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What To Know: Proposed TTB Label Regulation Changes

TTB NOTICE 176

Since late 2018, we’ve been hearing about the possibility of proposed changes to the TTB’s label and advertising regulations. While at the Craft Brewer’s Conference this April (2019) in Denver, we had a chance to learn more about what’s being proposed and what the upcoming timelines are for implementation.

So, WHAT EXACTLY IS CHANGING?

There are a number of tweaks to the existing language being proposed, many of which aim to make the regulations better organized and easier to digest. However, there are a few potential changes to label and advertising regulations that may affect current packaging & POS materials out in the marketplace.

Some of those proposed label/advertising changes include:

 

  • Kegs needing specified permanent markings on them to avoid firmly affixing keg collars.
  • Cartons/cases (or any closed packaging) must include all mandatory label information. Mandatory information on the bottom of containers may not qualify.
  • Increasing flexibility as to where mandatory information has to appear on label
  • Contract brewing updates to addressing locations
  • Stricter rules on sustainability claims
  • Stricter rules on use of word “draft”
  • Stricter rules on product comparison
  • Stricter rules on health and ingredient claims, with claims requiring supporting evidence
  • Clarifications and updates to class & type regulations; class must be stated, type is optional. Expanded list of specialty classes & types, including Barrel-Aged beer traditionally geographic beer styles.
  • Requiring COLA records & revised labels be on file for 5 years

A GOOD REMINDER:

The TTB is also adding language that says obtaining COLA label approval will not mean automatic compliance with state & federal laws, trademark protection or FDA regulations. TTB approvals do not remove liability for violations due to the accuracy of claims made on the label.

LOOKING FOR YOUR FEEDBACK

Before any of these changes are accepted and implemented, the TTB is looking for feedback to these changes. Through the Brewers Association, members have a chance to comment on Notice 176 and give feedback. The deadline for comments is June 26, 2019.

Learn more and submit comments.

TTB Implementation Timeline

Once the deadline for comments has passed and the final language is determined, TTB Notice 176 changes will likely go into effect by the end of 2019. Existing labels & packaging materials in the marketplace would need to be updated according to the revised regulations within 3 years of the effective date of the new changes.

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