Shipping Laws for Wine and Spirits

In the United States of America which stands for unity and freedom, we see a major contradiction when it comes to shipping alcohol. The frustrating and daunting efforts by so many trying to send loved ones and friends gifts of wine get stumped by the unorganized shipping laws.

So many people call and complain and place the blame on the stores when in fact it is a problem that starts with the legislation. As a matter of fact, some who may try to ship may get heavily fined or might be committing a crime.

The problem lies in each state having the right to control how alcohol is sold. Instead of a unified system that allows wine and spirit commerce to be free between states, we are forced to suffer.

Another problem is that because of these complicated laws, the major businesses that ship like UPS or FedEx refuse to ship and or if you do manage to ship your order may be confiscated and lost. Nearly half of the states make it illegal for anyone trying to send wine to a consumer's home. Trying to send wine in the regular USPS is a federal crime.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia allow shipment of alcohol but the seller and or consumer has to register with the state and pay either for a shipping permit or for the taxes. Some states like Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Utah, and Texas prohibit the shipment of alcohol although some do allow shipment from retailer to retailer.

Please note that most of these laws consistently change on a regular basis so it would be best to check with your state legislation before sending your friend a great bottle of wine.

All the different laws can be a little confusing and complicated at times. In order to find more information, you have to write to or find on the internet for each state you wish to ship to.

Further reading: Can Red Wine be Chilled?

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