Meet Our Members
The National Association of Beverage Importers, Inc. (NABI) is a national trade association representing the interests of beer, wine and spirit importers at state and federal levels. Our mission is to help the importer members operate their businesses more efficiently and profitably by providing timely information, aggressive representation, and thoughtful advice on technical and political matters.

Learn more about NABI membership or if you have a question about importing an alcohol beverage into the United States, please do not hesitate to call us at (202) 393-6224 or email nabipresident@bevimporters.org

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Insight + Resources

  • New President at NABI

      News..... from NABI regarding their appointment of Rob Tobiassen as the new president of the importers organization (effective October 1).He takes over for Bill Earle, who served for almost 12  years as the organization's chief executive. Justin Kissinger (a HEINEKEN global employee), is the chairman of the organization, and had the following statement:“We are extremely pleased that Rob will be leading the Association.

  • NABI and other Trades encourage support for TTB

    NABI joined with trade associations representing the beverage alcohol industry encouraging support for federal regulator TTB.  TTB's oversight provides for a well regulated marketplace while supporting the state and local enforcement agencies across the country.  FINAL Industry TTB Letter 5 25 17.docx

  • Craft Beverage Modernization Act includes Importers

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NABI Letter to USTR on U.S./United Kingdom Trade Agreement Negotiating Objectives

NABI submitted a letter, dated January 15, 2019, to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) pointing out the areas where current trade agreements relating to wines and distilled spirits with the European Union need to be made applicable to the United Kingdom once the latter leaves the European Union.  Thanks to the NABI Members who commented on the draft comment letter that was circulated last week.  The comment letter is on the public record file at:  https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2018-0036-0131   



NABI Elects New Chairman of the Board

NABI Elects New Chairman of the Board and Explores the Opportunities and Challenges of the 21st Century Global Market at its 84th Annual Meeting 2019 
 
Gabriel Bisio, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Palm Bay International was elected as Chairman of the Board at the 84th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Beverage Importers (NABC) in New York City.  NABI President Robert Tobiassen said “We are pleased and fortunate to have Gabe as our Chairman for the next two years as he brings more than 15 years of alcohol beverage industry experience from his work with the Taub Family Company and before that Diageo North America.  Gabe, an attorney with a vast international experience understands both the challenges of family and global companies, along with the diversity of the New World producers of wine, distilled spirits, and beers, and Old World traditions.”  
 
Gabe follows Chairman Justin Kissinger now Director, Global Public Policy, HEINEKEN N.V., who commenced his NABI service when he was at HEINEKEN USA.  The Board expressed its gratitude to Justin for his dedication.  
 
NABI members at the annual meeting and working lunch focused on the three elements of our Strategic Goal and Plan for 2019 and Forward of (1) delivering business services to members grounded in our presence in Washington, DC with person-to-person contacts, (2) being a key information source for members of new regulatory developments and up to date market trends, and (3) networking with domestic associations and international organizations focused on streamlining trade and modernization regulatory regimes.  
 
In helping to set the stage for the strategic goal discussion, NABI had the great benefit of insights from Susan Evans, Director, TTB Office of Industry and State Relations on where TTB is going and from Bobby Conroy, Wine Director, The Clock Tower, NYC, Court of Master Sommeliers, who helped us understand the dining consumer alcohol beverage selection experiences.  For without an understanding of the consumer demand pulling imported products through the distribution system, there would be no imports.  
 
NABI is the leading trade association for importers of distilled spirits, wine, beer, and low and non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  Established in 1935, in the wake of the Repeal of Prohibition, NABI has aided its members for eight decades in importing the widest range of products for American consumers to enjoy in a responsible manner.  Recently, NABI has been the strong advocate for the import provisions of the Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) and worked closely with Customs and Border Protection on its implementation.  Ease of administration and protection of the tax revenue are the guideposts of NABI’s efforts on CBMA.  Today, there are more than 12,000 importer basic permits issued by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau providing solid, wellpaying jobs in every State and jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.  “Delivering a WORLD of taste to AMERICA” is the NABI moto and goal.  

Welcome to Giorgio Gori USA, Inc. As newest NABI Associate Member

Giorgio Gori USA, Inc. is primarily involved in freight services and in related aspects and functions with wine and spirits logistics specialists.  Giorgio Gori USA operates in New Jersey.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     (NABI Press Release No. 2019-2)     

 

National Association of Beverage Importers, Inc.

