The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is part of the U.S. Treasury Department and is the primary federal regulator of the alcohol industry. TTB is responsible for:
Over the past decade, TTB’s workload has doubled while staffing has been reduced. Today, TTB has over 500 employees who regulate more than 99,000 businesses, which has doubled in the past 10 years.
To ensure TTB’s ability to regulate the alcohol industry effectively, Congress should continue to fully fund TTB.
A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in 2017, expressing support for the TTB.[i] The letter – which was signed by 240 members of Congress – highlights the value of the American system of alcohol regulation and recognizes TTB’s work as the primary federal regulator of the alcohol industry.
TTB is the federal government’s third-largest revenue generating agency after the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. TTB also is the most efficient tax-collection agency, collecting $406 for every $1 spent. By comparison, the IRS collects $285 for every $1 spent.
TTB regulates 99,000 operations in the U.S., including more than 26,000 permitted alcohol wholesalers (distributors); 11,500 permitted breweries; 15,000 permitted wineries; 3,700 liquor producers; and 13,000 alcohol importers.[iii]
TTB works to enforce fair competition laws within the alcohol industry. These trade practice regulations help to keep a level playing field and support market access for this growing industry.
TTB protects consumers by enforcing regulations established by the FAAA related to production, permitting, labeling and marketing. In FY '19, TTB received approximately 199,000 label applications and more than 20,000 formula applications for agency review.[iv]
TTB also investigates the illegal manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages to prevent counterfeit, adulterated or illegally-produced products from reaching consumers.
In contrast to the U.S., countries with less effective regulatory systems have reported problems with adulterated and counterfeit alcohol and are experiencing widespread public health problems and lost government revenue.
NBWA encourages Congress to continue fully funding TTB so it can enforce the FAAA and collect federal excise taxes in an effective manner.
[iii]TTB-permitted entities are not necessarily engaged in active business operations.