PRESS RELEASE

June 28, 2012

A Win for Wine! Bill C-311 Receives Royal Assent

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Jun 28, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Editor’s note: A photo is associated with this press release.

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, announced that Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla’s Private Member’s Bill C-311 is expected to receive Royal Assent today. Effective immediately, the amendment to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA), removes the federal restrictions prohibiting individuals from moving wine from one province to another when purchased for personal use.

“This is a positive step towards reducing inter-provincial trade barriers, and promoting jobs and growth in the wine industry,” said Minister Shea. “Eliminating the federal restrictions that limit Canadians from transporting wine across provincial borders will encourage Canadians to visit our wine regions and support the development of our world class wine industry.”

The IILA is a federal law governing the interprovincial transportation, international importation and release of beverage alcohol (liquor). It was enacted in 1928 at the request of the provinces after the revocation of their liquor prohibition laws. Bill C-311 amends the IILA to remove the federal barrier prohibiting individuals from moving wine from one province to another for personal use and provides each province with the authority to set limits on personal importations of wine.

The amendment to the IILA covers all wine, including wine made from grapes, apples, berries, honey and even dandelions.

The amendment does not affect existing provincial laws related to the importation of wine, nor does it change existing laws for importing alcohol into the Territories which are governed by separate federal statutes.

“Given that most of the Canadian wine market is catered to by foreign imported wines, there is a huge potential for growth in our Canadian wine-producing regions,” said Okanagan- Coquihalla MP Dan Albas. “This will create jobs and support our local economies. These changes are long overdue – Wine tourism is also on the rise and removing this federal barrier will be a significant benefit to many small family-run wineries.

“Canadians should raise a glass of wine today to applaud Dan Albas and all Members of Parliament and Senators who unanimously approved Bill C-311 to make way for direct wine shipping across Canada,” said Dan Paszkowski, President of the Canadian Vintners Association. “This amendment is a major win for Canadian consumers and empowers provinces to allow their residents to order wine online from any Canadian winery.”

For more information on the IILA and Bill C-311, visit www.cra.gc.ca or call 1-800-959-5525.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

National Revenue Minister Gail Shea announced that Bill C-311 will receive Royal Assent today. The Bill allows individuals to bring wine or have it shipped to their home province from another province while respecting provincial laws – a positive step toward reducing inter-provincial trade barriers, and promoting jobs and growth in the wine industry

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Backgrounder

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act

Enacted in 1928 at the request of the provinces after the repeal of their liquor prohibition laws, the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) is a federal statute governing the interprovincial transportation and international importation and release of intoxicating liquors. This legislation controls and restricts the movement of liquor from one province to another, as well as its importation into Canada. By requiring that importations be made by provincial liquor authorities, the IILA gives the provinces the authority to control imports into their jurisdictions.

Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use) received Royal Assent on June 28, 2012, and was passed into law. The amendment removes the federal barrier prohibiting individuals from moving wine from one province to another when it is for their personal use. The amendment also gives provinces the authority to set limits on personal importations of wine. The amendment covers all wine, including wine made from grapes, apples, berries, honey and even dandelions.

It is important to note that supporting provincial legislative or regulatory changes are also required to permit individuals to move wine interprovincially or to place orders with wineries by telephone or over the internet.

The amendment does not affect the federal or provincial authority to tax wine. This means that it does not create an exemption from federal or provincial duties, fees, taxes or mark-ups, etc. As well, it does not change the federal regulation of wine or the reporting requirements for wine transactions by federal Excise Act, 2001 licensees.

The amendment respects the provinces’ jurisdiction to regulate the possession, movement and sale of wine, and does not affect the territorial regulation of wine, as the IILA does not govern the importation or movement of wine into the Territories.

There is no change for the importation of foreign wine into Canada. Other countries continue to have access to the Canadian market for non-commercial shipments of wine in accordance with the Customs Act, the IILA and agreements between provinces and the Canada Border Services Agency. Once legally imported into Canada, foreign wine will be provided the same interprovincial treatment as domestic wine, in accordance with provincial requirements.