PA 17-90—sSB 485

General Law Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION REGARDING DEPLETION ALLOWANCES FOR WINE OR SPIRITS, REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CRAFT BEER AND FARMERS' MARKET WINE SALES PERMITS

SUMMARY: This act makes several unrelated changes to the Liquor Control Act.

It allows manufacturer and out-of-state shipper permittees for alcoholic liquor other than beer to offer a floor stock or depletion allowance to a wholesaler without Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) approval, required under prior law, provided they give written notice to DCP before offering the allowance.

The act also:

1. allows manufacturer permittees to sell beer they manufacture in the state and sell for consumption on their premises without having to register or label the beer (see BACKGROUND);

2. increases, from three to 10, the number of farmers' market locations at which a farmers' market wine sales permittee may sell wine, if invited; and

3. allows the sale, dispensing, or consumption of alcoholic liquor two hours earlier, starting at 9:00 a.m. instead of 11:00 a.m., at events operating under a nonprofit golf tournament permit (e.g., Travelers Championship).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except the beer registration and label exemption provision is effective July 1, 2017.

BACKGROUND

Floor Stock and Depletion Allowances

Manufacturer and out-of-state shipper permittees for products other than beer may give floor stock and depletion allowances to wholesalers.

A “floor stock allowance” is a rebate, discount, or other inducement given to a wholesaler to promote sales of or destroy stock already in the wholesaler's possession. A “depletion allowance” is a rebate, discount, or other inducement given to a wholesaler as a sales promotion (CGS 30-94(b)).

Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)

The TTB, which regulates and collects taxes on alcohol, issued a 2013 ruling that, among other things, clarified that certificate of label approval (COLA) requirements do not require brewers to obtain a COLA if the beer will not be shipped or delivered for sale to another state. But beer that is removed from the premises must comply with applicable federal marking, branding, and labeling requirements (TTB Ruling 2013-1).