How To Ship Alcohol Internationally
Importing and exporting alcohol across country borders presents even more challenges. Youll now need to meet state, city, and country laws, as well as be familiar with exporting and importing laws.
Youll need to ensure that the distributor sending the shipment has the correct permits or the US government can seize your shipment. Youll also need to be aware of taxes and duties for international beer, spirit, and wine imports.
We recommend not managing international alcohol shipping yourself instead, work with reliable third-party retailers and compliance companies to ship beer, liquor, and wine orders.
Stay on top of the latest alcohol trends and regulations
How To Package Spirits For Shipping
Same with beer and wine, the packaging requirements for spirits will depend mostly on the way the liquor is being stored. Liquor is an especially unique liquid to ship, as the slightest interference within the transit could compromise the curated taste or worse, waste the product all together. While the glass bottles used for storing liquor are much thicker than wine or beer bottles, theyre still subject to breakage without proper preparation. Some of the general rules for shipping spirits include:
- Prevent Glass from Touching Glass: The easiest way liquor bottles are able to shatter during the delivery is against one another. Choosing to package bottles with cardboard dividers and proper padding to eliminate shuffling is a must when shipping liquor bottles. Boxes going on top of boxes are inevitable during shipping, so make sure to shrink wrap pallets to prevent boxes from shifting.
- Consider Insurance: Liquor is priced at a much higher value than beer or wine, so making sure your shipment is insured is crucial for guaranteeing youre prepared for any issues that come up down the line. Its always better to be safe than sorry, especially when sending spirits.
How To Ship Wine: General Overview
First of all, the most important thing to keep in mind is that its illegal for one individual to ship any amount of wine to another person through the mail in the United States, regardless of where you live or whether you try the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx.
That doesnt mean you cant send wine to someone but you cant just stuff it in a box and slap a few stamps on it. Unless youre willing to take a big risk and break the law, to ship wine you need to buy it from a company whos certified to deliver it. The good news is, plenty of companies are licensed to ship wine to most states.
Depending on the quantity youre sending and where its going, there could be additional hurdles to overcome. For instance, if you want to send wine to a friend in Oklahoma, youre out of luck: The Sooner State doesnt allow it, and you might be looking at a felony if you get caught trying.
While the law is mostly the same in Delaware, theres one important loophole: If youre a resident of Delaware and youre visiting a winery in a different state, you can send yourself back a few bottles.
The strictest laws, by far, are found in Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, and Delaware. Pay particularly close attention to the rules if youre sending wine to those states. An updated master list of all the state law nuances can be found by searching the alcohol statutes over at The National Conference of State Legislatures website.
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Using Shipstation To Ship Alcohol
Now that you can start shipping liquors and beer with UPS, ShipStation has added support for sending alcohol globally. Shipping alcohol overseas can easily be done with ShipStation. The only requirements UPS has for the shipper before shipping with ShipStation are:
- They must have a contract signed with UPS that states they can and will ship alcohol
- They must select Adult Signature as the delivery confirmation option
If you are a ShipStation customer and are using UPS to ship alcohol, you can integrate with UPS Paperless Invoice, which will streamline and simplify your paperwork by allowing you to digitally transmit necessary information for the customs clearance process. By uploading all the required alcohol-related documentation to each country electronically, wineries, distilleries, and breweries can avoid delays.
Shipping Beer Liquor And Wine With Ups
UPS allows direct-to-consumer alcohol shipment, with a number of strict rules. You can find all the UPS rules and regulations on the UPS Wine & Alcoholic Beverage Program page.
UPS alcohol shipment rules include:
- You have a UPS account number
- You have signed an alcohol shipping agreement contact with UPS
- You have a federal license to ship alcohol
- You have the correct permits to ship alcohol in the states your sending to
- You must follow the guidelines set in both the sending and receivers state
- You must use inner packaging of EPS foam or molded fiber tray
- You must package the alcohol in the center of the shipment, away from the packages sides
- Your package must be deemed sturdy by UPS
- You must clearly label the shipment and meet UPS, origin state, and destination state guidelines
- You must clearly label the package as containing alcohol
- You must receive a signature upon delivery from an adult that is 21 or older
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How To Sign The Fedex Agreement To Ship Alcohol
Since you know you can now ship alcohol legally, you have to agree to the terms and conditions laid out by FedEx. For that, youll need a valid FedEx account number before you can further proceed. If you dont have a FedEx account then kindly follow this link. After that, you have to provide a copy of the alcohol license from a state or local licensing board to FedEx.
