Senate passes bill aimed at deterring illegal wine and beer shipping

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The Michigan Senate has approved a bill that will increase penalties for illegally shipping wine or beer into Michigan.

If made law, House Bill 4557 would make illegally shipped beer and wine punishable by up to a fine of $500-$5,000 and four years in jail.

The penalties would rise to be in line with those for illegally shipping spirits in the state.

According to the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, a comprehensive study conducted by the Hill Group in 2015 found that an estimated $64 million worth of wine is purchased from third parties and shipped illegally into the state annually, depriving the state of millions of dollars in much needed tax revenue.

"It will help the state enforce things and it will ensure that the product our consumers are getting has been properly regulated and it will ensure that product isn't being dropped off at the door to minors," said Spencer Nevins, President of MBWWA. "Our study found that was happening. It will ensure that product isn't being sold below cost which is an important part of Michigan's regulations."

HB 4557 is a follow up to PA 520 of 2016, which was signed into law by Gov. Snyder in January. That law will help the state identify illegal shippers of alcohol by requiring common carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, to report to the state what was shipped and where it was purchased.

HB 4557 now heads to Gov. Snyder's desk for approval.

To read HB 4557, CLICK HERE.

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