Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act Penalty

The Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act (ABLA) of 1988 requires that a health warning statement appear on the labels of all containers of alcoholic beverages manufactured, imported, or bottled for sale or distribution in the United States, as well as on containers of alcoholic beverages that are manufactured, imported, bottled, or labeled for sale, distribution, or shipment to members or units of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those located outside the United States. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulations implementing ABLA are found in 27 CFR part 16.

The Act provides that any person who violates the provisions of the ABLA is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000, with each day constituting a separate offense (see 27 U.S.C. 218). However, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended, requires agencies to make periodic cost-of-living adjustments to civil monetary penalties (other than those in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Tariff Act of 1930). TTB publishes notices in the Federal Register to notify the public of the adjusted maximum penalty for violations of the ABLA (see 27 CFR 16.33). The adjusted penalties are recorded on this Web page.

Time when violation is assessed

Violation subject to a civil penalty of not more than:

After November 18, 1988 and before July 1, 2016

$10,000

July 1, 2016, to January 9, 2017

$19,787

January 10, 2017, and after

$20,111

Each day on which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
For more information on Federal civil penalty inflation adjustments, please see the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act.

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Questions?  For more information about TTB’s regulations and public guidance, contact the Regulations and Rulings Division (RRD) at
202-453-2265
or by email Regulations@ttb.gov or see a complete list of RRD contacts.

Page last reviewed: June 30, 2016
Page last updated: January 10, 2017
Maintained by: Regulations and Rulings Division