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How to Send Us Samples for Review


US Customers: Submit Your Samples in Four (4) Steps



Step 1. Download and Review Schedule and Entry Form



Step 2. Submit Registration Forms

Please complete one form per entry. Be sure to print clearly and fax completed form to 800-238-7972 or 773-930-4598 or scan them to amercado@tastings.com.

(Feel free to ship for multiple categories at one time to save on time and money, we will store your samples until their category tastings, include your entry form(s))


Step 3. Ship Samples

Ship only AFTER you have faxed or scanned your registration forms to us. You may also include copies in the box, but only to confirm your registration.


Step 4. Verify information

Once we receive your entry forms we will send you a receipt with your product information. Please review, make any corrections, and fax back to 800-238-7972 or 773-930-4598 or email to Alyssa Mercado, amercado@tastings.com.

Your results will be mailed and emailed to your contact information provided on the registration form. The same information will be posted next to your review on Tastings.com, unless otherwise noted. Results will only be released upon full payment of the registration fees.


International Customers: Submit Your Samples in Five (5) Steps

(Do not ship samples before completeing all of these steps. Please do not simply ship via post without completing these steps, your samples will probably not arrive.)


The following instructions will guide you through the requirements that are necessary to send the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) your samples of alcoholic beverages from outside the US. If your product(s) are already imported into the US please have your importer ship them to us. If your products are not currently imported into the US, you will be shipping your packages to our designated importer, Caribbean Spirits, based in Chicago and following the steps below.

There are five (5) steps to this process:

Step 1. Fill out and either fax or email BTI your product registration forms.

Step 2. Register you facility with the US FDA (one time only)

Step 3. Create an FDA Prior Notice for each shipment and box you are shipping

Step 4. TTB COLA Waiver Request (done by Caribbean Spirits using your product’s information)

Step 5. Ship your samples with properly marked bottles and boxes to the following shipping address:

Edward Hamilton
Caribbean Spirits, Inc.
4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60630
Phone: 773-930-4379

Edward Hamilton/Caribbean Spirits is the consignee for all international packages, not the Beverage Testing Institute/BTI.


Step 1. Registration Forms

It is essential that you first completely fill out the appropriate wine, beer, or spirits registration form for our tasting. Use a separate form for each product. Please make sure to fill out the brand name, country of origin, product category, bottle size, and alcohol percentage by volume for each product that you are registering. Fax forms to 1-773-930-4598 or email scans of forms to amercado@tastings.com.

Wine Schedule and Wine Registration Form  

 

Spirits Schedule and Spirits Registration Form

   

Beer Schedule and Beer Registration Form




Step 2. FDA Facility Registration (No Charge)

If your facility (winery, brewery, or distillery/rectifier/bottler) is not already registered with the US FDA, you can register your facility through the FDA website at the following link:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FoodFacilityRegistration/ucm2006831.htm

Your facility will be assigned a permanent registration number and PIN (Personal Identification Number) to be used for all future shipments from your facility to the US. You only need to register each facility once. There is no cost to register your facility with the FDA.

Answers to common questions and step-by-step instructions for registering your facility with the FDA can be found here:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FoodFacilityRegistration/ucm073706.htm

If your facility does not have a United State agent, please use the following information for Section 7 of the online FDA facility registration:

Name of US agent: Alyssa Mercado
Title: Production Coordinator
Country: United States
Address: 4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 304
Zip Code: 60630
City: Chicago
State: Illinois (IL)
Phone Number: (Area Code) 773  (Phone Number) 9304080 (Extension) 13
Emergency Contact Phone: (Area Code) 773 (Phone Number) 9304080
Fax Number: (Area Code) 773 (Phone Number) 9304598
Email Address: tsulinski@tastings.com



Step 3. FDA Prior Notice (No Charge)

For each shipment and box that you are shipping from your facility you must create a Prior Notice with the US FDA. You need to know how many boxes you will be shipping. You can create a free Prior Notice for each shipment and box online here:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/ImportsExports/Importing/ucm2006836.htm

 You will need the following information to complete the prior notice with the FDA:

Caribbean Spirits FDA registration number: 15105121392

Caribbean Spirits shipping address and Permit number:

CARIBBEAN SPIRITS, INC.
4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60630

Importer Permit #: FL-I-15926

You will also need to know the Port of Arrival, which will most likely be Chicago for air shipments, and the estimated date and time of arrival to complete the Prior notice. Please consult your shipper or courier to confirm these details.

