For eligible wineries, SB 150 has created quite a bit of change to the existing direct shipping law. Since the dawn of Ohio’s direct shipping regulations, in order to be eligible for the “S Permit”, which allows wine manufacturers to ship wine directly to Ohio consumers, the wine manufacturer must produce less than a certain number of gallons per year. As was reported in June, SB 150 increased the maximum production requirement from 150,000 gallons to 250,000 gallons (the maximum production requirement described for S permit holders is also true for wine manufacturer’s that hold a “B-2a permit”, allowing for shipments of wine directly to retailers, a.k.a. self-distribution). SB 150 also lowered the excise tax rate for direct shippers and added a costly label registration requirement, which may further deter wine manufacturers from shipping into Ohio.
First the good news.
There are now only two types of excise taxes that must be paid by B2a and S permit holders, instead of three: taxes levied by a county for sports facilities (e.g. Cuyahoga County tax); and a $.02/gallon tax on wine and sparkling wine, levied by the state of Ohio to encourage Ohio grape industries. These taxes are not due until the end of the year; updated tax forms are not yet available.
Now, the not so good news.
Effective Monday, September 1st, label registration of all wine products sold in Ohio is required from all direct shippers. The registration fee is $50 per new label. Direct shippers should submit registrations for all products shipped into Ohio via the Application for Label Registration with a copy of the TTB COLA. If the direct shipper already sells products through an Ohio distributor, they only need to register additional products that have not already been registered. S permit holders should submit the applications for label registration form prior to the October 1, 2008 permit renewal deadline. B-2a permit holders should submit applications for label registration as soon as possible, as this requirement goes into effect September 1st, 2008.
As of September 1st, S permit holders must also register as “S-5” wine suppliers. This is a new requirement, however if the S permit holder also ships to Ohio distributors, this registration will have already taken place. For those that have not already registered as a wine supplier in Ohio, the initial processing fee for this registration is $100. In addition to the processing fee, the Supplier Registration costs $300, however the $300 fee is waived for wineries that only hold an S permit and do not have a distributor relationship in Ohio. The Supplier Registration form requires notarization.