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Beer, wine distributors applaud Michigan House for passing bill

Posted: 3:23 PM, Dec 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-15 15:23:27-05

Beer and wine distributors across Michigan are applauding the Michigan House for approving legislation that will rein in illegal shipments of wine into the state.

According to a release from the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, Senate Bill 1088 would require common carriers that deliver alcoholic beverages into Michigan to report what was shipped and where it was purchased.

The reporting will allow for better tracking of illegal wine shipments into the state, the association says.

“We applaud the House for approving this legislation, which will provide the state with additional tools to crack down on illegal wine shipments into our state,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. “The measure also ensures Michiganders can still purchase the wines they love and have them shipped to their homes from wineries across the United States or a retailer right here in Michigan.”

The release states online wine retailers and so-called “wine clubs” have been illegally shipping wine into Michigan for years. A comprehensive study conducted by the Hill Group in 2015 found an estimated $64 million worth of wine is purchased from third parties and shipped illegally into the state annually, depriving the state of millions of dollars in much-needed tax revenue.

“This proposal puts a priority on confirming that wine shipments coming into Michigan are being shipped by a licensed winery, in accordance with the law,” said Nevins. “The legislation also brings the state into the 21st century by allowing third-party delivery apps to legally operate in the state. We urge the governor to this important legislation and stop the flow of illegally shipped wine into Michigan.”