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Georgia – Amended Wine Special Order Applications Available

The amended Georgia Special Order Shipping License application is now available on the Wine Institute and Georgia Department of Revenue websites. Wineries will be required to have an approved Wine Special Order Shipping License and comply with new direct-to-consumer shipping regulations beginning July 1, 2008. The new law increases the quantity limit to 12 cases per person per calendar year per winery and allows GA consumers to join wine clubs. The old rule allowing the shipping of on-site sales without a license and prohibiting wineries with distributor relationships in GA from receiving a wine shipping license for off-sale shipments is repealed as of July 1, 2008.

The amended application has a license fee of $50 and must be submitted with a completed sales tax registration application and brands registration form. Direct shippers will be required to pay state and local sales tax, pay excise tax and file reports. In addition, direct shippers must obtain a copy of the consumer’s government issued id or use an online age verification service at the time of purchase. Applicants will be mailed their wine special order shipping licenses along with reporting forms and instructions for paying taxes. Wineries currently holding special order licenses issued prior to July 1, 2008 do not have to complete the amended application and should expect to receive reporting forms and tax payment information in the mail. Should you have any questions please contact Annie Bones in the State Relations Department at 415-356-7530 or abones@wineinstitute.org.

Following is the list of required forms. Click here for a printable checklist.

  • Notice: To Wineries with Valid Federal Basic Manufacturing Permits
  • Form CRF–002 State Sales Tax Registration Application
  • Form CRF–004 Additional Ownership/Relationship Application (If Applicable)
  • Form ATT-6 State Alcohol License Application (“Winery Special Order Shipping”)
  • Form ATT-104 Brands/Brand Labels Registration Application
  • Form ATT–17 State Beverage Alcohol Personnel Statement
  • Form RD-1061 Power of Attorney (If Applicable)

Annie Bones, State Relations – Wine Institute

Georgia Direct Shipper Application Update

Georgia will require wineries to have an approved direct shipper’s permit, pay excise tax, state sales and local sales tax in order to ship direct to GA consumers beginning July 1, 2008. The Georgia Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Division is developing a New Direct Shipper Application which will include information about how to comply with the new tax and reporting requirements. The new application is expected to be available by July 1, 2008 and the Department of Revenue anticipates it taking approximately 30 days for the applications to be processed. Beginning July 1, 2008 wineries will not be permitted to send on-site or off-site wine shipments to GA consumers until they have received an approved direct shipper’s permit.

The New Application will be posted on the Wine Institute website as soon as it becomes available. Permits issued to wineries without distributors in 2008 will continue to be valid after 7/1/08. Should you have any questions please contact Wine Institute’s State Relations Department at 415-356-7530.

Annie Bones, State Relations – Wine Institute

10 Days Left Until Illinois Permit Deadline

Just a friendly reminder that beginning June 1st, 2008, Illinois will require a permit for all direct-to-consumer wine shipments to the state. A winery must receive the permit before it may begin/resume shipment to the state. In 10 days, under the newly-promulgated wine shipping law, wineries and retailers that have been shipping to Illinois under a reciprocal agreement will no longer be able to ship to the state without a permit. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has not given any indication of a grace period for shipping while applications are in process.

For expedient processing, an applicant should submit a copy of its state liquor license along with the Out-of-State Winery Shipper’s License application. An applicant must also submit the brand registration form (for brands not already registered with the state) prior to, or simultaneously to the submission of the application. In addition, a winery must register for sales and excise tax. An accelerated tax permit approval process is available for those wineries which have a distributor in state. In any event, and with time running out, electronic submissions will be approved faster than those send via conventional mail. See our previous post for more detailed instructions and a checklist for the application process with links to forms.

Also, as a reminder, Georgia will open up on July 1st, and Wisconsin will begin their new permit system on October 1st. We’ll have the full details of the application process in both states as they become available.

Wine Distribution Notes – Release 28

The latest version of Notes on Wine Distribution by R. Corbin Houchins is now available for viewing or downloading. Release 28 highlights changes in the following categories: Age & Identity Verification, Rethinking Reciprocity and State Notes, specifically Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Headings of sections with substantial changes since the preceding release (published in early April, 2008) are highlighted, so that you can easily find the updated sections.

You can always view the most current version of Houchins’s Notes on Wine Distribution by visiting ShipCompliantBlog.com and clicking on the “Wine Distribution Notes” link under “Compliance Resources” on the right-hand side of the page.

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.