How to Improve Your Delivery Rate

In past articles, we discussed delivery rate and the problems that occur if your delivery rate is low. There are many ways to improve your delivery rate (the percent of your shipments that are delivered on the first delivery attempt) which will in turn, improve your customer’s experience. Before the package ships… Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 1.46.10 PM Be proactive.
If you have a club, email your members prior to shipping (at least two weeks in advance of the ship date) so they can update their address and contact information, or make any adjustments to their order. For daily shipments, email your customers at the time the order is placed with an estimated delivery date or date range. Both options provide an opportunity for your customers to review and edit their information before the order ships. Encourage your customers to ship to a business address.
Only 38 percent of packages are shipped to business addresses annually, with a 97 percent delivery rate. This is a significant contrast to the 62 percent of packages that are shipped to residential addresses where only 78 percent are successfully delivered on the first attempt. Provide more options before shipping.
If you ship to areas that are subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures, your package could be at risk for exposure to temperatures that can damage the integrity of your wine. Providing options like expedited shipping, or even asking your customer if their package could be shipped at a later date when temperatures are safe are solutions to minimize package damage. As discussed in a previous post, carrier hold locations are powerful because they give your customers options to ship directly to or reroute to a carrier hold location near the original destination. Once the package ships… Notify your customers that their package is on its way.
Keeping your customer informed is key to successful delivery. It allows customers to prepare to receive their package, or make necessary alternate arrangements. This includes making sure someone who is 21 or over is available to sign for the package, or rerouting the package to a carrier hold location. Monitor packages for issues.
Once you detect an issue with a package, contact the customer as soon as possible so they are aware of the situation and the solutions. Sending an email or giving your customer a quick call goes a long way to create a great experience. Similarly, if the customer has a package held at a carrier location, contact them to remind them that they have five business days to pick up their package. That could save the package from being returned, which ultimately saves time, money, and the customer’s experience. Incorporating these practices into your process will offer not only a higher delivery rate, but a better experience for your customers, and who doesn’t want that? What are things that you do to improve your delivery rate? Tell us in the comments!
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Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado Announces Grant

bcfContribution from ShipCompliant means big impact for local nonprofit The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) today announced it will distribute a generous grant to The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. The grant is made possible because Boulder startup ShipCompliant elected to share a portion of its sale proceeds with the community. ShipCompliant recently merged with Sovos Compliance. ShipCompliant’s team chose to support The Community Foundation, in partnership with Cooley LLP, because of its work on behalf of Boulder County nonprofits that contribute to strengthening their community. “It’s gratifying to share a portion of our success with the community that helped us build a durable and impactful business,” said Jason Eckenroth, Founder and CEO of ShipCompliant. “This is where our employees live and work. We know that offering a high quality of life is key to our ability to attract and retain competitive employees. Our local nonprofits play a big role in driving that quality of life. We’re proud to make this contribution and the impact on our community amplifies our feeling of gratitude.” The Community Foundation’s President Josie Heath echoed that enthusiasm. “This is a significant gift for us,” Heath said. “Even though the local economy feels strong, there are many in our community struggling with the challenges presented by poverty. In particular, Boulder County’s poverty rate exceeds the state’s, with an increasing number of children living below the poverty line of $24,250 for a family of four. This money will go into our Community Trust fund, which supports nonprofits across Boulder County doing work to improve the quality of life.” ShipCompliant’s contribution to local nonprofits is the first via EFCO for 2015, which closed out a record year in 2014 for the number of members contributing to local nonprofits through successful exits. EFCO’s total impact on community organizations exceeds $3M since its first exit in 2008. About Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) Established in 2007, EFCO is a network of Colorado entrepreneurs whose companies have joined together to give back and share their success, which they do by gifting a portion of their founding equity or a portion of their yearly profits to the community. Founding members include Rally Software, Foundry Group, TechStars, Symplified, Tendril, and others. Realizing cash is limited with start-up companies, EFCO works to encourage entrepreneurs throughout the region to earmark equity for their community early in a company’s inception. Upon a private sale or initial public offering, these shares become liquid and transfer into the community. EFCO currently has 80 members and has distributed more than $3M to area organizations, in addition to hundreds of volunteer hours from its members and their employees. To learn more about EFCO, visit www.efcolorado.org or follow us on Twitter: @EFColorado. EFCO is a program of The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. About ShipCompliant ShipCompliant is the industry leader in creating SaaS compliance and transaction platforms for the beverage alcohol industry. The company makes products people use and love, reducing ...

