TTB Issues a Not-So-Subtle Reminder on Tie-in Sales

Much like the tax code, almost as instantaneously as the government codifies an alcohol regulation, people start to look for ways around those regs.  And when you offer examples of your rules in practice, every so often you’re going to have to update the circulars to keep up with changing industry practices.  That’s what just happened with TTB Circular 2012-2.  An update to 2003-3, it looks like a few reminders and some new information seemed necessary to ensure both the letter and spirit of the law were being enforced.

The circular offers some interesting examples, as did 2003-3.  Restated from the previous circular, an important point concerns certain holiday mixes or brews that will be of interest to anyone offering holiday or seasonal products.  Offering them to retailers, tied to your regular product is expressly in violation of the definition for “tie-ins” under 27 CFR § 6.72:

A retailer must purchase a certain amount of regular distilled spirits, whether bottled or cased, in order to be allowed to purchase distilled spirits in a special holiday container or packaging.