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Industry Circular

Number: 71-21
Date: September 17, 1971

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division
Washington, D.C. 20224


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Importers, proprietors of distilled spirits plants and others concerned:

Purpose. The purpose of this circular is to request your comments on proposals relating to the elimination of serial numbers on strip stamps.

Background. For some time the Internal Revenue Service has been considering the feasibility of eliminating serial numbers on strip stamps, principally because elimination of the serial numbers would substantially reduce the Government's cost of printing the stamps. On the surface such action seems very favorable; however, before making a decision on this matter we want to thoroughly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages which might result if the serial numbers are eliminated.

Proposals. One proposal under consideration will eliminate the serial numbers from strip stamps, but will provide that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing preprint the appropriate DSP registry number on stamps requisitioned by domestic bottlers. Another proposal under consideration will eliminate the serial numbers without any additional requirement. No change in respect to overprinting of stamps will be made under either proposal, other than that set forth in the notice of proposed rule making published in the Federal Register for June 23, 1971, which would require an importer to overprint stamps with his permit number rather than his name and address. If either proposal is adopted, we will consider permitting bottlers and importers to place identifying numbers or codes on stamps so long as such data does not obscure essential information on the stamps.

Comments. In order that we may objectively evaluate each proposal and reach a decision as to which, if either, to adopt, we request and will appreciate your reaction to each proposal. We would also like to have your answers to the following questions:

(a) Are the serial numbers of significant value to any particular phase, such as production accounting, shipping records, etc., of your operations?

(b) Do you know what, if any, benefits are derived from serial numbers by wholesalers and retailers handling your products?

Your comments on these matters should be in writing and sent to the Director, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division, Attention: CP:AT:RR, 1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20224, not later than October 15, 1971.

Rex Davis

Rex D. Davis,

Director Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division

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