ShipCompliant Merges with Sovos Compliance

A Message from ShipCompliant President, Jason Eckenroth I’m excited to announce that ShipCompliant has combined forces with Sovos Compliance, a leader in tax compliance and reporting software. It’s a done deal; you won’t talk me out of it. Who is Sovos Compliance? Sovos Compliance is the recently named combination of compliance industry powerhouses Taxware, Convey Compliance, and VAT Resource. Why now? In the past decade, I’ve had the benefit of working with incredibly passionate entrepreneurs, professionals and visionaries… and made lasting friendships in the process.   We’ve had the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of customers, help an industry change, and show that you can build a great and durable business grounded in strong values. But there is so much more that we can do. With the right partner, we can take our capabilities to an entirely new level for the benefit of our customers, employees and partners. After careful consideration, we decided Sovos was that partner. Here are the three main reasons I made that call:
  1. Sovos and ShipCompliant share a similar vision for improving the lives of business owners by freeing them to pursue commerce unencumbered. With Sovos’ extensive resources and widely-recognized source of tax and compliance data, we will be able to execute against that vision with much greater speed and breadth of effect. Basically, we’re still going in the same direction; we just want to get there faster!
  2. Sovos supports our core values [link] and unique customer-focused culture at ShipCompliant. Our company will continue to run as an independent division in Boulder, Colorado, driven by the same team[link to the recipe book] you already know.
  3. This combination creates incredible career opportunities for our team. Both companies are committed to personal and professional development. Together, we will fulfill our goal to attract the most talented people in the country who seek to build a meaningful career and a great place to work [link to outside magazine ranking].
On a personal level, it was important to me that Sovos shared my commitment to a values-based organization. The values we attribute our success to date are: Feel It – We have authentic empathy for our customers, partners, and each other. Own It – We take responsibility for outcomes, good and bad. We don’t pass the buck, and we see things through. Shape It – We have a passion for possibilities, which drives us to revolutionize an industry and author our future. Scale It – Born from our bootstrapped roots, we leverage opportunities for exponential impact in all that we do. 1+1=3 at ShipCompliant. How we got here: Six88 Solutions was founded in 2000 to create web-based business solutions founded on the principles of customer success and responsibility to commitments. These became the foundation for the company’s core values, which have shaped the solutions we’ve created and the team we’ve assembled. In 2006, we launched ShipCompliant to help wineries take advantage of the burgeoning direct-to-consumer sales channel. I remember advice that Tom Siebel (Siebel Systems) gave me at ...

Over 500 Wineries Permitted to Ship into Massachusetts

Earlier this year, we published a post that celebrated the new opportunities that direct shipping into Massachusetts would provide to wineries shipping direct-to-consumer. We also walked through the recommended steps wineries should take to begin shipping into Massachusetts as of February 1, 2015. As March comes to a close we wanted to provide a quick update on the status of direct shipping into Massachusetts.

It’s been almost three months since the new direct shipping law came into effect in Massachusetts and there are 531 wineries permitted to ship into the Bay State. For comparison, 629 wineries registered for direct shipping permits in Maryland in all of 2011, the first year permits were issued.

This active early adoption rate is consistent with the high expectations expressed in the 2015 Direct Shipping Report for Massachusetts as a new direct-shipping state. As of today, FedEx has been shipping into Massachusetts since February 1st, however, UPS is not shipping wine into or out of the state.

We’re so excited for the quick growth of this new market. Below are the names of the wineries that are permitted to ship into Massachusetts. If you live in Massachusetts and love great wine, order wine from these fantastic producers. If your winery is listed below, send us the link to your online store and we’ll link to your winery in our list below.

