The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has revised its regulations for labeling and advertising on distilled spirits and malt beverages. Published February 9th, this rule signifies Phase 2 of the rulemaking regarding the modernization of labeling and advertising regulations for alcoholic beverages. These proposals date back to November 2018, when the TTB first proposed changes to labeling and advertising. Phase 1 of the rulemaking was then implemented on April 2, 2020, following comments solicited by the TTB from consumers, industry members and the public.
Updates included in Phase 2
Phase 2 of the rulemaking brings important changes, clarifications and increased flexibility to industry members. The final rule allows for improved clarity of regulations, as well as greater ease when submitting applications for both labels and formulas. Notably, the changes in this rulemaking will not require industry members to make changes to existing labels or advertisements.
More specifically, some of the changes include but are not limited to:
- Greater flexibility regarding placement of mandatory label information
- Allowing for the addition of malt beverage labels that identify the wholesaler, retailer or consumer
- Greater flexibility for allowing the labeling of kegs with “keg collars” or “tap covers” in order to reuse the kegs
- Adding a “grain” definition to distilled spirits regulations including all cereal grains, as well as seeds of amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa
- Creating a distilled spirits “specialty products” class
A full breakdown of the changes included can be viewed in the final rule, as well as in the TTB’s press release.
More changes to come
The TTB also notes that changes to wine labeling regulations, as well as finalizing changes related to wine, distilled spirits and malt beverages advertising, is still to come. Industry members affected by these and future changes might consider consulting with an alcoholic beverage law attorney to remain both knowledgeable and in compliance with these updates.