WSR 03-22-092

PROPOSED RULES

LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD


[ Filed November 5, 2003, 11:04 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-17-101.

Title of Rule: WAC 314-20-020 Beer labels -- Certificate of label approval required -- Labels to be submitted.

Purpose: The purpose of this proposed rule making is to require labels for strong beer to list the beer's alcohol content, stated in terms of percentage of alcohol by volume. Strong beer is defined in law as a malt beverage containing more than 8% alcohol by weight (approximately 10% by volume).

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 66.08.030, 66.04.010, 66.28.120.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 66.04.010, 66.28.120.

Summary: Chapter 167, Laws of 2003 allows strong beer to be distributed by private distributors and to be sold by grocery stores, beer/wine specialty shops, beer/wine restaurants, beer/wine private clubs, and taverns ("strong beer" is defined in law as a malt beverage containing more than 8% alcohol by weight or approximately 10% by volume). Previously, strong beer could only be sold to-go in liquor stores. Currently consumers are accustomed to beer being approximately 3.5% to 5.5% alcohol by weight. With the passage of this law, beer now has no upper limit and the range of alcohol content is much greater. We believe it is important that consumers are aware of the alcohol content for strong beer, which is outside the range that has been traditionally available in grocery/convenience stores.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Teresa Berntsen, Rules Coordinator, 3000 Pacific Avenue S.E., Olympia, (360) 664-1648; Implementation and Enforcement: Lorraine Lee, Licensing and Regulation Director, 3000 Pacific Avenue S.E., Olympia, (360) 664-1600.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Liquor Control Board, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The purpose of this proposed rule making is to require labels for strong beer to list the beer's alcohol content. Strong beer is defined in law as a malt beverage containing more than 8% alcohol by weight (approximately 10% by volume). Chapter 167, Laws of 2003 allows strong beer to be distributed by private distributors and to be sold by grocery stores, beer/wine specialty shops, beer/wine restaurants, beer/wine private clubs, and taverns. Previously, strong beer could only be sold to-go in liquor stores. Currently consumers are accustomed to beer being approximately 3.5% to 5.5% alcohol by weight. With the passage of this law, beer now has no upper limit and the range of alcohol content is much greater. We believe it is important that consumers are aware of the alcohol content for strong beer, which is outside the range that has been traditionally available in grocery/convenience stores.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amend WAC 314-20-020 to add a new subsection to require labels for strong beer to list the beer's alcohol content.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. No disproportionate impact to small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is not a listed agency in RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Liquor Control Board Headquarters, Board Room, 3000 Pacific Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, on January 7, 2004, at 10 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Teresa Berntsen by January 6, 2004, TDD (360) 586-4727 or (360) 664-1648.

Submit Written Comments to: Teresa Berntsen, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 43080, Olympia, WA 98504, fax (360) 664-9689, by January 14, 2004.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 21, 2004.

November 5, 2003

Merritt D. Long

Chair


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-18-097, filed 9/2/98, effective 10/3/98)

WAC 314-20-020   Beer labels -- Certificate of label approval required -- Labels to be submitted.   (1) Every bottle or can containing beer intended for sale in the state of Washington shall bear a label in compliance with RCW 66.28.120. No beer shall be imported or sold within the state of Washington until the licensed brewery, or certificate of approval holder, shall have obtained from the board a certificate of label approval for such beer.

(2) A request for certificate of label approval must be submitted on a form prescribed by the board which is one copy of the federal certificate of label approval for such beer, issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, U.S. Treasury Department.

(3) Any change in label or product which requires reissuance of federal certificate of label approval, must also be submitted to the board, in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this regulation.

(4) No label shall be used that is misleading.

(5) Every producer, importer, or distributor of beer shall, upon request of the board or its authorized representative, furnish without cost to the board, samples of any brand of beer upon its premises for the purpose of analysis in order to determine whether the beer conforms to commercial standards.

(6) No label will be approved which is designed to be especially appealing to children or other persons under legal age to consume. Persons who appear to be under legal age to consume may be depicted on a label when, in the discretion of the board, the depiction is dignified and does not promote illegal consumption of liquor.

(7) For strong beer, the label must contain the beer's alcohol content, stated in terms of percentage of alcohol by volume. Per RCW 66.04.010, strong beer means any malt beverage that contains more than eight percent of alcohol by weight, which is approximately ten percent of alcohol by volume.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030, 15.88.030, 19.126.020, 66.04.010, 66.08.180, 66.16.100, 66.20.010, 66.20.300, 66.20.310, 66.24.150, 66.24.170, 66.24.185, 66.24.200, 66.24.206, 66.24.210, 66.24.230, 66.24.240, 66.24.244, 66.24.250, 66.24.375, 66.24.380, 66.24.395, 66.24.400, 66.24.420, 66.24.425, 66.24.440, 66.24.450, 66.24.455, 66.24.495, 66.24.540, 66.28.010, 66.28.040, 66.28.050, 66.28.170, 66.28.180, 66.28.190, 66.28.200, 66.28.310, 66.44.190, 66.44.310, 66.98.060 and 82.08.150. 98-18-097, 314-20-020, filed 9/2/98, effective 10/3/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030. 92-03-109, 314-20-020, filed 1/21/92, effective 2/21/92. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030 and 66.28.160. 91-08-022, 314-20-020, filed 3/27/91, effective 4/27/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030. 90-18-008, 314-20-020, filed 8/24/90, effective 1/1/92; 89-02-015 (Order 275, Resolution No. 284), 314-20-020, filed 12/28/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030 and 66.28.120. 88-14-131 (Order 255, Resolution No. 264), 314-20-020, filed 7/6/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.28.120 and 66.28.110. 87-21-036 (Order 230, Resolution No. 239), 314-20-020, filed 10/13/87. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.28.120. 87-08-015 (Order 215, Resolution No. 224), 314-20-020, filed 3/24/87; Order 42, 314-20-020, filed 11/6/75; Order 19, 314-20-020, filed 8/10/72; Rule 38, filed 6/13/63.]

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