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Sec. 12-436. Distributor's license. Importation of alcoholic beverages. Invoices. Shipment into military reservation.

      Sec. 12-436. Distributor's license. Importation of alcoholic beverages. Invoices. Shipment into military reservation. (a)(1) Each distributor of alcoholic beverages, before engaging in such business, shall make application to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, on forms to be prescribed and furnished by the commissioner, for a distributor's license, which license, in case the applicant has complied with all other laws of the state pertaining to such business, shall authorize the manufacture and processing of alcoholic beverages in this state and importation into this state of alcoholic beverages and the sale within this state of such manufactured, processed or imported beverages.

      (2) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, refuse to issue a license if the commissioner has reasonable ground to believe that the distributor has wilfully made any false statement of substance with respect to such application for a license, that the distributor has neglected to pay any taxes due to this state or that the distributor has been convicted of violating any of the alcoholic beverages tax laws of this or any other state or the alcoholic beverages tax laws of the United States or has such a criminal record that the commissioner reasonably believes that such distributor is not a suitable person to be issued a license, provided no refusal shall be rendered under this subdivision except in accordance with the provisions of sections 46a-80 and 46a-81.

      (b) (1) No person, except a licensed distributor and railroad or airline companies so far as they conduct such beverage business in cars or passenger trains or airplanes, shall sell any alcoholic beverages in this state or possess such beverages with intent to sell, unless such beverages have previously been subject to the tax imposed by this chapter.

      (2) (A) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision and sections 30-18 and 30-18a, no person shall ship, transport or import alcoholic beverages into this state unless such alcoholic beverages are delivered to a licensed distributor or to an internal revenue or United States customs bonded warehouse under regulations prescribed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services, or are transported in bonded trucks to vessels in Connecticut ports for export.

      (B) (i) Any individual may import alcoholic beverages purchased by such individual within the territorial limits of the United States to an amount not to exceed five gallons in any sixty-day period for such individual's own consumption, (ii) any individual may import alcoholic beverages, whether or not purchased by such individual, from outside the territorial limits of the United States to an amount not to exceed five gallons in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period for such individual's own consumption, and (iii) any individual who has resided outside the United States for a period of six months or more may, on one occasion and in conjunction with the return of such individual's personal and household goods and effects upon the termination of such foreign residency, import wine to an amount not to exceed one hundred gallons, of which not more than twenty gallons shall be of the same brand and spirits not to exceed ten gallons of which not more than two gallons shall be of the same brand, after making application in each such case to the Department of Revenue Services and presenting with the application a tax return prescribed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services and reporting the taxes under this chapter and under chapter 219 for which the applicant is liable. Payment of such taxes shall accompany such application and tax return. A copy of the importation certificate issued by the Department of Revenue Services shall accompany each such shipment.

      (3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to alcoholic beverages which are actually brought into the state by any individual in quantities of four gallons or less.

      (c) The commissioner may require a licensed distributor who is a consignee of any alcoholic beverages transported, shipped or imported into this state to prepare and sign two copies of an invoice, the form to be prescribed by the commissioner, furnishing a description of each shipment received. Such licensed distributor shall, on demand of the commissioner, within five days after the receipt of any shipment, file one copy of such invoice with the commissioner and retain the other copy in such licensed distributor's files.

      (d) Each distributor, when making a taxable sale, shall furnish to the purchaser an invoice showing the quantities of alcoholic beverages sold and the classification thereof within the provisions of this chapter. The distributor shall keep all such invoices as part of the distributor's records.

      (e) Any person holding a distributor's license may, not later than ten days before the end of any month, apply to the commissioner for cancellation of such license, such cancellation to be effective from the first day of the following month.

      (f) Any distributor shipping any alcoholic beverages into any military reservation located within the territorial boundaries of this state shall file with the commissioner a duplicate invoice showing the quantities of alcoholic beverages shipped and the classification thereof within the provisions of this chapter.

      (g) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both for each offense.

      (h) (1) The commissioner may suspend or revoke the license of any distributor for failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations related thereto, following a hearing with respect to which notice in writing, specifying the time and place of such hearing and requiring such distributor to show cause why such license should not be revoked, is mailed or delivered to such distributor not less than ten days preceding the date of such hearing. Such notice may be served personally or by registered or certified mail.

      (2) The commissioner shall not issue a new license to a distributor whose license is revoked unless the commissioner is satisfied that such distributor will comply with the provisions of this chapter and regulations related thereto.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4326; 1955, S. 2182d; February, 1965, P.A. 578; P.A. 73-543, S. 13, 14; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 165, 610; P.A. 79-604, S. 1; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 22, 170, 191, 345, 348; P.A. 84-350, S. 2; P.A. 85-372, S. 3, 4; P.A. 88-314, S. 29, 54; P.A. 95-195, S. 8, 83; P.A. 99-121, S. 15, 28; P.A. 00-174, S. 31, 83; 00-230, S. 7; P.A. 05-274, S. 6.)

      History: 1965 act specified that permission to import five gallons applies to purchases within U.S. territorial limits and excluded from provisions purchases of one gallon or less, rather than "less than one gallon"; P.A. 73-543 excepted airlines from provision prohibiting sales or possession without payment of tax; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner and division of liquor control within the department of business regulation for liquor control commission, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-604 excluded from provisions of section purchases of four gallons, rather than one gallon, or less; P.A. 80-482 made division of liquor control an independent department following abolition of department of business regulation, overriding provision of same act which would have placed the division within the public safety department; P.A. 84-350 added Subdiv. (2), concerning the importation of wine by foreign residents; P.A. 85-372 added provisions specifying grounds for refusal of or suspension or revocation of licenses and re procedure for suspension or revocation of license; P.A. 88-314 added the penalty provision applicable to any violation of the requirements of this section, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; P.A. 95-195 substituted Department of Consumer Protection for Department of Liquor Control, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-121 divided Sec. into Subsecs. and Subdivs., allowed taxpayer to receive alcoholic beverages from outside the U.S., subject to state tax and limitations on the amount, and made technical changes, effective June 3, 1999, and applicable to sales occurring on or after October 1, 1999; P.A. 00-174 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to transfer responsibility for issuance of importation certificates from the Department of Consumer Protection to the Department of Revenue Services, to require that a tax return be presented with an application and to require that payment of taxes accompany the application and return, effective July 1, 2000, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date; P.A. 00-230 made a technical change in Subsec. (a)(2); P.A. 05-274 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to except shipments made pursuant to Secs. 30-18 and 30-18a and make technical changes, effective July 13, 2005.

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