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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wine Institute negotiates, OKs direct shipments to Indiana

The Wine Institute, an advocacy group for California winemakers, has advised its members that they proceed with obtaining the required permits in order to begin servicing their Indiana consumers who choose to buy direct.

The association worked with the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to resolve questions about the state’s March 2006 direct shipping statute and the more recent court ruling. Specifically, Wine Institute representatives met with ATC officials and expressed concern about how current Indiana law puts the onus of enforcing a 216 liter annual limit per consumer, but provides no way for shippers to monitor how much wine a consumer has purchased elsewhere.

Indiana's ATC agreed to the following outline for a winery to ship into the state and avoid any violation of the statutes:
“…[T}he Commission, until further notice, [agrees] not to take enforcement action against the holder of a direct wine seller’s permit for violation of I.C. 7.1-3-26-14 (annual limit on wine received by a consumer), provided that: (1) the holder of the direct wine seller’s permit has not directly shipped in excess of 216 liters within the calendar year to the particular Indiana consumer; (2) the direct wine seller has no actual knowledge that the particular consumer has received in excess of 216 liters within the calendar year; and (3) at the time of the sale transaction, the consumer represents to the direct wine seller that the sale will not result in the consumer receiving in excess of 216 liters in the calendar year.”
As a result of the agreement between the Wine Institute and the Indiana ATC, the association gave its member wineries the go-ahead to ship directly to Hoosiers. A summary of shipping requirements and links to the necessary forms for wineries to complete may be found on the Wine Institute's Web site.
M. Zane Grey, 6:43 PM