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May 12, 2012 06:54 AM

Shipping Wine to Philly

Can wine be shipped to home addresses from France? Or do our liquor laws prohibit this? Planning a trip to Burgundy and wondering if this can be done. Thank you!

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  1. My recommendation is to bring it back with you as checked baggage. The IRS tax on wine in excess of a liter is 3 percent. But I would fly out of Newark or Kennedy. Draconian PA laws prohibit you from shipping things to yourself.

    8 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      Thanks, CW. We are going to fly in and out of Philly. I don't mind paying the taxes, it is the schlepping of the case that is an issue. I'm wondering if it can be shipped from France to a home in NJ.

      1. re: DaisyM

        Daisy- take a look at this link in another forum about the same issue you are dealing with. It really seems like the issue is shipping is defined by importation is limited and governed by licensed importers. USPS cannot be used, and if you ship with any one else you will still have to declare what it is.

        I think the problem will become where you are arriving in the states. If you were coming into NJ, I think you would be ok, but of course you would then be breaking the law by crossing state borders with the wine.

        Here are some other threads that deal with the GENERAL issue

        Net net.. it isn't easy,, and it is harder because you are flying in and out of pa. If I were you and going with friends, who are not flying out of pa, I would work with them to have them bring wine back for you. And if you don't already have tickets, and bringing back wine is one of the things that will make the trip more memorable consider flying out of Newark. When I did a lot of international travel, I would either fly out of PHL or EWR. But that is an easier choice up in Bucks County than it is if you are already in Philadelphia. Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about your trip!

        1. re: cwdonald

          Thanks CW, you always give such great advice. I appreciate you.

          1. re: cwdonald

            It's really not as big a deal as all this (sorry). I've brought back several bottles of wines and liquor from different parts of Europe twice a year and have for several years running now. Thinking there was a better way, I've looked into shipping rates as well. I can assure you it would be cheaper to "ship" your wine as extra luggage on your flight than with a real shipper.
            It's true about the customs duty above one liter but I've never had it enforced and I declare everything. No one has every said "you've got 5 liters over your duty free allowance, pay up."
            I've never seen a state liquor enforcement person at the airport checking bags (and I'm not sure Customs and TSA would allow it either).
            It's conceivable that you could get "busted" and have to pay a small duty or but it's never happened to me at either EWR or PHL (or ATL, CLT & JFK)
            Customs don't care much about most foods in general except for cured and fresh meat and fresh fruits/vegetables. It's amazing what the words "aged cheese" will do for you on the back of your customs form. No one has ever inspected my "aged cheese,' though that's all it's ever been so no harm done. Canned meats (from all the EU countries at least) are fine too, in case you're hoping to get some canned foie gras.

            1. re: caganer

              Thanks for the great information. Have you ever brought a whole case of wine back? I am wondering if the threshold is 1 case/

          2. re: DaisyM

            Now, you didn't hear this from me, but -- I've heard through the grapevine (Ha! Ha!) that there are actually wine storage facilities in NJ that PA residents use for the purpose of receiving shipments of wine from other states, and maybe from other countries, as well. IF that's true, then I'm guessing wine can legally be shipped from France to a private residence in NJ, although maybe not through USPS. Crossing the state border into PA with wine not purchased in PA but intended for consumption in PA is clearly not legal, but that's a risk gazillions of Pennsylvanians take every day.

            1. re: CindyJ

              Cindy I have heard of these too. My question is whether you can have wine shipped internationally. I think it is one thing to have wine shipped from say CA to NJ, but the laws for international shipment are pretty strict.

              1. re: cwdonald

                You cannot have wine shipped internationally to the States , any state, unless you have an import license which is major piece of paper regarding regulations and requirements.
                l travel to Europe three to four times a year and carry a dedicated suitcase with styrofoam wine carrier inside, sometimes two suitcases. As caganer said, cheaper by far to pay extra shipping for airlines than any other method. A suitcase with styrofoam carrier and 12 bottles runs about 35-45 pounds so no penalty on first bag. Never have had to pay duty on amount including one trip with 44 bottles brought in with me. For the 10 cents or so a bottle customs has always not bothered, but do certainly declare it. AFAIK the regulations on state taxes only matter if you bring in liquor to your local state airport. l have never had to do this, in addition, l have never heard of the PLCB charging taxes on incoming international liquor from flights, but knowing them, l imagine they could.

        2. When we travelled to Italy, we had a half case delivered home and there was no problem with it at all. We lived in Lititz, PA at the time.