The TTB’s Ten proposed changes that you’ll want to know about regarding: reporting inventory, trade names, beer destruction, tavern premises, ownership and managerial changes, applying for a brewer’s notice, records maintenance, and terminating operations￼
In Notice of proposed rulemaking No. 212 (“Modernization of Qualification Requirements for Brewer’s Notices), the TTB recently proposed these changes to the Code of Federal Regulations governing brewers, brewing, and brewery operations and control. Comments are accepted through August 8:
(1) Eliminating the collection of certain information from Brewer’s Notices; and
(2) Replacing required narrative descriptions of the premises with more specific information.
The proposed amendments to CFR § 25.68 eliminate requirements to submit detailed narrative descriptions of the brewery and certain of its attributes and replace these requirements with a more specific set of information. Section 25.81 relates to qualifying to alternate the brewery premises. TTB believes that, in general, the more direct questions in the proposed regulations will enable brewers to better understand what information they must submit, reduce the need for additional submissions and communication between TTB and brewers, and accelerate TTB’s review process. TTB proposes amendments to CFR § 25.81 to allow descriptions or diagrams of areas to be alternated and how the alternated areas will be separated from other parts of the premises to be consolidated with the general premises description or diagram provided under § 25.68.
(3) Extending deadlines for reporting certain changes in the brewer’s business.
The TTB regulations generally require that, when there is a change in the information shown in the Brewer’s Notice, the brewer must notify TTB of the change. To extend deadlines for reporting certain changes in the brewery business, TTB proposes amendments to 27 CFR 25.71, 25.74, and 25.75. In each case, TTB proposes to extend the deadline for reporting the specified change in the business to 60 days from 30 days.
(4) Streamlining procedures for brewers using new trade names.
The TTB regulations generally require that brewers report changes to, or additions of, the trade names under which a brewery may operate to TTB by submitting an amended Brewer’s Notice. See 27 CFR 25.62 and 26.71. TTB proposes a new 27 CFR 25.76 to clarify that a brewer need only notify TTB of the addition of a trade name prior to using such name for marking or labeling purposes as required by subpart J of part 25 (27 CFR 25.141-25.145) and may notify TTB through a written notice. TTB’s Permits Online system already includes a function for reporting additional trade names, which will satisfy the proposed § 25.76’s requirement for a written notice.
(5) Allowing the maintenance of required records at locations other than the brewery premises through a notification rather than an application for an alternate procedure.
The current applicable recordkeeping requirements do not explicitly allow brewers to maintain records at a location other than the brewery premises. As a result, brewers generally must submit a request for specific authorization to retain records at a central recordkeeping location rather than the brewery premises. To allow the maintenance of required records at locations other than the brewery premises, TTB proposes amendments to 27 CFR 25.300. These amendments also clarify that a brewer generally may satisfy a request for documents by providing copies of such documents, including electronic copies.
(6) Clarifying which individuals are required to submit statements of financial interest in the business in connection with an application for a Brewer’s Notice.
With respect to the collection of background information, TTB proposes amendments to 27 CFR 25.66 to specify the individuals who are required to submit statements of ownership interest in the business. Section 25.66 generally requires that brewers submit a statement disclosing the identities of persons holding certain levels of ownership in a business submitting a Brewer’s Notice. The proposed amendments clarify that: (1) Such statements of interest are required only from persons with an ownership interest in the business of 10 percent or greater; and (2) where a “person” holding such an interest is a legal entity other than an individual, a brewer must submit basic identifying information about a representative individual for that entity.
(7) Reducing the frequency of physical inventories for certain brewers and providing additional flexibility in the timing of inventories.
To reduce burdens associated with physical inventories, TTB proposes to amend § 25.294 to allow brewers authorized by sections 5061(d) of the IRC and § 25.164 of the TTB regulations to file tax returns on an annual or quarterly basis to complete physical inventories on an annual or quarterly basis, respectively. TTB further proposes to amend § 25.294 to allow physical inventories to be taken within the final 15 days of the applicable inventory period (i.e., month, year, or quarter).
(8) Streamlining procedures for discontinuing business as a brewer.
Concerning discontinuing business as a brewer, TTB proposes to amend § 25.85 to allow any written notice to the appropriate TTB officer to serve as adequate notice of discontinuance of business. The notice must indicate the date on which business discontinued or will discontinue. The proposed amendments also dispose of the blanket requirement for a final report, and provide that brewers must submit such report only upon request of the appropriate TTB officer.
(9) Allowing entities operating multiple breweries to secure one bond covering all operations.
To provide greater flexibility in obtaining bond coverage to entities operating multiple breweries, TTB proposes amendments to §§ 25.91 and 25.93 to allow such entities to secure one bond covering all operations. TTB’s proposed amendments also set forth the penal sum requirements associated with these blanket bonds.
(10) Eliminating the requirement that brewers notify TTB before voluntarily destroying taxpaid beer off brewery premises.
TTB is proposing to eliminate the requirement that brewers notify TTB before voluntarily destroying taxpaid beer off brewery premises. To provide brewers additional flexibility in the timing of beer destructions, and to avoid requiring brewers to store taxpaid beer longer than is necessary to arrange its destruction, TTB is proposing to eliminate entirely §§ 25.222 and 25.223 requiring the notice, and to amend § 25.283 to instead require that brewers submit proof of destruction with a claim for refund or credit of tax on taxpaid beer destroyed off brewery premises.