certification Requirements For
Imported Wines and Distilled Spirits 94-2 Date 8/19/94
Example: A DSS product is composed of two equal parts, a brandy and a cherry liqueur. The cherry liqueur contains an artificial color (FD&C Red #40). Prior to the implementation of this policy, the color disclosure was required to appear as a part of the truthful and adequate statement of composition, e.g., "Made With Brandy, Cherry Liqueur And Contains Certified Color." The DSS producer may not, if he wishes, exclude the color disclosure from the truthful and adequate statement of composition provided the color disclosure appears somewhere on the front label. In the case of our example, the truthful and adequate statement of composition would be "Made With Brandy And Cherry Liqueur" and the phrase "Contains Certified Color" would appear someplace on the front label.
Any use of the terms "Malt beverage," "beer," "lager beer," "ale," "porter," or "stout," as a part of the fanciful name, must be preceded by the word "flavored" unless the fermentation process included the use of fruits, juices, juice concentrates or other acceptable fermentable agricultural sources.
Cherry Ale - This fanciful name may be used if the only addition to the product is cherry juice or cherry concentrate or cherries added directly to the product prior to or during fermentation. A suitable statement of composition would be "Ale Fermented With Cherry Juice."
Cherry Flavored Ale - This fanciful name may be used if a cherry flavor(s) or other flavors have been added before and/or after fermentation. NOTE: The addition, prior to fermentation, of cherry flavor(s) which contain sugar, cherries, cherry juice, or cherry juice concentrate, will still result in a product which, using our example, must be labeled as a Cherry Flavored Ale. Examples of acceptable statements of composition would be "Ale Flavored With Cherry Juice" or "Ale With Natural Flavor(s) Added."CIDER BEER ATF has determined that the use of the word "cider" (a specific class and type of wine listed in 27 CFR Part 4), when used in conjunction with malt beverage, beer, ale, porter, stout, or lager, etc. (specific class and types found under 27 CFR Part 7), is misleading and confusing to the consumer. As a result, the fanciful name required for a flavored malt beverage product may not include the term "cider" in conjunction with any specific class and type; for example "Cider Beer," "Cider Ale," etc. are not acceptable as fanciful names. In addition, the word "cider" may not be used as a part of the statement of composition required with malt beverage specialty products. Furthermore, no alcoholic beverage may be labeled with conflicting classes and types. Some examples of conflicting classes and types would be "Whiskey Beer," "Red Wine Liqueur," "Marsala Ale," etc.
A current list of ATF certified laboratories can be found on page 11 of this issue. You can find additional information on ATF laboratory certification in Industry Circulars 86-3 or 92-3 or please contact Dr. Sumer Dugar of the National Laboratory Center at (301) 413-5227.COOKING WINES Cooking wine is classed as nonbeverage wine and consists of standard wine which has been rendered unfit for beverage use (nonbeverage) by the addition of salt, spices or other approved food additives. Although the labeling of products of this type falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) there are certain Internal Revenue code (IRC) requirements stated in 27 CFR Part 24.259 which must be met. Upon removal from bonded wine premises free of tax, containers of nonbeverage wine must be marked to clearly indicate such products are not for sale or consumption as beverage wine, e.g., salted wine, nonbeverage cooking wine, etc.
Standard wine, intended for use in cooking, may not be referred to as Cooking Wine since it does not fulfill the requirements for a cooking wine as defined above. It is acceptable to use additional language on the front label, back label, or both, which states that the wine, vermouth, etc. is, for example, suitable for cooking, to be used in cooking, etc.
SEVERAL INDUSTRY MEMBERS EXPRESSED OPINIONS AND OFFERED INFORMATION TO THE BUREAU REGARDING THE PRODUCE IDENTIFICATION CODES WHICH PRODUCERS PLACE ON THEIR PRODUCTS. INDUSTRY MEMBERS POINTED OUT THAT MOST LARGE PRODUCERS ALREADY USE SOME TYPE OF CODING ON THEIR LABELS OR CONTAINERS, SO THE PROPOSAL TO MANDATE THESE CODES WOULD MAINLY AFFECT SMALL PRODUCERS WHOSE PRODUCTS REPRESENT ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES SOLD IN THE MARKETPLACE. A REGULATORY REQUIREMENT TO PLACE LOT IDENTIFICATION MARKS ON LABELS OR CONTAINERS WOULD BE VERY COSTLY TO THESE SMALL PRODUCERS AND WOULD BE OF ONLY LIMITED VALUE IN PRODUCT RECALLS.
