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Guidance for Importing Alcohol

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.

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.
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.