Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Agency 5. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
Chapter 40. Requirements for Product Approval
8/10/2022

3VAC5-40-20. Wine and beer; qualifying procedures; disqualifying factors; samples; exceptions.

A. Except as provided in subsection F of this section, all wine and beer sold in the Commonwealth shall be first approved by the board as to content, container, and label.

1. All wine and beer sold in this Commonwealth shall conform with regulations adopted by the appropriate federal agency, relating to labels, definitions and standards of identity. An application acceptable to the board or on a form prescribed by the board describing the merchandise shall be submitted for each new brand and type of wine or beer offered for sale in the Commonwealth. Applicants shall submit a copy of the approval of the label by such federal agency. A registration fee in such amount as may be established by the board shall be included with each application.

2. A gift package containing wine or beer for which label approval has been granted may be sold without additional approval by the board.

B. While not limited thereto, the board shall withhold approval of any wine if the alcoholic content exceeds 21% by volume.

C. While not limited thereto, the board may withhold approval of any label:

1. Which implies or indicates that the product contains spirits;

2. Which contains the word "fortified" or implies that the contents contain spirits, except that the composition and alcoholic content may be shown if required by regulations of an appropriate federal agency;

3. Which contains any obscene subject matter or illustration;

4. Which contains subject matter designed to induce minors to drink, or is suggestive of the intoxicating effect of wine or beer;

5. Which contains any design or statement which is likely to mislead the consumer;

6. Which implies or indicates that the product is government (federal, state, or local) endorsed; or

7. Which implies the product enhances athletic prowess or includes any reference to any athlete, former athlete, or athletic team except that references to athletes or athletic teams shall be allowed to the extent such references are permitted in point-of-sale advertising pursuant to 3VAC5-20-10.

D. A person holding a license as a winery, farm winery, brewery, or a wine or beer wholesaler shall upon request furnish the board without compensation a reasonable quantity of such brand sold by him for chemical analysis.

E. Any wine or beer sold only by direct shipment to consumers by holders of wine or beer shippers' licenses shall be approved upon compliance with subdivision A 1 of this section.

F. If the board has not approved a wine or beer for sale within 30 days after receipt by the board of a complete application and registration fee, the wine or beer may be sold in the Commonwealth pending a decision from the board on the application. If the application for approval is rejected, the manufacturer or importer shall discontinue sales of the rejected product upon notice from the board. Any wholesale or retail licensee may continue sales until any inventory on hand at the time of notice from the board is depleted.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-103 and 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-4 § 2, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 21, Issue 19, eff. June 29, 2005; Volume 23, Issue 13, eff. May 19, 2007; Volume 30, Issue 8, eff. January 15, 2014.

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