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Alcohol requirements

Alcohol requirements
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We'll guide you through what you need to know about requirements and features of service to get started shipping wine with FedEx in the U.S. and internationally.

Who can ship alcohol and to whom?

Overview

Only FedEx-approved, licensed alcohol shippers that have entered into a FedEx Alcohol Shipping Agreement may ship alcohol via FedEx services. Consumers may not ship alcohol of any type via FedEx services.

 

Licensee-to-licensee in the U.S.

The shipper must be a FedEx-approved alcohol shipper, the recipient must be a business entity that holds appropriate alcohol licenses, and the shipment must otherwise comply with applicable laws. Shipments can move via FedEx Express®, FedEx Ground®, or FedEx Home Delivery® services.

 

Licensee-to-consumer in the U.S.

FedEx only transports wine licensee-to-consumer. The shipper must be a FedEx-approved winery or retailer. Winery shipments are limited to the destination states outlined in the Wine Shipping State Reference Guide and must otherwise comply with applicable law. Retailer shipments are limited to the states outlined in the Retailer Shipping State Reference Guide and must otherwise comply with applicable law.

 

Licensee or consumer designation in FedEx automation*

Shippers are required to use updated versions of FedEx automation for shipments containing alcohol. In doing so, FedEx requires shippers to designate whether an alcohol shipment is intended for a "Licensee" or a "Consumer".

Shippers should select the "Licensee" designation for alcohol shipments intended for recipients holding a state and/or federal alcohol-related license. Shippers may also use this designation for the shipment of alcohol samples to non-licensees at commercial addresses for commercial purposes (e.g. the shipment of alcohol samples to a research facility, design or advertising agency, or media company). All shipments designated as "Licensee" shipments must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. No shipments designated as "Licensee" shipments may be destined for a residential address, including locations where a business is operated out of a home.

Shippers should select the "Consumer" designation for wine shipped directly to an individual consumer for personal consumption regardless of whether the shipment is destined for a residential or commercial address. All shipments designated as "Consumer" shipments must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

*This clarification is not legal advice. FedEx never advises Customers on legal issues concerning the shipment of alcoholic beverages. Per the terms of the FedEx alcohol shipping agreement, Customers 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.

 

Licensee-to-licensee internationally

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 laws and regulations. For information related to what the recipient located in the U.S. is required to hold:
    • Visit this page to access the U.S. Department of the Treasury: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau application packets related to obtaining a basic permit to act as an importer and/or a wholesaler.
    • Visit this page  for a list of state alcohol beverage control boards that can assist in determining whether the recipient should be licensed as a wholesaler, dealer, distributor, and/or manufacturer of alcohol before accepting an alcohol shipment.
 
  • For U.S. export shipments, FedEx requires the shipper to be a FedEx-approved alcohol shipper. For information related to what the recipient located in the U.S. is required to hold:
    • Visit this page to access the U.S. Department of the Treasury: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau application packets related to obtaining a basic permit to act as an importer and/or a wholesaler.
    • Visit this page for a list of state alcohol beverage control boards that can assist in determining whether the recipient should be licensed as a wholesaler, dealer, distributor, and/or manufacturer of alcohol before accepting an alcohol shipment. 
 
  • International alcohol shipments are permitted to be shipped only via FedEx Express services. FedEx International Ground® service may never be used for international alcohol shipments. For all international licensee-to-licensee shipments, it is the shipper's responsibility to know and comply with all applicable laws and regulations of both the exporting and importing countries.

 

Licensee-to-consumer internationally

FedEx only transports wine licensee-to-consumer internationally. Such shipments are permitted only via FedEx services and only to the following countries.

 

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Canada*

Cyprus

Czech Republic

England
(U.K.)

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hong Kong

Hungary

Ireland, Northern (U.K.)

Italy

Japan

Liechtenstein

Luxembourg

Macau

Malta

Monaco

New Zealand

Philippines

Portugal

Romania

Scotland
(U.K.)

Singapore

Slovenia

Slovakia

South Africa

Switzerland

The Netherlands

Thailand

Wales (U.K.)

