—Wine Retailer Association Supports Pro-Consumer, Free-Trade Bill HB 7184—
(Hartford, Connecticut) — With the introduction of House Bill 7184, Connecticut wine consumers have another opportunity to expand their wine shipping rights. HB 7184, awaiting a February 28 hearing in the General Law Committee, would allow Connecticut consumers to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wine stores, Internet retailers, wine-of-the-month clubs and wine auction house. Currently, Connecticut residents may only receive shipments from out-of-state wineries.
With the current ban on receiving shipments from out-of-state wine stores, Connecticut wine consumers may not look out of state for wines unavailable or sold-out at Connecticut’s wine stores. The out-of-state wine retailer shipping ban is particularly onerous for consumers seeking hard to find imported wines since only wine retailers and not wineries sell these wine in the U.S.
“The National Association of Wine Retailers supports this kind of free trade legislation completely,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers, which will deliver written testimony for the February 28 hearing on HB 7184. “Our members across the country regularly turn away requests from Connecticut wine consumers to purchase wines at stores as far away as California due to the ban on wine shipments into Connecticut. This law fixes that problem.”
The proposed law would require out-of-state wine retailers to pay for and obtain a wine shipping permit from the state of Connecticut, obtain an adult signature at the time of delivery, remit taxes and reports on all sales into the state, as well as limit to two cases every two months the amount of wine an out-of-state retailer may ship to a Connecticut resident. This is the third time in three years a retailer wine shipping bill has been introduced in Hartford.
“We view potential passage of this legislation as a win, win, win,” noted Wark. “The consumer wins by finally have access to all wines, the state wins with new tax revenue and protections against minor access to wines, and finally free trade wins out in Connecticut under HB 7184.”
The hearing for HB 7184 in the Joint Committee on General Law is set for Thursday, February 28 at 10:00 am in room 2A at the Capitol building in Hartford. The general public is welcome to attend and testify on this important legislation.
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Tom Wark, NAWR
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