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January 2002
Office of Alcohol and Tobacco
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On October 9, 2001, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published in the Federal Register an interpretive rule stating that under the Controlled Substance Act and DEA regulations, any amount of THC, including microscopic traces, is a schedule I controlled substance. The intent of this rule is to ban from importation or sale foods made from or containing hemp because they contain traces of THC, the primary active constituent of marijuana. Products on the market that might be affected by this action include some alcohol beverages, cheeses, coffees, corn chips, energy drinks, flours, ice creams, snack bars, salad oils, sodas and veggie burgers. The comment period for the proposed rule (DEA-205) ended December 10, 2001.

ATF will not change our April 6, 2000, hemp policy pending finalization of DEA's rulemaking process on this issue. When DEA's final rule is published, ATF will apply it to alcohol beverages containing hemp. If you have any questions about, or would like a copy of the April 6, 2000 hemp policy, please contact the Alcohol Labeling & Formulation Division Customer Service Team toll free at 1-866-927-ALFD (2533) or by e-mail at q

Excise Tax Return Packets Mailed Envelopes
By Yolanda Whitehead (513) 684-3334

The National Revenue Center (NRC) mailed pre-printed excise tax return packets during the last week of December 2001, to all wineries, breweries, distilled spirits plants and tobacco manufacturers who filed an excise tax return during calendar year 2001. Excise taxpayers that do not receive a pre-printed excise tax return packet should contact their ATF Specialist in the NRC at 1-800-398-2282 or (513) 684-3334. In addition to requesting the excise tax return packet, taxpayers should verify the mailing address on file at the NRC. Taxpayers may also visit ATF's website at and for additional information. The local ATF office in Puerto Rico will mail similar packets to permittees and MNBP claimants located in Puerto Rico.

Reminder to taxpayers:
Calculate the total excise tax liability (Line 17 on ATF Form 5000.24) made during calendar year 2001 to determine if tax payments for calendar year 2002 must be made using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). A taxpayer must use EFT to pay taxes during calendar year 2002 if:

  • The total excise taxes liability for a single commodity (Beer, Wine, Distilled Spirits or Tobacco Products) during calendar year 2001 exceeded $5 million, or
  • The taxpayer is part of a control group, whose total excise taxes liability for a single commodity during calendar year 2001 exceeded $5 million.

Taxpayers should contact their ATF Specialist at the NRC for further assistance. q

Tobacco Importers Image
By Barbara Klumpp (513) 684-3334

Since the implementation of the tobacco importer program in January 2000, the Wholesaler/Importer Units received over 900 applications. These units have issued 364 original permits, which expire three years from the date of issuance. Currently, there are over 100 applications, which have been sent for field inspection pending qualification. Over 300 applicants have decided to withdraw their application or discontinue operations. Effective January 1, 2002, approximately 100 temporary permits were issued which expire December 31, 2002. If any tobacco importer holds a temporary permit, which expired effective December 31, 2001, and did not receive a new permit, they should contact the National Revenue Center, Wholesaler/Importer Unit, at 1-800-398-2282 or 513-684-3337.

As a reminder, if any tobacco importer has any changes in name, location, business structure or phone number, the Wholesaler/Importer Unit should be contacted immediately at either number listed above or send written notification to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 8002 Federal Office Building, 550 Main Street, Attention: Wholesaler/Importer Unit Cincinnati, OH 45202-3263.

Alcohol and Tobacco Newsletter

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