Washington, DC                                                                               

May 8, 2019

 

 

“Delivering a WORLD of Taste to AMERICA” Continues to Be the Right Thing to Do to Enhance Consumer Choices 

 

Consumer driven choice has been the linchpin of alcohol competition law by Federal and State Governments since the Repeal of Prohibition.  Brands of alcohol beverages on the shelves of “brick and mortar” retail premises, pubs on corners or in malls, restaurant wine lists, and on-line product choice delivered through e-commerce enables consumers to demand and receive what they want rather than receive what the industry believes they should want.  We have a consumer “pull” system and not an industry member “push” system for brand available to consumers.  This is why the recent statements CEO Rick Tigner of the Jackson Family Wines before a meeting of local business and community leaders in Santa Rosa calling for trade barrier protections for domestic wines is surprising and more so troubling.[1]  Ultimately and appropriately, consumer preference dictates the brands offered in the United States marketplace. 

 

NABI President Robert M. Tobiassen said “Without a doubt, consumer choice is unbelievably enhanced by imported distilled spirits, wine, and beer.  Consumers experience the world from the comfort of their homes and favorite drinking establishments.  From the design of labels and bottles to consumer tastings/ samplings at retail establishments, and consumer advertising specialties for take away by the consumer at retail establishments, the brands and varieties of imported distilled spirits, wine, beer educate us about the world.   Pure authenticity telling consumers the story of their drinks.” 

 

More than 12,000 importer basic permit holders from TTB source almost a hundred thousand of brand names for American consumers and their enjoyment.  Trade enhances consumer choice in the United States which is the largest consumer driven marketplace in the world. 

 

Rather than discourage consumers from enjoying imported distilled spirits, wine, and beer, the domestic wineries should up their efforts on exports and enhance its promotional activities to attract consumers.  Creating an artificial and anti-consumer choice domestic demand by restraining imported products is not the answer.  No one wins from the current saber rattling over tariffs by both the United States and European Union.  Global trade benefits all—consumers. growers of grapes, hops and grains, producers, exporters, importers, distributors, and retailers.  It enhances peace and prosperity as was envisioned in the Post-World War II international model of a global trading order.[2] 

 

Mr. Tigner argues that other countries impose tariffs or duties hurting American wines entering those markets so the United States is justified in imposing the same on imported wines.  Why should American consumers pay more for other countries’ bad decisions?  In the United States, we fight these foreign market trade barriers by working to remove them and not by adopting them.   

 

Consumers demand for the availability of imported distilled spirits, wine, and beer is indisputable.   For fiscal year 2018, TTB approved 185,072 certificate of label approvals (COLAs) of which 86,958 represented domestic products and 98,114 represented imported products.  Consumer “pull” in the marketplace caused this.  Clearly consumers are looking for the diversity and variety of imported products to enjoy.  No tariff or non-tariff trade barrier should be erected by the domestic industry to tell consumers that they cannot have what they want at the most competitive pricing.      

 

A rising tide raises all ships—both imports and domestics.  Consumers sail better on this tide of brand choice, variety, and opportunity to experience the enormous diversity of distilled spirits, wine, and beer from both fine American producers and world producers.  Consumers deserve nothing less.   

 

* * * * * * *

 

NABI is the leading trade association for importers of distilled spirits, wine, beer, and low and non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  Established in 1935, in the wake of the Repeal of Prohibition, NABI has aided its members for eight decades in importing the widest range of products for American consumers to enjoy in a responsible manner.  Recently, NABI has been the strong advocate for the import provisions of the Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) and worked closely with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on its implementation.  Ease of administration and protection of the tax revenue are the guideposts of NABI’s efforts on CBMA.  Importer basic permit holders are providing solid, well-paying jobs in every State and jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.  “Delivering a WORLD of taste to AMERICA” is the NABI moto and goal.    

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Robert M. Tobiassen, NABI President, or

Bernadeen Emamali, NABI Vice-President and Corporate Secretary

at: (202) 393-6224        

 

www.bevimporters.org



[1] https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/industrynews/wineindustry/9556660-181/jackson-family-wines-ceo-calls

[2] John H. Jackson, The World Trade Organization, Constitution and Jurisprudence (Chatham House Papers 1998).