Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) official Susan Evans, the Executive Liaison for State and Industry Matters, talked about ways to streamline the federal label approval process at the June 2013 National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) that I attended in Honolulu. Speaking on a panel, she said that the TTB has experienced reduced staffing and declining budgets, which have slowed down two of its major functions: permitting and approving labels.
According to Ms. Evans, nearly 25,000 permittees submit certificate of label approvals (COLAs) to TTB . Last year TTB received over 145,000 COLA applications. In the last two years, TTB has imposed fewer restrictions and qualifications, updated the COLA form to allow changes that may be made to labels without TTB approval, and established a virtual file room for processing paper applications electronically.
In addition, TTB recently reviewed the label approval program and concluded the following: