Are you ready for new alcoholic beverage labeling and advertising regs that make room for wine in a box and the need to comply with FDA regulations? (New TTB advertising and labeling rules Part 3)

The next few installments of our ongoing series reviewing the new proposed rules in the TTB’s Notice 176 – the Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages – will highlight the specific proposed changes to the Subparts of 27 CFR 4, 5, and 7.

Proposed changes to Subpart A (General Provisions) for Parts 4, 5, and 7 of 27 CFR:

Definitions will be added to the terms brand name, certificate holder, certificate of exemption from label approval, certificate of label approval (COLA), distinctive or fanciful name, and net contents.  These definitions will track the common understanding and procedures currently used by the TTB:

  • Brand name = the name under which the product or product line is sold.
  • Certificate holder =  industry members that have obtained COLAS, exemptions, or distinctive liquor bottle approval.
  • The new certificate of label approval definition is intended to reflect the fact that changes can be made without obtaining a new COLA as the TTB has been providing guidance documents allowing for changes without the need to submit and obtain new approval.
  • Distinctive or fanciful name will become the descriptive name or phrase chosen to identify the product on the label which does not include a brand name, class or type designation, or statement of composition.
  • Net contents = the amount of volume of wine, distilled spirits, or alt beverages held in a container.
  • Container will replace the term bottle and mean any can, bottle, box with internal bladder, cask, keg, barrel, or other closed receptacle in any size or material, that is for use in the sale alcoholic beverage at retail. This differs from the current definitions in that it incorporates a box with an internal bladder –  wine in a box. The TTB thinks this definition will make it clear that the term isn’t restricted to traditional glass bottles.
  • Person will now include limited liability companies as part of the definition (the TTB already does this but it isn’t specifically part of the definition).

The term advertisement is also removed from the definitions as it is now part of its own proposed part, 27 CFR part 14.

Also of note, the proposal notes in the General Provisions amendments that 27 CFR sections 4.9, 5.9 and 7.9 will be updated to provide that it is the responsibility of the industry member to ensure that any ingredient used in production of alcoholic beverages complies with the applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations pertaining to the safety of food ingredients and additives and that the TTB may at any time request documentation to establish such compliance. In addition the sections provide that it remains the responsibility of the industry member to ensure that their containers are made of suitable materials to comply with all applicable FDA health and safety regulations for the packaging of alcoholic beverages for consumption and that the TTB may at any time request documentation to establish such compliance.

Also the notes to the General Provisions note that is the TTB’s long-standing position that review and approval of labels and formulas doesn’t relieve the industry member from its responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable FDA regulations. The new regulations will also contain at sections 4.10, 5.10, and 7.10, a list of regulations implemented by other federal agencies of which industry members should be aware.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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