Rev. Ruling 64-297

Use of Polyethylene Drums

Advice has been requested concerning the use of certain polyethylene drums as approved containers for packaging and shipping of distilled spirits and denatured spirits.

Section 201.501 of the Distilled Spirits Plants Regulations provided that proprietors of distilled spirits plants shall use approved containers for the packaging of distilled spirits and denatured spirits. Approved containers are containers specifically authorized for use by the Distilled Spirits Plants Regulations, and other containers specifically approved for use by the Director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division under the provisions of section 201.501.

Pursuant to the provisions of section 201.501 of the regulations, the Director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division has authorized the use for all of the purposes specified in such section of the following polyethylene drums:

1. A polyethylene drum overpacked in ICC 6-J removable head steel drum. - The polyethylene drum, including flanges, is molded in one piece so that it is a smooth, continuous, seamless unit. It has two flanges with threaded openings to accommodate both 2-inch and 3/4-inch drum plugs which are also made of polyethylene. The outer surfaces of the flanges are equipped with bottle cap threads which accommodate regular metal screw caps. The drum is packed in an ICC-6-J removable head steel drum with bungs and lock bolt equipped with tamper proof lead wire seals.

2. A polyethylene drum of 55 gallon capacity, overpacked in a steel drum. - The inner container of this drum is made of all molded polyethylene, with no joints, welds, or seams. It has two threaded openings in the top, which are secured with polyethylene screw caps. The top cover of the outer steel drum is removable and is secured to the drum by bolting. When this cover is in place, it completely covers the top of the inside polyethylene container, and it must be removed before any part of the contents of such inner drum may be removed.

3. A polyethylene drum of 15 gallons capacity, overpacked in a fiber drum. - The polyethylene material for the inner container of this drum is of not less than 15 mils thickness and the drum is made of all molded polyethylene with no joints, welds, or seams. It has a single threaded opening in the top, secured by a polyethylene screw cap. Around the chimes of both the top and bottom of the outer fiber drum is a 1/2-inch-thick rim of fiber paper for added strength in handling.

The marking and branding of the above described drums, upon being filled with distilled spirits or denatured spirits, must be in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Distilled Spirits Plants Regulations. No age may be claimed in the labeling of any distilled spirits so packaged for the time they remain in the polyethylene drums; nor may any previously acquired age from storage in wooden containers be claimed unless the records of the bottler clearly substantiate such claims.

Since the substance of Revenue Ruling 54-438, C.B. 1954-2, 479 (which authorized the use of the polyethylene drums described in paragraph 1 above for the packaging of specially denatured alcohol) is incorporated herein, Revenue Ruling 54-438 is hereby superseded.

26 U.S.C. 5206; 27 CFR 201.501