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Commodity Spotlight: WINE EXPORTS

Wed Jan 16 2013
By: Daniel Cariello
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Forget tea! Great Britain and Canada are thirsty for U.S. Wine!

From the rolling hills of Napa Valley to the deep ravines of the Finger Lakes, wineries across the country have been increasing their efforts to expand sales abroad. Over the last decade (2002 through 2011), U.S. wine exports have grown by an astounding $827 million!

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 *data from USA Trade Online

Wine exports grew between 2002 and 2004, dropping slightly in 2005 then steadily increasing through 2008 led by demand from Great Britain. However, between 2009 and 2011, wine exports grew sharply due to demand from Canada.

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Fundamentals of Exporting Wine

In order for wine producers to take advantage of export opportunities, a few key elements come into play when shipping this fermented goodie:

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1. Alcohol Permits:

Alcohol export shipments are regulated through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the U.S. Department of Treasury. According to the TTB, requirements for exporting alcoholic beverages depend on “what product is being exported, whether the exporter is also the producer of the product, and/or whether the product is being exported taxpaid or without payment of tax.” However, exporters should keep in mind that most alcoholic beverages require a permit to export.

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2. Wine Classification

Exporters will need to use a Schedule B code to classify their commodity. Currently wine exports are classified using the following Schedule B codes:

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*Effervescent wine in containers holding 2 liters (.528 gallon) or less
**Other

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For more information on exporting alcoholic beverages, please contact TTB’s International Trade Division at (202) 453-2260 or send and e-mail to itd@ttb.gov . For additional guidance on how the Foreign Trade Regulations apply, please contact the Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch (ROEB) at 1-800-549-0595, option 3.

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