Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Agency 5. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
Chapter 60. Manufacturers and Wholesalers Operations

3VAC5-60-80. Solicitation of mixed beverage licensees by representatives of manufacturers, etc., of spirits.

A. Generally. This section applies to the solicitation, directly or indirectly, of a mixed beverage licensee to sell or offer for sale spirits. Solicitation of a mixed beverage licensee for such purpose other than by a permittee of the board and in the manner authorized by this section shall be prohibited.

B. Permits.

1. No person shall solicit a mixed beverage licensee unless he has been issued a permit. To obtain a permit, a person shall:

a. Register with the board by filing an application on such forms as prescribed by the board;

b. Pay in advance the fee;

c. Submit with the application a letter of authorization from the manufacturer, brand owner or its duly designated United States agent, of each specific brand or brands of spirits which the permittee is authorized to represent on behalf of the manufacturer or brand owner in the Commonwealth; and

d. Be an individual at least 21 years of age.

2. Each permit shall expire yearly on June 30, unless sooner suspended or revoked by the board.

3. A permit hereunder shall authorize the permittee to solicit or promote only the brand or brands of spirits for which the permittee has been issued written authorization to represent on behalf of the manufacturer, brand owner, or its duly designated United States agent and provided that a letter of authorization from the manufacturer or brand owner to the permittee specifying the brand or brands he is authorized to represent shall be on file with the board. Until written authorization or a letter of authorization, in a form authorized by the board, is received and filed with the board for a particular brand or brands of spirits, there shall be no solicitation or promotion of such product by the permittee. Further, no amendment, withdrawal or revocation, in whole or in part, of a letter of authorization on file with the board shall be effective as against the board until written notice is received and filed with the board, and, until the board receives such notice, the permittee shall be deemed to be the authorized representative of the manufacturer or brand owner for the brand or brands specified on the most current authorization on file with the board.

C. Records. A permittee shall keep complete and accurate records of his solicitation of any mixed beverage licensee for a period of two years, reflecting all expenses incurred by him in connection with the solicitation of the sale of his employer's products and shall, upon request, furnish the board with a copy of such records.

D. Permitted activities. Solicitation by a permittee shall be limited to his authorized brand or brands, may include contact, meetings with, or programs for the benefit of mixed beverage licensees and employees thereof on the licensed premises, and in conjunction with solicitation, a permittee may:

1. Distribute directly or indirectly written educational material (one item per retailer and one item per employee, per visit) which may not be displayed on the licensed premises; distribute novelty and specialty items bearing spirits advertising not in excess of $10 in wholesale value (in quantities equal to the number of employees of the retail establishment present at the time the items are delivered); and provide film or video presentations of spirits which are essentially educational to licensees and their employees only and are not for display or viewing by customers;

2. Provide to a mixed beverage licensee sample servings from containers of spirits and furnish one, unopened, sample container no larger than 375 milliliters of each brand being promoted by the permittee and not sold by the licensee; such containers and sample containers shall be purchased at a government store and bear the permittee's permit number and the word "sample" in reasonable sized lettering on the container or sample container label; further, the spirits container shall remain the property of the permittee and may not be left with the licensee, and any sample containers left with the licensee shall not be sold by the licensee;

3. Promote his authorized brands of spirits at conventions, trade association meetings, or similar gatherings of organizations, a majority of whose membership consists of mixed beverage licensees or spirits representatives for the benefit of their members and guests, and shall be limited as follows:

a. To sample servings from containers of spirits purchased from government stores when the spirits donated are intended for consumption during the gathering;

b. To displays of spirits in closed containers bearing the word "sample" in lettering of reasonable size and informational signs provided such merchandise is not sold or given away except as permitted in this section;

c. To distribution of informational brochures, pamphlets and the like, relating to spirits;

d. To distribution of novelty and specialty items bearing spirits advertising not in excess of $10 in wholesale value;

e. To film or video presentations of spirits which are essentially educational;

f. To display at the event the brands being promoted by the permittee;

g. To rent display booth space if the rental fee is the same as paid by all exhibitors at the event;

h. To provide its own hospitality, which is independent from activities sponsored by the association or organization holding the event;

i. To purchase tickets to functions and pay registration fees if the payments or fees are the same as paid by all attendees, participants, or exhibitors at the event; and

j. To make payments for advertisements in programs or brochures issued by the association or organization holding the event if the total payments made for all such advertisements do not exceed $300 per year for any association or organization holding the event; or

4. Provide or offer to provide point-of-sale advertising material to licensees as provided in 3VAC5-20-20 or 3VAC5-30-80.

E. Prohibited activities. A permittee shall not:

1. Sell spirits to any licensee, solicit or receive orders for spirits from any licensee, provide or offer to provide cash discounts or cash rebates to any licensee, or to negotiate any contract or contract terms for the sale of spirits with a licensee;

2. Discount or offer to discount any merchandise or other alcoholic beverages as an inducement to sell or offer to sell spirits to licensees;

3. Provide or offer to provide gifts, entertainment or other forms of gratuity to licensees except that a permittee may provide a licensee "routine business entertainment," as defined in 3VAC5-30-70, subject to the same conditions and limitations that apply to wholesalers and manufacturers under that section;

4. Provide or offer to provide any equipment, furniture, fixtures, property or other thing of value to licensees except as permitted by this regulation;

5. Purchase or deliver spirits or other alcoholic beverages for or to licensees or provide any services as inducements to licensees, except that this provision shall not preclude the sale or delivery of wine or beer by a licensed wholesaler;

6. Be employed directly or indirectly in the manufacturing, bottling, importing or wholesaling of spirits and simultaneously be employed by a retail licensee;

7. Solicit licensees on any premises other than on their licensed premises or at conventions, trade association meetings or similar gatherings as permitted in subdivision D 3 of this section;

8. Solicit or promote any brand or brands of spirits without having on file with the board a letter from the manufacturer or brand owner authorizing the permittee to represent such brand or brands in the Commonwealth; or

9. Engage in solicitation of spirits other than as authorized by law.

F. Refusal, suspension or revocation of permits.

1. The board may refuse, suspend, or revoke a permit if it shall have reasonable cause to believe that any cause exists that would justify the board in refusing to issue such person a license, or that such person has violated any provision of this section or committed any other act that would justify the board in suspending or revoking a license.

2. Before refusing, suspending, or revoking such permit, the board shall follow the same administrative procedures accorded an applicant or licensee under Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia and regulations of the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-6 § 8, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. August 28, 2002; Volume 23, Issue 13, eff. May 19, 2007; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013; Volume 33, Issue 8, eff. February 3, 2017; Volume 38, Issue 1, eff. January 1, 2022.

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