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Is it legal to send homebrew through the mail?

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Revision as of 08:30, 29 August 2008 by Chriso (Talk | contribs)
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Many homebrewers like to enter competitions which require them to ship bottles of homebrew to the competition organizer. This can be difficult for homebrewers in the United States, however, because some shippers will not ship alcoholic beverages. Some homebrewers try to avoid these restrictions by labeling their shipments as "Yeast samples" or "Glass bottles," but this is a bad idea, especially in the current political climate in the United States. Different states, especially dry states like Utah and Alabama, may also have regulations about shipping or receiving alcohol in their state; see Is homebrewing legal in the United States? for more information on state laws.

Contents

The U.S. Postal Service

It is illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to ship alcohol. Do not try to trick the Post Office into shipping your beer by mislabeling or misdescribing it.

Private shipping companies

It is not illegal to ship alcohol through a private carrier. However, some of these companies refuse to ship alcohol as a matter of company policy. Individual employees may also think that a shipper has such a policy even if they do not.

Federal Express

From FedEx.com: "Only properly licensed wholesalers, licensed dealers, licensed distributors, licensed manufacturers or licensed importers may ship wine via FedEx services. Consumers may not ship wine or alcohol of any type via FedEx services." More information on shipping alcohol can be found at FedEx.com.

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UPS

From UPS.com: "UPS only accepts packages containing wine from shippers who have signed and entered into a contract with UPS.

Note: UPS provides service for other alcoholic beverages (beer and spirits) on a contract basis only. For shipments containing beer or spirits, shippers must enter into an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of beer or spirits as applicable, must be licensed and authorized under applicable law to ship beer and spirits, and may ship only to licensed consignees. UPS accepts shipments of beer or spirits only among and between a limited number of states." More information on shipping alcohol can be found at UPS.com.

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DHL

According to DHL's support center (phone), they will not ship beer as a policy. Here is the page for their documenation:

http://www.dhl-usa.com/Custserv/SvcsConditions.asp?nav=FindServInfo/ServiceConditions

Excerpt:"Domestic (USA) wine carriage only from licensed distributors.Adult signature required. Outside the U.S.may be acceptable to send wine, beer and spirits from licensed distributors."


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Airborne Express

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Disclaimer

This wiki page does not represent legal advice, and may not be changed as frequently as the law is changed.