Return of Alcohol Beverages Damaged as a Result of Natural Disasters

There is no requirement to accept the return of unmarketable alcohol beverage products damaged as a result of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, flood, or wild fire, however the products may be returned to wholesalers or importers by retailers; and to manufacturers by wholesalers without violating the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act).

Industry members (wholesalers, manufacturers, importers) may accept the return of alcohol beverages after the sale has been made without being in violation of the Consignment Sale provisions of the FAA Act if the returns are for "ordinary and usual commercial reasons."  Specifically, 27 CFR 11.32 states that "products which are unmarketable because of product deterioration, leaking containers, damaged labels or missing or mutilated tamper evident closures may be exchanged for an equal quantity of identical products or may be returned for cash or credit against outstanding indebtedness."

If the person holding the alcohol beverages for sale at the time they became unmarketable does not return them to another industry member, the person may be entitled to file a claim with TTB.  See Disaster Relief for information about filing claims for excise taxes paid on unmarketable products.



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For more information on disaster claims and filing, contact the National Revenue Center at 877-882-3277, or contact us online.


Page last reviewed/updated: 08/21/2020