Massachusetts has become the 41st state to allow for direct wine shipments from in-state and out of state wineries. The 2014 budget bill, which approves the appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015, was signed into law by the governor. The direct shipping language was included in this bill, which will go into effect on January 1, 2o15.
The specifics of the bill are as follows:
Only bonded wineries may apply for a direct shipping permit
$300 initial direct shipping license fee, and each subsidiary of the winery must have a separate license
$150 annual renewal fee
Shipping is limited to 12 standard cases per year per purchaser
Annual reports are required
Excise taxes remitted on each sale
Adult signature required
The Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Control Commission has until January 1, 2015 to draft the licenses required for individual wineries.
There is one remaining obstacle for wine shipments into Massachusetts. Common carriers, such as Fed Ex and UPS, are required to register each vehicle used for delivery in the state. The registration is for a wine delivery permit and is $200 per vehicle. It remains to be seen if the Massachusetts legislature will remedy this before it the new shipping bill goes into effect.
WineAmerica will provide its members with the necessary information as it becomes available.
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