US Customers

Please note: A license from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission is not required to ship us samples. Please advise your shipper of this fact and download this document from the ILCC for your shipper’s records: ILCC Approval Letter for BTI

Step 1: After submitting you brand(s) via the BTI Client Portal, it is time to ship your product(s)

Login to our trade portal to submit your products for review. Registration and payment on the portal is simple and secure.

Step 2: Ship Samples to our Lab's address

Ship to:
The Lab
OK Imports, LLC
4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60630 USA
P: 773-930-4080

Please note: To comply with shipping regulations and to avoid a fine, you must include ASR (Adult Signature Required) in the reference field of your airway bill and affix an ASR sticker to the outside of your package.

International Customers

Please note: A license from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission is not required to ship us samples. Please advise your shipper of this fact and download this document from the ILCC and include with your shipment: ILCC Approval Letter for Tastings/BTI

Need a simpler solution? For a turnkey international shipping solution contact our shipping partner Christophe Barcat with Services Vin at Services Vin services France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark.

Services Vin Logo

Step 1: After submitting you brand(s) via the BTI Client Portal, it is time to ship your product(s)

Our trade portal is the easiest way to submit and pay for your products.

Step 2: Apply for FDA Food Facility Registration Number (Skip this step if you already have an FDA Food Facility Registration Number)

If your facility (winery, brewery, or distillery/rectifier/bottler) is not already registered with the US FDA, you can register your facility through the FDA website at the following link:

Please note that you will be registering as a food facility because that is how the US FDA classifies beverage producers.

Upon registering your facility will be assigned a permanent registration number and PIN (Personal Identification Number) to be used for all future shipments from your facility to the US. You only need to register each facility once. There is no cost to register your facility with the FDA.

If your facility does not have a United State agent, please use the following information for Section 7 of the online FDA facility registration:

US Agent: OK Imports, LLC
FDA Registration Number: 15765668788
Importer Permit Number: IL-I-21232
4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60630
United States
Phone:  (773)  930-4080
Fax:  (773)  930-4598

Answers to common questions and step-by-step instructions for registering your facility with the FDA can be found here:

Step 3: TTB COLA Waiver (by OK Imports)

If you already have a label approval for your product, please upload the document(s) to the BTI Client Portal by selecting “My Account Settings” > “Shipping Documents Upload” > “New Upload”. Be sure to also include the documents on the OUTSIDE of your shipment.

On behalf of BTI, OK Imports will prepare a COLA Waiver request letter and send it to the TTB for approval. Once approved, we will send you a copy of the COLA Waiver to include with your shipping documents. The entire process takes about two weeks to receive the approval.

The TTB has stipulated that samples of alcoholic beverage imported strictly for use at trade shows and/or for soliciting orders may, under certain conditions, be imported without a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA). Importers of such samples may apply for a waiver from the COLA requirements from the TTB for products that do not already have approved COLA status.

In order to comply and ensure smooth entry into the United States, it is imperative to ensure that when you receive your “Submission Summary” email that you immediately confirm the following information is 100% accurate.

  • The brand name of each product
  • Volume (container size) and percentage of Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of each product
  • The specific type (ie Red Wine, Ale, Flavored Gin) and quantity (ie “6 cans”, “2 bottles”, “1 box”) of each alcohol beverage
  • The country of origin of each product

Please do not ship any samples without a COLA or COLA Waiver ATTACHED.

Step 4: Proof of Origin

Click here to determine if you need a Proof of Origin and/or Age Statement.

Step 5: Commercial Invoice

For each shipment, you will need a Commercial invoice on your letterhead.  If you need a fillable Commercial Invoice, we have provided a downloadable form here.

If you create your own Commercial Invoice please include the following information, otherwise your shipment can be held up in customs (DO NOT address shipment to Beverage Testing Institute, use our import partner OK Imports).

  • Invoice Number
  • All contact information for Manufacture or Producer to include address, phone, and email address (same name must be on all shipping documents, including Airwaybill, Prior Notice)
  • Country of Origin and/or Age Statement (See Step 4 regarding Proof of Origin)
  • Ship samples to Consignee:
    OK Imports, LLC
    4849 N. Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303
    Chicago, IL 60630
    Phone: 773-930-4080
  • Reason for Export: Samples for Analysis Only, Not for Sale
  • Detailed description of product (color), Alcohol %, Size of bottle/can (net content), QTY, Unit Value (cost of goods), Total Value, Country of Manufacture
  • Signature and Date

Please note: If shipping via FedEx, you must write “see CCP PRN # 7713145” on the Commercial Invoice to provide US Customs Agent with necessary documentation.