NoteFedEx does not allow consumers/individuals to ship alcohol. Alcohol can only be shipped from a licensee to another licensee. Therefore, both the shipper and recipient should be either licensed wholesalers, licensed dealers, licensed distributors, licensed manufacturers, or licensed importers. However, you may be allowed to ship wine and some other type of alcoholic items directly to the customers.
After getting the copy from the board you have to complete the FedEx Alcohol Shipping agreement. This agreement can be obtained by contacting your FedEx account executive. He/she will help you complete the authorization process.
NoteFedEx Alcohol Shipping agreement may be required each time for every shipment containing alcohol item.
More Reasons Shipping Costs Vary
How far the wine has to travel has a lot to do with actual shipping costs. Most of thewine produced in the U.S. ships from the west coast, mostly California. And much of the wine imported from Europe is warehoused on the east coast, in places like New Jersey. Some wine clubs choose warehouses in the midwest to keep costs roughly equal as wine gets shipped to each coast.
Shipping wine to a home or business impacts the cost, too. FedEx charge more to sendpackages to residential addresses as opposed to business addresses. When you deliver to an office during business hours,you drop off the package, get a signature, and youâre done. When you deliver to a residence, a wine shipment which requires anadult signature and canât be left at the door. If no one is home, you have to take the time to leave a notice and attempt redeliver the package. That gets expensive and increasingly, wine stores and wine clubs are passing that additional cost on to the consumer.
Shipment size has a big impact on the cost, too. It doesn’t cost twice as much to ship 4 bottles, than 2 bottles, so ordering larger shipments keeps the per botle shipping cost down.
Here are some sample prices of 100% recycled wine shippers to help understand the actual costs of shippingwine :
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Shipping Alcohol Between Us States
When shipping alcohol between US states, you will need to comply with not only the alcohol shipping laws for the state youre shipping from but also the state youre shipping to, which makes shipping alcohol between US states almost as complicated as shipping alcohol internationally from the US.
Its important to be aware that not all US states will allow the direct shipment of alcohol to consumers. For example, Alabama, Oklahoma and Utah prohibit this. When shipping alcohol direct to consumers, you may also have to keep a record of how many shipments you send to residential addresses, as some states have restrictions on the number of bottles that can be sent to a single customer in a year.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship Wine
Many factors come into play when figuring out how much it costs to ship wine, but on average it costs a business $40-60 to ship a case of wine from coast to coast in the United States. Many online wine stores charge customers a reduced shipping fee ranging from $10-25.
The shipping costs for the stores grow depending on whether the destination is a business or a home, how heavy the actual bottles are, how big the box is, and what kind of discounted rates the company has negotiated with the shippers.
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How To Use Shopify Shipping App For Fedex To Ship Alcoholic Items
Shopify Shipping App for FedEx is an end-to-end FedEx shipping solution for your Shopify-based store. With the help of this App, you can show real-time shipping rates on your Checkout page.
You can mention any of your products as an alcohol product. For that, you can enable the Alcohol option as shown in the image below. And as you can see, you have the option to choose the receiver type as well.
Based on your product weight and dimensions, and shipping destination, this App fetches postage rates from your FedEx account for both domestic and international shipping services. As you can see in the sample screenshot below, the FedEx shipping estimate is displayed along with the estimated delivery date.
Shopify Shipping App for FedEx with Print Labels & Tracking generates professional shipping labels of different sizes automatically as soon as the customer completes an order on your Shopify store . This is one of the best features of this App.
The App sends shipment details to your FedEx online account and generates the shipping label , which you can download by clicking the Download Label button. Postage is automatically paid on these labels using your FedEx account. Have a look at the following screenshot which shows the options to change the settings for FedEx Shipping labels.
The order tracking number is returned from FedEx while generating the label. Both you and your customers can track orders by clicking on the View your order in the Order Shipped email.
How To Ship Liquor
Because liquor is an alcoholic beverage, it is subject to the same strict shipping requirements that wine is subject to. This means that you will have to obtain a license to ship it, get a special contract with UPS or FedEx, and only ship it to states where you can legally ship it to.
If you are shipping within your own state, then it is much easier to figure out what the regulations are for shipping it.
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How To Get The Permit From Your Local State Board
As mentioned before, its important to know whether youre eligible for the permit or not. You need to be more than 21 years old to ship alcohol . Check eligibility here.
If youre qualified to ship alcohol, you have to find out the type of alcohol you plan on shipping. Following is a small list of alcohol license types:
- Restaurant Retail Liquor
- Club LiquorClasses I and II
- Retail Beer
- Liquor Wholesale
- Wholesale Beer
After selecting the type of alcohol you have to contact an executive from the alcohol board and then apply for the license. He/she will guide you through the complete process and help you get the final permit/license.
