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April 2, 2018

TABC Begins Pilot Program to Collect Alcohol Taxes on International Flights Arriving at ABIA

AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has begun a pilot program to collect state taxes on alcohol brought into Texas by passengers arriving on international flights. The four-week test runs through April 21 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA).

Section 107.7 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, passed by the Legislature in 1977, requires any adult bringing alcohol into the state from abroad to pay the required taxes and administrative fees (usually amounting to a few dollars) and affix the required tax stamps to the bottle. TABC currently collects these taxes at more than 20 Texas-Mexico border crossings as well as the Galveston seaport. The ABIA pilot program will allow the agency to test manpower, equipment, and training requirements for airport tax collections before determining if the program should be rolled out to other international airports statewide.

"Our goal with this program is to meet the requirements of the laws put in place by the Texas Legislature," TABC Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles said. "This four-week pilot program allows TABC to determine the feasibility of airport operations as well as helps us determine what we'll need in order to conduct these operations statewide."

During the pilot program, TABC will assign a total of 12 Tax Compliance Officers (TCOs) and supervisors to staff the collection station at ABIA, where about 25 international flights arrive each week. The collections station will be located in the international arrivals terminal, where the passengers will be asked to pay the state taxes during the Customs check process.

State law allows a legal-aged individual to import no more than 24 12-ounce cans (or equivalent) of beer, three gallons of wine and 1 gallon of distilled spirits without a TABC permit.

To learn more about state alcohol taxes, including tax and fee amounts, visit our tax rates page.

Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462