Category archives for “U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”)”

Strike & Techel Speaking at Upcoming Conferences

October 15, 2013

Barry Strike will be a presenter at the International Wine Law Association (AIDV) International Conference on October 18-20 in Vienna, Austria. This annual conference brings together speakers and participants from around the world to discuss global strategies for legal issues related to the wine industry. Barry will present on U.S. regulatory agencies available to assist international wine companies.

Kristen Techel will be speaking at the Wine Law Forum on Friday November 22, from 9:00am-5:00pm at Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, California. Kristen will share her expertise on the emerging role of third party providers in a discussion entitled “Third Party Providers: Unlicensed Participants in a Licensed Industry.” The event is co-sponsored by the International Wine Law Association (AIDV).

If you would like more information on the AIDV organization or about either conference, please click here.

Imbiblog is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved ·


Strike & Techel Speaking at Upcoming Conferences

October 15, 2013

Barry Strike will be a presenter at the International Wine Law Association (AIDV) International Conference on October 18-20 in Vienna, Austria. This annual conference brings together speakers and participants from around the world to discuss global strategies for legal issues related to the wine industry. Barry will present on U.S. regulatory agencies available to assist international wine companies.

Kristen Techel will be speaking at the Wine Law Forum on Friday November 22, from 9:00am-5:00pm at Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, California. Kristen will share her expertise on the emerging role of third party providers in a discussion entitled “Third Party Providers: Unlicensed Participants in a Licensed Industry.” The event is co-sponsored by the International Wine Law Association (AIDV).

If you would like more information on the AIDV organization or about either conference, please click here.

Imbiblog is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved ·


Excising Effervescence: Who Sets Federal Tax Rates?

July 30, 2012

Excise taxes on wine can vary substantially depending on whether or not the wine is sparkling or still wine. For example, wine containing 14% alcohol or less is taxed at a rate of $1.07 per gallon, while naturally sparkling or artificially carbonated wine is taxed at the much higher rate of $3.40 per gallon. See 26 U.S.C. § 5041. For domestic wine, the tax rate is established when TTB classifies a product during the certificate of label approval (COLA) process. If there is uncertainty over how wine should be classified, a producer may submit the product to the TTB laboratory for analysis and a determination of the proper classification. 26 U.S.C. § 5041 defines still wines as “those wines containing not more than 0.392 gram of carbon dioxide per hundred milliliters of wine.” Accordingly, if a product with carbonation below that level is classified as a sparkling wine, and therefore subject to a higher tax rate, a producer may submit the product to TTB to seek to have the product reclassified.

Ensuring the proper tax classification for imported wine can be more difficult because of the role of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”) in the determination and collection of excise taxes. Imported wine is subject to the same excise tax rates as domestic wine, but taxes on imported wine are collected by CBP at the U.S. port of entry. The CBP does not necessarily rely on TTB’s classification of an imported wine for tax purposes, and instead has the discretion to make its own determination on the tax classification of the imported product. For example, TTB may classify a product as “still wine,” but CBP may still tax the wine at the higher sparkling wine rate if it appears to CBP to be a sparkling wine product.

To challenge the tax rate imposed by the CBP, an importer may seek an Official Ruling Request, and rulings are typically issued within 30 days of the request. Information on how to file an Official Ruling Request can be found here. Importers or their brokers may also seek to correct past overpayments of excise taxes by filing a Post-Entry Amendment if the taxes were recently paid, or a Protest if the taxes for a particular shipment have been “liquidated,” which typically occurs approximately 10 months after the taxes are paid to the CBP.

Contact the attorneys at Strike & Techel if you have any questions about federal excise tax collection.

Imbiblog is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Copyright © 2012 · All Rights Reserved ·


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