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RULES FOR RETURN

FOR

ORDINARY AND USUAL COMMERCIAL REASONS

Effective February 1, 2019

Policy

It is the policy of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) to ensure compliance with federal law and regulations on all alcoholic liquor products sold by ABD, as well as the conditions and limitations set forth regarding returns for ordinary and usual commercial reasons.

ABD, as a state agency operating as a wholesaler of record for class “E” licensees, will comply with the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and the regulations issued there under. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) prohibits the sale of products with the privilege of return for any reason other than those considered to be “ordinary and usual commercial reasons.” (27 C.F.R. § 11.31(a))

Therefore, ABD will only consider requests for returns based on the following ordinary and usual commercial reasons:

Defective products: Products which are unmarketable for reasons such as product deterioration, leaking containers, damaged labels, or missing or mutilated tamper evident closures. (27 C.F.R. § 11.32)

  • Product deterioration does not include:
    • Discoloration due to prolonged exposure to sunlight or fluorescent light.
    • Cream-based products that have exceeded the expiration date indicated on the bottle, or, if no expiration date is indicated, have been slow-moving.

Error in products delivered: A discrepancy between products ordered by a class “E” licensee and products delivered by ABD (ex: shortages, overages). (27 C.F.R. § 11.33)

Products which may no longer be lawfully sold: Products of a particular size or brand that are no longer permitted to be sold due to a change in regulation or administrative procedure. (27 C.F.R. § 11.34)

Termination of business: When a class “E” licensee terminates their operations by cancelling their license. This does not include a temporary seasonal shutdown. (27 C.F.R. § 11.35)

Important to note: ABD is under no obligation to accept a return for any of the allowable reasons outlined above. (27 C.F.R. § 11.31(b)) If ABD chooses to accept a return, a class “E” licensee will receive cash or credit for the return.

 

ABD will not accept a return for the following reasons:

Misorders: The attempt to return a product on the basis of a class “E” licensee incorrectly ordering from ABD, often referred to as a “misorder,” is not an ordinary and usual commercial reason for a return. Examples of misorders include, but are not limited to, a class “E” licensee ordering too much, too little, or the incorrect brand or size of a product.

Overstocked and slow-moving products: The attempt to return a product because it is overstocked or slow-moving does not constitute an ordinary and usual commercial reason for a return. (27 C.F.R. § 11.45)

Seasonal products: The attempt to return products for which there is only a limited or seasonal demand, such as holiday decanters and certain distinctive bottles, does not constitute an ordinary and usual commercial reason for a return. (27 C.F.R. § 11.46)

Procedure

All return requests must be submitted electronically using the Return Form. A return request will be submitted within three business days from the date the product to be returned was delivered by ABD. ABD will review return requests on a case-by-case basis, and may require further investigation by ABD personnel before a return is authorized. Product(s) authorized for return by ABD will be picked up by the ABD driver during the next regularly-scheduled delivery. ABD drivers will not accept returns that have not been pre-authorized and communicated to the class “E” licensee prior to the next scheduled delivery.

Additional requirements that will ease the processing of returns include:

  • When returning a product due to missing or broken bottles, the product must be returned with its original packaging, along with the case box (this includes the box(es) used to transport split cases). Products that are broken or damaged on the licensed premises by the licensee or the licensee’s employees are not eligible for return.
  • Product(s) authorized for return must be ready for pick up prior to the ABD driver's next regularly scheduled delivery.
  • Any product purchased as part of a sleeve (ex: 50ml or 100ml bottles), including pouches, must be returned as an entire sleeve to receive credit. Single bottles will not be accepted.
  • Defective products must be returned to ABD.
  • Products that have been made available for retail sale are ineligible for return.

 

Questions?

Email return@iowaabd.com

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