WASHINGTON (TND) — A bill that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to mail alcoholic beverages to residents over the age of 21 was introduced in Congress this week.
H.R. 3721, otherwise known as the ‘‘United States Postal Service Shipping Equity Act’’ is sponsored by U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse, R-Wash. The bill, which has bipartisan support, would amend prohibition-era rules which currently don't allow USPS to mail alcoholic beverages to residents despite other couriers allowed to do so under law.
"The time has come for us to shatter these barriers and unlock the tremendous potential of the wine and alcoholic beverage industry,” said Newhouse. “This crucial legislation has the potential to create opportunity for the wine, beer, and spirits landscape, foster economic growth, and empower consumers and businesses alike.”
The bill would allow for USPS to get into the spirit mailing business as long as the recipient of the beverage is 21 or older and presents a valid government issue ID at the time of delivery.
Beverages would not be allowed to be resold but would allow wineries, breweries and other businesses to reach consumers which may currently be out of their reach.
"The outdated prohibition on shipping alcohol through the Postal Service is bad for consumers and bad for small businesses—imposing unnecessary costs and hassle. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Newhouse on this long-overdue, bipartisan reform to support local brewers, vineyards, and distillers by improving their affordable shipping options and opening up access to new markets,” said Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., one of the bill's cosponsors.