Untangling the complex world of wine direct shipping and compliance
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The Old ‘Wine’ State: Maryland to Open to Direct Wine Shipments

May 10th, 2011
By Sarah Fine - ShipCompliant Research Team

After years of repeated attempts to open the state to wine shipping, Maryland wine lovers will soon be able to have wine shipped directly to their doors. Signed by the Governor today, the new law makes Maryland the second state this year — after New Mexico — to pass new direct wine shipping permit legislation. This flurry of wine shipping legislation comes after no new states opened to direct shipping legislation in 2010.

Two important factors paved the path to the passage of direct shipping legislation in Maryland. First, a local citizens organization, “Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws”, kept pressure on the Maryland legislature year after year even though earlier direct shipping bills were defeated. Second, the Maryland Comptroller’s office released a Direct Wine Shipment Report late last year debunking many of the claims made by opponents of wine shipping concerning minor access to wine and harm that might come to local business as a result of wine shipments.

Though retailers were included in original versions of the direct shipping legislation, they were left out of the final language, perhaps in part, because the Comptroller’s Report did not advocate for retail-to-consumer shipping.

The new law takes effect July 1, 2011 and allows wineries to obtain a Direct Wine Shipper’s Permit for $200 (renew annually). Each licensed winery will be allowed to ship up to 18 cases of wine to a single delivery address each year and will be responsible for quarterly reporting and payment of excise and sales taxes on all shipments made into the state. Potential shippers now await permit application and instruction forms from the Maryland Comptroller, which could be made available any time. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

6 Responses to “The Old ‘Wine’ State: Maryland to Open to Direct Wine Shipments”

  1. [...] The Old ‘Wine’ State: Maryland to Open to Direct Wine Shipments [...]

  2. Kathy says:

    Can you clarify the 18 cases amount? I was under the impression it was 18 cases per household per year not 18 cases per winery per year.

  3. Many of Divine Wine Compliance clients are on board for the license! Checking with Maryland daily for the available date. http://www.divinecompliance.com

  4. Sarah Werner says:

    Kathy, thanks for the question. The law states, "A direct Wine Shipper may ship more than 18 9-Liter cases of wine each year to a single delivery address". This means that the licensed winery, 'Winery A', could ship up to 18 cases to John Smith's residence, and could ship another 18 cases to Jane Doe's residence. Additionally, Jane Doe could order an additional 18 cases from 'Winery B'.

  5. [...] state of Maryland opened to winery-to-consumer direct shipping on July 1, 2011, after a multi-year effort by the industry and consumers to change the Maryland [...]

  6. [...] states opening their borders to the direct shipment of wine from other states continued steadily. Maryland and New Mexico both opened their borders to permit-based direct-to-consumer shipping in 2011, a [...]

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