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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 6, 2012 09:24 AM
From: Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III
To: All Senate members
Subject: Direct Wine Shipping
 
In the near future I plan on introducing legislation which would allow Pennsylvania wine consumers the convenience of making purchases by internet, mail or telephone and having the product shipped directly to their homes. Similar legislation was sponsored by Senator Earll last session and passed the Senate unanimously but was not acted upon by the House of Representatives.

The Liquor Code currently allows for wine to be shipped directly to consumers' homes only from Pennsylvania wineries. A consumer who orders wine from an out-of-state entity must have the product shipped to their nearest Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) store for pickup. In addition, current law only allows individuals to purchase wine for shipment which is not available at PLCB stores in the Commonwealth, regardless of whether the brand is available at stores in near proximity to the consumer.

In the 2005 “Granholm” Case the United State Supreme Court ruled that allowing only in-state wineries to ship directly to consumers was a violation of the Federal Commerce Clause. This legislation will bring Pennsylvania law into compliance with this ruling and provide added convenience and selection for consumers.

My legislation would limit shipments to no more than eighteen liters per month in orders from an individual in the Commonwealth. The legislation will also require proof of age of the recipient and ensure that all direct wine shipment packaging be labeled with the message “CONTAINS ALCOHOL: SIGNATURE OF PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY”.

Any entity seeking to ship wine directly to consumers within the Commonwealth will be required to purchase an annual direct wine shipper license from the PLCB and submit all applicable taxes from purchases by Pennsylvania residents to the Department of Revenue.

This legislation represents a significant step in modernizing Pennsylvania liquor laws in a consumer friendly manner and will generate additional revenue for the Commonwealth.



Introduced as SB101