27 CFR 5.51 - Label approval and release.
(a)Certificate of label approval. Distilled spirits, imported in bottles, are not eligible for release from customs custody for consumption, and no person may remove such distilled spirits from customs custody for consumption, unless the person removing the distilled spirits has obtained and is in possession of a certificate of label approval (COLA) and the bottles bear labels identical to the labels appearing on the face of the certificate, or labels with changes authorized by the form. Any person removing distilled spirits in bottles from customs custody for consumption must first apply for and obtain a COLA covering the distilled spirits from the appropriate TTB officer, or obtain authorization to use the COLA from the person to whom the COLA is issued. Products imported under another person's COLA are eligible for release only if each bottle or individual container to be imported bears the name (or trade name) and address of the person to whom the COLA was issued by TTB, and only if the importer using the COLA to obtain release of a shipment can substantiate that the person to whom the COLA was issued has authorized its use by the importer. If filing electronically, the importer must file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at the time of filing the customs entry, the TTB-assigned identification number of the valid COLA that corresponds to the label on the brand or lot of distilled spirits to be imported. If the importer is not filing electronically, the importer must provide a copy of the COLA to CBP at time of entry. In addition, the importer must provide a copy of the applicable COLA, and proof of the COLA holder's authorization if applicable, upon request by the appropriate TTB officer or a customs officer. The COLA requirement imposed by this section applies only to distilled spirits that are removed for sale or any other commercial purpose. See 27 CFR 27.49, 27.74 and 27.75 for labeling exemptions applicable to certain imported samples of distilled spirits.
(c)Relabeling. Imported distilled spirits in U.S. Customs custody which are not labeled in conformity with certificates of label approval issued by the appropriate TTB officer must be relabeled prior to release under the supervision of the Customs officers of the port at which the spirits are located.
(e)Cross reference. For procedures regarding the issuance, denial, and revocation of certificates of label approval, as well as appeal procedures, see part 13 of this chapter.