Untangling the complex world of wine direct shipping and compliance

Round Four of the Florida Direct Shipping Battle Comes to a Close

May 4th, 2009
By Jane Hwang - ShipCompliant Research Team

The streak continues. Once again Florida lawmakers were unable to pass any direct-to-consumer bills. Legislators presented two distinct direct-to-consumer bills for the 2009 legislative session but both have failed to advance beyond committee. Senate Bill 764 (House Bill 245 is its counterpart), the more restrictive of the two, would have required an annual $250 fee, a $1,000 to $5000 surety bond, a maximum production limit (capacity cap) of 250,000 gallons and a 12 case per year shipping limit. The bill survived three committee votes, but did not make it out of the General Government Appropriations committee. Senate Bill 272 (House Bill 251) would have placed no limits on production amounts or annual case shipments and the license and bond fees were much more wallet-friendly at $100 and $500 to $1000, respectively. Since neither of the bills passed by Friday, May 1, four consecutive legislative sessions have failed to produce direct shipping legislation. The Florida battle has probably been the most intense battle between winery and wholesaler associations over the years.

As of now, there are no statutes in place that regulate direct shipping to Florida residents. According to present law, out-of-state vendors must remit excise taxes and not ship to the five dry counties, but there are no other binding regulations. With no bill passed this year, Florida remains open under the administrative control of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

One Response to “Round Four of the Florida Direct Shipping Battle Comes to a Close”

  1. [...] Florida Takes Big Steps Towards Paperless Filing March 25th, 2010 By Jamie Jimenez – Marketing, ShipCompliant Product registration in Florida is about to become a whole lot easier. Beginning April 17, Florida Alcohol Beverage & Tobacco (AB&T) will introduce a new online processing system that will shorten wait times for product registration approvals from 80 days to 2 minutes. This will significantly improve the process for wineries that distribute through traditional 3-tier channels in Florida. By eliminating a nearly three-month waiting period for product registration approvals, wineries will be able to get products to market quickly and accelerate sales. Florida does not currently require product registration for direct wine shipments. [...]

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