AFTER CONSIDERING THE COMMENTS AND INFORMATION OFFERED BY THESE INDUSTRY MEMBERS, THE BUREAU CONCLUDED THAT IT WAS NOT PRACTICAL, AT THIS TIME, TO INITIATE RULEMAKING WHICH WOULD MANDATE PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION CODES ON ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. INSTEAD, THE BUREAU DECIDED THAT IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO PROTECT AND ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THE PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION CODES WHICH WERE ALREADY BEING PLACED ON PRODUCTS BY THEIR PRODUCERS.
ACCORDINGLY, ATF IS NOW CONSIDERING A REGULATORY PROPOSAL WHICH WOULD MAKE IT UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON TO RELABEL AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE IF THE EFFECT OF SUCH ACTION WAS TO REMOVE THE PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION CODE PLACED ON THE PRODUCT BY THE PRODUCER. THIS PROPOSAL WOULD AFFECT WINE, DISTILLED SPIRITS, OR MALT BEVERAGES HELD FOR SALE IN INTERSTATE OR FOREIGN COMMERCE, INCLUDING PRODUCTS HELD IN A FOREIGN TRADE ZONE OR CUSTOMS BONDED WAREHOUSE.
THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT REQUIRE THAT PRODUCERS OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES PLACE PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION CODES ON THEIR LABELS OR CONTAINERS. THE PROPOSAL WOULD, HOWEVER, ENSURE THAT THE PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION WHICH PRODUCERS VOLUNTARILY CHOOSE TO PLACE ON LABELS AND CONTAINERS IS NOT ALTERED, MUTILATED, DESTROYED, OBLITERATED OR REMOVED AFTER BEING PLACED ON THE PACKAGE BY THE PRODUCER.USE OF TERMS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUGS OR THE DRUG TRADE ATF, AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, CANNOT CONDONE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LABELS THAT CONTAIN ANY NAMES OF DRUGS, DRUG TERMS OR SLANG ASSOCIATED WITH DRUGS OR ANY DEPICTION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT RESPONSIBLE INDUSTRY MEMBERS SHOULD WANT OR WOULD WANT TO PORTRAY THEIR PRODUCTS IN ANY SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE MANNER.
- CLASS & TYPE CODE FOR MEZCAL
The letters of authorization must be dated and written on the letterhead of the organization or school and must be signed by an official in the organization or school. The letter must verify that the use of the name and/or logo is acceptable, or, as appropriate, that the stated monies will be donated.
- The name and/or logo of commercial or private organization.
- The name and/or log of school/university.
- A statement that percentage of sales will be donated to a specific charity(ies).
A copy of the letter of authorization must accompany every COLA application on which the name, logo, or statement appears.CONTRACT BOTTLING - DISTILLED SPIRITS Situation:
Company A contracts with Company B to bottle Company As distilled spirits product.Reminder:
Company B files the COLA.
Company Bs label bears Company As name or tradename and address.
- Prior to submission of COLA application, Company B must obtain Regional approval to use Company As name or tradename.
- Note in Item 12 of Cola application "CONTRACT BOTTLING."
The above information is incorrect. Exporters of alcoholic beverages to the EU need the name of an EU importer and distributor printed on the label. Once an EU name and address for any one country has been established, however, that name and address is valid for shipments to the remaining EU countries. Any further questions regarding this matter may be referred to John Colozzi at (202) 927-8127.
PROVIDING ATF WITH YOUR TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS IN ITEM #3 OF YOUR LABEL APPLICATION ASSISTS US IN CONTACTING YOU IF WE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR APPLICATION.
An increase or decrease in the amount of sugar present in an imported liqueur does not require a new laboratory analysis or the submission of a new COLA provided that the total amount of sugar present in the product is not reduced to less than 2.50g/100g of product.
A change in the alcoholic content of a product does not require the submission of a new COLA if the change DOES NOT alter the class and type of the product as stated on the original COLA. The following is a list of all of those changes which alter the class and type and which require the submission of a new COLA.