Wineries Permitted to Ship to Massachusetts

A RAFANELLI WINERY AND VINEYARDS, LP
A W DIRECT
AARON & CLAIRE POTT
AARONAP CELLARS, LLC
ABACELA VINEYARDS AND WINERY
ABEJA, LLC
ABREU VINEYARDS, INC
AC VIN CO, LLC
ACAMPO
ACORN ALEGRIA WINERY
ADAMVS, LLC
ADELSHEIM VINEYARD LLC
ADIRONDACK WINERY, LLC
ALFALFA FARM, INC
ALPHA & OMEGA WINERY, LLC
ALTAMURA WINERY, INC
AMERICAN CANYON
AMHERST
AMPELOS CELLARS, INC
AMUSE BOUCHE, LLC
ANCIENT PEAK, INC
ANDERSON’S CONN VALLEY WINERY, INC
ANDREW MURRAY, LLC
ANOMALY VINEYARDS, LLC
ANTHONY ROAD WINE CO. INC
AQDAMVS, LLC
ARCHANGELE INVESTMENTS, LLC
ARCUDI WINES
ARETE WINES LLC
ARIETTA, INC
ARISTA WINES, LLC
ARKENSTONE VINEYARDS, LLC
ARMIDA WINERY, INC
ARMSTRONG VINEYARDS, INC
ARNOT-ROBERTS, LLC
ARRINGTON VINEYARDS, LLC
ARTIFACT, LLC
ARTISTA WINES, LLC
ARTISTE MANAGEMENT CO., LLC
ATWATER ESTATE VINEYARDS
AU BON CLIMAT, LLC
AUBERT WINEGROWING INC
AUGUST WEST WINES, LLC
AUSA PACIFIC, LLC
AVV WINERY CO., LLC
AWG, LTD
AXIOS, INC
B, E & J
B.R. COHN WINERY, LLC
BANSHEE WINES, LLC
BARNETT VINEYARDS, LP
BARREL 27 WINE COMPANY, INC
BATAM CIDER COMPANY
BELLS UP WINERY LLC
BENNETT LANE WINERY, LLC
BENOVIA WINERY, LLC
BENZIGER FAMILY WINERY, LLC
BERGSTROM WINES, LLC
BERNARDUS, LLC
BETHEL HEIGHTS VINEYARD, INC
BETZ CELLARS, LLC
BLACKBIRD VINEYARDS, LLC
BLANKIET ESTATE, LLC
BONNY DOON WINERY, INC
BRANCHPORT
BRASSFIELD ESTATE WINERY, LLC
BRESSLER VINEYARDS, LLC
BRICK HOUSE IWNE CO
BROOKLYN OENOLOGY LLC
BRYANT FAMILY VINEYARD
BRYTER ESTATES, LLC
BURGESS CELLARS, INC
BURRELL SCHOOL VINEYARDS INC.
BWSC LLC
C AND C WINE SERVICES, INC
C. MONDAVI & SONS
CA’MOMI WINERY, LLC
CADUCEUS CELLARS, LLC
CAIN CELLARS, INC
CAIRDEAN VINEYARD, LLC
CAKEBREAD CELLARS
CAMARDA, CORP
CAPE COD WINERY, INC
CARLISLE WINERY & ...

Direct Shipping 101: What is an On-site Shipment?

Not all direct-to-consumer wine shipments are created equal. Across the country, state regulatory agencies treat on-site and off-site orders differently. So what is the difference between an onsite order and off-site order? Any order placed without the consumer being physically present is considered an off-site order. On-site orders meet the following criteria:
  • The order was made while the consumer was physically present at the winery
  • The consumer chose to have their wine shipped home to themselves instead of carrying it out with them from the tasting room
  • The order is not a gift
The following states allow on-site orders without a license but require a license to make off-site shipments: When making on-site shipments to any state, we recommend that wineries capture proof that the customer was physically present in the winery when the order was placed in the event of an audit. An example of an on-site sale record is a signed receipt. There are a few states that differ from the traditional on-site order concept, for example: Arizona: Allows wineries to make subsequent shipments for the remainder of the calendar year to a customer who has purchased wine in the tasting room. Indiana: Only allows shipments to a customer who has physically visited the winery. Arkansas: Issues permits for direct shipping but only allows wineries to ship on-site shipments — off-site shipments are not permitted under any circumstance.
federal on-site states

This is a map of federal on-site states.

