Author Topic: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition  (Read 1068 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2022, 08:15:46 am »
The way it reads, you must be a licensed beer distributor or retailer to legally ship beer.

https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/shipping-support/shipping-special-care-regulated-items/prohibited-items/beer.page

Reads to me like it's against their policy, but not illegal.   UPS is not a lawmaking body.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2022, 08:38:20 am »
The way it reads, you must be a licensed beer distributor or retailer to legally ship beer.

https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/shipping-support/shipping-special-care-regulated-items/prohibited-items/beer.page

Reads to me like it's against their policy, but not illegal.   UPS is not a lawmaking body.
I agree with this reading.
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2022, 03:18:19 pm »
The way it reads, you must be a licensed beer distributor or retailer to legally ship beer.

https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/shipping-support/shipping-special-care-regulated-items/prohibited-items/beer.page

Reads to me like it's against their policy, but not illegal.   UPS is not a lawmaking body.
I agree with this reading.

Neither is the CDC a lawmaking body, for instance.

Not so fast, my beer drinking friends. Of course you know there are multiple state laws that apply here. From what is printed, only licensed alcohol retailers can legally ship beer / wine via FedEx / UPS.

If you thought brewing beer was tough, just try figuring out how to ship it. Whenever it comes to alcohol, the law is especially strict. Every facet of the industry is closely regulated affecting all parties involved, from the manufacturers to the marketers to the men and women who distribute it.

And in some cases, the laws can vary from one county to another within the same state. Because of this, the major players in the shipping space (think: FedEx, UPS, USPS) are very specific about outlining their own policies and who they choose to work with.


2021Shipping alcohol is illegal unless you have the proper permits and licensing that allows you to distribute alcohol. This is thanks to federal regulations that were put in place after the 21st amendment [6].

Bottom line...you and I cannot legally ship beer. Period.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2022, 03:49:00 pm by Bel Air Brewing »
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Offline denny

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2022, 04:25:43 pm »
The way it reads, you must be a licensed beer distributor or retailer to legally ship beer.

https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/shipping-support/shipping-special-care-regulated-items/prohibited-items/beer.page

Reads to me like it's against their policy, but not illegal.   UPS is not a lawmaking body.
I agree with this reading.

Neither is the CDC a lawmaking body, for instance.

Not so fast, my beer drinking friends. Of course you know there are multiple state laws that apply here. From what is printed, only licensed alcohol retailers can legally ship beer / wine via FedEx / UPS.

If you thought brewing beer was tough, just try figuring out how to ship it. Whenever it comes to alcohol, the law is especially strict. Every facet of the industry is closely regulated affecting all parties involved, from the manufacturers to the marketers to the men and women who distribute it.

And in some cases, the laws can vary from one county to another within the same state. Because of this, the major players in the shipping space (think: FedEx, UPS, USPS) are very specific about outlining their own policies and who they choose to work with.


2021Shipping alcohol is illegal unless you have the proper permits and licensing that allows you to distribute alcohol. This is thanks to federal regulations that were put in place after the 21st amendment [6].

Bottom line...you and I cannot legally ship beer. Period.

What is that you're quoting?

https://beerandbrewing.com/the-day-homebrewing-was-legalized/ - It’s against the law in all states to use the U.S. Postal Service to send beer. UPS and FedEx allow you to send it as long as you have a special permit to do so

Which means it's against their policy, but not illegal to ship homebrew. I would bet that what you posted pertains to commercial beer.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2022, 04:31:45 pm by denny »
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2022, 05:26:50 pm »
Is it legal to ship beer in the US?

The short and direct answer would be “No” unless you have the proper license and paperwork to do it. Shipping any alcoholic beverage is against the policies of most shipping companies—all kind of liquid products on glass bottles; it is considered dangerous for shipping.

From: Home Brew Academy
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Offline narvin

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2022, 05:49:26 pm »
Is it legal to ship beer in the US?

The short and direct answer would be “No” unless you have the proper license and paperwork to do it. Shipping any alcoholic beverage is against the policies of most shipping companies—all kind of liquid products on glass bottles; it is considered dangerous for shipping.

From: Home Brew Academy

If there is not a law against it, it is not illegal.    It's illegal to ship alcohol via USPS.  Shipping it via FedEx is against their policy, but afaik no more illegal than a private person giving homebrew to another private party for free in their own car.  A brewery selling and shipping interstate without a license is another matter entirely.  As has been mentioned, that is a tax issue.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2022, 06:11:26 pm »
Is it legal to ship beer in the US?

