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Jan 19, 2011 07:32 AM

Wine exporting question

I am trying to ship a few bottles of wine to Jakarta, Indonesia (from nyc) but have been running into some trouble due to the many legal restrictions. I have read that a local wine exporter might be the best way, but I can't seem to track one down - does anyone know of one? It's only a gift - not for re-sale.

And if you have any other clever ideas on how to ship wine internationally, please share!

Thank you!

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  1. Why not contact the New York State Liquor Authority?

    1. The only way for a private individual to ship drinkable alcohol from the US - either domestically or internationally - is to lie about what they're shipping. For international shipment, there's the "extra lie" of the customs declaration forms. And that assumes Indonesia allows wine to be received by mail by private individuals, too... In the US, we cannot legally receive retail/gift alcohol from overseas, either (although you can carry it with you personally when travelling.)

      I have no idea if it's possible, but I think your only realistic, legal option would be to find a large (possibly online) retailer that does a lot of shipping in their own business and see if they can ship internationally - then buy the gift wine(s) from them and have them ship it directly to the recipient.

      1. Call UPS, DHL or your freight forwarder and you should be able get an answer. What about one of the larger wine shops? What about sotheby's or other high end auction house. They must ship overseas. You may have to find someone with a liquor license to ship it for you. And depending on the quantity, you want to know what the import duties and requirements are in Indonesia.

        Call the government. Perhaps there is a simple process to obtain an export license.

        Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau: Any further questions on exporting beverage alcohol products may be directed to TTB’s International Trade Division at (202) 453-2260 or

        1 Reply
        1. re: AdamD

          "Call the government. Perhaps there is a simple process to obtain an export license"...thanks, that was really funny! Was that intentional humor?

          I just successfully sent two bottles to Japan as a gift via US Mail. I lied on the customs form, saying they were olive oil. I know people who do it all the time internationally. Don't know about Indonesia though.