Another common misconception is to assume that club shipments are on-site orders because the consumer signed up for the club in the tasting room. Club shipments should not be considered on-site shipments unless the club member comes into the tasting room and pays for each order on-site before each shipment. For more state details visit wineinstitute.shipcompliant.com
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How Hold Locations Improve Your Customers’ Experience

In a recent post, we discussed the delivery problem. Frequently, consumers who order wine aren’t able to accept their package. Either they aren’t available during the day or they don’t have someone 21 or older available to sign for their package. This challenge frequently results in failed delivery attempts and a lot of back and forth on last-mile delivery trucks. These delivery problems pose unique challenges for the wine industry because of the products’ sensitivity. The longer your wine is on the truck, the more risks it encounters and ruined wine costs money. If your product is compromised during shipment, you’ll have to replace and reship. Also, this causes a less-than-desirable experience for your customers. Wineries with high delivery rates (the percent of your shipments that are delivered on the first delivery attempt) take precautions to prevent failed delivery attempts and returns. One of the most powerful precautions is leveraging existing, no-cost hold location options. Carriers provide this option which allows customers to pick up their wine packages at their local FedEx or UPS facility when it is convenient for them. FedEx hold at locationFedEx Hold Locations FedEx allows packages to be sent directly to or rerouted while en route to a FedEx location near the original destination. FedEx Hold locations provide a level of convenience that has the power to improve the customer experience due to the ability for you or your customer to request the reroute. With more than 1,700 FedEx Hold locations nationwide, many of them are open 24 hours daily. It’s a no-brainer, especially since there is no charge for this service. Also, if a telephone number is included, FedEx will contact the recipient after the package arrives at the FedEx Hold location. Packages can be held for up to five business days and can be released only with proof of identification, so it is also a secure option for your customers. To learn more, visit FedEx’s site. UPS My ChoiceUPS My Choice UPS My Choice allows customers to hold packages that are going to their home address for will call (request packages to be held for pickup at a UPS facility). This service is free to your customers but requires them to become a UPS My Choice member to take advantage of this service. To learn more, visit UPS’s site. Again, this service provides an alternative to shipping directly to your customer and risking a failed delivery. Regardless of carrier, it’s important to provide your customers with options outside of delivering directly to their home or work, where they might not be able to accept their wine packages. Hold locations offer a better solution to failed delivery attempts and returns. Using these services ultimately improves the customer experience and saves you time and money. Want to find out more about delivery rate? Read our recent post >>
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Registration is Open for DIRECT 2015

DIRECT-Email-Banner2 It’s that time of year again — registration is open for ShipCompliant’s DIRECT conference. ShipCompliant’s 10th annual conference is a two-day event featuring an impressive lineup of highly-respected keynote speakers. Registrants will hear from a variety of leading experts on the latest direct shipping legislative changes and other evolving topics in the wine industry. The event also offers the opportunity for ShipCompliant customers to connect with the ShipCompliant staff in one-on-one sessions and participate in group workshops. Here are just a few of the incredible speakers you’ll see if you attend the event:
  • Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality, Airbnb; Founder, Joie de Vivre Hotels & Fest300 (Hospitality)
  • David Rendall, Author, The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness
  • Steve Gross, VP State Relations, Wine Institute
  • Bobby Stuckey, Master Sommelier, Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, CO
Want in on the fun? Here are the details: When: May 28 & 29, 2015 WhereNapa Valley Marriott, 3425 Solano Ave., Napa, California 94558 HowRegister for one day or both days – here.
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What is Your Wine Delivery Rate?

