For consideration at its upcoming Advocacy Group meeting on May 17, the Craft Wine Association (CWA) has released a draft of the National Direct Shipping Bill of Rights for wine industry consideration.
“We plan to help legislators and regulators consider these common-sense policies that will help modernize our industry while enhancing public safety in local communities,” said Steven Harrison, author of the draft document and chair of CWA’s Advocacy Group.
Based on the “Model Direct Shipping Bill” adopted by the National Conference of State Legislatures more than 25 years ago, the new policy framework aims to create a uniform approach to direct shipping-related laws across the nation. In fact, all of the Direct to Consumer (DTC) concepts and structures exist today in one state or another. Therefore, the Bill of Rights policies will help producers, consumers, and government regulators.
“With the use of modern technology, DTC shipping has proven to be safe and effective for small producers to operate, including the use of pre-purchase age verification, enhanced carrier tracking, and additional ways for state regulators to audit transactions, enforce compliance and collect revenues,” continued Harrison.
Association members, regional associations, and industry professionals nationwide are invited to review and comment on the draft document that will serve as an agenda for craft producers to access open and fair markets and thrive from the ability to self-distribute their products.
Using feedback from the industry, the Craft Wine Association plans to adopt and finalize the draft that will serve as the basis of future meetings, forums, and legislative advocacy efforts in statehouses across the country. The action comes as the industry considers major changes in federal, state and local laws.
In 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14036 on promoting competition in the American economy which seeks to explore fair, open, and competitive markets for craft producers, among other things. In response to the order in 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department released a report titled ‘Competition in the Market Place for Beer, Wine, and Spirits’ which set the stage for regulatory reform that may prevent market consolidation and help small producers thrive. Regulatory proceedings by the TTB are currently underway.