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Matt S

Importing American Absinthe Into Australia

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So, I researched this question to make sure I wasn't asking the same question as anyone else, and I did not find anything.

I have tried ordering American Absinthe from a few Vendors in America (the recomended ones EG.DrinkupNY and Cat Cellars) and neither would ship to Australia.

So the question is, does anyone know somewhere that WOULD ship to Australia, and have any Australians had success with it? I am dying to try a few of them.

Cheers and thanks!

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I looked into shipping some adult beverages from California to a friend of mine in Greece. I thought as long as I was going to the trouble I'd send a six pack. So I got a price for sending six bottles of "wine" to Greece. Shipping cost: $190 (US). But then there's import duties. And after import duties there's VAT which is charged as a percent of the original value of the items PLUS shipping charges PLUS import duty. And the fact that alcoholic beverages are involved there are additional duties that depend upon what kind of beverages and since they ARE alcoholic beverages they might have to "test" them and there will be additional charges for that.

 

So perhaps that's why there isn't much US made absinthe in Europe.

 

There was no way for me to even calculate the cost because the website that tells you how was written in Greek, I kid you not.

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Hopefully sometime in the future I will get the chance to taste the awesome sounding American offerings. Until then, I can dream.

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Buying it directly from Catskin, or DUNY would be the easiest way. But judging by the fact that they only send Nationally, then I think it would be a lost cause to ask.

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Yeah, I didn't know catskin was a supplier. I do have an old cat. What do you do, squeeze the skin?

 

Ditto on the few glasses waiting for you Matt, should you ever make it to northern California. I can show you around one of the world's other best wine producing regions.

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LDF had plans to import a range of American absinthe to supply the UK and rest of Europe but the logistics of consolidating a decent range from across the States and onward shiping are considerable. I'm guessing most US producers might want to be available in Europe but don't actually need to be. Might look into this again.

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The number of times I've looked at DUNY.com only to find "out of stock" under the US brands suggests they're selling all they have locally. That's great and I'm all for it, but it makes it difficult to muster the kind of quantities that would make exporting to EU profitable. Of course, impossible import restrictions might make it not worth while in any case. I really wonder about our NAFTA and GATT agreements. All they seemed to do is end import tariffs for products coming into to the US so we get dumped on by foreign goods and have our factories go broke. We still can't export to other countries because the restrictions and costs are impossible to overcome. Who made these deals anyway? Does everyone realize China pays a 2% import duty here and we have to pay a 22% duty to export there? How is that fair? OK, rant over. For now.

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That's good to know Ian, although with the whole European Union thing, exporting to the UK may have changed. I'll look into it.

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Since the discussion has been hijacked to one about selling American absinthe to Europe, I understand and sympathise on some of the issues. In the past I have consulted for a couple of drinks brands that were very big in the US, but which proved difficult to sell outside the US. The first problem was the bottle size (750 ml is technically illegal in most of Europe). And then there's the matter of scale: the need to approach importers in 20 or so countries to start hitting the same scale as the US. With a variety of labelling considerations too.

 

I think St. George is the only US absinthe I have seen in the UK. And that was because of other products being sold at the time to their UK importer. It's not here now.

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I've seen Leopold's gin in Spain, and I've heard it's also in Switzerland, but I'm not sure if there are even any plans to try to get anything else over there. Like Alan said, logistics are a nightmare.

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I agree.

 

Just like the different DVD standards all over the world which, theoretically, stop Europeans taking advantage of lower prices in the USA, and everyone in the West taking advantage of even lower prices in Asia.

 

I suspect the different bottle rules were made with a lot of input from the big drinks companies to prevent uncontrolled sales from one trading block to another (and hence to maintain their profit margins).

Edited by Alan Moss

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Reading in the "Ageing [sic] in an UNOPENED Bottle" thread I see at least one European producer uses a 750 bottle with only 700ml of product inside. I suppose a US producer could leave some air in their standard 750 and label "For Export Only" to simplify matters. Still there needs to be a substantial and reliable supply available to interest an exporter in doing business (at least).

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Just wanted to ressurect this a little as I noticed some of the premier absinthe brands are represented here - Joe Legate, Gwidion et al could you shed some light. If I was to say that there was indeed an emerging market here and I have a wholesale distribution business willing to import your products what would be your thoughts?

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