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Industry Circular

Number: 77-22

Date: December 19, 1977

Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Washington, DC 20226


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Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants and Others Concerned:

Purpose. The purpose of this circular is to inform distilled spirits plant proprietors that an ATF Ruling, per- taining to the sealing of conveyances used to transport spirits, will be published in the January issue of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bulletin. The ruling will read substantially as follows:

One of the changes instituted by Treasury Decision ATF-46 is the transfer of the responsibility for the sealing of conveyances used to transport spirits. Effec- tive January 1, 1978, this function generally will be performed by plant proprietors rather than ATF officers. As of that date plant proprietors will have to supply their own serially numbered seals, locks and other devices for securing conveyances used to transport distilled spirits. Under 27 CFR 201.100(b) of the new regulations, all seals, locks and other devices that are to be used on conveyances in which spirits are transferred in bond, withdrawn free of tax or with- drawn without payment of tax shall be approved by the Director prior to use. Industry Circular 77-19, dis- cusses this requirement and instructs proprietors to submit samples of their commercial seals to the Bureau's Chemical Branch for evaluation and subsequent approval or disapproval.

The Director has reviewed several applications submitted in accordance with Industry Circular 77-19 and has established the following criteria for use in evaluating seals:

1. The seals shall be made of a durable material such as aluminum, brass, copper or steel.

2. The seals shall bear the name of the proprietor or his plant registry number. Readily recognizable abbreviated versions of the proprietor's name may be used; e.g., Jos. E. Seagram or Seagram will suffice for Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. However, letter abbreviations; e.g., the initials "JES," may not be used unless specifically approved by the Director pursuant to a letterhead application.

3. The seals shall bear serial numbers. The number of digits in the serial number must be sufficient to insure that a particular serial number will not be repeated within a 6-month time period. Alphabeti- cal prefixes may be used in conjunction with digits; e.g., A001.

4. All marks required by (2) and (3) above shall be indented into, embossed on, or otherwise durably marked on the seals. The marks shall be of suf- ficient size to be readily legible.

5. The seals shall be constructed in a fashion which prevents their being opened without leaving evidence thereof.

Having evaluated several seals, the Director has concluded that certain cap and strap seals may be used for sealing conveyances.

Held, cap seals and ball-type strap seals (commonly known as "railroad seals") which meet the criteria set forth above and which have minimum dimensions of 3/4 of an inch in diameter, in the case of cap seals, and 6½ inches in length and 3/8 of an inch in width, in the case of ball-type seals, are approved for use in seal- ing conveyances pursuant to 27 CFR 201.100. A pro- prietor desiring to use these specific types of seals need not submit an application to do so. However, a proprietor desiring to use a letter abbreviation of his name on these types of seals is reminded that he must submit a letterhead application for approval of such an abbreviation.

Held further, a proprietor who desires to use any other type of seal must submit an application requesting approval of the seal by the Director. Similarly, a proprietor who desires to use any lock or other device for securing bulk conveyances must submit an applica- tion requesting approval of the lock or device. Inquiries. 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

John Krogman

Acting Director

GPO 925-381

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