Please note: If shipping via DHL, you must write “see CMS # I282753” on the Commercial Invoice to provide US Customs Agent with necessary documentation.

Step 6: TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act) Certification

As of October 2020 you must include a TSCA Certification in your shipment. Please click here to download your pre-filled TSCA Certification Form. Add the following:

i) Airway Bill (AWB) Number

ii) Kind (ie Beer, Wine, Spirit)

iii) Date

Step 7: FDA Prior Notice

For each product/SKU that you are shipping from your facility you must create a Prior Notice with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can create a free Prior Notice for each shipment and box onlined here:

You will need the following information to complete the prior notice with the FDA:

  • How many boxes you will be shipping
  • How many bottles are in each box and the bottle volume in milliliters
  • The total weight of each box
  • Carrier Name and Airway Bill (AWB) number
  • Manufacturer’s Info (address, FDA #, phone #, email address.
  • The estimated date and time of arrival. Please consult your shipper or courier to confirm these details
  • Importer’s Info, including their FDA number (if using our affiliated importer, OK Imports, please see their info below.)
  • Consignee Info: OK Imports. See their info below
  • Port: Chicago, Illinois USA

OK Imports FDA registration number: 15765668788

OK Imports shipping address and Permit number:

4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60630
Importer Permit #: IL-I-21232

Please note that the Prior Notice expires after 10 days. You must ship immediately after its been created.

Step 8: Preparing and Shipping your Package to OK Imports

In compliance with the COLA waiver requirements, containers should include the following:

  • A Health Warning Statement on the back of each sample bottle:
    “GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems”
  • A sticker must also appear on the back of every sample container/bottle which reads: “For Trade Show (or Sample) Purposes Only – Not for Sale”
  • In the case of wine, another label must be affixed to the back of each bottle which reads: “Contains Sulfites”

BTI or OK Imports is not responsible for any shipping costs related to submitting products for review. When creating your Airway Bill (AWB) you must check the Bill Shipper Box for DDP or DTP (Delivered Duty Paid or Duty Taxes Paid). Please provide our phone and email address on your Airway Bill.

You must upload all documents  to the BTI Client Portal by selecting “My Account Settings” > “Shipping Document Upload” > “New Upload”. You must also include all documents in your shipment to ensure smooth entry into the United States.

Attach documents on the outside of your shipment.

Any related shipping charges will be back-billed to you. Your results will not be released until full payment has been made for any outstanding charges.

Address international packages to OK Imports (not BTI):

The Lab
OK Imports, LLC
4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60630

Phone: 773-930-4080

Review Schedule

Here are our wine, spirits, and beer deadline calendars. Please submit your wine, beer or spirits samples by the deadline dates to be included. We can review your wine or beer “out-of-schedule” through our On-Demand service.

All entries must be registered by the 1st of each month and samples received by the 15th of each month.



The Beverage Testing Institute reviews alcohol beverages and related product that are commercially available from any country. It is open to all producers, distributors, retailers, agents, importers, ad agencies or public relations offices.


Beer: Ship (6) 12oz, 330ml (or equivalent volume) in bottles, cans, growlers, or crowlers
Wine: Ship (2) 750ml (or equivalent) bottles
Spirits: Ship (2) 750ml (or equivalent) bottles


You can refer to our review schedules as a guideline. If you need more guidance, please email us.


We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, wire transfer (additional fees may apply), and U.S.-bank-checks. Please remember that payment is required for all entry and shipping fees before results will be released or published.


Each scored entry receives:
– A blind tasting in dedicated sensory laboratory with expert judges
– A 100-point score based on our proprietary methodology
– A Professional tasting note
– Free digital shelf-talker image
– Use of our standard BTI award logo artwork
– A 3-year published review with your bottle image and your company information on for 3 years
– A Buy-It-Now button on your product’s review page to help boost your e-commerce sales


Yes, please contact us for more information.


Submission are due by the 1st of each month and samples are due by the 15th.


