Updated: Jun 17, 2020
(News Release) | National Association of Beverage Importers, Inc. | Washington, DC
NABI and Beer Institute Seek Parity for Imported Beer on Waiver of Notice of Destruction in COVID-19 Crisis
Beverage Alcohol Industry Calls for Equal Tax Treatment for Imports Amid COVID-19 Crisis to Protect Jobs
In a letter, dated May 6, 2020, to Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan, NABI and the Beer Institute requesting administrative flexibility from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on requirements for destruction of imported taxpaid beer under 19 CFR sections 190.35 and 190.71 and expedited handling of drawback request for that beer. More specifically, we request that CBP, like the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), waive the notice requirement before an importer or importer’s agent may destroy imported taxpaid beer in the marketplace made unmerchantable by reason of the COVID-19 pandemic through July 1, 2020, and expedite drawback claims for destroyed beer.
In the interest of public safety due to the COVID-19, states and cities across the nation closed thousands of bars and restaurants as well as canceled sporting events, brew festivals, and more. There are many hundreds of millions of dollars of draught and other beer sitting at these venues that cannot be sold, will go stale, and must be retrieved and destroyed. All across the United States, domestic brewers and importers are working with their wholesale partners to relieve these on-premises accounts of the burden of these inventories of unmerchantable beer. Of course, brewers and beer importers must destroy this large quantity of beer.
We also asked for expedited review and approval of drawback claims for this beer. Brewers and beer importers, who often operate on slim margins, continue to employ many talented people with jobs focused on on-premises accounts. Expediting drawback claims will help cash flow for brewers and beer importers of all sizes, operating in every corner of our nation, to continue to employ our neighbors, friends, and family.
Importers, either alone or through their agents, will maintain records to substantiate the destruction, including a serial number for each destruction that is then identified by reference on any drawback claims or adjustments when submitting a claim to CBP for drawback of federal excise tax or duty. The records will include a description of how the beer was destroyed as required under 19 CFR section 190.71(b) for non-supervised destructions.