ATF - The Alcohol and Tobacco Newsletter: Office of Alcohol and Tobacco
May 2001
Office of Alcohol and Tobacco
Page 2

Update on the FCTCUpdate
By Tami Light (202) 927-3580

The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB 2) on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was held in Geneva from April 30 to May 4, 2001. Representatives from over 150 countries convened to continue work started in October 2000, on a Global Tobacco Control Agreement. The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the agreement known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in an attempt to address the spread of tobacco consumption around the world. An interagency delegation comprised of representatives from Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture, the State Department and ATF represented the United States Government in this effort.

ATF participated in this second round of negotiations on the FCTC by providing guidance and input into the development of anti-smuggling provisions. The U.S. recognizes that the smuggling of tobacco products undermines public health policies and initiatives and thus offered its support of measures aimed at combating the illicit trade of contraband tobacco products. As anticipated, there was strong interest by almost all participating Members' States in favor of including detailed strong measures in the FCTC to eliminate all forms of illicit trade of tobacco products.

Delegates from the various Member States will meet again in November to continue negotiating the terms of the treaty.

Notice
By Jennifer Berry (716) 551-4048

ATF published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice 915) on April 17, 2001, proposing the addition of the Counoise and St. Laurent grapes to the list of approved American grape variety names. The notice is the result of petitions received from U.S. wineries. Both are Old World grapes, now grown in the U.S. Counoise is a red varietal, originally from the Rhône region of France, where it has traditionally been a component of Châteaunueuf-du-Pape. St. Laurent, also a red varietal, is grown mainly in Central Europe and is particularly suited to cooler climates.

ATF is requesting comments on this proposal. Written comments must be received by June 18, 2001, and should be sent to: Chief, Regulations Division, Bureau of ATF, P.O. Box 50221, Washington, DC 20091-0221 (Attn. Notice No. 915). Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by fax (if three pages or less) to (202) 927-8525.

Virtual Reading Room
By Marjorie Ruhf (202) 453-2265

Regulations Division is planning to Booksmake rulemaking comments available online in the future. We are working with the web team on methods of storing, indexing and displaying comments. When we are ready to begin, we will place new language in proposed rules to let prospective commenters know their comments will be posted online as well as in the ATF Headquarters Reading Room.

Viticultural Area
By Lisa Gesser (202) 453-2265

On May 15, 2001, Treasury Decision ATF-453 was published in the Federal Register. Effective on July 16, 2001, this final rule establishes a viticultural area to be known as "Long Island," located in Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York. This

action is the result of a petition filed by Richard Olsen-Harbich on behalf of Raphael Winery, the Petrocelli Family, and Karen Meredith of Broadfields Vineyards. p

E-Filing Pilot ContinuesComputer
By Tom Stewart (202) 927-8200

This is an update on our electronic filing project. ATF received its first electronic filing and associated payment, using the Alcohol and Tobacco Excise Tax Form, ATF F 5000.24, on 10/26/00. Since then we have added 5 taxpayers (all tobacco products manufacturers) to the program. The first occasion on which all six taxpayers participated occurred for the tax due April 27, 2001. The filings by these companies totaled $121,223,760.47. We anticipate that between 20-25% of all funds collected by ATF each tax period will be through the e filing program. Pay.gov now accommodates payments made via the ACH (Automated ClearingHouse) network (incorporated in Pay.gov), or through the existing Fedwire system. One pilot participant is paying through a digital cash pilot with Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS), however ATF receives a wire transfer. All participants have expressed great satisfaction with the system and are eager to utilize additional forms of electronic filing.

ATF and FMS, who is developing Pay.gov, are continuing to work to create electronic versions of new forms. The next form scheduled to be piloted will be the tobacco manufacturer's monthly report, ATF F 5210.5, later this summer. We will expand E-filing pilots to the alcohol industry starting with the brewer's monthly report, ATF F 5130.9, by the end of this year. Wine and spirits E- filing pilots for monthly reports will follow in 2002. We will be looking for companies of all sizes who are interested in participating in the pilot projects and will be reaching out for volunteers as the program continues.