Shipping alcohol from the UK

Including Alcohol in Household Goods Shipments from the UK

You are authorised to ship alcoholic beverages such as Beer, Champagne, Sparkling Wine etc. however, you must inform the Pre-Move Inspector at the time of your Pre-Move if you intend to ship these items. The Carrier/Transportation Service Provider (TSP) has the right to refuse to pack carbonated beverages without penalty. Your failure to inform the Carrier/TSP of your intention to ship carbonated beverages can result in your shipment not being picked up on the scheduled date. If the Carrier/TSP refuses to accept these items, you must contact your local Transportation Office to schedule a new Carrier/TSP to pick up your shipment.

You must submit a detailed inventory list before pack-out begins which support the description of the beverages you are shipping.

The agent will not pick up the alcohol without a detailed inventory having been provided.

The detailed inventory list should include the following:

  • Description of Wine/Alcohol
  • Quantity of each type
  • Year
  • Value of each bottle at time of purchase
  • Alcoholic content of bottle
  • Total Value

Personal wine/alcohol collections are not considered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to be either household goods or personal effects; consequently you are not eligible for duty-free treatment on entry to the United States. Because imports of alcohol are subject to state regulations, it is very important that you do some homework before you ship your alcohol collection to the U.S.

You will be responsible for all issues related to the import processes, tariffs, customs, hiring of a customer broker and payment of federal, state or local taxes/duties.

You are also required to contact Homeland Security/US Customs customer service to check if any duties/taxes/permits are required. You can check these on the following web page:

You are also required to contact the State Alcohol Control Board at your new duty location to check if any taxes/duties/permits are required. You can check the following web page for list of State Alcohol Control Board:

Your shipment will be shipped via surface cargo container with an expected transit time of 45 – 60 days.

There is no climate controlled environment during transit or storage of your alcohol and the shipments can be exposed to extreme temperatures. This can cause the wine, or other alcohol to freeze, explode or to spoil.

Claims liability is limited to breakage due to mishandling, as any spoilage would be considered inherent vice and the TSP is absolved from liability. If you understand the risks and still wish to ship your alcohol collection, please contact your Transportation Service Provider who will be pleased to deal with any concerns and answer any questions.

Please note that there may be customs fees, IRS taxes, and duties at the port of discharge.  If so, a Customs Broker will handle the customs clearance of your alcohol shipment.  These fees range from $200 to $300.  Please contact your Transportation Service Provider for details on payment of these fees, which are in addition to any applicable state taxes.

For further official advice on moving please visit the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) portal


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