Importing wine - Printable Version

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- Thraz - 10-20-2008 09:09 PM

Hello, I would like to find out how to import wine into Illinois (from abroad, not other states...). I am starting from scratch, looking for guidance on: state regulations; federal regulations; costs; different types of import licences and what they mean (can an importer sell only to distributors, or retail/restaurants as well? etc.) - and everything else I can't even think of.

Does anyone know of a relevant publication, or who to contact in the IL and US governments? Would any importers out there be interested in (cheap) help dealing with French winemakers in their language so I can learn a bit by experience?



- hotwine - 10-20-2008 10:22 PM

If you want to import from abroad into Illinois, suggest you start with the IL bureau of alcohol control (whatever they call it in that state). Find that office on the Web and go from there. (Caution: trying to do it in Texas is a flippin' nightmare!)

- TheEngineer - 10-20-2008 10:54 PM

Hope it is worth your while and you are doing it as a business and not for personal consumption as if that is the case, the just go and pick it up. [img][/img] Otherwise you will need to look in two areas

(1) Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco (BAT) and they will have a list of requirements. Call them and ask them to walk you through the process. They are usually pretty good. There are some very specific requirements including labeling, etc. There will also be taxation requirements for both the feds and the state. You might also consult with a lawyer to see which states would work best to locate the base operations as tax laws vary.

(2) Export regulations of the country you are exporting from. Some countries have very strict export requirements.

(3) shipping method (use the bigger ones as they can help you initially with the paperwork) and marina documentation.

This is not an easy thing to do but it will take time and a bit (quite a bit) of money to figure it out.

- TheEngineer - 10-20-2008 10:56 PM

oh yeah, try to trade associations and your local French consulate to see if they can also guide you through the process. They can introduce you to people who count or how have the experience. Also the trade associations will generally have a list of wineries in their area that they know are interested in exporting as well. If you are exporting one, you might as well look for a few more.

- Thraz - 10-21-2008 08:52 AM

Thanks both! Please keep them coming.

It's for a business, not personal consumption (although I will buy from my inventory if I ever get to that point).

- andrawes76 - 10-21-2008 09:38 AM

Thraz, If you are looking to import wine into the US, I would start with your State Alcohol Bureau (which you can google). Its a lot of paperwork and patience, thats all. As Engineer wrote, I would contact TTB (a dept of Treasury) to get instructions. Anytime you import wine into the country, it needs to be COLA'd which means you will need to file certificates with the Treasury to show what you are bringing in. Next you'll need a Non-Resident Sellers Permit in Illinois and you will need to work with a distributor in Illinois. There are some differences between being a distributor and an importer. Importers typically bring them into the US, distributors like Glazers, Republic, Southern usually get the product into retail stores. Competition small and the community talks so its best to put your right foot forward when you deal in the wine biz. Shoot straight.

- TheEngineer - 10-22-2008 11:14 AM

Thraz, Sorry, the BAT I mention was the older version of the TTB. Pers Wine is right.

- Thraz - 10-23-2008 02:10 AM

Thanks again.

Any thoughts on lawyers who can help with the process? Are they useful? Necessary? Are there any you might know?

- stellawine - 10-23-2008 09:28 AM

Lawyers are useful. They remove the headache of doing it yourself. They cost you about $1500 to $2500. If you don't mind dealing with cops, then you can do it yourself.

- TheEngineer - 10-24-2008 01:56 AM

Lawyers are useful but I found that I had to do a lot of research myself as well. Unless you can find a lawyer that works in this field and I'm not sure how easy it is to find them, then with others, you will still need to do some of your own reading. Laywers also help with the standard stuff like incorporation, meeting minutes, etc that you might forget about. Do you want a name of someone I know? email me.

- Thraz - 10-24-2008 05:42 PM

Thanks, I'm interested in talking to as many people as possible so I would be interested in a name. I don't know how to email you directly though - is there a way to do that through the user profile?

You sound like you looked into importing yourself? Did you ever get there?

- TheEngineer - 10-24-2008 06:54 PM

give me a shout.

I can be had at wellesleyparent123 at gmail dot com.

I can try to answer everything I can

[This message has been edited by TheEngineer (edited 10-24-2008).]

- Thraz - 10-26-2008 10:21 AM

FYI I sent you an email a couple of days ago, let me know if it does not go through.



- andrawes76 - 10-26-2008 06:17 PM

Thraz, the one eight hundred number at the header, hit extension 304 and I will help you as best as I can. I am in the office between 8AM and 6PM M-F

- TheEngineer - 10-27-2008 02:51 AM

Thraz, sorry I only got to it today. sent you one email this morning. Sitting in Napa right now [img][/img] Looking forward to the morning

- Thraz - 11-02-2008 12:09 PM

PW I just noticed your post, thanks for the offer, I will call this coming week.