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bluestar

Slowdown in Formula Approvals?

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bluestar    42

Have others noticed a slowdown in the approval time for new formulation using Formulas Online? We are almost 2 months waiting on a submission. The web site still indicates 30 day average processing time for formulations, although that might include paper as well. We gave a call a couple weeks ago, and the clearly frazzled but friendly TTB agent said they had lost two people in the office recently, and because of budget concerns, there was no immediate plans to replace them. She said that they were working as fast as possible to get to new applications, but clearly are behind, but there was no way to estimate when or how they would get caught up. For craft distillers, slowdown in Formula or Label approvals could become a real killer, especially when we are bringing out seasonal or special limited production spirits. The TTB stated goal previously was a 14 day turnaround, but it has now been 4 times that. Any others finding the same thing?

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Hewnspirits    0

Yikes. Perhaps this is part of the so called "Whiskey Cliff" that we've been hearing about on the news. Kidding aside, that really will make the super small batches that we have planned more difficult for sure. Don't we have a lobbyist down in DC pushing for HB 777

(The reduced excise tax bill) that could help if it gets much worse?

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Jedd Haas    4

We were advised that 2/3 of the TTB staff in charge of label approvals had been cut or retired, as the reason for the slowdown.

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Mash    7

I too, am in the hold pattern. Still waiting 5 weeks. It's all I need to get to market.

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Blackheart    10

Its real. i am dealing with the same thing. I cant even get anyone there on the telephone.

Here's something that makes my blood boil: when you go through the telephone-prompts to get to the formulas office (who never pick up a telephone) the recorded voice tells you to hang up and wait. Love that Kafka-esque approach.

Being a former government goon, there really is a place where the buck (kind of) stops: it's generally with the director-level person. It's a level that your senator or congressman can directly effect if that's your thing (they are there to serve you, after all).

In the case of the TTB on this issue, it is an individual by the name of Karen Freelove. My next call will be to her. If she cant keep her division staffed and doing the job you and I pay them to do, there's a a problem with leadership.

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If it's been that long, give your senators or congressman a call. A phone call, letterhead, or email from a congressional office might 'inspire' some action on your application. In my case, it worked out "by coincidence" that the call from my senator's office came on the same day as our formula approval. This was in early october. I don't know the behind-the-scenes story here (could really be just a coincidence), but I won't argue with results.

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bluestar    42

Update: Got one approved after another call, requesting someone examine it right away. Also, they have at least one new person recently assigned to Formulas from COLA, currently being trained up.

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FrEwing    0

I'm just starting Formulas. Just got my Basic Permit and moving forward. Any advice in the Formulas OL personnel status and if approvals are still taking so long?

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FrEwing    0

That's great news???!!!! I've tried to register and think I made a mistake by submitting the registration with out the associated paperwork for signing authority from my board. I can't reach anyone by phone for assistance and clarification as to whether they will send me the default login and password to be able to login and complete the process. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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