Guidelines for Shipping Alcoholic Beverages

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the safety and security of most of our nation’s food supply, which includes alcoholic beverages. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) assures compliance with Federal alcohol permitting, labeling, and marketing requirements to protect consumers.
DHL Express adheres to FDA and TTB requirements as well as state and local regulations. We have approved standardized practices in place that ensure shipments containing alcoholic beverages can be transported at the service level our customers request.
Exporters and importers each have additional requirements specific to them that must be addressed prior to sending and receiving. Select your role in the a transaction of interest from the options below to start engaging appropriate parties and ensure required documents are ready for submittal to DHL.
The United States and its territories have unique permitting and regulatory requirements for the transportation of alcoholic beverages. DHL Express maintains required permits in states we are approved to transport shipments.
Exports can only be picked up from customers that are licensed producers or wholesalers and have been approved by DHL to ship.
Request Approval to Ship
Licensed producers or wholesalers residing in the DHL Permitted States that would like to export alcoholic beverages must submit documentation for review and approval to ship.
DHL Permitted States
DHL Permitted States
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho (Wine and Beer Only)
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana (Wine and Beer Only)
Nebraska
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Wisconsin
Washington
U.S. Territory, Puerto Rico
Contact your current DHL Express Sales Representative or Customer Service to submit:
  • The signed Agreement to Transport Alcoholic Beverages
  • Copies of your Federal Basic and applicable state issued permits
What can you expect?
Upon receipt, DHL Sales will work with all DHL parties necessary to obtain additional required signatures.

The completed Agreement to Transport Alcoholic Beverages will be submitted to the DHL Express U.S. Alcohol Program Team with the Federal and State Alcoholic Beverage Permit. The team will review the documents. Verified customers will be added to the Approved Alcoholic Beverage Shippers List.

Your Sales Representative will follow up with you.
The United States and its territories have unique permitting and regulatory requirements for the transportation of alcoholic beverages. DHL Express maintains required permits in states we are approved to transport shipments.
Be Ready to Receive
Customers residing in states that DHL is permitted to transport alcoholic beverages that would like to import may advise the shipper of their requirements and must have document copies ready for submittal in order to receive their shipments.
Advise the Shipper
The exporter is required to provide the U.S. FDA Prior Notice for shipments containing consumable commodities.
Waybill Requirements
The waybill must include the U.S. FDA Prior Notice number along with this statement “Contains Alcohol – Signature of a Person Age 21 or Older Required for Delivery” in the description field.
Learn About Prior Notice
Commercial Invoice Attachment
Attach a printed copy of the U.S. FDA Prior Notice that has a complete list of all commodities to the Commercial Invoice.
For U.S. states requiring permits, include the Importer Permit number on the Commercial Invoice.
States Requiring Permits
States Requiring Permits
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Idaho (Wine and Beer Only)
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana (Wine and Beer Only)
Nebraska
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Wisconsin
U.S. Territory, Puerto Rico
Certificates
Importers must obtain a Certificate of Age or Certificate of Origin, from either the Shipper or the exporting country, for items with countries of origin that require these documents.
Importer Documents
Shipments containing alcoholic beverages can only be delivered to import customers that:
  • Provide a Power of Attorney
  • Have a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) or a COLA waiver
  • Possess and provide a copy of their Federal Basic Permit
  • For states requiring permits, provide a copy of the applicable state issued alcohol permit
  • And, the Certificate of Age or Origin
What can you expect?
Upon a shipment’s arrival in the United States, it is reviewed for U.S. FDA and Customs entry approval as well as required accompanying documents. The DHL Express Customs Compliance Specialists contact importers when shipments require alternative forms or additional clearance documents. Together, you will quickly review the shipment, complete forms and / or provide document copies to DHL. Once all required documents and information is in place, the shipment will be submitted to Customs and the FDA for release.

We will do everything necessary to keep your shipment moving.
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