TTB Addresses Alcohol Returns for Large Events Canceled Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 In Blog

We are all getting the emails about canceled events caused by the Coronavirus. Canceled events are hard on all involved from fans to vendors to suppliers. Let’s face it; it’s not good news for anyone.

The CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered guidance that restricts public gatherings to fewer than 250 people. With that the list of event cancellations or postponement continues to grow.

For makers and distributors of alcoholic beverages returns of overstocked or slow-moving are not normally allowed but in these unprecedented times the TTB – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is making an exception.

The TTB has released the following statement.

The federal consignment sales rules generally prohibit the sale or purchase of alcohol beverage products with the privilege of return. See 27 CFR 11.21. Returns for ordinary and usual commercial reasons arising after the product has been sold are not prohibited, but the return or exchange of a product because it is overstocked or slow-moving does not constitute a return for ordinary and commercial reasons. See 27 CFR 11.45.

Local officials and event organizers have begun announcing cancellations of widely-attended events, such as parades, festivals, fairs, concerts, and sporting events based on concerns about COVID-19. These announcements may be made after wholesalers and retailers purchased large quantities of products to sell during those events.

Given the unexpected and widespread nature of the concerns involving COVID-19, TTB will not consider returns of alcohol beverage products purchased to sell during such cancelled events to violate federal consignment sales rules provided the products were not initially purchased or sold with the privilege of return. Even though such returns are lawful, a producer or wholesaler is not required to accept returns of such products.

If you have any questions concerning our consignment sales rules, you may send them to tradepractices@ttb.gov.

TTB Participation In Industry Conferences

In addition employees of the TTB will not be attending any industry events for the next few months.

Regrettably, due to COVID-19, our planned participation in industry conferences over the next few months is cancelled.  We’ll update our Outreach Program Page once we can provide a status of events that will be held later in the year. But don’t worry, we’re considering other ways to deliver the educational materials we’d planned to present at these events.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Industry and State Outreach.

Please visit the homepage of TTB.gov for the most recent news.

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