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Two Upcoming Virtual Seminars; One for Wineries, One for Retailers

Virtual Seminar - WineriesShipCompliant continues its series of ‘Virtual’ Seminars on Shipping Compliance, this year with two separate offerings for wineries and retailers.  Click the links below for more information and to register.

The winery focused seminar presented along with Wine Institute, FedEx and Wine Business Monthly, will feature Steve Gross, Director of State Relations at Wine Institute, with a state-by-state legislative update.  Special guest Tom Ourada, Tax Revenue Specialist with Wisconsin DOR, will provide insight on Wisconsin’s new direct shipping legislation.  These informative presentations will be complemented by shipping compliance tools and workflows from ShipCompliant and FedEx.

The retailer focused seminar presented along with Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) and Wine Business Monthly, will feature Tom Wark, Executive Director of SWRA, with a state-by-state update from the retailer perspective along with best practices and a product demo from ShipCompliant.

Both events are run in a ‘virtual’ online format where you hear the speakers by calling into a conference phone line and see their presentations by logging into a coordinating web conference.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get time-critical updates without the cost of attending an event in person.

Woman of the Hour – Tracy Genesen

Tracy Genesen of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP is one of the prominent forces currently driving legal change in the wine industry and was the keynote speaker at ShipCompliant’s 2008 Users Conference a few weeks ago.

Genesen’s speech analogized her role in the industry to a “court of last resort” when legislative means are unsuccessful in remedying protectionist state laws that have remained in effect despite the Granholm ruling in 2005. Granholm resolved many instances of differential treatment by the states and was extended to apply to self-distribution in the Costco ruling. However, Genesen revealed that the post-Granholm time of prosperity has given way to another host of problems. For example, states like Maine and Arkansas, in which direct shipping markets do not exist, have level playing fields; however, treating everyone the same by not allowing anyone to ship is a detriment to the wine industry. In addition, courts are struggling to deal with retail-to-consumer shipping laws in many states. Challenges to these laws have produced interesting results, like the “funky remedy” by a district court judge in a Texas lawsuit which declared that Granholm applied to retailers, but that retailers must first buy wine through Texas-licensed wholesalers. Wholesalers have also maintained their grip on states like Massachusetts by crafting legislation that is beneficial to them but also facially neutral. The 30,000 gallon capacity cap in Massachusetts exemplifies such economic protectionism and is the contention in the Family Winemakers of California case. Oral arguments in the case took place on July 29th in Boston and the decision is expected sometime this fall.

Many thanks to Tracy Genesen for sharing her insights into the current legal atmosphere of the industry. To view Genesen’s speech in its entirety or that of any of the other speakers at the conference, please see the 2008 Users Conference Simulcast. More information on the cases in Massachusetts and Texas is also available on the ShipCompliant Blog.

TTB Expo 2008

The ShipCompliant research team is attending the first annual TTB Expo at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, just outside of Cincinnati, today and tomorrow. The turnout here is quite impressive. In the opening remarks, the TTB team said their original goal was to get about 300 attendees from across the country. They had over 650 pre-register, and it seems like the actual attendance today is more like 1,000.

The turnout from the wine industry is equally impressive. We’ve run into a number of friends and partners in the industry from across the country today.

John J. Manfreda, Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), gave an excellent keynote address this morning, stressing an open dialog between the TTB and key industry stakeholders. They seem genuinely committed to listening to the industry to improve the ease of compliance with TTB regulations. If you have any questions or topics that you would like to get answers to while we are here, please feel free to leave a comment on this post or to drop us a private email at blog (at) shipcompliant (dot) com.

Georgia is a "Go": Residents Can Now Join Wine Clubs and Buy Wine Online from All Wineries

Good news, wineries – shipping to Georgia just got a whole lot easier!

As we mentioned in a previous post, House Bill 1061 had passed in the House and has since passed in the Senate. It made its way onto the Governor’s table on April 15th, and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law yesterday. The long-awaited bill amends Code Sections 3-6-31 and 3-6-20, a source of problems for many wineries. Before the bill passed, Georgia’s direct shipping laws were very restrictive, only allowing direct shipment by wineries without a distributor relationship in Georgia and by all wineries for onsite purchases. Onsite shipments were limited to five cases per consumer or per household.

However, the passage of the bill effected many favorable changes to Georgia’s direct shipment law. The statutory amendments eliminate the problematic provision which prohibited wineries from shipping offsite orders to Georgia residents if the wineries were represented by a distributor in Georgia. This significantly opens up the state to both in- and out-of-state wineries that were not previously permitted to ship offsite sales directly to consumers.

Furthermore, the amendments added a definition of “winery” to the statute, defining it as “any maker or producer of wine whether in this state or in any other state, who holds a valid federal basic wine manufacturing permit.” (Section 3-6-31(a)).

Another noteworthy change is the addition of the age verification requirement found in Section 3-6-20(d)(4):

“Before accepting an order from a consumer in this state, the holder of a special order shipping license shall require that the person placing the order state affirmatively that he or she is of the age required by Code Section 3-3-23 and shall verify the age of such person placing the order either by the physical examination of an approved government issued form of identification or by utilizing an Internet based age and identification service;”

The new age verification requirement strengthens the affirmative statement of age provision (as was required prior to the amendments), working to assuage the fears of those who believe direct shipping creates an unreasonable risk of online ordering by underage individuals.