It’s easy to think that once your wine has left your property or the fulfillment house, you don’t need to worry about it anymore. In discussions with our customers, we’ve found that that isn’t the case. Package delivery is a critical component of direct-to-consumer wine sales. Consumer expectations have increased as a result of the new delivery precedent that companies like Amazon have set. People expect that receiving packages should be easy. If your customers’ wine isn’t delivered on time, the first time, their experience with your winery becomes tarnished, and the work that you put into creating an incredible experience is at risk. This is where the ability to manage package delivery becomes crucial to maintaining the experience that started in your tasting room. The Importance of a Good Delivery Rate Delivery rate is the rate at which your wine is successfully delivered. It’s measured as the percent of your shipments that are delivered on the first delivery attempt. It’s essentially a score — the higher the percent, the better. customer satisfaction levels based on delivery The Big Delivery Problem — Failed Delivery Attempts The adult signature requirement for wine packages compromises delivery rates. Recipients usually aren’t home during the day when the common carriers (FedEx and UPS) attempt to deliver packages to their house or apartment. Combine that with the fact that many customers are either not comfortable receiving wine packages at work or they aren’t willing to haul a case of wine home from the office. Of the almost six million packages that go through ShipCompliant Direct each year, 62 percent (and climbing) are shipped to residential addresses. Only 78 percent of those packages are successfully delivered on the first attempt. If you refer to the math problem above, that’s a C+. I’m sure you’ll agree when we say that that’s not good enough. Percentage of Packages with Residential Delivery Addresses Over Time percent of packages with residential delivery addresses               The Risks of Failed Delivery Attempts One of the last things you want is for your wine to go back and forth on last-mile delivery trucks. Failed delivery attempts can lead to a host of problems:
  • Extended exposure to temperatures that are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter
  • Customer anxiety around where and when they will receive their order
  • Customer dissatisfaction due to the effort of trying to coordinate the delivery
  • Staff time dedicated to managing the customer experience
  • Additional risks to the package health
  • Lost time and money
As you can see, the results of these failed attempts are detrimental. We know that you, like us, want to provide an incredible experience for your customers. Buying wine should result in delight — not distress. What does your winery do to ensure that the customer experience doesn’t end when shipment begins? Share with us in the comments.
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Qui Tam Troubles Continue in Illinois

A new round of Qui Tam lawsuits regarding tax on shipping charges in Illinois has been filed against numerous wineries and wine retailers. For more information on tax on shipping in Illinois, please see our December blog post, which we’ve updated periodically with additional links and information in the “Resources” section, including a posting from Wine Institute on the matter. The latest round of lawsuits appears to have been filed in December or earlier, but kept under seal for at least 60 days prior to being served. Per the False Claims Act statute, the “complaint shall be filed in camera, shall remain under seal for at least 60 days, and shall not be served on the defendant until the court so orders. The State may elect to intervene and proceed with the action within 60 days after it receives both the complaint and the material evidence and information.” Therefore, it’s possible that additional complaints have been filed since December but remain under seal as we speak. Businesses that are engaged in sales to Illinois consumers should check with their tax advisor and/or legal counsel and carefully review their shipping policies and eCommerce checkout processes.
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The OrchestratedBEER and ShipCompliant Integration

We have been working with our buddies at OrchestratedBEER to make your lives easier. OrchestratedBEER is an industry leader in brewery management software. They help breweries with everything from planning and scheduling your brews to managing your sales, invoices, and accounting. orchestrated beer and shipcompliantOrchestratedBEER and ShipCompliant have a shared purpose. We strive to simplify our customer’s processes, so you can focus on what you’re passionate about — brewing your next masterpiece and sharing it with the world. Through this integration, we’re combining OrchestratedBEER’s invoicing and production capabilities with ShipCompliant’s reporting and registration tools. We plan to release the integration in phases, focusing on the most valuable features first. Currently, we’re working on the first phase, which will allow OrchestratedBEER clients to transmit distributor AR invoices and credit memos to ShipCompliant automatically. As you complete your normal invoicing workflow, the distributor invoices will be created in ShipCompliant at the same time they are created in OrchestratedBEER. After the month ends and it’s time to report on these shipments, all of your invoice data will exist in ShipCompliant, ready to populate on the submission-ready state distributor reports. We’re excited about this integration because it automates the process of exporting invoice data and re-importing it to ShipCompliant, which saves you, our customer, valuable time. Brewing an exciting new product that needs to be registered? In future phases, this powerful integration will enable the syncing of products and distributors from OrchestratedBEER to ShipCompliant, so your products are ready to register when you are. Transmit distributor invoices and credit memos automatically, and sync your products and distributors.
Find out more about the OrchestratedBEER integration here >>
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New Massachusetts Licensing Platform

