MANUFACTURE AND USE OF LIQUOR BOTTLES
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants,
Manufacturers of Liquor Bottles,
Importers, and Others Concerned:
The purpose of this Industry Circular is to remind proprietors of distilled
spirits plants, manufacturers of liquor bottles, importers, and others concerned
regarding certain requirements relating to liquor bottles and to changes made in
some of those requirements by Treasury Decision 7020, also, to invite comments
on any problems encountered in complying with these requirements. This is particularly pertinent to users of ceramic and other liquor bottles which the
Director may approve as distinctive.
We call your attention to the provisions of 27 CFR Part 5, Subpart E
(as revised and published in the Federal Register on December 30, 1969) especially the following:
(a) General. A standard liquor bottle shall be one
so made and formed, and so filled, as not to mislead the purchaser. ***
(b) A liquor bottle of a capacity of one-half pint
or more shall be held to be so filled as to mislead the purchaser if it has a headspace in
excess of 8 percent of the total capacity of the
bottle after closure.
(c) A liquor bottle shall be held (irrespective of
the correctness of the stated net contents) to be
so made and formed as to mislead the purchaser, if
its actual capacity is substantially less than the
capacity it appears to have upon visual examination under ordinary conditions of purchase or use.
(a) The provisions of the "headspace" and "design"
requirements in Section 5.46 shall not apply to
liquor bottles of unusual design as may, from
time to time, be specifically excepted from these
requirements by the Director pursuant to application filed with the Director by the bottler or
importer as the case may be.
These provisions are applicable to all liquor bottles containing distilled
(1) packaged at distilled spirits plants for domestic use,
(3) brought into the United States from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Please note that the foregoing provisions of section 5.46 are restatements of
earlier provisions except that cordials, liqueurs, and specialties will no longer
be exempt from such provisions.
Your attention is also directed to the provisions of 26 CFR 201, 250 and 251
which authorize the Director to disapprove any bottle for use as a liquor bottle
which he determines to be deceptive. This authority extends to all bottles
used, or intended for use, for bottling of distilled spirits or for containing
distilled spirits brought into the United States for sale. Liquor bottles of
unusual design or shape, whether or not they bear the required indicia, must be
so designed as not to be deceptive in any respect, unless an exception is
obtained under section 5.48. We are bringing this matter to your attention so
that you may avoid manufacturing, acquiring or using liquor bottles, or importing
filled liquor bottles, which do not conform to the regulatory requirements.
Our experience has been that many bottles submitted for approval as
being distinctive fail to meet all of the above mentioned requirements. We
understand that in the manufacture of certain liquor bottles, especially those
of distinctive or unusual design, problems in meeting regulatory requirements
may be encountered which are not common to standard glass bottles. We invite
your comments and background information concerning such problems. Inquiries
or comments concerning this circular should refer to its number and be
addressed to the Director,
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division,
Washington, D. C. 20224,
Harold A. Serr,
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division