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Industry Circular

Number: 59-5
Date: January 30, 1959

Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division


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Importers, and others concerned:

Purpose. The purpose of this Circular is to inform importers of French Table Wines that all such wines shipped from foreign ports on or after March 1, 1959, must be accompanied by appropriate certificates of origin and identity issued under authority of the French Government with respect to such wines.

Background. Refer to Industry Circular No.58-35 issued December 29, 1958.

Conclusion. Under French law all wines are subject to a "Control of Origin" supervised by the French Bureau of Indirect Taxes (Administration des Contributions Indirectes). The Bureau of Indirect Taxes issues certificates to cover all table wines exported from France; one, often referred to as the "Green Certificate" and identified as "Certificat Delivre Pour Des Vins Justifiant Du Droit A Une Appellation D'Origine Controlee", is issued to cover all table wines entitled to be labeled under an "Appellation Controlee" designation; another, referred to as the "Buff Certificate" and identified as "Acquit-A-Caution Du Reg. 2 A", is issued to cover all French wines not entitled to an "Appellation Controlee" designation. For example, wines bearing designations such as "Vin Rouge" "Vin Blanc", "Vin Rose", "French White Wine", "French Red Wine", etc., will be covered by the buff certificate, and wines bearing "Appellation Controlee" designations such as "Sauterne", "Champagne", "Medoc", "St. Julien", "Graves", "Bordeaux Superior", "Bordeaux Blanc", "Burgogne", "Beaujolais", "Anjou", etc., will be covered by the green certificates.

Both of the certificates will identify the wines covered thereby as follows: (1)type of shipping container, (cartons, cases, barrels, etc.), (2) serial numbers on the shipping containers, (3) number of containers, (4) total volume, and (5) designation (Appellation D'Origine). No goods shall be released from Customs Custody unless the certificates accurately identify the shipment in all respects including the primary label designation.

In addition, in the case of "Appellation Controlee" Bordeaux Wines, the green certificates will bear the reference "Certificat de Conformite Exigible" and in the case of Champagne a "Certificat D'Origine" will accompany such wines. These additional certificates will be required in those cases where the labels affixed to the wine bottles specifically indicate the shipments to be covered by such certificates and at any other time where additional evidence of authenticity may appear desirable.

In order to avoid detention of merchandise at the ports of entry, all importers of French wines should advise their principals abroad of these provisions.

Inquiries. Correspondence in regard to this Industry Circular should refer to its number and be addressed to the Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax (O:AT:BT), Washington 25, D. C.


Dwight E. Avis
Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division

IRS D. C. 45736

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