Georgia Governor, Sonny Perdue, has signed in to law HB 1061, opening the way for out–of-state wineries to ship direct to Georgia’s wine consumers. The new law, effective July 1, 2008 will allow wineries that have obtained the $50 per year “special order shipper’s permit” to ship to Georgia consumers. The volume limit will increase from 5 cases per household to 12 cases per person per year, and consumers will be eligible to participate in wine clubs. Wineries will need a valid permit to ship both on-site and off-site purchases. Permit holders will be required to pay sales tax, excise taxes and verify the consumer’s age by viewing a government issued form of identification or using a 3rd party internet verification service.
This change greatly improves what was previously a very restrictive direct shipping law in Georgia that prohibited wineries with a distributor in Georgia from applying for a permit, and brings the state in line with the majority of states that now recognize and honor the right of their consumers to enjoy direct purchases of their favorite wines from the wineries of their choosing. Information about the permit application process will be posted on the Wine Institute website as soon as it becomes available. Should you have any questions please contact Annie Bones in the State Relations Department at 415-356-7530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.