New TTB Director Stepping Up on Enforcement

If you run a brewery, winery, or distillery, you’ll want to hear what’s new at the TTB.

Under a new initiative, the TTB is poised to take a more enforcement-focused approach to permitting. You should take steps now to ensure you do not get caught in these potential traps:

Starting later this year (or maybe on January 1, 2023), the TTB will force a business to shut down if an ownership change (change of control, change of more than 10%, change of proprietorship) is submitted more than 30 days after the change occurs.

There will be no more exceptions or grace periods! For breweries, technically, the change of proprietorship must be approved before it occurs. If the ownership change is not submitted within the timeline, the TTB will terminate a business’s existing permits and make them reapply all over again. As a result, all production must cease until the new permits are approved and issued. If there any alternating proprietorships or premises with that licensee, then those alternators will have to cease business and reapply as well.

Make sure you submit any changes as soon as they occur or in advance if possible. If a change occurs and you miss the deadline to file, you will have substantial costs due to an interruption in your business. If you do not cease production, you could be charged with illegal distilling, which is a felony and could delay the issuance of your “new” TTB permits.

Starting very soon, the TTB will refuse to process premises amendments/applications or new location applications if TTB taxes and reports are not current and up to date. The application/amendment can be submitted, but the reviewer will take no action until the issues are corrected. Licensees will have only 15 days to resolve the issues, or their application/amendment will be deemed abandoned and they will have to reapply. You should take some time and make sure you are up to date with your FET returns and TTB monthly reports. The TTB offers some helpful resources on its website.

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