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Industry Circular

Number: 76-20

Date: October 7, 1976

Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Washington, DC 20226


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Proprietors of Bonded Wine Cellars, Taxpaid Wine Bottling Houses, and Others Concerned:

Purpose. The purpose of this circular is to inform you that ATF has established a contact point for wine exporters to report incidents of rejection or material delay in entering U. S. wine into foreign countries.

Background. From time to time we have learned of numerous problems which face U. S. wine exporters in gaining entry of their products into foreign markets. In recent months the problems have become more preva- lent, particularly in the case of exportations to mem- ber states of the European Economic Community (EEC). Over the past several years, the Treasury Department has, with assistance from the Agriculture and State Departments and the Office of the Special Trade Repre- sentative, held ongoing consultations with officials of the EEC concerning wine problems. Little progress has been made toward easing the burdens U. S. wine exporters face in entering wine into member states of the EEC, and some additional problems have been encoun- tered. So that we may identify precisely what problems U. S. wine exporters are encountering, we have estab- lished a contact point within ATF for exporters to transmit the facts concerning each rejection or mater- ial delay by foreign countries of exported U. S. wine. While we are primarily interested in problems encoun- tered in entering wines into EEC markets, we would also like to be informed of problems encountered in entering wines into other foreign markets. Information gathered through this process will be evaluated for the purpose of determining whether future consultations regarding wine problems are necessary.

Contact Point. U. S. exporters whose wines are rejected from, or subjected to a material delay in, entry into foreign markets should transmit the facts surrounding the incident to the Chief, Rulings Branch. Reports may be made in writing or by telephone. Written reports should be sent to:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC 20226 Attn: Chief, Rulings Branch, Room 6209

Oral reports may be telephoned to 202-566-7531.

As a minimum, your reports should include the follow- ing information:

1. The name and address of the U. S. firm which ex- ported the wine and the name and telephone number of the representative of the firm who may be contacted about the shipment.

2. The name and address of the foreign firm which will be receiving the wine and the name and telephone number of the representative of the firm who may be con- tacted about the shipment.

3. The points of origin and final destination of the shipment.

4. The foreign country into which the shipment was initially entered and, if applicable, a listing of other countries through which the shipment is planned to move.

5. The quantity, size and number of containers, and the type of wine shipped. Identify also special features of the wine such as varietal, vintage, religious, and quality connotations.

6. Details regarding when, where, and why the ship- ment was stopped.

7. Identify whether you have encountered this same difficulty in the past and, if so, in which foreign countries.

The State Department has agreed to assist in the resolution of problems surrounding U. S. wine exporta- tions. Accordingly, we will relay the information con- tained in your reports to the appropriate State Depart- ment officials and will try to assist you in whatever way we can. However, you should understand that we obviously cannot be completely conversant with all the various foreign government requirements and, therefore, you should be as specific as possible as to the cause of the rejection or delay of your wines.

Where practicable, we will advise you of the outcome of the State Department's resolution efforts. However, please recognize that our principal roles are (1) to assist you in bringing your problems to the attention of the appropriate officials for resolution and (2) to gather a history of problems for possible future consul- tations with involved foreign governments.

Inquiries. Inquiries concerning this circular should be referred to the Chief, Rulings Branch, at the address contained above.

Rex Davis

Rex D. Davis


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