The short and direct answer would be “No” unless you have the proper license and paperwork to do it. Shipping any alcoholic beverage is against the policies of most shipping companies—all kind of liquid products on glass bottles; it is considered dangerous for shipping.

From: Home Brew Academy

If there is not a law against it, it is not illegal.    It's illegal to ship alcohol via USPS.  Shipping it via FedEx is against their policy, but afaik no more illegal than a private person giving homebrew to another private party for free in their own car.  A brewery selling and shipping interstate without a license is another matter entirely.  As has been mentioned, that is a tax issue.

Yes, it's legal to ship beer. It happens everyday.

But to do so legally, you must be properly licensed. And have the proper shipper's accounts with FedEx / UPS.

What are the consequences for someone (you or me) shipping beer, and then getting busted? Is there a fine involved? Does the federal or state government care about this?

And why does FedEx / UPS make such a big stink about it? If it's not illegal, why do they not allow consumers (you and me) to ship beer? It would be a good revenue source for them, and we know they would welcome that.

And it's not just a simple "open an account" with them. You must be properly licensed by the authorities.

If you get busted for shipping liquids / alcohol / beer, etc. on FedEx, in violation of their company policy, can they file legal charges against you?

And this…

Today 3/18 I get a letter in the mail from the Pennsylvania state police bureau of liquor control enforcement. Letter basically says the department has conducted a criminal investigation regarding direct shipment of malt beverages to PA. There’s a number for a licensing bureau that I can contact if I want to become licensed. Clearly I’m not licensed to ship alcohol so the last paragraph reads failure to comply with PA law could subject you to criminal enforcement action taken by the state police. There’s a number that says please contact to discuss in further detail.

The above taken from another beer forum.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2022, 07:29:36 pm by Bel Air Brewing »
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Offline deckerhand

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2022, 08:40:12 am »
Does he have a tracking number.  I know all issues now have to be dealt with online. I lost faith in my local usps for lost package and they wouldn’t refund me I really like ups tho


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Offline narvin

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2022, 08:42:27 am »
Is it legal to ship beer in the US?

The short and direct answer would be “No” unless you have the proper license and paperwork to do it. Shipping any alcoholic beverage is against the policies of most shipping companies—all kind of liquid products on glass bottles; it is considered dangerous for shipping.

From: Home Brew Academy

If there is not a law against it, it is not illegal.    It's illegal to ship alcohol via USPS.  Shipping it via FedEx is against their policy, but afaik no more illegal than a private person giving homebrew to another private party for free in their own car.  A brewery selling and shipping interstate without a license is another matter entirely.  As has been mentioned, that is a tax issue.

Yes, it's legal to ship beer. It happens everyday.

But to do so legally, you must be properly licensed. And have the proper shipper's accounts with FedEx / UPS.

What are the consequences for someone (you or me) shipping beer, and then getting busted? Is there a fine involved? Does the federal or state government care about this?

And why does FedEx / UPS make such a big stink about it? If it's not illegal, why do they not allow consumers (you and me) to ship beer? It would be a good revenue source for them, and we know they would welcome that.

And it's not just a simple "open an account" with them. You must be properly licensed by the authorities.

If you get busted for shipping liquids / alcohol / beer, etc. on FedEx, in violation of their company policy, can they file legal charges against you?

And this…

Today 3/18 I get a letter in the mail from the Pennsylvania state police bureau of liquor control enforcement. Letter basically says the department has conducted a criminal investigation regarding direct shipment of malt beverages to PA. There’s a number for a licensing bureau that I can contact if I want to become licensed. Clearly I’m not licensed to ship alcohol so the last paragraph reads failure to comply with PA law could subject you to criminal enforcement action taken by the state police. There’s a number that says please contact to discuss in further detail.

The above taken from another beer forum.

1) State laws vary in both design and enforcement.  There are also laws, state and federal, about a business shipping alcohol for sale.  To "File charges", Fedex would have to specify which law you are breaking.  If you are doing it in high volume, they could easily attempt to argue that you are not a private party sending personal items.  They could also sue you in civil court, which is not a matter of legality, but of damages to them for not following their terms of services.

2) https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/direct-shipment-of-alcohol-state-statutes.aspx

These apply to alcohol manufacturers.  Since homebrewers are not licensed, are not engaged in commerce, and are treated separately under federal law, these do not apply to a person any more than beer tax laws apply to giving a bottle of homebrew as a gift.  I've yet to see a specific law that applies to shipping alcohol when it isn't related to commerce.

