Untangling the complex world of wine direct shipping and compliance
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Limited to On-site Sales, Arkansas Passes Bill to Allow Direct Shipping

June 7th, 2013
By Jessamyn Boltz - ShipCompliant Research Team

On March 21, 2013, House Bill 1749 became Act 483, signifying its passage into law. Once enacted mid-August, the state of Arkansas will be added to the list of states that allow wineries to ship wine directly to consumers — but with many limitations.

Aside from the low cost of the license, the requirements under this new shipping law limit the abilities of licensed out-of-state wineries, arguably more than any other state that currently allows direct-to-consumer wine shipping. These limitations include requiring all shipments to be purchased in person at the winery, and affixing a special, ABC-provided, shipping label to each shipment.

For those wineries interested in navigating these one-of-a-kind requirements, Arkansas consumers will no doubt enjoy the ability to ship home a case of wine after visiting their favorite wineries. No license applications or information are available as of yet. Below is a breakdown of the licensing process, as well as the requirements and restrictions to operate, as stated in the new law:

Restrictions/Requirements (not limited to the following):

  • Consumers must be physically present at the winery when purchasing the wine to be shipped to Arkansas consumers (onsite orders only)
  • Every shipment must be affixed with a shipping label provided by the ABC, costing up to an additional $10 per label
  • Collect and remit sales and excise tax, “as if the sale took place on the premises of a Arkansas Small Farm Winery”
  • Ship only to a private residence – added difficulty, as shipments require an adult signature
  • Customer volume limit of one case per customer, per quarter

Licensing Process

  • Registration with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC), including a $25 annual fee.
  • Provide the ABC with a copy of the winery’s home-state license as well as the winery’s TTB Federal Basic Permit

8 Responses to “Limited to On-site Sales, Arkansas Passes Bill to Allow Direct Shipping”

  1. Mike Officer says:

    Is this even legal???!?!?! Someone comes to California, buys a bottle of wine, and is supposed to be charged Arkansas sales tax instead of California sales tax? That’s crazy! How about California passing a law that says anytime a CA resident is in another state and purchases something, that other state has to collect CA sales tax and remit it back to California. That would certainly solve our budget issues!

  2. Observer of the Stupid says:

    Good point, Officer Mike, particularly if the winery made it a point to sell FoB the winery and act merely as an agent of the customer to engage a common carrier shipper (which as we all know can’t be engaged by ordinary people, God forbid, to ship that worst of substances, the WMD called wine). I wonder what the AK regulations are for shipping an automatic rifle and ammo to a citizen of that state. Would I be limited to shipping only one AR15 per customer per quarter, for instance. Idiots!!!

  3. Lisa says:

    I am curious what kind of proof must you keep on record to show that the consumer actually visited in person.
    The Sales and Excise tax is no different than shipping to any other state that has sales tax.

  4. El Jefe says:

    Actually right now, if a customer buys wine in my tasting room, does not take possession, and has me ship it to (say) Arizona, they pay AZ sales tax not CA sales tax. That’s already baked into CA law (and kind of a pain, but…)

    What I am curious about is the definition of consumer, and the definition of where the wine must be shipped. If I as a CA resident walk into a TR and purchase wine to ship to the house of my “friend” in AR, is that a legal transaction? If so, I can presumably act as a purchasing agent for any “friend” in AR…. Food for thought.

  5. Mike Officer says:

    Ah! Not having a tasting room, I hadn’t considered that visitors buying wine here and having it shipped on their behalf to their home state would have to be charged the appropriate tax rate. So I guess AR is no different after all.

  6. Kielly Lewis says:

    Will you be posting where we can apply for the license? So far my searches on the internet aren’t bearing any fruit. Thanks for always keeping us in the know!

  7. Thank you for your comment Kielly. An application has not been released yet, but once available we will be sure to post where to find the documents.

  8. [...] noted in our previous blog post, a special shipping label must be on every shipment; however, the alcohol-specific shipping labels [...]

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