- Thursday, 12 July 2012 06:50
The BC Government has just announced that they will permit inter-provincial wine importations from other provinces free of provincial liquor board markup (which is a form of hidden tax) but only if the wine is 100% Canadian wine and only if the wine is shipped from the producing winery in the other province. While this is a step in the right direction and an improvement on the BC government's previously announced position (which restricted BC residents to "in-person" possession of a cumulative total of 1 case of imported wine at any given time), it is inconsistent with Bill C-311's neutral approach to all wine within Canada (i.e. domestic vs. imported and winery vs. retailers) which was carefully crafted to ensure trade agreement compliance and to benefit all wine consumers. BC's new approach could cause a trade agreement challenge since it provides preferential treatment to Canadian wine. In this respect, BC has not followed the lead of Alberta and Manitoba which have opened their provincial borders to all inter-provincial wine shipments regardless of wine type and origin. More analysis to come.