October 21st, 2010
Online instant processing of Florida label registrations is now available for any supplier of alcoholic beverages. Products sold to distributors must be registered before shipping into the state, however, direct wine shipments remain exempt from registration requirements. Florida’s new system has been up and running since July 15, 2010.
Suppliers who are licensed to sell alcohol in Florida must first register to use the system. The specifics of this licensee registration process are detailed in the first 24 pages of Florida’s lengthy step-by-step instructions.
After the supplier is set-up to use the system, they may log in to begin registering labels. The registration process of the labels themselves is fairly straight-forward—Florida’s online system asks for limited information about your label (product type, TTB ID, and label name). Based off of the TTB ID number that you provide, Florida then has the ability to obtain additional label information (label images, for example) from your TTB COLA.
The fee for registration remains the same: $30 for malt and spirits labels and $15 for wine labels, all of which should be renewed annually by June 30. Once registration fees are paid (via electronic check or credit card), the label is registered and the product can be shipped to Florida.
The paper registration form can still be filed as a substitute to online filing, avoiding the somewhat cumbersome licensee registration process, but there are several reasons why it makes sense to utilize the new online registration process instead of paper filing. Online label registration takes only a couple of minutes; no one likes to spend time hand-writing paper registrations. Perhaps the biggest benefit of online filing is that confirmation of the online registration is immediate; paper registrations can take up to 90 days to be approved.
More and more states continue to trend toward electronic services for convenience and efficiency (for taxes, reporting, license applications, product registrations, etc.). Florida’s online registration system is a step in the right direction; however, as new systems are made available, users must become acquainted with each individual online process. Still, after successfully navigating the process, this label entry system has the ability to make life easier for those registering labels in Florida.