Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill for Wine; and Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill for Distilled Spirits; Amendment of Malt Beverage Net Contents Labeling Regulation

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 155 (Monday, August 12, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 155 (Monday, August 12, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39786-39787]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17155]
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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
27 CFR Parts 4, 5, 7, 26, and 27
[Docket Nos. TTB-2019-0004 and TTB-2019-0005; Notice No. 184; Re:
Notice Nos. 182 and 183]
RINS 1513-AB56 and 1513-AC45
Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill for Wine; and
Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill for Distilled Spirits;
Amendment of Malt Beverage Net Contents Labeling Regulation
AGENCY: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.
ACTION: Notices of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment periods.
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SUMMARY: The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is
extending for an additional 60 days the comment periods for the two
notices of proposed rulemaking it published on July 1, 2019, entitled,
``Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill for Wine'' and ``Elimination
of Certain Standards of Fill for Distilled Spirits; Amendment of Malt
Beverage Net Contents Labeling Regulation.'' TTB is taking this action
in response to requests to extend the comment periods for those
proposed rulemakings made by several interested parties.
DATES: For Notice No. 182 and Notice No. 183, proposed rules published
on July 1, 2019, at 84 FR 31257 and 84 FR 31264, respectively, comments
are now due on or before October 30, 2019.
ADDRESSES: Please send your comments on Notice No. 182 and/or Notice
No. 183 to one of the following addresses:
     internet: https://www.regulations.gov (via the online
comment form for Notice No. 182 as posted within Docket No. TTB-2019-
0004, or the online comment form for Notice No. 183 as posted within
Docket No. TTB-2019-0005, at ``Regulations.gov,'' the Federal e-
rulemaking portal);
     U.S. mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division,
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Box 12,
Washington, DC 20005; or
     Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco
Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC
20005.
    Please refer to the specific notice number you are commenting on in
your comment. See the Public Participation section of Notice No. 182 or
Notice No. 183 for specific instructions and requirements for
submitting comments. You may view copies of the two proposed rules,
this comment period extension document, and all public comments
associated with the proposed rules within Docket Nos. TTB-2019-0004 and
TTB-2019-0005 on the Regulations.gov website at https://www.regulations.gov. You also may view copies of these materials by
appointment at the TTB Public Reading Room, 1310 G Street NW,
Washington, DC 20005. Please call 202-453-1039, ext. 135 to make an
appointment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Berry, Alcohol and Tobacco
Tax and Trade Bureau, Regulations and Rulings Division; telephone 202-
453-1039, ext. 275.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 1, 2019, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax
and Trade Bureau (TTB) published two proposed rules in the Federal
Register:
     Notice No. 182, Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill
for Wine, at 84 FR 31257; and
     Notice No. 183, Elimination of Certain Standards of Fill
for Distilled Spirits; Amendment of Malt Beverage Net Contents Labeling
Regulation, at 84 FR 31264.
    In the two proposed rules, TTB addresses petitions requesting that
TTB amend the regulations that govern wine and distilled spirits
containers to provide for additional authorized standards of fill. As
discussed in Notice No. 182, TTB is proposing to eliminate all but a
minimum standard of fill for wine containers, and, as discussed in
Notice No. 183, TTB is proposing to eliminate all but minimum and
maximum standards of fill for distilled spirits containers. The term
``standard of fill'' as used in the TTB regulations and in the two
proposed rules refers to the authorized amount of liquid in the
container (for example, 50 mL, 100 mL, 375 mL, 750 mL, and 1 liter)
rather than the size or capacity of the container itself.
    In addition, in Notice No. 183, TTB is also proposing to
specifically provide that distilled spirits may be labeled with the
equivalent standard United States (U.S.) measure in addition to the
mandatory metric measure, and that malt beverages may be labeled with
the equivalent metric measure in addition to the mandatory U.S.
measure. These revisions will align those labeling regulations with
current TTB policy, which allows such labeling, and also with the wine
labeling regulations, which provide that wine labels may include the
equivalent U.S. measure in addition to the mandatory metric measure.
[[Page 39787]]
    As discussed in each proposed rule, in addition to comments on the
proposed deregulatory actions, TTB is also requesting comments on the
relative merits of alternatives, such as adding new authorized
standards of fill and developing an expedited process for adding
additional standards in the future. TTB believes that all of these
approaches would eliminate restrictions that inhibit competition and
the movement of goods in domestic and international commerce.
    To date, TTB has received requests to extend the comment period for
either Notice No. 182 or Notice No. 183 from three national
associations and the European Commission.
    The Wine Institute requested a 90-day extension of the comment
period for Notice No. 182, stating that TTB issued the notice at a time
when their members are engaged in longer business hours in preparation
for harvest, with limited time to devote to the issues raised. In
addition, the comment states that the group needs additional time to
identify interested parties, including both its members and other wine
trade associations, to discuss how best to respond.
    The American Distilled Spirits Association (ADSA) requested a 90-
day extension of Notice No. 183, stating that it and its member
companies require ``substantial time to fully and properly address this
significant request for comment.'' The National Alcohol Beverage
Control Association (NABCA), which describes itself as representing the
States and local jurisdictions that directly control the distribution
and sale of alcohol beverages within their borders, is also requesting
a 90-day extension of the comment period for Notice No. 183. NABCA
states that it requires additional time to coordinate among its member
jurisdictions to develop comments to the issues raised in Notice No.
183.
    In addition, TTB has received a request from the European
Commission to extend the comment period for Notice No. 183 until
September 13, 2019, to allow for coordination of European Union
comments on the proposed rule.
    In response to these requests, TTB is extending the comment period
for Notice No. 182 and Notice No. 183 for an additional 60 days. TTB
believes that a 60-day extension of the two comment periods, which in
addition to the original 60-day comment period will provide 120 days
overall for comment, will be of sufficient length to allow interested
parties to consider and comment on the issues raised in the two
notices, while allowing TTB to conclude the rulemaking process in a
more timely manner.
    Therefore, TTB will now accept public comments on Notice No. 182
and Notice No 183 through October 30, 2019.
    Signed: August 6, 2019.
Mary G. Ryan,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-17155 Filed 8-9-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4810-31-P