Wine & Spirit Suppliers to Arkansas Must Register Products by End of Year

With passage of HB 1480 (now titled “Act 1105“), the state of Arkansas is requiring that all wine and spirits suppliers actively distributing wine and spirits into the state must register each distributed product with the state. Wine & spirits products (beer is not required) currently in distribution must be registered by December 31 and all registration takes place on-line.

The state fee for on-line product registration is $20/label. Suppliers can no longer send the “Manufacturer’s Request for Brand Registration or Change of Wholesaler” form in a paper format. This is now done on-line.

How to Register Your Currently Distributed Products:

  1. Visit Arkansas’ Electronic Registrations Website
  2. Have a list of your actively distributed COLA numbers, names of your Arkansas distributors, and any brand owner authorization letters if the registrant is not the owner of the brand being registered with the state
  3. Payment is via credit card

Through December 31, 2013, suppliers may download an excel spreadsheet of their COLAs by Federal Basic Permit Number. Labels will initially be approved directly upon completion of workflow process. The state will review incoming registration to ensure non-violation of sole source requirements and other rules and regulations.

IMPORTANT:
-All currently active products must be registered by December 31
-Product registrations are valid through June 30, 2014
-Label Registration status can be verified by COLA Number
-Newly distributed products may be registered beginning January 1, 2014

Feel free to ask any questions you may have about Arkansas product registration on this blog post and we will answer them as quickly as possible.

4 Comments

  1. Heather

    How do we renew our product registration?

    Reply
  2. Linda Weir

    How do you change wholesalers?

    Reply
    • Alex Koral - Industry Relations Advisor

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for the question. The answer is the same as to how do porcupines make love: very carefully. Changing wholesalers, even adjusting your existing distribution agreements, can be a rather difficult process, fraught with legal complications. Beyond the basic contractual considerations (i.e. what does your current agreement with your wholesaler say about termination?), several states impose statutory limits on how and when you change terminate or adjust a distributor relationship (these are called “franchise” laws — though more common for beer distributions, several states do have these rules for wine sales as well). Depending on which state you want to changes distributors in, you may be required to give your distributor notice, allow them to correct deficiencies, and reimburse them for lost revenues — all which can be costly and time consuming. This is all action that should be done through close consultation with legal counsel, someone with experience in the wine industry setting up supplier-distributor relationships, someone who knows the specific rules of the state in which this is happening, and someone who will put in the time to understand your specific situation and the care to work towards your desired outcome. This is a process that is inherently unique to your situation and no Internet guide could explain all the nuance that may arise. We hope this helps, and wish you good luck in your future ventures.

      Reply

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