Shipping alcohol internationally can be tricky stuff. In fact, for an individual trying to send a bottle somewhere, it may seem darn near impossible. For companies too, the rules and regulations are strict. Hey, the 1910s called, they want their Prohibition back, am I right?
Anyway, it is possible but it’s not easy. If you are shipping alcohol internationally, here is how you can get alcohol from point A to point B, and skip the headache.
Let’s just get this one out of the way really quickly. If you’re an individual and you want to send your friend in another country a bottle of wine or some other form of alcohol, your best bet is to find it online, purchase it for them and have it sent to them.
Otherwise, you are responsible for figuring out the laws of both your city/province/state/country, and theirs. It gets hairy, to say the least, and you cannot simply hire a courier company to do it, as couriers often do not deliver alcohol for individuals. The alternative is to hand-deliver the bottle yourself.
For companies it is a little different. Alcohol is one of the biggest industries in the world, and it is shipped internationally for commercial sale all the time. While shipping alcohol for commercial purposes is a simpler and more feasible process than shipping for personal purposes, there are still a lot of things that need to be considered in terms of regulations and shipping.
The first step is really to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row on the legal front. If you are a company trying to make money and you take an illegal method to ship your alcohol internationally, you could end up in some serious legal trouble, and it could ultimately ruin your business.
Feigning ignorance is not an excuse either, and will not work if you do get caught. Make sure you have the correct permits and/or licenses to be shipping alcohol, both in your own country and in the destination country.
Before even considering shipping alcohol, make sure everything you need to do so is in place, as securing all of the necessary resources, materials, permits, licenses, and any other necessity for shipping alcohol can be a very timely process. As a business, making customers wait is not in your best interest. So, give yourself time to get everything together before making any commitments.
This is a very important step in the shipping process, because if the products are not packaged properly, your stock quite simply won’t make it where you want it to go. Ideally, alcohol should be packaged in boxes with dividers that separate each bottle from the next – dividers can be made from a variety of materials. The bottles should also be thoroughly wrapped in some form of padding, like bubble wrap on all sides.
The bottles themselves need to be tightly sealed, of course, to avoid spillage. In addition, alcohol is heavy so all boxes should be reinforced from the bottom for extra strength. If the boxes are stacked on a palette for transportation, they should be wrapped and secured in place.
In most situations, labels are very important for shipping alcohol. The obvious is that the label contains the shipping information – where it’s going and who it’s going to – as well as tracking information and other things you would see on a normal package.
However, it is also often legally required that the label states clearly that the package contains alcohol. If it does not, and the package is checked for any reason, it would be considered an illegal shipment.