On July 1, 2015 Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation (H 331) into law moving the alcohol beverage label approval process from the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) to the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). He also signed S 235, which establishes new requirements for licensed direct shippers and common carriers. H 331 is expected to eliminate the lengthy delays that members were experiencing while trying to get labels approved at the DHH. In addition, H 331 includes language saying that a “TTB COLA shall constitute satisfactory compliance for the registration of products and labels and the registration shall become effective upon submission of a completed application.” The new labeling law will become effective on Aug. 1, 2015. However, the DHH will continue to be responsible for label approvals and registration until the rules have been promulgated and approved by the Commissioner of the ATC.
The provisions of S 235 will become effective on Jan. 1, 2016. S 235 requires direct shippers to register with the ATC prior to selling or shipping any wine to Louisiana consumers and requires the Department of Revenue to provide copies of any direct shipper’s annual application or quarterly direct-to-consumer reports to the ATC upon request. Under the current law, direct shippers are only required to register for a license and file reports with the Department of Revenue. In addition, the bill requires common carriers to file regular reports with the ATC. Wine Institute will keep its members informed on developments.