Winery Shipping Laws

Texas Wineries

New Wine Shipping Law - September 1, 2009

Prior to September 1, 2009, Texas wineries and out-of-state wineries could ship up to three gallons of wine every 30 days to a consumer in Texas. House Bill 1084 of the 81st Legislative Session changed the limit to nine gallons within a calendar month OR 36 gallons within a 12-month period

From the Alcoholic Beverage Code:
Sec. 16.09. Direct Shipment To Consumers.

  (a)   The holder of a winery permit may ship wine to the ultimate consumer, including ultimate consumers located in dry areas. Delivery must be by the holder of a carrier permit.
  (b)   All wine shipped to an ultimate consumer by the holder of a winery permit must be in a package that is clearly and conspicuously labeled showing that:
      (1) the package contains wine; and
      (2) the package may be delivered only to a person described in Subsection (c).
  (c)   Wine shipped by the holder of a winery permit may not be delivered to any person other than:
      (1) the person who purchased the wine;
      (2) a recipient designated in advance by such purchaser; or
      (3) a person at the delivery address who is age 21 or over.
  (d)   Wine may be delivered only to a person who is 21 or over after the person accepting the package:
      (1) presents valid proof of identity and age; and
      (2) personally signs a receipt acknowledging delivery of the package.
  (e)   The holder of a winery permit may not:
      (1) sell or ship wine to a minor;
      (2) deliver wine to a consumer using a carrier that does not hold a carrier's permit under this code; or
      (3) deliver to the same consumer in this state more than nine gallons of wine within any calendar month or more than 36 gallons of wine within any 12-month period.


Out-of-State Wineries

New Wine Shipping Law - September 1, 2009

Prior to September 1, 2009, Texas wineries and out-of-state wineries could ship up to three gallons of wine every 30 days to a consumer in Texas. House Bill 1084 of the 81st Legislative Session changed the limit to nine gallons within a calendar month OR 36 gallons within a 12-month period.

Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Wine Shipping - May 16, 2005

The Supreme Court ruling issued May 16, 2005, holds that the 21st amendment does not relieve states from the obligation imposed by Interstate Commerce Clause to treat in-state and out-of-state wineries equally. This has been an issue in Texas in the past, but with the passage of Senate Bill 877 on May 9, 2005, it no longer is. In-state and out-of-state wineries wishing to ship directly to consumers in Texas are treated equally under this new law in every respect.

New Wine Shipping Law - May 9, 2005

On May 9, 2005, Governor Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 877 revising the Alcoholic Beverage Code with regard to direct shipping of wine to Texas consumers for personal consumption. You may review a copy of Senate Bill 877.

You may download the application here (Microsoft Word format or Adobe Acrobat format). Instructions for reporting and paying excise taxes will be forwarded to the winery after the permit is issued.

The out-of-state winery must obtain a sales tax permit from the Texas Comptroller's Office prior to applying for a TABC direct shipper's permit. The applicant will be required to include their sales tax permit number on the TABC application. There is no charge for a sales tax permit. The direct shipper's permit holder will collect sales tax from the consumer and remit to the State Comptroller. Review a copy (Adobe Acrobat format) of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Tax Bulletin on Out-of-State Wineries and Texas Taxes. *

Senate Bill 877 did two things:

  1. It expanded the rights of Texas wineries to allow them to ship directly to consumers in wet or dry areas without shipping through a package store.
  2. It created a permit allowing out-of-state wineries to ship the product they produce or bottle directly to Texas consumers in wet or dry areas.

Since May 2005, all in-state and out-of-state wineries have been able to sell and ship their product directly to adult Texas consumers located anywhere in the state.

There are, however, several important restrictions to remember.