1. The reduction, in labeled alcohol content, of any whisky, Scotch whisky, Irish whisky, Canadian whisky, brandy, rum, gin, tequila or vodka to less than 40% alcohol by volume.
2. Any change in the alcohol content of a beverage wine product whose alcohol content is greater than 7% by volume if the new alcohol content would result in a change from one tax category to another.
3. Any change in the alcohol content of a beer or malt beverage product which would reduce the alcohol content to less than 0.5% of alcohol.
- Not less than 7% but not more than 14% alcohol
- More than 14% but not over 21% alcohol
- More than 21% but not over 24% alcohol
4. A reduction in alcohol content to less than 30% alcohol by volume (60 proof) of any product labeled as rye liqueur, rum liqueur, gin liqueur, brandy liqueur, flavored rum, flavored vodka, flavored whisky, flavored gin, or flavored brandy.
5. A reduction in alcohol content to less than 24% (48 proof) by volume of any product labeled as "rock and rye," "rock and bourbon," "rock and brandy," or "rock and rum."
BE SURE TO ...
- COMPLETE ALL APPLICABLE ITEMS ON THE APPLICATION (ITEMS 1-14)
- SIGN THE LABEL APPLICATION IN ITEM 14 - ALL COPIES.
- SUBMIT LABEL APPLICATIONS IN DUPLICATE.
- SECURELY AFFIX ALL LABELS TO THE APPLICATION IN THE BLOCK PROVIDED. PLEASE NOTE, IF LABELS ARE TOO LARGE TO FIT IN THE BLOCK PROVIDED, THEY MAY BE REDUCED. IF REDUCED, INDICATE IN ITEM 12 OF THE APPLICATION THE PERCENTAGE OF THE REDUCTION AND SUBMIT ACTUAL (UNREDUCED) LABEL(S) WITH THE APPLICATION.
- AFFIX ONLY LEGIBLE COPIES OF LABELS TO THE APPLICATION. GENERALLY, WE ARE UNABLE TO READ FAX COPIES OF LABELS.
- IF THE APPLICATION IS PHOTOCOPIED, USE TAPE RATHER THAN STAPLES TO ATTACH FRONT AND BACK OF FORM.
- SUBMIT A COPY OF PREVIOUS APPROVAL(S) WITH YOUR NEW APPLICATION WHEN ONLY MINOR CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE LABEL.
- USE A COMPLETE APPLICATION, WHICH MUST INCLUDE THE FORM NUMBER IN BOTTOM LEFT CORNER.
- DO NOT MAKE ANY HANDWRITTEN, PEN AND INK CHANGES ON LABELS.
- INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR APPROVED FORMULA, STATEMENT OF PROCESS OR LAB ANALYSIS, IF APPLICABLE.
- PROVIDE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ANY FOREIGN TEXT ON LABEL IN ITEM 12 OF THE APPLICATION OR INDICATE IN ITEM 12 THAT THE TRANSLATION IS ON AN ATTACHED PIECE OF PAPER.
Product Compliance may, under certain circumstances, require the submission of a sample in conjunction with the pre-import approval.
All correspondence concerning the pre-import approval of liqueurs should be sent to:
The pilot program will allow domestic flavor producers to provide flavor certification directly to the manufacturer of the foreign or domestic product. This certification will accompany all domestic formula submissions and pre-import submissions and is expected to result in greatly reduced turn around times.
TO INCREASE OUR EFFICIENCY AND CONSISTENCY, WE WILL DISTRIBUTE ALL LABEL APPLICATIONS, INFORMALS, GENERAL LABEL CORRESPONDENCE, FORMULAS AND PRE-IMPORT ANALYSIS BY CORPORATE NAME TO INDIVIDUAL SPECIALISTS. THIS CHANGE APPLIES TO ALL SUBMISSIONS, MAIL-INS, FRONT DESK AND OVERNIGHT EXPRESS MAIL AND IS EFFECTIVE JULY 18, 1994.
