Update: TTB Approves Templates for Custom Wine Labels

Posted on by kginter

As many of you may already know or may have read in our previous blog “Plan on a 1-3 Month Delay for New Wine Label Approvals” the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has been lagging on approving wine labels for winemakers all over the country. It now appears that the process may be speeding up.

Frustrations with Label Approval Delays

One of the biggest frustrations among winemakers who are waiting on label approvals is the approval process for custom wine labels. These custom labels are generally designed for corporate gifts or personalized for special occasions like weddings or birthdays. Since these labels are “custom,” they are going to change from time to time depending on the occasion and the person who is ordering them. Yet each variation must be re-submitted for approval to the TTB!

Having to resubmit a modified label is becoming more and more frustrating. Approval times have been unpredictable, ranging anywhere from 1 to 3 months.

Demanding Action on Label Approvals

With this lengthy approval process taking its toll on the wine industry, senators from New York stepped up to the plate for their wineries, urging the TTB to find a way to speed up the label approval process. Senator Charles Schumer was especially vocal about finding a solution that would allow New York wineries to get their products on the shelves as soon as possible.

TTB to Approve Label Templates for Custom Wine Labels

Schumer’s support paid off. On August 9, 2011 it was announced in a press release on the senator’s website, “Effective immediately, TTB will not require resubmission of labels due to changes in graphics or artwork.”

The TTB’s agreement will allow approval of wine label “templates” which will avoid the necessity of sending labels with very slightly revised artwork back to the TTB for approval. “It’s time to uncork the full potential of our wine industry in New York, and this is a good first step in that direction,” Schumer stated.

What are your thoughts in the TTB’s efforts to speed up label approval times? Do you think this move will be effective?

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