Yes, our offices are open Monday thru Friday, 9am -5pm:

Beverage Testing Institute
4849 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Suite 304
Chicago, IL 60630

If you’re not able to drop off during those times please email us or call the office at 773-930-4080 to make other arrangements.


We have a full-service consulting division available to help. We offer a range of confidential services: Quality control checks, pre-release/pre-launch reviews, developmental tastings, or comparative tastings and analyses with competitive brands. For more details, please email us.


You can find more information about our methodology here.


Upon reviewing your product, we offer a unique solution for making connections with Illinois distributors. Contact us to learn more.


Clients who submit before or on a deadline, and cancel their submission within two weeks after that deadline, can opt for a full refund or a credit on their account. Clients who submit after a deadline and cancel their submission will only receive a credit on their account, they will not have the option for a refund. Please email us and we will process this change in our system.


Wine and Beer category results are released and published 45 days from their deadline, and Spirit category results are released and published 60 days from their deadline. All paid products that have been entered and reviewed will be published on, no exceptions.

For non-published review options, please contact our consulting division.


Upon release, you will receive a private link for your eyes only to see the tasting note describing the issue. NR reviews are not searchable on our site or by search engines.


Your full reviews are published on for 3 years. After that they will be moved to our results archive. We offer the ability to renew your review, please contact us for more information


You can download your digital logo and certificate free of charge on the portal.

Soon, you will be able to order stickers, trophies, medals and other POSM from the portal as well.

Presently, please email our POSM Department to learn more and to place an order.


You can reach out to one of our Directors for more information.

Published Review Program Rules of Entry

The Beverage Testing Institute published review program reviews alcohol beverages and related products that are commercially available in any country. It is open to all producers, distributors, retailers, agents, importers, ad agencies or public relations offices. Samples submitted must be the commercial, government label-approved package and MUST be available for purchase, either in the US or in their country of origin, at the time of submission. Liquid must be the same as that which is currently in-market. Entries that do not meet these criteria will be disqualified from the competition without refund. Do not place any stickers or obstruct front labels, your bottle will be photographed for online publication.

All participants agree to our usage policy. Entrants pay all shipping, customs and duty fees, no results will be released or published without full payment on account. Clients who submit before or on a deadline, and cancel their submission within two weeks after that deadline, can opt for a full refund or a credit on their account. Clients who submit after a deadline and cancel their submission will only receive a credit on their account, they will not have the option for a refund. You may replace your submission with a different product at no additional cost. If you submitted and failed to ship samples or make payment, the record for your submission will be canceled after 21 days. We reserve the right to refuse service for any reason and refund your submission fee(s). Any samples shipped to BTI become BTI property 14 days after a given category deadline date and will be disposed of at our discretion.

All paid submissions that have been recommended by the panel will be published on, no exceptions. Wine and Beer category results are released 45 days from their submission deadline, Spirits category results are released 60 days from their submission deadline.

We reserve the right to modify these rules at our discretion.

Published Review Program Usage Policy

Beverage Testing Institute (BTI)is an independent, privately-owned corporation that conducts professional, blind tastings and reviews of beverage products for marketing and educational purposes. We do not accept sponsorship or advertising from any alcoholic beverage brand. Participation in BTI’s open-forum tastings and competitions is completely voluntary. The producers, brand owners, or marketers of the relevant brands enter the products that we taste into our competitive tastings. Each producer pays the standardized, per-product registration fee to enter their products into these tasting sessions or competitions. The registration fees cover the cost of administering the tastings and overhead associated with the distribution of the tasting results through various media.

We conduct monthly tasting sessions by product category according to our annual wine, beer, and spirits tasting schedules, see our review schedules for more information. Participants are entitled to use only their individual product’s tasting note and score for marketing purposes. BTI’s logos can be licensed for the purpose of supplementing the promotion of an individual product’s review. Use of unauthorized copies or approximations of BTI’s logos for any purpose is not allowed. All uses of BTI’s name and content in press releases must be approved by Tastings/BTI prior to dissemination. You may submit a press release featuring our name, reviews, and awards, or any print ads featuring our results and logo, by sending it to us at Because wines have the potential to beneficially change in flavor and structure over time, if we have reviewed a wine more than once, we will publish multiple reviews for the same wine (exact brand and vintage) and always note the date of tasting. We do this to track the evolution of a wine for our readers. Since spirits, and the majority of beers, are based on a fixed recipe and do not beneficially change over time once bottled, we only publish the most current review for a given spirit or beer, so that our readership knows the quality level of the brand currently in the market.

