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TTB Relaxes Consignment Sale Restrictions, Urges Online COLAs and Permit Submissions

In response to widespread COVID-19 cancellations, TTB is relaxing the Federal consignment sales rules that generally prohibit the sale or purchase of alcohol beverage products with the privilege of return. Local officials and event organizers have begun announcing cancellations of large 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 be in violation of Federal consignment sales rules, provided the products were not initially purchased or sold with the privilege of return. It is important to note even though such returns are lawful, a producer or wholesaler is not required to accept returns of such products. See TTB Guidance.

TTB also reports that it does not expect any service interruptions but urges all wineries to register and utilize COLAs Online and Permits Online immediately since most of its staff is now teleworking. Applications submitted through the U.S. Postal Service will likely experience delays. Wineries may also experience delays in processing laboratory samples once TTB laboratories are required to close.

Wine Institute will continue to monitor and provide updates on the current situation here.