WSWA opposes DTC alcohol shipping actBy Nicola Carruthers
The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) said it was ‘disappointed’ with the Uniform Law Commission’s decision to adopt a direct-to-consumer (DTC) alcohol shipping proposal.
At its recent annual meeting in Pennsylvania, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved five new acts.
After receiving the ULC’s approval, a uniform act is officially declared for consideration by the states, and legislatures are encouraged to adopt it.
Among the ULC’s five actions was the Uniform Alcohol Direct-Shipping Compliance Act, which aims to strengthen a state’s ability to prevent illegal DTC alcohol shipping to residents.
The act will integrate with current DTC laws in each state and create new tools for state regulators to ensure existing state laws for DTC shipping are followed.
In response to the move, the WSWA said it opposed the ULC’s DTC shipping of alcohol act.
The statement said: “But we appreciate the efforts the ULC has taken to provide state lawmakers with model legislation to promote a compliant and fair marketplace for those states that choose to allow certain types of shipping.
“Many public health and safety problems exist in an interstate DTC marketplace as those shipments are essentially hidden from regulatory management. While not the most effective solution, tools such as common carrier reporting and fulfilment provider reporting help provide some transparency for regulators seeking to enforce their laws and keep citizens safe.”
The WSWA added that the ‘best solution is local, licensed delivery that provides unparalleled consumer convenience and state oversight’.
Currently, 47 states allow some form of wine direct shipping, while only 11 allow it for spirits.
The WSWA has been vocal about its opposition of DTC spirits shipping.
Earlier this year, California passed a bill to permanently allow distillers to ship their spirits directly to consumers, a benefit that the state’s wineries have had for the last 30 years.
The WSWA believes the state’s current system of age verification is not replicated in the DTC marketplace and could lead to underage access of alcohol. It also argued that the move threatens thousands of jobs.