Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill Request #S-3280.2/09 - "Checks" Bill

Dear FWWS Member, We have an ambitious legislative agenda for this coming year. The following draft bill is our way of attaining equity in payment methods for small wineries. This past Legislative session, the Wholesale Industry inserted an amendment into an omnibus wine bill that exempted Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) from the due on receipt requirement. In the previous Joint Select Committee process, the suggestion was made by FWWS that, since our members do not generally use EFT but rather use business checks, and further since our members do not generally favor the "money's worth" prohibition on extending credit, the same terms should apply to business checks. We were rebuffed in front of the Committee by the lobbyist for the Beer and Wine Wholesaler's Association.

Section (1) of the attached draft bill is the Wholesaler's language from last session and is now current law. Section (2) is our proposed change. This change would extend the same terms to wineries using business checks that anyone using EFT now enjoys. You would have (at your option) the right to accept a check up to five business days after delivery. This will allow you, if you so chose, to legally leave wine at a wholesale customer's premise if no one is there to write a check. This will also allow you to legally ship wine to wholesale customers without prepayment. No change will be made to the current practice where a customer who does not pay their bills timely will be considered in violation of their licensure.

As always, we are interested in your input.

BILL REQ. #: S-3280.2/09 2nd draft


BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Concerning methods of payment for purposes of the alcohol beverage control statutes.

AN ACT Relating to methods of payment for purposes of the alcohol beverage control statutes; and amending RCW 66.28.270.


Sec. 1. RCW 66.28.270 and 2009 c 373 s 11 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) Nothing in this chapter prohibits the use of checks, credit or debit cards, prepaid accounts, electronic funds transfers, and other similar methods as approved by the board, as cash payments for purposes of this title. Electronic ((fund[s])) funds transfers must be: (((1))) (a) Voluntary; (((2))) (b) conducted pursuant to a prior written agreement of the parties that includes a provision that the purchase be initiated by an irrevocable invoice or sale order before the time of delivery; (((3))) (c) initiated by the retailer, manufacturer, importer, or distributor no later than the first business day following delivery; and (((4))) (d) completed as promptly as is reasonably practical, and in no event((,)) later than five business days following delivery.

(2) Nothing in this section prohibits domestic wineries or certificate of approval holders, acting in their capacity as distributors of their own production, from accepting checks under the same terms specified in subsection (1) of this section for transactions by electronic funds transfers.

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