IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO TAX AND TRADE BUREAU TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE INDUSTRY MEMBERS RE: FEDERAL SHUTDOWN AND REOPENING
As many know, the federal government reopened on Monday of last week. To say that we have been busy communicating with the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) on behalf of our wholesaler, distillery and brewery clients is a understatement. We have had a positive response and optimistic levels of communication with the TTB since the government’s reopening.
The TTB has distributed the following message to industry members concerning the shutdown and work being done by the TTB to play catch-up:
|Greetings! The federal government has reopened and that means TTB is back to work! This special edition of the TTB Newsletter contains information for those impacted by the shutdown about our current state of affairs and our plans for resuming normal operations as soon as we can.TTB MESSAGE TO INDUSTRY AND OTHERS AFFECTED BY THE SHUTDOWN:We have received a number of questions regarding how we plan to address the significant backlog of applications and other work items we now have following the shutdown, including how long it will take us to resume normal operations. We recognize that TTB approvals are critical to your businesses, and that the partial government closure over the past five weeks may have adversely affected your operations.The permit, formula, and label submissions received during the funding lapse roughly doubled our existing backlog prior to the shutdown, at which time we were on average achieving our service standards of 15 days for label and formula applications and 75 days for permit applications. We are still assessing the overall effect of the shutdown on our service levels going forward, and we are committed to working diligently to process these applications and restore normal operations as quickly as possible. We encourage you to monitor TTB.gov for the latest information regarding our processing times.What we’re doingAs part of our recovery efforts, we are:actively developing strategies to further streamline processes;redeploying staff to critical areas;authorizing the use of overtime where appropriate; andapplying our risk-based enforcement approach to address compliance issues that may have occurred during the shutdown.What you can doYou can help us recover from the shutdown by:Withdrawing any applications that you may have submitted but no longer need, reducing the size of the overall backlog;Waiting to submit an application until you have decided on a final formulation or label because multiple submissions for the same product further increases the backlog;Ensuring that any applications that you submit are complete and correct, speeding our review and approval process; andChecking TTB.gov for any needed guidance or assistance prior to reaching out to us by phone or email, minimizing the overall volume of inquiries requiring a response.We will provide an update on our efforts to restore normal operations and service levels when additional information is available, and thank you for your understanding as we work to address these challenges.
Last modified: February 6, 2019