On March 21, 2013, House Bill 1749 became Act 483, signifying its passage into law. Once enacted mid-August, the state of Arkansas will be added to the list of states that allow wineries to ship wine directly to consumers — but with many limitations.
Aside from the low cost of the license, the requirements under this new shipping law limit the abilities of licensed out-of-state wineries, arguably more than any other state that currently allows direct-to-consumer wine shipping. These limitations include requiring all shipments to be purchased in person at the winery, and affixing a special, ABC-provided, shipping label to each shipment.
For those wineries interested in navigating these one-of-a-kind requirements, Arkansas consumers will no doubt enjoy the ability to ship home a case of wine after visiting their favorite wineries. No license applications or information are available as of yet. Below is a breakdown of the licensing process, as well as the requirements and restrictions to operate, as stated in the new law:
Restrictions/Requirements (not limited to the following):
- Consumers must be physically present at the winery when purchasing the wine to be shipped to Arkansas consumers (onsite orders only)
- Every shipment must be affixed with a shipping label provided by the ABC, costing up to an additional $10 per label
- Collect and remit sales and excise tax, “as if the sale took place on the premises of a Arkansas Small Farm Winery”
- Ship only to a private residence – added difficulty, as shipments require an adult signature
- Customer volume limit of one case per customer, per quarter
- Registration with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC), including a $25 annual fee.
- Provide the ABC with a copy of the winery’s home-state license as well as the winery’s TTB Federal Basic Permit