GAUGING IMPORTED SPIRITS
Importers of Distilled Spirits and Others Concerned:
Purpose. The purpose of this circular is to advise you
that the U.S. Customs Service and the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms have agreed upon a revised PROCEDURE
FOR CONVERTING LITERS OF ABSOLUTE ALCOHOL CONTAINED IN
IMPORTED DISTILLED SPIRITS TO U.S. PROOF GALLONS.
Effective Date. The procedures given in this circular
are EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
Background. Some time ago, a problem arose involving
the tax assessment on distilled spirits crossing the
U.S./Canadian border into the U.S. It involved apparent
overreporting to Revenue Canada by the distiller of bulk
gauge spirits exported to the U.S. Specifically, U.S.
Customs reported on Form B 60 to Revenue Canada a smaller
amount of spirits imported into the U.S. than Canadian
records showed as exported. The difference was assumed not
to have been exported and the additional tax was assessed to
the Canadian distiller by Revenue Canada. This was resolved
with the derivation of a conversion factor that correctly
related Canadian proof to U.S. proof.
This, however, created another problem because distilled
spirits bottled in Canada for export to the United States
(1) must be bottled to U.S. standards of fill, which is
based on 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.56°C) rather than 20
degrees Centigrade (the Canadian standard) and (2) are
bottled and reported at various proofs rather than a single
proof (200°) as for bulk liters of absolute spirits.
Therefore, if the conversion factor were used in conjunction
with ATF Form 5100.10 for liters per case, U.S. gallons per
case, etc., errors would result.
To avoid all errors, the U.S. Customs Service in
agreement with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
has directed all Regional Commissioners, District, Area and
Port Directors of Customs to immediately begin using the
procedures described in this circular.
Procedure. The following computation will be used by all
U.S. Customs Service personnel to convert quantities,
WHETHER BULK OR BOTTLED, of distilled spirits expressed as
Liters of Absolute Alcohol at 20° Centigrade to quantities
of distilled spirits expressed as U.S. Proof Gallons:
1. Number of Liters of Absolute Alcohol at 20 °C X 0.52589 = Number of U.S. Proof Gallons
The result should be rounded to five significant decimal
Shipments of distilled spirits from Canada will always
have the total number of liters of Absolute Alcohol at 20° C
stated on Form B 60 in the column headed "Quantity/Quantite".
Only when some of the cases of distilled spirits shown
on receiving documents are withdrawn from a Customs Bonded
Warehouse should the number of U.S. Proof Gallons of spirits
withdrawn be computed as follows:
2. U.S. Proof Gallons of Alcohol
Calculated from Form B 60
(see 1. above)
U.S. Proof Gallons of
Case Total from
Form B 60
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE VOLUME OR PERCENT
ALCOHOL ON THE BOTTLES OR CASES BE USED FOR THESE
INFORMATION FROM ATF Form 5100.10 - LITERS PER CASE,
U.S. GALLONS PER CASE, etc., SHOULD NO LONGER BE USED FOR
THE ABOVE CALCULATIONS. FOR OTHER PURPOSES, E.G. INVENTORY,
etc., ATF Form 5100.10 MAY STILL BE USED.
Inquiries. Inquiries regarding 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