Who can ship wine and to whom?
Overview. Only properly licensed wholesalers, licensed dealers, licensed distributors, licensed manufacturers, licensed retailers or licensed importers may ship wine via FedEx® services. Consumers may not ship wine or alcohol of any type via FedEx services.
Licensee-to-licensee in the U.S.
Both shipper and recipient must be licensed wholesalers, distributors, dealers, manufacturers, retailers or importers. Shipments can move via FedEx Express®, FedEx Ground® and FedEx Home Delivery® services.
Licensee-to-consumer in the U.S.
The shipper must be a licensed entity and the shipment must originate and terminate in one of the states listed in the Wine Shipping State Pairing Guide as a direct-ship, intrastate, off-site or on-site purchase state.
When shipping via FedEx Express® and FedEx Ground® services, shippers are encouraged to obtain their customers’ business addresses, which typically makes it easier to obtain the required adult signature. For ground service to residential addresses, shippers are encouraged to use FedEx Home Delivery®.
Licensee or Consumer Designation in FedEx Automation*
When creating a shipping label using newer versions of FedEx automation for shipments containing alcohol, customers are now required to designate whether a shipment is going to a “Licensee” or “Consumer.” This is an internal FedEx designation, and is not a requirement of law or regulation.
A shipment to a “Licensee” should be selected for alcohol shipments going to licensed entities holding a state and/or federal alcohol-related license, but may include shipments of alcohol samples to nonlicensees at commercial addresses for commercial purposes (e.g. samples sent to research facilities, design or advertising agencies, media), to the extent such shipments are permitted by all applicable laws and regulations. Such shipments of alcohol samples to non-licensees may not be destined for a home or private residence, including locations where a business is operated from the home. A shipment to a “Consumer” applies for wine shipped directly to an individual for personal consumption, to the extent such shipment is permitted by all applicable laws and regulations.
*This clarification is not legal advice. FedEx never advises Customer on legal issues concerning the shipment of alcoholic beverages. Per the terms of the FedEx alcohol shipping agreement, Customer shall not tender any wine or alcohol shipment to FedEx that does not comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Customers with legal questions should contact their appropriate legal counsel or the appropriate governmental alcoholic beverage regulator.
Both the importer and exporter must be licensed entities.
- For U.S. import shipments, the shipper must hold a license from the country of origin issued in accordance with that country's law and regulations.
- The recipient, located in the U.S., is required to hold:
- A basic permit for importer and/or wholesaler issued from the U.S. Department of Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). To access the TTB application packets, click here.
- If applicable, a wholesaler, dealer, distributor or manufacturer license issued from the state in which the recipient is located. For a list of state alcohol beverage control boards, click here.
- For U.S. export shipments, it is the shipper’s responsibility to know and comply with all applicable international laws and regulations. The shipper is required to hold:
- A basic permit for importer and/or wholesaler issued from the TTB. To access the TTB application packets, click here.
- If applicable, a wholesaler, dealer, distributor or manufacturer license issued from the state in which the shipper is located. For a list of state alcohol beverage control boards, click here.
U.S. export shipments only, only the following countries and only using FedEx Express® services. FedEx International Ground® service to Canada cannot be used for shipping wine.
|Bulgaria||Hong Kong||Monaco||South Africa|
|Cyprus||Ireland, Northern (U.K.)||Philippines||The Netherlands|
|England (U.K.)||Japan||Romania||Wales (U.K.)|
- It is the shipper’s responsibility to know and comply with all applicable international laws and regulations. The shipper is required to hold:
- A wholesaler, dealer, distributor or manufacturer license issued from the state in which the shipper is located. For a list of state alcohol beverage control boards, click here.
Please note: Because holding just a state license is only sufficient for exporting wine directly to consumers, those wine shippers who hold only a state license cannot export to licensed recipients. See requirements for international licensee-to-licensee shipments above for more details.
1 Includes the provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Quebec only.