Delaware General Assembly







BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three-fifths of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 5, Title 4, Delaware Code by adding thereto the following:

Ҥ526. Direct Purchasing of Wine and Beer

(a) Not withstanding any other provision in this Title, a natural person who is a Delaware resident may purchase sparkling wine, still wine and beer that is not readily available to consumers throughout the State directly from a manufacturer or retailer of such beverages domiciled outside of Delaware provided that the following apply:

(1) The resident is twenty-one years of age or older;

(2) The sparkling wine, still wine or beer is for the resident’s personal consumption and not for resale;

(3) The total amount of sparkling wine or still wine purchased in one calendar year by the resident may not exceed sixty (60) seven hundred fifty-milliliter bottles per calendar year;

(4) The total amount of beer purchased in one calendar year by the resident may not exceed six (6) cases of twelve ounce bottles or the equivalent, but may not exceed 1,728 ounces;

(5) The manufacturer or retailer engaging in such direct sales holds a valid manufacturer’s or retailer’s license issued by the state of its domicile;

(6) The package in which the sparkling wine, still wine or beer is shipped is prominently labeled as containing alcoholic beverages;

(7) The package in which such sparkling wine, still wine or beer is shipped is received by a person twenty-one years of age or older;

(8) The package in which such sparkling wine, still wine or beer is shipped contains an invoice indicating the date of the shipment, providing a full and complete description of all items included in the shipment, and stating the price thereof.

(b) A person who is licensed in its state of domicile as an alcoholic beverage manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, or licensee and who may legally ship alcoholic beverages out of state may apply to the Commission for a direct shipper license. Only a person holding a direct shipper license may accept an order for the purchase of sparkling wine, still wine, and/or beer from a natural person who is a Delaware resident. The license fee for a direct shipper shall be determined by the Commission. The amount of the fee must approximate and reasonably reflect the costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Commission's service and activities in connection with this section.

(c) All persons licensed under this section to ship wine and beer shall pay a tax on all wine and beer sold to residents in this State at the rates set forth in §581(d) of this Chapter. Taxes levied by §581(d) of this Chapter shall be collected, as far as practical, from the direct shipper in the manner set forth by the Commission. If for any reason the direct shipper who first handles the taxable beer and wine to be shipped to Delaware has escaped payment of taxes, those taxes shall be collected from any person in whose hands the taxable beer and wine is found. In no case, however, shall there be a duplication.

(d) Direct shippers shall file invoices for each shipment with the Commission showing the retail price of the product, the quantity shipped, the customer’s name and address, and the tax collected and paid to the State. Such filings shall be quarterly and arrive at the Commission no later than the tenth of March, June, September and December. Direct shippers shall maintain the records for at least three years.

(e) Under no circumstance may the wine or beer be shipped directly to the resident. Direct shippers must deliver the wine and beer by common carrier to a Delaware wholesaler, who will in turn deliver the shipment to a holder of a Delaware off-premises retail license. The retail licensee must then deliver the wine or beer to the resident in a manner consistent with this title and as set forth by Commission rules. The direct shipper shall pay a handling fee in the amount of four dollars per case or partial case of wine and two dollars per case or partial case of beer to the wholesaler who receives the shipment on behalf of the Delaware resident. The wholesaler shall then remit to the retail licensee one-half of the total handling fee.”

Section 2. This Act shall take effect on June 1, 2000.

Approved July 23,1999