Consumer Safety/Chain of Custody/Prevention of Counterfeit Goods

Wholesalers are the central link in the Three-Tier System, providing a clear chain of custody and traceability for all your favorite beverage alcohol products.  Since product must travel from a verified supplier or importer through a wholesaler before being sold to consumers by a retailer, regulatory oversight is simplified and consumers can enjoy their beverage knowing it is a genuine and safe-for-consumption product.

With so many checks and balances along the chain of custody, entrance of counterfeit or adulterated product into the chain is easily prevented.  Should a product need to be recalled for any safety reasons, this verified and strict chain of custody also allows this to happen quickly to protect consumer safety. 


Prevention of counterfeit alcohol sales by unscrupulous sellers is another one of the benefits from the three-tier system of alcohol distribution in America.  Wine, beer, and spirits bought by a licensed alcohol retailer from a licensed wholesaler are guaranteed to be authentic– not counterfeit or adulterated in any way. Consumers in countries without these three-tier checks and balances have found substances from jet fuel to toxic methanol marketed as beverage alcohol, often with lethal consequences. 


WSWA strongly supports and advocates for keeping laws and regulations that require this chain of custody and system of checks and balances for every sale of alcohol to consumers, and works to prevent carve-outs that would ultimately jeopardize the safety of the consumer and the alcohol marketplace.  For example, we support policies that require a beverage alcohol product to physically stop at a warehouse between supplier and retailer to give enough time for regulators to inspect for safety and verify that the product is genuine with taxes paid – not just a “paper” transaction.