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Wholesale Laws for Alabama

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Last Updated: Jan. 16, 2020

Summary

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is an entity of the State of Alabama. The state has control of spirits at the wholesaler and retail level, and operates a chain of retail stores.

Definitions (AL Code Title 28 Ch. 3 Sec. 28-3-1):

“Table Wine” unless otherwise noted, is any wine containing not more than 24 percent alcohol by volume. Table wine does not include any wine containing more than sixteen and one-half percent alcohol by volume that is made with herbs or flavors, except vermouth, or is an imitation or other than standard wine. Table wine is not liquor, spirituous, or vinous.

“Wine” All beverages made from the fermentation of fruits, berries, or grapes, with or without added spirits, and produced in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States, containing not more than 24 percent alcohol by volume, and shall include all sparkling wines, carbonated wines, special natural wines, rectified wines, vermouths, vinous beverages, vinous liquors, and like products, including restored or unrestored pure condensed juice.

Laws & Rules:

Supplier Licensing

Required: Yes

Name: Type 200 – Out-of-State Manufacturer

Fee: $500, plus $50 one-time fee for initial license

Expiration: Sept. 30th of each year

Secretary of State Registration: Required

A licensed wine manufacturer may sell table wine to any wine wholesaler licensed to sell wine or to the board.

Resources:

Product Registration

Required: Yes

Fee: No Fee

Approval: 2-3 weeks

Expiration: Does Not Expire

Revision Required: Size, Tax Class, COLA change

Label registration is required for table wine. Complete and submit a Brand/Label Registration Request form and Territorial Agreement(s) for each wholesaler(s) with scanned color copy of labels, container size, COLA and a formal request for approval on company letterhead. All documents must be submitted as a single PDF file. Suppliers must receive a stamped approval from AL ABCB prior to shipping into the state.

All label redesigns must be approved by licensing.

Resources:

Franchise "Monopoly Protection" Law

Franchise Law: Yes

Exclusive Territories: Required

Please review the law in its entirety and consult legal counsel prior to taking any action.

A supplier may only designate one wholesaler for each brand in a sales territory. The designation of exclusive sales territories must be in writing and signed by the supplier and the distributor. Typically, a Territorial Agreement will be submitted to the ABC with the Brand/Label approval request. If there is a change to the territory at a later date, however, a new territorial agreement may be submitted with a release letter from the previous distributor and an appointment letter for the new distributor.

There are county-specific franchise “monopoly protection” laws for wine in Baldwin County, Mobile County, Jefferson County, Shelby County and Montgomery County.

Resources:

Supplier Reporting Requirements

Required: Yes

Name: Manufacturer/Importer Report Of Shipments Of Wine

Filing Method: eFile

Due Date: Monthly, by the 20th

Manufacturer and Importer reports are due prior to the twentieth day of each month Code of Alabama §28-3A-7 (d). Importers and manufacturers must file electronically via email to audit@abc.alabama.gov using forms supplied by or approved by the ABC Board Audit Division.

The report must include the number of cases, number of containers per case, size of container, invoice number, date of shipment and to whom sold.  A copy of each sales invoice of table wine shipped into the State must also be included.

No activity reports are required.

Resources:

Sales Representative Licensing

Available: Yes

Fee: $17

Expiration: Sept. 30th of each year

In order to qualify to be an industry representative, the person must be an authorized delegate of a manufacturer or importer licensee and of good moral character. Each industry representative will be furnished an ABC Board identification card which must be kept on their person at all times while within Alabama. The manufacturer or importer licensee must pay an annual fee of $15, plus a $2 online fee to process the application for each industry representative. The application may be submitted online via the ABC Board website.

Manufacturer or importer licensees may have representatives call upon retail licensees of the ABC Board to explain the proper and prudent use of the licensees’ alcoholic beverage products. The industry representative may conduct classes and seminars, which are educational in nature. However, the industry representative may not sell to or take an order from any retail licensee for any alcoholic beverage product, nor may the industry representative sell to or take an order from any wholesale licensee of the ABC Board for any alcoholic beverage product except table wine and/or beer.

It is not mandatory for a supplier to have a registered agent.

Resources:

Self-Distribution

Allowed: No

There are no statutory or regulatory provisions allowing an out-of-state winery to self-distribute.

Trade Practice Advisories

Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
2715 Gunter Park Drive West
Montgomery, AL 36109
Phone: 334-271-3840
Fax: 334-277-2150

Alabama Secretary of State
Business Services Division
770 Washington Avenue, Suite 580
Montgomery, AL  36104
Phone: 334-242-5324

 

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This information is intended for winegrower licensees only. All information above is provided as an informational aid and is not legal advice. Data may be out-of-date or incomplete. Please consult a lawyer before taking any action.