THE ALPHABET WILL BE BROKEN DOWN AS FOLLOWS:
Labeling Section - Section Chief, Karen Freelove
|Shelia Smith-Harrod||A-C||Judy Harrison||K-R-S|
|Sean Harris||B-E||Jeanne Reed||L-Q-T-U|
|Janice Fields||D-H-I||Sherry Zacharias||M-O-V-X-Y-Z|
|Roberta Alford||F-G-J||Gwen Pittman||N-P-W|
DURING THE TRANSITION PERIOD, UNTIL AUGUST 31, 1994, RESUBMISSIONS OF REJECTED LABELS WILL STILL BE ASSIGNED TO THE INITIATING LABEL SPECIALIST.
TELEPHONE INQUIRIES AND REQUESTS FOR LABEL STATUS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE APPROPRIATE SPECIALIST.
Internet users can access ATF through the NSFNET network which is managed by the National Science Foundation. The domain address ATF.USTREAS.GOV can be used to access this system.
If you have any questions regarding access to ATF issuances via Internet, please contact Michael Breen, Information and Management Services Section, at (202) 927-7830.
If you have any ideas or items of interest you would like to submit for consideration in a future issue of COMPLIANCE MATTERS or if you have any questions concerning articles contained in this publication, please contact:
|1. Beaulieu Vineyard
1960 St. Helena Highway
Rutherford, California 94573
|12. Mumm Napa Valley
8445 Silverado Trail
Napa, California 94558
|2. Bronco Wine Company
P.O. Box 789
Ceres, California 95307
|13. Northwest Wine Consultants
1011 Pleasant Avenue
Grandview, Washington 98930
|3. Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide
850 Dixie Highway (40210)
P.O. Box 1080
Louisville, Kentucky 40201
|14. Scott Laboratories, Inc.
P.O. Box 4559
Petaluma, California 94955-4559
|4. Canadaigua Wine Co. Inc.
116 Buffalo St.
Canandaigua, New York 14424
|15. Sebastiani Vineyards
P.O. Box 1290
Woodbridge, California 95258
|5. ETS Laboratories
1204 Church Street
St. Helena, California 94574
|16. Silverado Vineyards
6121 Silverado Trail
Napa, California 94558
|6. E. & J. Gallo Winery
P.O. Box 1130
Modesto, California 95353
|17. Stimson Lane Ltd.
Highway 221, 1 mile
North of Patterson
P.O. Box 231
Patterson, Washington 99345-0231
|7. Glen Ellen Winery-Carneros
21468 Eighth Street East
Sonoma, California 95476
|18. Sutter Home Winery, Inc.
P.O. Box 248
St. Helena, California 94574
|8. Guild Wineries & Distilleries, Inc.
P.O. Box 55
Woodbridge, California 95258
P.O. Box 695
16003 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
|9. Heublein Wines
12667 Road 24
P.O. Box 99
Madera, California 93639
|20. Vintners International Company, Inc.
A Division of Canadaigua Wine Company, Inc.
800 South Alta Street
P.O. Box 780
Gonzales, California 93926
|10. Mogen David Wine Corporation
85 Bourne St.
Westfield, New York 14787
|21. The Wine Group, Inc.
17000 East Highway 120
P.O. Box 897
Ripon, California 95366
|11. Robert Mondavi Winery
P.O. Box 106
Oakville, California 94562
|22. Wine World Estates
2000 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574
Pre-Import Supplemental Information
|1. Type of Product: ______________________||2. Alcohol Content: _________________________% by volume.|
|3. Country of Origin: _____________________||4. Sugar: ____________g/100g|
|5. Other Sources of Alcohol|
|Type of Product:||Agricultural Source:||Alc. Content
|% by Volume in
|6. Added Flavors
Name of Flavor:
|Name and Location
|Product No. and/or
ATF Formula No.:
|Alc. Content % by
|% by Volume in
|7. Direct Additions:||______PPM||Sodium Benzoate:||______PPM||BHA:__________||______________|
|Ethyl Vanillin:||______PPM||Potassium Sorbate:||______PPM||______________||______________|
|Synthetic Maltol:||______PPM||Gum Arabic/Acacia:||______PPM||______________||______________|
|Ethyl Maltol:||______PPM||Ester Gum:||______PPM||______________||______________|
|If the product is a vodka, provide the following: Citric Acid:||______PPM||Sugar:_________PPM|
|8. Herbs and Spices
Herb or Spice:
Genus and Species:
Herb or Spice:
Genus and Species:
|9. Color Additions:|
|9A. Caramel Color? _____yes||_____no|
|9B.||Name of Color||FD&C No. (If applicable)||EU (EEC) No. (If applicable)|
|Is this Product aged: ____yes ____no||If yes, how long? ____________|
|Type of Container: ______oak ______other wood ______ stainless steel||Oher: (specify) _____________|
|Does the Product contain oak extract? _____yes _____no|
|If yes, provide genus and species of oak: ___________________________ ___________________________|
|Is the extract aqueous, alcoholic, hydro-alcoholic, or other (specify): __________________________________|
