Beverage label filing goes online

COLAs Online

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau have unveiled the first electronic system for filing label approval certificates for alcoholic beverages.

The Web-based system allows for online filing of the more than 90,000 certificates of label approval (COLAs) received each year.

Each submission to COLAs Online must be accompanied by an image of the actual label that will be on the beverage container. Pictures can be attached as JPEG files. To file online, users must register with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The system was developed under an ATF contract with Idea Integration Corp., a company based in Fairfax, Va. The project began in the summer of 2001. Officials described the new system as the bureau's most technically complex project to date.

"The challenges we overcame with this effort helped pave the way for several other e-gov applications that will be deployed later this year," ATF's chief information officer Marguerite Moccia said in a statement.

The system runs on an Oracle Corp. 9i server. Data is encrypted to ensure security.

With the creation of the Homeland Security Department, ATF's regulatory and revenue functions were transferred to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a new Treasury agency.

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