Which provinces allow inter-provincial wine imports for personal use? How much is allowed?

The passage of Bill C-311 provides a personal exemption to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (ILLA) for the transportation of wine across provincial borders for personal use, the importation of wine from a province by an individual, if the individual brings the wine or causes it to be brought into another province, in quantities and as permitted by the laws of the latter province, for his or her personal consumption, and not for resale or other commercial use.

Hats off to the provinces that allow direct shipping!

Manitoba and BC now allow direct to consumer inter-provincial wine imports. (“British Columbians can now order their wine of choice from a recognized winery that produces 100 per cent Canadian wine in another province and have it shipped directly to them.”) Nova Scotia has passed enabling legislation that will allow directly import 100 per cent locally grown and produced Canadian wine into Nova Scotia for personal use, but we are waiting on the regulations before declaring victory. Cheers these provinces for ensuring their wine laws reflect the views of the majority of their voters. FreeMyGrapes thanks them for their leadership.

Get the latest update from lawyer Mark Hicken and winelaw.ca.

More work to be done in the other provinces…

For the other provinces, it’s a bit of a dogs breakfast. The Canadian Vintners Alliance and wine specialist lawyer Mark Hicken both say Alberta also permits direct online ordering but the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission says no. Views for Saskatchewan and PEI differ. Mark Hicken’s view is that Ontario is also open but the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) says no. However, Ontario has just introduced a Private Member’s Bill, that if passed, would openly allow for wine to be shipped across provincial borders. Click the Ontario map image on the right for more information on this, and how to support Bill 98 in Ontario.

To better understand the various opinions on where it is legal to order/ship in wine from outside the province, we encourage you to read the three views found below. [Please note that we have asked for updates that will be posted when they arrive.]

1. Mark Hicken, Wine Law, Shipping Update (June 2013)
2.Canadian Vintners Association Chart (July 17th, 2012 news release)
3. Statement from Liquor Boards (Dec 2012)

The Canadian Association of Liquor Boards (CALJ) has put out a conservative position on which provinces allow direct interprovincial wine shipments. Unfortunately, it is clear that many liquor boards intend to keep fighting the will of Canadian Parliament and the 82% of Canadians who feel Canadians should have the ability to access wines from other provinces through online purchasing.

Stay current with Mark’s views on wine shipping laws here.