Military bringing alcoholic beverages into California

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Military Personnel Relocating Household:  When a service member relocates his or her household effects from a foreign country to California as part of a permanent change of duty station, he or she may include alcoholic beverages only if they are for personal or household use. The Department has no objection if the alcoholic beverages are physically included with other household effects, such as clothing and furniture, or if they are shipped separately.

Note: There is no federal limit on the amount of alcohol someone may import into the U.S. for personal use, however, large quantities might raise the suspicion that the importation is for commercial purposes, and a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer could require you to obtain a federal import license before releasing the shipment. If so, the corresponding state license(s) would also be required. CBP is not obligated in any way to clear every shipment. It may exercise its own discretion on a case-by-case basis and deny entry when justified. If you intend to have a large quantity of alcohol shipped to you for personal use, CBP suggests that you contact the entry branch of the port where your shipment will be entering the United States to discuss your situation in advance. You should also contact the nearest office of the Department to determine whether your circumstances may require a state license.
Non-Relocating Household
An adult member of the United States Armed Forces, who was or is serving outside of the United States, may ship to California the duty-free amount of four liters (three liters of which must have been manufactured or bottled within the United States).  However, when unaccompanied, the alcoholic beverages must be shipped via common carrier and consigned to a California licensed importer. (A list of licensed importers is available from ABC Headquarters in Sacramento.) The service member may then claim the alcoholic beverages by going to the consignee's premises and showing satisfactory military identification.

Foreign Diplomats: Foreign diplomatic personnel and members of their staffs (includes majors or above of the Military Committee of NATO) may import duty-free alcoholic beverages from suppliers outside California if the shipments are sent directly to the foreign diplomat or his/her staff member. Foreign trade zones are considered to be outside California.

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