April 10, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Reforms Implemented Following the 2014 Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State Liquor Authority (SLA) has approved advisories to help support the continued growth and development of New Yorks Farm based beverage producers. On April 8, Governor Cuomo convened the States second Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cider Summit, where industry participants discussed specific legislative and regulatory issues facing the industry. Since the first quarter of 2011, State actions that support agricultural producers have contributed to an 83 percent growth in farm-based beverage licenses.

 

Just two days ago we heard firsthand from industry stakeholders on regulatory issues causing confusion and impeding growth in New Yorks beverage industry, Governor Cuomo said. Today, we are taking concrete actions to address these issues, so that New York businesses can continue to thrive and grow, creating jobs and stimulating the economy statewide.

 

Today, the SLA Board adopted changes, effective immediately, to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and clarify standards on brand label registrations, authorize the sale of growlers for beer and cider, eliminate a $1,000 bond requirement for farm wineries, reduce costs for manufacturers and wholesalers with multiple licenses by allowing them to deliver all their products in one shipment, and provide guidance to the industry concerning the new roadside farm market law.

 

SLA advisories adopted today will:

  • Simplify the brand label registration process and eliminate paperwork for manufacturers. The advisory provides clear and concise requirements for brand label approvals, simplifying the process by reducing the amount of information that must be submitted and reviewed for changes. The advisory also clarifies exemptions from brand label registration fees for small batches of beer, cider and spirits.
  • Authorize the sale of beer and cider in refillable growlers. Both beer and cider producers cited industry confusion regarding the legality of selling growlers for off premises consumption.
  • Eliminate the requirement for farm winery licensees to obtain a $1,000 surety bond. Summit participants pointed out that all "farm" licensees, with the exception of farm wineries, are exempt posting a bond with the SLA.
  • Reduce costs to farm wineries by adopting a new interpretation of the law to allow farm wineries to transport other wine products to tasting and sales events. Prior to the adoption of todays advisory, farm wineries traveling to the same venues, such as farmers markets, were prohibited from transporting products from neighboring wineries to conduct tastings and sales.
  • Reduce costs to manufacturers and wholesalers with multiple licenses by allowing the delivery of all of their products in one shipment. Previously, businesses with multiple licenses, for instance a farm winery with a farm brewery license on the same premises, were prohibited from delivering beer and wine in one delivery.
  • The SLA today provided guidance to the industry on the new roadside farm market law. In September 2013, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to create new venues for New York wineries to sell their products by allowing roadside farm markets to sell wine manufactured and produced by up to two licensed farm wineries located within 20 miles of the roadside farm market. Because of confusion raised by participants at the 2014 Summit, the SLA today issued guidance to the industry on how to obtain a license for these new venues.
  • Relax restrictions imposed on manufacturers and wholesalers conducting business meetings, private events and promotional events where manufacturers and wholesalers purchase product from retail licenses. Summit participants noted the Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws prohibition of gifts and services from manufacturers or wholesalers to retailers are overly constrictive and confusing. Todays advisory relaxes and clarifies these provisions.

 

The Governors summit focused on partnering with the states private sector producers so they can continue to create jobs and spur environmentally-friendly economic development within their communities and across the state, said SLA Chairman Dennis Rosen. The actions taken today will make it easier for our farm-based beverage entrepreneurs to market and sell their products.

 

Governor Cuomo also reiterated his commitment to introduce the Craft New York Act, a comprehensive set of reforms to consolidate and simplify distilling manufacturing licenses, raise production limits and lower licensing fees for craft manufacturers, expand marketing opportunities, modernize shipping laws, and increase retail outlets where small craft manufacturers can sell, serve, and offer samples.

 

For more information about New Yorks growing beer, wine, spirits and cider industries, please visit http://www.taste.ny.gov.

 

To view the SLA advisories please click here http://www.sla.ny.gov/

 

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