Skip to main content

Your local TABC

Product Registration FAQs

This FAQ is meant to help with TABC’s product registration process (formerly label approval). It is based on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and TABC Administrative Rules. To learn more about the rules for getting federal Certificates of Label Approval (COLA), visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) website.

Have a question not covered here? Email product.registration@tabc.texas.gov.

 

Note: This FAQs page has not yet been updated to reflect new laws, license and permit structure, fees, and technology that took effect Sept. 1, 2021. To learn more, visit the TABC 2021 Changes page.

General Questions

Businesses must register each alcoholic beverage product with TABC before it can be shipped in or into Texas. This is required by law.

Until December 2020, this process was known as label approval.

Businesses licensed to make alcoholic beverages must apply with TABC to get their products registered. This includes holders of a:

  • Brewer’s Permit (B) 
  • Nonresident Brewer’s Permit (U) 
  • Manufacturer’s License (BA) 
  • Nonresident Manufacturer’s License (BS) 
  • Brewpub License (BP) 
  • Distiller’s and Rectifier’s Permit (D) 
  • Nonresident Seller’s Permit (S) 
  • Winery Permit (G) 

There are two ways to apply for TABC product registration.

  1. Apply online: The best way to submit your application is through our Product Registration System. You can also pay the $25 application processing fee online using a credit card or bank draft.
  2. Apply by mail: Download the application from the Product Registration page and mail it, along with a check or money order to cover the processing fee, to:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
5806 Mesa Drive
Austin, TX 78731

Yes. There are three exemptions:  

  1. Holders of a Brewer’s Permit (B), Manufacturer’s License (BA) or Brewpub License (BP) who are located in Texas and allowed to sell product for both on- and off-premise consumption don’t need product registration for product sold to consumers on the premises. Keep in mind: 
    • If a product is sold for on-premise consumption, you must post the product’s alcohol by volume in a clearly visible place on your premises.  
    • If a product is sold for off-premise consumption (to go), you must either write on the container or place a label with the product name and alcohol by volume. 
  2. Holders of an Out-of-State Winery Direct Shipper’s Permit (DS) who have met all federal label approval requirements for a particular brand of wine don’t need to apply for TABC product registration.
  3. Any beverage containing less than 0.5% ABV is not considered an alcoholic beverage in Texas and does not need product registration.

Filling Out the Product Registration Application

No. You need a valid TABC license or permit before you submit a product registration application to the agency. If you apply for product registration before receiving your license or permit, any fees you pay are nonrefundable.

No. Products are approved in a range of sizes. Only one COLA is required for: 

    • Wine in containers ranging from 50 mL – 58 L in size. 
    • Spirits in containers ranging from 25 mL – 1.75 L in size. 
    • Malt beverages in containers ranging from 4 fl oz – 31 gal in size.

Malt beverages, wine greater than 7% ABV and distilled spirits follow these requirements when applying for product registration:

  • You can only submit one TTB COLA per application.
  • Products must follow these size limits and will be approved for all sizes in this range:
    • Wine: 50 mL–58 L
    • Spirits: 25 mL–1.75 L
    • Malt beverage: 4 fl oz–31 gal
  • You will pay a $25 processing fee for each application.

Wine under 7% and IRC beer follow these requirements when applying for product registration:

  • TTB COLAs are not issued to these products. Provide one complete set of labels per application.
  • Products must follow these size limits and will be approved for all sizes in this range:
    • Wine 50 mL–58 L
    • Malt 4 fl oz–31 gal
  • TTB formulation is required for all IRC beer and some wine under 7% ABV.
  • You will pay a $25 processing fee for each application.

Have questions? Visit TABC’s Contact Us page and select the “Product Registration” topic in the form.

Yes. If you apply through our Product Registration System, you can pay using a credit card or bank draft to cover the total cost for all of the product registration applications. If you apply in person or by mail, you can pay using one check or money order to cover the total cost. 

No.

Product Registration Processing and Certificates

Send an email to product.registration@tabc.texas.gov to check submission dates TABC is currently processing. 

No. We process product registration applications in the order they’re received.  

When products are approved, TABC sends a notice to the email address listed on the application. You can also search for your product through the TABC Product Key Search to see if we’ve approved your products.

Product registration only expires if:

  • A TTB COLA is provided with the product registration application that has an expiration date. 
  • TABC issues an expiration date for administrative reasons.

Label Changes and Brand Transfers

All products follow the TTB’s list of allowable revisions. If a label change requires you to get a new TTB COLA, you must also re-register your product with TABC. If your product does not qualify for a COLA (IRC beer and wine less than 7% ABV), it only needs to be re-registered when the label change is not under the allowable revisions.

If there’s a change in the primary American source of a wine or distilled spirit product, the new primary American source must apply for their own TABC product registration before shipping into Texas. The primary American source must have a Nonresident Sellers Permit (S) with TABC before submitting for product registration.  

No. All products must be registered to the producer, owner or exclusive agent of the product, so you must re-register it with TABC. For further questions about your brand transfer, contact TABC Product Registration at product.registration@tabc.texas.gov or 512-206-3410. 

No. If you are the same business that previously held the certificates, and there are no changes to the labels or TTB COLAs, the TABC product registrations issued under the expired permit/license number are still current.

Contract Brewing and Alternating Brewery Proprietorship

The Alcoholic Beverage Code authorizes two types of agreements to produce malt beverages (beer, ale, etc.). Holders of a Brewer’s Permit (B), Nonresident Brewer’s Permit (U), Manufacturer’s License (BA) and Nonresident Manufacturer’s License (BS) can enter into “alternating brewery proprietorships” and/or “contract brewing arrangements.” 

These production agreements have separate, distinct definitions and requirements under Texas law: 

  • Under an alternating brewery proprietorship, a brewer or manufacturer operates at and produces their own product at someone else’s facility.  
  • In a contract brewing arrangement, a brewer or manufacturer has their product produced by another manufacturer on their behalf at the other manufacturer’s facility. 

For both agreements, TABC product registration is given to the permit/license holder who is the legal owner of the product with control over its production. If you use a contract brewing or alternating proprietorship arrangement, you’ll need to get additional permits with TABC. For further questions, contact TABC Product Registration at product.registration@tabc.texas.gov or 512-206-3410.

Other

No. You must register the product before sampling alcohol.

Cider is classified as a wine.

Classification of hard seltzer depends on the product’s TTB formulation. The seltzer’s TTB formulation should be submitted with your product registration application.

Visit the TTB page defining beer and malt beverages to learn more. 

No. TABC does not provide approval for malt beverage secondary packaging.  Any products contained within the package must all be registered with TABC before the variety pack can enter the stream of distribution.

See TABC Administrative Rules §45.82 and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, Sec. 1.04(12)(15).