Importing - Printable Version

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- nicolp - 07-11-2006 08:17 PM

I want to become a wine importer here in the US. I would like somebody to tell the steps I should follow or where can I have that information. Slould I go trough FDA maybe??

Thank you
Please adivse
Nicolas La Porta

- hotwine - 07-12-2006 06:32 AM

Welcome to the board. Afraid you're in for a bureaucratic nightmare. Importation from overseas is governed by federal authorities (Customs and ATF, or whatever their current names are), and by state officials (your state's alcoholic beverage control commission). The aim of all of those bureaucrats is to extract taxes from your endeavor. Suggest you begin by identifying and contacting your state's alcohol control people, and proceed from there. And steel yourself for a long and arduous process.

I tried setting up an import company in the mid-'80s. I had met a fellow on a business trip to Germany who had retired there from the US Army after marrying a German girl, and had established a good business of buying wines directly from producers in Germany and France and selling them to US military clubs in Germany. He offered to be my buyer and exporter, shipping wines by the pallett to a port of my choosing.

I contacted Customs, and they referred me to the ATF. They in turn referred me to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which sent me a THREE POUND packet of rules, regulations and forms. The forms indicated that no fewer than 10 licenses or fees would be required, all of them annually renewable. They included separate licenses for importation, bonded warehouses, ABCC-licensed trucks and drivers (which couldn't be used for any other purpose). And the state regulations stated that a single person could not be licensed to import, distribute (wholesale) and retail to the public.... nor could members of the same family do even two of those functions.

I gave up. Wish you more luck in your effort.

[This message has been edited by hotwine (edited 07-12-2006).]