Requirements for Importing Wine, Spirits, and Beer into the United States
All entities importing alcoholic beverages into the United States for wholesale or retail use are required to obtain the following permits/certifications:
1. TTB 5100.24 – Importer Basic Permit
2. TTB F 5630.5 (d) – Alcohol Dealer Registration
3. TTB F 5100.31 – Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) – Application for Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval
All U.S. companies that import wine, spirits, and beer must meet state and local requirements to import alcohol for retail sale and should contact their state alcohol control board to fulfill said requirements. Importers of alcoholic beverages must apply for an Importer Basic Permit – TTB 5100.24. The importer must also ensure that the producer of the alcoholic beverages is registered with the Food & Drug Administration and provide FDA with advance notification of an importation as a result of the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
To sell imported alcoholic beverages, the importer must also file for an Alcohol Dealer Registration – TTB F 5630.5(d) before or on the starting business date, after having been issued an Importer Basic Permit. Importers must also have a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA), for which the importer needs to file an “Application and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval” – TTB F 5100.31 for each product/label they import with TTB’s Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division (ALFD).
Importers are responsible for all taxes, duties, and fees associated with the importation. They must also make shipments available for inspections by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and are liable for all expenses incurred by examinations.
Please visit the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau website for more information: