Thinking about shipping wine to a neighboring state or all over the country? If a person is to start what in a sense could be referred to as a wine transport company, there are some very important laws that must be followed to keep a business profitable and to keep its owners out of jail.
When considering transporting wine out of state and into a different state, the business owners need to consider that the laws of the other state might not be as friendly or even reflect the laws in their original state at all.
The following info will give the prospective wine transport company owner an idea of what they might need to consider when stepping into this venture.
One of the first things that a wine transport company will need is a DTC License and this stands for direct to consumer license. This license must be obtained for every state that the company ships to.
Some states will honor the license in other states that show a receptacle policy, others will not. The good thing for budding wine transport companies is that there is a supreme court case ruling, the Granholm Decision, backing their ability to ship outside of state lines.
When shipping the wine if a company is going to use a carrier, the United States Postal service is not available as they do not ship alcohol. The carriers to use are Ups and FedEx.
If a private person themselves and not a business entity was thinking about shipping a wine product to another consumer they should think twice as the DTC is only available to business entities and not private citizens.
The laws with wine transport are known for being loosely enforced and a person has not been charged with a crime regarding the transportation of wine since prohibition but why take the chance of being known as “that guy”.
When shipping to a residence a company must remember that carries will require someone over the age of 21 years old to sign for the product as per federal law.
The use of a third party wholesaler can help solve some of the headaches of shipping wine from one state to the next. These third party wine transport companies will have facilities in the states that they service which will require the facilities to have a license in that state to sell wine.
There are several companies that follow this strategy with the major ones being Wine.com and Total Wine and More. These major retailers have brick and mortar stores across the country to help with the shipment laws.
The safest bet, of course, is to source wine from a company that you are familiar with and within the boundaries of your state. Wineries that have a license in the state will be able to legal ship wine across that said state.
The reason that it is important to go with a licensed distributor and not just any mom and pop store is because of 1 legality but two safety. They are certain conditions that must be met to keep the wine from spoiling mid-transit.
While this can seem like a lot to consider before shipping not even considering buying across state lines one should not be turned off from the opportunity to try wines from across this great country.
Make sure that before buying to do the required homework to be an informed wine consumer/transporter and make safe and educated decisions when it comes to growing a business