Importing wine to U.S.A.
Are you a wine producer looking for U.S. partner with license to import and distribute wine?
Our company is primarily involved in logistics (named America’s fastest growing logistics company in 2011). We are also licensed as wine importer and wholesaler.
Our goal is to help foreign wineries to reach U.S. market. Our California warehouse is fully licensed to import, wholesale and direct sale (over internet & phone directly to public in California). We currently do not ship to other states in U.S.
We offer everything necessary to import your wines to U.S.A.
- Importer. We will prepare all paperwork necessary to import wine to U.S.A. The administrative cost is $500 per wine label. We will credit the cost back to you from the first sales.
- FDA registration. Each winery needs to be registered with FDA before the first import. We will also help with prior notice which needs to be provided before each wine shipment to U.S.A. (even small sample shipment). We will do or assist with the FDA registration.
- Primary American Source (Appointment Letter). Most of the states require an Appointment Letter to be provided before you start selling wine in the state. We will prepare it.
- COLA - Certificate of label approval. Each wine needs COLA approval. We will help with all paperwork to get you label approval or exemption. We will need from you:
- Provide good quality scan of wine label (back and front) for each wine you want to import.
- Brand name
- Class or Type Designation (red table wine, Zinfandel, etc.)
- Appellation (if applicable)
- Alcohol content
- Bottler’s Name and Address
- Net Contents (750 ml)
- Sulfite Declration (Contains Sulfites)
- Importer Details (we will provide those)
- Health Warning Statement (see below)
Example of government warning which needs to be on every bottle (we will give you details once your label is approved). You can keep your current wine label and add something like this on the back of the bottle:
GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) ACCORDING TO THE SURGEON GENERAL, WOMEN SHOULD NOT DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DURING PREGNANCY BECAUSE OF THE RISK OF BIRTH DEFECTS. (2) CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE A CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY, AND MAY CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS.
Importing samples of wines without COLA approval
Samples of alcoholic beverages imported strictly for use at trade shows and/or for soliciting orders may, under certain conditions, be imported without a certificate of label approval (COLA). We will prepare letter for TTB and explain you the requirements for wine bottles (for example each bottle must have government health warning and text: “For Trade Show (or Sample) Purposes Only – Not for Sale. Let us know before sending any samples and we will take care of the paperwork and send you exact instructions.
We will take care of customs duties and clearance. After the customs duty is cleared we will pick up wine from port. The cost of customs clearance and handling is added to the sales price.
How to ship wine to U.S.A.
The least expensive way to ship wine is by ocean cargo container. 20 feet container maximum weight limit is 39,500 lbs (17,916 kg). That is about 700-1,000 cases. Each case is 12 x 750 ml bottles. You can fit 56 cases per pallet (4 layers of 14 cases each). You are responsible for transportation cost to port Los Angeles or Long Beach.
Our warehouse in Torrance is located two miles from the ocean with average temperature around 60-65 F/20 C and humidity about 60%. We pay all expenses for storing the wine.
The three tier alcohol licensing system in the U.S.A. (importer/producer, wholesaler, retailer) substantially increases the wine price before it gets to customer. Importers expect 35-40% markup, wholesalers another 35-40% markup and retailers another 40-50% markup. The bottle of wine producer is offering for $5 will cost about $12-$16 when sold to customer.
We understand how competitive wine market is in the U.S.A. Our goal is to find different way and help even smaller producers to reach this huge market, while keeping their prices very competitive. That’s why we keep our commission at only 10%.
Maximum 30 days from each sale. All sales from each month are reported to winery each month and payment promptly provided after closing accounting for the month.
How to promote new wine on the U.S. market
Unless your brand is well known in the U.S.A. we need to introduce it to distributors, wholesalers and also customers. Samples are also needed for getting wine ratings in the U.S. (for example we can submit your wine to Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits). We can send samples to different distributors or wine magazines on your behalf. Getting high ranking for your wine is great marketing and will help sales. We also need to allocate reasonable percentage of the shipment for samples. No wine will sell unless people can taste it! If you have list of customers who visited your winery and love your wine it could help. We can ship your wine to them.
We prefer long term and exclusive relationship, but is not a condition for the first shipment.
State Shipping Laws