CWA Opposes Illinois Legislation Harmful to Small Wineries

By Published On: March 9, 2023

The Craft Wine Association opposes Illinois House Bill 2399, a proposal that calls for the registration of third-party providers that ship wine to residents of Illinois on behalf of winery shippers. The legislation would create additional costs and complexities to an already complex system and be harmful to the wine industry.

Established in 2016, the Craft Wine Association represents small-production wineries throughout the United States. As small, independent businesses that depend on Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) shipping to sell products, craft wineries must have the freedom to self-distribute to survive and grow.   

With the use of modern technology, DTC shipping has proven to be safe and effective for small producers to operate, including the use of pre-purchase age verification, enhanced carrier tracking, and additional ways for state regulators to audit transactions, enforce compliance and collect revenues.   

Moreover, modernization is critical to keeping markets open and fair to help small producers compete against large corporations and give consumers more brands to consider in the marketplace. 

The bill pending in the Illinois General Assembly will be counter-productive to our efforts and add unnecessary administrative burdens, while not achieving the intended safeguards outlined in the legislation.  The requirement to use licensed Third-party providers (3PL’s) does not enhance public safety as they are not directly involved in the sale of the product, age-verification, compliance, or tax collection.  The requirement creates an additional burden and costs to both business and the state, a net cost increase to all parties with no recognizable gain. 

 

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