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TTB seeks to ‘modernise’ distillery permit process

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has proposed changes to its permit application for distillers in an effort to deregulate and ‘modernise’ the process.

The suggested changes aim to ‘increase industry flexibility without imposing regulatory burden’

In 2017, TTB began an evaluation of its permit and registration applications for distilled spirits plants and those working with specially denatured alcohol and tax-free alcohol, inviting members of the public to comment and suggest ways in which the procedures could be streamlined.

Last week (3 December), the US government organisation revealed its proposed changes based on this public feedback, as well as internal evaluations.

Proposed amendments aim to reduce the information that must be submitted in distilled spirits plant applications, and also ‘increase industry flexibility without imposing regulatory burden’.

These include extending deadlines for reporting changes within businesses from 30 to 60 days; permitting businesses to notify TTB of the addition or removal of trade names, rather than requiring them to apply for approval; and allowing regulated businesses to keep their records outside of the permitted premises without needing TTB’s approval first.

TTB said it believes the suggested amendments to the process ‘will significantly reduce the time needed to complete an application for a permit or registration’.

The organisation is accepting comments on its proposed changes until 1 February 2022. More information can be found at

Over the past few years, TTB has moved towards a more deregulated landscape. In October 2020, TTB revised its rule on the labelling of gluten-free spirits, allowing producers to use the term ‘gluten-free’ on their packaging if the liquid is made from gluten-containing grains. The move was hailed as providing ‘greater flexibility’ for the industry by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

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