Australia
Hong Kong Portugal
Austria Hungary Romania
Belgium Ireland, Northern (U.K.) Scotland
Bulgaria Italy Singapore
Canada* Japan Slovenia
Cyprus Liechtenstein Slovakia
Czech Republic Luxembourg
South Africa
England (U.K.) Macau Switzerland
Finland Malta The Netherlands
France Monaco Thailand
Germany New Zealand Wales (U.K)
Greece Philippines  

* Includes the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec only. 

 

International alcohol shipments are permitted to be shipped only via FedEx Express services. FedEx International Ground service may never be used for international alcohol shipments. For all international licensee-to-consumer shipments, it is the shipper's responsibility to know and comply with all applicable laws and regulations of both the exporting and importing countries. 

The authorization process for U.S. shipments

1. Have a valid FedEx account number.

You must have a FedEx account number. If you don’t have one, please go to the New Customer Center on fedex.com.

 

2.   Contact your FedEx account executive.

Contact your FedEx account executive to assist you with the authorization process. If you don’t have an assigned account executive, call FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and request that an account executive call you. 

 

3.   Sign the alcohol shipping agreement(s).

For all alcohol shipments, you’ll need to sign a FedEx Alcohol Shipping agreement. Contact your FedEx account executive for details and assistance.

 

4. Review and comply with the following shipping requirements:

  • Use of an electronic shipping solution. You must create your shipping label using an up-to-date FedEx Ship Manager® electronic shipping solution or a FedEx-approved third-party system. Airbills are not permitted. You must identify all alcohol shipments by selecting the alcohol checkbox on your shipping software.

 

  • Packaging. Your shipment must meet FedEx alcohol packaging requirements. FedEx accepts inner packaging of molded polystyrene as preferred packaging. Pulp dividers and die-cut corrugated units are also acceptable packaging. Sturdy outer corrugated cartons are required. For a description of acceptable packaging types, click the link above. 

If your type of packaging is not listed as an acceptable type, you can submit it to FedEx Packaging Services for analysis. FedEx Packaging Services offers a variety of design, testing, and engineering information services that can improve your packaging strategies and save you money. We offer these services at no charge to FedEx customers. For assistance, download and complete the applications below. You can also contact FedEx Packaging Services by phone at 1.800.633.7019.

 

  • Adult signature service option. State law, as well as FedEx policy, requires an adult signature at the time of delivery for every U.S. package containing alcohol. Your selection of the alcohol checkbox at the time of label creation will automatically select the adult signature service option. A $5.75 fee per shipment applies for this service.

It is your responsibility to ensure an adult is available to sign for the shipment at delivery. If no eligible adult is available at the original address to sign for an alcohol shipment, you can initiate a request for a reroute to an alternate delivery address simply by calling FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339. The shipment reroute option for an alcohol package is available in the U.S. via FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Home Delivery services. The alternate address must be in the same state as the original delivery address. A fee applies for this service and will appear as an address correction/reroute on your invoice. For details, refer to the Fees and Other Shipping Information section of the FedEx Service Guide.

 

  • Alcohol shipping label. Every alcohol shipment is required to have a label identifying it as such. FedEx supplies these labels, referred to as alcohol shipping labels. Your FedEx account executive can order the labels on your behalf. For shipments to approved U.S. states, please use the  FedEx Alcohol Shipping Label (SEL 169).

The authorization process for international shipments

1.   Have a valid FedEx account number.

You must have a FedEx account number. If you don’t have one, please go to the New Customer Center on fedex.com.

 

2.    Contact your FedEx account executive.

Contact your FedEx account executive to assist you with the authorization process. If you don’t have an assigned account executive, call FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and request that an account executive call you. 

 

3.   Sign the alcohol shipping agreement(s).

For all alcohol shipments, you’ll need to sign a FedEx Alcohol Shipping agreement. Contact your FedEx account executive for details and assistance.

