Importing wine to U.S.A.

Due to the high volume of requests we are currently not able to offer free quotes for transportation or import of wines to the U.S.A. We currently do not offer any import or transportation services to public. 

Importing wines to U.S.A.

  • 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. Following information is needed for COLA:
    • 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.

 

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.

Three tier system

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.

Useful links:
State Shipping Laws