Please be sure to include the prior notice number on the following shipping documents:

·      Proforma Invoice

·      Airway Bill

·      Bill of Lading (BOL)

A small entity compliance guide about Prior Notice can be found here:

http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/fda-2009-d-0187-gdl.pdf

Assistance creating and submitting a Prior Notice:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/ImportsExports/Importing/ucm121048.htm

Assistance completing a web entry:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/ImportsExports/Importing/ucm126536.htm

Please note: A ProForma Invoice is a type of invoice used for shipments containing samples and not-for-sale items. The invoice should state that the goods are samples or not-for-sale and “value for customs purposes only” should be listed in the comments section.

Why is this important? Using a ProForma invoice on samples and not-for-sale shipments will allow you to avoid paying the duties and taxes for these shipments.

It is important to note that these invoices are not accepted in every country. Click HERE for a list of these countries for your reference.



Step 4. TTB COLA Waiver Request (done by Caribbean Spirits)

The TTB has stipulated that samples of alcoholic beverage imported strictly for use at trade shows and/or for soliciting orders may, under certain conditions, be imported without a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA). Importers of such samples may apply for a waiver from the COLA requirements from the TTB for products that do not already have approved COLA status.

In order to comply, we ask that you make sure that the following specifications for each product you are sending are completed on your BTI registration forms:

  • The specific type and quantity (number of containers) of each alcohol beverage. "Type" for wine means identification as "red wine," "white wine," "sparkling wine," and/or identification with a varietal if the wine is so labeled; for distilled spirits, the type means, for example, "rum," "brandy," "vodka," etc., as appropriate; for malt beverages, type means "beer," "ale," "porter," etc., as appropriate.
  • The country of origin of each product
  • The brand name of each product
  • Volume (container size) and percentage of Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of each product

On behalf of BTI, Caribbean Spirits will prepare a COLA waiver request letter and send it to the TTB for approval. Once approved, we will send you a copy of the COLA Waiver to include with your shipping documents. Do not ship any samples without the COLA Waiver.



Step 5. Ship your samples with properly marked bottles and boxes


In compliance with the COLA waiver requirements, containers should include the following advisories and statements on the brand label or a separate front label, or on a back or side label, separate and apart from all other information.

Please be sure that all labels are firmly affixed to each sample:

·      Advisory bearing the health warning statement. Use this exact wording and formatting for each label on each sample bottle:

“GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.”

·      A sticker must also appear on every sample container which reads: "For Trade Show (or Sample) Purposes Only - Not for Sale"

·      In the case of wine, another label must be affixed to each bottle which reads: "Contains Sulfites"

Most couriers (DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, etc.) are able to act as clearing and brokering agents as a cost savings option. The airway bill must be clearly marked for the courier to act as the clearing agent. If a US customs broker besides the courier is necessary to ship, please contact Alyssa at amercado@tastings.com for detailed information.

* If DHL is selected as your courier of choice, please contact Alyssa at amercado@tastings.com for Caribbean Spirits’ DHL shipping identification number. Inclusion of this identification number will decrease total time required for customs clearance and decrease overall shipping costs.

* Please be sure to have all associated shipping charges, including customs duties and brokerage fees, billed directly to you, the shipper, NOT Caribbean Spirits or us, the receiver. All shipping charges will be back-billed to you, the shipper. All international customers must submit a credit card number (with expiration date) for any shipping charges incurred by Caribbean Spirits or BTI.



International Shipping Checklist

Have the following steps been completed?

o Submitted completed registration form(s) to BTI

o Registered and received US FDA facility number

o Completed and received Prior Notice number

o Received approved COLA waiver from Caribbean Spirits

o Firmly affixed labels to each bottle as outlined in step 5

o Included the following shipping documents as part of shipment:

o   Approved COLA waiver

o   Included Prior Notice number on Commercial Invoice, Airway Bill, and Bill of Lading

o   Commercial Invoice(s)

o Packed samples securely for international transit

o Addressed international packages to Caribbean Spirits (not BTI):

                      Edward Hamilton
                     Caribbean Spirits, INC.
                     4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
                     Chicago, IL 60630
                     Phone: 773-930-4379

 

Please feel free to contact BTI with any questions. Ask for:

Alyssa Mercadoi, Production Coordinator
amercado@tastings.com
1-773-930-4080 Office
1-773-930-4598 Fax

To sign up for notifications and information about our upcoming wine, beer, or spirits tastings, please click HERE and fill out the form.