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  The ILCC Legal Division

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TPP-17:
Non-Alcoholic Products

I. Purpose

To establish the policy of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission regarding the regulation of non-alcoholic products; i.e., “non-alcoholic” beer, confectionary products, or other products using alcohol as a flavoring agent.

II. Policy

It is the policy of this Commission not to regulate any liquid or solid containing one-half of one percent or less of alcohol by volume.

III. Definitions

The Illinois Liquor Control Act, Section 5/1-3.05, defines “alcoholic liquor” to include: “alcohol, spirits, wine and beer, and every liquid or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer, and capable of being consumed as a beverage by a human being. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to alcohol used in the manufacture of denatured alcohol produced in accordance with Acts of Congress and regulations promulgated thereunder, nor to any liquid or solid containing one-half of one per cent, or less, of alcohol by volume.”

The Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act, 815 ILCS, at Section 720/1.1(1) defines “beer” as: “a beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or concoction of barley, or other grain, malt, and hops in water, and includes, among other things, beer, ale, stout, lager beer, porter and the like.”

IV. Procedure

A. Products, other than beer, with 0.5% or less of alcohol by volume:

  1. The provisions of the Liquor Control Act do not apply to this category of products. Consequently, this Commission does not regulate such products.
  2. A distributor is free to refuse sale of products which fall under this category.

B. Beer with 0.5% or less of alcohol by volume

  1. The provisions of the Liquor Control Act do not apply to this category of products. Consequently, this Commission does not regulate such products.
  2. The provisions of the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act do apply to any products which fall under the definition of “beer.”
  3. Since non-alcoholic beer is subject to the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act, Regulation 100.30 vests this Commission with the jurisdiction to revoke or suspend any of its licensees for the violation of any of the provisions of the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act.

C. Taxation of products with 0.5% or less of alcohol by volum

Since this Commission does not regulate any liquid or solid containing one-half of one percent or less of alcohol by volume, this Commission does not have the authority to rule on whether the State’s Retailer’s Occupation Tax applies to products with one-half of one percent or less of alcohol by volume.

D. Other

  1. Sorbet which contain a small quantity of alcohol. While this products may contain alcohol in excess of the one-half of one percent potentially allowing it to be regulated by the Commission, the product appears to fall within the general exclusion of not being a “beverage.” Since the product falls outside the regulation of the Illinois Liquor Control Act, the Commission does not take a position on its authority to regulate the product.
  2. Confectionary products. The above rationale applies to confectionary products as well. The producer of these products should be aware that the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (410 ILCS 620/10(c) states that: “If it is confectionery and it bears or contains any alcohol; however, this subsection shall not apply to any confectionery by reason of its containing less than 0.5% by volume of alcohol.”

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