Can I Ship Wine Via Usps
USPS does not allow for the mailing or shipment of alcohol, domestically or internationally. On top of this, if you are using packaging that was once used to carry alcohol, any and all labeling or branding that shows it could carry alcohol should be covered or else your package can be denied shipment.
What states can you not ship alcohol to?
Currently, 44 states permit some interstate direct-to-consumer shipping of alcohol, according to Wines & Vines and ShipCompliant by Sovos. The states that do not allow it are Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Delaware.
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How To Ship Alcohol In
On the surface, this seems like the easiest shipping method. Without crossing state lines, after all, you won’t have to worry about another state putting a stranglehold on your spirits. But there are still local laws to contend with, warns Seth Weinberg, food law and policy professor at Columbia Law School.
But luckily, because you will have to ship directly from the retailer or distributor, “local merchants are expected to know their own rules, and can serve as a great source of quick answers when you are considering buying a gift for someone,” Weinberg says. For example, some states may prohibit the shipment of more than one bottle at a time, or how many bottles of alcohol can be shipped to a person each year, says Mahesh Lekkala, owner of New York- and New Jersey-based Wine Legend. A good retailer will know these rules.
When you’re sending something closer to home, you have one more shipping option: use alcohol e-commerce sites, such as Drizly or Minibar, for example, to mail your friend a congratulatory bottle of wine or a thank-you six-pack of beer by taking advantage of their in-town delivery options, some free.
How To Ship Alcohol Fedex
Shipping alcohol via FedEx is another great option, especially if long-distance or international customers purchase from you. FedExâs air fleet is extensive and is part of how theyâre able to deliver over 3 billion packages every year.
There are two components to be aware of when learning how to ship alcohol FedEx: legal requirements and shipping recommendations. Continue reading for details on both.
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How To Legally Ship Alcohol Products Via Fedex
Items like clothing materials, toys, books, and electronic products can be easily shipped with FedEx, with almost no restriction. Although youre allowed to ship most items with FedEx, there are a few that require special permission. For instance, to ship alcohol items, you need to follow certain strict guidelines provided by FedEx. You have to fulfill their requirements and fill up necessary forms to ship spirits, wine bottles, or any other alcoholic items.
This guide will help you uncover the mysteries surrounding alcohol-shipping. You will find the necessary steps and information which would help you ship alcohol items to your customers legally. You will see how you could automatically create shipping labels for your alcohol shipments.
We will also introduce you to two e-commerce shipping solutions WooCommerce Shipping plugin for FedEx and Shopify Ship, Rate and Track for FedEx. They have built-in features that allow you to ship alcohol directly from your online store. So, read more and get to know about them.
S To Safely Pack Liquids For Shipping
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Origin And Destination State Laws
Even if you are shipping a bottle of wine within your own state, there are restrictions that you will have to follow.
You may need to pay attention to how many shipments you are sending to customers, as some states have laws in place that allow only a certain amount of bottles to be sent to a single customer in a year.
There are also some states where selling liquor is prohibited if you dont have a license without a license, you may only be allowed to sell or ship one bottle of wine.
Shipping between two different states is even harder than within a state, as you will have to consider the laws and regulations of both the origin and destination states.
For example, there are many states where you cant import liquor at all. States like Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah prohibit direct alcohol shipments. In states like Delaware, direct alcohol shipment can be done through a licensed wholesaler. Some of the states accept shipments only if they are done online by the customer.
Basically, to avoid breaking the law, it’s best to research each state you would like to ship to and be aware of their state laws around liquor to ensure you are legally shipping alcoholic beverages.
Need For A Liquor License
While technically, the answer to the question of “Can you ship alcohol?” is yes, you’ll need to have a few things before you can start. As we mentioned above, many states and countries require you to have a license to ship liquor. In order to run a proper alcohol business, especially online, you must start by having the proper licenses authorized by the state or country you want to ship to.
Applying and getting a license to import alcohol can be a lengthy and complicated process. You’d have to go through a set procedure fulfilling many government policies to get what you want.
Since you will have to go through a number of different government officials in the liquor control department, it’s possible to get contradicting recommendations. People who have applied for the license in the past have complained about the bureaucracy making it a harder and more tedious procedure for them.
Getting an international license is even more difficult as you will have to go through at least two procedures – getting a license at both the origin and destination country you want to ship to.
Difficulty can also vary depending on the country: some Islamic countries deny alcohol imports outright, while you may come across additional bureaucracies while importing and exporting from EU countries.
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