Shipping Conditions

These terms and conditions form an integral part of the general terms and conditions of sale.

Sylvie's runs a public auction that takes place both in the auction house and online. When the auctioneer brings the hammer down on the lot, the bidder who bid the highest price becomes the owner of that lot. For both sellers and buyers, the sale is irrevocable.

The wines may be paid for and removed by the buyer immediately after the hammer falls. Sylvie's begins paying sellers as soon as the auction ends, and all sellers will be paid within 21 days of this date. There is explicitly no cooling-off period, as is the case with online wine sales or an online-only wine auction. 

By participating in the auction, you are deemed to:

- have read the terms and conditions of sale, including the terms and conditions of transport;

- agree to these terms and conditions;

- be old enough to take delivery of alcohol in your country (in the USA, 21 years old);

- authorize Sylvie's to arrange shipping of your purchase(s) for you unless you indicate you wish to do so yourself.

General principles

To participate in the auction, you must have read and accepted the terms and conditions.

When importing wines into a country outside the EU, you are ultimately responsible for the payment of all costs associated with the import. Usually, your carrier will handle these import regulations for you, but you will be deemed to have thoroughly investigated which import regulations (excise duties, taxes and levies, quantity limitations) apply to your purchases.

If alcohol may not be imported into your country, this restriction may not be used as a means of voiding your purchase.

If desired, Sylvie's can arrange an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) for you, if you are an excise licence holder, for a fee of €50.00 per document.

By participating in the auction, you authorize Sylvie's to engage a carrier, on an agency basis, for the transport of your purchases. Your options to either ship your wines via your own carrier or to collect them yourself remain unaffected.

Sylvie's will retain a note of your preferred means of transport and will automatically use this method in the future. If you wish to change your registered carrier, it is your responsibility to inform Sylvie's within 2 working days after the end of the auction. 

Collection and shipping are only possible after your payment has been credited to Sylvie's.

Sylvie's will ship your purchases in Styrofoam packaging to protect them against temperature volatility. In the case of large formats, a comparable alternative may be used. Sylvie's will charge you for transport costs, including packaging material and all-risk insurance.

If we deem your purchases to be best transported on a pallet, they will be exclusively shipped on Euro-pallets. Euro-pallets are delivered on trucks equipped with a tailboard and a pallet jack. If you are unable to receive a Euro-pallet, the alternative is for your wines to be delivered as separate packages or for you to pick them up yourself. 

Delivery is door-to-door and pallets are only delivered at ground level. Drivers of pallet trucks are not allowed to pick up your pallet for delivery from floors other than the ground floor. The alternative is that your wines are sent in separate packages. In that case, delivery can be made to any floor.

Free storage

All wines auctioned by Sylvie's are physically located in Antwerp.

After the auction, the wines remain in insured storage until they are collected or dispatched.

The insurance is all-risk. The buyer's commission covers the costs, so you pay no extra.

Storage at Sylvie's is free for a period of 6 months. Sylvie’s will inform you when this service is available to you. You can request an extension of this period and any such agreement will be put in writing.

However, if your wines are stored at our premises without prior agreement, Sylvie's reserves the right to charge €150.00 per pallet space per month. Sylvie's is committed to make every effort to reach you if no instructions are received. To this end, we will call you, email you and write to you by registered mail. If you still fail to pay any accrued fees, Sylvie's may sell part of your stored wine to cover storage costs.  

Existing buyers who store their wines at Sylvie's and always settle their account within 21 days, may continue to store their wines as usual. There is no need to ask Sylvie's permission and you will not receive an invoice. 

At Sylvie's, you are only allowed to store purchases from our auctions, and not purchases you have acquired elsewhere.

Shipping in case of bad wine weather

If, on or around your expected shipping dates, the temperature is expected to exceed 25 degrees Celsius or below 2 degrees Celsius, Sylvie's will not ship wines. Your wines will remain stored with us.

If your storage period of 6 months has expired at a time shipment is not deemed possible, you will not be charged for the extended storage of your wines.

Sylvie's will only release the wines when the entire shipping period will be safe for the wine, including any waiting time that customs seizures may incur. Sylvie's reserves the right to take a margin for shipments to countries outside the EU where there is an increased risk of full or partial return of wines. 

A buyer who still wants wine to be shipped at temperatures we consider harmful to the wine will be sent a document from Sylvie's for signature, explicitly stating this request. Sylvie's will not be held liable for any consequential damage caused by excessive heat or cold.

Packing, notification and shipping

After receipt of the payment, the buyer will receive a confirmation message. Within 48 hours of this confirmation, the purchases will be shipped unless the weather is unfavourable or if the physical auction audit has not been completed following the end of the auction. In the case of the latter, the confirmation message will state when your purchases will be dispatched.

Sylvie's packages and dispatches the wines in accordance with the requirements of our selected carriers. Sylvie's takes care of the invoice, the proof of purchase and a packing list. A packing list is only drawn up if the wine is being shipped by pallet. On the packing list, Sylvie's indicates the contents of each box, each of which will carry a corresponding sticker.

Sylvie's will not undertake any additional packaging requirements unless this has been agreed in writing prior to the auction.

Buyers who wish to have the addresses of winemakers on their transport documentation must take care of this themselves.

If you buy wines and you do not have an excise licence, Sylvie's will offer you track & trace.

Sylvie's never delivers wine when you are not at home or when you have not authorized anyone to receive it on your behalf. You must guarantee that any recipient is of legal age to take delivery of wine. 

When wine shipped by us is returned due to fault on the part of the buyer (incorrect address, not at home on delivery days, recipient too young) the cost of any subsequent deliveries will be borne by the buyer.

