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Wholesale Laws for West Virginia

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Last Updated: Oct. 3, 2019

Summary

The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) is a state agency under the West Virginia Department of Revenue. Wine is distributed by private wholesalers and retailers. The WVABCA conducts wholesale sale of spirits, while the retail sale of spirits is privately owned and provided by retail liquor outlet stores.

Definitions (Chapter 60-8-2 Sale of Wines):

“Wine” means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the natural fermentation of the natural content of grapes, other fruits or honey or other agricultural products containing sugar and to which no alcohol has been added and shall include table wine, and shall exclude fortified wine and shall also exclude any product defined as or embraced within the definition of nonintoxicating beer under the provisions of article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code.

Fortified Wine” means any wine to which brandy or other alcohol has been added and shall include dessert wines which are not fortified having an alcohol content by volume of at least fourteen and one-tenths percent and not exceeding sixteen percent.

Laws & Rules:

Supplier Licensing

Required:  Yes

Name:  Certificate of Registration as a WV Non-Resident Wine Supplier

Fee:  $150, plus $100 Operational Fee

Expiration:  June 30th of each year

Bond:  Required

Secretary of State Registration:  Required

A “supplier” means any manufacturer, producer, processor, winery, farm winery, national distributor or other supplier of wine which sells or offers to sell or solicits or negotiates the sale of wine to any licensed West Virginia distributor.

Additional requirements for this license include:

  • A $10,000 bond and Power of Attorney Resolution w/ affixed Seals. Both must be notarized and issued on the same day.
  • A Certificate of Authority from the West Virginia Secretary of State.
  • A copy of West Virginia business license registration

Legislation (SB 511) effective June 5, 2019, requires an additional $100 Operational Fee to be paid by Wine Supplier license holders each year. The operational fee is non-prorated and non-refundable.

Resources:

Product Registration

Required:  Yes

Fee:  $100 per brand

Approval:  2-3 weeks

Expiration:  3 years from date of approval

Revision Required:  COLA change

The $100 fee is per brand, regardless of the number of labels registered under each brand.

Complete Form ABCC-WS-1-D, one brand per application, attach COLAs and color copies of labels for the designated brand, and a copy of supplier-distributor agreement.

Resources:

Franchise "Monopoly Protection" Law

Franchise Law:  No

Exclusive Territories:  Prohibited

It is unlawful for a supplier or manufacturer to enter into any exclusive franchise agreement with any distributor whereby any such distributor is given the exclusive right within this state or in any given territory within this state to distribute the product or products of such manufacturer. All agreements between a supplier or manufacturer and a distributor must be in writing and filed with the commissioner.

All agreements must provide for termination of either party provided that notice of termination is provided in writing and by certified mail to the commissioner and all parties to the agreement ninety days prior to the termination date. Once the notice has been received by either party, the distributor shall: (1) Use the ninety-day period to deplete such distributor’s affected wine inventory; or (2) reach some agreement with the manufacturer, winery, farm winery or supplier to return unused salable wine inventory or receive payment for unused salable wine inventory. No new distributor shall be appointed until the conclusion of the ninety days or as the parties have otherwise agreed to complete the termination (WV Code 60-8-30).

Supplier Reporting Requirements

Required:  Yes

Name:  West Virginia Wine Suppliers Report

Due Date:  Monthly, by the 15th

A supplier must file a monthly report with the West Virginia Department of Tax and Revenue and email a duplicate copy of each report to the WV ABCA. The report may be filed electronically.

Resources:

Sales Representative Licensing

Available:  Yes

Fee:  $100

Expiration:  June 30th of each year

Every supplier must have at least one licensed sales representative in order to solicit orders in the state. A letter on company letterhead stating that the representative is authorized to represent the company must accompany the license application.

Resources:

Self-Distribution

License:  Not Allowed

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

Trade Practice Advisories

West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control
900 Pennsylvania Avenue, 4th Floor
Charleston, WV 25302
Phone: (304) 356-5500
Fax: (304) 558-0081

West Virginia State Tax Department
Tax Account Administration Division
1001 Lee Street E.
Charleston, WV 25301-1725
Phone: 800-982-8297

West Virginia Secretary of State
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381

 

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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.