Here is what is wrong with America, from a beer standpoint.
Say one finds a pico-brewery in Belgium, beneath the radar of other US importers. You realize you could import the beer and distribute it to a few stores, keep some for yourself, and friends, and the profits cover the operating costs.
Now, to import beer into America, to distribute in Connecticut:
Create an LLC - limited liability corporation in Connecticut (this assumes all other items work out)
Register in my town in CT as a business.
Register in CT with the Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division, as a distributor.
Register in CT with the Department of Revenue Services to pay beer tax - $0.20 per gallon
Register in CT with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (?) for the bottle deposits.
Create a separate bank account to put in bottle deposits, and pay beer stores back $0.05 for each bottle returned; the remainder (if people do not redeem the bottle for $0.05) is sent to the CT general funds. Note there is a possible exemption if you sell less than 250,000 bottles per year; applications are reviewed annually in November.
Register with US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; US BATF will among other things:
- review an "Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval" for each beer type; BATF approves bottle label additions to comply with US regs (distributor name, deposit in CT, etc.)
- inspect my storage area (fortunately I have a secure locked area inside a barn protected by cameras).
Register with BATF for excise tax - $0.10 per bottle.
Register with US Customs and Border Patrol, and define Port of Entry where beer will be imported to (note this is clear as mud, is it to me c/o the POE? to my house address via POE?). Federal import duty on bottled beer - $0.0 (woo hoo!)
Act as an agent to register the Belgian brewery with US Food and Drug Administration, including the port of planned entry, under the FDA's Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
If the beer is not primarily a "malted beverage" it should have ingredients listed as part of FDA's Labeling of Certain Beers Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.
In Belgium, to export it's €50 and a set of forms.
But you know I'll do it.
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