Beginning last Monday, March 9, Certificate of Compliance holders can renew their licenses online through the state’s new online system, the “eLicensing and ePermitting Portal.” It’s important to note that this doesn’t change the licensing process, it’s simply more convenient since it can all be performed online. massachusetts elicensing and epermitting portal Here are some important things to know about the new online process:
  • Licensees are no longer allowed to pay via paper check — payment must be made via eCheck or credit card
  • Users need to create an account on the new, online portal
  • Once your account is created, your historical data will appear in the account
  • This new process only applies to licensing, not reporting
Feel free to post to comments with your questions!
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Wyoming and Arkansas Amend DTC Laws

The Governor of Wyoming signed H 47 into law on February 25, 2015, doubling the amount of wine a licensed direct shipper can ship to any one address during a 12-month period from 18 liters (two cases) to 36 liters (four cases). The bill becomes effective on July 1, 2015. Prior to sending any direct shipment to a Wyoming address, out-of-state shippers are required to file an application with the Department of Revenue Liquor Division and pay an annual license fee of $50. Licenses are valid from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. Legislation, S.B. 230, imposing local sales and use taxes on wines shipped to Arkansas consumers under the on-site direct-to-consumer shipping statute was signed by Governor Hutchinson on March 5, 2015. S.B. 230 removes the provision under the current law that provides that a winery does not have to collect any local Arkansas sales or excise tax imposed by a municipality, town, or other political subdivision on direct shipments of wine. As a result, direct shippers must collect local sales tax, in addition to the $0.75 per gallon wine excise tax, 6.5 percent state sales tax and 3 percent liquor sales effective July 1, 2015. The local tax rates will be in the Tax Tool and incorporated into third-party vendors’ software systems prior to the July deadline. Wine Institute members can use the Tax Tool, developed by ShipCompliant, to look up the on-site and off-site sales and excise tax rates for direct-to-consumer sales for every jurisdiction in the US. Annie Bones, State Relations – Wine Institute
The post Wyoming and Arkansas Amend DTC Laws appeared first on ShipCompliant: Wine Shipping Blog....

Approved by TTB, Palcohol battle shifts to states

As mostly expected, TTB approved labels for the sale of powdered alcohol. The approval of “Palcohol” labels was announced yesterday by TTB spokesman Tom Hogue speaking to The Associated Press. Lipsmark, the owner of the Palcohol brand, announced the label approvals on its website yesterday: “The TTB approved Palcohol today — finally! It is now legal to be sold in the United States. We will be working on getting the production facility up and running. It will take a while but hopefully it will be available this summer.” As you may recall, TTB originally gave approval to Palcohol labels on April 8, 2014, then accepted the surrender of the label approvals based on a technicality 13 days later stating, “Those label approvals were issued in error and have since been surrendered.” powdered-alcohol-palcohol“Palcohol,“ developed by Lipsmark, is a freeze-dried version of vodka, rum, and three cocktails that possess the same alcohol content of a standard drink when added to the proper amount of water. Since the surrender of the original labels on April 21, 2014, the states of Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, Colorado, and Vermont have passed legislation banning Palcohol as well as other forms of powdered alcohol. Washington, on the other hand, is moving to allow powdered alcohol via legislation that passed unanimously through the Senate. Several other states are currently considering legislation banning Palcohol. Lipsmark has made a spirited defense of their much-criticized product and promises to work to get approval for the product at the state level now. On top of the states that have banned powdered alcohol specifically through legislation, Palcohol will also have to get approved by each of the state ABCs that require products to be registered with the agency. To keep an eye on all new products that get approved by TTB, check out LabelVision....

Updates to the Indiana Excise Tax Return Process

Indiana recently published a new site to upload and file alcohol excise tax returns. The site is ready for use, right now and means some changes in the process for those filing in Indiana. What does this mean if I’m already registered and electronically filing through Indiana’s previous filing process? Information about the EFT payment process and XML schema is here. What does this mean if I’m not registered? 
  • E-filing is a requirement, so you need to register.
  • To register, follow these two steps:
    1. Email excisetax@dor....