The bill also introduces a few minor changes. A winery no longer has to post a bond, designate sales territories, or name a wholesaler in each territory (thereby taking a conflicting law off the books). Wineries are also prohibited from shipping to licensed premises and are required pay excise taxes and state and local sales taxes from every sale shipped to a consumer in Georgia. In addition, of-age individuals can now purchase up to 12 cases of wine from each licensee per year (up from 5 cases per household pre-HB 1061).

Overall, although wineries must still obtain a special order shipping license and brands must still be registered in order to ship into the state, HB 1061 is going to live up to expectations and prove itself a valuable step for proponents of direct shipping. More wineries can now direct ship to Georgia and reach more consumers, benefiting both Georgians and non-Georgians alike.

The bill takes effect July 1st, 2008. Stay tuned for more details and permit requirements.

Georgia is a “Go”: Residents Can Now Join Wine Clubs and Buy Wine Online from All Wineries

Good news, wineries – shipping to Georgia just got a whole lot easier!

As we mentioned in a previous post, House Bill 1061 had passed in the House and has since passed in the Senate. It made its way onto the Governor’s table on April 15th, and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law yesterday. The long-awaited bill amends Code Sections 3-6-31 and 3-6-20, a source of problems for many wineries. Before the bill passed, Georgia’s direct shipping laws were very restrictive, only allowing direct shipment by wineries without a distributor relationship in Georgia and by all wineries for onsite purchases. Onsite shipments were limited to five cases per consumer or per household.

However, the passage of the bill effected many favorable changes to Georgia’s direct shipment law. The statutory amendments eliminate the problematic provision which prohibited wineries from shipping offsite orders to Georgia residents if the wineries were represented by a distributor in Georgia. This significantly opens up the state to both in- and out-of-state wineries that were not previously permitted to ship offsite sales directly to consumers.

Furthermore, the amendments added a definition of “winery” to the statute, defining it as “any maker or producer of wine whether in this state or in any other state, who holds a valid federal basic wine manufacturing permit.” (Section 3-6-31(a)).

Another noteworthy change is the addition of the age verification requirement found in Section 3-6-20(d)(4):

“Before accepting an order from a consumer in this state, the holder of a special order shipping license shall require that the person placing the order state affirmatively that he or she is of the age required by Code Section 3-3-23 and shall verify the age of such person placing the order either by the physical examination of an approved government issued form of identification or by utilizing an Internet based age and identification service;”

The new age verification requirement strengthens the affirmative statement of age provision (as was required prior to the amendments), working to assuage the fears of those who believe direct shipping creates an unreasonable risk of online ordering by underage individuals.

The bill also introduces a few minor changes. A winery no longer has to post a bond, designate sales territories, or name a wholesaler in each territory (thereby taking a conflicting law off the books). Wineries are also prohibited from shipping to licensed premises and are required pay excise taxes and state and local sales taxes from every sale shipped to a consumer in Georgia. In addition, of-age individuals can now purchase up to 12 cases of wine from each licensee per year (up from 5 cases per household pre-HB 1061).

Overall, although wineries must still obtain a special order shipping license and brands must still be registered in order to ship into the state, HB 1061 is going to live up to expectations and prove itself a valuable step for proponents of direct shipping. More wineries can now direct ship to Georgia and reach more consumers, benefiting both Georgians and non-Georgians alike.

The bill takes effect July 1st, 2008. Stay tuned for more details and permit requirements.

More Events – come join us!

ShipCompliant will be participating in two events this month. If you are in the area, please try to attend!

Women for WineSense
Professional Members Only – Real Life Compliance Solutions

This event is meant to supplement the full-day TTB seminars occurring in the area at the same time. A legal overview will be provided by Susan Cagann, Special Counsel, Farella Braun + Martel. She will cover state and federal trade practice law along with legal issues concerning advertising, marketing and distributing wine.

If you are interested in attending the event or joining their Professional Members group, please send WineSense an email.

Christina Carr, Marketing Manager at Gundlach Bundschu will host the marketing panel consisting of ShipCompliant and New Vine Logistics presidents, Jason Eckenroth and Katie Hoertkorn. The companies will review best practices and provide actionable advice on direct shipping compliance.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 23 — 530-8PM
WHAT: Real-life Compliance solutions – legal and marketing.
TASTE: Our program will be accompanied by fine Mondavi wines paired with tasty hors d’oeuvres.
WHERE: Robert Mondavi Winery, Highway 29, Napa
COST: $20 Professional members, $35 invited non-members

Wine 2.0 Spring Fling
ShipCompliant’s Software as a Service (Saas) approach of enabling any technology system to integrate our best of breed compliance web services is well received among Wine 2.0 companies. Join the Wine 2.0 crowd at Crushpad on April 24th and meet some of our staff in person. They expect more than 200 attendees to enjoy an evening of great wines at Crushpad’s new urban winery location.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

EVENT SPECIFICS
WHEN:
Thursday
April 24th
7pm – 10pm

WHERE:
Crushpad, Inc.
2573 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
DIRECTIONS

CONTACT:
415-864-4232