Tobacco, alcohol excise tax-related final and proposed rule changes

Tobacco, alcohol excise tax-related final rule changes

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), of the U.S. Treasury Department, today released for publication in the Federal Register: (1) a final rule concerning requirements related to importers and manufacturers of tobacco products and processed tobacco; and (2) a notice of proposed rulemaking that would aim to streamline the importation of distilled spirits, wine, beer, malt beverages, tobacco products, processed tobacco, and cigarette papers and tubes.


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Excise taxes

Chapter 51 of the Internal Revenue Code pertains to the taxation and regulation of distilled spirits, wine, and beer. For instance, sections 5001, 5041, and 5051 impose a federal excise tax on all distilled spirits, wine and beer manufactured in or imported into the United States.

Chapter 52 of the Internal Revenue Code contains excise tax provisions pertaining to the taxation of distilled spirits, wine, beer, tobacco products, processed tobacco, and cigarette papers and tubes. For instance, section 5701 imposes various rates of tax on these products that are manufactured in or imported into the United States.

The TTB administers these provisions of the Code. The statutory provisions are the basis of TTB regulations that require importers to submit certain information upon importation.


The final rule [PDF 220 KB] adopts “without change” a 2013 temporary rule concerning permits and other requirements related to importers and manufacturers of tobacco products and processed tobacco. The final rule includes:

  • An extension in the duration of new permits for importers of tobacco products and processed tobacco from three years to five years
  • A technical correction amending the definition of “manufacturer of tobacco products” to reflect a statutory change
  • A technical correction related to references to the sale price of large cigars 
  • References to other TTB regulations about importer permit requirements for tobacco products as well as minimum manufacturing and marking requirements for tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes 

The notice of proposed rulemaking [PDF 464 KB] provides, in 34 pages, proposed amendments that are intended to clarify and streamline import procedures and support the implementation of the International Trade Data System and the filing of import information electronically in conjunction with an electronic import filing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  For example the proposed regulations allow importers the option to file import-related data electronically when filing entry information, as an alternative to the current TTB requirement that importers must submit paper documents to CBP upon importation. Comments about these proposed rule changes are due by a date that is 60 days from June 21, 2016 (the date of publication in the Federal Register).

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