Webinar | ShipCompliant Cider Edition Demo

Presented by Mackenzie Latham on March 5, 2015 As a cider producer, you, no doubt, have to navigate the cumbersome work of state product registrations, license management, and distributor reporting. There’s a lot of work to do to get your products to market. ShipCompliant makes it easier. ShipCompliant currently works with over 3,000 beer, wine, and spirits suppliers to improve their processes and eliminate some of the bottlenecks that many in this industry struggle with. Account Manager, Mackenzie Latham recently presented a demo that discussed how you can use technology to simplify your compliance processes. Watch the recording above or contact us for more information.
The post Webinar | ShipCompliant Cider Edition Demo appeared first on ShipCompliant: Wine Shipping Blog.

How to Improve Your Wine Shipping Integration With UPS and FedEx

If you use FedEx or UPS to print shipping labels for your wine packages, you can integrate with ShipCompliant to streamline your fulfillment process. This means:
  • You’ll never type an address to print a label again
  • One click can pull all shipment information from ShipCompliant into FedEx or UPS, and your labels are ready to print
  • Tracking numbers sync automatically into your ShipCompliant account
 fulfillment_mgt_Graphic2

How to set-up UPS Worldship™ and FedEx Shipmanager™ with ShipCompliant

  1. Call your UPS or FedEx representative and request that they install the necessary software on the computer that you use to print labels. They may be able to do this remotely, or they may come onsite to make the installation.
  2. Configure the integration in your ShipCompliant account. Click here for detailed instructions for integrating with UPS Worldship™ and click here for detailed instructions for integrating with Fedex. Note: You may need to sign-in to access the articles. 
  3. Add club shipments or daily orders as needed and celebrate your new shipping process.
How does the integration work for daily orders? Follow our instructions (see above) to enter a daily order number into your fulfillment software. Then, simply choose to pull the shipment information into UPS or FedEx from ShipCompliant. The tracking number will sync back to your ShipCompliant account automatically....
Schedule Integration Demo

New Michigan Excise Tax Structure Starts This Month

The January 2015 report for Michigan liquor excise taxes is due this month, bringing the first reporting period with the new tax liability structure (noted in a previous blog post) to a close. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has sent several notices to registered licensees of all tiers regarding these changes in the reporting and remittance requirements. We want to reiterate that as of February 1, 2015 alcohol beverage suppliers (manufacturers, out of state suppliers, etc.) are not liable for excise taxes on their sales to Michigan wholesalers. Michigan wholesalers are responsible for the collection, remittance, and reporting beginning with the February 2015 reporting period. If you previously filed the following reports for your sales to Michigan wholesalers, beginning with the February 2015 reporting period, you must file instead of copying invoices.
  • Michigan Form LCC-3803 Beer Tax Report and LCC-3886 Beer Shipment Report
  • Michigan LCC-3890 Wine Tax Report Sales to Distributors
  • Michigan LC-MW 891 Mixed Spirit Drink Tax Report
This is detailed on the state’s FAQ page:

What are the Outstate Seller Licensee reporting requirements?
The Outstate Seller Licensees must submit their sales invoices (or a computer report that contains all of the same information as their sales invoices) for all sales to Michigan wholesale licensees. The sales invoices must be submitted to the LCC each month and should be postmarked by the 15th of the following month.

The “Michigan Distributor Shipments Notice and Invoices” has been automatically added to all ShipCompliant Wholesale accounts to satisfy the new reporting requirements. Please keep in mind the MLCC will create new reports in the near future as a more permanent reporting structure, and when these new forms are available, they will replace the “Michigan Distributor Shipments Notice and Invoices”. Until these new forms are available, the notice and invoices will suffice....

Handmade, Homemade, Handcrafted — What’s Safe These Days?

