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Dec 17, 2020

Major Changes to TABC Label Approval

Now effective.

Key changes from the 2019 legislative session have replaced the current label approval process with TABC product registration. This is the required process of getting TABC authorization before alcoholic beverages can enter the distribution stream.

Product registration is now simpler and quicker than the old label approval process. It will help you get your product to market faster.

For wine over 7% alcohol by volume (ABV) and distilled spirits, this only means a change in the name of the current process.

For wine under 7% ABV and malt beverages, the process will change to look like the existing process for wine and distilled spirits. These changes will affect the following license and permit holders:

  • Malt beverage
    • Nonresident Brewers (U)
    • Nonresident Manufacturers (BS)
    • In-State Brewers (B)
    • In-State Manufacturers (BA)
    • Brewpubs (BP)
  • Wine under 7% ABV
    • Nonresident Sellers (S)
    • In-State Wineries (G)

Key Changes for All Alcoholic Beverage Products 

  • New name: Anything TABC previously called “label approval” is now called “product registration.” Use this new name if you’re searching for information, FAQs or forms on our website.
  • Approval time: Product registrations will be approved in 30 days or less.
  • Registering products with existing TABC label approvals: New registration may be required for products even if they have already received TABC label approval. See Step 1 to determine if you must register your product.
  • No more product sample analysis: You don't need to submit a product sample or analysis to register your product with TABC.

Key Changes for Malt Beverages and Wine Under 7% ABV

This section outlines information for registering beer, ale, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) beer, or wine under 7% ABV.

  • Simplified, streamlined approvals: You’ll need a federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) for all malt beverages when registering with TABC.
  • Label updates: You no longer need to re-register your malt beverage or wine under 7% ABV if you make certain updates to the label. You can make any of the label updates allowed by TTB, like changing the background color or deleting a non-essential graphic, without needing to resubmit anything to TABC.
  • A size range will be approved: This change will save businesses time and money. Products will be approved as a range of sizes with one application and one $25 fee for each TTB COLA, rather than submitting multiple applications for various containers and sizes. For example, you can attach one 12-fluid-ounce TTB COLA to your application and you will also be approved to sell the same product in a 16 or 24 fl oz container.
    • Malt beverages will be approved as a range from 4 fl oz to 15.5 gallons.
    • Wine under 7% ABV will be approved as a range from 50 milliliters to 58 liters.

How To Register Your Products

Step 1: Determine If the Product Must Be Registered With TABC

Products Without Existing TABC Approval

  • Product registration is required before an alcoholic beverage product can enter the distribution stream.
  • Product registration is not required for products sold by the holders of a Brewer’s Permit (B), Manufacturer’s License (BA), or Brewpub License (BP) on their premises to consumers for on- or off-premise consumption. While these products do not require registration, the license holder must label the product with its name and alcohol content.

Products With Current TABC Label Approval

  • If the product has an existing TTB COLA on file with TABC, it is not subject to TABC’s new product registration process until a change occurs that requires a new TTB COLA. You can review the TTB’s webpage on determining what changes require a new COLA.
  • If the product has no existing TTB COLA on file with TABC, it is not subject to TABC’s new product registration process until a label change occurs or until Sept. 1, 2023.
Step 2: Get Federal Approval and Gather Information

To register any alcoholic beverage products with TABC, you will first need to get a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Visit the TTB website to apply for a COLA for your new malt beverage product. 
Here is a list of what you should have before you start your TABC product registration application:

  • TABC license or permit number
  • Business information (trade name, mailing address, contact name, phone number)
  • Product information (brand name, class type, alcohol content, container size, etc.)
  • One TTB COLA
  • For IRC beer and wine with less than 7% ABV only: You'll submit a copy of the product’s TTB formulation and one label instead of a TTB COLA. A TTB formulation is required for all IRC beer and some wine under 7% ABV. Answer a few simple questions on the TTB website to see if your wine needs a formulation.
  • $25 fee for each application
Step 3: Complete and Submit Your TABC Product Registration Application

Online Submission

The online instructions will be updated to reflect product registration changes.

  1. Visit the TABC Product Registration webpage.

    The TABC Label Approval webpage now has a new name — TABC Product Registration. Visit the webpage and click the link to the Product Registration System. 

    You can access the webpage by clicking Services, then Product Registration in the top navigation bar of our site. Or you can find it in the action dropdown menu of the homepage.

Once on the webpage, click the link to the Product Registration System.

  1. Click the “Log In” button in the Product Registration tile.
  2. Select new or returning user.
    •  New users: Follow the instructions in the PDF linked in the online portal to register for access to the product registration system.
    •  Returning users: If you had access to the Label Approval System, you’ll already have access to the new Product Registration System, and you’ll be able to log in as a returning user. Click Log In and enter your credentials on the next screen. Press Log On to continue.
  3. Start your application
    •  Click on your permit number.
    •  Click on Initial Malt Beverage Application or Initial Wine Application.
    •  Follow the instructions on the screen.

Mail Your Application (Slower Processing)

If you’d rather mail in your product registration application, you can do that too. Applications received in the mail will be processed slower than online submissions. 

Visit the TABC Product Registration Forms page and fill out the appropriate form for your beverage type.

Mail your application and fee to: 

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Attn: Product Registration
5806 Mesa Drive
Austin, TX 78731

Step 4: Wait for TABC Approval

Once you submit your TABC product registration application, you must wait to receive approval from TABC before shipping or selling the product in Texas. TABC will typically approve product registration applications within 30 days.

Step 5: Re-Register Product If You Make Certain Revisions After Initial Registration

Once you register your product with TABC, you will only have to re-register that product if you make a change that requires a new TTB COLA. You should submit your TABC product registration application as soon as you can after TTB has issued your new COLA.

Not every change requires you to apply for a new TTB COLA and TABC product registration. View TTB’s list of product changes.

Visit TTB’s Processing Times for Label Applications to learn current processing times.