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Craft Beverage Modernization Act Guidance From Customs

by | Nov 7, 2018 | alcohol beverage law, TTB

On October 16th, 2018, the CBP issued additional guidance for importers which revised previous CBP guidance on the implementation of the Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) and provided importers with pointed specifics on how to take advantage of reduced tax rates on imported alcohol beverages.


First, the CBMA flag should be used to identify entry lines for which the importer has received a CBMA assignment from a foreign producer/assigning entity and for which the CBMA rate is claimed.  Effective immediately, importers claiming a reduced tax rate or tax rate incorporating applicable tax credits as permitted by the CBMA (hereinafter “CBMA rate”) should do so at the time of entry summary. If and importer has not already been using the CBMA flag to flag entries, going forward, importers will use the CBMA flag to identify entry lines for which the CBMA rate is claimed and declare the lower tax rate. Additionally, importers should only use the CBMA flag when claiming the CBMA rate, whether at the time of entry summary filing or the filing of a Post Summary Corrections (“PSC”).

For entries filed since January 1, 2018 that have not liquidated and for which an importer wants to make a CBMA claim, effective immediately:

  • If not flagged, importers should file a PSC with the CBMA flag and the CBMA rate.
  • If flagged but the CBMA rate has not been claimed, importers should file another PSC with the CBMA rate and the CBMA flag.

For any entries filed since January 1, 2018, for which the low excise tax rate was claimed, importers must complete the CBMA claim by flagging the entry immediately via PSC, and submitting the substantiating documents, as defined below, prior to CBP review and liquidation.  PSC is the mechanism for submitting CBMA claims in this situation if within the PSC timeframe.

If an importer has liquidated entries for which they would like to claim the CBMA rate, they may file a protest.  If an importer files protests claiming the CBMA rate, they should identify “CBMA” in the protest issue dropdown.


Importers are required to file certain mandatory documentation to complete their CBMA claim, and the documentation should be filed at the time of entry summary, PSC filing or protest filing.  To complete a CBMA claim, importers are required to submit two Excel spreadsheets (the CBMA Spreadsheet and the Controlled Group Spreadsheet) and an Assignment Certification to CBP.

Templates for these three documents can be found here:

CBMA Spreadsheet

CBMA Controlled Group Spreadsheet

CBMA Assignment Certification

A claim will not be considered complete until the CBMA Spreadsheet, the Controlled Group Spreadsheet, and the Assignment Certification are provided to CBP.

CBP will process and liquidate claims for entries made in calendar year 2018, beginning January 31, 2019.  CBP will begin its review with the oldest entry on file with a CBMA claim and work forward chronologically.  Any 2018 CBMA claims that are not substantiated with the required documentation by January 31, 2019 are at risk of being liquidated without the benefit of the CBMA rate.  If an importer has a complete and valid claim and the assignment limit has not been reached at the time of CBP review, CBP will liquidate the entry and apply the CBMA rate.

The CBMA Spreadsheet 

Importers will submit the Excel (not .pdf) spreadsheet via the Document Image System (DIS), linked to the entry number.  For paper submissions, email the completed Excel (not .pdf) spreadsheet to [email protected].  A separate CBMA Spreadsheet should be completed for every entry for which a CMBA claim is asserted.

The Controlled Group Spreadsheet

If applicable, Importers will submit a separate Controlled Group Spreadsheet for each Controlled Group to which an importer belongs.  If submitting the Controlled Group Spreadsheet, upload the Excel (not .pdf) spreadsheet to DIS, and link to the Importer of Record number.  For paper submissions, email the completed Excel (not .pdf) spreadsheet [email protected]. While CBP does not require the filing of the Controlled Group Spreadsheet with every entry on which a CBMA claim is made, the relevant Controlled Group Spreadsheet is required to be on file for every entry for which the importer asserts a CBMA claim.  In the event that there is a change in the reported Controlled Group or the importer receives an assignment from a new foreign producer/assigning entity, the importer will immediately submit a new Controlled Group Spreadsheet reflecting the updates.

In addition to the Controlled Group Spreadsheet provided by the importer, a foreign producer/assigning entity may provide a Controlled Group Spreadsheet to CBP directly via email [email protected] for verification purposes.  Controlled Group Spreadsheets submitted by the foreign producer/assigning entity will not require the IOR Number.

The Assignment Certification

The Assignment Certification must be issued on the letterhead of the foreign producer/assigning entity.  Further, the Assignment Certification is required to be signed by a duly authorized officer or employee of the foreign producer/assigning entity. The Assignment Certification must be submitted via DIS, linked to the IOR.  While CBP does not require the filing of the Assignment Certification with every entry on which a CBMA claim is made, an Assignment Certification must be on file with CBP that validates the assignment for every entry for which you assert a CBMA claim.  In the event that there is a change, such that a new Assignment Certification is required, the importer will immediately submit a new Assignment Certification reflecting the updates.

CBP will issue further communication for 2019 entries at a later date. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact [email protected].

More information can be found here:


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The foregoing was prepared as general information. It is not meant to provide legal advice granting any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have questions or require additional information regarding these or other related matters, please contact Malkin Law, P.A. This material may be considered attorney advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.