Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Updates: IL, LA and MA

On Aug. 26, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation (“SB 2989”) into law that establishes strict penalties for direct wine shipping violations and imposes new reporting requirements on common carriers and fulfillment houses related to direct wine shipping. Under the new law, the holder of an IL Wine Shipper license will be required to register the name and address of any third-party provider authorized to ship wine on their behalf with the Liquor Control Commission.

SB 2989 also raises licensing fees for most types of licenses, including non-resident dealer and direct-to-consumer licenses. Each of these has a higher rate for an initial application and/or if people renew via paper rather than on-line. The new DTC shipping rules will become effective on Jan. 1, 2017, while the new fee rules will take effect immediately. For more details see the ILCC FY 2017-05 Informational Bulletin.

Members that currently make direct wine shipments to Louisiana consumers are reminded that applications for the new Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) Direct Wine Shipper permit were due on Aug. 31, 2016. Direct shippers that have not submitted the new application to ATC and paid the $250 should do so immediately.

Earlier this year, Louisiana’s direct shipping law was amended [Act 637 (effective July 1, 2016) of 2016] to require that wineries register with ATC for a Direct Wine Shipper permit and pay a $250 fee prior to making any on-site or off-site direct wine shipments into the state. Direct shippers must also continue to register with Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) for Authority to Make Direct Shipments of Wines to Louisiana Consumers and pay a $150 each year.

The MA Department of Revenue has released the new Alcoholic Beverages Excise Return-Direct Shipments to Massachusetts, Form AB-DS (Rev. 1/16). The form now reflects the corrected tax rate of $0.55/gal for table wine and current direct shipping law. Direct shippers can use the new form to file monthly excise tax returns going forward. Reports are due on or before the 20th of each month.