News:

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) released Industry Circular 2018-1A, which clarified the new law authorizing tax cuts on wine announcing that, for a limited time, producing wineries can take full advantage of the value of the new federal excise tax credits on wine stored at another bonded wine cellar or bonded winery, as if it were removed from the producing winery’s bonded premises, by following an “alternate procedure.” The “alternate procedure” is needed because many wineries use an alternate facility to store their wine, such as custom crush facilities or bonded wine warehouses, and a strict interpretation of the bill text disallowed these facilities from claiming the tax credit. A black letter reading of the bill meant that for calendar years 2018 and 2019, any wine that was removed by a wine premises that did not produce the wine was not eligible for the new tax credits.  A winery could only apply the new tax credits to wine produced by that winery. If the wine was being held at premises that did not produce the wine, the producing wine premises had to physically bring the wine back to its premises and remove the wine taxpaid from its premises in order to take advantage of the tax credits. Alternate Procedure: Now, the TTB has authorized an alternate procedure, in effect through December 31, 2019, under which wine producers will be allowed to determine taxes on their wine stored (un-taxpaid) at an alternate bonded facility without the wine producer being required to physically receive…

Posted in alcohol beverage law, TTB | Tagged industry circular, TTB, Wine | Comments Off

New York’s Governor Cuomo today recently held the third Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit in New York. A video is available here. The result of both the summit and industry feedback, Cuomo announced that the State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) approved a number of advisories that will “help support the continued growth and development of New York’s beverage manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers.” Cuomo said, “this industry is a New York success story, creating jobs and economic activity, as well as some of the best beer, wine, spirits and cider in the world…By enacting these reforms, we are furthering this administration’s successful efforts to cut red tape, ease regulations, and make commonsense reforms to help these businesses further grow and thrive in every corner of New York.” SLA advisories will provide for the following privileges as quoted from the Governor’s release: Allow salespeople to represent multiple craft beverage manufacturers. This will increase distribution for small craft producers and provide more opportunities for salespeople to join the growing beverage industry. And according to the Advisory, the language of subdivision 2 of section 93 does not impose a restriction on the number of licensees that a solicitor represents, but only requires that the name of any such licensee appear on the permit certificate. Accordingly, an individual holding a solicitor’s permit may represent more than one licensed craft (“micro” or “farm”) manufacturer, provided that all the manufacturers consent to the individual’s representation of multiple licensees. Allow multiple craft manufacturer branch offices at the same…

The TTB accepted a $15,000 Offer in Compromise from Ancient Peak, Inc., a winery in Santa Margarita, California, to resolve alleged violations that it sold wine in “interstate commerce” without first obtaining required certificates of label approval (“COLAs”). In addition, the labels allegedly contained false and untrue statements. The allegations are below and can also be seen, in full, on the TTB website. If you have questions about COLA requirements or permissible statements, visit the TTB’s COLA website or send me an email. To see other Offers in Compromise, click here.

Posted in alcohol beverage law, TTB | Tagged alcohol beverage, California, TTB, Wine | Comments Off