Indiana Improves Direct-to-Consumer Law

On May 4, Governor Mike Pence signed legislation (SB 113) into law removing several impediments to direct wine shipping to Indiana consumers, including the existing requirement that all consumers must have made a one-time face-to-face visit to the winery prior to placing any subsequent orders. Instead, licensed direct shippers are allowed to use standard age verification procedures to ship off-site sales to Indiana consumers. The newly-signed law also removes the surety bond requirement and increases the total amount of wine a direct shipper may sell into the state from 3,000 to 5,000 cases per permit year. The permit year term is from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

SB 113 also changes the permit fee to a tiered structure based on the amount of wine sold to consumers during the previous calendar year– all wineries shipping 1,000 cases or less into the state pay the same $100 fee as in the current law. Those shipping more than 1000 cases will face a tiered structure that tops out at $500 for those shipping up to 5,000 cases in the permit year.

Wine Institute had also included language in the original version of the bill that would have removed the exclusion from DTC shipping for those wineries who sell through an Indiana wholesaler. Unfortunately, that language was amended out of SB 113. Wine Institute will continue to work to remove this additional impediment to shipping. Updated forms and application instructions for the approved changes are expected to be available when the new law becomes effective on July 1, 2015. Wine Institute will continue to keep members informed on developments and availability of forms.