|If the oak is heated prior to or during extraction, specify the maximum temperature: _____________________°C.|
|11.||Attach a list of Ingredients and Method of Manufacture|
|Date Completed: __________________________________________|
|ITEM 1||TYPE OF PRODUCT: Indicate if the product is to be labeled as a cordial, liqueur, distilled spirits specialty, brandy, flavored wine, ice beer, flavored malt beverage, etc.|
|NOTE: Refer to COMPLIANCE MATTERS 93-1 for those products which require pre-import approval prior to label submission. You may request a copy of COMPLIANCE MATTERS 93-1 BY CONTACTING ATFs Distribution Center at (703) 455-7801.|
|ITEM 2||ALCOHOL CONTENT: State the alcoholic content of the finished alcoholic beverage expressed as percent by volume (may be expressed as a range).|
|ITEM 3||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Identify the country in which the finished alcoholic beverage is produced.|
|ITEM 4||SUGAR: Express, in grams per 100 grams, the amount of sugar (sucrose, dextrose, levulose, etc.) contained in the finished alcoholic beverage. The amount may be expressed as a range or as a minimum.|
|ITEM 5||SOURCE OF ALCOHOL: Identify every type of alcoholic product (wine, brandy, neutral spirits, etc.) used as a component in the finished alcoholic beverage, the agricultural source, the alcohol content and the percent by volume at which the alcohol is used in the finished product.|
|ITEM 5a||Identify every type of alcohol, excluding alcohol from flavors, (wine, brandy, neutral spirits, etc.) used to produce the product.|
|ITEM 5b||AGRICULTURAL SOURCE: State the botanical source from which the alcohol has been obtained, e.g. cane sugar, corn, beet sugar, grape marc, rice, grape lees, peaches, pears, etc.|
|ITEM 5c||ALCOHOL CONTENT AT DISTILLATION: Provide the alcohol content, expressed as percent by volume, at which the alcohol was originally distilled.|
|ITEM 5d||ALCOHOL CONTENT WHEN USED: Provide the alcohol content of the ingredient at the time it is added to the finished product, e.g. 70% should be entered in the case of neutral spirits which were distilled at 98% by volume, which had been diluted to 70% alcohol by volume and then added to the product.|
|ITEM 5e||PERCENT BY VOLUME IN FINAL PRODUCT: If all of the alcohol contained in the product is from one source, e.g. grain neutral spirits, enter 100%. List the percent of alcohol by volume of any other alcoholic products, excluding flavors, which you have listed in Item 5a.|
|ITEM 6||ADDED FLAVORS: Fill out the appropriate items if the flavor(s) are purchased from another source or are self produced. The producer of any flavor which does not have an approved ATF formula number must provide a complete quantitative formula, which lists all of the ingredients contained in the flavor to ATF, Product Compliance Branch, Room 5200, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226. The formula must list the percentage (if any) of flavoring materials which are considered artificial according to United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) regulations (21 CFR). Quantitative amounts must be provided for vanillin, ethyl vanillin, synthetic maltol, ethyl maltol and for other food additives, such as propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, ester gum, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), gum arabic/acacia, etc. All of the ingredients contained in the flavor(s) must be used for their intended purpose, must be approved for use in foods by the USFDA and must not exceed any limitation or restriction to which they may be subject. This information may be provided directly to ATF (Fax No. 202-927-8605), by the flavor producer or it may be provided through the importer of the alcoholic beverage. In either case, the name of the beverage producer, the importer and the name of the product must be included with the information provided.|
|ITEM 7||DIRECT ADDITIONS: Provide the amount, expressed in ppm, of any of the specific ingredients listed which are added directly to the product. Use the blank spaces to list any other ingredients which are added to the product. In the case of vodka, provide the amount, expressed as ppm, of any citric acid and/or sugar which may have been added to the product.|
|ITEM 8||HERBS AND SPICES:
Identify any spices and/or herbs used in the product by their common name
and by the genus and species, e.g. Clove, Eugenia Caryophyllata. In addition,
identify the part(s) of the plant used, e.g. buds, leaves, or stems.
