Interstate Compliance for Shipping Cider
Very few states expressly mention cider products in their direct-to-consumer statutes or regulations. Instead, the legality of shipping cider products depends on how a state treats ciders in relation to other alcoholic beverages, which can vary from how ciders are treated at the federal level. Generally, ciders do fall within states' definitions of wine, as they are also the product of fermenting fruit and fruit juices. Nevertheless, there are some states that statutorily exclude ciders from their definition of wines.
Where states treat cider and wines the same, cider may be shipped under a state’s wine shipping rules; where states treat cider like beer, cider could only be shipped if it allows the shipping of beer. On occasion, these definitions can depend on the alcoholic content of the cider, with higher ABV ciders falling under wine regulations and lower ABV ones being treated as beer. As such, cider shippers should take care to understand how a state defines and regulates your products, and if there are any variations based on their ABV.
Cider shippers should also pay close attention to these definitions as many states will tax a cider at a much reduced rate than a wine, even if the cider is otherwise regulated like a wine.