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  • Ohio: State Summary


    Permit Required

      Producers Retailers

    Complexity: Hard

    Summary Direct shipping and self-distribution are open to wineries that produce less than 250,000 gallons per year. Customer volume limits, sales tax and excise taxes apply for direct-to-consumer sales. Electronic filing is mandatory for sales tax as of 2009. Labels must be registered for all direct shipments.
    Approved & Active Carriers FedEx and UPS are both approved carriers for this state.
    Shipping Rules Tax:  Both sales and excise taxes are required for on-site and off-site shipments. Direct shippers must pay the state tax of 5.5%, and local tax, which ranges from 0.5% to 2.25%. An excise tax rate of $0.02 per gallon is also required.
      Permit:  Direct shipping to Ohio consumers is permitted for licensed wineries that produce less than 250,000 gallons per year. The Direct Shipper must make a “bona fide” effort to ensure that the customer is over 21 years old.
      Customer Volume Limit:  Family households may receive up to 24 cases of wine per year from an aggregate of permitted wineries. If the limit of 24 cases is exceeded, the consumer is responsible for any penalties unless more than 24 cases were shipped from one winery; in such a case the winery will be held responsible by the state for exceeding the case limit.
    License Requirements An S Permit is required to ship direct to consumers. A license is required for both off-site and on-site sales. Wineries that produce less than 250,000 gallons are also eligible to register for a B-2a Permit, which allows wineries to sell wine directly to retailers. The cost for both the S and B-2A permits is $25.00, and they expire October 1st of every year. To access applications for either permit, visit Ohio’s Direct Shipping Information page. In addition to either of these permits, out-of-state suppliers must also submit a Supplier (S-5) Application, and include an application fee of $100. Producers must register all labels being shipped within the state. The cost is $50.00 per label; once a label is registered it does not need to be renewed. Background checks and copies of applicants’ *fingerprints are required for all liquor permits.

    *UPDATE: fingerprinting is not required for applicants located out-of-state
    History In 1933, Ohio repealed the prohibition amendment in the Ohio Constitution and became a control state in order to fund government programs. In the 1990’s the state-while maintaining control over liquor- relinquished its ownership over liquor stores and began commissioning private contractors to make the actual sales. In 2005, producers were temporarily given unrestricted freedom to ship into the state due to a court ordered injunction. In October, 2007, the enactment of a new permit system introduced shipping restrictions, including a 150,000 gallons per year production capacity cap. In 2008, SB 150 was enacted, finalizing the regulations that we are familiar with today (see “Shipping Rules”), including increasing the gallonage cap to the current 250,000 gallon limit.
    Litigation / Legislation N/A

    Editors note: This is the first in a series of posts we will have focused on highlighting states’ direct shipping rules and regulations.

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