Alcohol | Label Approvals

All labels for all alcoholic beverages must be pre-approved by the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. TTB issues a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) to alcoholic beverage importers, distributors, and wholesalers prior to distribution in the U.S. of an alcoholic beverage. Some alcoholic beverages are subject to alcoholic beverage product formulation review and approval and TTB testing prior to being eligible for making application for a TTB COLA.

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To obtain a COLA you also must first obtain a valid TTB permit to sell alcohol in the U.S. Each unique product/label combination must have a valid TTB COLA before alcohol is imported or distributed in the U.S., unless a waiver is obtained for importing commercial samples of alcoholic beverages.

Without a valid TTB COLA for each unique product/label combination, Customs will reject imported entries of alcoholic beverage products. The shipment will not even be permitted to make entry and will have to be moved into a bonded warehouse or exported out of the U.S. Although it is possible to obtain a TTB COLA while an alcoholic beverage product is in a bonded warehouse, it is not uncommon that the alcoholic beverage labels on the imported product do not comply with TTB alcoholic beverage labeling regulations and thus, TTB will not issue a COLA for the labels that are on the imported alcoholic product. To be imported in these circumstances, the product must also be relabeled at great expense.

FDAImports.com, LLC reviews alcoholic beverage labels prior to submitting them for COLAs to ensure the alcohol labels comply with the TTB (and various state) alcoholic beverage labeling requirements. Then, once an alcoholic beverage label is in compliance with TTB regulations, FDAImports.com, LLC prepares and submits applications for COLAs for the corrected labels.

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At FDAImports.com, LLC we make certain our importing clients understand the importation process and assist our clients in identifying appropriate actions and responses should Customs demand redelivery of a conditionally released product, or should that agency issue a demand for payment of liquidated damages pursuant to the importation bond. It is important for your company to know and follow the laws, regulations, and procedures when importing products into the United States. Get Started.