Moving your wine cellar and alcohol

Shipping Alcohol and wine cellars

When it comes to shipping alcohol there are a few considerations to take into account when planning to do so, each country has different regulations and laws governing the movement of alcohol. For the most part alcohol is taxable commodity and taxes usually depend on a couple criteria’s such as alcohol content percentage, value of the bottle and brand.

Each and every country is different when it comes to regulations on alcohol. Some countries allow small quantities duty free as you would when traveling via an airport as a baggage allowance, others prohibit the import of any type of alcohol particularly in Islamic countries.

Important Tip: Always check with your moving company beforehand if you do on planning on taking any alcohol.

Some countries allow the importation of alcohol but at an extremely high tax rate, it is always worth double checking with customs authorities at destination as to what is the potential dutiable cost, which must be factored into the cost of moving/shipping.

Shipping a Wine collection

Wine cellars can be a tricky topic when shipping, some countries allow the import of a wine cellar and consider it as household goods and will not be taxable due to the reason it is imported for your own personal use and will not be resold commercially. Wine collections can also be argued that it is a long term investment which as of now has more of an ornamental purpose than any drinkable qualities.

Again every country has their own regulations on this and is always worth double checking and evaluating what are you getting yourself into when importing a wine collection. Most countries don’t recognize wine cellars or wine collections as household goods and will be considered dutiable on each and every bottle.

How to prepare for shipping alcohol

The best way to prepare is to make a list of all of the bottles, type (wine, beer, whiskey etc…), brand, alcohol content, volume and price. You would take this list and provide your mover with it and they can check with the importing agent at destination or if this is not possible, check directly with customs yourself.

A list is essential as this will determine the import duties for alcohol and will be required if you end up shipping them.

Implications of shipping alcohol

If you plan on taking alcohol there is a good chance that once the shipment arrives at destination, customs officers will want to double check the goods to make sure that what has been described on the list is accurate and that the duties that they will be charging you will be correct. This means the container will be detained until inspection is finished. This could take a number of days depending on the destination.

Most likely extra fees will be imposed, such as container detention charges and demurrage. There will also be an inspection fee by customs for opening the container and unloading/reloading the container.

Again double check with your moving company as to what these costs can be, of course there is always a chance of this happening anyway without any alcohol within the consignment. However the risk will have been increased for a physical inspection.

Always declare when shipping alcohol, as there can be harsh penalties for not telling customs everything on the shipping manifesto, fines can be imposed that would be many times more than it would have cost to pay import duties on the alcohol.