Listing category: "Washington"

Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping: Napa County overcomes adversity, while Sonoma County and Oregon drive growth in the channel.

In January, we released the 2018 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report, which offers an exclusive deep dive into the direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine shipping channel with our partners Wines & Vines. The report is produced using Wines & Vines’ algorithm, which extrapolates data from the extensive ShipCompliant by Sovos transaction library. This article will focus on key […]

Overview of the 2015 Washington Wine Market

In a previous post, we discussed how Oregon’s wine direct-to-consumer market boomed in 2015. Of course, Oregon isn’t the only Northwest region to enjoy the benefits of the DtC market boom. Washington, home to more than 890 wineries according to Washington State Wine, enjoyed sustained growth last year. Compared to its neighbor to the south, […]

A Regional Look at the Direct-to-Consumer Industry

As revealed in our Direct-to-Consumer Report, 2014 saw some big growth in the direct shipping market. This growth can be traced to the success of certain varietals, the strengthening of medium-sized wineries, and the relative success of certain regions. In particular, Oregon, Washington, and the rest of the US (excluding California) excelled this past year.

Product Registrations Online: Out with the Old, In with the New

In the increasingly fast pace of wine, malt and spirit law and compliance, more and more states are recognizing the importance of doing more with less, optimizing processes, and going green. Over the last two years alone, seven states have begun using PRO (Product Registration Online) to accept online label registrations from licensees. For labels […]

Don’t Fall Behind With Your Fortified Wine

Maine, New Mexico, and Washington are the only states that have separate excise tax rates for wine and wine fortified with spirits (Edit: Some states consider a product to be fortified if it is over a certain ABV, regardless of the addition of spirits). To date, we’ve accommodated wineries that shipped fortified products to consumers […]

The Pac Northwest is Heating Up! Learn How to Harness the Growth

Next week, our team will be in Napa to celebrate our 8th annual DIRECT Conference. If you’ll be in the area on June 13th, we’d love for you to attend! But did you know that we’ll also be holding events in Oregon and Washington this month? It’s easy to see why hundreds of brands in […]

Your DIRECT source of Wine Shipping Information

The ShipCompliant Blog brings you a steady flow of legislative updates, regulatory changes and other important news impacting wine shippers. If you find this information valuable, you won’t want to miss DIRECT 2013, ShipCompliant’s 8th annual Direct Sales and Shipping Seminar taking place June 13, 2013, in Napa, California. This full-day seminar will feature multiple […]

Is the Marketplace Fairness Act Fair for Wineries?

In short, yes, for a couple of reasons: 1. Wineries already pay sales tax in most states 2. The vast majority of wineries will likely be exempt from the law So what is it, exactly? Senate Bill S. 743, more commonly known as the “Marketplace Fairness Act“, is a pretty simple bill that would give […]

Washington State Simplifies Tax Filing For Wineries

Washington now allows an optional annual filing of wine tax for wineries whose total sales into Washington are less than 6,000 gallons annually (roughly 2,500 cases). Wineries that exceed the 6,000 gallon limit, however, must continue to file monthly returns. This new allowance comes after the passage of SB 5259, a bill that passed in […]

Wine Sales and Distribution 2012 – A Look Forward

In looking forward to what 2012 might bring the world of wine compliance and regulation, it is instructive to first look back at 2011. One thing we’ve learned after eight years in the world of wine compliance is that once movements gain momentum, it’s hard to slow them down. The past year demonstrated the continuation […]

All Eyes on Washington (State) as Voters Consider Privatization

On November 2, 2010 citizens of The Evergreen State will see two separate measures on the ballot concerning the distribution of liquor. Both initiatives represent a big change to the current liquor distribution system. The Washington State Liquor Control Board currently regulates the sale of all liquor (wine, beer and spirits) and maintains total control […]

Notes on Wine Distribution v.32

The latest version of “Notes on Wine Distribution”, by R. Corbin Houchins, is now available. Release 32 includes updates on legislation, litigation and general discussions on available distribution channels for wine. This release includes substantial changes, including new sections on age and identity, facial neutrality, and logistical support services, as well as updates to state […]

Representing Change: One Piece of Washington's Overhaul

Last year, Washington State relaxed some of its restrictive alcoholic beverage laws as a result of a couple of comprehensive bills that passed the legislature (SB 5834 and HB 2040). The mandatory minimum markups between suppliers and wholesalers and between wholesalers and retailers are now history. Retailers can now pay suppliers using electronic funds transfers […]

Washington State Approval No Longer Required for Wine Labels

In an action supported by Washington Wine Institute, the Washington State Liquor Control Board adopted a new policy on wine label approval. Effective August 19, 2009, the WSLCB will accept the federal Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) as label approval for beer and wine to be sold in the state of Washington. Producers will no […]

Two Steps Forward, A Couple Back (or Maybe Sideways)

“Tied House” laws contain two categories of restrictions on licensed beverage businesses not found in other industries. One is general prohibition of beverage suppliers’ furnishing things of value to retailers, with certain exceptions (notably goods the retailer has paid for). The other is general prohibition of ownership or investment by a supplier company or its […]

The WSLCB Announces Online Tax Reporting and Payment System

Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) just made filing monthly summary tax reports and paying taxes a little easier by providing an online tax filing option for wineries shipping to consumers and retailers in Washington. The WSLCB encourages wineries to use their Online Tax Reporting and Payment System which saves time and simplifies the tax […]

Half-Year Hullabaloo: New Laws Take Effect in Three States Today

Just a quick reminder of the legislative changes that take effect today, July 1st, 2008. Georgia’s new permit system takes effect. All wineries can now apply for a permit, regardless of distributor representation. Click here to see how to apply for a direct shipping permit. Ohio is increasing their capacity cap, making it possible for […]