 

4.   Review and comply with the following shipping requirements:

  • Use of an electronic shipping solution. You may use the FedEx International Air Waybill® for international alcohol shipments, but use of a FedEx Ship Manager solution is encouraged.

 

  • Packaging. Your shipment must meet FedEx alcohol packaging requirements. FedEx accepts inner packaging of molded polystyrene as preferred packaging. Pulp dividers and die-cut corrugated units are also acceptable packaging. Sturdy outer corrugated cartons are required. For a description of acceptable packaging types, click the link above.

If your type of packaging is not listed as an acceptable type, you can submit it to FedEx Packaging Services for analysis. FedEx Packaging Services offers a variety of design, testing, and engineering information services that can improve your packaging strategies and save you money. We offer these services at no charge to FedEx customers. For assistance, download and complete the applications below. You can also contact FedEx Packaging Services by phone at 1.800.633.7019.

 

  • Adult signature service option. State law, as well as FedEx policy, requires an adult signature at the time of delivery for every U.S. package containing alcohol. It is your responsibility to select the adult signature requirement service option so that FedEx requests and obtains the required adult signature. A $5.75 fee per shipment applies for this service.

It is your responsibility to ensure an adult is available to sign for the shipment at delivery. If no eligible adult is available at the original address to sign for an alcohol shipment, you can initiate a request for a reroute to an alternate delivery address simply by calling FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339. The shipment reroute option for an alcohol package is available in the U.S. via FedEx Express. The alternate address must be in the same state as the original delivery address. A fee applies for this service and will appear as an address correction/reroute on your invoice. For details, refer to the Fees and Other Shipping Information section of the  FedEx Service Guide.

 

  • Alcohol shipping label. Every alcohol shipment originating in the U.S. is required to have a label identifying it as such. FedEx supplies these labels, referred to as international alcohol shipping labels. Your FedEx account executive can order the labels on your behalf. For shipments from the U.S. to destinations outside the U.S., please use the FedEx International Alcohol Shipping Label (SEL 170).

Return policy — Licensee-to-consumer shipments

Because FedEx policy allows only approved licensees to ship alcohol, individual consumers who receive a wine shipment are prohibited from returning such a shipment, except under the following conditions: 

 

U.S. shipments

  • Only available to licensed customers enrolled in the FedEx alcohol shipping program.
  • The return must be initiated by the original shipper.
  • The returned goods must be in the original packaging (packaging and labeling that are already in compliance with FedEx policy).
  • Available services are FedEx Print Return Label and FedEx Email Return Label only.

 

International shipments

  • Only available to licensed customers enrolled in the FedEx alcohol shipping program.
  • The return must be initiated by the original shipper.
  • The returned goods must be in the original packaging (packaging and labeling that are already in compliance with FedEx policy).
  • The recipient, located in the U.S., is required to hold the permits outlined in the “Who can ship wine and to whom” section of this site.
  • A brokerage setup process is required.
  • The original shipper will be held responsible for all duties and taxes incurred with both the original shipment and the return, where applicable.

Non-deliverable alcohol shipments

Shipments will not be delivered under the following circumstances:

  • If a shipment does not comply with all FedEx requirements and applicable federal, state, and local laws, FedEx reserves the right to refuse tender of the shipment, withhold the shipment from delivery, return the shipment to the shipper at the shipper’s expense, or destroy it, at the sole discretion of FedEx.
  • The recipient is not 21 years of age or older or does not have an acceptable form of ID such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate for shipments within the U.S. For shipments to destinations outside the U.S., the recipient must be of the legal age required to purchase and/or receive alcohol in the respective destination country.
  • The recipient shows signs of intoxication.

Features of service

Get rates & transit times

Access the Get rates & transit times tool to get a rate quote and determine the expected delivery date and time for your FedEx Express, FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery shipment.

 

U.S. services

Need your wine delivered right away? Our three overnight services provide next-business-day delivery to give you and your customers a head start on the day.

 

FedEx First Overnight®. Delivery by 8, 8:30, 9, or 10 a.m. the next business day, depending on the destination. Available throughout all 50 states (Hawaii service is outbound only).

