The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) conducts a program as a service to the alcohol beverage industry to facilitate the export of domestic alcohol beverage products called the TTB Chemist Certification Program. The 2020 spring cycle is now open through April 1.
As a condition of importation, some countries require that their own government laboratories (or laboratories certified by their government) perform certain analyses, while other countries allow a person certified by the government of the exporting country to perform the analyses.
The TTB Chemist Certification Program, established under the authority of section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) (27 U.S.C. 205(e)), is a voluntary program that certifies private industry chemists to analyze alcohol beverages and report the results of specific chemical analyses on alcohol beverages to importing governments.
The Chemist Certification Program helps ensure that chemists, enologists, brewers, and technicians generate quality data and have the required proficiencies to conduct chemical analyses associated with exportation of alcohol beverages. A report of required analyses performed by the certified chemist accompanies the shipment of exported alcohol beverages.
You can find details on how to apply in section 9 of TTB Procedure 2018-2. Or just keep reading.
How do I qualify to participate in the program?
An applicant must be an employee or a laboratory proprietor, at a qualified laboratory, where the applicant will perform certification analysis in a capacity that satisfies the conditions found in this Procedure.
A qualified laboratory is a facility that is equipped with the proper tools and equipment to perform the required analyses for the certification of wine, distilled spirits, or beer. A qualified laboratory must also have quality control measures in place, and make available upon TTB’s request, its written policies and procedures that ensure adequate quality of data produced by the laboratory for analyses listed for certification.
TTB reserves the right to verify (via on-site inspection, review of records, or otherwise) that the premises and equipment of a laboratory associated with the application for certification meet specified qualifications. This verification includes the availability and condition of equipment, equipment purchase and maintenance records, analyst training and competence records, laboratory quality system records, and sample analyses records pertaining to certified tests. These records must be available for 2 years after the period of the certification.
Applicants who supervise personnel performing analyses for exportation purposes must meet certain education requirements, including making available to TTB, upon request, training records for personnel demonstrating their skills and knowledge for the task performed.
First-time applicants to the program must submit a copy of their diploma and transcripts along with their application. Applicants must meet the minimum educational requirements detailed below:
- A Bachelor’s degree in chemistry; OR
- (An Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in any physical, chemical, or biological science with at least 30 credits of chemistry; OR
- A Bachelor’s degree in enology (for wine certification only); brewing (for beer certification only); or food sciences