Shining spotlight on violations, increased enforcement contributing to downward trend in illegal shipments
Lansing, MI – Nearly 72,000 bottles of alcohol were shipped illegally into Michigan from out-of-state retailers during the 1st quarter of 2021, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA).
During the 1st quarter of 2021, which covers January through March, there were 580,025 bottles of alcohol shipped into Michigan. Of that amount, 508,496 were from licensed shippers, leaving 71,529 shipped illegally into the state. The news demonstrates a significant decrease compared to nearly 160,000 bottles of wine illegally shipped into Michigan during the 1st quarter of 2020. The data were compiled using reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan.
“Shining a spotlight on these illegal practices and ramped-up enforcement at the state level has resulted in a downward trend of illegal shipments into Michigan,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “While we have a long way to go, the good news is we’re making progress for Michigan consumers, businesses and taxpayers. I’d like to personally thank the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and Attorney General Dana Nessel for their ongoing commitment to ending the illegal shipment of alcohol into Michigan and protecting precious tax revenue for our state.”
The latest illegal shipment figures are in stark contrast to 2019, when a total 734,365 bottles of alcohol were shipped illegally into Michigan. Illegal shipments of wine into Michigan have endangered mom-and-pop retailers and created a massive loss of tax revenue for schools, communities, emergency services and more.
“We cannot let our guard down,” Nevins said. “Even one illegal shipment of wine into Michigan is too many, and there are still plenty of bad actors who continue to thumb their nose at Michigan law to the detriment of our families and businesses. We encourage the MLCC and Attorney General Nessel to continue targeting illegal wine shippers who threaten Michigan’s economic recovery.”
Data collection for 2020 and 2021 has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.