It is our policy to allow licensed, approved reprints of the total results of any specific, individual tasting session for advertising purposes for a specified period of time. Because subsequent or prior sessions may be conducted by different panels, feature different groupings of products, and the possibility of product recipe re-formulations, we do not allow compiled listings of products from different sessions for advertising purposes. Results of various tastings are published on in the format of a searchable guide that is updated with the most current review for a given product, as we taste it. If you wish to license our category results or review content, contact us at

Our tasting panels include senior staff members of Tastings/BTI, all of whom have had a minimum of three years experience as Tastings/BTI panelists and are recognized as world-class sensory evaluation experts in the field of alcoholic beverages. We also draw on a large pool of qualified members of the wholesale, retail, and on-premise sectors that have been trained in the use of our proprietary evaluation methodology and software. All products are tasted in flights by category, in random order. Samples are tasted blind and neat in Riedel stemware. No more than fifteen-to-thirty products are tasted in a two-to-three hour morning tasting session. Our tasting room has been designed to minimize outside factors and optimize the critical perception of our panelists through a combination of natural and synthetic lighting and a standardized color and descriptive template.

"The consistency and broad consumer reach of BTI ratings and reviews really solidified the quality message of our artisan brand and helped us build a well-distributed and highly regarded specialty portfolio of beers."
Laurent-Xavier Gilbert,
VP Development at La Brasserie Unibroue
"The BTI rankings have an effect on what restaurants put on their wine lists, and ultimately on what you might be drinking."
Joe Gray,
Editor, Chicago Tribune
"BTI is still the outstanding tasting organization, uniquely independent. Keep up the good work!"
Jan Wells,
VP of Marketing, Cannon Wines
"Beverage Testing Institute is a professional operation with a professional approach. I like that they are committed to truly blind tastings and that their reviews are comprehensive and informative. We highlight the reviews in our tasting room and post them on social media; the consumer response is very positive. "
Edwin Richards,
Winemaker/Owner, Adastra
“Our BTI awards have helped us with our US distribution. Sales have increased form 0 cases to 250 cases in just a couple of months. We opened two new accounts in Seattle and New York.”
Eduardo Aguirre Victoria,
Terre de Vignerons
“[BTI's] is well known as a main reference for connoisseurs, experts and followers of spirits.”
Otto Flores,
Ron Barcelo
"We have used (BTI) for the last 5 years and couldn’t be happier. They always have great customer service and support! Not only do they have detailed professional reviews and tasting notes, the addition of the metallic stickers and shelf-talkers help us capture customers, and drive bottle sales. The trophies, medals, and printed awards are displayed as center pieces in our tasting room. Their website is easy to navigate and has great product information."
Mike Huffman,
Whidbey Island Distillery
“Our winery has had BTI rate our wines for a number of years. We use the bottle stickers and shelf talkers for both education and to enhance our marketing. We have had distributors request bottle stickers, and during wine pourings, we use the shelf talkers as a customer take away. We appreciate the information written by BTI since we find it to be concise, descriptive, informational, and a well rounded review of our wines.“
Janet Soderberg,
Alamira Wines, Vistaflores Estate
When we found out that our 20 year Pappy Van Winkle had been entered in BTI's 1997 World Spirits Championships and received their 99-point rating, that’s when we started getting calls from distributors around the country looking for our whiskey.

That was a benchmark moment for our business. Every time we received a high rating from BTI over the years, interest increased for our brand.

We owe a lot to the Beverage Testing Institute for our success.
Julian P. Van Winkle, III,
President, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
BTI has been our go-to partner for our alcohol awards program for years now, providing quality reviews of our wide selection of wines, beers and hard seltzers. The unique quarterly submission process allows our team to highlight new, trending and seasonal offerings and the staff at BTI is always responsive, collaborative and supportive to help us reach our goals.
Carrie Reitz,
Corporate Buying US, ALDI Inc.
The trust that consumers, major retailers, distributors and suppliers have for BTI makes their reviews and recommendations an invaluable complement and a huge asset to the success of Atlas’ bespoke label brands. I enthusiastically recommend their tools and services to anyone in the control or private label beverage program spaces.
Jim Cosma,
Atlas Imports

Brand Partners