Washington: Making Change, Streamlined Style

On July 1st, 2008, when Substitute Senate Bill 5089 takes effect, Washington will join twenty-one other states that have conformed to the “Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement”. The bill will change the way retail sales tax is collected for some Washington businesses. Beginning July 1st, 2008, any business with nexus in Washington must pay […]

Costco Asks Court of Appeals to Think Again

On February 19, 2008, Costco Wholesale filed a petition for rehearing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the original panel to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision of January 29th, which upheld the ruling of a federal district court in Seattle that Washington’s price posting requirement is invalid under federal antitrust law, but reinstated […]

Dulling the Cutting Edge

Yesterday’s decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected almost everything about the trial court’s decision in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Hoen that was innovative under federal antitrust law, turning the case into an expression of conservative deference to state law. Appellate judges did not even throw Costco the scrap of a favorable word […]

A setback for Costco

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday in the case of Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Hoen. The panel largely reversed the April, 2006 decision that declared much of Washington’s three-tier system to be unconstitutional. Although the court did agree with Costco that the “post and hold” […]

Tea Leaves & One Fact

Some historians say the origin of foretelling the future from tea leaves is an ancient Greek practice of reading wine sediment patterns in the drinking vessels. Wine-related or not, the lawyer’s pastime of seeking clues to future judicial decisions from what judges say during oral argument is about equally reliable. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to resist […]

Washington Excise Tax Confusion

We’ve had number of questions recently from wineries that are confused about the excise tax requirements in Washington. Apparently, the Washington LCB is now just outright rejecting winery submissions if they do not use the correct form. To provide a little background on this issue, Washington adopted a limited direct model on July 1st, 2006. […]

Costco appeal on fast track

The case is moving along very rapidly, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals having taken the initiative in a November 30, 2006 order by designating the appeal as expedited and setting a very prompt date for argument (March 2007). The defendants’ motion before the Court of Appeals for an indefinite stay was denied, but can […]

Compliance Q/A in Kennewick, WA – 11/28

Welcome to the (brief) second installment of shipping compliance events summary! These events are great opportunities to hear from experts on legislative changes to the rules, best practices for staying compliant and growing your market, special offers on shipping and other related services, and introductions to technology solutions. November 28th – Washington Wine Industry Summit […]

Terroir in Court

For the first time in post-Granholm legal maneuvering, a court has recognized the geographic distinctiveness of wine as a factor in applying the “level playing field” requirement. Kentucky is one of about eight states that responded to Granholm by authorizing only on-site sales. The argument by the wholesalers and their allies in favor of that […]

Washington direct shipping requirements

Permit Required: If a WA state winery has a Domestic Winery permit, nothing additional is required. If an out-of-state winery holds a Wine Certificate of Approval, only a no-fee endorsement is required. If an out-of-state winery does not hold a COA, a Wine Shipper Permit (for shipping to consumers only). Fee: $100 license fee + […]

New laws take effect in four states on July 1st

Hello again, back in the swing of things after a nice two week break. We’ve seen some big developments in the world of wine direct shipping over the last two weeks that we’ll look at in more detail over the next few weeks. July 1st is a huge day for direct shippers as new laws […]

Washington Liquor Control Board to appeal Costco ruling

The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced yesterday it will appeal the ruling issued by Judge Marsha Pechman. The state will likely file its appeal in the next few weeks and will claim that the 21st Amendment should trump the Sherman Antitrust Act. In other words, the state should have the right to create monopolies, […]

Costco ruling – Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

We added the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law from the Costco v. Hoen case to our Document Library. Here are a few key passages from the document (emphasis added) The Sherman Act reflects a strong federal policy in favor of competition. At the same time, the Twenty-first Amendment provides each state with broad […]

Landmark ruling in Costco vs. Hoen

On Friday, Judge Marsha Pechman released Findings of Fact and Conclusion in the case of Costco v. Hoen. In a landmark ruling for the future of the three tier system, the Court found that the Washington state-mandated wholesaler monopoly was not shielded by the 21st Amendment and was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. […]

The role of retailers

Pending court cases in Washington and Texas will set precedent throughout the country for determining the role of retailers in the world of wine shipping. Before digging in, let’s start with a terminology summary: Direct Shipment: The direct shipment of wine from wineries (suppliers) to end consumers. Wineries may ship via common carrier (UPS and […]

Court cases left and right

We’ve seen a lot of activity over the past two weeks in the court room that will have some big impacts on the direct shipping landscape. We’re going to take a look at recent activity in Washington, Texas, Minnesota, and Maryland in the next few days.

Washington opens for non-reciprocal states

Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill that will allow all out of state wineries to ship to directly to Washington consumers. Previously, Washington had reciprocity arrangements with 13 states. The new regulations will make it more difficult for those 13 states because they will be required to obtain a direct shipping permit and […]

Costco case will challenge the three-tier system

From the Washington Times: The potentially most important challenge to the three-tier system comes from neither consumers nor wineries. It instead is being issued by a corporate entity with the political muscle to match the wholesale lobby — the biggest wine retailer of all, Costco Wholesale Corp. This article is worth reading.

Costco case could set precedent for Arizona

Interesting editorial explaining why Arizona is watching the Costco case in Washington closely.

Costco wins key ruling in Washington

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “A federal judge said in two separate rulings Wednesday that Washington’s system for distributing beer and wine violates the Constitution and the Sherman Act.” We will keep a close eye on this case as it will likely have a big impact on wine shipping in Washington and other states as well. […]

State liquor board suggesting wine shipment bill

The state of Washington considers moving to a Limited Direct model.