The process for importing wine may be entirely different than other importing endeavors you’re already accustomed to. This can also be an exciting undertaking because there are so many types of wines and wineries throughout the world. We suggest doing as much research as possible. There are several seminars that can provide you with insight to wine importing. Don’t be afraid to get immersed in the world of wine knowledge and read up on all there is to know about wine connoisseurs for their perspectives. Look into regulatory information on importing alcoholic beverages into the U.S. and labeling requirements. The comprehensive process can be found through some hefty web research but we’ll give you the shortened version so you can soon begin your wine importing venture. In addition to complying with federal regulations, you’ll want to look into guidelines pertaining to your state of residency. Check out alcohol beverage control boards here. You can also get information from local authorities. For eligibility to import wine, the Federal Alcohol Administration Act requires that you first obtain an employee identification number which allows you to then apply for an Importers Basic Permit (IBP) through the Alcohol and Tobacco tax and Trade Bureau. The IBP application also gives you the option to apply for an additional permit if you plan on selling alcoholic beverages besides those that you’re importing. Finding a supplier is the next process in this equation, so set aside some time to do your research to pick a supplier you can develop a strong business relationship with. Wine suppliers are required to be registered with the FDA. You can find trade shows, exhibitions and festivals where you’d have the opportunity to meet with your supplier in person. The two most important factors you’re looking for in a supplier are reliability and trustworthiness.A resource like ImportGenius.com can be invaluable for verifying the legitimacy of a particular supplier. This database of U.S. shipping records gives you access to all imports that have come into a U.S. port for the last 7 years since 2006. You can search by products, companies, countries of origins, U.S. ports and more. To give you an idea of how much information you’ll have access to, a quick search for wine shows nearly 590,000 shipments since 2006 containing that term. Now, lets say you’d like to start importing to build up a supply of red wine. Simply type any type such as merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel or Malbec into the product category and you’ll have results in seconds. Our data currently shows that ‘EPICUREAN WINES’ received a shipment of ‘Woop Woop’ brand, and they also work with suppliers ‘GLEN ELDON WINES’, ‘ESKADALE VINEYARDS PTY LTD’ and ‘IMPRAMATA WINES’. The visual mapping tool illustrating the supply chain for shipping and importing companies shows that IMPRAMATA WINES also works with the importer ‘PRESTIGE WINE CELLARS’. This data can be very helpful if you already have a supplier in mind and want to see who they work with. Just search under the ‘shipper’ category and you’ll have access to all the companies that supplier has shipped to. You’ll also view the sheer nu When you feel confident working with a supplier, you can then place your order and set up terms of payment. Suppliers will accept a down payment ranging from 20-30% of the total order. When your wine is on the ship ready to set sail to the U.S., you’ll pay the remaining balance. Another option would be to have your banking institution issue a letter of credit to the supplier. This ensures that your payment will be rendered once your supplier has met all conditions of the agreement. Obtaining this letter requires time for submitting paperwork and processing. You can see why it’s important to trust who you’re working with. If you’ve picked a dependable supplier, we recommend sparing yourself the hassle and simply issuing the down payment upon submitting your order.mber of shipments that company has completed. The data can also help you monitor other competitors who are importing and find new leads if you’re looking to partner or sell domestically. Overall, with your subscription to Import Genius you’ll save time and be ahead of the game when it comes to business intelligence. Now you’ll be well on your way to receiving your goods. While waiting for the shipment, make sure to arrange for a customs broker to get the goods cleared when they reach the U.S. port. Inquire with potential brokers to make sure they’ve worked with wine imports before and know the safe-handling techniques. Also check out freight and drayage companies that can safely transport the wine to your warehouse when they’re ready for pick-up. We also recommending doing some internet digging to ensure you know how to properly care for the stored wine. The last thing you want is all your hard work to go to waste if the wine spoils! Happy importing!