If you pay attention to industry news, you’ve surely noticed an increase in stories about litigation surrounding “misleading” information on labels. Most recently, Anheuser-Busch’s use of “Bud Light Lime-a-Rita” is being questioned by two California-based law firms because it has twice the calories of regular Bud Light. Other recent lawsuits include Maker’s Mark (Beam/Suntory) and Tito’s Vodka which address whether having the word “handmade” leads people to believe that the product is superior. Templeton Whiskey’s label states “Prohibition-Era Recipe” and Angel’s Envy indicates small-batch made in Kentucky. Both statements have also landed these whiskey producers in class-action lawsuits. Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 6.11.43 PMFor advanced analysis, we rely on LabelVision, a tool that enables full-text search of all TTB-approved beverage alcohol labels. LabelVision uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning to search for all text from all 1.6 million labels approved since 1995. That’s a fancy way to say that the tool converts label images to text, so we can search, using keywords. Based on research we performed using LabelVision, we found the following data regarding the recent lawsuits:
  • 220 calories on a Lime-a-Rita label and 110 on Bud Light
  • 788 labels with “Handmade
  • 6,000+ labels with “Handcrafted” of which 5,000 are wine labels
  • 745 spirits labels with “Small Batch
  • Non-Kentucky suppliers in 21 states and 13 countries use “Kentucky” on their spirits labels
  • Six spirits labels sold by Indiana suppliers with “Kentucky” on their spirits labels
These numbers don’t necessarily represent suppliers with misleading text on their labels....

Illinois sends over 100 cease and desist letters

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) announced at their board meeting last week that they had sent over 100 cease and desist letters to retailers, wineries, and fulfillment houses. The letters state that the ILCC “has evidence that your business is transferring alcoholic liquor into Illinois from a point outside of Illinois without a license.” This action appears to be completely separate from the tax on shipping issues in Illinois. Recipients of the letter have five business days following receipt to respond if they believe they’ve received the letter in error or if they would like to apply for a license to ship to consumers to bring them into compliance with Illinois law. Notably, the letter explains that the agency will notify the common carrier making the shipment, resulting in a violation of the carrier agreement and potentially putting shipments to all states at risk for that seller.
The Liquor Control Act authorizes this Commission to take all necessary steps to prevent unlicensed alcoholic liquor sales and shipments into Illinois including notifying law enforcement authorities and other interested parties of State law violations. If a violation is found to have occurred, your actions may result in serious criminal and tax related penalties. In addition, if you are transferring alcoholic liquor without a license, or on behalf of an entity that is unlicensed, we will notify your common carrier that your shipments are not compliant with State law which would violate the compliance agreements you have signed with the common carriers.

Analysis: It seems like the ILCC is targeting out of state business that do not hold licenses in Illinois. There are many out of state retailers that have Illinois on their list of supported destination states. They’ll have to stop shipping there now unless they want to invest heavily in a physical presence and license in Illinois. It’s unclear at this point what the ILCC will ask of fulfillment houses that are shipping on behalf of licensed wineries. State agencies use the common carrier reports from UPS and FedEx that list the origin address as well as the address of the recipient for each package to reconcile with license lists, volume limit calculations, and tax reports. But, if the fulfillment house is listed as the shipper, the reports do not usually show the licensee that is accepting the order. Agencies will often ask for and accept supplemental information directly from fulfillment houses to provide visibility into the licensees that are making shipments. ...

Direct Wine Shipping to South Dakota Gets the Green Light

Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law legislation House Bill 1001, passed by the South Dakota legislature that finally ends the state’s prohibition against wine direct shipping. When the new law becomes effective on January 1, 2016, the gates will be open for winery to consumer shipments to the Mount Rushmore state. shipping-2-SDThe passage of this bill is a new opportunity for wineries — one more state, with nearly 600,000 residents over the age of 21. Under the new law, wine direct shipper licensees will be able to direct ship up to 12 nine-liter cases of wine per individual, per calendar year. Want to ship to South Dakota? Here’s what you’ll need to be a licensee:
  • $100 fee with the application (renewed on the calendar year)
  • Copy of a Federal Basic Permit
  • Registration of all products to be sold to consumers
  • Registration and remittance of sales tax (state and local)
  • The use of Age Verification on shipments
  • The use of a wine carrier licensee for shipping
  • Filing of a quarterly shipment report
  • Remittance of all applicable alcoholic beverage occupational taxes
  • Shipment of wines that are only your own production
Common carriers must also obtain a “wine carrier license” in order to process wine direct shipments to South Dakota residents. It’s also important to note that South Dakota is the 5th state to require age verification on the purchaser. This means that prior to shipping any wine to a consumer in South Dakota, a direct-to-consumer licensee must verify the age of the person placing the order by getting a copy of their government issued ID or using an electronic age verification service....