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Kinds of Commercial Permits

Each permittee has the responsibility to abide by the laws and regulations as contained in Chapter 18B of the NC General Statutes and the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Rules.

The state laws are described in North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 18B. However, the following excerpts from Chapter 18B describe the different types of commercial permits and the accompanying fees authorized by the ABC Laws:

Commercial Activity (18B-1100)
The Commission may issue the following commercial permits:

  1. Unfortified winery
  2. Fortified winery
  3. Limited winery
  4. Brewery
  5. Distillery
  6. Fuel alcohol
  7. Liquor importer/bottler permit
  8. Wine importer
  9. Wine wholesaler
  10. Malt beverages importer
  11. Malt beverages wholesaler
  12. Bottler
  13. Salesman
  14. Vendor representative
  15. Nonresident malt beverage vendor
  16. Nonresident wine vendor
  17. Winery special event
  18. Cider and vinegar manufacturer.
  19. Commercial transportation

Authorization of unfortified winery permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1101)

The holder of an unfortified winery permit may:

  1. Manufacture unfortified wine;
  2. Sell, deliver and ship unfortified wine in closed containers to wholesalers licensed under this Chapter as authorized by the ABC laws, except that wine may be sold to exporters and nonresident wholesalers only when the purchase is not for resale in this State;
  3. Ship its wine in closed containers to individual purchasers inside and outside this State;
  4. Furnish or sell "short-filled" packages, on which State taxes have been or will be paid, to its employees for the use of the employees or their families and guests in this State;
  5. Regardless of the results of any local wine election, sell the winery‘s wine for on- or off-premise consumption upon obtaining the appropriate permit under G.S. 18B-1001.

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Authorization of fortified winery permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1102)

The holder of a fortified winery permit may:

  1. Manufacture, purchase, import and transport brandy and other ingredients and equipment used in the manufacture of fortified wine;
  2. Sell, deliver and ship fortified wine in closed containers to wholesalers licensed under this Chapter as authorized by the ABC laws, except that wine may be sold to exporters and nonresident wholesalers only when the purchase is not for resale in this State;
  3. Ship its wine in closed containers to individual purchasers inside and outside this State;
  4. Furnish or sell "short-filled" packages, on which State taxes have been or will be paid, to its employees for the use of the employees or their families and guests in this State;
  5. Regardless of the results of any local wine election, sell the winery’s wine for on- or off-premise consumption upon obtaining the appropriate permit under G.S. 18B-1001.

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Authorization of limited winery permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1103)

  1. Special Qualifications. - Any winery which holds an unfortified winery permit and which produces its wine principally from honey, grapes or other fruit or grain grown in this State may obtain a limited winery permit.
  2. Authorized Acts. - The holder of a limited winery permit may give visitors free tasting samples of the wine. The Commission may issue rules regulating these tastings.

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Authorization of brewery permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1104)

The holder of a brewery permit may:

  1. Manufacture malt beverages;
  2. Purchase malt, hops and other ingredients used in the manufacture of malt beverages;
  3. Sell, deliver and ship malt beverages in closed containers to wholesalers licensed under this Chapter as authorized by the ABC laws, except that malt beverages may be sold to exporters and nonresident wholesalers only when the purchase is not for resale in this State;
  4. Receive malt beverages manufactured by the permittee in some other state for transshipment to dealers in other states;
  5. Furnish or sell marketable malt beverage products, or packages which do not conform to the manufacturer‘s marketing standards, if State taxes have been or will be paid, to its employees for the use of the employees or their families and guests in this State;
  6. Give its products to its employees and guests for consumption on its premises;
  7. In areas where the sale is legal, sell the brewery’s malt beverages at the brewery upon receiving a permit under G.S. 18B-1001(1). The brewery also may obtain a malt beverage wholesaler permit to sell, deliver, and ship at wholesale only malt beverages manufactured by the brewery. The authorization of this subdivision applies to a brewery that sells, to consumers at the brewery, to wholesalers, to retailers, and to exporters, fewer than 310,000 gallons of malt beverages produced by it per year.