All spices and herbs used in the product must be approved by the USFDA. Although most spices and herbs are approved for use without limitation or restriction, the following is a noninclusive list of many herbs and spices which are subject to specific limitations or restrictions in alcoholic beverages:
A) Artimisia (wormwood), Cedar
White Aborvitae, Oak Moss, Tansy and Yarrow must be Thujone Free according
to Association of Official Analytical Chemists Method (AOAC Method 9.091).
|ITEM 9||COLOR ADDITION:|
|ITEM 9b||Color additives such as Red #40, Blue #1 and #2, Green #3, and Yellow #5 and #6 must be Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) certified. Other coloring materials such as Beet Juice and other fruit juices are exempt from certification by FDA. If an ingredient such as Saffron or Paprika is used, please specify if it has been added for flavoring or coloring purposes. Please indicate if natural juices such as Elderberry are used for coloring or flavoring purposes.|
|ITEM 10||AGING: Self explanatory.|
|ITEM 11||LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURE: The importer is required to submit a method of manufacture and a complete list of every ingredient used in the production of the alcoholic beverage product. The documentation must be on the foreign producer's letterhead and signed and dated by an official of the manufacturing company. If the documentation is written in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a certified English translation. A dated Pre-Import Supplemental Information Sheet may be used in lieu of the complete list of ingredients.|
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Washington, DC 20226
Number: 94-2 Date: 8/19/94
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Bonded Wineries, Importers and Other Concerned Parties:
PURPOSE: The purpose of this circular is twofold: (1) to provide U.S. importers with an updated and comprehensive listing of country certification requirements and (2) to remind importers of the Bureaus position relative to the acceptance of only original certificates.
BACKGROUND: On January 6, 1989, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) issued Industry Circular No. 89-1 to advise U.S. importers of the Bureaus updated Country of Origin certification requirements for imported wines and distilled spirits. Since the issuance of this circular, the government of France has changed its requirements, and the governments of the Russian Federation and other former republics of the Soviet Union have canceled requirements for certificates of origin. These amendments have been incorporated into the attached revised listing.
ATF has also received several inquiries from importers regarding the use of photocopied certificates. It has been ATFs long-standing policy to accept only original certificates for wines and distilled spirits bottled in the country of manufacture and exported to the United States. Industry Circular 87-5 had allowed, for a brief period of time, the acceptance of photocopies in situations in which the product was imported from a country other than the country of origin. However, ATF announced in Industry Circular 89-1 that this policy was being rescinded, and that ATF would only accept the original certificates issued by the country of origin. ATF would like to remind importers that if a certificate or origin is required, a photocopy will not be acceptable.
REQUIREMENTS: Certificate of origin requirements for imported wines and distilled spirits appear in 27 CFR 4.45, 5.52 and 5.56.
It should be noted that the final decision, whether or not to permit entry of imported alcoholic beverages which require certification by the country of manufacture, rests with the Customs Officials at the port of entry. However, it is the Bureaus position that the intent of the regulations can be met only if a specific certificate can be tied to a specific lot(s) of product.
ACTION: ATF has officially notified the United States Customs Service of the change in certification requirements from the Governments of France, the Russian Federation, and the former republics of the Soviet Union. ATF has also informed Customs that all imported wines and distilled spirits covered by a compulsory certificate of origin are not to be released from Customs Custody unless the invoice is accompanied by the original and appropriate certificate.
INQUIRIES: Inquiries concerning this circular should refer to its number and be addressed to Chief, Alcohol Import-Export Branch, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is authorized to issue country of origin certificates for all Bulgarian wines and/or distilled spirits exported to the United States. This document is entitled "Certificate or Origin" and is stamped with the official seal of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.
Canadian distillers are authorized to issue age and origin certificates for Canadian Whiskey, Canadian Rye Whiskey, rum, brandy and Highland Whiskey exports to the United States. These certificates are signed by Canadian Excise Officers who are in charge of the various licensed distilleries. This document is entitled "Certificate of Age and Origin."
