Export to US

How to ship wine to the USA from Australia

As one of the largest global markets for wine consumption, international vineyards and distributors are pushing as hard as ever to get into the United States. Americans spend billions of dollars – including $13.3 billion USD in off-license sales last year – on domestic and imported labels every year.

And while a good chunk of that coinage came back to the Australian economy – to the tune of $440 million AUD – it goes without saying most Aussie winemakers would like to see more American-based profits. Last year, AU wines only accounted for 8% (174 million litres) of American consumption, a veritable drop in the wine barrel.

Unfortunately, the US is one of the toughest markets to break into which dissuades many from trying to make the leap across the Pacific.

Even when an Aussie producer manages to get their foot in the door, they still face the rather daunting task of having to deal with the US Customs and Border Patrol – as menacing a foe as any when it comes to shipping internationally.

Yet the difficulty of shipping wine to the States isn’t limited to those in the viniculture business. It can be a real obstacle for anyone, even those just looking to send a holiday bottle to friends or family.

As such, we’ve taken the liberty of preparing a short “How-To-Guide” to help Australians cut through all the legal rubbish and quickly understand what it takes to send a bottle (or bottles) of their favorite vino to the USA.

Guide For Personal Use Shipping

1. Identify the In-America Destination

There are 50 US states, each with its own laws regarding the importation of wine. Though most won’t present a problem, a few – including Utah, Massachusetts and Mississippi – have an outright ban on the direct shipment of wine via a common carrier like UPS or FedEx.

2. Chose a Quantity of Wine

Wine is heavy and fragile so it’s not cheap to ship, especially overseas. Having said that, only sending one bottle may not be the most economical thing to do thanks to fixed freight costs. The price to ship a five bottles may be no different that the price to send one. Find the balance to get the most value for your money. One more word to the wise about wine volume—anything over a case can result in complications with US Customs and state Alcohol Beverage Control Boards. To keep it stress-free, ship a case or less.

3. Take Note of the Wine’s Cost

Anything in excess of $2000 AUD will require an Export Declaration Number from the Australian Customs Service. Be prepared to show a valid photo ID as the sender and sign any of the necessary documentation. Access the Export Declaration form here

4. Properly Protect the Shipment

Glass is fragile. Wine comes in glass bottles. Need more be said? Ship your wine in specially designed Styrofoam containers if they’re available. If not, place the wine in a cardboard box with ample bubble wrap and padding to guard against the risk of breakage during the inevitable bumps on the journey. For extra security, consider taking out insurance against the shipment – particularly if it’s of considerable value.

5. Choose a Shipping Service

Either work directly with a common carrier (like DHL) or contact a shipping consultant to handle the nuances of the wine delivery.

Guide For Commercial Shipping

Unlike Shipping for personal use, shipping to the US for commercial purposes has a few more caveats to pay attention to but the general structure is much the same.

1. Identify the In-America Destination

Again, certain states have an outright ban on the importation wine. Make sure to check the laws associated with your final destination.

2. Chose a Quantity of Wine

Shipping costs will undoubtedly be more economical for commercial interests but expensive nevertheless.

3. Take Note of the Wine’s Cost

Anything in excess of $2000 AUD will require an Export Declaration Number from the Australian Customs Service. Be prepared to show a valid photo ID as the sender and sign any of the necessary documentation. Access the Export Declaration form here.

4. Properly Protect the Shipment

5. Confirm Shipper Licensing

The shipping company or service provider hired to send the wine to the US must hold a license from the Australian government to ship wine overseas. Failure to have proper licensing can result in the destruction of the shipment by US Customs Officials.

6. Confirm Recipient Paperwork

The US recipient of the wine must hold a basic permit to import and/or wholesale wine from U.S. Department of Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. In addition, the recipient may also need a wholesaler, dealer, distributor or manufacturer license issued from the state in which they are located. Failure to have proper licensing can result in the destruction of the shipment by US Customs Officials.

SOME OF THE CARRIERS WE WORK WITH

dhl new
tnt new
toll
star track