Ask Cari: What is the United States Customs and Border Patrol’s role in Wine Importation?

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United States Customs and Border Patrol requires Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) permits and compliance with labeling and certificate of origin documentation requirements.  Upon one’s first import, entry for the goods should be filed for under the Remote Location Filing (“RLF”) Prototypes and Electronic Invoice Program (“EIP”) managed by U.S. Customs.  There will be codes attached to this that will be needed for the Customs and Border Patrol officer.  These programs require you to fill out an entry form, write an entry summary, pay the excise tax and import fees, and submit the paperwork you received from the TTB and FDA.

An invoice must accompany every import.  The invoice must contain:

  • the name of the importer,
  • the name of the exporter, and
  • the port of entry;
  • the number, price, and weight of the product being imported; and
  • a detailed description.

There are two restrictions specific to wine importation, of which an importer should be aware in order to not be rejected.  First, the importer must be 21 years old.  Second, the overall cost of the product needs to be under $2,500 or have a customs bond.

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