The Missouri ATC updated its website yesterday with its interpretation of SB 299. As noted in our previous post, SB 299 changes Missouri’s shipping status from a reciprocal shipping state to a limited/direct shipping state for wineries. After August 28th, there will remain only five winery reciprocal states (OR, NM, IA, IL, and WI). Oregon will also move into the limited direct category effective January 1st, 2008 if the new legislation is signed by the Governor.
According to the Missouri ATC, all wineries, regardless of their location, will be allowed to ship directly to Missouri consumers until August 28th, 2007 when the law takes effect. However, “beginning August 28th, 2007, wine manufacturers will be required to have a license to ship wine directly to consumers, only ship wine using licensed alcohol carriers and pay excise taxes on wine shipments to consumers.”
An interesting aspect of the new Missouri law is its interpretation of reciprocity for out-of-state retailers. In effects, the new law continues to allow:
Missouri retailers to ship wine directly to consumers. Section 311.462, RSMo, provides that a holder of a retailer alcoholic beverage license in this state may ship wine, for personal use and not for resale, to any adult resident in this state. However, the following restrictions are in place: 1. May ship no more than two cases of wine annually to adult consumers. 2. The shipping container shall be clearly labeled to indicate that the package cannot be delivered to a person under the age of twenty-one years or to an intoxicated person. 3. Prohibits soliciting and advertising of wine shipments
But, the ATC interpretation states:
It remains illegal for out-of-state retailers to ship directly to consumers from any state other then reciprocal states per Section 311.462, RSMo. However, as of August 28, 2007, no other state affords Missouri retailers shipping privileges without permits or excise taxes due. Therefore, shipping by out-of-state retailers into the state of Missouri is not allowed.
Finally, the electronic application as it stands is all but unworkable. There are multiple steps in the process each more confusing than the last and prone to errors. We will have more information on simplifying this process in the next day or two.
Update: The ATC just removed the link to the Word document with direct shipping information. They also removed the electronic application for wine shippers. Stay tuned…