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Industry Circular

Number: 61-1

Date: January 3, 1961

Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division


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Importers, Bottlers of Distilled Spirits and others concerned:

Purpose. The purpose of this circular is to inform importers and United States bottlers of Scotch Whisky and United States bottlers of Irish Whiskies produced in Northern Ireland of the restrictions of the British Customs and Excise regulations relating to the labeling of such Whiskies as having been distilled, blended, and bottled under Government supervision.

Background. The Code of Customs and Excise Warehousing Regulations administered in Great Britain under certain conditions authorize state- ments in labeling to the effect that Scotch Whisky and Northern Irish Whisky, bottled in the United Kingdom, have been "Distilled in Scotland (or Northern Ireland) and bottled in the United Kingdom under Government Supervision." There is no authority under British regulations for the use of this statement, or any variation thereof, with respect to Scotch Whisky and Irish Whisky (produced in Northern Ireland) not bottled in the United Kingdom. Hence, under Section 41(b) of the Federal Alcohol Admin- istration Act Regulations No. 5, the statement would be prohibited from appearing on labels of Scotch Whisky and Northern Irish Whisky bottled in the United States after importation.

Several months ago, the attention of this office was directed to the requirements of the British regulations and to the application of Regula- tions No. 5 in this regard. Since that time, as applications for label approval have been submitted covering labels in this category, we have advised the applicants that the use of the labels would be permitted until December 31, 1960, but that after such date, the labels must be amended by deleting all references to "Government Supervision."

We have now been informed that many of the labels in question are printed in England and that deliveries of the amended labels could not be made by the end of 1960.

Conclusion. In view of these circumstances and in order to permit an orderly transition, all certificates of approval covering labels bearing the objectionable wording, whether or not limited to December 31, 1960, may be considered effective until May 31, 1961.

All bottlers of distilled spirits who utilize labels for Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskies, bearing references to distillation or blending under Government supervision, should make all necessary labeling corrections and obtain new certificates of label approval before May 31, 1961. After that date, all certificates of approval heretofore issued by this office covering the old labels, whether or not such certificates are limited, should be returned for cancellation.

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

Dwight Avis

Dwight E. Avis

Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division

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