National Association of Wine Retailers Expect Black Market And Lost Tax Revenue if Wine Shipping Law is Not fixed
(Harrisburg, PA) Unknown to many is that while the recent Pennsylvania alcohol reform legislation allowed direct consumer wine shipments from out of state wineries, it also banned consumers from having wine shipped to them from out-of-state wine stores, Internet wine retailers, wine auction houses and wine-of-the-month clubs.
The National Association of Wine Retailers is calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to revisit its recent direct wine shipping legislation and provide for legal shipments of wine from out-of-state wine retailers. Without such a fix, Pennsylvania consumers will be banned from having all imported wines (only sold by wine retailers, not wineries) shipped directly to them.
Additionally, the ban on shipments of wine from out-of-state wine retailers will certainly lead to a black market and the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.
Whether an oversight when the legislation was drafted or just old fashioned protectionism and discrimination, the ban on wine shipments from out-of-state retailers to Pennsylvania consumers written into the recent alcohol reform law makes no sense, said Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers. By banning shipments of wines from out-of-state retailers you create a black market that will cost the state millions in tax revenue that would otherwise be collected if out-of-state retailer were included in the new wine shipping legislation.
The National Association of Wine Retailers proposes allowing out-of-state wine retailers to ship to Pennsylvania consumers on the same basis as out-of-state wineries are allowed. This would include the requirement that the same taxes be collected and remitted to the state and that limits be placed on how much wine could be shipped to individual consumers over the course of a year.
Beyond the tax implications of ban, the flawed law means Pennsylvania consumers may not order any French, Italian, Spanish, German, Australian or any other imported wine over the internet since only retailers sell imported wines, said Wark.
Although the new wine shipping law allows foreign wineries to ship wine direct to Pennsylvania consumers, it is against federal law for out-of-country wineries to import wine direct to consumers.