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Authorization of distillery permit. Fee: $300.00 (18B-1105)

  1. Authorized Acts. Form - The holder of a distillery permit may:
    1. Manufacture, purchase, import, possess and transport ingredients and equipment used in the distillation of spirituous liquor;
    2. Sell, deliver and ship spirituous liquor in closed containers at wholesale to exporters and local boards within the State, and, subject to the laws of other jurisdictions, at wholesale or retail to private or public agencies or establishments of other states or nations;
    3. Transport into or out of the distillery the maximum amount of liquor allowed under federal law, if the transportation is related to the distilling process.
  2. Distilleries for Fuel Alcohol. Form - Any person in possession of a Federal Operating Permit pursuant to Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 201.64 through 201.65 or Part 201.131 through 201.138 shall obtain a fuel alcohol permit before manufacturing any alcohol. The permit shall entitle the permittee to perform only those acts allowed by the Federal Operating Permit, and all conditions of the Federal Operating Permit shall apply to the State permit.

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Authorization of liquor importer/bottler permit. Fee: $500.00 Form (18B-1105.1)

The holder of a liquor importer bottler permit may:

  1. Receive spirituous liquor in closed containers into foreign trade zones at the State Port facilities in Morehead City and Wilmington from ships docked at the State Port facilities for the purpose of bottling, packaging, or labeling.
  2. Bottle, package, or label in this State spirituous liquor imported or received into a foreign trade zone pursuant to this section.
  3. Receive spirituous liquor in closed containers into the foreign trade zones at the State Port facilities in Morehead City and Wilmington from ships docked at the State Port facilities for storage, sale, shipment, and transshipment to the State or a local ABC board warehouse or, subject to the laws of other jurisdictions, to private or public agencies or establishments of other states or nations.
  4. Subject to the record-keeping requirements of G.S. 18B-1115, transport into or out of the foreign trade zones at the State Port facilities in Morehead City and Wilmington, the maximum amount of liquor allowed under federal law, if the transportation is related to the bottling, packaging, labeling, sale, or storage permitted by this section.

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Authorization of wine importer permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1106)

The holder of a wine importer permit may:

  1. Import fortified and unfortified wines from outside the United States in closed containers;
  2. Store those wines;
  3. Sell those wines to wine wholesalers for purposes of resale.

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Authorization of wine wholesaler permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1107)

The holder of a wine wholesaler permit may:

  1. Receive, possess and transport shipments of fortified and unfortified wine;
  2. Sell, deliver and ship wine in closed containers for purposes of resale to wholesalers or retailers licensed under this Chapter as authorized by the ABC laws;
  3. Furnish and sell wine to its employees, subject to the rules of the Commission and the Department of Revenue;
  4. In locations where the sale is legal, furnish wine to guests and any other person who does not hold an ABC permit, for promotional purposes, subject to rules of the Commission;
  5. Sell out-of-date unfortified and fortified wines to holders of cider and vinegar manufacturer permits, provided that each bottle is marked "out-of-date" by the wholesaler.

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Authorization of malt beverages importer permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1108)

The holder of a malt beverages importer permit may:

  1. Import malt beverages from outside the United States in closed containers;
  2. Store those malt beverages;
  3. Sell those malt beverages to malt beverage wholesalers for purposes of resale.

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Authorization of malt beverages wholesaler permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1109)

The holder of a malt beverages wholesaler permit may:

  1. Receive, possess and transport shipments of malt beverages;
  2. Sell, deliver and ship, in closed containers and in quantities of one case or container or more, malt beverages of any brand filed pursuant to G.S. 18B-1303(a), to wholesalers or retailers licensed under this Chapter, as authorized by the ABC laws;
  3. Furnish and sell malt beverages filed pursuant to G.S. 18B-1303(a) to its employees subject to the rules of the Commission and the Department of Revenue;
  4. In locations where the sale is legal, furnish malt beverages of any brand filed pursuant to G.S. 18B-1303(a) to guests and any other person who does not hold an ABC permit, for promotional purposes, subject to the rules of the Commission.

