Senator Short (R) and Representative Chapman (D) sponsor bills
creating a safe and well-regulated wine shipping channel
(Olympia, WASH)—A bill recently introduced in Olympia would give Washington wine consumers the option to buy and receive shipments of wine from out-of-state wine retailers. Senate Bill 5007 and House Bill 1016, sponsored by Senator Shelly Short (R) and Representative Mike Chapman (D), would allow out-of-state wine stores to ship wine to Washingtonians in the same manner as Washington wineries, out-of-state wineries and Washington wine stores are currently allowed to ship wine to consumers. The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) applauds the bills and Senator Short and Representative Chapman for their sponsorship.
The bills propose wine shipments from out-of-state retailers be regulated in an identical manner that has already been approved for wine shipments from out-of-state wineries. Out-of-state retailers under the bills’ provisions would be required to 1) pay Washington State sales and excise taxes, 2) obtain an adult signature at the time of delivery, 3) submit reports to the Liquor Control Board on how much they have shipped into the state, 4) submit to Washington State legal and regulatory jurisdiction, and 5) obtain an annual permit from the Liquor Control Board.
Bills Address Minor Access, Tax Collection and Consumer Rights
“The current ban on Washington consumers receiving wine shipments from out-of-state wine retailers means hundreds of thousands of rare, hard-to-find, limited production and collectible wines are off limits to Washington wine lovers,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the NAWR. “While it is estimated allowing these shipments will produce $9-12 million in additional tax revenue annually, the real benefit of these bills is the increased access to legal products the bills provide and promoting a level playing field and free trade by removing discriminatory laws.”
Although studies show minors overwhelmingly obtain alcohol from the home and in person at brick-and-mortar retail outlets, the retailer wine shipping bills provide safeguards against minor access to wine via shipment by requiring the retailers obtain adult signatures at the time of delivery in the same way that wineries and Washington wine stores must. Additionally, the requirements that out-of-state retailers must collect and remit both sales and excise taxes on all shipments and submit themselves to Washington regulatory and legal jurisdiction assure they are on the same competitive footing as Washington wineries and retailers.
“Washington consumers are just as smart as consumers in other states in that if they can find the wine they want locally, that is where they buy it rather than spending sometimes significant amounts on shipping fees,” noted Wark. “However, when consumers can’t find what they want locally that is when they sometimes choose to look outside the state for the products and these bills legalize that common transaction.”
If SB 5007 and HB 1016 become law, it would allow Washington wine consumers to receive wine shipments from out-of-state specialty wine stores, wine auction houses and wine-of-the-month clubs.
The National Association of Wine Retailers is trade association representing wine retailers, auction houses and wine clubs located across the country. For more information see: http://www.nawr.org.
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Tom Wark, Executive Director
National Association of Wine Retailers
[email protected] • (971) 332-5057