Kentucky: Will HB400 Lead to Direct Shipping?

April 26, 2018

Dear Wine Lovers of Kentucky,

Will House Bill 400 lead to winery-to-consumer direct shipping? We’re not yet sure.

HB 400 was signed by the Governor last week. It allows direct to consumer wine (and spirits) shipments but with restrictions we oppose. For example, the consumer has to be onsite at the winery to place an order; in other words, no online orders, no telephone orders. This same restriction applies to signing up for a wine club.

There are a few other important issues that industry lobbyists conveyed to us. First, it is not clear if the new law requires wineries to collect and remit excise, wholesale, and/or sales taxes. Second, the on-site purchase requirement contradicts a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal decision that is binding on Kentucky, and it is not yet clear how this will play out. Finally, the new bill did not address the wet/dry issue, only to say that for wineries to be immune from potential liability for shipping to a “dry” address, the new law requires wineries to obtain a written representation from the consumer that the shipping address is located in a “wet” territory.”

We will update you as we learn more. It is likely, however, that Kentucky will remain a non-shipment state until these issues are resolved.

Free the Grapes!