Dispatch of original wooden cases (OWCs)

By default, Sylvie's ships the OWC separately from the wines. If you do not wish us to do this, you must inform us within 48 hours after the end of the auction.

In the case of wines with an investment value, Sylvie's does not split the wine from the OWC. Such wines will be sent on a Euro-pallet, unless you declare in writing that you are prepared to allow the wine to be shipped via a parcel service. In addition, you accept an increased risk of damage. Only wine merchants may claim compensation for stained labels. Additionally, for merchants, damage caused by movement of the bottles in the crate during transport will not be compensated.

Dispatch of pallets to companies with an excise licence

If you have an excise duty permit and you would like Sylvie's to organize pallet transport for a destination within the EU, we offer refrigerated transport. In some countries, refrigerated transport is possible with a 24-hour or 48-hour guarantee. If you require refrigerated transport to a country outside the EU, please ask us about your options.

In order to be eligible to receive refrigerated transport deliveries, you need to be open continuously during office hours. You accept that variations in the expected delivery time could occur right up to the last minute, and that in B2B transport the driver will not let you know when delivery is impending.

You are free to choose another method of transport at your own risk.

All-risk insurance

Sylvie's insures shipping all-risk. All-risk means that during door-to-door transport, purchases are insured against breakage and theft up to the full value of the invoice.

If a cork in the bottle degrades during transport, or if a bottle starts to leak, this will not be covered by the insurance. Such things are a consequence of storage conditions the bottles have experienced over time that Sylvie's could not have been able to observe. Sylvie's will not be held responsible for such incidents.

Sylvie's cannot detect if a wine is ‘corked’. The cost of any damage of this type cannot be recovered from the seller and cannot be insured against. Sylvie's explicitly offers no compensation for such damage. Prior to your purchases, it is your responsibility check the good name of the winemaker and the historical integrity of their production process.  

Potential damage during the transport of bottles in an OWC (abrasion damage) is also not insurable as this is a consequence of the choice to leave the bottles in the original wooden box. The reason for leaving wines in their original wooden box has to do with future profit expectations. Loss of future profits does not fall under the category and concept of damage used by insurers.

For companies with an excise licence, stained bottles can be fully or partially compensated as a result of any breakage. This expressly does not apply to any other buyers. From the point of view of an insurance company, bottles with stains are still drinkable and there is therefore no damage. Similarly, lost future (speculative) profits cannot be compensated. Sylvie's denies all liability for this type of damage. If you do not accept this risk, you will need to organize your own transport.

Damage to wine due to exposure to heat or cold is officially insured, but in practice it is so difficult to prove that damage claims fail. To prevent this damage, Sylvie's offers refrigerated transport where possible and only works with carriers who require a signature for a delivery. Sylvie's does not deliver under any circumstances if you are absent from the agreed delivery location. We will never leave your wines in locations in and around your home, such as an unguarded gazebo or under a carport.

For delivery by refrigerated transport, the transport temperature will usually be between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius. The temperature will not come below 2 degrees Celsius and will not exceed 15 degrees Celsius. When your purchases arrive, you should allow them to be acclimatized in their closed boxes for 24 hours to prevent condensation from forming. If you do not do this, Sylvie's will not liable for any damage to the labels.

For all deliveries that Sylvie's undertakes on your behalf, using third parties for transport, Sylvie's uses Styrofoam packaging or a similar alternative. 

We will charge you for the costs of this packaging. If you do not wish to make use of these facilities, you are fully responsible for any damage resulting from this decision. 

If you pick up your wines yourself, it is also possible to have them packed in Styrofoam. You must ask Sylvie's to do this prior to the auction and be prepared to pay the costs of the packaging. If you do not request this, we will ship your wines on pallets in traditional packaging with a double layer of cardboard.

Wines collected by carriers

You can have your wines collected by a carrier of your choice. This can only be done by appointment and during office hours.

The carrier is obliged to submit an official waybill stating your name. Your name may also be mentioned in an appendix. If your name is not listed, Sylvie's will not ship your wine unless it has been cleared with the carrier. Any consequential damage due increased waiting time is the responsibility of the carrier or yourself.  

If Sylvie's organizes the EAD for this transport, you will receive a document to complete. Sylvie's will only apply for an EAD after this has been duly completed.

Damage

All visible damage should be noted on the transport documentation. You must report any damage to Sylvie's within 24 hours of delivery and send accompanying photos of the damage. If damage is reported later than this, you will hold up the insurance claim procedure and run the risk that the damage will not be taken into consideration or compensated for.  

Any damage not immediately visible must be reported within 48 hours after receipt of the wine and you must also include photos in your communication. If you fail to do so, the claim may not be taken into consideration or compensated for.

The compensation related to any damage will never be higher than the value of your invoice.

Sylvie's is cannot be held responsible for the consquences of a late delivery.

Collecting wines by yourself

You can pick up wines at the auction house on auction days, without an appointment.

After the auction, wines can only be collected by appointment.    

If you are a business buyer with a destination address outside Belgium and you want to pick up wines without an official waybill, you need to provide Sylvie's an alternative to the waybill in order to obtain an invoice without VAT. This means that, in addition to a copy of a passport, additional documentation must show that the wines will be traded or consumed in the country of destination. If this type of information cannot be provided, Sylvie's will not issue an invoice with a VAT deduction when collecting the wine at the counter.

When you pick up your wines yourself, you must also organize transport insurance as Sylvie's will never be held responsible for any damage in these cases.

Transport conditions updated

August 15, 2019

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