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Authorization of bottler permit. Fee: $300.00 Form (18B-1110)

The holder of a bottler permit may:

  1. Receive, possess and transport shipments of malt beverages, unfortified wine and fortified wine;
  2. Bottle, sell, deliver and ship malt beverages, unfortified wine, and fortified wine in closed containers to wholesalers licensed under this Chapter as authorized by the ABC laws;
  3. Furnish or sell packages which do not conform to the manufacturer‘s marketing standards, if State taxes have been or will be paid, to its employees for the use of the employees or their families and guests in this State.

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Authorization of salesman permit. Fee: $100.00 Form (18B-1111)

  1. Authorized Acts. - The holder of a salesman permit may sell and transport malt beverages for a malt beverage wholesaler or sell and transport unfortified and fortified wine for a wine wholesaler.
  2. Persons Required to Obtain Permit. - All route salesmen and salesmen working at a wholesaler’s warehouse shall obtain the permit described in this section. All salesmen shall be at least 21 years old.
  3. Validity Period. - A salesman permit shall be valid as provided in G.S. 18B-903(a), except that it shall be valid only so long as the salesman is employed by the same wholesaler.

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Authorization of vendor representative permit. Fee: $50.00 Form (18B-1112)

  1. Authorized Acts. - The holder of a vendor representative permit may represent an unfortified winery, fortified winery, limited winery, brewery, bottler, importer, nonresident malt beverage vendor, or nonresident wine vendor, either as an employee or an agent, to solicit orders for that commercial permittee‘s product. The vendor representative may sell, deliver, and ship alcoholic beverages in this State only to permittees to whom the commercial permittee he represents may sell, deliver, or ship.
  2. Number of Permits. - A vendor representative shall secure a separate permit for each commercial permittee he represents. A permit may not be issued without the approval of the commercial permittee.

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Authorization of nonresident malt beverage vendor permit. Fee: $100.00 Form (18B-1113)

The holder of a nonresident malt beverage vendor permit may sell, deliver, and ship malt beverages in this State only to wholesalers, importers, and bottlers licensed under this Chapter, as authorized by the ABC laws. The malt beverages must come to rest at the licensed premises of a malt beverage wholesaler in this State before being resold to a retailer. A nonresident malt beverage vendor permit may be issued to a brewery, an importer, or a bottler outside North Carolina who desires to sell, deliver, and ship malt beverages into this State.

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Authorization of nonresident wine vendor permit. Fee: $100.00 Form (18B-1114)

The holder of a nonresident wine vendor permit may sell, deliver, and ship unfortified and fortified wine in this State only to wholesalers, importers, and bottlers licensed under this Chapter, as authorized by the ABC laws. The unfortified and fortified wine must come to rest at the licensed premises of a wine wholesaler in this State before being resold to a retailer. A nonresident wine vendor permit may be issued to a winery, a wholesaler, an importer, or a bottler outside North Carolina who desires to sell, deliver, and ship unfortified and fortified wine into this State.

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Authorization of winery special event permit. Fee: $200.00 Form (18B-1114.1)

The holder of an unfortified winery, or limited winery permit may obtain a winery special event permit. The holder of a winery special event permit may:

  1. Give free tastings of its wine at trade shows, conventions, shopping malls, wine festivals, street festivals, holiday festivals, agricultural festivals, balloon races, local fund-raisers, and other similar events approved by the Commission.
  2. Sell its products in closed containers at trade shows, conventions, shopping malls, wine festivals, street festivals, holiday festivals, agricultural festivals, balloon races, local fund-raisers, and other similar events approved by the Commission.
  3. Limitation. - A winery special event permit is valid only in a jurisdiction that has approved the establishment of ABC stores or has approved the sale of unfortified wine.