  • The law applies only to wineries and has no effect on out-of-state wholesalers or retailers.
  • The law applies only to importation of wine and has no effect on importation of distilled spirits and malt beverages.
  • The law applies only to wine that is produced or bottled by the holder of the out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit.
  • The wine must be transported by a TABC permitted carrier. Such permits are routinely issued to commercial carriers.
  • The in-state or out-of-state winery may not deliver to the same consumer in this state more than nine gallons of wine within any calendar month or more than 36 gallons of wine within any 12-month period.
  • Wine imported in this way may not be resold.
  • Out-of-state wineries must obtain a direct shipper's permit, pay sales and excise taxes, payable at the same rate and in the same manner as if the permittee were a permitted winery located in Texas.
  • The wine may not be sold or delivered to a person under twenty-one years of age.
  • The wine must be in a package that is clearly and conspicuously labeled showing that the package contains wine, and that the package may be delivered only to a person who is age 21 or over.
Out-of-State Winery Direct Shipper's Permit

Out-of-state wineries are required to obtain from the TABC an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit prior to shipping. The annual state fee for an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit is $75, plus an additional surcharge of $160. A statutory change required TABC to begin issuing two-year permits in 2009, so the total cost of a direct shipper's permit is $470 every two years.

An out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit may only be issued to a person who:

  1. does not hold a winery permit in the State of Texas;
  2. operates a winery located in the United States and holds all state and federal permits necessary to operate the winery, including the federal winemaker's and blender's basic permit;
  3. holds a Texas sales tax permit;
  4. expressly submits to personal jurisdiction in Texas state and federal courts and expressly submits to venue in Travis County, Texas, as proper venue for any proceedings that may be initiated by or against the commission; and
  5. does not directly or indirectly have any financial interest in a Texas wholesaler or retailer as those terms are used in Section 102.01 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Delivery of the Wine

Wine shipped by the holder of a winery permit or out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit may not be delivered to any person other than:

  1. the person who purchased the wine;
  2. a recipient designated in advance by such purchaser; or
  3. a person at the delivery address who is age 21 or over.

Wine may be delivered only to a person who is age 21 or over after the person accepting the package:

  1. presents valid proof of identity and age; and
  2. personally signs a receipt acknowledging delivery of the package.
Record keeping and Reporting

The holder of an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit shall maintain complete sales and delivery records for at least five years from the date of sale. These records shall be made available upon request for inspection by the commission or any other appropriate state agency.

The commission will establish rules requiring the holder of an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit to periodically file reports providing the commission with information that is needed to more efficiently and effectively enforce the state laws applicable to the permit holder.

Sales Taxes
The direct shipper's permit holder is required to hold a Texas sales tax permit and collect sales tax from the consumer. To obtain a sales and use tax permit, visit the State Comptroller's web site.

If the business is a sole owner then form AP157 should be completed. If the business is any other category other than sole owner then form AP201 should be completed. Instructions for completing the applications are displayed with the forms.

After receipt and verification of the account, a sales and use permit will be mailed to the taxpayer. They will be informed of the requirements for reporting sales and remitting the tax.

If you need additional assistance, contact the Comptroller's Office Tax Assistance at 1-800-252-5555.

Excise Taxes
Fiscal year quarterly excise tax reports and payment of taxes will be due on or before the 15th day of the month following the end of the quarterly reporting period for which the report is made and shall show:

  1. the fiscal quarter and year for which the report is made, the permit number and the name and address of the winery;
  2. invoice date, invoice number, customer name, city, total wine gallons per invoice, carrier making delivery, and freight bill number for each sale and delivery.

Holders of out-of-state winery direct shipper's permits must pay the excise tax on the total gallons of wine shipped into the state, not later than the 15th day of the month following the quarterly reporting period the wine was shipped into the state. Remittance of the tax due on wine, less 2.0% of the amount due when submitted within the required time, shall accompany the quarterly report and shall be made by check, United States money order, or other acceptable methods of payment payable to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

As long as an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit remains active, the report must be filed even though no sales or shipments have been made.

Quarterly Reporting Periods: September 1, through November 30; December 1, through February 28 or 29; March 1, through May 31; and June 1, through August 31.

Instructions for reporting and paying excise taxes will be forwarded to the winery after the permit is issued.

Import Taxes
The ultimate consumer who purchases wine from the holder of an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit under this chapter shall be considered to be purchasing the wine from a Texas permittee and shall not be charged the administrative fee for personal imports set forth in Section 107.07 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Label Approval

If the holder of an out-of-state winery direct shipper's permit has satisfied all federal label approval requirements for a particular brand of wine, then no further label approval is required.