FedEx Priority Overnight®. Delivery by 10:30 a.m. the next business day to most areas; by noon, 4:30, or 5 p.m. to some rural areas. Available throughout all 50 states. Also available on Saturday.

FedEx Standard Overnight®. Delivery by 3 p.m. the next business day to most areas, by 4:30 p.m. to some rural areas. Available throughout all 50 states (except certain areas of Alaska and Hawaii).

 

Have more time in your schedule? 

FedEx 2Day®. Delivery by 4:30 p.m. in 2 business days to most areas, by 7 p.m. to residences. Available throughout all 50 states. Also available on Saturday.

FedEx Express Saver® Delivery by 4:30 p.m. in 3 business days to most areas, by 7 p..m to residences. Available through all states except Alaska and Hawaii. 

For your U.S. shipments that don’t require the speed of express shipping, consider the reliable, cost-effective, day-definite delivery provided by these FedEx Ground services.

FedEx Ground. Competitively priced service that provides delivery to every U.S. business address in 1 to 5 business days. In addition, FedEx Ground overnight service is available throughout most of the country.

FedEx Home Delivery. Competitively priced service that provides delivery to every U.S. residential address in 1 to 5 business days. With FedEx Home Delivery you also get:

  • An expanded delivery window — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Standard Saturday delivery at no extra cost.
  • Convenient delivery options to accommodate your recipients’ busy schedules, including delivery by appointment, in the evening, and on a certain date.

 

International services

Please note: FedEx International Ground service cannot be used for any international alcohol shipment.

FedEx International Priority® services go virtually everywhere fast, helping you be more efficient and responsive to your customers.

FedEx International Economy® is a cost-effective solution when you can trade time for savings.

 

Licensee-to-consumer countries served

The following list identifies the countries in which FedEx Express is licensed to transport wine shipments from licensed shippers to consumers.

 

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Canada*

Cyprus

Czech Republic

England
(U.K.)

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hong Kong

Hungary

Ireland, Northern (U.K.)

Italy

Japan

Liechtenstein

Luxembourg

Macau

Malta

Monaco

New Zealand

Philippines

Portugal

Romania

Scotland
(U.K.)

Singapore

Slovenia

Slovakia

South Africa

Switzerland

The Netherlands

Thailand

Wales (U.K.)

Australia
Hong Kong Portugal
Austria Hungary Romania
Belgium Ireland, Northern (U.K.) Scotland
Bulgaria Italy Singapore
Canada* Japan Slovenia
Cyprus Liechtenstein Slovakia
Czech Republic Luxembourg
South Africa
England (U.K.) Macau Switzerland
Finland Malta The Netherlands
France Monaco Thailand
Germany New Zealand Wales (U.K)
Greece Philippines  

* Includes the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec only. 

 

FedEx Express also delivers licensee-to-licensee shipments in these and additional countries. To determine if licensee-to-licensee shipping is available in a country not listed here, please call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.

 

International wine shipping country documentation requirements

For helpful information concerning country-specific requirements, restrictions, and importation laws ― as well as an exhibit of and instructions for completing the Simplified Export Certificate for U.S. Wine for Export to the European Community ― please refer to the International Wine Shipping Country Documentation Requirements.

 

Customized commercial invoice

To help facilitate the customs clearance of your wine shipments, please use our commercial invoice.

Licensee-to-consumer wine shipping state reference guides

State wine shipping reference guides

The FedEx Wineries Wine Shipping State Reference Guide and the FedEx Retailers Wine Shipping State Reference Guide identify where FedEx can transport wine shipments from licensed shippers to consumers. The state reference guides do not apply to licensee-to-licensee shipments. Following are explanations of some of the terms used to describe different transactions.

 

Wine shipping to consumers

  • Intrastate: Wine shipping that originates and terminates in the same state.
  • Interstate: Wine shipping that originates in one state and terminates in a different state.
  • On-site: A wine shipment purchased in person by a consumer at a winery or tasting room that is then shipped to the consumer’s home state.