The Chilean Ministry of Agriculture issues country of origin certificates for all Chilean wines, champagnes and brandy (Pisco) exports to the United States. This document is entitled "Certificate of Origin," Form A and is issued by "Servicio Agricola y Ganadero" an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture. This certificate bears the official seal of this ministry.
The government of France has authorized the use of two types of forms to certify the origin of French wines. Wines could be accompanied by either of these forms: 1) Documents dAccompagnement Commercial (DAC); and 2) Document of Accompaniment (DCA 1 & DCA 2). Whichever form is used must be stamped by French Customs.
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY
The Federal Republic of Germany has authorized its Chambers of Industry and Commerce to issue country of origin certificates for all German wines and distilled spirits.* The only exceptions are "May" wines and "Sekt" (Sparkling) wines which are not considered wines under German Law and therefore not covered under a compulsory certification procedure. The certificate of origin for German wines is entitled "Certificate of Origin for German Wine to the USA."
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Republic of Ireland issues a certificate of age and origin for all Irish Whiskey exports to the United States. This certificate is entitled "Certificate of Origin, Age and Conformity with the Immature Spirits Acts for Spirits Exported To," (Form C and E 96 (a)) and is prepared by a Customs and Excise Officer.
An "Excise Certificate" is issued for exports of Jamaican rum to the U.S. when the bottle label contains a statement of age. This certificate is issued by the Jamaican Collector General and attests to the age and origin of the rum contained in the bottle.
The "Certificado de Exportacion" is the official certificate issued by the Mexican Government which attests to the authenticity of the Tequila exported to the United States. In compliance with 27 CFR 5.52 (c), this certificate must accompany all tequila exports to the United States. These certificates are issued by the "Direccion General de Normas" of the Secretaria de Comercio y Fomento Industrial. The following Mexican Government officials are authorized to sign the attached "Certificado de Exportacion."
Please Note - For all bulk shipments of tequila, the U.S. bottler must maintain a copy of the "Certificado de Exportacion" at his bottling premises.
- The Directora General de Normas
- The Delegado Secofi, Guadalajara
The government of Portugal has authorized the following regional authorities to issue certificates of origin for specific Portuguese wines and brandies exported to the U.S.
Instituto Do Vinho Do Porto for all port wines
Instituto Do Vinho da Madeira for Madeira wines
The Instituto de Viticultura da Regiao dos Vinhos
Verdes for Vinho Verde wines and brandies
Federacao dos Vinicultores do Dao for all Dao wines and brandies
Adega Regional de Colares for Colares wines
Instituto da Vinha e do Vinho (National Wine Boards) for wines with denomination of origin Moscatel de Setubal or, merely Setubal, Carcavelos, Algarve, Bairrada and Bucelas; rose wines from Beiras, Ribatejo-Oeste and Tras-os-Montes; wines and brandies from any other growing regions.
Officials of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry issue certificates of origin for the wines listed below. This certificate is entitled "Certificate of Origin."
Tarnave Castle Riesling
Valea Dry Riesling
Sparkling wines-methode champenoise
A Certificado De Denominacion De Origin (Certificate of Origin) is required for all Spanish Jerez/Xeres/Sherry wines exported to the United States. The Consejo Regulador de Denominacion de Origen, Jerez De La Frontera is authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture to issue Certificates of origin for sherry wines.
Certificates of age and origin are required for all Spanish brandies exported to the United States. These certificates are issued by various local laboratories sanctioned by the "Ministerio de Agricultura, Pisco y Alimentacion" in Madrid. This certificate has no title or form number associated with it.
Certificates of age and origin are issued by a British Officer of Customs and Excise for all Scotch Whiskey and Irish Whiskey exports to the United States. This document is entitled "Certificate for Scotch Whiskey/Irish Whiskey Exported to the United States of America," Form C&E 94. These certificates are signed by an officer of H.M. Customs and Excise.
THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND THE FORMER REPUBLICS OF THE U.S.S.R.
The Russian Federation and the former republics of the U.S.S.R. no longer require certificates of origin and identity for alcoholic beverages to enter the United States.