REPEAL OF STAMP REQUIREMENT ON
CONTAINERS OF DISTILLED SPIRITS
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Importers, and
Purpose. This circular is being issued to advise
distilled spirits plant proprietors and importers of dis-
tilled spirits that the stamp requirement for containers
of distilled spirits will be repealed as of July 1, 1985.
After that date containers having a capacity of one wine
gallon or less will be required to have a tamper-evident
closure or other device that must be broken in order to
gain access to the spirits.
Background. On July 18, 1984, the Deficit Reduction
Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369, was signed by President
Reagan. A provision of this law repeals 26 U.S.C. 5205
relating to the requirement that containers of distilled
spirits bear stamps evidencing tax determination. Con-
tainers having a capacity of one wine gallon or less must
bear a tamper-evident closure or other device that
requires breaking to gain access to the contents of the
The effective date of this provision is July 1, 1985.
This means that containers of distilled spirits must con-
tinue to bear stamps until that date unless approval has
been given by ATF to use an alternative closure. After
the effective date of July 1, 1985, government-supplied
stamps may no longer be affixed to containers of distilled
spirits. If, however, stamps are affixed to containers of
spirits prior to July 1, 1985, the containers will be
permitted to be imported or brought into the United States
and released from Customs custody, or withdrawn from the
bonded premises of a distilled spirits plant.
The stamps will continue to be supplied to distilled
spirits plant proprietors and importers by the government
only until July 1, 1985. Until that date, ATF will be
monitoring the requisitions for stamps to ensure that all
proprietors receive adequate supplies of stamps to meet
their current needs. Since the affixing of stamps is
prohibited after July 1, 1985, there is no advantage to
any proprietor to stockpile stamps.
Inquiries. Inquiries concerning this circular should
refer to its number and be addressed to the Associate
Director, Compliance Operations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
20226, Attention: Distilled Spirits and Tobacco Branch.