Wine Talk

Snooth User: cigarman168

Ridiculous USA wines law

Posted by cigarman168, Nov 7, 2009.

I am shipping just a case of wines from a wine shop in NYC via DHL but it come to a mess since DHL only deal with Register shipper? Crazy USA law, right? It is better for the USA govt officials guys to tighten the gun law, as we see so many people die due to abuse use of guns.


Reply by Jimmy Cocktail, Nov 8, 2009.

Those are two completely separate issues and I don't think we need to delve into the mess that is the US gun laws. Being wine lovers we have enough of a mess to deal with regarding alcohol laws.

The US has always been kind of messed up when it comes to laws regarding alcohol. This is one area where the Federal government actually holds to the powers granted to it by the Constitution and leaves most of the governing of alcohol to the individual states. Unfortunately for the consumer, this means that every state has its own laws for purchase, consumption, transportation, taxation and sale of alcoholic beverages.

I don't know if this is still the case, but about 25 years ago I know that the State of Connecticut would charge a fee of $5000 for each wine label that a winery wanted to sell in that state. If a winery produced 10 wines, that was $50,000 that winery would have to pay up front to get their portfolio sold in the state. I can only imagine that other states have similar requirements.

Now that doesn't mean that the Federal government hasn't flexed its muscle in some ways regarding alcohol. There is certainly taxation issues regarding alcohol and there are laws regarding interstate transportation of alcoholic beverages as well. However, IMO the biggest hurdle is that there are essentially 50 different sets of laws and standards that need to be addressed when dealing with alcoholic products in the US. Hence the reason that companies like DHL will only deal with a registered shipper. They avoid any possible litigation or liability by avoiding having to comply with local laws and regulations by pushing that responsibility on to the shipper.

Reply by rar8888, Nov 8, 2009.

There are also a number of states that you are not allowed to ship wine to period. I used to live in Kansas (home of prohibition) and the alcohol laws there are archaic. Many, many labels are not sold there because it is too expensive for smaller producers to pony up the money required. Also instate alcohol producers in Kansas are not allowed to sell their products outside of the state. What a mess.

Reply by cigarman168, Nov 8, 2009.

Actually, I believe US will be one of my potential sources for wines, but now it make me???

Reply by Jimmy Cocktail, Nov 8, 2009.

I think it's just a matter of doing your research cigarman.

Reply by GregT, Nov 8, 2009.

Cigarman - how are you shipping? In other words, are you as shipping business samples. actual product to sell. or personal items? Also, are you declaring that it is alcohol or wine? I import wine and we get shipments all the time from many countries and I also ship it around the US. Jimmy is right that the US has ridiculous laws regarding wine and alcohol and I would not be willing to defend them in terms of logic, but I can tell you that there are ways to work around them. The easiest is to simply ship "fruit juice".

Reply by cigarman168, Nov 8, 2009.

Hi Greg, Thanks for you advise, if I read your tips before my shipment then things got easier. I already subtly state that it is samples but declare it as RED WINES!! Next time I should declare it as "fruit Juice" samples . So, learn from experiences...

Reply by cigarman168, Nov 8, 2009.

Yes, as I said learn from experiences...

Reply by zufrieden, Nov 8, 2009.

Until you have experienced Canadian liquor laws you have yet to truly understand the deeper meaning of neolithic or antediluvian. Next time say you are shipping chocolates flavored with liqueurs.

Reply by cigarman168, Nov 9, 2009.

Or bottles shaped green chocolates with redberry juice!!

Reply by donccpa, Nov 9, 2009.

I don't buy wine online anymore, Massachusetts has horrible wine shipping laws. When I did try buying online the retailer said they could get around the law by acting as my agent in the state of the retailer and then theoretically I was shipping to myself, i.e. my agent was shipping to me. This doesn't sound kosher so I stopped purchasing wine that way. Any thoughts?

Reply by cigarman168, Nov 9, 2009.

So, it is Ridiculous and discouraging.

Reply by dmcker, Nov 9, 2009.

Cigarman, not always so and needn't be so. I've had plenty of success with shipping wines from the US to Japan, both on a retail and a reefer pallet basis, and from various states into California. You just need to qualify your vendors--something you have to do with any suppliers in any country....

Reply by cigarman168, Nov 9, 2009.

DM : how about open a thread list out some tips regarding the shipping wines internationally that can save money and time?

Reply by schellbe, Nov 12, 2009.


Why would you need to ship interstate if you live in MA? Just drive to Boston, if you don't live near there. The real advantage to interstate shipping is if you are unable to find a wide variety of wines in-state.

The minor hassle of interstate shipping and the collection of shipping crates in my garage are worth it to me, although my wife made me stop using them for basement wine storage.

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