RETURN AND EXCHANGE OF DISTILLED SPIRITS AND WINE IN
U.S. SIZE CONTAINERS FOR METRIC SIZE CONTAINERS
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Bonded Wine Cellars,
Taxpaid Wine Bottling Houses, Importers, Wholesale Liquor
Dealers and Others Concerned:
It has come to the Bureau's attention that some trade
buyers are considering the exchange of their inventory of
merchandise in U.S. sizes for merchandise in metric sizes
when the metric sizes become available.
Section 5(d) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act
makes it unlawful, within the jurisdictional limits set forth,
for an industry member to sell to a trade buyer with the priv-
ilege of return. Transactions involving the bona fide return
of merchandise for ordinary and usual commercial reasons
arising after the merchandise has been sold are not prohibited.
When metric standards were adopted, a lengthy phase-in
period was provided for the purpose of promoting an orderly
transition from U.S. to metric sizes. Complete conversion
will not be effective until January 1, 1979, and January 1,
1980, for wine and distilled spirits respectively.
With this conversion period having been specifically pro-
vided for the purpose of allowing an orderly phasing-in of
the metric sizes, the Bureau does not feel that the mass return
or exchange of U.S. sizes can reasonably be considered a return
for ordinary and usual commercial reasons arising after the
merchandise has been sold.
Trade buyers (retailers and wholesalers) are reminded that
section 5(d) of the Act makes it equally unlawful for them as
well as the industry member to engage in the practices pro-
scribed by that section.
Inquiries concerning this circular should refer to its
number and be addressed to the Assistant Director, Regulatory
Enforcement, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1200
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20226.
Rex D. Davis