Offline Barbarian Brewer

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2022, 02:11:26 pm »
 The real reason shipping companies like FedEx and UPS do not ship alcohol is that they don't want to face federal charges for picking up from, or
 delivering to, the wrong people.  UPS in 2013 and FedEx in 2014 faced federal charges for delivering drugs from sketchy online pharmacies that sent out drugs to customers who did not have valid prescriptions.  UPS caved and paid a $40 million fine.  FedEx fought the charges, and in 2016, won!  FedEx argued that it, unlike the Justice Department, was not a law enforcement agency.  They did not have the ability or authority to investigate and determine whether there was a valid prescription or not. FedEx asked the Justice Department for a list of online pharmacies they should not pick up from or a list of destinations they should not deliver to.  The Justice Department refused and then sued FedEx anyway.   This is one of the articles that describes the FedEx fight: https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2016/06/29/fedex-not-just-delivering-packages-but-beating-arrogant-federal-prosecutors/?sh=31f43ad07e29

So, you can see why FedEx policy is to only ship alcohol from approved shippers. 
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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2022, 04:13:54 pm »
The real reason shipping companies like FedEx and UPS do not ship alcohol is that they don't want to face federal charges for picking up from, or
 delivering to, the wrong people.  UPS in 2013 and FedEx in 2014 faced federal charges for delivering drugs from sketchy online pharmacies that sent out drugs to customers who did not have valid prescriptions.  UPS caved and paid a $40 million fine.  FedEx fought the charges, and in 2016, won!  FedEx argued that it, unlike the Justice Department, was not a law enforcement agency.  They did not have the ability or authority to investigate and determine whether there was a valid prescription or not. FedEx asked the Justice Department for a list of online pharmacies they should not pick up from or a list of destinations they should not deliver to.  The Justice Department refused and then sued FedEx anyway.   This is one of the articles that describes the FedEx fight: https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2016/06/29/fedex-not-just-delivering-packages-but-beating-arrogant-federal-prosecutors/?sh=31f43ad07e29

So, you can see why FedEx policy is to only ship alcohol from approved shippers.

That makes sense. And makes it easily understood why we can’t ship beer without being “approved”.
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Online joeinma

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2022, 09:15:13 am »
Friend of mine had a big argument with UPS when they denied his insurance claim on the package of beer that broke that he shipped to the comp.  They said it was "illegal because it was beer"...he won though, because he said that their posted rules state that alcohol cannot be shipped, but it says nothing about non-alcoholic beverages.  He told them to prove that it was an alcoholic beverage and they could not, so the claim was paid.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2022, 11:37:49 am »
The real reason shipping companies like FedEx and UPS do not ship alcohol is that they don't want to face federal charges for picking up from, or
 delivering to, the wrong people.  UPS in 2013 and FedEx in 2014 faced federal charges for delivering drugs from sketchy online pharmacies that sent out drugs to customers who did not have valid prescriptions.  UPS caved and paid a $40 million fine.  FedEx fought the charges, and in 2016, won!  FedEx argued that it, unlike the Justice Department, was not a law enforcement agency.  They did not have the ability or authority to investigate and determine whether there was a valid prescription or not. FedEx asked the Justice Department for a list of online pharmacies they should not pick up from or a list of destinations they should not deliver to.  The Justice Department refused and then sued FedEx anyway.   This is one of the articles that describes the FedEx fight: https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2016/06/29/fedex-not-just-delivering-packages-but-beating-arrogant-federal-prosecutors/?sh=31f43ad07e29

So, you can see why FedEx policy is to only ship alcohol from approved shippers.

That makes sense. And makes it easily understood why we can%u2019t ship beer without being %u201Capproved%u201D.

There's also the fact that many states make it explicitly illegal for common carriers to deliver alcohol to private residences.

It's just easier for them to avoid the whole issue and only ship B2B from licensed brewers.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Fedex shipping for Homebrew Competition
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2022, 12:24:16 pm »
A private company's rules are not laws but that doesn't mean the rules are not based upon their attempts to comply with laws or avoid liability for inadvertently violating a law.

One of the issues here is that every state has its own alcohol laws and regulatory body with different rules around shipping beer. In some states it is illegal to transport alcoholic beverages without proper documentation or licensing to ship in the first place. For example, in Texas the TABC decided it is illegal to transport homebrew without a bill of lading even to walk it from your house to your neighbor. The private shipping companies cannot reasonably have their clerks figure out what is legal in every state a box might travel depending upon what kind of licensing you have and what is in the box.
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