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Beer and wine distributors applaud House approval of bill cracking down on illegal wine shipments

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 4:52 PM | Anonymous

LANSING – The Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association today applauded the Michigan House for approving legislation to rein in illegal shipments of wine into the state. The bill, Senate Bill 1088, originally passed the Senate in October.

“We applaud the House for approving this legislation, which will provide the state with additional tools to crack down on illegal wine shipments into our state,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. “The measure also ensures Michiganders can still purchase the wines they love and have them shipped to their homes from wineries across the United States or a retailer right here in Michigan.”

Online wine retailers and so-called “wine clubs” have been illegally shipping wine into Michigan for years. A comprehensive study conducted by the Hill Group in 2015 found an estimated $64 million worth of wine is purchased from third parties and shipped illegally into the state annually, depriving the state of millions of dollars in much-needed tax revenue.

Senate Bill 1088 would require common carriers that deliver alcoholic beverages into Michigan, such as FedEx or UPS, to report what was shipped and where it was purchased. This reporting will allow for better tracking of illegal wine shipments into the state.

“This proposal puts a priority on confirming that wine shipments coming into Michigan are being shipped by a licensed winery, in accordance with the law,” said Nevins. “The legislation also brings the state into the 21st century by allowing third-party delivery apps to legally operate in the state. We urge the governor to sign this important legislation and stop the flow of illegally shipped wine into Michigan.”

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