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Effect of cider and vinegar manufacturer permit. Fee: $200.00 Form (18B-1114.2)

The holder of a cider and vinegar manufacturer permit may purchase and transport unlimited quantities of out-of-date unfortified or fortified wines from wine wholesalers for the sole purpose of manufacturing a food product item. Any manufacturer of cider or vinegar may apply for this permit.

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Commercial transportation. No Fee Form (18B-1115)

  1. Permit Required. - Unless a person holds a permit which otherwise allows him to transport more than 80 liters of malt beverages other than draft malt beverages in kegs, 20 liters of unfortified wine, or eight liters of fortified wine or spirituous liquor, or is a retailer authorized to transport alcoholic beverages under G.S. 18B-405, each person transporting alcoholic beverages in excess of those quantities shall have the permit described in this section.
  2. When Transportation Legal. - No person may obtain a permit under this section to transport spirituous liquor unless the transportation is for delivery to a federal reservation over which North Carolina has ceded jurisdiction to the United States, for delivery to an ABC store, or for transport through this State to another state.
  3. Common Carriers. - Railroad companies and other common carriers having regularly established schedules of service in this State may transport alcoholic beverages into, out of, and between points in this State without a permit. Those companies shall keep accurate records of the character, volume and number of containers transported and shall allow the Commission and alcohol law-enforcement agents to inspect those records at any time. The Commission may require common carriers to make reports of shipments.
  4. Motor Vehicle Carriers. - Alcoholic beverages may be transported over the public highways of this State by motor vehicle carriers under the following conditions:
    1. The carrier shall notify the Commission of the character of the alcoholic beverages it will transport and of its authorization from the appropriate regulatory authority.
    2. The carrier shall obtain, at no charge, a fleet permit from the Commission authorizing the transportation.
    3. The driver or person in charge of each vehicle transporting alcoholic beverages shall possess a copy of the carrier’s fleet permit certified by the carrier to be an exact copy of the original.
    4. The driver or person in charge of each vehicle transporting alcoholic beverages shall possess a bill of lading, invoice or other memorandum of shipment showing the name and address of the person from whom the alcoholic beverages were received, the character and contents of the shipment, the quantity and volume of the shipment, and the name and address of the person to whom the alcoholic beverages are being shipped.
    5. The driver or person in charge of each vehicle transporting the alcoholic beverages shall display all documents required by this section upon request of any law-enforcement officer. Failure to produce these documents or failure of the documents to disclose clearly and accurately the information required by this section shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
    6. Each carrier shall keep accurate records of character, volume and number of containers transported and shall allow the Commission and alcohol law-enforcement agents to inspect those records at any time. The Commission may require carriers to make reports of shipments.
  5. Transportation of Spirituous Liquor. - Form In addition to the requirements of subsection (d), motor vehicle carriers engaged in transporting spirituous liquor shall:
    1. Provide the Commission a copy of the surety bond for one thousand dollars ($1,000) conditioned that the carrier will not unlawfully transport spirituous liquor into or through this State. The bond, which shall be approved by the Commission, shall be payable to the State of North Carolina. If the bonded carrier is convicted of a violation covered by the bond, the proceeds of the forfeited bond shall be paid to the school fund of the county in which the liquor was seized.
    2. Include in its bill of lading, invoice or other memorandum of shipment the North Carolina code numbers of the spirituous liquor being transported.
    3. Include in its bill of lading, invoice or other memorandum of shipment the route which the vehicle will follow, and the vehicle shall not vary substantially from that stated route.
  6. Malt Beverages and Wine Transported by Boats. - The owner or operator of any boat may transport malt beverages, unfortified wine and fortified wine over the waters of this State if he satisfies all requirements of subsection (d).
  7. State Warehouse Carrier. - The Commission may exempt a carrier for the State or a local board warehouse from any of the requirements of this section provided that it determines that the requirements of this section are otherwise satisfied.

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