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TTB, the popular abbreviation for ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO TAX AND TRADE BUREAU, is a division of the United States Government Department of the Treasury. Among the functions and responsibilities of the TTB that impact the wine trade are:

to approve designs, terms, and language of wine labels and packaging and the advertising and merchandising of wine, to some extent;

to approve or deny federal basic permits to start a new winery;

to monitor records and track production techniques, volume, and logistics and collect alcohol taxes;

and to approve or reject applications for American Viticultural Areas.

From its creation in 1972, until January, 2003, this agency was called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). Among other, more obvious measures, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 separated weapons and crime from the functions of regulation and taxation. Responsibility for the regulation of firearms and explosives was transferred to the Justice Department, along with that for investigating arson and crimes involving alcohol and tobacco, such as smuggling and product counterfeiting.

The TTB Website has information about regulations, policies, procedures and enforcement, various downloadable forms, and regularly posts bulletins about proposed AVAs, changes in regulations, etc.

Page created January 29, 2001; updated October 6, 2014
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