New DtC Registration Requirement and Restrictions for Off-Site Sales in LA

The ATC has reversed its eight-year-old position that wineries holding contracts with Louisiana wholesalers were allowed to ship direct-to-consumers any label not already sold to a wholesaler. That will no longer be the case. A winery that sells to a Louisiana wholesaler is no longer permitted to make off-site direct sales of any of its products. Wineries that have a direct or indirect agreement with any Louisiana wholesaler may continue to ship to consumers in Louisiana that purchase the wine on the premises of the winery.

In addition, in 2015 the legislature amended LA R.S. 26:359 (S 235) to require that prior to selling or shipping any sparkling wine or still wine directly to any consumer in Louisiana, a wine producer, manufacturer, or retailer domiciled outside of Louisiana register as a direct shipper with the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). Previously, wineries that wished to ship wine directly to Louisiana consumers were only required to register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). There is no fee to register with the ATC. Products shipped to LA consumers must have federal label approvals, but do not require additional label approval from the ATC. The provisions of S 235 became effective on January 1, 2016. Wineries that registered for Authority to Make Direct Shipments of Wines to Louisiana Consumers from the Louisiana Department of Revenue prior to January 1, 2016 have until March 24, 2016 to submit the ATC Direct Shipper Registration Form.

Wineries that have not yet paid the required annual fee of $150 and received written authorization to make direct shipments to LA consumers from the LDR must do so before submitting their registration form to the ATC. The LDR wine shipper permits are valid from July 1st through June 30th of the following year. The ATC registration form, however, must be completed and renewed on an annual basis by December 31st or within 30 days of any change in the information provided on the registration form since the last submission. Registration as a direct shipper with the LDR and ATC is required for making on-site and off-site direct sales to Louisiana consumers. Direct shippers are required to pay sales and excise taxes on on-site and off-site sales and file quarterly reports with the LDR.

Louisiana On-Site (consumer purchases on the wine on the premises of the winery) Direct-To-Consumer Rules for Wineries:

  • A direct wine shipper permit must be obtained from the LDR prior to shipping any on-site sales to LA consumers (license period is July 1 through June 30 of the following year), $150 annual license fee
  • Wineries must register with the ATC as a direct wine shipper (license period is Jan. 1 through Dec. 31), no additional license fee
  • Louisiana excise tax and Louisiana state sales tax are imposed on all on-site direct-to-consumer sales
  • Direct wine shippers must report on-site DtC sales to the LDR each quarter
  • On-site sales apply to the 12 case per adult person per household per calendar year limit
  • Federal COLAs for products shipped directly to Louisiana consumers do not have to be registered online with the ATC
  • Wineries that have a signed agreement with an LA wholesaler qualify to hold an LDR direct wine shipper permit and may ship on-site sales
  • Any still or sparkling wine produced under the licensee’s federal basic wine manufacturer permit, including products contracted to a Louisiana distributor, can be shipped to a consumer in Louisiana who purchases the wine on the premises of the winery

Louisiana Off-Site (wine clubs, phone, fax, internet sales) Direct-To-Consumer Rules for Wineries:

  • A direct wine shipper permit must be obtained from the LDR prior to shipping any off-site sales to LA consumers (license period is July 1 through June 30 of the following year), $150 annual license fee
  • Wineries must register with the ATC as a direct wine shipper (license period is Jan. 1 through Dec. 31), no additional license fee
  • Louisiana excise tax and Louisiana state sales tax are imposed on all off-site direct-to-consumer sales
  • Direct wine shippers must report off-site DtC sales to the LDR each quarter
  • Off-site sales apply to the 12 case per adult person per household per calendar year limit
  • Federal COLAs for products shipped directly to Louisiana consumers do not have to be registered online with the ATC
  • Wineries that have an agreement with a Louisiana wholesaler are prohibited from shipping off-site sales to Louisiana consumers. This includes any labels not sold by contract to a Louisiana wholesaler

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